Oscar Prediction Addendum
Posted on February 25, 2011 Posted by John Scalzi 33 Comments
When this year’s Oscar nominations were announced I did my usual batch of predictions, and promised to check in if I wanted to tweak my opinions. Well, here are the tweaks:
1. I think at this point it’s more likely that Melissa Leo will win the Supporting Actress Oscar than Amy Adams, who I had given my pick to on a coin toss between the two actresses. There’s also a great possibility that if The King’s Speech just steamrolls everything, Helena Bonham Carter will sneak up from behind and grab this. Which I would be fine with; I like me some Helena Bonham Carter.
2. I still think David Fincher is going to win Best Director, but I think the vote will be closer than I thought it would be a few weeks ago, and I think there’s a possibility that Tom Hooper might slip past based on a King’s Speech groundswell.
3. Likewise, I still think Chris Nolan has a chance with the Inception screenplay, but I think it’s less likely now, and again to the advantage of King’s Speech. If I had to pick between the two I would play it safe and pick King.
Basically I think there’s a real good chance that The King’s Speech is going to make it a long Oscar night for everyone else.
And there you have it.
which means I may actually enjoy the awards show if The King’s Speech does steamroll everything… I’m generally the fan on the other side when it comes to awards shows – my favorites NEVER win – in fact, so much so, that I’m still rather paranoid that Colin Firth will NOT win best actor, simply because… he’s my all time favorite and my favorites never win, therefore we must be in an alternate universe for him to have one so many so far, LOL!
Ah, Helena Bonham-Carter, the thinking man’s sex symbol. :-)
(and she’s cute as well!)
While I liked many movies last year, I really hope to see Hooper win over Fincher for Best Director. The Social Network had verve, smart writing and good performances, the editing was very sloppy in places (which deposition is happening now?), and the director owns some of the responsibility for that. The King’s Speech had gravitas, smart writing and good performances, along with excellent if a bit leisurely, editing. But, I wouldn’t be devastated if Fincher wins – both movies are absolute classics.
I’m somewhat bemused by the current spate of “But The Social Network is about how young people are changing history.” Sorry. The King’s Speech was about how a person who wasn’t expected to be at all relevant helped to galvanize England during World War II. How many alternate histories use the lynchpin of England falling to the Germans? The Royal Family, especially George VI, mattered at that time in a way they don’t matter now.
I still maintain Hailee Steinfeld will win best supporting actress in a Tatum O’Neal/Anna Paquin style upset win.
and if Hailee does win, I certainly won’t be annoyed. True Grit was a great movie, and she was one of the reasons why.
Really loved the King’s Speech but thought it was about the relationship between students and teachers.
I’m still amazed that Steinfeld’s nom is for Supporting and not Lead.
Marc, I completely agree with you about that, but this is Hollywood – younger actors are not given equal consideration with adults. It just is that way; I’m not going to defend it at all. I don’t think it takes away from Jeff Bridges to say that his role was the “Supporting” one – he’s had a long and distinguished career (and I do love his work).
Laurie, I don’t think the switch from one deposition to the other was poor editing; I think it was intentional non-linearity. Sorkin’s fond of narrative tricks like that.
People still follow the Oscar ceremonies? Who knew?
I really hope Inception doesn’t win for screenplay, ’cause while Nolan definitely deserves an award for his writing in other projects, Inception had so many simple errors of craft in its screenplay that it hurts my head that it even got nominated. And I really, really like Inception, too!
I’m not so sure about Melissa Leo. She was the front runner, but that’s certainly in doubt thanks to her campaigning efforts.
I’m all for The King’s Speech making a clean sweep. It was an amazing movie, as others have stated above. It was a great example of how there can be drama and conflict in a movie without a single punch being thrown. And it was one of those stories, those little forgotten bits of history that no one thinks about. World War II history has been dominated by Hitler and Churchill, weaponry and battles, that the smaller stories, like say a man finding his voice in time to reassure a nation, have been overlooked.
I know that when it comes out on Blu-ray it’s going on my shelf.
Helena Bonham Carter will sneak up from behind and grab this.
She’s fascinating to watch, like a female version of Christopher Walken. She’s got weird and scary and creepy and psycho and terrifying down pat. I could see her doing russian roulette in Deer Hunter or the headless horseman in Sleepy Hollow or Brendan Frasier’s well meaning but paranoid mother in Blast from the Past.
Statistically speaking, the Grammys (yes it should be Grammies IMHO but isn’t) offer surprising insight. Ergo, The King’s Speech will not sweep.
Alas, I fear that Winter’s Bone will get shut out…
@Greg #14: She’s fascinating to watch, like a female version of Christopher Walken. She’s got weird and scary and creepy and psycho and terrifying down pat.
Her three minutes or so of screen time in the last Harry Potter is about the only thing I remember about the half-baked mess. Still, what really impressed me about Bonham-Carter’s performance in The King’s Speech is that she wasn’t doing the crazy bitch shtick she can do in her sleep, and all too often does. Her Queen Elizabeth is a remarkably subtle and downright tender performance; and honestly, I consider it more affecting and Oscar-worthy than Geoffrey Rush’s tendency to ham it up.
I love the idea of tossing a coin to select the winners. And, I’ve got major girl crushes on Helena, Natalie, and Amy.
While I enjoyed The King’s Speech, I think that a film that its a f*c*ng historical lie shouldn’t sweep the oscars. But that’s just me.
Many historical films are inaccurate, including but not limited to Gladiator and Braveheart, to name two fairly recent historical-related Best Picture winners.
