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« 'Happy 50th Nastassja' That's One From Our Hearts | Main | The Ghost Linker »
Monday
Jan242011

Final Oscar Predictions & Questions

Yes, they'll have reason to celebrateWe're getting down to the wire now and doesn't it seem more confusing now that it did a month ago? So strange. The pink elephant in the room might be that the precursors were so entirely uniform that it should be easy to predict. Yet, could it really be so simple as these 11 films showing up everywhere as they have for months

  • 127 Hours
  • Black Swan
  • The Fighter
  • Inception
  • The Kids Are All Right
  • The King's Speech
  • The Social Network
  • The Town
  • Toy Story 3
  • True Grit
  • Winter's Bone

Does this mean we're due for surprises on Tuesday or is it just a year where everyone agrees? Last year, for example, when the prospects of Nine, The Lovely Bones and Invictus suddenly crashed in January wasn't it just a case of people not liking the movies despite their general precursor strength. Is there any film, for example amoung The Big 11 this year that people dislike? The answer is an exclamatory "NO!". Oh sure, nearly all of those films have detractors (as every film has throughout history) but there isn't a film in that group that has people in large numbers going "zzzzz" or "what a piece of shit" or "whatever. NEXT!" like we had last year when District 9 and The Blind Side muscled there way in instead.

Take a cold shower Shutter Island. Tone down those Oscar dreams.

This general strength is probably bad news for any film that would in other years maybe rally for a surprise nomination. But the way I see it there are six more films hanging around that might show up (at this point unexpectedly) in major places IF it's a surprising morning.

  • The Ghost Writer (I'm guessing two surprise nods: score & screenplay. But I really don't think Picture/Director is entirely improbable.)
  • Shutter Island  (I'm guessing two: sound mixing and art direction but a few more seem possible)
  • Another Year (I'm guessing a shutout. Quote Ruth Sheen as Gerry in the film: "Life's not always kind is it?" Yet it could have as many as 3 nominations if Life is Sweet instead.
  • Eyesore in Wonderland (I'm guessing the obvious ones like art direction, costumes, makeup, f/x which is 4 too many already and hoping there's not more. But it stands a very good chance of being the non-best picture nominee with the highest total. Life's not always kind, is it?)
  • The Way Back (I suspect a shut out but it's a big handsome period epic and you never know...)
  • Blue Valentine (i'm guessing 2 nominations. But what if it's 4? both actors & best picture.)

YOU CAN SEE THE BIG CHART HERE with links to each category
But for now just a few big question marks. I'd love your take on these things.

Best Picture
The general perception is that Winter's Bone, The Town or 127 Hours will be the snubee of the 11 constants. I really think Winter's Bone is safe though I couldn't exactly say why i have such certainty. I still worry a bit about The Kids Are All Right as a surprise snub (I blame the BFCA for the worry) but it's probably just jitters since I love the film. Since there are so many "auteur" films expected to place I'm guessing The Town edges out 127 Hours, since there's less competition for those mainstream votes. That isn't a knock on The Town just a reflection that it's not really in the list because it's daring or edgy or acclaimed. It's hung on because it's a solid general audience entertainment that is also critically respected.

Best Director
The big question mark here is whether it'll be The Coen Bros or David O. Russell in the final shortlist. I'm guessing that Russell hangs on. That's partially because I think The Fighter generates such love from its fans and partially because I think there's bound to be another fluke year where the Globes, DGA and Oscar all line up (hasn't happened since 1977.) BUT if you ask me what I really want to predict it's Roman Polanski. The only thing preventing me from that "no guts no glory" leap is that I have more trouble imagining The Ghost Writer placing in Best Picture than I do Polanski shaking up best director. With 10 Picture nominees it's harder to imagine the director's branch going way out on a limb like they use to.

