Guess again

Posted by · 7:38 am · September 17th, 2009

Meryl Streep in It's ComplicatedI realized yesterday I hadn’t updated my own Oscar predictions since July, so a spring-clean was in order. I should really wait for the end of Toronto, but I’m off on vacation on Saturday, so there’s no time like the present.

Needless to say, a lot can change in two months — particularly when those two months include the start of the festival season. Back in July, “Shutter Island” was still a fall release, Colin Firth wasn’t even on my radar and I still expected “Up in the Air” to be a minor-key adaptation of a minor-key novel. It was a more innocent time.

As always, if you want sensible, well-reasoned, informed predictions, you’re better off looking to your right.

I’m sticking with my weird gut-only hunch that major players like “Invictus” and “The Lovely Bones” aren’t quite going to pan out … it’s anticipating the year’s underachievers that I find most interesting. (Though my instincts obviously aren’t always on the money. I was right never to place any stock in “Charlie Wilson’s War” two years ago; “Frost/Nixon,” not so much.)

Meanwhile, I’m sticking by my largely irrational theory that Nancy Meyers’s “It’s Complicated” will emerge as Meryl Streep’s dominant vehicle, while my wild-card punt on Tilda Swinton really stands for the absence of a fifth Best Actress contender I can really believe in. Festival developments are gradually firming up certain aspects of the season as we go, but there’s still room for a bit of fun.

My updated predictions, for those interested, here.

→ 40 Comments Tags: , , , , , | Filed in: Daily

40 responses so far

  • 1 9-17-2009 at 8:23 am

    billybil said...

    OK – truth is – I love you for believing in IT’S COMPLICATED. God how I would love this movie to be as wonderful as your gut seems to think it will be!!!

  • 2 9-17-2009 at 8:29 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    To clarify: I’m not necessarily feeling that it will be “wonderful” (though I did quite enjoy the trailer). I just have a hunch it’s going to be very well-liked.

  • 3 9-17-2009 at 8:33 am

    Ryan said...

    It’ll be very interesting indeed to see how “It’s Complicated” and Streep’s performance in it will be received compared to the almost universal praise for her Julia Child turn. Yes, the movie wasn’t received quite as well, but…

    Devil Wears Prada – Metacritic score 62
    Julie & Julia – Metacritic score 66

  • 4 9-17-2009 at 8:42 am

    Loyal said...

    Up in the Air leading all noms with 8 total, following by The Hurt Locker and Precious with 7. And Tree of Life and An Education with 6.

    That would pretty much be the death blow to the AMPAS trying to find high ratings. Based on those tallies, I think Tom Sherak would classify the expansion to 10 nominees a failure.

    Interesting indeed.

  • 5 9-17-2009 at 8:51 am

    RichardA said...

    Meryl will take the nod for Julia. Because it’s Julia Child. Ben Kingsley didn’t win it just for playing Gandhi. He won it because it was Gandhi.

  • 6 9-17-2009 at 9:22 am

    Jim Τ said...

    Guy, why do you think Rosamund Pike has a better chance than any Lovely Bones lady?

    Doesn’t Tucci have better chances for Lovely Bones (bigger film and a December release). Of course we already know his performance inb J&J is well-liked and we haven’t seen him in LB but he seems pretty good. Although not likeable character.

    Another thing that seems odd to me is that you think 2 supporting perf for Up in the Air are more probable than for Nine.

    Just not to be misunderstood. I’m not critisizing your predictions. I’m just asking.

    One more thing. Meryl in It’s Complicated is in and Swank in Amelia is out? Are you afraid of the Streep fanbase response? Just kidding. :p

  • 7 9-17-2009 at 9:23 am

    Jim T said...

    RichardA, she plays Juia Child not Jesus.

  • 8 9-17-2009 at 9:26 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    I don’t know, I just have a weird feeling “Bones” is going to underwhelm. I could be wrong. I hope to be wrong.

