“ The nominations for the 74th Annual Academy Awards are to be announced on February 12th, with the awards ceremony taking place at the end of March. Who do you think will be amongst the nominees this year? Which films do you think will take home an Oscar? „
This review is 'slightly' in the wrong place but 2002 is 2011 on the Gregorian Calender.lol.
If you Google the 'King Speech' you no longer get Martin Luther but Colin 'shirt ripping' Firth, the clean sweep at the BAFTAs suggesting a good chance at The Oscars. Its a good film but not a top film and it did seem our domestic awards were rather too patriotic this year and that bias in every category seemed to deter a few of the big American stars from coming over this year for the annual pie in the face on the front row. It's great that BAFTA supports our film industry every year with British films winning lots of prizes but the Kings Speech is probably more the best movie of 2011 than the last 12 months and that may count against it on Sunday night. But the public love it and its one the most successful British movie since Mamma Mia, Firth in that one too, doing one hundred million world-wide in the multiplexes, trending well this week with £3.4 million in the bank so far to Black Swans 2,53m, and a very impressive 8.4 on the Imdb.com ratings score to Black Swan's 8.5, a close battle. Unofficially its the biggest grossing British independent cinema film of all time.
Firth, of course, won the BAFTA last year for A Single Man and no doubt will find a solid script somewhere soon to set up the hatrick now he is the golden boy of British cinema. But our awards didn't really reflect The Oscars last year and the somewhat over-rated Hurt Locker and Jeff Bridges All-American cowboy saw off our delightfully British offerings, Carey Mulligan for best actress in An Education losing out to a very forgettable performance by Sandra Bullock in the again over-rated Blindside. Like the BAFTAS, The Academy will look after their own and so The Kings Speech is by no mean s favourite although it's hard to see Firth not winning the big one. I also feel The Social Network will suffer as the average age of The Academy voter is 57, twice that of facebook users.
Certain films tend to target the Oscars with late releases and heavy lobbying and so not necessarily the best films of the year getting the coveted nominations, all manner of goody bags finding their way to the Academy members. Some movies spend more on the films PR than the actual movie! It's believed well over $100 million dollars will be spent on schmoozing films in the month up to the big event. The most expensive film ever made to date, Avatar, of course, took two billion dollars last year alone and Hollywood dutifully rewarded James Cameron and co with some Oscar nominations, but two hundred million of that budget was spent on the hype, a very average film that seriously needed it, some of that cash spent on trying to win best film. Cameron's previous film was Titanic (1997), then, also, the most expensive film ever made, but the total cost for that one just $200 million dollars, the amount Cameron's people spent purely on the total PR bill this time around to beat his record, evidence enough on just how crucial the hype is to make or break a movie. If you look back on both films I bet more of you prefer Titanic, a narrative and love story behind all great movies, not hype and tall blue people living in a big tree! It was a very silly film and I cringe when I look back to all the gushing hype over it.
That other main tactic the studios deploy to win the big prizes is to release their film just before the award seasons so few punters actually get to se them. Firth is nailed on but expect no favours for the Kings Speech... see the said film to soften the hype and kill its momentum, and so that way you don't have to sustain your hype for your movie all year. Black Swan fits that profile perfectly, slipping through the rankings like a stealth helicopter in an moonlit Iraqi night, appearing out of thin air with all guns blazing as this great Oscar hope, even though no great numbers had actually seen it, including the critics. Probably the greatest contemporary film of all time, The Shawshank Redemption bombed in the Oscars because it was released at the wrong time, but word of mouth spreading its appeal to have top a pile of great best picture winners today.
As the red carpet is rolled out at the Kodak Theatre and the giant plastic statues dusted down its fair to say the reviews have been mixed for Black Swann. If it's not the audience or the critics picking these films for consideration then who exactly is, is the question? There's a bit of the same late release tactics with the Coen Brothers film 'True Grit', although their film feels more of a populist one this time and getting great reviews across all demographics, the best Western since Kevin Costner's Open Range by all-accounts. If you look at the major category nominations this year you can see that most of the films were released in January and so blatantly playing the goody bag and lobbying game, more like politics than moviemaking.
