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Will Win: Argo --- It has picked up nearly every other Best Pic award in Tinseltown
Should Win: Silver Linings Playbook --- The best picture of the year. Despite the top-heavy noms, it will likely fall to Argo.
Could Win: Amour --- A critical favorite, pulls the heartstrings. But not a memorable here-and-now kind of movie.
Other nominees:
‘Beasts of the Southern Wild’
‘Django Unchained’
‘Les Misérables’
‘Life of Pi’
‘Zero Dark Thirty’

Will Win: Steven Spielberg --- How can the Academy go against their living legend.
Should Win: Ang Lee ---  He filmed the unfilmable.
Could Win: Michael Haneke --- Again, the Academy adores this film and may give it this extra statue.
Other Nominees:
Benh Zeitlin, ‘Beasts of the Southern Wild’
David O. Russell, ‘Silver Linings Playbook’

Will Win: Daneil Day-Lewis --- The man became Lincoln. Enough said.
Should Win: Bradley Cooper --- The performance of the year.
Could Win: Joaquin Phoenix --- He is mesmerizing, but his dislike of the award circuit doomed his real chance.
Other Nominees:
Hugh Jackman, ‘Les Misérables’
Denzel Washington, ‘Flight’

Will Win: Jennifer Lawrence --- She was amazing, amazing, amazing.
Should Win: Naomi Watts --- Her performance as a mother swept away in the Indonesian tsunami was breathtaking.
Could Win: Emmanuelle Riva --- Oldest nominee. Birthday is Oscar night. Just won a BAFTA. Could spoil the evening.
Other Nominees:
Jessica Chastain, ‘Zero Dark Thirty’
Quvenzhané Wallis, ‘Beasts of the Southern Wild’


Will Win: Robert De Niro --- Heartbreakingly hilarious.
Should Win: Alan Arkin --- He plays the Hollywood insider too well.
Could Win: Tommy Lee Jones --- It's TLJ for crying out loud.
Other Nominees:
Phillip Seymour Hoffman, ‘The Master’
Christoph Waltz, ‘Django Unchained’


Will Win: Anne Hathaway --- Someone calculated the votes wrong if she loses.
Should Win: Amy Adams --- She is brilliant as the outsider.
Could Win: Helen Hunt --- An Academy favorite in a very sexual performance.
Other Nominees:
Sally Field, ‘Lincoln’
Jacki Weaver, ‘Silver Linings Playbook’

Will Win: Wreck-It Ralph --- A hilarious and spot-on feature.
Should Win: Frankenweenie --- Touching beyond words.
Could Win: Brave -- It's Pixar. So, yeah...
Other Nominees:
‘The Pirates! Band of Misfits’

Will Win: Amour ---  No chance for anything else to win
Should Win: Amour --- See above
Could Win: Nothing --- See above
Other Nominees:
‘Kon-Tiki’, Norway
‘No’, Chile
‘A Royal Affair’, Denmark
‘War Witch’, Canada

Will Win: Amour --- The Academy loves this kind of script.
Should Win: Moonrise Kingdom --- A touching script.
Could Win: Django Unchained --- Tarantinto always has a shot
Other Nominees:
‘Zero Dark Thirty’

Will Win: Argo --- Has won nearly every script award so far and it comes in as a fave for the big award.
Should Win: Silver Linings Playbook --- Will go down as a classic script. Trust me.
Could Win: Lincoln --- The Academy loves historical scripts.
Other Nominees:
‘Beasts of the Southern Wild’
‘Life of Pi’

Will Win: Anna Karenina --- No other period film to match its grandeur.
Should Win: Anna Karenina -- See above
Could Win: Les Miserables --- A chance for this flick to sneak in here.
Other Nominees:
‘Mirror Mirror’
‘Snow White and the Huntsman’

Will Win: Skyfall --- Adele. That is all you need to know.
Should Win: Skyfall --- See above.
Could Win: Nothing else stands a shot.
Other Nominees:
“Before My Time” from ‘Chasing Ice’
“Everybody Needs A Best Friend” from ‘Ted’
“Pi’s Lullaby” from ‘Life of Pi’
“Suddenly” from ‘Les Misérables’

Will Win: Life of Pi --- Has picked up virtually every score award so far.
Should Win: Skyfall --- Breathless action music. Amazing.
Could Win: Anna Karenina --- Period piece with classical taste.
Other Nominees:

Will Win: Searching for Sugar Man --- Amazing Detroit doc.
Should Win: Searching for Sugar Man -- See above.
Could Win: How to Survive a Plague --- Liberal Hollywood might want to give another doc award to conservative bashing.
Other Nominees:
‘5 Broken Cameras’
‘The Gatekeepers’
‘The Invisible War’


Will Win: Inocente --- Cute, but serious.
Should Win: Redemption --- Very serious.
Could Win: King's Point --- Doc about retirement community issues.
Other Nominees:
‘Kings Point’
‘Mondays at Racine’

Will Win: The Hobbit --- Did you see those beards?
Should Win: The Hobbit --- See above.
Could Win: Les Miserables --- Period piece makeup.
Other Nominees:

Will Win: Anna Karenina --- The theatre-as-a-set thing was brilliant.
Should Win: Anna Karenina --- See above.
Could Win: Les Miserables --- Again, a period piece.
Other Nominees:
‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’
‘Life of Pi’

Will Win: Life of Pi
Should Win: Zero Dark Thirty
Could Win: Argo
Other Nominees:
‘Silver Linings Playbook’


Will Win: Life of Pi --- Beautifully shot.
Should Win: Life of Pi -- See above.
Could Win: Lincoln
Other Nominees:
‘Anna Karenina’
‘Django Unchained’

Will Win: Argo
Should Win: Life of Pi
Could Win: Skyfall
Other Nominees:
‘Django Unchained’
‘Zero Dark Thirty’

Will Win: Les Miserables
Should Win: Life of Pi
Could Win: Argo
Other Nominees:


Will Win: Life of Pi --- Astonishing effects
Should Win: Prometheus --- the 3D was beyond amazing
Could Win: The Hobbit --- They love Peter Jackson's WETA
Other Nominees:
‘Marvel’s The Avengers’
‘Snow White and the Huntsman’


Will Win: Paperman --- Nearly perfect, though very saccharine
Should Win: Paperman --- See above
Could Win: Adam and Dog
Other Nominees:
‘Fresh Guacamole’
‘Head over Heels’
‘Maggie Simpson in “The Longest Daycare”’


Will Win: Curfew
Should Win: Curfew
Could Win: Asad
Other Nominees:
‘Buzkashi Boys’
‘Death of a Shadow (Dood van een Schaduw)’
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Well, it is that time of year. Actually that isn't true. For years on end Oscar has made its nominees announcement one or two weeks further into January, but this past year The Academy decided they hated waiting for all the guilds and other awards shows to make their picks and award their winners before The Academy even got around to nominating people and films. So, in an effort to make themselves "more relevant" they pushed up the nominations window. This had three huge impacts. First, nominations began near the beginning of December. Several films, including some of the biggest and most anticipated, had not even opened at the theater. This means that some of the Academy voters didn't get a chance to see all of the films. The second impact was ending the nomination period before all of the guilds (especially the influential Directors Guild) had a chance to make their feelings known. This could result in the broader Academy and the member guilds having very different picks. Finally, this is the first time in decades that the Academy makes its nominations before the Golden Globes are handed out. This, again, could result in some diverging picks.

And this isn't even noting the new e-voting....

Two quick nomination thoughts before the list:

1) Two movies that hit it big were Beasts of the Southern Wild and SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK! Beasts is the little movie that could. It got a best actress nomination (including the youngest actress ever nominated), along with screenwriting and directing. Love it, love it, love it. And my personal favorite all along has been Silver Linings Playbook. SLP scored the sextuplet of nominations at the top. SLP has someone from ALL FOUR acting categories. SLP got a directing nod. And it got a Best Picture nod. This is a feat that has not been matched in more than three decades. And, in nearly every case (all but one in the history of The Academy), the film went on to win Best Picture.

2) Where are the big name directors? Sure, Spielberg got a nod for Lincoln, but Kathryn Bigelow didn't get a nom for Zero Dark Thirty. Tom Hooper didn't get one for Les Miserables. Ben Affleck didn't get one for  Argo. The chances of a film winning Best picture fall VERY dramatically when the film's director doesn't get nominated. In fact, it has been so long since a film won Best Picture without having its director nominated that it is considered a "death knell" for a film's chances.

So. On to the nominees. This will include the list of nominees in the top categories and my CURRENT thoughts on the CURRENT front-runners:

Best Picture:

"Beasts of the Southern Wild"--- Could be a dark house. Watch out SLP!

"Silver Linings Playbook" --- Not only is the my favorite, but getting a nod in every top category vaults it to the front.

"Zero Dark Thirty"

"Lincoln"--- Another dark horse. A historical Spielberg film has to be in the mix until the end.

"Les Miserables"

"Life of Pi"


"Django Unchained"


Best Director:

David O'Russell, "Silver Linings Playbook" ---- He has to be the frontrunner now with no Bigelow, Affleck or Hooper.

Ang Lee, "Life of Pi"--- Could be a dark horse because of the technical achievements in the film.

Steven Spielberg, "Lincoln"

Michael Haneke, "Amour"

Benh Zeitlin, "Beasts of the Southern Wild"



Best Actor:

Daniel Day Lewis, "Lincoln"--- Dark horse one because he becomes Lincoln.

