Why Oh Why?!

The Oscar nominations came out, or pretty much, the ballots were received from the nursing home which is the Academy.  I mean, I know there are some things that aren’t necessarily “Oscar material” but I mean, honestly, they have a certain taste and distaste for specific films, that no matter what kind of achievement they are, they completely ignore it.

Biggest Snubs

I can make this list real long, but unfortunately the biggest losers of the Oscar nominations are dark, honest films.  Why?  Well let’s look at films that were generally snubbed from different categories that should’ve be nominated or possibly locks.  Those films include The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Shame, We Need To Talk About Kevin and Drive were all given the shaft from major nominations.  But overall, directors and film production companies should expect the Academy to create a big snub on films they are deemed too dark or too grimly considering these Academy voters don’t perceive good filmmaking as something that bothers or disturbs them.  We all thought the attitude of the Academy was taking a different turn when they rewarded No Country For Old Men and The Hurt Locker as Best Picture winners, but we realized that there was no competition for those films in regards to the typical “Oscar film”.  And let’s not forget, there were still snubs on films that were in the same categories as Dragon Tattoo or Shame, but we acclaimed the Academy for rewarding that one film, rather than recognizing the typical films they’ve always ignored.  It’s unfortunate but it’s our fault that we continue to get disappointed when we know that it’s going to happen. every. year.

Tilda Swinton for We Need To Talk About Kevin

Honestly, this film was too dark to get nominated for anything except for Best Actress.  This is the one area where you can reward an actor or actress solely on their performance, separating itself from the film altogether a la Meryl Streep for The Iron Lady.  This happened with Rooney Mara too as she was nominated but Dragon Tattoo was overall under nominated, but Tilda Swinton snubbed?  Unbelievable.  She arguably gives a top three performance this year in both male and female roles, but for whatever reason she didn’t get nominated, it’s a travesty.

Michael Fassbender for Shame

I had a hard time (no pun intended) thinking that Fassbender would get nominated early in the race considering he stars in a pretty bold and unfamiliar film that is rated NC-17 (No film gets nominated when it’s NC-17) but Fassbender was getting nominated with the Globes, SAG and the BAFTA, which means it should’ve been a lock.  But nope.  They completely ignored his work.

Albert Brooks for Drive

I think overall, the Academy did not appreciate Drive, which isn’t heartbreaking to me cause I didn’t appreciate it either, but I did enjoy Albert Brooks performance.  I think what was more shocking about the snub was just the fact that he was a contender to WIN Best Supporting Actor with Christopher Plummer, but hey, it happens.

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo for Original Score!!!

My hope was that Dragon Tattoo would get nominated for Picture, Director and Screenplay considered it was all top notch, especially with Fincher cause he deserves a nomination every film he makes because he is the engine to the entire production.  But in reality, if it wasn’t for the DGA nomination, we would all assume Dragon Tattoo wasn’t going to get nominated.  The worst part about the Picture snub was the fact that Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close and War Horse took its spots, but more on that later.  No, the biggest problem I had that they ignored it for Original Score.  I don’t know any other film this year that was more innovative and creative in tying in original music to their film, and it was a work of art.  Unreal they got ignored.  With this, the Academy really does suck.  Suck real bad.  The music department should really get axed for this one and only nominated two original songs.  Retarded to a new degree.

Project Nim for Documentary

Absolute travesty.  Watch the film.  Almost on par with The Cove.  But no nomination.  And this is after the revamp the rules to allow these documentaries to get the recognition it deserves, but of course not, cause the Academy really blows a new hole.

Biggest Surprises (Good)

There were some good done.  I think…

Rooney Mara for Best Actress

When I heard Glen Close’s name get announced, I thought for sure Rooney Mara is out, but surprisingly, she was not.  Unfortunately Tilda Swinton got bumped, but still, Mara deserves this nomination, and I’m glad the Academy’s opinion on Dragon Tattoo didn’t rub off onto their opinions about her performance.