---The Big Awards---
The 'Best Picture' Oscar has taken on a new role of late, changed to ten nominations to help sell those movies once again and so help promote big populist Hollywood films more as online piracy chips away at the industries profits. We are also seeing more 3D movie's because they, too, are harder to pirate and so inevitably they too are receiving nominations, The Academy increasingly looking after its own. There's a good mix of movies in the ten and even a cartoon making the final line up, animation a huge earner for the industry.
It seems to be a head-to-head between Black Swann and The Kings Speech with the arty critics and The Social Network and The Fighter for the people, but the fact the brain dead Hurt Locker won last year must help The Fighters chance, Bale and Walberg very popular actors. Inception is there out of politeness, if you ask me. It won't be the brilliant Danny Boyles year with 127 Hours either and I just can't see the prestige and history of the best picture category letting Toy Story win, Pixars tenth consecutive hit. The Kids are Alright would have been one of the favourites if it had been released in January, a summer release so already floundering. Its star in four time nominee Annette Bening chose not to hyper her chances in the autumn so it's all but forgotten. But the one sneaking up on the rails has to be True Grit, the 'hit n miss' Coen Brothers the darlings of Hollywood, this film very much in their better work grouping, their movies often hard work. And let's not forget folk's, films that feature men wearing cowboy hats have recently won big Oscars, Brokeback Mountain and Crazy Heart to name but two, the Coens four time winners.
<*><*><*>Nominations for Best Picture<*><*><*>
The Kids Are All Right
The King's Speech
The Social Network
Toy Story 3
My winner - Black Swan
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<*><*><*>Nominations for Best Actor in a Leading Role<*><*><*>
Bardem and Bridges have won Oscars recently and so Colin Firth has to be a red hot favourite here, the Americans suckers for the English gentleman thing. But again people are saying Bridges is amazing in True Grit so a back-to-back golden statue is on. It's the sixth nomination for the Big Lebowski and they love him, doing some of his best work in his golden days, although Tron Legacy not featuring in the awards gossip! Eisenburg and Franco only seem in the mix because their films are on that extended and commercial best film list.
Javier Bardem in "Biutiful"
Jeff Bridges in "True Grit"
Jesse Eisenberg in "The Social Network"
Colin Firth in "The King's Speech"
James Franco in "127 Hours"
My Winner - Colin Firth.
<*><*><*> Nominations for Best Actor in a Supporting Role <*><*><*>
I'm a big fan of Christian Bale and here he is again in skinny 'I'm not Batman' method mode for his role in The Fighter, the feel good movie of the year. Bombastic Jeremy 'Hurt Locker' Renner is back again, as is Oscar winner Geoffrey Rush for the Kings Speech. Diabetics beware as the sickly sweet Mark Ruffalo is also up for one. As I haven't seen many of the films I will play safe and go with Geoffrey Rush.
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
My Winner - Geoffrey Rush
<*><*><*>Nominations for Best Actress in a Leading Role<*><*><*>
Annette Benning, who is apparently not a lesbian but her hairdo has always suggested she might be, plays one in 'The Kids Are All Right" here, and would have won this award at a canter if it was not for Natalie Portman coming in late on in Black Swan. The rather fragrant Nicole Kidman is back on the scene after her career threatening turn in that sprawling commercial for 'Australia' and there are two new names there in Jennifer Lawrence for the Winters Bone and Michelle Williams for Blue Valentine. But The Academy love glamour and so they have mixed in some young and beautiful up and coming thin starlets alongside Kidman and Bening, waifen Portman the clear favourite.