    But why would I be afraid of the Streep fanbase response? If I weren’t predicting ANY nomination for her, then I’d fear for my life ;)

  • 9 9-17-2009 at 9:56 am

    Dane said...

    “Julia” is already out on DVD…wouldn’t that disqualify Tilda?

  • 10 9-17-2009 at 10:09 am

    Jake said...

    One actress nomination for nine? Really? But two supporting actress nods for Up in the Air? I don’t think all that star power is going to be easy to ignore.

  • 11 9-17-2009 at 10:15 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    Dane: Of course not. It was theatrically released in the US in May 2009.

    It’s not eligible for the BAFTAs, however, having been released in the UK in 2008. Perhaps that’s what you’re thinking of.

  • 12 9-17-2009 at 10:16 am

    Marshall1 said...

    I love your noms!
    But I wouldn’t count out Daniel-Day Lewis in Nine. Also, the Tree of Life might help either Brad or Sean get noms??
    Yeah, I also feel that Lovely Bones could bomb….:(
    Also, I have a feeling that they could easily forget District 9….the movie I like best so far.

  • 13 9-17-2009 at 10:20 am

    Bill said...

    Is this Incontention’s first official stab at the foreign language nominees? It looks a very plausible list. I notice that you left out The White Ribbon.

  • 14 9-17-2009 at 10:31 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    Well, I wouldn’t call my predictions “official” or anything. But I have had predictions in the foreign language category since June.

    There’s a reasoning behind my leaving out “The White Ribbon.”

  • 15 9-17-2009 at 10:39 am

    RichardA said...

    Streep will take on that role, too.

  • 16 9-17-2009 at 10:41 am

    Bill said...

    It’s still something of a benchmark – the first predictions since so many countries named their selection. I imagined there was a reason behind the White Ribbon left off the list. Care to explain?

  • 17 9-17-2009 at 10:50 am

    red_wine said...

    Things really do seem to be falling in place don’t they? There is a rough consensus as to which movies are likely for about 7 of the 10 movies. That’s how predictable the academy is.

    But I still think that due to the weighted ballot system, atleast 1 extremely surprising freak-all movie is gonna emerge.

    I’ve heard in more than 1 quarters that while Streep is pleasant and all in Julie & Julia(and likely in Its Complicated), the performance itself doe snot warrant any serious discussion or awards consideration. And given Streep’s recent track record, i won’t be surprised to find it so. Yes she’s great and I still love her but i will now truly have to call Streep over-rated, over-praised and over-estimated. Atleast for her recent work. I’ll see the movie soon and decide for myself.

  • 18 9-17-2009 at 10:57 am

    j said...

    Huh, I see the right-hand column’s been updated again. Capitalism re-replaces Tree of Life and Get Low replaces Broken Embraces.

    Comparing yours vs. Kris’:
    Complicated & Streep > Amelia & Swank for BP/A
    + Abbie Cornish/Bright Star
    + Tree of Life/Malick; +Tree of Life for Editing
    -Tree of Life for Screenplay but + Bright Star
    + Firth; + Single Man’s Score but – Princess

    I have a top 3 films I want to do well, all of which you think will do better than Kris thinks, which of course makes me prefer yours.

  • 19 9-17-2009 at 11:11 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    Bill: No complicated theory or anything. I just don’t think Michael Haneke is a very Academy-friendly filmmaker. That branch tends to prefer warmer films than the ones he makes.

  • 20 9-17-2009 at 11:20 am

    Blake said...

    Trust me on this one… The Tree of Life isn’t going to come out this year. I can’t reveal my source, but it’s genuine.

  • 21 9-17-2009 at 12:22 pm

    Loyal said...

    Ah, come on Deep Throat/Blake. Hopefully your sources are better than those who said Nine was being pushed to next year.

    @ Red_Wine, I made a similar observation in the Mother and Child thread about 7 out of the 10 nominees and was jumped on. Be careful.