Denzel Washington, "Flight" --- Dark horse two because he is simply amazing.

Hugh Jackman, "Les Miserables"

Bradley Cooper, "Silver Linings Playbook" --- Hands down the favorite for the moment.

Joaquin Phoenix, "The Master"


Best Actress:

Naomi Watts, "The Impossible"

Jessica Chastain, "Zero Dark Thirty"--- Dark horse one. She is very good; very versatile.

Jennifer Lawrence, "Silver Linings Playbook"--- Frontrunner. Not because of SLP's nomination haul, but because she is just that good.

Emmanuelle Riva, "Amour"

Quvenzhané Wallis, "Beasts of the Southern Wild"--- Who could say no to the youngest Oscar nominee ever?


Best Supporting Actor:

Christoph Waltz, "Django Unchained"

Philip Seymour Hoffman, "The Master"

Robert De Niro, "Silver Linings Playbook" --- He is irresistible here. Hilarious, infuriating, sad.

Alan Arkin, "Argo"

Tommy Lee Jones, "Lincoln"


Best Supporting Actress:

Sally Field, "Lincoln"

Anne Hathaway, "Les Miserables" --- She should have this in the bag.

Jacki Weaver, "Silver Linings Playbook"--- But SLP could run the table.

Helen Hunt, "The Sessions"

Amy Adams, "The Master"

2011 Emmys

Sep. 18th, 2011 12:26 pm
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Well, well, well....

It is that time of year yet again. Time for the pretty people on our small screens to pat each other on the back. That is right: It is EMMY time.

When it comes to picking winners for the Oscars, it more more of a mathematical calculation --- determine strength of the nominee, the pedigree of the nominee, the voting bloc for the category, the prior nominations and wins at earlier awards shows then throw in a pinch of gut to boot.

But the Emmys are a different breed.

See, the Emmys are creatures of habit. For example, see Mad Men. Don't get me wrong. Mad Men is a great, superb, awe-inspiring series. But it has won three years in a row for best drama. But was it THE best each year? No, but that matter not to the Emmy voters. They like to keep it in the family so to speak. That means that HBO will get a little extra strength than broadcasters. That means move stars get a little more support than small screen stars. That means that once you've won, you're likely to get a nomination (and likely a trophy) year after year.

That is what makes the Emmys such a tough nut to crack. Just because a series or star comes along that is bigger and better does not mean it will get the recognition is deserves. Having said that, I always like to make a guess. And, as always, I am more than happy to let it be known who should win. we go!

Outstanding Drama Series
‘Boardwalk Empire’
‘Friday Night Lights’
‘Game of Thrones’
‘Mad Men’
‘The Good Wife’

SHOULD win: Friday Night Lights
WILL win: Mad Men

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
Steve Buscemi, ‘Boardwalk Empire’
Kyle Chandler, ‘Friday Night Lights’
Timothy Olyphant, ‘Justified’
Michael C. Hall, ‘Dexter’
Jon Hamm, ‘Mad Men’
Hugh Laurie, ‘House’

SHOULD win: Kyle Chandler for Friday Night Lights
WILL win: Jon Hamm for Mad Men

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series

Kathy Bates, ‘Harry’s Law’
Mariska Hargitay, ‘Law & Order: SVU’
Julianna Margulies, ‘The Good Wife’
Mireille Enos, ‘The Killing’
Connie Britton, ‘Friday Night Lights’
Elisabeth Moss, ‘Mad Men’

SHOULD win: Connie Britton for Friday Night Lights
WILL win: Julianna Marguiles for The Good Wife

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

Peter Dinklage, ‘Game of Thrones’
Josh Charles, ‘The Good Wife’
Alan Cumming, ‘The Good Wife’
Walton Goggins, ‘Justified’
John Slattery, ‘Mad Men’
Andre Braugher, ‘Men of a Certain Age’

SHOULD  win: Walton Goggins for Justified
WILL win: John Slattery for Mad Men

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

Kelly Macdonald, ‘Boardwalk Empire’
Archie Panjabi, ‘The Good Wife’
Margo Martindale, ‘Justified’
Michelle Forbes, ‘The Killing’
Christina Hendricks, ‘Mad Men’
Christine Baranski, ‘The Good Wife’

SHOULD win: Margo Martindale for Justified
WILL Win: Kelly Macdonald for Boardwalk Empire

Outstanding Comedy Series
‘Modern Family’
‘The Big Bang Theory’
‘Parks and Recreation’
‘The Office’
‘30 Rock’

SHOULD win: Parks & Recreation
WILL win: Modern Family

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
Louis C.K., ‘Louie’
Matt LeBlanc, ‘Episodes’
Steve Carell, ‘The Office’
Alec Baldwin, ‘30 Rock’
Jim Parsons, ‘The Big Bang Theory’
Johnny Galecki, ‘The Big Bang Theory’

SHOULD win: Jim Parsons for The Big Bang Theory
WILL win: Steve Carell for The Office

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
Edie Falco, ‘Nurse Jackie’
Laura Linney, ‘The Big C’
Melissa McCarthy, ‘Mike & Molly’
Amy Poehler, ‘Parks and Recreation’
Martha Plimpton, ‘Raising Hope’
Tina Fey, ‘30 Rock’

SHOULD win: Martha Plimpton for Raising Hope
WILL win: Laura Linney for The Big C

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Chris Colfer, ‘Glee’
Eric Stonestreet, ‘Modern Family’
Ed O’Neill, ‘Modern Family’
Jesse Tyler Ferguson, ‘Modern Family’
Ty Burrell, ‘Modern Family’
Jon Cryer, ‘Two and a Half Men’

SHOULD win: Ty Burrell for Modern Family
WILL win: Ed O'Neill for Modern Family

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

Jane Lynch, ‘Glee’
Julie Bowen, ‘Modern Family’
Sofia Vergara, ‘Modern Family’
Kristen Wiig, ‘Saturday Night Live’
Jane Krakowski, ‘30 Rock’
Betty White, ‘Hot in Cleveland’

SHOULD win: Jane Krakowski for 30 Rock
WILL win: Betty White for Hot in Cleveland

Outstanding Reality Show

‘The Amazing Race’
‘American Idol’
‘Dancing With the Stars’
‘Project Runway’
‘So You Think You Can Dance’
‘Top Chef’

SHOULD win: The Amazing Race
WILL win: American Idol

Of course, there are other categories that involve miniseries and made for tv movies, but who cares about those? 

That is all...for this year... 

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Yep, it is THAT time of year again. Time for the Hollywood elite and their addiction therapists to step out from the shadows and into a primetime telecast!

Like last year's Oscars, there are again 10 nominees for Best Picture. But this year the Academy is using a variation of "preferential voting" to determine winners. That means the most number one rankings do not a winner make. In fact, the winning picture could, mathematically, be ranked as low as sixth on a majority of ballots and still come away a winner. I am sure that puts a lot of faith in the Academy!

Anywho, here is a list of nominees for each category followed by who SHOULD win and who is LIKELY to win. Because of the preferential voting, it is beyond impossible to say who will win, just who is most likely.

Oh, and I will also be live blogging the Oscars beginning anywhere from 4 to 7 (when the show starts), depending on my setup. So, here it goes:

"127 Hours"
"Black Swan"
"The Fighter"
"The Kids Are All Right"
"The King's Speech"
"The Social Network"
"Toy Story 3"
"True Grit"
"Winter's Bone"

SHOULD WIN:  Inception
LIKELY TO WIN: The King's Speech


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

SHOULD WIN:  Jesse Eisenberg
LIKELY TO WIN: Colin Firth

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

Jennifer Lawrence
LIKELY TO WIN: Natalie Portman

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

SHOULD WIN:  John Hawkes
LIKELY TO WIN: Christian Bale

Amy Adams, "The Fighter"
Helena Bonham Carter, "The King's Speech"
Melissa Leo, "The Fighter"
Hailee Steinfeld, "True Grit"
Jacki Weaver, "Animal Kingdom"

SHOULD WIN:  Jacki Weaver
LIKELY TO WIN: Melissa Leo


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

SHOULD WIN: David Fincher
LIKELY TO WIN: David Fincher


"Another Year," Mike Leigh
"The Fighter," Paul Attanasio, Lewis Colich, Eric Johnson, Scott Silver, Paul Tamasy
"Inception," Christopher Nolan
"The Kids Are All Right," Stuart Blumberg, Lisa Cholodenko
"The King's Speech," David Speidler

SHOULD WIN:  Inception
LIKELY TO WIN: The King's Speech

"127 Hours," Simon Beaufoy, Danny Boyle
"The Social Network," Aaron Sorkin
"Toy Story 3," Michael Arndt
"True Grit," Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
"Winter's Bone," Debra Granik, Anne Rosellini

SHOULD WIN:  Winter's Bone
LIKELY TO WIN: The Social Network

"Alice in Wonderland," Robert Stromberg; Karen O’Hara, Peter Young
"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I," Stuart Craig; Stephanie McMillan
"Inception," Guy Dyas; Lisa Chugg, Paul Healy, Douglas A. Mowat
"The King’s Speech," Eve Stewart; Judy Farr
"True Grit," Jess Gonchor; Nancy Haigh