Demian Bichir for Best Actor

It’s always good to get small films recognition, and it’s always good for Hollywood to see great performances, like Melissa Leo for Frozen River.  Good for Bichir.

Melissa McCarthy for Best Supporting Actress

The fact that Bridesmaids got two nominations (the other being Best Original Screenplay) , I applaud to the Academy.  McCarthy really deserves this nomination and I’m happy she’s going to be part of the process.

No More Compliments, Let’s Go Back To The WTFlanel Moment?!

HOW IN THE WORLD DOES EXTREMELY LOUD & INCREDIBLY CLOSE GET IN?!  What the crap.  It has to be one of the lowest Rotten Tomatoes percentage to ever get nominated for Best Picture.  I mean, I knew the Academy was stupid, but I didn’t think they were THIS STUPID.  They are easily manipuatible, emotionally simple and unfortunately out of touch with film in general.  Sentiment is good, but not all the freakin’ time.  They are absolutely suckers for Oscars whores, and even though I love Spielberg, sometimes I question what his main motivations are to always releasing a film right during awards season and wether he’s making a film that made him popular, or making films that made him Oscar worthy.  In other words, the Academy, you are irrelevant.  You nominate 9 films, and 4 of them aren’t deserving.  I’ll argue that Tree of Life was overrated but I understand their perspective, but still, The Help, ELAIC and War Horse over Dragon Tattoo, Shame, We Need To Talk About Kevin, Bridesmaids, etc.  The ability to choose and recognize the best films of the year is apparently lower than the sageness of your balls.  Academy, go eat it.

 

Oscar Nominations 2012

Best Picture

  • “The Artist” Thomas Langmann, Producer
  • “The Descendants” Jim Burke, Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor, Producers
  • “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close” Scott Rudin, Producer
  • “The Help” Brunson Green, Chris Columbus and Michael Barnathan, Producers
  • “Hugo” Graham King and Martin Scorsese, Producers
  • “Midnight in Paris” Letty Aronson and Stephen Tenenbaum, Producers
  • “Moneyball” Michael De Luca, Rachael Horovitz and Brad Pitt, Producers
  • “The Tree of Life” Nominees to be determined
  • “War Horse“ Steven Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy, Producers
  • Directing

  • “The Artist” Michel Hazanavicius
  • “The Descendants” Alexander Payne
  • “Hugo” Martin Scorsese
  • “Midnight in Paris” Woody Allen
  • “The Tree of Life” Terrence Malick
  • Actor in a Leading Role

  • Demián Bichir in “A Better Life”
  • George Clooney in “The Descendants”
  • Jean Dujardin in “The Artist”
  • Gary Oldman in “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”
  • Brad Pitt in “Moneyball”
  • Actress in a Leading Role

  • Glenn Close in “Albert Nobbs”
  • Viola Davis in “The Help”
  • Rooney Mara in “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”
  • Meryl Streep in “The Iron Lady”
  • Michelle Williams in “My Week with Marilyn”
  • Actor in a Supporting Role

    • Kenneth Branagh in “My Week with Marilyn”
    • Jonah Hill in “Moneyball”
    • Nick Nolte in “Warrior”
    • Christopher Plummer in “Beginners”
    • Max von Sydow in “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close”

    Actress in a Supporting Role

  • Bérénice Bejo in “The Artist”
  • Jessica Chastain in “The Help”
  • Melissa McCarthy in “Bridesmaids”
  • Janet McTeer in “Albert Nobbs”
  • Octavia Spencer in “The Help”
  • Animated Feature Film

  • “A Cat in Paris” Alain Gagnol and Jean-Loup Felicioli
  • “Chico & Rita” Fernando Trueba and Javier Mariscal
  • “Kung Fu Panda 2″ Jennifer Yuh Nelson
  • “Puss in Boots” Chris Miller
  • “Rango” Gore Verbinski
  • Art Direction