  • 22 9-17-2009 at 1:11 pm

    Blake said...

    Ok Loyal. Don’t believe me.

    It won’t be the first time a Malick film has been pushed back.

  • 23 9-17-2009 at 1:13 pm

    David said...

    As much as I loved The White Ribbon, I’d have to agree that I don’t think it will be nominated. It is very complicated, highly stylized and dark, and quite alienating. I just don’t see it sitting beside films like Departures once nominees are announced. It deserves it, though.

  • 24 9-17-2009 at 1:43 pm

    Bill M. said...

    About Meryl and It’s Complicated that would have to be a huge box office hit to cancel out Julie and Julia which has gotten great raves for Meryl.

  • 25 9-17-2009 at 2:39 pm

    Guy Lodge said...

    I agree. But a box office hit is what I’m expecting.

  • 26 9-17-2009 at 3:14 pm

    tony rock said...

    I think the only reason you all are counting out Lovely Bones is because it’s a more high-profile release with big director, big cast. Yes, every year there’s a big Oscar bait disappointment…but do you really believe Jackson will be the one to deliver it? I dont think so

  • 27 9-17-2009 at 3:46 pm

    Loyal said...

    What was the big Oscar bait disappointment last year? Doubt? Revolutionary Road?

  • 28 9-17-2009 at 3:56 pm

    tony rock said...

    I would say Revolutionary Road. Even though I liked the film, it definitely disappointed as far as Oscar goes…

    Others last year include Body of Lies, Miracle at St. Anna, W, Defiance, and Australia.

  • 29 9-17-2009 at 4:05 pm

    Guy Lodge said...

    Both of last year’s Clint Eastwood efforts.

  • 30 9-17-2009 at 4:27 pm

    Loyal said...

    Wrong year Guy.

    Last year was Angry Clint, the previous year, WWII Clint.

  • 31 9-17-2009 at 4:30 pm

    Loyal said...

    Ha, I forget about Changeling. I guess that wins.

  • 32 9-17-2009 at 4:32 pm

    billybil said...

    Silly me. Huh Mr. Lodge? I missed the cynicism.

  • 33 9-17-2009 at 5:00 pm

    Guy Lodge said...

    Hey, I’m not being cynical. As I said, I’m quite looking forward to the film. I just try to keep my personal preferences out of my predictions. Not that it always works ;)

  • 34 9-17-2009 at 5:37 pm

    Eunice said...

    Hey, I finally got the time to come here. I have to say, Guy, I’m really curious about your Meryl Streep–“It’s Complicated” theory.

  • 35 9-17-2009 at 6:21 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    I’ve been saying for months that I’ll believe Malick’s film releasing this year when I see it. It’s not really news that most in the industry feel the same way.

  • 36 9-17-2009 at 7:59 pm

    Dan said...

    Kris is the only person here allowed to have insider information.

  • 37 9-17-2009 at 8:02 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Just backing up a disavowed comment…

  • 38 9-17-2009 at 11:18 pm

    Ryan said...

    “RichardA, she plays Juia Child not Jesus.”

    How many actors have been nominated for playing Jesus? Then again if someone could do it, it would be Streep.

  • 39 9-18-2009 at 7:25 am

    billybil said...

    Thanks for the clarification. I guess I was a little prickly.

    I must admit, reading about all these wonderful performances – Sidibe, Bening, Wright Penn, Saavedra, Cornish, Mulligan, Theron – my gut tells me that this may not be a year for another Streep nomination. Yes, she nailed Julia Child – probably better than any other big name star could have – but I’m just not sure…and if a rabid fan like me is doubtful, well…we’ll see.

  • 40 9-18-2009 at 10:17 am

    gogo said...

    Guy I believe in your “It’s Complicated” theory and hope it comes true because the trailer was delightful. And actually I missed Nancy Meyers. I hope Meryl won’t cancel herself out. And I’m predicting a (GOD,finally) third win for her.