#20 Totally true, but still… TKS depicts recent, very recent history. Will see what happens :-)
Bonham Carter played “stiff upper lip Brit” and wasn’t required to demonstrate any range. Leaving aside reputations and history of their award noms and such I can’t see how Hailee misses the Oscar. However since politics cannot be left aside….
I mean, how can the awards be relevant if they completely ignore stellar documentaries such as “Waiting for Superman”? It couldn’t be because it shatter’s the leftie narrative and shows how public school teacher Unions are destroying our educational system, could it?
Scorpius–the documentary awards are frequently screwed up (no nomination for “Hoop Dreams” in 1994, nothing for “The Thin Blue Line” in 1988), but aside from that, this was a particularly strong year (when “Inside Job,” “Restrepo,” and “Exit to the Gift Shop” are three of the final nominees, you’re dealing with an unusually good year). The legendary Frederick Wiseman had a doc that didn’t get nominated; the very well-reviewed “Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work” didn’t get nominated.) Also, if the Academy wanted to send a political message, denying Davis Guggenheim a nod is a peculiarly strange way to do it, given that his past film was “An Inconvenient Truth.” In fact, his past Oscar probably worked against him. Not everything has to be viewed through a binary political lens.
“Not everything has to be viewed through a binary political lens.”
I agree, not everything has to, but sometimes it does. We know Hollywood is far left, we also know that attacking public school teachers and unions to liberals is akin to talking smack about the Pope to Catholics or dissing Mohammed is to Muslims. Add to that the strong implication (if not flat out statement) that money isn’t the problem in public schools (which goes against leftie dogma also) and we can infer that the reason it was passed up was it was deemed a heresy by the left.
I went to see “The King’s Speech” today. The theater was packed. I had to sit way up front. I’m looking for a sweep.
Some great movies to choose from this year…for my money True Grit is the stand out masterpiece. It’s a great story and so richly written. I love the moment when Mattie Ross snaps ‘Keep your seat, trash’ to a legend of the American West. It’s a tiny moment but it speaks volumes. And there’s the character who does animal noises – again, a tiny throwaway thing but it’s pure genius. Comedy and tragedy in almost every scene. Best Film, Best Screenplay, Best Actress – ie Hailee Steinfeld, who as others have noted is the film’s protagonist NOT the supporting character. Best Drunken Growl: Jeff Bridges.
I enjoyed The Social Network more when I watched it than afterwards. It’s a fascinating piece of social history but in terms of the court-room drama structure, nothing really happens and there are no twists. Still I love Aaron Sorkin’s writing and he’s on fine form.
The King’s Speech is another film that fades in quality as you walk away from the cinema. Tremendously enjoyable though.
Haven’t seen Winter’s Bone. Lisa Cholodenko SURELY should have been nominated for Best Director? It’s a superlative piece of direction; not a single false note or awkward shot. Is this sexism or just, er, Wrong? Discuss.
‘The Social Network’ is even more recent history, and it’s amusing how that film gets all kinds of passes for playing fast and loose with the factual record — which Oscar-nominated writer Aaron Sorkin has cheerfully copped to — that ‘The King’s Speech’ doesn’t.
@Other Greg #24
The legendary Frederick Wiseman had a doc that didn’t get nominated
Honestly, I don’t think that’s about politics as much as changing fashions. I loved La Danse: The Paris Opera Ballet, but his “uninflected”/observational style is rather out of fashion, and always has been challenging for viewers used to documentarians coming in with a thesis and using devices like narration, interviews, title cards etc. to impose a narrative structure and point of view. At the risk of sounding pretentious, Wiseman expects his audience to be an active partner in his films — pay attention, figure out the relationships and community you’re seeing for yourself.
@Craig: Agreed, and I think, personally, The King’s Speech’s omissions are smaller in terms of their places in the storyline than The Social Network, which made up or distorted huge parts of the story. Some of that was, I thought, unnecessary – for example, did they really need to make that movie or those characters so misogynistic compared to the reality?
I also don’t see why we get so antsy about historical inaccuracy, but are fine with movies being inaccurate about recent events. And I’m saying this as a history buff who find movies like The Patriot unwatchable due to their high levels of inaccuracy. This isn’t comparable to that.
I agree Fincher for Best Director. I’m hoping that Sorkin wins for script, Reznor wins for music (highly doubtful, but the man is God after all), Leo for Best Supporting and I hope I hope I HOPE that Dragon beats out Toy Story 3 for animation, but I doubt it.
Also – Shaun Tan for the animated short Oscar!!!
@Elizabeth: Heh… I’m a classics major and sat through Gladiator,Troy, Alexander and 300 chanting “what a load of !@#$ing bull*^&%” under my breath. Have I told you my partner is a secular saint. :)
But weirdly enough, something very small about The King’s Speech really bugged me. Princess Elizabeth was 14 at the outbreak of WWII, but is played by the same child-actor who plays her at the age of eight or nine. Practically, a film that was made on a budget as low as tight as The King’s Speech isn’t going to hire another actress (and court confusion) for one scene in which she has a total of two lines. But it’s still disproportionately irritating.
I’m in the camp that would be fine with The King’s Speech sweeping the major awards.
I do think the Coen brothers missed a chance to make a great movie instead of a good one with True Grit (which didn’t surprise me though). They of all people should know that staying faithful to the source is not always a good thing (the “heroic” thing at the end is historically extremely unlikley). Jeff Bridges is getting lots of praise but John Wayne was actually LESS of a cliche’ in the role, amazingly. Hailee Steinfeld was great though, especially in the first half.