  • “The Artist”
    Production Design: Laurence Bennett; Set Decoration: Robert Gould
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
    Production Design: Stuart Craig; Set Decoration: Stephenie McMillan
  • “Hugo” 
    Production Design: Dante Ferretti; Set Decoration: Francesca Lo Schiavo
  • “Midnight in Paris” 
    Production Design: Anne Seibel; Set Decoration: Hélène Dubreuil
  • “War Horse” 
    Production Design: Rick Carter; Set Decoration: Lee Sandales
  • Cinematography

  • “The Artist” Guillaume Schiffman
  • “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” Jeff Cronenweth
  • “Hugo” Robert Richardson
  • “The Tree of Life” Emmanuel Lubezki
  • “War Horse” Janusz Kaminski
  • Costume Design

  • “Anonymous” Lisy Christl
  • “The Artist” Mark Bridges
  • “Hugo” Sandy Powell
  • “Jane Eyre” Michael O’Connor
  • “W.E.” Arianne Phillips
  • Documentary (Feature)

  • “Hell and Back Again”
    Danfung Dennis and Mike Lerner
  • “If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front” 
    Marshall Curry and Sam Cullman
  • “Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory” 
    Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs
  • “Pina” 
    Wim Wenders and Gian-Piero Ringel
  • “Undefeated” 
    TJ Martin, Dan Lindsay and Richard Middlemas
  • Documentary (Short Subject)

  • “The Barber of Birmingham: Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement” 
    Robin Fryday and Gail Dolgin
  • “God Is the Bigger Elvis” 
    Rebecca Cammisa and Julie Anderson
  • “Incident in New Baghdad”
    James Spione
  • “Saving Face” 
    Daniel Junge and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy
  • “The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom” 
    Lucy Walker and Kira Carstensen
  • Film Editing

  • “The Artist” Anne-Sophie Bion and Michel Hazanavicius
  • “The Descendants” Kevin Tent
  • “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall
  • “Hugo” Thelma Schoonmaker
  • “Moneyball” Christopher Tellefsen
  • Foreign Language Film

  • “Bullhead” Belgium
  • “Footnote” Israel
  • “In Darkness” Poland
  • “Monsieur Lazhar” Canada
  • “A Separation” Iran
  • Makeup

  • “Albert Nobbs”
    Martial Corneville, Lynn Johnston and Matthew W. Mungle
  • “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2″
    Edouard F. Henriques, Gregory Funk and Yolanda Toussieng
  • “The Iron Lady”
    Mark Coulier and J. Roy Helland
  • Music (Original Score)

  • “The Adventures of Tintin” John Williams
  • “The Artist” Ludovic Bource
  • “Hugo” Howard Shore
  • “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” Alberto Iglesias
  • “War Horse” John Williams
  • Music (Original Song)

  • “Man or Muppet” from “The Muppets” Music and Lyric by Bret McKenzie
  • “Real in Rio” from “Rio” Music by Sergio Mendes and Carlinhos Brown Lyric by Siedah Garrett
  • Short Film (Animated)

  • “Dimanche/Sunday” Patrick Doyon
  • “The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore” William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg
  • “La Luna” Enrico Casarosa
  • “A Morning Stroll” Grant Orchard and Sue Goffe
  • “Wild Life” Amanda Forbis and Wendy Tilby
  • Short Film (Live Action)

  • “Pentecost” Peter McDonald and Eimear O’Kane
  • “Raju” Max Zähle and Stefan Gieren
  • “The Shore” Terry George and Oorlagh George
  • “Time Freak” Andrew Bowler and Gigi Causey
  • “Tuba Atlantic” Hallvar Witzø
  • Sound Editing

  • “Drive” Lon Bender and Victor Ray Ennis
  • “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” Ren Klyce
  • “Hugo” Philip Stockton and Eugene Gearty
  • “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” Ethan Van der Ryn and Erik Aadahl
  • “War Horse” Richard Hymns and Gary Rydstrom
  • Sound Mixing