Annette Bening - "The Kids Are All Right"
Nicole Kidman - "Rabbit Hole"
Jennifer Lawrence - "Winter's Bone"
Natalie Portman - "Black Swan"
Michelle Williams - "Blue Valentine"
My Winner - Natalie Portman.
<*><*><*>Nominations for Best Actress in a Supporting Role <*><*><*>
Goth queen Helen Bonham Carter bagged the BAFTA for the Kings Speech but that was a home decision and The Academy won't be having any of that. The Fighter kicks up two girls with nominations but again that feels like a commercial call to take the big film - and Hollywood - more money with a film doing great business already. The favourite seems to be 15-year-old Hailee Steinfeld for True Grit, by all-accounts an impressive performance, momentum you can't ignore as the people who have actually seen the film in the cinema are the ones driving that buzz. The Animal Kingdom, a cracking Aussie crime flick, gets a mention with Jacki Weaver in the mix.
Amy Adams in "The Fighter"
Helena Bonham Carter in "The King's Speech"
Melissa Leo in "The Fighter"
Hailee Steinfeld in "True Grit"
Jacki Weaver in "Animal Kingdom"
My Winner - Hailee Steinfeld
<*><*><*>Nominations for Best Directing<*><*><*>
The Social Network hasn't been winning around the awards ceremonies but may here, their Kings Speech. Technically the best movie Oscar winner should win this award but often doesn't so it has to be Black Swan for Darren Aronofsky against Tom Hooper for the Kings Speech. Saying that the Coen brothers have won for very tedious movies in the past and so if they have actually done a good one then why not spring a surprise here?
Black Swan - Darren Aronofsky
The Fighter - David O. Russell
The King's Speech - Tom Hooper
The Social Network - David Fincher
True Grit - Joel Coen and Ethan Coen
My Winner - Black Swann
<*><*><*>Nominations for Best Documentary<*><*><*>
Some of my most enjoyed film experiences of late have been documentaries and its right they get their own Oscar now. I haven't seen any of these but I probably will and have watched the last five winners of this category over the years, Man on a Wire exceptional. My hunch is The Academy will pick the Banksy graffiti artist movie in the vain hope he will turn up, which he shouldn't as he would have no credibility left, so a dumb call. But five pieces of his work have mysteriously appeared in L.A this month so he is in town.
Exit through the Gift Shop (Banksy)
Gasland - Josh Fox (Trish Adlesic)
Inside Job (Charles Ferguson)
Restrepo (Tim Hetherington)
Waste Land (Lucy Walker)
My Winner - Exit through the Gift Shop.
<*><*><*>Nominations for Best Foreign Language Film<*><*><*>
I love foreign movies and about a quarter of the films I watch a year aren't made here. There are always exceptional ones out there that get totally unseen, especially by the major festivals and judges. Dogtooth is pretentious poo and so has every chance of winning whilst Outside the Law from Algeria would make a great political winner in the current climate. But Biutiful has Javier Bardem as the star and so must be good, a superb actor, the fact he is nominated as best actor this year meaning if he loses that this wins.
In a Better World (Denmark)
Outside the Law (Algeria)
My Winner - Biutiful
---The Lesser Awards---
The Adapted Screenplay is the 'out card' for The Academy to gong a film they couldn't quite fit in elsewhere and so that could be The Social Networks big chance, the many minor technical awards also handed out with a sparkle also helping films get extra DVD sales by being "Oscar Winners". The times I have rented films purely because the dust cover is adorned with rosettes and then been sadly let down are too many to count.
Inception will gobble up the technical Oscars as it's almost the most technically perfect film we have seen and make up and fashion should be the Kings Speech cancellation if it gets a revenge kicking for the bias BAFTAs. It would be outrageous if the great Aaron Sorkin didnt win for his work on The Social Network.