SHOULD WIN:  Alice in Wonderland
LIKELY TO WIN: The King's Speech


"Black Swan," Matthew Libatique
"Inception," Wally Pfister
"The King’s Speech," Danny Cohen
"The Social Network," Jeff Cronenweth
"True Grit," Roger Deakins

SHOULD WIN:  Inception

"Alice in Wonderland," Colleen Atwood
"I Am Love," Antonella Cannarozzi
"The King’s Speech," Jenny Beaven
"The Tempest," Sandy Powell
"True Grit," Mary Zophres

SHOULD WIN:  Alice in Wonderland
LIKELY TO WIN: The King's Speech

"127 Hours," Jon Harris
"Black Swan," Andrew Weisblum
"The Fighter," Pamela Martin
"The King’s Speech," Tariq Anwar
"The Social Network," Kirk Baxter, Angus Wall

SHOULD WIN:  Black Swan
LIKELY TO WIN: The Social Network


"Barney’s Version"
"The Way Back"
"The Wolfman"

SHOULD WIN:  The Wolfman
LIKELY TO WIN: The Wolfman

"127 Hours," A.R. Rahman
"Inception," Hans Zimmer
"The Social Network," Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross
"The King’s Speech," Alexandre Desplat
"How to Train Your Dragon," John Powell

SHOULD WIN:  Inception
LIKELY TO WIN: The Social Network

"If I Rise" from "127 Hours"
"Coming Home" from "Country Strong"
"I See the Light" from "Tangled"
"We Belong Together" from "Toy Story 3″

SHOULD WIN:  "If I Rise" (127 Hours)
LIKELY TO WIN: "We Belong Together" (Toy Story 3)

"The King's Speech"
"The Social Network"
"True Grit"

SHOULD WIN:  Inception
LIKELY TO WIN: Inception

"Toy Story 3"
"TRON Legacy"
"True Grit"

SHOULD WIN:  Inception
LIKELY TO WIN: Inception

"Alice in Wonderland"
"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I"
"Iron Man 2"

SHOULD WIN:  Inception
LIKELY TO WIN: Inception


"Biutiful" (Mexico)
"Dogtooth" (Greece)
"In a Better World" (Denmark)
"Incendies" (Canada)
"Outside the Law" (Algeria)

SHOULD WIN:  In a Better World
LIKELY TO WIN: In a Better World

"How to Train Your Dragon"
"The Illusionist"
"Toy Story 3"

SHOULD WIN:  Toy Story 3
LIKELY TO WIN: Toy Story 3

"Day & Night"
"The Gruffalo",
"Let’s Pollute"
"The Lost Thing"
"Madagascar, carnet de voyage (Madagascar, a Journey Diary)"

SHOULD WIN:  The Lost Thing
LIKELY TO WIN: Madagascar...

"Exit through the Gift Shop"
"Inside Job"
"Waste Land"

SHOULD WIN:  Exit through the Gift Shop


"Killing in the Name"
"Poster Girl"
"Strangers No More"
"Sun Come Up"
"The Warriors of Qiugang"

SHOULD WIN:  Killing in the Name
LIKELY TO WIN: Strangers No More

"The Confession"
"The Crush"
"God of Love"
"Na Wewe"
"Wish 143"

SHOULD WIN:  Wish 143
LIKELY TO WIN: God's of Love

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Tonight I will live blog along with the Golden Globes. This annual affair, put on by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, is a freewheeling preview of the Oscars. But, there is a caveat. The HFPA is a very small group of "press" from small outlets around the world. There has been a deal of controversy as of late, with the HFPA declining membership to mainstream critics from larger papers and outlets in Australia, Europe and Asia. In fact, there have been some whispers of nomination and vote buying.

Still, the award show is a lot of fun. Tonight's host, Ricky Gervais, will have plenty of time to jab modern Hollywood. Of course, this evening is mostly about film. Winners get a "boost" going into Oscar season. But tonight is also about TV, as the Globes present awards to actors and shows.

So, tune in with me tonight starting just before 7 PM Central for all the fun.
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Here are my top 10 films from 2010...

10. Black Swan --- Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis star in Darren Aronofsky's "thriller"/psychological caper about rival dancers. More than a ballet movie, thankfully.

9. The Fighter --- Christian Bale and Mark Wahlberg star as half-brothers in this drama from David O. Russell. More than a boxing movie, thankfully.

8. The King's Speech --- Colin Firth stars as King George VI who seeks the council of a speech therapist, played by Geoffrey Rush. More than a stuttering film, thankfully.

7. Easy A --- Emma Stone knocks it out of the park as a teen who lets a little lie turn into a high school nightmare. More than a sex comedy, thankfully.

6. Never Let Me Go ---  A British drama based on the novel of the same name about the inhabitants and secrets of a "special" school. More than a period piece, thankfully.

5. Four Lions --- An insightful and funny look at terrorism. Yes, I just wrote that. More than bomb and jihad jokes, thankfully.

4. Winter's Bone --- A drama set in the Ozarks about a teen girl responsible for her impoverished family and felonious father. More than depressing scenery, thankfully.

3. Inception --- An all-star cast, including  the awesome Tom Hardy, star in Christopher Nolan's dream within a dream within a dream. More than a dream, thankfully.

2. The Kids Are All Right --- A surprisingly deft flick starring Julianne Moore and Annette Bening as same-sex parents whose teens want to meet their biological father. More than lesbian jokes, thankfully.

1. The Social Network --- After some serious back and forth, I have decided that the critics have nailed it: The Social Network, starring Jessee Eisenberg, about the founding days of Facebook is, in fact, the best film of 2010. With the sharp writing of Aaron Sorkin and the perfect direction of David Fincher, this film stands out from the crowd. More than just a self-centered billionaire, thankfully.
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Here are the ten films with the best chances of being one of the ten best picture nominees, according to the Oscar BuzzMeter. I have included a quick link to each film's IMDB page for reference...

- The Town
- HereAfter
- The Social Network
- Inception
- Shutter Island
- The King's Speech
- The Fighter
- Country Strong
- True Grit
- Conviction

Others that just missed the top ten include Black Swan, Toy Story 3, The Kids Are Alright, Love and Other Drugs, Never Let Me Go, 127 Hours, Blue Valentine, and Catfish.
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THE GHOST WRITER (Summit - Feb 17) Roman Polanski earned strong reviews for this Hitchcock-style drama in which Ewan MacGregor ghostwrites the memoirs of a former British Prime Minister played by Pierce Brosnan. It has a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 84% fresh  and did well by indie film standards. Oscar Chance: Summit will have to step up to the plate in order to revive it. Insiders at the distrib have special hopes for a Brosnan supporting bid.

SHUTTER ISLAND (Paramount - Feb 19) Paramount had initially penciled in this fine Martin Scorsese thriller starring Leonardo DiCaprio for last season’s awards race. But financial considerations led them to move to the very unfriendly Oscar territory of February. Yet it became the legendary director’s most successful film ever at the box office, earning $292 million worldwide and receiving good critical notice. Oscar Chance: The studio intends to campaign it and has already sent out screening notices to Guilds and Academy members. But it will be competing with Par’s two year-end entries True Grit and The Fighter for attention from the front office.

ALICE IN WONDERLAND (Walt Disney Pictures - March 5) Tim Burton’s take on the classic tale remains one of the biggest success stories of the year with a whopping billion dollar take at the worldwide boxoffice. Critical response was right down the middle with a 51% fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes. Oscar Chance: This would seem a natural  bet for the Golden Globes Comedy/Musical categories and lots of technical nods at the Academy, too.

CITY ISLAND (Anchor Bay - March 19) Andy Garcia’s finely-honed comic turn in this New York-centric family comedy could -- and should -- be remembered at Golden Globe time. Oscar Chance: Slim, but the tiny distributor has hired a PR firm to make sure it’s not forgotten. Awards pundits got a DVD in the mail this week.

THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO (Music Box - March 19) The first in the Swedish trilogy became the most successful foreign language release of the year and has created Best Actress buzz for star Noomi Rapace. Oscar Chance: Music Box will have to spend to reap rewards.  Problem is, Rapace has become so hot that she’s now filming the Sherlock Holmes sequel in England and likely won’t be around to promote the final chapter, The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest when it opens at the end of the month. She'll miss valuable face time in front of voters.

GREENBERG (Focus Features - March 19)  Focus has set up some screenings and includes it in their Academy ads. But it's not likely to give much support beyond that to this Ben Stiller/Noah Baumbach  passion project which never quite caught on the way they hoped. Oscar Chance: Uh, probably not.

HOW TO TRAIN YOUR  DRAGON (Dreamworks Animation - March 26) Rapturous reviews gave it a 98% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes placing it between Toy Story 3 and The Social Network for bragging rights. Top box office  doesn’t hurt, either. Oscar Chance: An animated feature nod is a given. But Dreamworks is aggressively going for the gold with this one, starting with a big DVD launch party next week to renew the fire. Suggestions of not only an animated  category nom but also Best Picture mean they dream big there. But is there room for two toons on that list of 10 which will include Disney's Toy Story 3?

PLEASE GIVE (Sony Pictures Classics - April 30) Writer/Director Nicole Holofcener’s quirky comedy was well received and sparked buzz of an Original Screenplay nomination upon its release last spring. But that seems to have faded. Oscar Chance: It’s still deserving as is Ann Morgan Guilbert’s nifty supporting turn as the tenant who just won’t die. SPC will be asking members to please give the DVD a play.

MOTHER AND CHILD (Sony Pictures Classics - May 7) Rodrigo Garcia’s multi-character drama came and went in theatres, so wisely SPC made sure the screener was the very first one Academy voters got this season. Oscar Chance: On the DVD box, they are suggesting Annette Bening for Best Actress but, great as she is here, there’s no way she gets it for this over the higher profile The Kids Are All Right.

IRON MAN 2 (Paramount - May 7) The first Iron Man in 2008 only landed nominations for Visual Effects and Sound Editing. Oscar Chance: Visual Effects and Sound Editing.

LETTERS TO JULIET (Summit - May 14) This chick flick did pretty well at the box office. Oscar Chance: Vanessa Redgrave was terrific in a supporting role. And, in a 14 month span during which she lost her daughter, sister, and brother, she could use some good news. Long shot.

ROBIN HOOD (Universal - May 14) Ridley Scott’s take on the legendary Robin Hood tale starring Russell Crowe opened Cannes and did better internationally than in the U.S. where it just barely crossed $100 million. Oscar Chance: Even Universal doesn’t think it has one. Maybe a tech category or two.

SOLITARY MAN (Anchor Bay – May 21) Michael Douglas received some of the best reviews of his career in this highly unsympathetic  role. Oscar Chance: There is a lot of good will for the cancer-stricken star. And Anchor Bay is making sure the DVD gets circulated to press who can remind voters of this performance. An indie spirit nomination is a definite possibility.

WINTER’S BONE (Roadside Attractions – June 11) A critical darling and surprise indie hit at $6 million and counting, this could be the sleeper awards success of the season. Oscar Chance: Roadside needs to do everything it can to put it front and center with critics groups who could champion it. Could be forced into the Best Picture race this year a la The Hurt Locker. With some precursor awards, newcomer Jennifer Lawrence could crack the tough Best Actress group.

I AM LOVE (Magnolia Pictures - June 18) A sumptuous showcase for Scottish Oscar winner Tilda Swinton who speaks Italian with a Russian accent and gets to wear great clothes. Oscar Chance: Italy killed the film’s chances for a Best Foreign Language nod by submitting something else. But Magnolia is going to try to put it into other races like Cinematography, Art Direction, Costumes, and Actress where Tilda’s awesome language feat could gain traction with her fellow actors.

TOY STORY 3 (Disney/Pixar - June 18) A worldwide smash and, with 99% positive reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, it's the highest rated movie of the year that isn’t a French documentary about Henri-Georges Clouzot. Oscar Chance: The frontrunner for animated feature and on just about everyone’s list for a Best Picture nomination as well. Is 3 the charm? Neither of the other two Toy Story's were around when the animated category was created. But the first one got a special Oscar for John Lasseter.

DESPICABLE ME (Universal - July 9) Call it the toon that saved Universal this year. It had strong reviews and great box office. Oscar Chance: In a field of five animated nominees, it’s a given. But if there are only three, its chances become one in a minion.

THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT (Focus Features – July 9) It's THE focus for Focus this year. They hope to turn this $20 million grossing movie about lesbian parents who encounter the birth father of their kids into that rare comedy that cracks Best Picture. Oscar Chance: Parlaying a Golden Globe Comedy/Musical win into a Best Picture nomination seems doable with screenplay. And acting nominations for Annette Bening and Mark Ruffalo very likely. The deserving Julianne Moore competing with Bening for Best Actress recognition could be a tougher sell in that overcrowded field. Both women are overdue.

INCEPTION (Warner Bros – July 16) Christopher Nolan was snubbed for The Dark Knight so will the Academy make it up to him for this audacious and original fever dream of a movie that has made three-quarters of a billion  at the worldwide boxoffice and inspired love letters from critics? Oscar Chance: How can voters deny this achievement even if they don’t quite get it? Best Picture and loads of tech noms while iffier is the always great Leonardo DiCaprio who has to compete with himself in Shutter Island for a Best Actor nod. Hey, he can dream can’t he?

THE CONCERT (The Weinstein Company – July 30) This French comedy sleeper surprised and delighted members who saw it at the official Academy screening. And they've been talking about it ever since. Oscar Chance: Not eligible for Foreign film, plus it didn’t hang around long and Harvey’s got bigger fish to fry. But it could turn up some place where you least expect it. Golden Globes, for sure.

GET LOW (Sony Pictures Classics - July 30) Nice-sized indie hit for SPC is now going strong in its third month and has special appeal for older voters. Oscar Chance: Robert Duvall is a good bet in the Best Actor race and Sissy Spacek might squeak into Best Supporting Actress.  Original Screenplay is possible together with a long shot shot for Picture if later entries fizzle.

CAIRO TIME (IFC Films - August 6) This quiet adult drama received nice notices for its talented star, Patricia Clarkson, in a romance about an ill-fated brief encounter set in Egypt. Oscar Chance: In a weaker year for actresses, Clarkson could have scored. But the competition is too tough and the film is just too small. Indie Spirits, anyone?

ANIMAL KINGDOM (Sony Pictures Classics - August 13) This tough Australian crime drama joined Mother and Child as the first DVD screener sent to Academy members this season, but its box office has been spotty. Oscar Chance: If those voters pop this thing in their DVD player, they will see a classic supporting actress turn from Jacki Weaver who deserves the recognition. (And the T-shirt SPC sent to bloggers promoting her performance.)

EAT PRAY LOVE (Sony Pictures – August 13) A bestselling book, some decent if not spectacular box office, and a starring role for Julia Roberts on global locations should add up to something worth awards attention, right? Well, she did get a Golden Globe nomination last year for the flop Duplictiy so... Oscar Chance: Pray.

LOVELY, STILL (Monterey Media - September 10) A small little gem of a drama about two old people who find romance near the end of their lives features brilliant performances from Martin Landau and Ellen Burstyn. They both deserve awards recognition even though the movie came and went without a whimper and has little hope of being seen by voters. Oscar Chance: Fortunately  Landau and Burstyn already have one.

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WALL STREET: MONEY NEVER SLEEPS (Twentieth Century Fox - 9/24) On paper, with its timely theme, this is exactly the kind of popular drama with an Oscar-heavy cast and director that the 10 Best Picture nominations would tend to favor. Well-received in Cannes last May, it still  hasn’t generated  the kind of serious buzz which fall fest entries like Social Network, The King’s Speech, and Black Swan all managed. Oscar Chance:  Bearish, since sequels rarely compete and Oliver Stone’s 1987 original received just a single nomination -- and won Best Actor for Michael Douglas. His bigger-than-life Gekko remains its best chance to jump in the race, particularly with goodwill for the actor running high due to his cancer and memories of his acclaimed work in the indie Solitary Man still fresh from earlier this year. Never-nominated Eli Wallach, 95, might have had a shot for his small but indelible role. But he’s already getting an Honorary Oscar in November.

NOWHERE BOY (The Weinstein Co - 10/8) This story of the young John Lennon opened last Christmas in England and has already hit British Airways and Blu-ray but is craftily timed for U.S. release the day before what would have been the musician’s 70th birthday. Oscar Chance:  Both female co-stars Kristin Scott Thomas and Anne-Marie Duff were BAFTA nominatees last season and might have a long shot in the Supporting Actress category if Weinstein does any sort of serious campaign for this.

SECRETARIAT (Walt Disney Pictures - 10/8) This emotion stirring crowd-pleasing story of the 1973 Triple Crown winner and the woman who wouldn’t give up on him could appeal to the same feel-good contingent that made The Blind Side such a player last year. Oscar Chance: Diane Lane and John Malkovich could figure in acting races. While sound, cinematography, music, and Best Picture nominations are not out of the question. If 2003’s Seabiscuit, which landed 7 nominations including the big one back when there were only five slots, could do it, then it should be a breeze for this horse. But Disney has to campaign just as aggressively as Universal did back then.

COMPANY MEN (The Weinstein Co - 10/22) There hasn’t been a whole lot of buzz on this John Well written and directed title since it debuted to mixed reviews in Sundance. But this of-the-moment drama about the effect of corporate downsizing on three men has a strong cast that includes past Oscar winners Ben Affleck, Tommy Lee Jones, and Chris Cooper. Oscar Chance: A longshot that needs to step up its awards game or risk downsizing to also-ran status against stiff competition.

WELCOME TO THE RILEYS (Samuel Goldwyn - 10/29) Fine acting from James Gandolfini, Melissa Leo, and Kristen Stewart highlight this drama about the effect that a young runaway has on a married couple. Oscar Chance: This quiet and effective drama was a Sundance success. But it's likely to be more prominent at the Spirits than the Oscars.

FAIR GAME (Summit - 11/5)  The hot button Valerie Plame/CIA leak story gets the cinematic treatment from director Doug Liman. It played well to critics in competition at Cannes in May but has been dormant on the Fall Festival circuit. Oscar Chance: It has two stars, Sean Penn and Naomi Watts, who are usually Academy bait. But so far neither is generating much heat in the highly competitive lead actor and actress races. Perhaps that will change when the film gets its second shot at glory just after election day. Of course, Penn already has a couple of Oscars.