I'm guessing "No" on Gosling (sniffle)Best Actor and Supporting Actor
I've made a switch in Lead Actor. I've got to take a risk somewhere and I'm now predicting Javier Bardem will edge out Robert Duvall for the 5th spot. People who see that movie just don't shut up about his work and he's a well regarded actor who is maybe in some ways, the new Anthony Quinn (Spanish speaking masculine heartthrob that Oscar just can't get enough of). Or maybe that's just because they look vaguely similar to me. But then again, Bardem missed for The Sea Inside so...).  I'd love to see Ryan Gosling in the mix, as he's on my ballot, but I really doubt it will happen. And I fear that if he manages to squeak it would mean a surprise snub for Jesse Eisenberg who, regardless of the buzz and media attention, is quite young and who is playing a largely unlikeable character.

Best Actress and Supporting Actress
The huge dilemma here is Hailee Steinfeld for True Grit. Whichever category she shows up in ... [I still firmly believe it'll be supporting because the only previous examples of "promotion" are when the actor in question is already famous or has no co-leads in their film and voters feel silly about claiming that the actress is supporting a Whale or some such]... she WILL pull votes in both categories. Which means less votes for other people which means all sorts of surprise pockets of love and vacuums of votes could factor in. Same goes to a much lesser extent with Lesley Manville. The happiest outcome Hailee-wise would be a snub in both categories. Because, whoever she kicks out in either category, including Manville is her superior. (I'm not trying to be mean. She's just not the equal of her competitors. Not yet at least. She'll have other chances as one assumes she'll be in Chloe Moretz style demand now.) If she places in lead I see it costing Nicole Kidman the nomination since Rabbit Hole barely got a second glance from anyone... not even for its excellent screenplay which should've been kind of an easy get I think.

The Actress races are SO tense. Can you bear it??? Well, can you?

 

That said, I wouldn't be too surprised if I'm majorly wrong on Best Supporting Actress. I've reinstated Jacki Weaver because fans of her work are so passionate (#1 votes) and because I think Barbara Hershey (who I think is more of a threat than people realize and BAFTA gave me faith that I wasn't entirely wrong) will be pulling more votes from Mila Kunis than from Weaver) though I fear she's the new Peter Sarsgaard Shattered Glass (i.e. the critical darling that shows up everywhere until the Oscar). The huge difference is that Weaver is in an excellent film. But the strange thing there is that it just hasn't won traction elsewhere. So like Nicole Kidman, the relative lack of interest in her film, which ought to have been a bigger deal, could spell doom. I'M SO NERVOUS.

SEE ALL THE PREDIX HERE and we'll see how it goes on Tuesday morning.

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Reader Comments (48)

However much I want her to, I really don't think Jacki will get the nomination, which is such a shame. I'm seeing the Fighter tomorrow and True Grit soon after (damm these Australian release dates!), but from what I've heard/read about I think Russel will hang on too. As for Best Picture, I'd bet the little money I won the Town will be the snubee.

I'm all jittery about Colin Firth! I absolutely loved his performance in the King's Speech and everything seems to be point to him being nominated, but I'm still slightly terrified. I'd like to see him win the award.

January 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRuth

I got a feeling that maybe both Gosling and Williams could get it. It's just because I've learned to never underestimate Harvey Weinstein. I know it's probably just wishful thinking, but I actually think it could happen, but I'm not brave enough to predict it (don't wanna get disappointed)

January 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLucky

Oh, also, I think True Grit will do really well. It peaked just at the time voters were filling their ballots. Everyone was talking about it, it was making tons of money and getting some award nominations. I wouldn't be shocked if the Coens get a Director nod.

January 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLucky

I'm hoping for Kidman and Williams, that's it. Unfortunately there's no hope for Eckhart. Otherwise Tuesday won't matter much to me.

A question for those who have paid attention to award seasons in the past...is it possible for Rabbit Hole's screenplay to have been ignored because it's a script that was adapted by the playwright himself and therefore seen as an easier accomplishment? Has there been a prejudice against writers who adapt their own works for film? Just a thought because for the life of me I can't see why it as been ignored as much as it has.