Most of you have seen that Simpson?s episode where Homer joins the Stonecutters.Then they sing that song that?s very funny, but hard to remember, but would be so cool if you were a student. One of the lines is?who fixes the Oscars every year,we doooooo,we dooooo. I think the big night is no longer a judge of best film but away to promote actors like supermodels as Hollywood is now about bankability over talent. The best actress award this year will go to Nicole Kidman who?s split from show husband Cruise making her an entity in her own right. Shes not the best actress of course but she will make the movie a lot of money next year as the academy veres away from macho traffic like Russell Crowe. The big Aussie is marginally favorite to win best actor purely because he played ball and picked the type of film the academy likes and needed after the mega flops of planet of the Apes and Pearl Harbor. Crowe is big box office and will keep the pennies coming in to recoup the losses from these multi studio extravaganzas that go down the pan. Titanic had just about everyone behind it as the budget spun out of control like the Millenium Dome.So it made very good sense for the voters not to let the turkey vote for Christmas AS Hollywood could go bust. They duly saw sense and the rest is history. The best film should go to Lord of the Rings, as just about everyone who has seen it has been blownaway. It would make sense for Hollywood to vote it in to earn big of the DVD release. But the director is foreign and they need a domestic winner. That puts Russell Crowes math?s genius film in pole position purely for commercial reasons. The arty types in Iris and In the room are not flavor of the day after last years embarrassing award?s to the awful Chocolate. In fact the best film award hasn?t been that for ages with very average stuff like Erin Brokivich, and Gladiator picking the big prize purely to kick start the careers of Roberts
and Crowe who would sell far more rentals than the oldies like Deniro and Nicholson. The new set of superstars are being created like the Cindy Crawfords and Naomi Campbell?s to sell them and their average talent over their acting skills. Best supporting is between veteran awards night hoar Sissy Spacek and the stunning Halle Berry, with Jennifer Connely running them close. I think a black winner would do very nicely thank you very much. If the talented Densil Washington doesn?t get it for best male in Training Day. Berry is gorgeous and has enough white Eurasian pixels to pick up the vote across the right wing academy and would definitely sell more DVDs than Sissy. Technical gold statues should be a straight fight between A.I and Lord of the Rings as they are both superb in that area. Spielberg is a big shot in Hollywood now with his Amblin studios holding a lot of clout. Lord of the Rings is unique in film making as they have made the sequels and the original all in one, which in Hollywood terms is a very risky plan. Most of that money will need to be repaid so it?s logical that this expensive, but ultimately very rewarding trilogy will get worthy support for the big awards. Moulin Rouge will sweep up for the remaining minor statues in music and soundtrack in this brilliantly inventive film. Best foreign effort looks like the Brazilian one about the brothers with British film unlikely to do much business now the love affair with Hugh Grant is over. The BAFTAS silly attempt to rival the far more glamorous American show involved given the awards to the biggest stars who would turn up. Hence Russ coming over and smacking that guy and reading his knob head poem. He used to be a cool Aussie once apparently. THE STONE CUTTER OSCARS BEST FILM>A BEAUTIFUL MIND BEST MALE ACTOR> RUSSEL CROWE BEST FEMALE>NICOLE KIDMAN BEST SUPPORTING GIRL>HALLE BERRY BEST SUPPORTING GUY>TOM WILKINSON
