Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Movies: My 2010 Oscar picks

Every year, I envision seeing more movies in general and more Oscar nominees in particular -- and every year, more important things come first. Also every year, I generally know which films are my Oscar picks on the day of the nominations -- except for the ones that are a total stab in the dark -- yet I barely carve out time to post them before the Awards ceremony one month later. (Last year, I scrambled to post them during the five minutes right before the show began.) So this year, I'm taking time to post my 2010 season Oscar winner picks about two weeks early, posted as of now. (Underline is my pick though italic is the likely winner if different.) Despite having seen only eight of the nominees this year so far (Alice in Wonderland, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, How to Train Your Dragon, Inception, Inside Job, The King's Speech, The Social Network, Toy Story 3), it's more than the usual five (mostly family films). This year, I hope my success rate for picking the correct nominee in 24 awards categories turns out to be more than the average of 13 (15 in 2005, 10 in 2006, 15 in 2007, 13 in 2008, 10 in 2009).

P.S. While conventional wisdom says the winners this year appear to be extremely predictable, here is the logic I would apply even if The King's Speech and The Social Network were in every other way neck-and-neck: Which is the nobler premise -- a reluctant king finds the courage and voice to lead England at the brink of world war against Hitler and Stalin ... or a taciturn savant outsnarks classmates and designs a network where students can polish their social cred and get laid?

[2-25-11: I have since seen Oscar Shorts: Animation, Oscar Shorts: Live Action, and Tron: Legacy. I won't change my picks for shorts (or any other category) though I will italicize a few more likely winners (when different than my picks). Go Oscars!]

1. Best Picture: "Black Swan," "The Fighter," "Inception," "The Kids Are All Right," "The King's Speech," "127 Hours," "The Social Network," "Toy Story 3," "True Grit," "Winter's Bone."

2. Actor: Javier Bardem, "Biutiful"; Jeff Bridges, "True Grit"; Jesse Eisenberg, "The Social Network"; Colin Firth, "The King's Speech"; James Franco, "127 Hours."

3. Actress: Annette Bening, "The Kids Are All Right"; Nicole Kidman, "Rabbit Hole"; Jennifer Lawrence, "Winter's Bone"; Natalie Portman, "Black Swan"; Michelle Williams, "Blue Valentine."

4. Supporting Actor: Christian Bale, "The Fighter"; John Hawkes, "Winter's Bone"; Jeremy Renner, "The Town"; Mark Ruffalo, "The Kids Are All Right"; Geoffrey Rush, "The King's Speech."

5. Supporting Actress: Amy Adams, "The Fighter"; Helena Bonham Carter, "The King's Speech"; Melissa Leo, "The Fighter"; Hailee Steinfeld, "True Grit"; Jacki Weaver, "Animal Kingdom."

6. Directing: Darren Aronofsky, "Black Swan"; David O. Russell, "The Fighter"; Tom Hooper, "The King's Speech"; David Fincher, "The Social Network"; Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, "True Grit."

7. Foreign Language Film: "Biutiful," Mexico; "Dogtooth," Greece; "In a Better World," Denmark; "Incendies," Canada; "Outside the Law (Hors-la-loi)," Algeria.

8. Adapted Screenplay: Danny Boyle and Simon Beaufoy, "127 Hours"; Aaron Sorkin, "The Social Network"; Michael Arndt, John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich, "Toy Story 3"; Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, "True Grit"; Debra Granik and Anne Rosellini, "Winter's Bone."

9. Original Screenplay: Mike Leigh, "Another Year"; Scott Silver and Paul Tamasy and Eric Johnson and Keith Dorrington, "The Fighter"; Christopher Nolan, "Inception"; Lisa Cholodenko and Stuart Blumberg, "The Kids Are All Right"; David Seidler, "The King's Speech."

10. Animated Feature Film: "How to Train Your Dragon," "The Illusionist," "Toy Story 3."

11. Art Direction: "Alice in Wonderland," "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1," "Inception," "The King's Speech," "True Grit."

12. Cinematography: "Black Swan," "Inception," "The King's Speech," "The Social Network," "True Grit."

13. Sound Mixing: "Inception," "The King's Speech," "Salt," "The Social Network," "True Grit."

14. Sound Editing: "Inception," "Toy Story 3," "Tron: Legacy," "True Grit," "Unstoppable."

15. Original Score: "How to Train Your Dragon," John Powell; "Inception," Hans Zimmer; "The King's Speech," Alexandre Desplat; "127 Hours," A.R. Rahman; "The Social Network," Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross.

16. Original Song: "Coming Home" from "Country Strong," Tom Douglas, Troy Verges and Hillary Lindsey; "I See the Light" from "Tangled," Alan Menken and Glenn Slater; "If I Rise" from "127 Hours," A.R. Rahman, Dido and Rollo Armstrong; "We Belong Together" from "Toy Story 3," Randy Newman.

17. Costume: "Alice in Wonderland," "I Am Love," "The King's Speech," "The Tempest," "True Grit."

18. Documentary Feature: "Exit through the Gift Shop," "Gasland," "Inside Job," "Restrepo," "Waste Land."

19. Documentary (short): "Killing in the Name," "Poster Girl," "Strangers No More," "Sun Come Up," "The Warriors of Qiugang."

20. Film Editing: "Black Swan," "The Fighter," "The King's Speech," "127 Hours," "The Social Network."

21. Makeup: "Barney's Version," "The Way Back," "The Wolfman."

22. Animated Short Film: "Day and Night," "The Gruffalo," "Let's Pollute," "The Lost Thing," "Madagascar, carnet de voyage (Madagascar, a Journey Diary)."

23. Live Action Short Film: "The Confession," "The Crush," "God of Love," "Na Wewe," "Wish 143."

24. Visual Effects: "Alice in Wonderland," "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1," "Hereafter," "Inception," "Iron Man 2."

Language: No-man's words

"Chick words" that no "manly man" would ever let near his vocabulary: