In Contention


OFF THE CARPET: The year of The Beard?

Posted by Kristopher Tapley · 12:15 pm · July 4th, 2011

It felt really good to duck out of the looking-ahead business after last year’s fairly contentious (both amongst the films and their supporters) Oscar season. I didn’t saddle up to the upcoming season until a few weeks ago, hammering out preparations for this column, and even this, most would tell you, is too early.

But at the start of July, in the midst of an interesting (critically speaking) summer movie season, and with half the year behind us, it seems a decent time to take stock of 2011′s Oscar business. And Disney may have gotten the conversation going just in time with last week’s debut of the trailer for Steven Spielberg’s “War Horse.”

With the influx of film awards coverage this last decade, Oscar strategists have switched gears in how they campaign for the gold. With a cycle that chews and chews and chews on whatever is available to digest, being the early frontrunner has become the kiss of death. Films like “The Aviator,” “Brokeback Mountain,” “Dreamgirls,” “Charlie Wilson’s War,” “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” and “Up in the Air” failed to reach the winner’s circle in recent years after being hailed as tough cookies early on. Some of them put up better fights than others, some of them didn’t even manage to rise up to a nomination, but all of them looked formidable at one point or another before having their legs knocked out from underneath them.

Last year, David Fincher’s “The Social Network,” a critically acclaimed drama that spoke to the zeitgeist, was pitched in early October as a sure bet for a nomination and a likely threat to win Best Picture, which would have made good on four-straight years of critical darlings turning the trick. Few expected — until the guilds began speaking up in January — that the film was burning too much fuel to survive, and The Weinstein Company was surely happy to let it hog the spotlight (and the vigorous approval of the press) before coming around the outside on the fourth turn with “The King’s Speech.”

And now, “War Horse.” Spielberg himself has been in this position before, recently, in fact, when in 2005, “Munich” looked like the favorite. The film came, dazzled some, left others cold and eventually managed serious nominations. But it failed to reach the finish line.

Like “Munich” and his 1993 Best Picture winner “Schindler’s List,” Spielberg is matching his prestige film with blockbuster fare this year. “The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn” will be his “Jurassic Park” and “War of the Worlds” for 2011, and furthermore, it’ll be opening the very same week as “War Horse,” right in the middle of the Oscar conversation, as ballots are landing in mailboxes over the holiday. More importantly, though, it could be the year of Spielberg like never before.

J.J. Abrams’ “Super 8” (which “The Beard” produced) has already hit and become a big favorite in the industry, aping off Spielberg’s early style and elevating the man to even higher iconic status. “Transformers: Dark of the Moon,” also sporting his name loud and proud, could be the year’s #1 domestic grosser (since the franchise historically has outperformed the Harry Potter films in the states, though the closing installment of the latter may not be denied). And his own films could make for a hell of a one-two December box office punch themselves.

He’s there again on the small screen this summer with TNT’s “Falling Skies” and Fox’s “Terra Nova,” and “Cowboys & Aliens,” which he executively produced, is still to hit theaters later this month. More things seem to carry the stamp of “Spielberg” this year than ever before. (EDIT: And readers are already reminding me of “Paul,” which was obviously a big ode to Spielberg cinema.)

I realize I’m dedicating the first Oscar column of the year to one guy, and that’s not totally fair. But really, it could turn out that way. It’s all about the narrative, as Mark Harris shrewdly wrote two years ago. And when you dovetail all of this with the recent Tony win for “War Horse,” well, it begins to look like a potentially perfect storm.

But let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves. Like I said, no one wants to be the frontrunner, even if you’ve got the goods.

Peripheral to that, there is a lot of work on the way that deserves notice from here. Clint Eastwood will be back yet again, with “J. Edgar,” and I’m more hopeful with a guy like Leonardo DiCaprio on board (who is always shrewd about his collaborations). George Clooney will have another political take in “The Ides of March,” which could be Sony’s best bet (already set for Venice’s opening night).

Martin Scorsese will dip his toes into 3D and effects with “Hugo” (perhaps Paramount’s big hopeful, of a massive slate, its title slowly scaling back from the original “The Invention of Hugo Cabret”). Alexander Payne will finally be back with what looks like another smart comedy in “The Descendants.” Cronenberg, Crowe, Miller, Polanski, Fincher, Scherfig, Reitman, all back. Allen and Malick are already in the mix, and even Madonna wants to play. But one of the real questions will be whether Stephen Daldry can make history with a fourth-straight Best Director bid, for “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” (which was just announced for a December release from Warner Bros., but was still filming as of two weeks ago, so who knows if it’ll stay on the slate.)

On the whole, I’m a bit optimistic this year, so…here’s hoping.

I’ve finally put together a list of predictions for the new season. The Contenders section has been updated in full with charts indicating notions, guesses, instincts, etc., while the sidebar predictions reflect those calls. And none of it, mind you, should be taken seriously just yet. We still have another two months before these films roll out for press and along the fall festival circuit, so let’s see what happens…

…however, I thought I’d be extra silly this year. Seeing as I took so long to lay the foundations for the season here, I figure why not make it up to you by giving you something else to chew on. Say, an early slate of winner predictions?

OMGWTF, I know, but whatever. It’ll be fun to see how right or (more likely) wrong these turn out to be in eight months’ time. I’m planting a flag below for “War Horse” dominance. The only Best Picture winners to take more than four trophies in the last decade are “The Hurt Locker,” “Slumdog Millionaire,” “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” and “Chicago.” It seems to me another one can’t be far off.

One last note: Anne and I will offer one more off-season podcast this Friday, July 8. We’ll take the rest of the summer off and saddle back up to the weekly stuff on Friday, August 26, the week before Venice and Telluride officially kick off the season. That’ll follow my next Off the Carpet column (the first of the weekly business), which hits Monday, August 22.

But for now, I’m going back into Oscar hiding. More in six or seven weeks. Enjoy the updates.

Lamebrain winner predictions for the 2012 Oscars:

Best Picture: “War Horse”
Best Director: Steven Spielberg, “War Horse”
Best Actor: Leonardo DiCaprio, “J. Edgar”
Best Actress: Glenn Close, “Albert Nobbs”
Best Supporting Actor: Kenneth Branagh, “My Week with Marilyn”
Best Supporting Actress: Keira Knightley, “A Dangerous Method”
Best Adapted Screenplay: “War Horse”
Best Original Screenplay: “The Artist”
Best Art Direction: “Hugo”
Best Cinematography: “War Horse”
Best Costume Design: “Hugo”
Best Film Editing: “War Horse”
Best Music (Original Score): “War Horse”
Best Music (Original Song): abstain
Best Sound Editing: “Super 8”
Best Sound Mixing: “War Horse”
Best Visual Effects: “Hugo”
Best Animated Feature Film: “Rango”

[Photos: Touchstone Pictures, Paramount Pictures]




Related Posts

→ 152 Comments Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Filed in: Off the Carpet

152 responses so far

  • 1 7-04-2011 at 12:21 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Just to head off a comment I know is coming…

    Yes, I know I have Moneyball predicted for Best Pic and nothing else. Yes, I know that’s an unlikely situation. No, I don’t think these predictions are going to pan out in a major way, so no, it’s not a big deal.

    (Though it probably indicates how I feel about its overall chances right now. Just a feeling. Probably wrong.)

  • 2 7-04-2011 at 12:33 pm

    Maxim said...

    It’s interesting that in your write-up, you didn’t even need to mention “Paul” (which, like Stephen Chows “CJ7″ is a much more of a tribute than “Super 8″ is, even if it doesn’t look like one) or project like “Falling Skies” and “Terra Nova”. Big year for the guy.

    Not that any of it has anything to do with Oscars, of course.

    I have only one question about your charts, but it’s not an entirely new one. Why do you think that “Happy Feet 2″ will be eligible for the Best Animated Film category while something like “Tintin” and “Mars Needs Moms” won’t be?

    After all, it’s a motion capture project too (http://www.motioncapturesociety.com/blog/press/239-happy-feet-2-casting-news , http://thefilmstage.com/2010/02/06/happy-feet-2-begins-production/ and http://au.greekreporter.com/2010/02/04/george-miller-happy-feet-2-filming-begins-in-sydney/ ). I realize that the first one won an Oscar in that category but I was just curious if you thought it has some other sort of advantage post rule-change?

    I’ll only add that as long as “Rio” get in, I’ll be happy.

  • 3 7-04-2011 at 12:33 pm

    Joseph W said...

    I hate nit-pickers but here I am doing it…

    Daldry’s Billy Elliot wasn’t a Best Picture nominee. If “Extremely” is nominated for directing, he’d be 4 for 4 though.

  • 4 7-04-2011 at 12:35 pm

    Stefan said...

    To add to this being the year of Spielberg, “Paul” was one big homage to his work. As a huge Spielberg fan, I’m definitely looking forward to War Horse and (especially) The Adventures of Tintin.

    In regards to the other predictions, I can’t speak for these since it’s obviously early, though I have heard some surprisingly strong positive reaction to Jonah Hill in Moneyball. Can also see Zaillian, Sorkin and Miller returning to the Oscar nominees.

    I think the only category anyone can probably speculate at this point is Animated Feature. Don’t see Cars 2 getting nominated there, though. Rio and Winnie the Pooh have stronger chances, I think. I’ve also heard good word about Puss in Boots, plus Arthur Christmas is Aardman. If it’s more Wallace & Gromit than Flushed Away, it has a good chance of getting in. But, yeah, I think Pixar’s only categories it will get into this year are Sound Editing and Animated Short.

    In regards to Original Song, at this point, Rango, Gnomeo and Juliet, Captain America, Winnie the Pooh and Rio are good possibilities.

  • 5 7-04-2011 at 12:38 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Maxim: Falling Skies was mentioned rather clearly. I have totally forgotten Paul, so maybe that’s why I didn’t mention it. But indeed, you’re right.

  • 6 7-04-2011 at 12:38 pm

    Maxim said...

    Just saw, that you did, in fact, mention “Falling Skies”. My bad.

  • 7 7-04-2011 at 12:41 pm

    Andrew M said...

    Best Picture: “War Horse” (alt. The Girl With The Dragoon Tattoo)
    Best Director: David Fincher (alt. Steven Spielberg)
    Best Actor: Leonardo DiCaprio (alt. Gary Oldman)
    Best Actress: Meryl Streep (alt. Tilda Swinton)
    Best Supporting Actor: Christopher Plummer (alt. Kenneth Branagh)
    Best Supporting Actress: Keira Knightley (alt. Vanessa Redgrave)
    Best Adapted Screenplay: “War Horse” (alt. TGWTDT)
    Best Original Screenplay: “J. Edgar” (alt. The Artist)
    Best Art Direction: “Hugo” (alt.War Horse)
    Best Cinematography: “War Horse” (alt. TGWTDT)
    Best Costume Design: “Hugo” (alt. J. Edgar)
    Best Film Editing: “War Horse” (alt. TGWTDT)
    Best Music (Original Score): “The Adventures of Tintin”
    Best Music (Original Song): abstain
    Best Sound Editing: “Super 8” (alt. Tintin)
    Best Sound Mixing: “War Horse” (alt. Super 8)
    Best Visual Effects: “Hugo Cabret” (alt. The Tree of Life)
    Best Animated Feature Film: “Rango” (alt. Puss in Boots)

  • 8 7-04-2011 at 12:43 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Added Terra Nova, too. It all adds to the point though, no?

    As for Happy Feet 2, I dunno. It won the Oscar so I kept it in the fray, but I’m aware it’s motion capture and could be deemed ineligible.

  • 9 7-04-2011 at 12:47 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Although, re: Happy Feet, it seems to me motion capture isn’t used to the extent it is in the other films.

  • 10 7-04-2011 at 12:47 pm

    red_wine said...

    I’ll just put out what I think are gimme’s at this point, meaning easy gets at nomination if the movies don’t end up sucking.

    War Horse – Picture, Director, Art Direction, Score, Cinematography. I don’ the lead guy Irvine might manage a nomination. He will likely be overshadowed by the loaded supporting cast and it is tougher for young men to break through than young women.I hope Niels Arestrup gets nominated and we will just assume it for A Prophet too.

    Girl With The Dragon Tattoo – Editing

    Might I ask Kris where this vast optimism for The Artist, a foreign production (though not a foreign language production which as we know can be a boner killer for the academy) arises? Is the dazzling reviews out of Cannes or is it Harvey or do you know something we don’t?

    Also Hugo (it was just announced that it will now be known as H) is children’s movie through and through. The Academy don’t usually fall for those very quickly. And it depends how heart-warming it is considering Scorsese is directing.

    Tintin – Editing, Score. I mean should John Williams have that Oscar already? The memorable music from the War Horse trailer was from his WH score and Tintin is such a musical opportunity.

    If the original screenplay category is thin, might Kiarostami make a dent with his masterful Certified Copy. Also Uncle Boonmee and City Of Life And Death might have a chance in Cinematography if nowhere else.

    PS: The King’s Speech is a much much much much much better movie than Slumdog Millionaire.

  • 11 7-04-2011 at 12:50 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    red_wine: Just curious, why qualify The Artist as a “foreign production” as if that’s a mark against it. Last year’s Best Picture winner (from the same studio) was an independently financed foreign production picked up after the fact. Same deal here.

    But as for my reasoning, it has plenty to do with the glowing Cannes reception, but also, it seems to me the unique aspect of TWC’s stable and I anticipate a lot of support put behind it. It speaks to the art form and just seems like a “story” in the making this season. We’ll see if it turns out that way.

  • 12 7-04-2011 at 12:51 pm

    The Delegate from New York said...

    “Best Music (Original Song): abstain”
    Courteously.

  • 13 7-04-2011 at 12:53 pm

    SC said...

    We’ll see if Spielberg can tie Capra and Wyler for second place in the Best Director Oscar category. I have been thinking for a while that he would be well-positioned for a new pass at Oscar glory (much like Wyler with “Ben-Hur”, it’s been about a decide since he last won, after two wins in fairly close succession).

  • 14 7-04-2011 at 12:59 pm

    red_wine said...

    Kris, UK is fine, still English speaking talent all round. Practically the same industry. But the Artist is French with a fully foreign cast and crew to the Academy. For all purposes I think we should treat it as a foreign language film (even though its not), and I will be quite delighted if it manages to get nommed in the big categories.

    It will be a handicapped glory (not in French) but a triumph none the less that a foreign language production made it so far. I think the last foreign language film (an American production) to make much headway was Diving Bell and a true foriegn production to make headway was Pan’s Labyrinth.

  • 15 7-04-2011 at 1:01 pm

    Billyboy said...

    Kris, I think I still haven’t read your take (review) on Midnight in Paris.

    Strong numbers and excellent reviews could push this in the top 8. (Or whatever random number)

  • 16 7-04-2011 at 1:02 pm

    Zack said...

    No faith in “The Help”, then?

  • 17 7-04-2011 at 1:02 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    red: Fair enough. I think if anyone can smooth hose edges, though, it’ll be Weinstein.

    Zack: Meh. Had it on the outskirts here and there, but unless it’s a huge hit, seems too soft on the whole.

  • 18 7-04-2011 at 1:04 pm

    Maxim said...

    “Added Terra Nova, too. It all adds to the point though, no?”

    Certainly. I actually wasn’t trying to point out things you’ve missed – you did a great job. Just saying that you didn’t even need to as the proverbial cup already overfloweth.

    As for Happy Feet 2 – I’m not sure I agree with that 100% but I guess we’ll have to wait and see. Part of me thinks that, in the end, the chances of either being nomianted will depend on how much each *looks* like a motion capture project.

    I don’t know if any animated film can score director or editing though.

    And Daldry – totally a serious contender. Personally I think he’s chances are much higher than that of Fincher’s.

  • 19 7-04-2011 at 1:04 pm

    j said...

    For fun, comparing your and Awards Daily Forums predix in majors:
    Dangerous Method, Dragon Tattoo vs. Moneyball, Tinker Tailor (T3 War Edgar Descendants vs. War Edgar Tree)
    Daldry, Cronenberg, Malick vs. Payne, Haznavicius, Scorsese…so I guess uber-winners Eastwood and Spielberg are the most-predicted.
    Fassbender, Gosling vs. Dujardin, Irvine. Yours are more gutsy given the formers’ profiles lately.
    Mortensen, Hawkes vs. Brooks, PSH (Though the latter would be tied 5th counting Moneyball.)

    Knightley lead vs. supporting, Caldwell vs. Bullock for Extremely Loud
    Leaving Queen Streep and Breakout of the Year Olsen for lead.
    Mara, Foster/Winslet, Davis vs. Jones, Swinton, Theron, Tomei

    The top priority of the year though is obviously WIN STREEP THATCHER WIN.

  • 20 7-04-2011 at 1:14 pm

    Corey said...

    It almost feels like if Stephen Daldry’s making a movie about a topic that could even conceivably be considered Oscar-worthy, he’ll be rewarded for it.

    A movie about 9/11, 10 years after 9/11, with a stacked cast, based on a popular contemporary novel? If anything screams frontrunner, that’s it, though WAR HORSE will no doubt clean up in technical areas.

    That is, if EXTREMELY LOUD AND INCREDIBLY CLOSE is even finished for this awards season – though something tells me that, much like THE READER, it will be.

  • 21 7-04-2011 at 1:18 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Actually, Corey, The Reader was NOT finished, at least to the satisfaction of all involved. The issue was forced by Weinstein, while Rudin wasn’t ready to bring it out. It’s all Rudin this time, so if it’s not ready, I wouldn’t be surprised if he holds onto it. But I know there’s some pressure to make the anniversary.

  • 22 7-04-2011 at 1:19 pm

    Danny King said...

    Looks like you don’t see “Drive” making much of an impact here. Was “The Artist’s” reception at Cannes that much more glowing? Or do think the latter is more likely to connect with Oscar voters?

  • 23 7-04-2011 at 1:20 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    I really need to see both to have a better gauge, but yes, one does seem more AMPAS-friendly than the other.

  • 24 7-04-2011 at 1:21 pm

    j said...

    Some of your dark horses I find intriguing:
    Alan Rickman, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II”. He is a Sag/Globe/Bafta/Emmy winner, and depending on how they pull off the scenes his role is actually kinda meaty in the book.
    Thomas Horn, “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” & Asa Butterfield, “Hugo” – Children directed by huge directors.
    Paul Giamatti, “Win Win” Mia Wasikowska, “Jane Eyre” – kinda faded from the conversation thus far.
    Scarlett Johansson, “We Bought a Zoo”
    Elle Fanning, “Super 8”
    “Crazy Stupid Love” (Dan Fogelman)
    1. “The Iron Lady”

  • 25 7-04-2011 at 1:22 pm

    Danny King said...

    And, by the way, I think that “50/50″ could end up being a big sleeper hit. That’s mostly based on the trailer, which I thought was fantastic. But given the autobiographical circumstances, it seems like a film that people would really want to support if it does succeed.

  • 26 7-04-2011 at 1:24 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    No question. I’ve heard Huston is ace and that Kendrick could make a strong play, too. Maybe both could get in (given the category’s history with double nominees). But it’s best shot at the moment, I think, could be original screenplay, which as someone mentioned above, is relatively thin this year anyway.

  • 27 7-04-2011 at 1:28 pm

    Danny King said...

    Yeah I’d say its best bet right now is screenplay as well.

    Another observation: You don’t seem to be banking much on “Young Adult.” Any particular reason? Reitman seems like one of the safest picks out there, in my opinion.

  • 28 7-04-2011 at 1:30 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    I’m in wait-and-see mode on Young Adult, but I’ve heard it’s not like Reitman’s other work. I’ve even heard a Margot at the Wedding comparison (which I’m sure it’s not that extreme, but indicates potential tone).

  • 29 7-04-2011 at 1:31 pm

    Will said...

    Ugh. 4 actors … All in various biopics. Totally believable, sadly.

  • 30 7-04-2011 at 1:32 pm

    Fitz said...

    I’d like to see Giamatti sneak in for ‘Win Win’ but it came out way too early for that type of attention to come around. Even with Fox Searchlight’s record with the Oscars.

  • 31 7-04-2011 at 1:36 pm

    Zack said...

    Only four biopic acting nominees actually seems pretty thin. Weren’t fictional characters actually a minority of the nominees last year?

  • 32 7-04-2011 at 1:37 pm

    Zack said...

    Oh, never mind, you meant of projected winners. Sorry.

  • 33 7-04-2011 at 1:38 pm

    Ben said...

    Last year was certainly an interesting change of pace. Right when there seemed to be a strong allignment forming between the annual critical and academy favorite, the movie seemingly tailor-made for Oscar (not to take away from The King’s Speech which I do like very much) wins big over a critical giant.

    Not only that, but the shift in the season was more sudden than I’ve ever seeen. The Social Network’s sweep was so dominant early on, sweeping the elite critcal groups as well as the more Academy-alligned BFCA and Golden Globes. Then BAM! In a little over a week The King’s Speech took the PGA, DGA and SAG ensemble. And it was pretty much over.

    Also, don’t forget The Hurt Locker which matched Chicago with 6 Oscars.

  • 34 7-04-2011 at 1:42 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Ah yes. Thanks, Ben.

  • 35 7-04-2011 at 1:55 pm

    Rashad said...

    Kris, how is Disney involved with this film?

  • 36 7-04-2011 at 2:13 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Distributor, via Touchstone.

  • 37 7-04-2011 at 2:26 pm

    Maxim said...

    Rashad, from what I can tell – not overtly. Disney is now a distributor for all DreamWorks-only projects and they are using various sub-labels to release their movies. In this case (and I believe the same will be true for “Lincoln” as well) they the movie will be released through “Touchstone Pictures”.

    This allows them to be associated with prestigeous projects even if they don’t have involvement in the production (or the greenlighting process). For them, being in the business with DreamWorks’ talent is enough (at least for now).

    To get somewhat off-topic here, during his time with Paramount, Spielberg was contractually obligated to oversee the development of 4-6 movies annually. Now despite the fact that DreamWorks has scaled back somewhat in terms of how many projects they have out, he may still have an increased pressure in his capacity at DreamWorks to have movies like Transformers 3 out to guide the studio through the transition process. The fact that Jeffrey has been at another studio for years and David Geffen has slowly decreased his involvement means that he and Stacy Snyder has a lot more work to do.

  • 38 7-04-2011 at 2:34 pm

    Drew said...

    Yeah it’s a little too early for me to get in on this prediction shit. Especially after how nasty, bitter, and mean spirited it got last season with all the people who were upset about how well Social Network was doing. And unfortunatley eroded it’s chances for reasons that are still beyond me.

  • 39 7-04-2011 at 2:42 pm

    m1 said...

    No faith in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo? From the book alone, if the film is very good and anything like it, Fincher could have another shot at WINNING the directing Oscar.

  • 40 7-04-2011 at 2:45 pm

    Brock Landers said...

    I think J. Edgar is going to be the one to beat. The script is fucking fantastic and there is a ton of talent involved. Its buzz may peak too early though with the October release date.

    I think Drive may end up being a bigger player than some expect. I talked to some people who saw it at LAFF who were blown away. Not to mention the raves it received out of Cannes.

  • 41 7-04-2011 at 2:46 pm

    m1 said...

    I personally think that The Descendants will win.

  • 42 7-04-2011 at 2:49 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Drew: Just to correct the record there, I don’t think people were “upset” with The Social Network winning everything as much as they were bored by it, and perplexed by the blanket approval of the film (which even the director found to be somewhat out of hand). The real vitriol came from those who defecated a brick once The King’s Speech began winning the industry awards and tried their hardest to tear it down and to belittle the Academy for going that direction.

    But I’m not having that conversation again.

  • 43 7-04-2011 at 2:55 pm

    Andrej said...

    It’s way too early to call this, but I think some of Winnie the Pooh’s songs could easily get nominated. And while we’re on the subject of animation, I’m putting my money on Rio for now. It’s the most Pixar-esque movie of the year, and I’m still very doubtful they’ll go for Rango with its paperthin plot and jokes. They could go for it based on graphics and art alone, but I don’t see that happening.

    Is Studio Ghibli’s Arrietty releasing this year to compete here or something?

    As for everything else… I’m putting my early chips on Jean Dujardin for now. He might get a roll with the critics a la Cristoph Waltz after his Cannes win. Some tech nods for ‘Dragon Tattoo’ could fall in place (hopefully Rez & Ross get a second nomination)… and I’d consider a few things for X-Men: First Class as well. If they’re still bent on not awarding Transformers because it’s not classy enough for them, they might as well go with the film most people can agree on. Or at least Thor, for that matter.

    War Horse is my default BP/BD prediction, but since The King’s Speech won last year, I’ll go with Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy as my darker themed alternative.

  • 44 7-04-2011 at 2:56 pm

    Brock Landers said...

    Oh yeah, what about Carnage. That’s gotta be in contention.

  • 45 7-04-2011 at 2:58 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    It’s listed in a number of the charts.

  • 46 7-04-2011 at 2:59 pm

    Ben M. said...

    Obviously it will all depend on the reaction to the movie, but I just don’t see Hugo as an player outside of the techs, after all I thought it was mainly going to be a children’s fantasy movie.

    If War Horse really is the big film of the year, I hope it wins picture, director, cinematography, art direction, and sound mixing; since those would match the five Tonys the play won last month and would be great for future trivia.

  • 47 7-04-2011 at 3:23 pm

    Chatter said...

    I thought Knightley was lead.

  • 48 7-04-2011 at 3:28 pm

    John G said...

    As usual, the Supporting Actor field is what I’m smiling at. Jim Broadbent, Christopher Plummer, Albert Brooks, Kenneth Branagh, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and maybe Jonah Hill? Hell yeah.

  • 49 7-04-2011 at 3:36 pm

    Drew said...

    Don’t want to have that conversation? Fine Kris. It’s more than understandable. But I’ll just say that I think Fincher was more overwhelmed by the success and too humble of a person to acknowledge what was hapenning. In case of it getting unfortunatley derailed, there were plenty who wanted to take Social Network down before the King’ S-p-p-p-peech started winning things. And while I respect the efforts of those involed in the latter, there is no way you can tell me that movie even deserved to be in the top ten that year.

    Back to this years race, I’m thinking War Horse will probably win everything. Lets say it wins the film equivalents of what the play earned; best play-best picture, best director-obviously best director, best scenic design-best art direction, best ligthing design-cinematography (though a friend of mine who both edits and does lighting design feels that lighting is somewhat similar to editing) best sound design-sound mixing and editing. Pretty good numbers right there that are all logical outcomes

    By the way, are either of the writers at incontention theater goers at all?

  • 50 7-04-2011 at 3:39 pm

    Stefan said...

    @Andrej: I guess you miss how critically acclaimed Rango was.

    For some odd reason, Disney is releasing Arriety in 2012. I personally think it might have a good shot at winning, if they released it this year. But, oh, well.

  • 51 7-04-2011 at 3:43 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Drew: I look forward to seeing The Social Network top everyone’s best of the decade list in 10 years, since it was so far and away the best thing since sliced bread last year.

    In any case, I don’t need to convince you of anything. The King’s Speech was on a lot of top 10 lists, was well-respected by critics. Better Metacritic rating than a lot of the other nominees, in fact. It just, unfortunately, had to be held up in front of a firing squad before most would have been happy with the outcome of last year’s Oscar race.

    And yet, as I’ve stated over and over, I think The Social Network was far and away the better film. But I’m going to call out hyperbole and pettiness when I see it, and I saw it from here to eternity last year. And it was unquestionably heavier on the pro-TSN side of things.

    At least we can agree, from here, that War Horse looks like the 2011 heavy. I’d REALLY rather concentrate on where we’re dovetailing because 2010 will cause me to blow a fucking head gasket if I get into it yet again. Soul-sucking.

    (RE: the theater, I don’t go much in LA, but definitely check things out when I’m in NY.)

  • 52 7-04-2011 at 3:58 pm

    Drew said...

    Kris: Fair enough. I’m sure everyone was exhausted after last years race. And there is one point I will agree with you about in regards to the hyperbole. I didn’t feel that it was a ‘generational’ film in the way that Peter Travers found it to be. I felt that it perfectly captured a character type that is ever present in my generation and in a certain regard it did connect with people my age. And it had quite a bit to say that I agreed with. But I didn’t think it defined gen-y in a “Graduate” sense that I gathered from Travers review.

    I think it was more frustrating to me that in a year of great films that King’s Speech was the one they felt deserved best picture. But alas, it’s all cinema history to be digested and studied.

    Glad to know you check some live stuff out. I have some friends who are film fanatics who don’t quite get importance of the live aspect and what it adds to other art forms.

    Can’t wait for Book of Mormon tickets to go down :)

  • 53 7-04-2011 at 3:59 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    It’s been a while for me. Last one I saw was probably God of Carnage on Broadway. August: Osage County later in its run. Talk Radio with Schreiber. A few years, now. Need to get back, though.

  • 54 7-04-2011 at 4:04 pm

    Drew said...

    Gah! I envy you! That set for August Osage looked gorgeous. Last thing I saw was Reasons to be Pretty. Great show. I’m hoping to see Jerusalem before it closes.

  • 55 7-04-2011 at 4:06 pm

    Andrej said...

    Stefan: I do. It’s just that I don’t think that after awarding Pixar for four years in a row they’ll change lanes so drastically for something so non-Pixar as Rango. It’s not an universal film, let alone something for small children to fully enjoy or understand.

    Not to mention that I don’t really get the praise the movie gets. It’s outstanding in terms of character design, setting and effects, but there’s really little else behind it.

    Besides, it’s not like the Academy always follows the critical acclaim. The Social Network, for instance…

  • 56 7-04-2011 at 4:13 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Drew: Unfortunately Parsons didn’t perform that day, but her understudy was amazing.

  • 57 7-04-2011 at 4:15 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Andrej: It’s kind of in the same boat this year as Shrek was a decade ago. Incredibly pandering in some respects with winks to this and that, nevertheless built on a really engaging journey and hailed for its advances in the technical arena. Even Pixar couldn’t stop that 10 years ago.

    Granted, Shrek was a pop-cultural phenomenon, but I think we’ll be shorted that this year. And in lieu of it: Rango.

  • 58 7-04-2011 at 4:17 pm

    Maxim said...

    “Besides, it’s not like the Academy always follows the critical acclaim. The Social Network, for instance.”

    For once, I’d re-iterate Kristopher’s point: King’s Speech HAD critical acclaim.

  • 59 7-04-2011 at 4:51 pm

    Edwin Drood said...

    Considered posting my entire predix which I haven’t updated since April but will limit myself to commenting on yours :)

    6 of your best pics were on my list at that time (still are)

    “War Horse” MIGHT win everything in sight but it will be rough without any acting nods – maybe Emily Watson for supporting actress? Niels Arestup for supporting actor? Don’t know the roles well enough to make an educated guess but those two names stand out from the cast as names which might resonate with the voters…

  • 60 7-04-2011 at 5:02 pm

    med said...

    I see 5 actors in biopics this year:

    DiCaprio – J. Edgar
    Streep – Iron Lady
    Branagh – Week w/Marilyn
    Broadbent- Iron Lady
    Watts – J. Edgar

    Am I off somewhere???

  • 61 7-04-2011 at 5:29 pm

    Aaron said...

    Tilda Swinton is the greatest actor working today, but I’m just not seeing a nomination. She’s missed two years in a row. I just don’t think the Academy is very receptive to her work unless she’s starring in a film with George Clooney.

    I’m sensing a lot of talk this year will revolve around Michelle Williams and her Marilyn Monroe performance.

  • 62 7-04-2011 at 5:31 pm

    Rashad said...

    I found the notion of a chameleon searching for his true identity more intriguing, original and well done than a lot of Pixar films. If there was an award for best voice actor, Bill Nighy would be the winner

  • 63 7-04-2011 at 5:33 pm

    /3rtfu11 said...

    Guy planted the seed that I can’t uproot. Vanessa Redgrave is winning her 2nd Oscar this year. She’ll be the third woman in the history of the supporting actress category to do so. Both Shelley Winters and Dianne Wiest were nominated in the category three times from their double wins. This nomination will be Redgrave’s third in this category and seventh overall at the Oscars. She has Weinstein backing coupled with the recent deaths of her daughter, sister and brother– it shouldn’t matter but those things are taken into account when people fill out their ballots.

  • 64 7-04-2011 at 6:01 pm

    Andrej said...

    Kris: If it’s mostly about technical and artistic merits, then sure, Rango should win. My doubts come strictly from its plot, which I thought was vying too hard for pop-culture stardom with flat referential jokes and a pointless meta-character study. Shrek didn’t drift further from it, but at least it got an accompanying screenwriting nod, and I can’t assure the same for Rango. Plot considered, I think Rio is the better film.

    Besides, I think the early release date could hurt its chances, especially with Happy Feet 2 in November.

    But if anything, probably the Annies might be useful. With Cars 2 out of the picture, a favorite for the Oscars might rise from them.

    Maxim: Yes, it had. But Firth aside, it had little else to show off against The Social Network among critics, and that’s what I meant.

  • 65 7-04-2011 at 6:07 pm

    Loyal said...

    Ah, Social Network vs King’s Speech rears its ugly head. Sigh. ..

    I still think Fincher will have a strong showing this year, dark commercial material be damned.

    It would be interesting to see War Horse win this year because we have Lincoln leading the charge next year. 2012 seems infinitely more interesting (on paper at least) with films by Nolan, Spielberg, Jackson, Tarantino, and PTA, just to name a few.

  • 66 7-04-2011 at 6:21 pm

    Steven Kaye said...

    Midnight in Paris will be nominated for Best Picture. The Tree of Life will be quite rightly cast by the wayside.

  • 67 7-04-2011 at 7:05 pm

    Maxim said...

    Andrej, it seems like you are trying to convince yourself that you are right. I think that it’s important to remember that film criticism is not exactly a zero-sum game.

    So I guess the more accurate thing to say is that critical acclaim or lack of thereof was not the prevailing factor. Which isn’t the same thing.

    And Loyal, never trust anyone who announcess their “feel bad” credentials in advance. If Kris wants to say that Shrek was pandering then I don’t know what the word for this is.

  • 68 7-04-2011 at 7:21 pm

    Frank Lee said...

    It is quite hard to believe that five percent of academy voters will place “The Tree of Life” at number one. Many may admire it, even if they admire it as a noble failure (my own take on the movie), but I can’t see them feeling it is the year’s best film.

  • 69 7-04-2011 at 7:36 pm

    SC said...

    “War Horse” MIGHT win everything in sight but it will be rough without any acting nods”

    I could see them rustling up something in supporting, but then, Spielberg has never needed acting awards to get anywhere; I’m pretty sure he’s the only two-time Best Director winner to never direct an Oscar-winning performance (or if not the only, one of the only; if he were to win three of them, he’d be in a category with Capra, who directed two, and Wyler, who directed fourteen).

  • 70 7-04-2011 at 7:47 pm

    Andrej said...

    Maxim: You’re just implying things – I’m not trying to convince anyone anything. I never said The King’s Speech had no critical acclaim – but heading to the Oscars, they were all about The Social Network; yet the Academy didn’t support their trend.

    I don’t know if you need a third reading of my point of view, but whatever.

  • 71 7-04-2011 at 7:49 pm

    Andrej said...

    *The Academy didn’t answer to their trend.

    That’s better. Apologies.

  • 72 7-04-2011 at 8:33 pm

    Maxim said...

    Andrej, I don’t need another reading of anything you write. You just need to grow up.

    You went from:

    “Besides, it’s not like the Academy always follows the critical acclaim. The Social Network, for instance…”

    To:
    “Yes it had. But Firth aside, it had little else to show off against The Social Network among critics, and that’s what I meant.”

    The latter is your own personal opinion. King’s Speech was praised for a more than just Firth’s performance. Clearly, plenty of people thought so too, or they wouldn’t have awarded King’s Speech DGA, PGA, Directing Oscar and other awards and other awards.

  • 73 7-04-2011 at 8:38 pm

    Maxim said...

    “I’m pretty sure he’s the only two-time Best Director winner to never direct an Oscar-winning performance.”

    And, considering he’s one of the best (if not the best, considering the range of his works) directors of actors out there than the only explanation is that Academy is simply afraid of giving one man so much recognition. That happens a lot to peple who achieve a great measure of success in one field – there’s always that one area they are routinely denied.

    That or they think the performances are so uniformly excellent they can’t single anyone out.

    I’m sure this trend won’t continue indefinitely though.

  • 74 7-04-2011 at 9:34 pm

    Andrej said...

    Maxim: You miss the keyword in my two statements: CRITICS.

    Yes, I know TKS was very well-reviewed in many areas by many critics, though when it was about their OWN awards, all TKS had was Best Actor and/or Best Original Screenplay, as they went for TSN for Best Film… for over 30 times.

    The DGAs, PGAs, SAGs, the Academy and the other guilds? They’re not critics. That’s why I said “they don’t always go by the critics’s trends”. They didn’t go for TSN for BD/BP after all the early awards the critics gave it ahead of TKS.

    Apply the scenario for Rango’s popularity among critics and you have my opinion about its chances of winning Best Animated Feature at next year’s Oscars. Though honestly, I’ll just go out and say that you’ve forgotten about it by this point, since you’re so adamant in proving yourself right by still dragging a six month old (dead) debate of TKS vs. TSN, complete with a “you need to grow up”.

    Thanks for the tip, stranger on the internet, though I don’t know what I did to deserve it. :-/

  • 75 7-04-2011 at 10:24 pm

    Matthew Starr said...

    Way too early for me to think about this, I don’t know how you guys do it.

    I will make one prediction though. All ten best picture nominees will be released between September 1 and December 31.

  • 76 7-04-2011 at 10:26 pm

    Matthew Starr said...

    I meant all the best picture nominees as obviously there may not be ten. In fact I would bet there will definitely be less than ten.

  • 77 7-04-2011 at 10:41 pm

    Maxim said...

    I think we are looking at 6-8 nominations (and 5 might make them look foolish). I will also go on record as predicting Tintin to be among the best picture nominees. Regardless of where it’s eligible it will be the likely animated contender.

    It seems to be a very undervalued pick but I think it will be popular enough.

  • 78 7-04-2011 at 10:41 pm

    Chris138 said...

    You really think there will end up being 10 nominees this year? I know it’s way early to tell these kinds of things, but I keep thinking that perhaps now that they changed the rules there won’t be as many slots to fill as was necessary these past couple of years.

    And maybe this could be another year where Malick and Spielberg are going at it for Best Director again, with the latter having a much greater chance at actually winning.

  • 79 7-04-2011 at 11:41 pm

    cineJAB said...

    didn’t Tin Tin drop the unicorn part?

  • 80 7-04-2011 at 11:43 pm

    seasondays said...

    I cannot believe no one has comment on the fact that KRIS did not pick LUBESKI as his predicted winner in the best cinematography category…

    if the TREE OF LIFE has a chance of winning something is in that category.

  • 81 7-05-2011 at 12:16 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Chris: Just predicting 10 for now to keep it at a round number. I’ll wait until I see the films to start deciding whether the year is poor enough for less.

    cineJAB: Nope, just shortened it for some marketing.

  • 82 7-05-2011 at 2:46 am

    julian said...

    I think you chose wise in including Plummer for Best supporting actor. He will surely be in contention come oscar-time (and rightly so, unlike his stale performance in that Tolstoy oddity…)
    If the trailer is anything to go by, yes, surely War Horse seems to be season fodder. But..damn…it looks unbearably saccharine….the clever casting of Niels Arestrup being the only redeeming thing about it, really. I think Midnight In Paris will be in contention for all the major prizes as well, not least original screenplay, as you wisely recognize. I mean, it is Woody, after all. But with a healthy box office showing and good reviews I think MIP could snatch a best picture top 10 as well as supporting actor/actress slots.
    Furthermore; it is really interesting to see how far The Tree Of Life can take it this season. It is up against titans, for sure, but I still believe Malick (on reputation alone) will get a nomination for direction.

  • 83 7-05-2011 at 3:25 am

    Michael said...

    Does anyone know if The Wettest County in the World is coming out this year or not? Is it a Weinstein film?

  • 84 7-05-2011 at 4:25 am

    Mark said...

    Come Oscar time 2012 it will be 13 years since Spielberg won his last Best Director Oscar. If he doesn’t win for War Horse he definitely will for Lincoln. He’s due, and that’s how the Oscars usually work. Who could resist seeing Spielberg back up on the podium with another Director Oscar? In fact it’s a foregone conclusion Spielberg will win for Lincoln, so he’ll probably be passed over this year for Fincher, who EVERYBODY realises should have won this year.

  • 85 7-05-2011 at 4:28 am

    tony rock said...

    The Artist isn’t happening. Or, at the very least, star and director are not getting nominated for it. I’d consider giving more to Ides of March (all about political corruption…hugely relevant) and Dragon Tattoo. It looks like another Fincher epic.

  • 86 7-05-2011 at 4:43 am

    m1 said...

    “[Spielberg] is due.”

    For what? He has three Oscars already!

  • 87 7-05-2011 at 4:45 am

    Mark said...

    “For what? He has three Oscars already!”

    But only two for directing. Hollywood won’t be able to resist giving him a third.

  • 88 7-05-2011 at 5:10 am

    m1 said...

    “Hollywood won’t be able to resist giving him a third.”

    cough popularity contest cough.

  • 89 7-05-2011 at 5:19 am

    Mark said...

    “cough popularity contest cough.”

    That’s exactly what the Oscars are. They’re not a serious analysis of the most artistic films of the year. That’s why Fincher lost to Hooper. Hooper toured the circuit, smiled, posed for photographs, played the game. Fincher didn’t.

  • 90 7-05-2011 at 5:29 am

    Michael W. said...

    If War Horse catches on with the guilds. Which is all it needs really. I have a very hard time seeing it being the critics darling but can definitely see it going from contender to front runner when the guild awards have been awarded.

    And if so I don’t see how they can pass on Spielberg just because he has Lincoln next year. So maybe it will be two in a row! :D

    The only thing is though, both times Spielberg has won his film was also the critics’ darling. I really look forward to War Horse but I don’t think it will be a Schindler or Ryan.

    But we’ll se what happens.

  • 91 7-05-2011 at 5:32 am

    Michael W. said...

    my first post came out wrong. I’ll try again:

    If War Horse catches on with the guilds. Which is all it needs really, I don’t see how they can pass on Spielberg just because he has Lincoln next year. So maybe it will be two in a row! :D

    I have a very hard time seeing it being the critics darling but can definitely see it going from contender to front runner when the guild awards have been awarded.

    The only thing is though, both times Spielberg has won his film was also the critics’ darling. I really look forward to War Horse but I don’t think it will be a Schindler or Ryan.

    But we’ll se what happens.

  • 92 7-05-2011 at 6:08 am

    Loyal said...

    I do wonder if even a single pundit will correctly guess the Best Picture line-up, the odds are against it. That alone should make Oscar nomination morning fun.

    As for whether Spielberg is due, I think he is. He’s still very much the face of Hollywood for many people. He has a likability that escapes other mega-directors like Cameron (though if you read ‘The Men Who Would Be King’ your opinion on Spielberg could change), and 2011 is shaping up to be an incredible year for him.

  • 93 7-05-2011 at 6:11 am

    JJ1 said...

    I envision abut 8, maybe 9 nominees; only because, since so much discussion was about ‘Winter’s Bone’, ‘The Kids are All Right’, or 2009′s ‘A Serious Man’ (which I loved ) getting in … then maybe The Powers That Be know that only 8 or 9 had the most percentage while a Winter’s Bone/Kids are All Right/A Serious Man (2009) was just a placeholder vying for 10th with a plethera of others.

  • 94 7-05-2011 at 6:15 am

    JJ1 said...

    It appears to me – statistically – that 8 or so would have the necessary percentage unless it was a very strange year.

  • 95 7-05-2011 at 6:52 am

    Frank said...

    Kris,

    So your gut is telling you that Brad Pitt gets no love for either of his performances this year? I’m expecting (hoping) he gets in for Tree of Life, especially if Moneyball (and his performance in it) play well.

    It’d be ashame if he doesn’t. With one of the better performances of the last few years (Jesse James) and one of the most inconic of at least the last two decades (Tyler Durden), the guy does seem to get overlooked.

    And that doesn’t even account for Babel, which every other actor in the cast somehow seemed to get nominated for. Plus shouldn’t he get some good will for his great comic supporting perfs in Inglorious Basterds and Burn After Reading.

    He’s not Gary Oldman-overdue, but the guy is still deserving of some more love from the Academy.

  • 96 7-05-2011 at 7:08 am

    hlime said...

    I am gonna try and predict the four acting winners, just for fun:

    Michelle Williams – My Week With Marilyn
    Gary Oldman – Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
    Christopher Plummer – Beginners
    Keira Knightley – A Dangerous Method

  • 97 7-05-2011 at 7:10 am

    hlime said...

    And 8 best picture nominees:

    The Artist
    The Descendants
    The Ides of March
    J. Edgar
    Super 8
    Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
    The Tree of Life
    War Horse

  • 98 7-05-2011 at 7:22 am

    Mark said...

    No way Super 8 gets a BP nom, especially after its disappointing BO returns.

  • 99 7-05-2011 at 8:27 am

    Michael W. said...

    I just realized that both Spielberg and Clooney could potentially get 5 noms each!

    Spielberg for:
    Picture (War Horse, Super 8, Tintin)
    Director: War Horse
    Animated film: Tintin (if eligible?)

    Clooney for:
    Picture (The Ides of March)
    Actor (The Descendants)
    Sup. actor (The Ides of March) (or is he lead?)
    Director, adapted screenplay (The Ides of March)

    It will not happen. But a fun idea none the less :D

  • 100 7-05-2011 at 9:23 am

    John G said...

    I think Benedict Cumberbatch may be War Horse’s acting nominee. He’s a rising star with Tinker Tailor and the Hobbit on the way; it may be a “welcome to the club” kind of thing. Don’t know if his role is the baity one or not though.

  • 101 7-05-2011 at 9:37 am

    JJ1 said...

    Super 8 may not get in, but disappointing box office?

    It’ll probably end up between 120-130 million domestic, if not more. And it’s doing well overseas. The budget was only $50 million.

  • 102 7-05-2011 at 10:36 am

    Mark said...

    Yes, but it was pegged as one of the big summer blockbusters, from the director of Star Trek and Steven Spielberg. It will make its money back, but in terms of positioning Abrams as the next Spielberg it’s a disappointment. Bridesmaids is a bigger financial success. $100 million is not the benchmark it used to be, especially now there are so many screens compared to 2o years ago. I’d be very surprised if it got a Best Pic nom with the mixed reviews and lacklustre box office. Abrams is well liked in the industry though so you never know.

  • 103 7-05-2011 at 10:42 am

    Juan said...

    So Kris no faith at all for A Dangerous method

  • 104 7-05-2011 at 10:47 am

    Evan said...

    I’ve already heard disappointing reviews of My Week With Marilyn and the Descendants. Just saying.

    Thanks for the predix though, Kris. Let’s get this season crackin’!

  • 105 7-05-2011 at 11:04 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Juan: Cronenberg isn’t exactly an Academy sort. And this material could simply be too kinky at the end of the day. One or two performances and maybe a screenplay nod seem right, but of course, I’d rather see the film before making any such assumptions. None of this is about not having faith. It’s just a wild guess on how the race might unfold from afar. That’s all.

  • 106 7-05-2011 at 11:53 am

    Xavi Rodriguez said...

    “The Artist isn’t happening. Or, at the very least, star and director are not getting nominated for it.”

    The reviews and the glowing impact is here. A friend told me this about “the Artist” after saw it in Cannes: “Most of the excepticism came back for the fact this film is foreign production (From France), but trust me, if this was an American/Hollywood production, it wouldn’t be any doubt of the impact by the Oscars: Great and really warm story, a good direction and resemblance for the old Hollywood”. Also, in Awards Daily made a great points about “The Artist” prospects -Even a possible warm feeling like “Slumdog Millionaire”-.

    For J. Edgar, I have a feeling Leonardo DiCaprio isn’t too likely for winning than many people expected. He’s not the “golden boy” in Hollywood like others thought. He’s snubbed at least three times (Titanic, Catch me if you Can and Revolutionary Road). He’s only second just in 2004 (Even when Foxx was unstoppable) and was nominated for the wrong performance in 2006. Also, Eastwood hasn’t a recent good track. It could be a hit or miss.

    *Picture: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. Alt: The Ides of March

    There are few reviews from TIM and they said it was wonderful but dark. But I’ll go this time with TTSS especially after I saw the trailer.

    *Director: David Fincher. Alt: George Clooney

    Ditto

    *Actor: Ryan Gosling. Alt: Jean Dujardin or Gary Oldman

    If not DiCaprio, I have a good feeling for Gosling. Three excellent proyects: Drive (A great success in Cannes), Crazy, Stupid, Love (Possible Box Office hit) and TIM (Critics and associations love). Also his age is perfect for the younger actor winners. For runner up; Oldman has the overdue status (And even another Christian Bale narrative) or Dujardin warm response (Also European bloc by the AMPAS)

    Actress: Meryl Streep. Alt: Rooney Mara

    Maybe we failed again, but I think this time, La Streep has the best chances. There’s no overdue actress (Winslet) or a big Hollywood star with a great year (Bullock). If Close and her film will release in 2011, then, Streep will have a bigger competition, but right now, only an ingenue Mara is the biggest contender

    Supporting Actor: Kenneth Branagh. Alt: Albert Brooks.

    Both actors are veterans. Both are really respected. Branagh played an stage and film icon like Olivier, but Brooks molds in a perfect villain (With the trifeca Bardem, Ledger and Waltz)

    Supporting Actress: Vanessa Redgrave. Alt: Keira Knightley or Viola Davis

    Vanessa Redgrave have the status, the reviews, the perfect role and the narrative (Even her family tragedies) for the AMPAS. If Knightley goes in the supporting category, she could really win. Davis’ chances depends for the success of the film.

  • 107 7-05-2011 at 11:54 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Sigh,Roadside decided to pick up Albert Nobbs today, and since it’s so close to my predix update, and seeing as I feel it will get a nod or two, I’ll be updating again later today.

  • 108 7-05-2011 at 12:27 pm

    John G said...

    Kenneth Branagh could be only the second winner to win for playing a previous winner.

    The only other time this has happened was when Cate Blanchette won in 2004 for playing Katherine Hepburn.

  • 109 7-05-2011 at 12:57 pm

    Sawyer said...

    I think 2 films’ chances are being underrated at this point – Albert Nobbs and On the Road. I know Nobbs is waiting on distribution, but considering Close is starring and co-wrote the screenplay, I think the Academy could embrace her “comeback” big time. Salles was close with The Motorcycle Diaries, and if this interpretation of one of the most-revered books of the 20th century is good, it will be hard to deny.

    My BP pics (I have 8):
    Albert Nobbs
    The Descendants
    Extremely Loud
    Hugo
    J. Edgar
    On the Road
    The Tree of Life
    War Horse

  • 110 7-05-2011 at 12:59 pm

    Sawyer said...

    Here’s my bold prediction: if Michelle Williams is as great in Marilyn as she has been the last few years, the Oscar is hers.

  • 111 7-05-2011 at 1:35 pm

    Drew said...

    My predictions

    Best Picture: War Horse
    Best Director: The Beard
    Best Actor: Oldman
    Best Actress: Streep
    Best Supporting Actor: Plummer (A vet that everyone loves and there’s plenty of gay pride to help his chances. GO NEW YORK! Very proud to be from that state recently)
    Best Supporting Actress: Redgrave
    Adapted Screenplay: Extemley Loud
    Original Screenplay: The Artist
    Foreign Feature: The Artist (not sure if this one qualifies, but I imagine it would own this category if it did)
    Animated Feature: Tin Tin (I have a feeling that some magical loophole will help this one get in. And spielberg will become the first director, as far as I know, to win two best feature prizes in the same year)
    Score: Warhorse
    Cinematography: Warhorse
    Art direction: Hugo
    Costume design: Hugo
    Make-up: J. Edgar (just a guess since I’m assuming there will be some work to make dicaprio and others look older)
    Visual effects: Transformers (yeah I said it)
    Editing: Warhorse
    Sound mixing: Warhorse
    Sound editing: Warhorse

    Those are my predictions from a far. If Dragon tattoo does get in I think ti will end the same way True Grit did last season. A bigger then expected commercial hit with a number of nods but leaves empty handed. And I wouldn’t be shocked if they campaigned Mara for supporting instead of lead.

  • 112 7-05-2011 at 1:52 pm

    ez6 said...

    Kris, you think that Hunter McCracken will be campaigned as supporting? His role seemed to me the lead of the film, but I know that young actors are often relegated to supporting in these races for whatever reason.

    Also, sad to see Kristen Wiig not among the contenders for Best Actress, though I agree that most would probably overlook her work.

  • 113 7-05-2011 at 2:02 pm

    med said...

    Kris,

    Do you see Close as a BA nominee now that it has US distribution?

  • 114 7-05-2011 at 2:03 pm

    Xavi Rodriguez said...

    I know the response for that, Kris, so I think right now it’s Close vs. Streep with Mara in a distant third place. Even if Roadside isn’t exactly a big studio, they made it with “Winter’s Bone” and “Biutiful”. Also Close is in excellent track. From her turn in “The Shield” until “The Lion in Winter” remake and finally her outstanding Patty Hewes (An iconic character in TV) from “Damages”. Also her history with “Fatal Attraction” and “Dangerous Liaisons” could help her. Too bad for them, because Close and Streep are such great friends. Maybe a tie? :P

    Nominees:

    Best Actor:

    1. Ryan Gosling, The Ides of March
    2. Leonardo DiCaprio, J. Edgar
    3. Jean Dujardin, The Artist
    4. Gary Oldman, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier. Spy
    5. Michael Shannon, Take Shelter
    Alt: Michael Fassbender, Shame or A Dangerous Method

    Actress:
    1. Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady
    2- Glenn Close, Albert Nobbs
    3. Rooney Mara, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
    4. Elizabeth Olsen, Martha Marcy May Marlene
    5. Jodie Foster, Carnage (Maybe too 1980s or she could go in supporting?)
    Alt: Charlize Theron, Young Adult or Michelle Yeoh, TheLady (We’ll know in Venice, but I heard great early responses for the film and her performance)

    Supporting Actor:
    1. Kenneth Branagh, My Week with Marilyn
    2. Albert Brooks, Drive
    3. Viggo Mortensen, A Dangerous Method
    4. Armie Hammer, J. Edgar
    5. Christoph Waltz, Carnage
    Alt: Tom Hardy, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy or Stellan Skarsgard, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

    Supporting Actress:
    1. Vanessa Redgrave, Corionalus
    2. Viola Davis, The Help
    3. Andrea Riseborough, W.E
    4. Mia Wasikowska, Albert Nobbs
    5. Marion Cotillard, Midnight in PAris or Contagion
    Alt: Keira Knightley, A Dangerous Method

    The only category which remain in question is supporting actress. Beside the top three, I have no idea which one and we need the confirmations from the studios.

  • 115 7-05-2011 at 2:06 pm

    mikhael said...

    I don’t know but I have too much hopes for Method or maybe I’m too excited to see it.

    I really think Daldry’s new film will be major player. He’s a 3 time nominee, the cast include 2 Oscar winners, the material is you know, and the script is written by Eric Roth. I don’t know what else to promote about this one. Will it hit the festival rounds this year?

  • 116 7-05-2011 at 2:15 pm

    med said...

    I don’t know Xavi, my recollection is that Kris had several reservations about Close being nominated but I could be wrong.

  • 117 7-05-2011 at 2:35 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Hopefully the latest post clears up my thoughts on that.

  • 118 7-05-2011 at 4:33 pm

    arjay said...

    I love early predictions. No shame in being wrong.

    For what it’s worth, I think you are overrating J Edgar, The Descendents (awful trailer), and underrating TGWTDT and Dangerous Method.

    I think Gary Oldman has to be a hot tip for best actor.

    The Descendents looks like the sort of quirky comedy that would have hit the right not about 5 years ago, but the moment is past. The trailer looked stale.

  • 119 7-05-2011 at 6:00 pm

    Maxim said...

    Mark, no one can view Super 8 as anything but a huge success. It’s a completely starless vehicle that pulls in more money than alien invasion powerhouse with much bigger budget.

    Not only that, it’s also got box office legs and will outgrow district 9.

    You are really really out of touch if you think that bringing an original property to over $100 million with no name stars is disappointment.

    Also, nobody is positioning JJ Abrams as the next anything. I am really sick of that. Whatever happened to being ones own man?

  • 120 7-05-2011 at 6:04 pm

    Maxim said...

    Also, Mark stop throwing “mixed reviews” at movies that got Good reviews. I don’t really care what your personal whiny online “critic” said.

  • 121 7-05-2011 at 6:06 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    “Also, nobody is positioning JJ Abrams as the next anything. I am really sick of that.”

    You were on a roll until that little nugget. Not true at all.

  • 122 7-05-2011 at 6:06 pm

    Maxim said...

    That and consider how Super 8 performed in relation to, say No Country or Departed.

  • 123 7-05-2011 at 6:45 pm

    DylanS said...

    Best Picture-
    “The Tree of Life”
    “A Dangerous Method”
    “Moneyball”
    “The Ides of March”
    “War Horse”

    Best Director-
    Terrence Malick “The Tree of Life”
    David Cronenberg “A Dangerous Method”
    Bennett Miller “Moneyball”
    George Clooney “The Ides of March”
    Steven Spielberg “War Horse”

    Best Actor-
    Michael Shannon “Take Shelter”
    Ryan Gosling “The Ides of March”
    Leonardo DiCaprio “J. Edgar”
    Gary Olman “Tinker, Taylor, Soldier, Spy”
    Viggo Mortensen “A Dangerous Method”

    Best Actress-
    Meryl Streep “The Iron Lady”
    Michelle Williams “My Week with Marlyn”
    Rooney Mara “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”
    Charlize Theron “Young Adult”
    Tilda Swinton “We Need to Talk About Kevin”

    Best Supporting Actor-
    Christopher Plummer “Beginners”
    Philip Seymour-Hoffman “Moneyball”
    Brad Pitt “The Tree of Life”
    Kenneth Branagh “My Week with Marlyn”
    Michael Fassbender “A Dangerous Method”

    Best Supporting Actress-
    Jessica Chastain “The Tree of Life”
    Vanessa Redgrave “Coralinous”
    Evan Rachel-Wood “The Ides of March”
    Chloe Moretz “Hugo”
    Keira Knightley “A Dangerous Method”

    Best Adapted Screenplay-
    “Moneyball”
    “A Dangerous Method”
    “The Ides of March”
    “Tinker, Taylor, Soldier, Spy”
    “The Descendants”

    Best Original Screenplay-
    “The Artist”
    “Young Adult”
    “The Tree of Life”
    “J. Edgar”
    “Midnight in Paris”

    Best Editing-
    “The Tree of Life”
    “Super 8”
    “Moneyball”
    “A Dangerous Method”
    “War Horse”

    Best Cinematography-
    “Hugo”
    “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II”
    “The Tree of Life”
    “War Horse”
    “Water for Elephants”

    Best Art Direction-
    “Hugo”
    “J. Edgar”
    “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II”
    “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows”
    “A Dangerous Method”

    Best Costume Design-
    “Hugo”
    “A Dangerous Method”
    “Captain America: The First Avenger”
    “The Artist”
    “Jane Eyre”

    Best Sound Editing-
    “The Adventures of Tintin”
    “Cowboys and Aliens”
    “Super 8’
    “War Horse”
    “Transformers: Dark of the Moon”

    Best Sound Mixing-
    “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”
    “Transformers: Dark of the Moon”
    “Super 8”
    “War Horse”
    “The Tree of Life”

    Best Score-
    “Super 8”
    “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2”
    “The Tree of Life”
    “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”
    “War Horse”

    Best Makeup-
    “Captain America: The First Avenger”
    “Green Lantern”
    “A Dangerous Method”

    Best Visual Effects-
    “Super 8”
    “Rise of the Planet of the Apes”
    “The Adventures of Tintin”
    “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2”
    “The Tree of Life”

  • 124 7-05-2011 at 6:57 pm

    m1 said...

    123-Only 5 Best Picture nominees? Very interesting predictions though.

    On another note, why is everyone underestimating We Bought a Zoo? Crowe’s very good with his actors and if history is any indication, he will be nominated for screenplay once again if the film is worthy.

  • 125 7-05-2011 at 7:04 pm

    Brian Duffield said...

    The Artist could be HUGE. The older crowd should eat that up with a spoon. Big dance numbers, cute dog, Oscah.

    I didn’t realize there was ANY big CG in Hugo? Hahaha.

  • 126 7-05-2011 at 7:11 pm

    Eric said...

    KRIS, if you didn’t find out already, but Albert Nobbs just got a U.S. distributor. Any chance of moving up that Glenn Close number?

  • 127 7-05-2011 at 7:23 pm

    arjay said...

    What chance Elle Fanning?

  • 128 7-05-2011 at 7:27 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Eric: Did you miss the early afternoon’s update or something??

  • 129 7-05-2011 at 7:28 pm

    DylanS said...

    m1: In regards to only predicting 5 for BP, I decided with the rule change that at this early stage, I’m going to keep it simple and make my life easier by only predicting five. Once we actually into the fall, I will likely expand that category out, but I always hated having to predict 10 films as it was.

  • 130 7-05-2011 at 7:32 pm

    arjay said...

    Victor Chandler Odds

    War Horse 6/4
    Extremely Loud 4
    Dragon Tattoo 9/2
    J Edgar 5
    Dangerous Method 6
    Week With Marilyn 7
    Tree Of Life 7
    Iron Lady 8
    Ides of March 9
    Albert Nobbes 10

  • 131 7-05-2011 at 7:36 pm

    Eric said...

    No, I just don’t feel like looking through all the comments and I rushed to tell you that I missed looking at the side. Sorry..

  • 132 7-05-2011 at 8:58 pm

    JJ1 said...

    From the little I’ve read on it (the film itself, reviews, responses, buzz, release date) … I also feel like “The Artist” could be the surprise of the Oscar Season (several major noms).

  • 133 7-06-2011 at 1:25 am

    Mark said...

    @maxim: Super 8 got mixed reviews. Check ‘em out. An original property getting $100m off a budget of $50m (plus marketing costs) is good, if Super 8 hadn’t been positioned as one of the big event movies of the summer. The marketing was a disaster, if you’re relying on secrecy and surprises you should really have something better than a Cloverfield monster to reveal. This is my problem with JJ, it’s all mystery and surprises… but the payoffs aren’t worth the teasing. Anyway i’m glad you liked the film Maxim, we’ll have to agree to disagree on this one.

    And as Kris said, JJ is CLEARLY being positioned as the next Spielberg (though how Mission Impossible 3, Star Trek and Super 8 are on a comparable cinematic level to The Sugarland Express, Jaws and Close Encounters of the Third Kind is beyond me…)

  • 134 7-06-2011 at 5:35 am

    JFK said...

    Kris, I like your early acting predictions, pretty solid thus far. Can I ask what your enthusiasm is for Theron in Young Adult though? While I can see Reitman getting some recognition, I don’t know that that role would be something to transform into an Awards campaign.

  • 135 7-06-2011 at 6:21 am

    Andrew M said...

    The only problem I have with predicting War Horse to win is that Lincoln is coming out next year, and will probably do very well.

  • 136 7-06-2011 at 6:33 am

    Loyal said...

    I’ve always wondered about that as well Andrew. Is there any evidence that voters look at things like that? “Well, Fellowship is the first of three films, we’ll wait.”

    In theory there’s nothing to say Spielberg couldn’t win BP for both War Horse and Lincoln. I think it’s unlikely but I’d need to look up some Oscar statistics before ruling it out.

  • 137 7-06-2011 at 8:53 am

    Red said...

    At first I thought Reitman’s Young Adult was going to be a major player, given his track record with the Academy and teaming up with Cody again, but Reitman’s been pretty clear lately that this will probably be his least likeable film.

    Not saying it won’t get any nominations, I think acting nods are still strong possibilities, but I can’t help but feel that this movie is going to disappoint a lot of people.

  • 138 7-06-2011 at 8:57 am

    Red said...

    I’ve been slacking on my predictions. I threw some charts up in March, but with only 3 films really changing things at Cannes, I haven’t had much motivation to update.

  • 139 7-06-2011 at 9:48 am

    Marshall said...

    No Dragon Tattoo or Carnage? Fincher and Polanski are big names … also, I don’t see any scenario where Daldry doesn’t get nominated.

  • 140 7-06-2011 at 10:20 am

    Sawyer said...

    The Descendants is being billed as the Clooney show, but Payne’s films are usually kind to the supporting players as well. I’m especially curious to see how Beau Bridges is used. With all the Jeff-love we’ve seen in the last couple of years, it might be time for Beau to have some time in the spotlight.

  • 141 7-06-2011 at 2:55 pm

    Michael W. said...

    “In theory there’s nothing to say Spielberg couldn’t win BP for both War Horse and Lincoln. I think it’s unlikely but I’d need to look up some Oscar statistics before ruling it out.”

    While both John Ford and Joseph L. Mankiewicz have won back-to-back Oscars for directing, no director has ever directed two best picture winners in a row.

    Funnily enough, for both of them their film failed to win best picture in the first year of their back-to-back director wins.

  • 142 7-06-2011 at 4:43 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Sawyer: I’m hearing Shailene Woodley is actually a bit of a revelation. She’ll probably creep up the charts this season.

  • 143 7-07-2011 at 8:35 am

    Tom said...

    Hi Kris, I know that you’ve listed TAKE SHELTER in several categories. Just curious if you saw the film at Sundance or Cannes, or whether this is based on what you’ve heard and read about the movie. Thanks.

  • 144 7-07-2011 at 1:50 pm

    Yogs said...

    The lack of David Fincher on your predictions is heartbreaking…
    Anyways, i’m going with “War Horse” this time, it has everything to get BP/BD easily. Also, i just hope that John Williams doesn’t get 2 “original score” noms, that would really divide votes (a la Geisha/Munich in 2005) and cancel his chances, and i really want to see “the big man” winning one more time.

  • 145 7-08-2011 at 12:11 am

    tony rock said...

    @Mark

    1. 81% on RT is not “mixed.”

    2. Super 8 was not positioned to be one of the bigger event movies of the summer. They were hoping for 100-150. That’s why it had a budget of only 50mil. Duh. Go to boxofficemojo and look at the consensus from a bunch of ppl who obsess over BO. All of them call Super 8 a big success.

  • 146 7-09-2011 at 12:23 pm

    JJ1 said...

    Super 8 is projected to have another impressive drop this weekend (nearly assuring 130 mill + domestic). And I see that it is still due to open on over 25 foreign markets across July, August, & September. It looks to do quite well.

  • 147 7-09-2011 at 12:48 pm

    Mark said...

    @tony rock: Hmm, if it wasn’t positioned to be one of the bigger event movies of the summer then why has it been pushed in our faces at every opportunity for the last year? It was only 2 weeks prior to release that there was revealed to be relatively weak tracking on the film and then Paramount immediately began to downplay expectations.

    Duh.

    50 mil plus marketing costs… It’s still not a big summer blockbuster. It’s a mild success. If the marketing hadn’t been so confused they could have been looking at $200mil + easily… will be interesting to see if Abrams falls back on directing Star Trek 2 now or he believes Super 8 is a big enough hit to carry on doing his own thing.

  • 148 7-11-2011 at 10:48 pm

    tintin said...

    Best Picture-
    “The Tree of Life”
    “A Dangerous Method”
    “Moneyball”
    “The Ides of March”
    “War Horse”
    “Harry potter and the deathly hallows part 2″
    “Hugo”
    “J.Edgar”

    Best Director-
    Terrence Malick “The Tree of Life”
    David Cronenberg “A Dangerous Method”
    Martin Scorsese“Hugo”
    Clint Eastwood“J.Edgar”
    Steven Spielberg “War Horse”

    Best Actor-
    George Clooney “The descendants”
    Ryan Gosling “The Ides of March”
    Leonardo DiCaprio “J. Edgar”
    Gary Olman “Tinker, Taylor, Soldier, Spy”
    Viggo Mortensen “A Dangerous Method”

    Best Actress-
    Meryl Streep “The Iron Lady”
    Michelle Williams “My Week with Marlyn”
    Rooney Mara “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”
    Glenn Close“Albert Nobbs”
    Tilda Swinton “We Need to Talk About Kevin”

    Best Supporting Actor-
    Christopher Plummer “Beginners”
    Philip Seymour-Hoffman “Moneyball”
    Brad Pitt “The Tree of Life”
    Ralph Fiennes(or Rickman) “Harry Potter and the deathly hallows part 2”
    Michael Fassbender “A Dangerous Method”

    Best Supporting Actress-
    Jessica Chastain “The Tree of Life”
    Naomi Watts “J.Edgar”
    Marisa Tomei “The Ides of March”
    Chloe Moretz “Hugo”
    Keira Knightley “A Dangerous Method”

    Best Adapted Screenplay-
    “Moneyball”
    “A Dangerous Method”
    “The Ides of March”
    “Tinker, Taylor, Soldier, Spy”
    “The Descendants”

    Best Original Screenplay-
    “The Artist”
    “Young Adult”
    “The Tree of Life”
    “J. Edgar”
    “Midnight in Paris”

    Best Editing-
    “The Tree of Life”
    “Hugo”
    “Moneyball”
    “A Dangerous Method”
    “War Horse”

    Best Cinematography-
    “Hugo”
    “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II”
    “The Tree of Life”
    “War Horse”
    “J.Edgar”

    Best Art Direction-
    “Hugo”
    “J. Edgar”
    “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II”
    “Water for elephants”
    “A Dangerous Method”

    Best Costume Design-
    “Hugo”
    “A Dangerous Method”
    “J.Edgar”
    “The Artist”
    “Jane Eyre”

    Best Sound Editing-
    “Harry Potter and the deathly hallows part 2”
    “Cars 2”
    “Super 8’
    “War Horse”
    “Transformers: Dark of the Moon”

    Best Sound Mixing-
    “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”
    “Harry potter and the deathly hallows part 2”
    “Super 8”
    “War Horse”
    “The Tree of Life”

    Best Score-
    “Tintin”
    “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2”
    “The Tree of Life”
    “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”
    “War Horse”

    Best Makeup-
    “Captain America: The First Avenger”
    “The iron lady”
    “A Dangerous Method”

    Best Visual Effects-
    “Super 8”
    “Rise of the Planet of the Apes”
    “Transformers 3”
    “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2”
    “The Tree of Life”