FOR COLORED GIRLS (Lionsgate - 11/5) Except for the trailer, no one’s really yet seen this Tyler Perry adaptation of Ntozake Shange’s 1975 play with the longer title For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow Is Enuf. But apparently Lionsgate has enuf confidence to push the release right up to the start date of the film industry’s official holiday movie season. Oscar Chance: Perry’s a cash cow for Lionsgate but he’s got no Oscar cred yet except for an AMPAS membership card. Last year, this distributor scored 6 nominations and 2 Oscars with  Precious (which Perry supported by lending his name). But can lightning strike twice?

HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS PART 1 (Warner Bros - 11/19) The mega-box office Harry Potter series begins its wrap party with the first of a 2-part finale. Oscar Chance: These films are usually good for one or two technical nods but haven’t broken through into the marquee categories. If Harry has any shot at pulling a Lord Of The Rings-style victory lap, it’s probably with the more emotionally potent Part 2 which gets a July release.

THE NEXT THREE DAYS (Lionsgate - 11/19) Oscar-winner Paul Haggis co-wrote and directed this thriller about the turmoil in a couple’s life after the wife is accused of murder. Russell Crowe, Liam Neeson, and Elizabeth Banks star. Oscar Chance: Although Haggis and Lionsgate last struck Oscar gold together with Crash, this one is said to be a strictly commercial bet with no similar awards trajectory.

BURLESQUE (Sony/Screen Gems - 11/24) The trailer for this showbiz tale of a young singer (Christina Aguilera) who arrives in town and winds up working in some sort of burlesque club run by Cher looks like the movie wants to be Chicago. Well, that’s a lot better than trying to be another Showgirls, right? Oscar Chance: Let’s hope Cher and Christina have a duet.

LOVE AND OTHER DRUGS (Twentieth Century Fox - 11/24) This rare adult comedy from a major studio centers around a womanizing pharmaceutical salesman who falls hard for a free-spirited girl with early onset of Parkinsons disease. Director Ed Zwick delivers sex, drugs, nudity, and smart dialogue in a film that will do for Viagra what Social Network does for Facebook. Oscar Chance: A winning Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway in career-best performances should be high on any list. And the film is sophisticated and different enough to become a strong possibility in Best Picture and Adapted Screenplay, too.

TANGLED (Walt Disney Pictures - 11/24) A throwback to the style of Disney animated musicals like The Little Mermaid and Pochahantas. This tale of Rapunzel with all that blonde hair is given a contemporary twist and new Alan Menken songs. Oscar Chance: Eight-time winner Menken could go for a record-tying 9 with “I See The Light”. An animated feature nod is definitely possible if there are 5 slots this year. But it will be fighting for holiday season attention with MEGAMIND (DreamWorks Animation - 11/5).

I LOVE YOU, PHILIP MORRIS (Roadside Attractions - 12/3) Once embroiled in a nasty distribution battle, this Jim Carrey/Ewan McGregor comedy based on a true story was originally bought at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival  and already has  been  played out internationally. It is finally getting a long delayed U.S. release through its new indie savior Roadside Attractions. Oscar Chance: Start with a  musical/comedy Golden Globe nod and hope the never Oscar-nominated Carrey can then gain traction at last with the more difficult-to-please Academy.  

THE FIGHTER (Paramount - 12/10) This long time passion project for Mark Wahlberg chronicles the relationship between boxer “Irish” Micky Ward (Wahlberg) and the brother who helped train him (Christian Bale). Oscar Chance:  Could be a strong Best Picture prospect with both Wahlberg and Christian Bale prime prospects for lead and supporting actor respectively. Melissa Leo is said to be to rising to the top of supporting actress lists for her performance here.

THE TOURIST (Sony Pictures - 12/10) A thriller set in Venice with the superstar teaming of Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp should spell a huge holiday hit for Sony. Oscar Chance: Probably too much of a popcorn flick for much awards consideration, even though it reps the English language directorial debut of Oscar winning Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck whose The Lives Of Others won Best Foreign Language Film in 2006.

HOW DO YOU KNOW? (Sony Pictures - 12/17) Writer/Director James Brooks delivers this relationship comedy with an all-star cast, including Reese Witherspoon, Jack Nicholson, Paul Rudd, and Owen Wilson. Oscar Chance: Despite Oscar winners Witherspoon's and Nicholson’s presence, I am told Paul Rudd is the standout here. Best chance for the movie is likely at the Globes where it may duke it out with The Kids Are All Right and Love And Other Drugs for Best Picture Comedy or Musical.

COUNTRY STRONG (Sony/Screen Gems - 12/22) This dramatic country musical shows off the considerable singing skills of Gwyneth Paltrow, who stars opposite Nashville favorite Tim Mc Graw as a fallen star out to make a comeback professionally and personally. Oscar Chance:  Past Oscar-winner Gwyneth shows a different side of her talents here. But this year's overcrowded Best Actress race really doesn’t need any more applicants this year.

TRUE GRIT (Paramount - 12/25) The Coen Brothers' remake of 1969’s western hit is said to adhere more to Charles Portis’ original book than the John Wayne version. But it’s still the same story: a determined young woman enlists Rooster J Cogburn to track down her father’s killer. Oscar Chance: Wayne won an Oscar. But it’s really Mattie’s tale, so look for a possible supporting actress in newcomer Hailie Steinfeld.  Thankfully, the La Beouf role which Glen Campbell screwed up 40 years ago is now in Matt Damon’s hands. And reigning Best Actor winner Jeff Bridges takes on Cogburn. Never, but never, underestimate what the Coens are up to. So this could also be the rare western to make the Best Picture honor roll. No one has seen it yet, though.

ANYTHING WITH HELEN MIRREN IN IT: Helen Mirren stars in 3 more upcoming 2010 releases, so take your choice. RED (Summit -10/15) Bruce Willis and Morgan Freeman join with Mirren as an Over The Hill gang who do one last job. THE TEMPEST (Touchstone - 12/10) Prospero has made a gender switch to Prospera in director Julie Taymor’s wild take on Shakespeare’s classic. THE DEBT (Miramax - 12/29) Post-WWII thriller in the Munich mode co-starring Sam Worthington, Ciaran Hinds, and Tom Wilkinson. Oscar Chances:  Nice to see the great Dame is a workaholic. But based on festival buzz, don’t expect a return to the Kodak stage this year.

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The movies have been unveiled, the reviews are in, the bloggers have blogged, so what’s the verdict? Who’s in, who’s out, who’s hoping for a recount? With a surprisingly active Toronto Film Festival winding down to a halt, and Venice and Telluride becoming distant memories, let’s see where the movies that came in with Oscar ambition and hit one, two, or all three award contender-centric fests now stand at this key early juncture. 

THE SOCIAL NETWORK - Ironically, the one movie that perhaps generated the biggest buzz this week wasn’t at any of the Big Three. The Social Network stole the thunder from Toronto by beginning screenings for onliners in New York and Los Angeles before it opens the New York Film Festival on September 24th. Oscar Chance: It instantly became anointed a frontrunner for Best Picture.

THE BLACK SWAN - It took Venice by storm with one of the most enthusiastic opening night ovations in years. But at award time on the Lido it was virtually overlooked (except for a breakthrough honor for Mila Kunis). Top reviews and lots of awards talk followed at Telluride and Toronto, especially for Natalie Portman. Oscar Chance: Very much alive in key races including newfound frontrunner status for Portman in Best Actress. Big question is how will older voters react to film’s kinkier aspects?

SOMEWHERE - Sofia Coppola’s quiet character study won the top prize in Venice despite mixed reviews and some cries that jury president and Coppola intimate Quentin Tarantino played favorites. (Tarantino vehemently dismissed the criticism.) The film sat out Telluride and Toronto by design and will likely be held back from screenings until closer to its late December release. Oscar Chance: Still a bit of a mystery but may be too soft to make a dent. Coppola though is well-liked by her fellow writers and directors and Stephen Dorff is said to be quite good in it.

127 HOURS - Danny Boyle’s first effort since sweeping the Oscars with Slumdog Millionaire two years ago was generally met with favorable reviews and good buzz in Telluride followed by at least one standing ovation in Toronto. Oscar Chance: Strongest bet in Best Actor for James Franco. A longer shot in Best Picture as "Farewell to Arm" scene may be too much for some at the Academy.

CONVICTION - Middling reviews and lack of strong buzz in Toronto make this true story a long shot. Oscar Chance: Hillary Swank has a shot in Best Actress but she’s down the list in an exceptionally tough field. Sam Rockwell has film’s best shot in Supporting Actor. Juliette Lewis is also possible but role may be too small.

THE KING’S SPEECH - Strong outstanding period piece puts Harvey Weinstein back in the Oscar game big-time. Triumphed over all comers in Telluride with subsequent buzz seeing hundreds turned away in Toronto. Great reviews and a real crowd pleaser. Oscar Chance: A slam dunk for major nominations across the board and an instant frontrunner that should play right into Academy’s lap.

MADE IN DAGENHAM - Another British period piece that debuted in Toronto to good results and sweet reviews. Story about a group of female factory workers fighting for equal pay is very accessible entertainment. Oscar Chance: This may be Sony Classics' best shot to get into Best Picture, very Academy friendly film with acting noms possible for star Sally Hawkins and supporters Miranda Richardson and Bob Hoskins.

ANOTHER YEAR - Mike Leigh’s best film since Secrets And Lies didn’t win anything in Cannes in May and seemed to get mixed to excellent reactions in North American premieres in Telluride and Toronto. Those who like it love it. Oscar Chance: Leigh films usually go over well with the Academy but surest thing is the acclaimed performance of Lesley Manville. She should go for supporting where she'd have a better chance than in the overcrowded lead actress category.

THE TOWN - Ben Affleck drew pretty good reviews as an actor and especially director out of Venice and Toronto. Depending on how it does at the box office starting this weekend, it could follow a similar trajectory as its producer Graham King’s Oscar winning The Departed. Or not. Oscar Chance: Pedigree is fine but may be too much in the violent action genre. Strong performances could crack one of the acting categories, with Jeremy Renner the most likely possibility in support.

HEREAFTER - Clint Eastwood ‘s latest got mixed reviews out of Toronto. But Ebert and Corliss dug it and this likely will play better with the older-skewing Academy members who may relate to its themes of afterlife. The 4-time Oscar winner and Acad favorite is now 80 and, even though his most recent two films Gran Torino and Invictus got a grand total of just two noms between them, you can never count Clint out. Oscar Chance: Clint is still a force. May have an ‘afterlife’ following Toronto and upcoming closing night spot at the New York Film Festival.

RABBIT HOLE - Glowing reviews, especially for its three main actors -- Nicole Kidman, Aaron Eckhart and Dianne Wiest. Thursday’s news of Lionsgate’s quick pickup following Monday night’s Toronto World Premiere, and a planned 2010 Oscar campaign, make this biggest award season news to come out of Toronto. Oscar Chance: With a savvy push by Lionsgate and top notch performances and writing, this is suddenly a player in the marquee categories.

BURIED - Ryan Reynolds' tour-de-force turn as a man-trapped-in-a-coffin has been overshadowed by James Franco’s similar guy-trapped-in-a-cave in 127 Hours. But look for Ryan to catch up when this opens next week. Oscar Chance: Funny guy Reynolds going dramatic could be irresistible to his fellow actors if Lionsgate decides to spend some money campaigning for him.

CASINO JACK - Its on-again/off-again release is now on again courtesy of an ATO pickup at Toronto. Two-time winner Kevin Spacey has a new opportunity for top honors playing disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff with flair and humor. Oscar Chance: Indie film needs to grab attention against higher profile competition in December if Spacey is to squeeze into the race.

LET ME IN - Superb gloriously reviewed American remake of Sweden’s 2008 cult vampire coming-of-age flick Let The Right One In, this is actually better than the original. Oscar Chance: Reviews could help. But good as it is, this type of movie is not really Oscar fodder and Relativity probably knows that.

MIRAL - In its Venice and Toronto screenings, Julian Schnabel’s first film since his award magnet, The Diving Bell And The Butterfly, failed to excite. Oscar Chance: Dimming since Venice.

STONE - Entertaining but odd mix of styles make this movie difficult to peg. But the actors are enormously watchable. Oscar Chance: Long shot even though Milla Jovovich is seductively appealing. Robert DeNiro turns in his best work in a while but probably has as much chance of a Best Actor nod for this as he does for Machete and Little Fockers.

NEVER LET ME GO - Audiences in Telluride and Toronto liked this one better the more they thought about it. So all that lingering in the mind could improve it awards prospects. Oscar Chance: If it were a weaker year for actresses, Carey Mulligan would be way up there again. Andrew Garfield will likely be recognized for The Social Network instead of his equally fine work here. Rachel Portman’s haunting score should be a shoo-in nominee though.

BARNEY’S VERSION - Sony Pictures Classics' Toronto pickup of this Venice hit is a smart move and could result in some nominations. Oscar Chance: With a decent campaign, Paul Giamatti can make a Best Actor play and Dustin Hoffman is possible in support.

BIUTIFUL - Javier Bardem’s Cannes Festival-winning performance lost none of its power in Telluride or Toronto where the American reviews improved from their mixed bag status on the Riviera. Oscar Chance: Bardem for sure. Foreign film if Mexico submits it. Dark horse in Best Picture if voters don’t turn it off because its “too depressing”.

JACK GOES BOATING - Philip Seymour Hoffman makes his directorial debut and stars as a plain lonely guy who hooks up with a plain lonely girl in this quirkly comedy/drama reminiscent of 1955’s Best Picture and Actor winner, Marty. Oscar Chance: This isn’t 1955 and sorry Jack, but you’re no Marty. Strictly indie (as in Spirit Awards).

BLUE VALENTINE - Continuing its marathon festival journey from Sundance to Cannes (where it was 7 minutes shorter) to Toronto, Blue Valentine and its lead actors are still generating plenty of awards heat. Oscar Chance: Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams are definite contenders.

TAMARA DREWE - Sony Classics would love this in-house production to get some traction. But no matter how you slice it, it’s pure comedy and that usually has its best shot at the limelight at the Globes. Oscar Chance: Writers like to laugh, so maybe screenplay.

THE WAY BACK - Newmarket picked up this classically made Peter Weir adventure just as it hit its one and only festival, Telluride. They still haven’t announced an Oscar qualifying run for December. But it would seem a no-brainer for this January 21st pretty wide release. Oscar Chance: Fellow directors could go for overdue 4-time nominee Weir. And the cinematography is right up there with anything released this year.

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Here is a quick rundown on my Emmy predictions:

Best Comedy Series
Will win: Modern Family
Should win: Glee

Best Actor in a Comedy Series
Will win: Jim Parsons, Big Bang Theory
Should win: Jim Parsons

Best Actress in a Comedy Series
Will win: Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
Should win: Tina Fey, 30 Rock

Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Will win: Neil Patrick Harris, How I Met Your Mother
Should win: Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family

Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Will win: Jane Lynch, Glee
Should win: Jane Lynch

Best Writing for a Comedy Series
Will win: Modern Family
Should win: Glee

Best Directing for a Comedy Series
Will win: Glee
Should win: Glee

Best Drama Series
Will win: Mad Men
Should win: Dexter

Best Actor in a Drama Series
Will win: Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
Should win: Michael C. Hall, Dexter

Best Actress in a Drama Series
Will win: Julianna Marguiles, The Good Wife
Should win: Connie Britton, Friday Night Lights

Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Will win: Terry O'Quinn. Lost
Should win: Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad

Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Will win: Elizabeth Moss, Mad Men
Should win: Christine Baranski, The Good Wife

Best Writing for a Drama Series
Will win: Lost
Should win: Friday Night Lights

Best Directing for a Drama Series
Will win: Lost
Should win: Dexter

Best Reality Series
Will win: The Amazing Race
Should win: The Amazing Race

Best Writing for a Variety Special
Will win: 82nd Annual Academy Awards
Should win: The Kennedy Center Honors

Best Directing for a Variety Special
Will win: Vancouver 2010 Olympics Opening Ceremony
Should win: 25th Anniversary of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Best Variety Series
Will win: Late Night With Conan O'Brien
Should win: Late Night with Conan O'Brien

Best Miniseries
Will win: The Pacific
Should win: The Pacific

Best Made For TV Movie
Will win: Temple Grandin
Should win: Moonshot

Best Actor in a Miniseries or Movie
Will win: Al Pacino, You Don't Know Jack
Should win: Michael Sheen, The Special Relationship

Best Actress in a Miniseries or Movie
Will win: Claire Danes, Temple Grandin
Should win: Claire Danes

Best Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Movie
Will win: Patrick Stewart, Hamlet
Should win: Jonathan Pryce, Return to Cransford

Best Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie
Will win: Julia Ormond, Temple Grandin
Should win: Catherine O'Hara, Temple Grandin

Best Writing for a Miniseries or Movie
Will win: Temple Grandin
Should win: The Pacific

Best Directing for a Miniseries or Movie
Will win: The Pacific
Should win: The Pacific

See you tonight...

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I will be doing a live blog of the Emmys tonight starting at 7 pm Central.
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So.... It is the first week of July. That means it is hot everywhere, especially on the small screen. This morning the Academy of Television  Arts and Sciences announced their nominees for the 2010 Emmy awards to be handed out on August 29. Below are the nominees in the biggest categories and some thoughts. Enjoy!

Outstanding Drama Series
Breaking Bad 
The Good Wife 
Mad Men 
True Blood 
---Mad Men has won this twice so it was a shoo-in for this year. Breaking Bad is also a multiple nominee (that deserves to win). The Good Wife has been unimpressive to me, but the critics eat it up. I am also happy to see True Blood with a nod. A great show that is nothing if not a guilty pleasure. Lost intrigues me. It really did not deserve the nod, but it has the sentimental votes for the series finale. And Dexter. I love Dexter. It is a solid drama that always pleases.
What is missing from the nominee list: Friday Night Lights. It is easily the best drama out there, but it didn't even make the cut.

Outstanding Lead Actor In A Drama Series
Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
Michael C. Hall, Dexter
Kyle Chandler, Friday Night Lights
Hugh Laurie, House 
Matthew Fox, Lost
Jon Hamm, Mad Men
--- Cranston has won two years in a row for his awesome role as a meth-cooking, cancer-surviving, teacher/divorcee. He is brilliant. Hamm has also been nominated twice. He is great, but his role lack the depth of Cranston's. Hall is the titular Dexter and fully deserves the nod as well. Kyle Chandler was the surprise here. He is amazing, but his best performances as the coach in Friday Night Lights were in seasons past. Laurie, the titular Dr. House, is also very good. But, like Chandler, past season were better.
Who is missing from the nominee list: Timothy Olyphant for his role in Justified. But, he's an ass. And the critics don't like rewarding asses.