  • “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”
    David Parker, Michael Semanick, Ren Klyce and Bo Persson
  • “Hugo” 
    Tom Fleischman and John Midgley
  • “Moneyball”
    Deb Adair, Ron Bochar, Dave Giammarco and Ed Novick
  • “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” 
    Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers, Jeffrey J. Haboush and Peter J. Devlin
  • “War Horse”
    Gary Rydstrom, Andy Nelson, Tom Johnson and Stuart Wilson
  • Visual Effects

  • “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2″ 
    Tim Burke, David Vickery, Greg Butler and John Richardson
  • “Hugo”
    Rob Legato, Joss Williams, Ben Grossman and Alex Henning
  • “Real Steel” 
    Erik Nash, John Rosengrant, Dan Taylor and Swen Gillberg
  • “Rise of the Planet of the Apes”
    Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, R. Christopher White and Daniel Barrett
  • “Transformers: Dark of the Moon”
    Scott Farrar, Scott Benza, Matthew Butler and John Frazier
  • Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

  • “The Descendants” Screenplay by Alexander Payne and Nat Faxon & Jim Rash
  • “Hugo” Screenplay by John Logan
  • “The Ides of March” Screenplay by George Clooney & Grant Heslov and Beau Willimon
  • “Moneyball” Screenplay by Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin  Story by Stan Chervin
  • “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” Screenplay by Bridget O’Connor & Peter Straughan
  • Writing (Original Screenplay)

  • “The Artist” Written by Michel Hazanavicius
  • “Bridesmaids” Written by Annie Mumolo & Kristen Wiig
  • “Margin Call” Written by J.C. Chandor
  • “Midnight in Paris” Written by Woody Allen
  • “A Separation” Written by Asghar Farhadi

  • Top Ten Films of 2011

    An interesting year for film.  It wasn’t great, but it was different.  Odd.  But it definitely brought a lot of different variety of film, but I will say that it was exceptionally weak in the “blow my brains away” area, especially comparing it to last year.  I guess you don’t get the Social Networks, Black Swans, Let Me In every year, but oh well.  That still doesn’t mean it wasn’t a good year.  A lot of films this year definitely went for a softer, more emotional context rather than going for the pushing the boundaries theme.  But nonetheless, there were 10 films that I thought were excellent and deserves to be on this list.  Granted, I haven’t seen all of the films in 2012, including The Iron Lady, Carnage, etc. but if they are that good, I’ll let you know, but I can tell you right, it won’t.  So shall we begin?

    Honorable Mention:  50/50, Warrior, Martha Marcy May Marlene, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, Another Earth, Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Pt. 2 (this should be in my top ten…)

    10.  Like Crazy

    In regards to the overall film, it was anything spectacular.  Any one of the honorable mention films could easily replace Like Crazy, but when we watch films, one of the biggest achievements a filmmaker can do is to make the audience reconnect the film to specific moments in their lives.  To see themselves on screen rather than the characters they portray.  In Like Crazy, it is done so well, and kind of relies on the audience having these experiences so much where individuals who don’t relate well get left behind.  Nonetheless, as being able to connect to the film, Like Crazy deserves the 10 spot as being brutally honest but emotionally captivating.  And a strong performance from Felicity Jones.

    9.  We Need To Talk About Kevin

    This is one of those films that you watch and you tell yourself as the credits roll, “I want to go jump off a building.”  Yeah, it’s pretty dark material.  Bad parenting is quite the rare subject but is pretty relevant in our culture, and it’s interesting how much neglect and ignorance we give on this matter.  Society loves to blame school, teachers, churches, friends, etc. on why their kids are mischievous, misbehaving or overall abnormal, but the parents have the most influence on their children, positive or negative.  In We Need To Talk About Kevin, we see this relationship from the beginning, and it’s painful to watch considering we know what’s going to happen in the end.  An disgraceful but amazing performance by Tilda Swinton and credit to Ezra Miller for his dark portrayal of an insane teenager.