January 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCity_Of_Lights

I think "The Town" and "127 Hours" will both be snubbed....Count on "Blue Valentine" to be the surprise Best Picture nominee....You heard it here first. :)

January 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAD

I wonder what happened to Casino Jack and why is it absent from all the Oscar prediction lists?
I think actors and screenplay there are amazing. Can you help me on this? I don't get such an ignorance of this movie :(

January 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKseni

I'm realllyyyy nervous! But I suppose that makes it more exciting.

January 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip

I was gonna put Bardem in then i ask myself: If he couldn't get nominated for "The Sea Inside" (uplifting tearjerker, real life character, old age makeup) which won best foreign language film in 2004, why would he get nominated for "Biutiful"? I really liked Bardem in the film but I'm praying for Ryan Gosling to pull off that upset.

January 24, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterjoy

I can't imagine 127 Hours is the one that gets left out of "the ten." It's going to get #1 votes, and it's got a lot of guild strength. (But I'm also aware that my admiration for the film is a factor in my prediction...Isnt' that always the case? We can't quite predict away from what we love?)

Will anyone put The Town at #1? It seems so unlikely. The film just isn't that strong.

And I'm guessing that the attention Blue Valentine has gotten at the height of the season might push the more-than-worthy WInter's Bone out of that last "indie" slot.

For what it's worth, my best pic guess:

127 Hours
Black Swan
Blue Valentine
The Fighter
Inception
The Kids Are All Right
The King's Speech
The Social Network
Toy Story 3
True Grit

January 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSan FranCinema

My guess for BP

The Ghost Writer
The King's Speech
Inception
The Fighter
True Grit
Winter's Bone
127 Hours
Toy Story 3
Black Swan
The Social Network

January 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMark F.

So nervous. PLZ LET MILA GET IN AND HAILEE SNUBBED-A-DUB-DUBBED. Your Actress and Supporting Actor category have GOT to be the nominees. I've yet to see Bardem's performance so no comment. And, yeah, that sums up me.

January 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJonathon

Poor Lesley Manville! She was already losing steam when the category confusion erupted. If there is one thing I'm certain come Tuesday morning, it will be a snub for her.

Good call, Nat with Bardem in 'Biutiful'. We can chalk it up to Julia Roberts & co come Tuesday morning.

I HATE how nerve-wracking the Best Actress race is. I want to console you and say a nom for Nic is a given but the category confusion of Hailee (which I actually see working in her favor compared to Manville) and the overall volatility of their positions (Lawrence included) prevents me from doing so. When the dust settles however, I think it will come down to

Portman
Bening
Moore
Lawrence
Kidman

January 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMick

Guys, we're talking about Bardem post-No Country. He has more influence now.

January 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMick

I decided to leave of "127" because I imagine "The Town" will get a lot of #3 votes and "Winter's Bone" will get more #1 votes.

I posted my predictions at my blog. I threw Steinfeld in lead so I could easily convince myself that Jacki Weaver would get nominated. I decided on a Darren Aronofsky snub ala Baz Luhrmann for "Moulin Rouge!" when it seems like such a duh nomination, but the film's divisiveness, hyperness and the director's lack of "clubiness" could stop it from happening. I've also gone with Bardem. Sort of like Tommy Lee Jones the other year for "In the Valley of Elah", ya know? We're all aware people like it, but the film's lack of success elsewhere in the awards season could be the very reason he get nominated. Lots of #1 votes from people who wanna see him nominated.

Sooo excited. The nominations are read at about midnight down here and I thankfully don't have work on Wednesday morning so I don't have to worry about losing sleep because of them.