Ah, it's nearly that time of year again. Yes, once more that festival of razzmatazz, histrionics and shameless backslapping that is the Academy Awards is almost upon us. For some reason, they're held in the highest esteem by those in 'the business', and with the nominations soon to be announced, everyone in Hollywood (and beyond) will be dreaming of getting their hands on one of those little guys. No, not Tom Cruise - an Oscar. Even more so than last year's awards, there isn't an obvious winner in the main Best Picture category, although some films are now almost guaranteed a nomination. Living in England, as most of us do, a lot of the hype so far surrounds movies that haven't yet reached our shores. Recent releases 'In the Bedroom' and 'Gosford Park' feature strongly, whilst the upcoming 'Ali' and 'A Beautiful Mind' open in the coming weeks. On the flip side, 'Memento', seen here in late 2000, is also in the running, having received a March 2001 release in America. - - - BEST PICTURE - - - At the moment, it's looking like an increasingly open race. While many see 'The Fellowship of the Ring' taking the honours, it's my feeling that the Academy won't go with another epic, following last year's winner, 'Gladiator'. This leaves a number of smaller-scale pictures in with a chance, with the frontrunner at the moment being 'A Beautiful Mind', starring Russell Crowe and directed by Ron "I used to be in Happy Days" Howard. A story about a schizophrenic mathematician may not sound all that great, but it's just the kind of movie that does well at the Oscars, and with Russell Crowe's much praised performance, it's a certainty for a nomination, especially following its Golden Globe win last month. Other virtually guaranteed nods are 'The Fellowship of the Ring' and the Todd Field drama, 'In the Bedroom
9;. Even based purely on their performances at other awards ceremonies, I can safely predict the inclusion of these three films. That leaves two more slots up for grabs. I'd personally love 'Memento' to sneak in there, but it almost certainly won't happen. Not only was it released early last year, and thus ironically it may be forgotten, the film also has a complex story and structure that is likely to put off many voters. Another that will put off some is 'Moulin Rouge', but this has a much better chance of being there come awards night. Others in with a chance are 'Gosford Park', 'Black Hawk Down' and 'Mulholland Dr' (although surely David Lynch is far too strange for the Academy!). 'Moulin Rouge' is the most likely of these five (plus, it was my favourite film of 2001), and I hope it goes on to some success. I can see the final spot going to 'Black Hawk Down', mainly because of Ridley Scott, but politics will also play a part, and the heroism and bravery on display by American troops will lift this picture above the rest of the pack. My predictions then: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring A Beautiful Mind In the Bedroom Moulin Rouge Black Hawk Down PREDICTED WINNER: A Beautiful Mind WILDCARD: Memento - - - BEST ACTOR - - - After his Golden Globe win, and numerous other accolades, Russell Crowe is a lock here for his third consecutive Best Actor nomination. As I haven't yet seen 'A Beautiful Mind', I can't comment on the quality of his performance myself, but after seeing him in 'L.A. Confidential', 'The Insider', and later, 'Gladiator', he definitely shows the kind of talent that can win the award again. But who will be Crowe's fellow contenders in this strongly led category? Denzel Washington is a hot favourite for his turn in 'Training Day', whil
e Gene Hackman must also be in with a chance after his Golden Globe win for 'The Royal Tenenbaums'. Billy Bob Thornton was quietly impressive in 'The Man Who Wasn't There', but he may be forced out of contention by the likes of Tom Wilkinson, Will Smith and Guy Pearce. If there's going to a surprise here, let's not forget Jack Nicholson's superb work in 'The Pledge' - although so far unrecognised on the awards circuit, he is loved by the Academy and could pull off a big shock by landing a nomination. Pearce too, would also be a surprise, but I have a funny feeling he may slip in here, especially as the talk surrounding 'Memento' grows. My predictions: Russell Crowe (A Beautiful Mind) Denzel Washington (Training Day) Tom Wilkinson (In the Bedroom) Gene Hackman (The Royal Tenenbaums) Guy Pearce (Memento) PREDICTED WINNER: Russell Crowe (A Beautiful Mind) WILDCARD: Jack Nicholson (The Pledge) - - - BEST ACTRESS - - - One of the biggest questions in the leading actress category is which of Nicole Kidman's two excellent performances will be included