Outstanding Lead Actress In A Drama Series
Kyra Sedgwick, The Closer 
Glenn Close, Damages
Connie Britton, Friday Night Lights
Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife 
Mariska Hargitay, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
January Jones , Mad Men 
--- Sedgwick, CLose, Hargitay, and Jones were all nominated last year. And they are very good actresses all deserving of another nod. Marguiles is also a critical favorite, but her series is just not on the level of the others. Connie Britton shines, not just as the new actress to make the list, but also in her role. Kudos to her!
Who is missing from the nominee list: Anna Gunn for her role on Breaking Bad. She is simply superb in every scene. Maybe next year.

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Drama Series
Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad
Martin Short, Damages
Terry O'Quinn , Lost
Michael Emerson, Lost
John Slattery, Mad Men
Andre Braugher, Men Of A Certain Age
--- Aaron Paul is amazing on Breaking Bad. Short is brilliant on Damages. O'Quinn is brilliant AND won the award last year. Emerson is spookily good on Lost. Slattery is terrific on Mad Men. But Braugher? Really? Mediocre acting on a sub-par series. Weird.
Who is missing from the nominee list: John Noble from Fringe AND Zach Gilford from Friday Night Lights. Both light up the screen with their performances.

Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Drama Series
Sharon Gless, Burn Notice
Rose Byrne, Damages
Archie Panjabi, The Good Wife
Christine Baranski , The Good Wife
Christina Hendricks, Mad Men
Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men
---I am happy to see the surprise nominee was Gless. She, of Cagney & Lacey fame, does a tremendous job as the mother on Burn Notice. Panjabi and Baranski suffer for being on The Good Wife, but you never know. Hendricks and Moss both rock on Mad Men, but who doesn't? Byrne is an interesting choice. While she is great on Damages, her performance pales in this category.
Who is missing from the nominee list: Debra Ann Woll from True Blood. Her Jessica is a fan favorite.

Outstanding Comedy Series
Curb Your Enthusiasm
Modern Family
Nurse Jackie
The Office 
30 Rock 
--- 30 Rock has won three years in a row. Curb is getting stale. Nurse Jackie is well and good, but not good enough to be here. The Office, while I love it, suffered from a mediocre season. But HOLY YES! Modern Family and Glee both made it. Academy, I heart you right now.
What is missing from the nominee list: Community, The Middle, Big Bang Theory and Better Off Ted. Ted is gone having been canceled. But it was the most brilliant comedy of the past two years. Community is a strong freshman series that will likely prove to be a contender next year. The Middle is a simple yet fantastic comedy that deserved some attention. And Big Bang is one of the funniest geeky comedies on the air.

Outstanding Lead Actor In A Comedy Series
Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory 
Larry David , Curb Your Enthusiasm 
Matthew Morrison, Glee 
Tony Shalhoub, Monk 
Steve Carell, The Office
Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock 
--- Parsons, Morrison, and Baldwin deserve their nods. Carrel has a sub-par season. And Shaloub? No idea how he is on here.
Who is missing from the nominee list: Joel McHale from Community. Next year, Joel. Next year.

Outstanding Lead Actress In A Comedy Series
Lea Michele, Glee 
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, The New Adventures Of Old Christine
Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
Amy Poehler, Parks And Recreation 
TIna Fey, 30 Rock
Toni Collette, United States Of Tara
---I have no idea how Falco got nominated. Louis-Dreyfus is also another head scratcher. She was good but not great. Poehler, Fey and Collette are all critical darlings, so they were no surprise. But Lea Michele? Hot damn!
Who is missing from the nominee list: Portia di Rossi from Better Off Ted. She was the best actress in a comedy, but she isn't here. And where is Patricia Heaton for The Middle?

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Comedy Series
Chris Colfer, Glee
Neil Patrick Harris, How I Met Your Mother
Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Modern Family
Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family
Ty Burrell, Modern Family
Jon Cryer, Two And A Half Men
---Having Ferguson, Stonestreet and Burrell all being here tells you that Modern Family is a very strong comedy. Cryer, though....not so much. And Colfer? Score a good surprise!
Who is missing from the nominee list:  Nick Offerman from Parks & Recreation. His take on the conservative city employee is pitch perfect.

Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Comedy Series
Jane Lynch, Glee 
Julie Bowen, Modern Family
Sofia Vergara, Modern Family
Kristen Wiig, Saturday Night Live
Jane Krakowski , 30 Rock
Holland Taylor, Two And A Half Men
---Bowen and Vergara round out Modern Family's haul of nominations. Krakowski is also a great nominee. But Taylor confuses me...  I have no idea how she got nominated. But the big moment was for Lynch. Hand's down she is the best of the year.
Who is missing from the nominee list: Alison Brie for Community.

Outstanding Animated Program
Alien Earths
Disney Prep & Landing
The Ricky Gervais Show
The Simpsons
South Park
--- Alien Earths? Really? Disney Prep and Landing? Really? I get the Ricky Gervais Show. That is brilliant. But the real nominees are The Simpsons and South Park.
What is missing from the nominee list: American Dad

Outstanding Variety, Music Or Comedy Series
The Colbert Report 
The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 
Real Time With Bill Maher
Saturday Night Live 
The Tonight Show With Conan O'Brien 
--- All of these are the usual suspects, with the exception of Conan O'Brien. He got the nod even after the whole NBC debacle that sent Jay Leno back to late night and sent Conan to TBS this fall. Hope he wins just to screw NBC.

chrisbrad: Red Sox (Default)
It is that time of year again --- time to predict this year's Oscar winners. In each category I will list who will win and who should win. Enjoy:

Best motion picture of the year

Will Win: The Hurt Locker
Should Win: Precious

Performance by an actor in a leading role

Will Win: Jeff Bridges in "Crazy Heart"
Should Win: Jeff Bridges in "Crazy Heart"

Performance by an actor in a supporting role

Will Win: Christoph Waltz in "Inglourious Basterds"
Should Win: Christoph Waltz in "Inglourious Basterds"

Performance by an actress in a leading role

Will Win: Sandra Bullock in "The Blind Side"
Should Win: Gabourey Sidibe in "Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire"

Performance by an actress in a supporting role

Will Win: Mo'Nique in "Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire"
Should Win: Mo'Nique in "Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire"

Achievement in directing

Will Win: Kathryn Bigelow for "The Hurt Locker"
Should Win: James Cameron for "Avatar"

Best animated feature film of the year

Will Win: Up
Should Win: Up

Achievement in art direction

Will Win: Avatar
Should Win: The Young Victoria

Achievement in cinematography

Will Win: Avatar
Should Win: Inglourious Basterds

Achievement in costume design

Will Win: The Young Victoria
Should Win: Nine

Best documentary feature

Will Win: The Cove
Should Win: Burma VJ

Best documentary short subject

Will Win: Music by Prudence
Should Win: China's Unnatural Disaster: The Tears of Sichuan Province

Achievement in film editing

Will Win: The Hurt Locker
Should Win: District 9

Best foreign language film of the year

Will Win: The Secret in Their Eyes
Should Win: The White Ribbon

Achievement in makeup

Will Win:Star Trek
Should Win: Star Trek

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original score)

Will Win: Up
Should Win: Up

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song)

Will Win: "The Weary Kind (Theme from Crazy Heart)" from "Crazy Heart"
Should Win: "The Weary Kind (Theme from Crazy Heart)" from "Crazy Heart"

Best animated short film

Will Win: Logorama
Should Win: Granny O'Grimm's Sleeping Beauty

Best live action short film

Will Win: The New Tenants
Should Win: Instead of Abracadabra

Achievement in sound editing

Will Win: The Hurt Locker
Should Win: Avatar

Achievement in sound mixing

Will Win: The Hurt Locker
Should Win: Avatar

Achievement in visual effects

Will Win: Avatar
Should Win: Avatar

Adapted screenplay

Will Win: "Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire"
Should Win: "Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire"

Original screenplay

Will Win: "The Hurt Locker"
Should Win: "Inglourious Basterds"
chrisbrad: Red Sox (Default)
Well, it is that time of year again. Time for the 2010 Oscar nominations.  Early Tuesday morning the AMPAS will make their announcements, so I am making my predictions today. How bold!

Below you will find my thoughts on what the Academy will likely nominate for the eight biggest categories. Note: These are NOT my personal picks, but rather my prediction about what the Academy will nominate.

This year there is one huge change -- making the biggest category even bigger by going from five Best Picture nominees to ten. That will really open things up, so making a final pick for the award show in March will be much harder.