January 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn

My guess BP:

The Social Network
The Fighter
The Kings Speech
The Ghost Writer
Winters Bone
True Grit
The Kids Are All Alright
Inception
Black Swan
Toy Story 3

Best Actor:
Colin Firth
Jesse Eisenberg
Ryan Gosling
James Franco
Jeff Bridges

Best Actress:
Natalie Portman
Michelle Williams
Annette Bening
Jennifer Lawrence
Tilda Swinton

Best Supporting Actor:
Christian Bale
Geoffrey Rush
Andrew Garfield
Jeremy Renner
Mark Ruffalo

Best Supporting Actress:
Melissa Leo
Amy Adams
Helena Bonham Carter
Jackie Weaver
Olivia Williams

Best Director:
David Fincher
Darren Aronofsky
Christopher Nolan
David O. Russel.
Roman Polanski

January 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterManuel

as much as i think Nicole is the most deserving one.. but right now... i will just assume Nicole is out, i dont wanna jinx it!!!
If she is not nominated tomorrow, then Oscar 2011 is over

January 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAno

i still can't believe people are predicting an eisenberg snub. HE'S IN.

January 24, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterlily

I would be really sad if both Kunis and Hershey didn't get nominated, they both served their function in the film beautifully but Steinfeld has the momentum and by all accounts Weaver deserves to be there also (I have yet to see the film).

I just saw Blue Valentine, if Ryan Gosling is not nominated it would be such a shame, best performance I've seen this year!

January 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRami

Oh please let Lesley Manville somehow sneak into the Supporting lineup at the last second. She was Amazing. Also got fingers crossed for Ryan and Michelle, it would be sad if one got in and one was snubbed.

January 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChris D

The Pixar / Cars comment is the funniest thing ever Nathaniel, really that was their biggest misstep ever critically, I can't believe they made a sequel I guess it made enough cash at the box office eugh.

January 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRami

Can someone please explain why Mila Kunis is being considered over Barbara Hershey? IMO, the performances aren't even comparable. I truly think Barbara Hershey could be a surprise nominee in which no one really thinks its possible. But last year, no one really predicted Maggie G. getting a nomination for Crazy Heart, and she did. It's an extremely tough year to call.

January 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan E

I think both Ryan and Michelle will be snubbed, sadly!

January 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda

I was reading through old conversations from this award season this morning to try to see if there was something that had slipped my mind as I made my final predictions. One thing that stuck out to me was how me and many others were surprised when The Town didn't get nominated for Best Ensemble by the SAG. But everyone seems to have forgotten about that now. Maybe it's a forgotten omen that the film isn't quite as beloved by the actors' branch as we think (although Jeremy Renner did get his supporting nom, so who knows?).

I'm with you on that Winter's Bone feels like it's in in the BP race, for some reason. Maybe it's just a pleasant underdog to root for and we let that influence our cold and precise judgment. But it's the type of movie that should be nabbing quite a few #1 votes. And despite my previous paragraph, The Town should have enough broad appeal to get in as well. Sure, it's an action-thriller, but compared to REALLY off-beat stuff like last year's District 9, it seems almost Oscar-baity-y. Why would anyone dislike The Town?

So that leaves 127 Hours out of the game, which seems reasonable. It has the whole "people fainting" thing working against it, plus I just don't see it taking many #1, 2 or 3 votes. It's the one I left off my final predictions too.

I'm with the Coens over Russell in Best director. Both True Grit and The Fighter had late releases, the DGA ballots were out early, and that guild doesn't allow screeners. They didn't have much time to dwell on the two films. The Fighter packs an immediate punch, whereas True Grit's appeal is more of a slow burn kind of thing. I think with the extra time people have to think about the Oscar votes, Coens will come out on top.

I'm sticking with the five favourites for Best Actor (Firth, Franco, Eisenberg, Bridges and Duvall). Blue Valentine's snubs at the SAG makes me think that not enough of all the praise Gosling gets is coming from the actors themselves. People just don't love that movie as much as critics and bloggers do. Javier Bardem is a potential, though.

I too think Manville won't have enough support to get her through her category confusion. Steinfeld should be fine, and I think she ends up in Lead. I've been a bit shaky in my faith in Kidman too, but I think the Academy will feel her dry spell at the Oscars comes to an end this year.