in the nominations. As the rules state only one can be entered, will it be the hotly tipped 'Moulin Rouge', or her better (in my opinion) role in 'The Others'? Studio influence and her recent Golden Globe win suggest the former, which is a shame as it's the lesser performance of the two. Perhaps the favourite to win is Sissy Spacek for 'In the Bedroom' (a film which has certainly drawn rave reviews for its acting), and if Kidman does go for her 'Moulin Rouge' performance, I can see it backfiring. Judi Dench is also likely to be in the running (she always seems to be), as is Naomi Watts for 'Mulholland Dr', despite the uncertainty of whether she should be nominated here or in the Best Supporting Actress category. So, if Kidman goes with 'The
Others', she may well win here, but as it's unlikely, Spacek should pick up her second Oscar, along with her SIXTH Best Actress nomination. My predictions: Nicole Kidman (Moulin Rouge) Sissy Spacek (In the Bedroom) Judi Dench (Iris) Halle Berry (Monster's Ball) Renee Zellweger (Bridget Jones's Diary) PREDICTED WINNER: Sissy Spacek (In the Bedroom) WILDCARD: Naomi Watts (Mulholland Dr) - - - BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR - - - In the last few months, Ben Kingsley was the hot favourite for this award, but following Jim Broadbent's win at the Globes, it's a little more open. Adding Steve Buscemi, Jon Voight and Ed Harris to the equation makes this one of the strongest categories. My personal favourite is Tony Shalhoub for his hilarious turn in 'The Man Who Wasn't There', while Joe Pantoliano's sinister performance in 'Memento' was also highly memorable. Not having seen 'Iris', I'm not sure Broadbent will win here as well as at the Globes, but he was effective enough in 'Moulin Rouge'. I expect Kingsley to take the award though - he was mesmerising in 'Sexy Beast', and even though he faces strong competition; Ian McKellen will also be there or thereabouts; I still think he'll go home with the Oscar. My predictions: Ben Kingsley (Sexy Beast) Jim Broadbent (Iris) Steve Buscemi (Ghost World) Jon Voight (Ali) Ian McKellen (The Fellowship of the Ring) PREDICTED WINNER: Ben Kingsley (Sexy Beast) WILDCARD: Tony Shalhoub (The Man Who Wasn't There) - - - BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS - - - Almost ten years ago, Marisa Tomei pulled off one of the biggest shocks in recent Oscar history by snatching the Best Supporting Actress trophy for her scene-stealing performance in 'My Cousin Vinny'. It's now odds on that she'll receive her second nomination this year, a
s a single mother in Todd Field's 'In the Bedroom'. Whether she'll win again is another question, as there's a lot more talent waiting in the wings… just as there was in 1993. For starters, Jennifer Connelly has already won no less than six awards for her turn in Oscar front-runner, 'A Beautiful Mind'. Maggie Smith and Helen Mirren have also been doing rather well - both nailing BAFTA and Golden Globe nominations for their work on 'Gosford Park'. In fact, this category seems the easiest to predict in terms of nominations, but as for a winner, it's anyone's guess! I think the final spot will be between Kate Winslet ('Iris') and Cameron Diaz ('Vanilla Sky'), with Winslet just taking it. Although Diaz was the best performer in 'Vanilla Sky', if she couldn't get a nomination for 'Being John Malkovich', I really can't see her getting one here… but there's always a chance. My predictions: Kate Winslet (Iris) Marisa Tomei (In the Bedroom) Jennifer Connelly (A Beautiful Mind) Helen Mirren (Gosford Park) Maggie Smith (Gosford Park) PREDICTED WINNER: Jennifer Connelly (A Beautiful Mind) WILDCARD: Cameron Diaz (Vanilla Sky) - - - BEST DIRECTOR - - - Perhaps one of the most interesting categories this year is for directing - reducing the field to just five nominations will certainly be tough. It's just so open, and there are many highly praised directors… Peter Jackson, Ron Howard, Baz Luhrmann, Todd Field, Robert Altman, Ridley Scott, David Lynch, etc. etc. etc. However, an interesting point to note is that in the last five years, all but one of the Best Picture nominees were also nominated for Best Director. I think Peter Jackson and Baz Luhrmann will definitely be there, and Ron Howard will pick up his first nomination too. Robert Altman will most likely be recognised as well, picking up h