    8.  Contagion/Margin Call

    I usually don’t like combining two films for one spot, just because it makes me feel like I’m cheating the system, especially when I state that these are the ten best, but screw you.  Anyways, I put this spot for two films that have a similar theme in introducing a situation where our world comes to a complete destruction.  In Contagion, a new virus spreads across the world like wildfire, and it isn’t so much about the virus that the film is centered on, but the behaviors of human beings, the chaos and panic that is more of an infectious problem.  Where Margin Call shows us the beginning stages of the economic downfall of 2008, it provides an amazing script with a great cast that doesn’t show us the after affects, but gives us the perspective of those finding out that our economic world is coming to an end, and instead of looking out for the 99%, they’re more interested in themselves and that small 1%.  Though quite different, these films are really well done and overall quite entertaining.

    7.  Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes/Super 8

    Okay, I know.  I’ve done it twice in a row now.  But another screw you.  But this spot goes to two films that I think surprised a lot of people in the summer.  I know when we think of summer films, we think of big, loud blockbusters that are only focused on making some green, but these two films were excellent in what they were trying to achieve and captured with such essence that it’s hard to ignore.  Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes really was an achievement from the special effects to how they made a film that could’ve been so bad, so good.  Andy Serkis deserves an Oscar nomination (I’ve said this like 5 times) and it would be great to see it get nominated, but yeah, no.  Super 8 meanwhile brought out the nostalgia from just the everyday neighborhood child looking for an adventure with their friends to you know, witnessing a top secret U.S. government train crash with an super intelligent extra terrestrial being on board.  Ahh the good ol’ days.  In seriousness, J.J. Abrams always does an amazing job on not just putting on great actions pieces, but surrounding it with great characters and an intriguing story.  He’s underrated in the character development area and I can’t wait to see him continue to pursue his directing career.

    6.  The Ides of March

    I have a certain liking in political films, and though I can understand why individuals will find this film “very ordinary” and “dull”, to me, it was very exciting and extremely entertaining.  An Obama-like candidate, we have Ryan Gosling playing a crucial role in his campaign, but makes a mistake.  Let alone a big one, but this one mistake snowballs into one big crapfest that shows the harsher side of a person.  What separates us from living by our morals or living by success?  What are we willing to sacrifice to get to where we want to be?  Is there ever a right, clean way to the top?  And if we get there, are we able to change our identity?  All these questions are asked during The Ides of March which is well acted and very well paced.  Ryan Gosling has shown he can star and take control of his own film like “Drive” (don’t get me started) and the supporting cast of George Clooney, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Evan Rachel Wood, Paul Giamatti and Marissa Tomei tie this film in a great way.

    5.  The Descendants

    When I first saw this movie, I thought it was good, but not great.  In my head, I was thinking, “Is this really a Best Picture contender?”.  But I saw it one more time, and just allowed myself to think, and it slowly started to reveal itself in its achievements and what the film truly is.  It’s nothing out of the box, innovative film making.  What it is though, is providing an in-depth look at a family that is going through a crisis/tragedy.  What it does so well is showing the real world aspect of life, that there are times in our lives that things are not well.  And our world slowly dissolves into a big freakin mess, but that doesn’t relieve us of our responsibilities.  There are some things that are not excusable, like being a parent.  As hard as life can be just dealing with our problems and issues, we cannot forget our purpose in life, and whatever that may be, we need to be there for those individuals.  It provides a darker but yet intrinsic value that bad things will always happen, but what we do after is more important than what happened.  Also George Clooney probably gives his best performance of his career.

    4.  Moneyball

    The success in Moneyball really comes from everything it’s not.  It’s not a sports film.  It’s not a film about baseball.  It’s not about numbers or statistics.  It’s about redemption.  Changing the game.  Doing something that’s worth while, and knowing that you’re risking almost everything you have, money, your reputation, your job, even your life, for something that you believe in, or something you hope that will work.  Billy Beane’s story is just as captivating as heartbreaking.  As a victim of over scouted talent, he tries to do something completely unheard of in the baseball world by building a team with a miniscule budget that the essence of their team is to get on base.  Now sabermetrics has much more to do with than just on-base percentage, but that’s besides the point.  It’s a emotional, heart-wrenching film that isn’t telling us how amazing the 2001 Oakland A’s were.  It’s showing us that as humans, we face disappointment more than we face success.  But when we become successful and do something amazing, we need to aim big and far, that in one successful moment, it was worth all the disappointment we’ve faced our entire life.