TSN's PGA loss has made me really uncertain on Andrew Garfield in SUpporting, who got snubbed at the SAG. When it happened, people just tried to sweep it under the rug with a "Well, maybe he split the votes with Timberlake and Hammer. It won't happen at the Oscars!". But... why wouldn't it? I agreed to a point when it looked like TSN was going for a complete sweep of everything, but that's not the case anymore. Could Garfield lose out? Add to the fact that I really don't want to leave Hawkes out of my prediction, and I find myself having to pick between Garfield and Renner. Supporting actor is a small nightmare.

January 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterEsh Kebab

I completely agree with your Supporting Actor guesses and mine are identical.

We're identical for Best Actress, but I DO think Kidman is not as vulnerable as you think.I'd say Williams is the rather unlikely nominee.

We're almost the same on Best Picture

I think Duvall will get in because he's Robert Duvall, they know him well, respect him and they'll want to reward him with a nom :) and they already have 2 rather young locks in the face of Franco and Eisenberg.

I'd nominate Gosling for Best Actress any day, he was absolutely amazing in Blue Valentine!!!

If Kidman, Gosling and Renner are snubbed I'll surely weep...

January 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterYavor

I think I'm going with The Ghost Writer as a surprise BP nominee (instead of 127 Hours/The Town).

I'm sure I'll be proven wrong tomorrow but I've been right before, and it's not as much fun as saying "I totally called that!" when predicting a surprise.

January 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRobert

I'm a little confused on viewing Garfield as a "support" in The Social Network. The second half of the movie was almost wholly driven by him and his view point. (1st half: Eisenberg lead, Hammer, Garfield and Mara supports. 2nd half: Garfield lead, Hammer, Eisenberg and Timberlake supports, Mara tertiary. Overall: Eisenberg and Garfield leads, Hammer, Timberlake and Mara supports, everyone else tertiary.)

January 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

If Rush and Bale can be considered supporting, so can Garfield :)

January 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRami

Your surprise BP options are spot-on. I don't see any surprises outside of those "surprises." I also think 127 Hours is going to be the snubbee. However, if there is a surprise, that means there has to be another snubbee. I'm going with "The Town" over "Winter's Bone."

January 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterVince of Ferndale

I don't want it to happen, but I can't shake this bad feeling that both of the excellent Aussie ladies (Kidman and Weaver) won't have their names read off tomorrow. Kidman certainly has the better chance between the two, but I've suddenly been getting the feeling that she's not as safe as she seems, which is a shame. On the other hand, if they both get in, it will simply give me (at least) two things to be happy (translation: in raving ecstasy) about tomorrow.

January 24, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterjbaker475

Voters are turn off by NC rating controversial? Why does Mr.Harvey Weinstein take the battle to overturn the rating? Wasn't it for both to be nominable?

I am rooting for Gosling and Williams all year. This past weeks has been a totally an obsession with this 2 actors. The SAG snubs totally got me. I am so so nervous to check in on Tuesday morning since a part of me think they will sadly snubs (like the others critics predicts and the case of SAG) so does another part that tells me Williams could make in due the goodwill about Heath Ledger.

Whether I like it or not. either way I am sure to be in a for surprise.

January 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChand

Is anyone having trouble commenting?

I know that's a weird question since if you are you can't answer. ergh. never mind.

January 24, 2011 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

you think the social network will miss the cut for score?

January 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMike F.

Don't lump that piece of shit "The Blind Side" with "District 9." The latter film was like "The Godfather" in comparison to that dreck.

And it'll be a case of the sames tomorrow morning for the most part just like we've suspected. Voters saw eleven films last year, and those will be what ends up as the majority of our nominees. Rinse and done.

But I'm really rooting for "Winter's Bone" though. It's my fav film of 2010, and it seems like every day people are giving it less and less hope for nods, even taking out Jennifer Lawrence from their lead actress predictions. I've always thought she was near-lock status, more than any aspect of the film itself, and it's not like her category is that deep to begin with (at least for Oscar-nominatable performances). I'm already expecting John Hawkes, Dale Dickey, and Debra Granik (director) not to be named, but if Jennifer Lawrence misses out, that'll be a depressing thing. I could even weather a BP snub over a snub happening to her.

January 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGerry

I would rather watch "The Blind Side" again verses "District 9." But, I know I'm in a minority.

January 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterVince of Ferndale

Gerry -- best actress has been the deepest category all year. what are you on about ;) ? I think winter's bone is safe as is Lawrence. If any easy get misses it's Nicole Kidman since they don't seem to know the film exists.

Mike -- I do. maybe i'm too cynical but this is not the most forward thinking branch. It's almost the least forward thinking branch. They love their traditional scores. and it's not. but i'm crossing my fingers that all the previous hype and awardage for it softens their hearts. we'll see.

January 24, 2011 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

if I had a ballot it would go like this (in that order):
Bening
Kidman
Williams
Lawrence
Moore

But (unfortunatly) I don't so I think it's gonna go like this:
Portman
Bening
Kidman
Lawrence
Williams

January 24, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterstjeans

I hate 10 slots allotted for Best Picture. It has anchored the whole affair down. The acting categories are always the most exciting but now they’re the only place where there’s any sort of surprise. I except some shockers come Tuesday morning – I so hope Monique: makes a scene at the reading off of nominations for the lack of African-American nominees. Her ruffling feathers would make her win (all the more sweeter) – deal with me Academy just deal with me.

January 24, 2011 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtfu11

Nicole Kidman is IN, in my opinion. Maybe nobody has seen the film, but she's the kind of actor (world famous) who people vote for even if they haven't watched their film. Which is great, since she deserves to get in.

Also I want to point out that this is just the second year we have the expanded field for BP, so we still can't be totally sure of how it works. I'm guessing we're in for some surprises in Best Picture.

January 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLucky

What I meant with best actress not being deep is that voters aren't going to veer too far past their six or seven common names, not so much that they aren't good (though I think this set varies wildly in quality):

Annette Bening
Nicole Kidman
Jennifer Lawrence
Julianne Moore
Natalie Portman
Michelle Williams

That's pretty much it unless Hailee Steinfeld makes the upgrade. You'd never see Kim Hye-Ja or Noomi Rapace or Greta Gerwig or Giovanna Mezzogiorno really in the running here. In that respect, lead actress is far better than these same names would have you believe.

January 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGerry

PICTURE:
1. Social Network-if this gets snubbed, everyone will die spontanteously
2. King's Speech-see Social Network
3. The Fighter-I wish they could drop this one and nominate all three of the vunerable contenders, but life's not kind.
4. Inception-big money, big snubbed director, and it's genuinely great
5. Black Swan-jeteed its way to a Top 5 spot.
6. Toy Story 3-animated sequel, but so damn good
7. Kids Are All Right-just their type of comedy
8. True Grit-went from being a maybe to being a very likely pick
9. 127 Hours-has lost a ton of ground, but no way will they drop it entirely
10. Winter's Bone-going to get a few #1 votes...will it be enough? I say yes.
ALSO: The Town, Another Year, Ghost Writer, The Way Back

DIRECTOR:
1. Fincher-come on, who would bet against him?
2. Hooper-see Fincher
3. Nolan-very likely bet
4. Russell-might be prickly, but his film is too popular
5. Aronofsky-he's so popular that he might be snubbed
ALSO: Coens, Cholodenko, Boyle, Granik, Polanski, Weir, Unkrich, Affleck

ACTOR:
1. Colin Firth-If you bet against him, you are nuts
2. James Franco-if 127 Hours is unlucky, maybe...but doubtful
3. Jesse Eisenberg-too funny to win, but will certainly be nominated
4. Jeff Bridges-Crazy Heart afterglow will get him a nom, but a win is not happening
5. Ryan Gosling-that last slot is very hard to predict, but I think that this is the sort of role they'll go for
ALSO: Duvall, Bardem, Wahlberg