On to the picks:

Best Picture:
An Education
The Hangover
The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
A Serious Man
Up in the Air

Best Director:
Kathryn Bigelow, for The Hurt Locker
James Cameron, for Avatar
Lee Daniels, for Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire
Jason Reitman, for Up in the Air
Quentin Tarantino, for Inglourious Basterds

Best Actor:
Jeff Bridges, for Crazy Heart
George Clooney, for Up in the Air
Colin Firth, for A Single Man
Morgan Freeman, for Invictus
Jeremy Renner, for The Hurt Locker

Best Actress:
Sandra Bullock, for The Blind Side
Helen Mirren, for The Last Station
Carey Mulligan, for An Education
Gabourey Sidibe, for Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire
Meryl Streep, for Julie & Julia

Best Supporting Actor:
Matt Damon, for Invictus
Woody Harrelson, for The Messenger
Christopher Plummer, for The Last Station
Stanley Tucci, for The Lovely Bones
Christopher Waltz, for Inglourious Basterds

Best Supporting Actress:

Penelope Cruz, for Nine
Vera Farmiga, for Up in the Air
Ana Kendrick, for Up in the Air
Diane Kruger, for Inglourious Basterds
Mo’Nique, for Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire

Best Screenplay (Original):

(500) Days of Summer, by Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber
Avatar, by James Cameron
The Hangover, by Jon Lucas & Scott Moore
The Hurt Locker, by Mark Boal
A Serious Man, by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen

Best Screenplay (Adapted):
Crazy Heart, by Scott Cooper
Julie & Julia, by Nora Ephron
Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire, by Geoffrey Fletcher
Star Trek, by Roberto Orci & Alex Kurtzman
Up in the Air, by Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner

chrisbrad: Red Sox (Default)
Hello all. It is the middle of January, and that can mean a few things.

One, it is cold. At least in the Northern Hemisphere.

Two, the NFL playoffs are in high gear. Geaux Saints!

And, three, the Golden Globes are waiting in the wings. This Sunday, January 17, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association will hand out this year’s first crop of major awards. While the Oscars are just for movies, the Globes combine the best in film and television.

But the Globes are not just any other award show. They are different in two ways. They are selected by a very small group (between 50 and 100 voting members who are, as the name implies, foreign media members who report from Hollywood), and they are more casual than the Oscars and Emmys. The latter makes for a more free-for-all award show where celebs routinely do odd things. The former, well, that means the voters tend to go to those with more global reach and certain political philosophies rather than the most deserving.

Still, the Globes are a great indicator to what the Oscar season has in store. So, without further delay, here are my picks for the 2010 Golden Globes!


Best TV Series - Drama

Nominees: Big Love, Dexter, House, Mad Men, True Blood
Will Win: Mad Men
Should Win: Dexter
--- Mad Men is an excellent series and has won this award before. That should be enough to give it another win. But Dexter, also an excellent series, had its best season yet. The serial killer drama should win, but will sadly fall short.

Best TV Series - Comedy or Musical
Nominees: 30 Rock, Entourage, Glee, Modern Family, The Office
Will Win: Glee
Should Win: Glee
--- That’s right. The HFPA will get this one right. Glee has a lot going for it. One, it is a great series. Two, it’s a feel-good show. Three, it is supremely musical. Four, it is beyond diverse. It has something for everyone AND it is excellent. The only series that could upstage Glee would be Modern Family. Not likely, but it has an outside chance.

Best Actor - Drama

Nominees: Simon Barker (The Mentalist), Michael C. Hall (Dexter), Jon Hamm (Mad Men), Hugh Laurie (House), Bill Paxton (Big Love)
Will Win: Hugh Laurie (House)
Should Win: Michael C. Hall (Dexter)
--- Hugh Laurie will walk away with the award. Any why not? He is British, a plus for the foreign voters, and he is an amazing actor who blew me away in House’s opener. But Hall, who plays the titular Dexter, makes cold-blooded sociopath look cool.

Best Actress - Drama
Nominees: Glenn Close (Damages), January Jones (Mad Men), Julianna Margulies (The Good Wife), Anna Paquin (True Blood), Kyra Sedgwick (The Closer)
Will Win: January Jones (Mad Men)
Should Win: January Jones (Mad Men)
--- Another winner for the HFPA. January Jones is the best actress on the show. She outshines even her co-star, Jon Hamm, and that says a lot.

Best Actor - Comedy or Musical
Nominees: Alec Baldwin (30 Rock), Steve Carell (The Office), David Duchovny (Californication), Thomas Jane (Hung), Matthew Morrison (Glee)
Will Win: Alec Baldwin (30 Rock)
Should Win: Matthew Morrison (Glee)
--- While Baldwin is a shoe-in (he has won the Emmy for the role already AND he is a HFPA favorite), Morrison shines as the glee coach in Glee.

Best Actress - Comedy or Musical
Nominees: Toni Collette (United States of Tara), Courtney Cox (Cougar Town), Edie Falco (Nurse Jackie), Tina Fey (30 Rock), Lea Michele (Glee)
Will Win: Toni Collette (United States of Tara)
Should Win: Tina Fey (30 Rock)
--- Collette has always had broad support within the HFPA and this year is no different. Add the fact she just won an Emmy for this role into the mix, and she should walk away with a Globe. But Fey’s spot-on genius as Liz Lemon on 30 Rock should be the winner.


Best Drama
Nominees: Avatar, The Hurt Locker, Inglourious Basterds, Precious, Up in the Ait
Will Win: Up in the Air
Should Win: Precious
--- Up in the Air has Clooney. And in Globes season, that is enough for a mediocre film to take home the biggest prize. But it is Precious that should get the nod.

Best Comedy or Musical
Nominees: (500) Days of Summer, The Hangover, It’s Complicated, Julie & Julia, Nine
Will Win: Nine
Should Win: The Hangover
--- Nine is a lavish musical. That is all the HFPA look for. Though, I must admit (500) Days of Summer could get the upset win. But it is The Hangover that is the best comedy. Too bad the best comedy won’t win the best comedy category.

Best Actor - Drama
Nominees: Jeff Bridges (Crazy Heart), George Clooney (Up in the Air),  Colin Firth (A Single Man), Morgan Freeman (Invictus), Tobey Maguire (Brothers)
Will Win: George Clooney (Up in the Air)
Should Win: Colin Firth (A Single Man)
--- Clooney cannot walk into the HFPA’s ballroom and not go home with a prize. It’s as simple as that. Too bad he’s not the most deserving. That honor goes to Colin Firth. Too bad he’s going home empty handed.

Best Actress - Drama

Nominees: Emily Blunt (The Young Victoria), Sandra Bullock (The Blind Side), Helen Mirren (The Last Station), Carey Mulligan (An Education), Gabourey Sidibe (Precious)
Will Win: Carey Mulligan (An Education)
Should Win: Gabourey Sidibe (Precious)
--- Mulligan is a British actress in a British film. So, of course, the foreign media will award the Globe to her. And she is deserving. Just not as deserving as Sidibe, who managed to put warmth and love into a loveless and cold character in Precious.

Best Actor - Comedy or Musical
Nominees: Matt Damon (The Informant!), Robert Downey Jr. (Sherlock Holmes), Joseph Gordon Levitt ((500) Days of Summer), Daniel Day Lewis (Nine), Michael Stuhlbarg (A Serious Man)
Will Win: Daniel Day Lewis (Nine)
Should Win:  Michael Stuhlbarg (A Serious Man)
--- Daniel Day Lewis is another HFPA favorite. And in Nine he sings and dances. That is enough for a Globe win. But Stuhlbarg is far and away the better actor in the black comedy from the Coen Brothers.

Best Actress - Comedy or Musical

Nominees: Sandra Bullock (The Proposal), Maron Cotillard (Nine), Julia Roberts (Duplicity), Meryl Streep (Julie & Julia), Meryl Streep (It’s Complicated)
Will Win: Meryl Streep (Julie & Julia)
Should Win: Meryl Streep (Julie & Julia)
--- This is an easy one. Despite Cotillard being foreign in a musical, Streep knocks it out of the park as Julia Child. End of story.

Best Supporting Actor
Nominees: Matt Damon (Invictus), Woody Harrelson (The Mesenger), Christopher Plummer (The Last Station), Stanley Tucci (The Lovely Bones), Christoph Waltz (Inglourious Basterds)
Will Win: Christoph Waltz (Inglourious Basterds)
Should Win: Christoph Waltz (Inglourious Basterds)
Another one the HFPA will get right. Waltz’s brilliant turn as a Jew-hunter in Tarantino’s flick shines above the others. Add to it his European birth, and the Globe is his.

Best Supporting Actress

Nominees: Penelope Cruz (Nine), Vera Farmiga (Up in the Air), Anna Kendrick (Up in the Air), Julianne Moore (A Single Man), Mo’nique (Precious)
Will Win: Mo’nique (Precious)
Should Win: Mo’nique (Precious)
--- Wow. The HFPA is racking the right choices up. Mo’nique makes Precious even more authentic as the abusive mother. But it is her end of the film apology that makes her performance award-winning.

Best Director
Nominees: Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker), James Cameron (Avatar), Clint Eastwood (Invictus), Jason Reitman (Up in the Air), Quentin Tarantino (Inglourious Basterds)
Will Win: James Cameron (Avatar)
Should Win: Quentin Tarantino (Inglourious Basterds)
--- The HFPA will likely give the nod to Cameron for his anti-capitalistic, liberal epic, Avatar. He deserves it for the tech, but for nothing else. Quentin Tarantino deserves the win for vision and actual direction. But, the HFPA could go for an upset and give the Globe to Bigelow. They’d love to crown a woman, especially one who spearheaded an anti-Iraq war flick.

Best Animated

Nominees: Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, Coraline, Fantastic Mr. Fox, The Princess and the Frog, Up
Will Win: Up
Should Win: Up
--- Up is the best animated flick of the year. In fact, it may compete with the big boys come Oscar time.


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February 2013



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