    3.  Melancholia

    If you’ve already read my review on Melancholia, than you can just skip this part.  Not, you douchebag.  But I’ll make it quick.  It’s beautifully shot.  The characters are at their best.  The images that the film provides are absolutely breathtaking.  By far, this is Kristen Dunst best performance and should get an Oscar nomination, but she won’t.  Lars Von Trier is quite the controversial director, but in this one, the only argument is how good this film is.  I don’t know what’s better, the character development or that moment where you know the end is near.  Phew.  But overall, this film is just great and totally creative and unheard of.  I fell in love with this film and it should be studied for years to come.  That good.

    2.  Midnight In Paris

    Not for everyone, but for those who love cities, love culture and love history, man this one’s for you.  Woody Allen films are quite the acquired taste.  I have a love/hate relationship with his films, but when I love them, I really do love them.  No exception for Midnight in Paris.  Just his ability to capture the 1920’s in a way where you actually believe in what’s happening, though totally ridiculous, is a credit to his abilities in film.  The cameos throughout the film are great, and just being able to see on screen those prominent figures of the 20’s brought a smile to my face.  But overall, the film provides a great message in that we can’t waste our lives looking back and wishing we were in a separate time, thinking our lives would be much better if so, but to we must also appreciate what those have done behind us so we can advance further than years down the road, they can look at our generation and say the same thing.  And this film makes you want to live in Paris.

    1.  The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

    I think this was going to happen for a while.  I just couldn’t find a film that grabbed my attention more than David Fincher’s adaption of Steig Larsson’s book.  I mean, I loved everything about the film from improving from the first novel’s flaws, the opening credits of the film and of course, Rooney Mara’s introduction into fame role as Lisbeth Salander.  The world is a cruel place everyone, and sometimes we love to hide the fact that there are sins out there that truly haunt people, but we like to sweep them under the rug thinking nothing has happened.  We live in a world that will do the utmost terrible to others, including the ones we love, but an important question we must ask is how far can we reveal someone’s inner evil when we have our own evil to face?  No one is perfect obviously, but we can measure messed up stuff, and the things that are done in this film are truly messed up, but that’s not necessarily the important part.  To thing rape and sexual sins are the focus of this film is to be completely ignorant of what Fincher is trying to accomplish.  Its goal is to reveal to us a world where different events in our lives can change us into something evil, but no matter how much blame we put on that specific event or individual responsible, we still have the choice on the path we take.  Yes, I can blame a lot of problems to specific individuals, but we must behave like adults and face our inner struggles and problems in a healthy manner, but if we do not act in this way, terrible things can be done.  It’s a film where we choose to reveal darkness with light, or cover it with even more darkness.  Oh David Fincher, you would repeat yourself at number one twice.  You too good…

    Overall, pretty good year.  I still haven’t seen Hugo (I don’t know why…), Shame, My Week With Marilyn, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, etc., but it’ll come.  Anyways, Oscar nominations out tomorrow!

    The Race To The Oscars

    With The Golden Globes being on Sunday and the BAFTAS announcing their nominations, we can start separating the contenders with the pretenders for the Oscars that will soon announce their nominations.

    If this year can be described in one word, it would be discombobulated.  No, I’m not hinting a Sherlock Holmes nomination, but the entire race from start to near finish has been one big confusing mess, with no clear winner in almost all of the categories.  By now, we should have so clue about the races and which horses will start separating themselves from the rest of the pack, but if anything, we’ve been given a huge pile of hot and steamy crap considering many of the awards have been given to many different recipients.  But with the Globes and the BAFTA nominations, we do get to clear some air out and start to fill out the potential ballot.