ACTRESS:
1. Natalie Portman-I think that an Aronofsky lead might pull out a win! EEEEE!
2. Annette Bening-sorry, Annette, I cannot see you winning this year. Try again?
3. Jennifer Lawrence-they always nominate one newcomer
4. Nicole Kidman-the sort of role they go gaga for
5. Michelle Williams-again, the #5 slot is hard to predict, but for different reasons than Actor. I think she will barely, and I mean barely, beat out Moore or Manville, depending on where they stick Manville.
SNUBBED: Moore, Manville, Swank. The whole "Steinfeld is Lead" talk won't play out.

S. ACTOR:
1. Christian Bale-oh come on.
2. Geoffrey Rush-they love this sort of role. If it wasn't for Bale, he'd be a lock.
3. Mark Ruffalo-It's sort of funny. At the beginning of the year, everyone said: "I don't think he'll make it, but I'll predict him anyway!" Now he's very likely in.
4. Jeremy Renner-I was not expecting another nomination right after Hurt Locker. Congrats!
5. Andrew Garfield-yeah, I'm a bit biased because I liked Timberlake more, but yes, he is in.
SNUBBED: Damon, Hawkes, Timberlake

S. ACTRESS:
1. Melissa Leo-why are all the #1 predictions so EASY this year?
2. Helena B-C-total Oscar bait role. Thank goodness for the Leo sneak attack.
3. Hailee Steinfeld-currently has the newcomer buzz.
4. Amy Adams-yeah, they love supportive girlfriends, so she'll get in.
5. Mila Kunis-Black Swan is in a good position right now, so I think she can snatch a nom.
SNUBBED: Weaver, Manville, Hershey

O. SCREENPLAY:
1. King's Speech-duh
2. Fighter-not a knockout, but it's good
3. Kids Are All Right-sometimes comedies are lucky, sometimes no
4. Inception-successfully uses its dreamspeak
5. Black Swan-the film has so much momentum in Picture that it can manage a screenplay nod
SNUBBED: Another Year, Blue Valentine

A. SCREENPLAY:
1. Social Network-give him the damn Oscar already
2. True Grit-has the best source material of the bunch
3. Winter's Bone-pretty safe bet
4. Toy Story 3-it's a sequel, so I dunno
5. The Town-just a hunch-maybe compensation for the Picture snub I'm predicting?
SNUBBED: Ghost Writer, 127 Hours, Rabbit Hole

ANIMATED:
1. Toy Story 3-if you bet against this, you are dumb
2. How To Train Your Dragon-also a safe bet
3. The Illusionist-it's got more buzz right now, and it's far better than the other two
SNUBBED: Tangled, Despicable Me

DOCUMENTARY
1. Waiting for Superman-I haven't seen it, but come on, it's in
2. Inside Job-also a lock
3. Restrepo-will traumatize some members and get others to vote for it
4. Precious Life-sounds rather cheesy, so it's in
5. Exit Through the Gift Shop-it's going to get juuuuust enough support to make it
SNUBBED: The other finalists?...I don't know!

FOREIGN:
1. Mexico, Biutiful-excellent stuff, plus Bardem might be nominated in Actor
2. Canada, Incendies-hugely acclaimed, will make it
3. South Africa, Life Above All-supposedly heartbreaking
4. Denmark, In A Better World-I really want to predict an upset, but fine.
5. Japan, Confessions-I really think that it has the stuff to make it through. It will get #1 votes from supporters, and it will probably take no lower than #8 for the more sensitive members because of Dogtooth.
SNUBBED: Algeria is #6, Spain #7, Sweden #8, Greece #9.

January 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew R.

I think Winter's Bone is safe because it's a film that people are very passionate about. It's going to get a bunch of Number 1 ballots. I've yet to hear or see a single person go "it was ok, not so great" or "pretty decent." People really love it or don't like it.

And if it's not safe, I'll have vitriol to last me all the way through next year's Golden Globes. If a modern noir that pitch perfect and cleverly orchestrated can't break through in a 10-wide field of Best Picture, there's something very wrong with the nomination process.

January 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterOtherRobert

My predictions are on my blog ! Will be seeing the live transmission tomorrow.

January 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPablo (COL)

The Best Actress category excites me and, if there is justice, the Best Actress nominees would be:

1- Natalie Portman
2. Julianne Moore
3. Jennifer Lawrence
4. Annette Bening
5. Michelle Williams

For the supporting category, I would love the following names to be called:

1. Barbara Hershey
2. Jackie Weaver
3. Amy Adams
4. Melissa Leo
5. Helena Bonham-Carter

January 24, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterfallen101

I have an announcement to all you that are too sure that Dogtooth is going to be snubbed : Go Dogtooth, go Greece ! You didn't saw it in the shortlist, now you don't see it getting a nomination.But it will ! Too "arty" for you, too "difficult" to wath ? I can undestand that Dogtooth isn't everyone's cup of tea,but it WILL GET NOMINATED exavtly for this reason.
And Mexico ? Inaritu ? Hmm..I am predicting a BIG SNUB here nobody really sees it coming.Inaritu makes the same film again and again.And again.And I think Academy already knows that.

January 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHomer

Nathaniel, why do you have Social Network in for Sound Editing instead of Mixing? The mixing is what is particularly impressive, while the sound effects editing could very well be overlooked.

January 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJoe W

//A question for those who have paid attention to award seasons in the past...is it possible for Rabbit Hole's screenplay to have been ignored because it's a script that was adapted by the playwright himself and therefore seen as an easier accomplishment? Has there been a prejudice against writers who adapt their own works for film? Just a thought because for the life of me I can't see why it as been ignored as much as it has.//

@City_of_Lights : I didn't see that anyone answered this directly or not, and I'm in no position to myself, but it's a fascinating theory, and definitely food for thought. Certainly that hadn't occured to me. (Was Michael Cunningham nominated that year for adapting his own novel, "The Hours"?)

January 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJanice

Anyone else think the whole idea of the ten-wide field is on trial here. I mean, the whole thing will have been very boring if we're left with ten of the eleven likely nominees. If two of the films aren't among those eleven, or if there just one shocker but it's a real shocker, like a foreign language, it'll keep things interestingfor next year.

January 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMarsha Mason

@Janice...I'm not 100% positive, but I think David Hare adapted The Hours, and yes, he was nominated. If I remember that year correctly he was widely predicted to win, but Ronald Harwood pulled a shocker and won for The Pianist (which gained a lot of steam during the period between nominations and Oscar night)...

...I know just two years ago that John Patrick Shanley was nominated for adapting his play Doubt...and Tom Perotta was nominated for adapting his book Little Children (which he co-adapted with the director Todd Field)...so I don't guess it's a hindrance, per se...personally, I think Rabbit Hole is such a small film and the fact that it was released so late in the year among such heavyweights like True Grit and The Fighter has made it overlooked.

As far as the predictions, I find The Ghost Writer's potential for best picture/director a really pleasant and provocative choice...I know it's been widely recognized among various European awards, but I've never thought it caught on here in America...I would love to be proved wrong, however, and it pull off a best picture upset...

But I'm also nervous about best actress...my predictions are the same as others: Portman, Bening, Lawrence, Kidman, Williams...I think Kidman is in, regardless of the fact her film hasn't really caught on. I'm just really nervous for Michelle Williams, since I could see it going any way with her...I think the likely spoiler is Julianne Moore for The Kids are all Right (which I'm not happy about)...I love both her and Bening, but I just can't handle both of them being nominated...it seems such a waste, since in my opinion both have done much stronger work in the past, and with the dearth of so many great lead female performances--Williams, Lesley Manville, Tilda Swinton, Naomi Watts (YES, Naomi Watts, who has been unjustly overlooked this season!!!)--it just doesn't seem fair. But Oscars are rarely fair to me!!! LOL

January 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAaron

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