    Best Picture

    The Oscars did something innovative (that’s shocking in general) by not limiting the number of Best Picture nominees.  Where they recently added 10 nominees after the Dark Knight debacle, now, they can nominate at least 5 films and a max of 10, but there is no guarantee.  There is a specific and confusing voting process this year where each voter will have a preferential list and to be nominated you must have a certain amount of number one votes, and then accounting for 2nd and 3rd place votes, with minimum of 5% being 1st place, and then something else happens and then something else, and then you’re in.  Simple as that.  What the hell…  Anyways, with that kind of process, only thing is for sure.  You better have the best film in many people’s opinion.  With this kind of voting process, it allows for films that were great (We Need To Talk About Kevin, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, The Rise of the Planet of the Apes, etc.) but will most likely not be the number one favorite in the Academy.  These films would most likely range from 3-10, but without that number one vote, they most likely will not get in.  Though this process is unfortunate for certain number of films, it allows for a greater invisibility for the Academy and a larger shock value when films are announced.  With all this said, it looks like The Artist is the clear frontrunner here.  With the Best Film win at the Golden Globes and leading the BAFTAs with 12 nominations, it looks like it’s theirs to lose.  Like I predicted earlier in the year, it’s just the film the Academy eats up and poops out an Oscar trophy just like The King’s Speech.  But don’t discount The Descendants or Hugo for an upset.

    Potential Nominees:

    The Artist
    The Descendants
    Hugo
    Midnight in Paris
    Moneyball
    The Help
    War Horse

    Possible: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (DGA nomination helps), Bridesmaids, The Ides of March and Tree of Life

    Best Director

    This is possibly the biggest unknown right now.  We have three directors that can easily and deservedly win this award, but if we follow Oscar history, then if we believe that The Artist is the winner of Best Picture, that it is almost 90% that the Oscars will reward the Best Director to the same film.  In this case, that means its Michel Hanazavicius.  But to discount Martin Scorsese or Alexander Payne (has been neglected for a long time) is being extremely ignorant.  One of the most accurate precedents is the DGA winner to the Oscar winner.  The DGA is probably the closest and most accurate winner to winner comparison.  Personally, it looks like Martin Scorsese is the slight favorite right now, but that all can change when the DGA announces their winner.

    Potential Nominees:

    Martin Scorsese, Hugo
    Michel Hanazavicius, The Artist
    Alexander Payne, The Descendants
    Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris
    Steven Spielberg, War Horse

    Potential:  David Fincher – The Girl With The Dragon Tatto or Terrence Malick – Tree of Life

    Best Actor

    This is a two headed race right now between George Clooney of The Descendants and Jean Dujardin of The Artist.  They are locks right now for nominations, with the rest being slowly filled out.  We can safely assume that Brad Pitt and Michael Fassbender will most likely be nominated, which gives one spot left to many deserving actors including Gary Oldman, Leonardo DiCaprio, Woody Harrelson and Ryan Gosling for two different films.  What will separate the nominees with the losers will be respect from the Academy.  None of these actors that are possible contenders for a nomination came out of nowhere to provide a spectacular performance.  They’ve all been in Hollywood for a while.  There are no little kids (Whale Rider, The Sixth Sense) or average actors who turned ugly or did something great for once (Halle Berry, Sandra Bullock, Mickey Rourke) so in that sense, I most likely will give this to Gary Oldman.

    Potential Nominees:

    George Clooney, The Descendants
    Jean Dujardin, The Artist
    Brad Pitt, Moneyball
    Michael Fassbender, Shame
    Gary Oldman, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

    Possible: Ryan Gosling (Ides of March, Drive) or Michael Shannon – Take Shelter

    Best Actress

    This could be one of the most intriguing and possibly the most controversial race we’ve seen with the Oscars.  Besides the fact that 2011 provided some of the strongest, boldest and best performances for women in a long time, we have other factors playing into this race including politics, racial priority and just overall influence one’s performance can have (specifically to men considering they take up most of the Academy).  There are eight performances that are worthy of nominations, and it most years, would’ve been nominated.  From the veterans to the just introduced, they each provide difficult but eccentric characters to the screen.  Right now, it’s a race between Meryl Streep for the Iron Lady and Viola Davis for The Help.  I haven’t seen The Iron Lady, but any Streep performance is going to be noteworthy and memorable.  She’s the best actress of our time and deserves more than 2 pitiful Oscar wins (She’s been nominated 16 times).  Also the fact that Streep is publicly rooting for Davis to win just tells you her character and overall complacency with the Academy.  Besides the two frontrunners, we’ve got Michelle Williams, Tilda Swinton, Glenn Close, Charlize Theron, Rooney Mara (my personal pick for Best performance) and then Elizabeth Olsen for her terrifying portrayal in Martha Marcy May Marlene.  Honestly, it all comes down to how the Academy feels about their respective film, if they feel like one deserves to be nominated for reasons other than the performance, etc.  I honestly think Rooney Mara’s nomination all depends on how the Academy responded to The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.  If they loved it, she gets in with ease, if not, they will definitely snub her out.  Just the fact that her performance makes all men go in hiding, yeah, her nomination will not be any easy feat.  But the little faith I have in the Academy gives me hope that she will get nominated.

    Potential Nominees:

    Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady
    Viola Davis, The Help
    Michelle Williams, My Week With Marilyn
    Tilda Swinton, We Need To Talk About Kevin
    Rooney Mara, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

    Possible:  Glen Close – Albert Nobbs (Most likely will take Mara’s final spot) and Elizabeth Olsen.

    Supporting Actor

    Not as intriguing, but all of good performances all around.  Nothing is for certain except for the fact that it looks like Christopher Plummer for the Beginners looks like his for the taking.  But I wouldn’t be surprised if Albert Brooks sneaks in for the upset. The major storyline here is how possible is it for Andy Serkis to be nominated.  The day one gets nominated for a performance that is not seen on screen, it will make waves throughout Hollywood.  But that doesn’t take any less from the performance Serkis delivered as Caesar in The Rise of the Planet of The Apes.  Not many actors can do that, but he does this regularly throughout many films.  Here’s hoping that the Academy could be radical do something amazing.  but I doubt it.

    Potential Nominees:

    Christopher Plummer, Beginners
    Albert Brooks, Drive
    Kenneth Branagh, My Week With Marilyn
    Jonah Hill, Moneyball
    Nick Nolte, Warrior

    Possible: Viggo Mortensen – A Dangerous Method, Andy Serkis (Please!!!), Brad Pitt – Tree of Life

    Best Supporting Actress

    This race is already over.  But all those that are potential nominees are all young, new to the big screen and are fresh faces to Hollywood which is great to see, especially coming from the Academy.  But with all that said, this one is going to Octavia Spencer for The Help.  She’s winning all the awards right now, the fact that she’s black in a movie that the Academy eats up a la The Blind Side, yeah, this one’s in the bag.

    Potential Nominees:

    Octavia Spencer, The Help
    Jessica Chastain, The Help
    Berenice Bejo, The Artist (even though she should be a lead…)
    Shaileen Woodley, The Descendants
    Melissa McCarthy, Bridesmaids (This will be a great nomination for her)

    Possible: Janet McTeer – Albert Nobbs or Carey Mulligan – Shame

    Other categories like Screenplays, technicals and music are all toss ups right now with films like Drive, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, The Artist, Hugo and War Horse most likely soaking up those nominations.  I’m still saddened by the fact that these awards have completely neglected Harry Potter and its amazing accomplishment the series has done through the decade.  It should be honored just like Lord of the Rings, but no, it will not except for the technicals.  But here’s hoping for a shock.

    One week until nominations!  Get ready.