is fifth Oscar nomination, although I can't see him winning here as he did at the Globes. This leaves a fifth spot that could go to any of Ridley Scott, Todd Field, David Lynch, Christopher Nolan or Michael Mann. Scott seems the most likely, especially as 'Black Hawk Down' sounds suspiciously like a "director's movie" to me. My predictions: Peter Jackson (The Fellowship of the Ring) Ron Howard (A Beautiful Mind) Baz Luhrmann (Moulin Rouge) Robert Altman (Gosford Park) Ridley Scott (Black Hawk Down) PREDICTED WINNER: Peter Jackson (The Fellowship of the Ring) WILDCARD: Christopher Nolan (Memento) - - - BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY - - - Even if 'Memento' fails to be nominated in any other category, surely it's a lock here. Christopher Nolan's complex and compelling screenplay has featured in almost every awards ceremony this year, and is certainly my favourite to win. Interestingly, it is eligible as an original screenplay, and will likely face competition from 'The Royal Tenenbaums', 'The Man Who Wasn't There' and 'Moulin Rouge'. My predictions: Christopher Nolan (Memento) Julian Fellowes (Gosford Park) Joel Coen, Ethan Coen (The Man Who Wasn't There) Baz Luhrmann, Craig Pearce (Moulin Rouge) Wes Anderson, Owen Wilson (The Royal Tenenbaums) PREDICTED WINNER: Christopher Nolan (Memento) WILDCARD: David Lynch (Mulholland Dr) - - - BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY - - - The brave and mostly successful effort at bringing 'The Lord of the Rings' to the screen will undoubtedly score a nomination here, as will Akiva Goldsman's screenplay for 'A Beautiful Mind', as long as the Academy don't hold his previous work ('Batman & Robin', 'Lost in Space') against him. My predictions: Robert Festinger, Todd Field (In the Bedroom) Ak
iva Goldsman (A Beautiful Mind) Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson, Frances Walsh (The Fellowship of the Ring) Daniel Clowes, Terry Zwigoff (Ghost World) Ken Nolan, Steven Zaillian (Black Hawk Down) PREDICTED WINNER: Akiva Goldsman (A Beautiful Mind) WILDCARD: Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio, Roger Schulman, Joe Stillman (Shrek) Of the other awards, the new Best Animated Feature award should be interesting, with the race between 'Shrek' and 'Monsters Inc' in particular being well contended. Also of note is the Best Foreign Language Film category, as audience favourite 'Amelie' has recently been losing out to the more critically acclaimed 'No Man's Land'. The technical and music awards will most likely be split between the visually impressive 'The Fellowship of the Ring' and the vivid and colourful 'Moulin Rouge', whose set designs alone will surely be honoured. Brit Roger Deakins should run away with the Best Cinematography award for his stunning work on 'The Man Who Wasn't There', whilst the editing category should definitely include 'Memento', whose splintered structure surely made for one of the toughest editing jobs of the year. Of course, I'm probably completely wrong in a lot of my predictions, as it's especially difficult when I haven't seen all of the films in contention. Still, the obvious choices are bound to feature largely, and if you want to see just how (in)accurate my selections were, the nominations will be announced on February 12th.
Although a healthy seemingly democratic number of five thousand academy members vote in the Oscar winners 2002,they are selected from a shortlist drawn out by Hollyoods elite producers and film hierarchy that makes the films that wow us. The academy voters then tick a box like a multiple-choice questionnaire to decide this year’s grandee. This is what we see big studio productions like Titanic and American Beauty winning the bulk of the golden statues over the lower budget better movies. In the older days before special effects the big 6 studios would award each other big four Oscars each to there top four studios equally sharing them out to boost their own productions and stature. This nepotism had enabled the big boys to stay dominant over the last century. But now with special effects available to all and actors and directors pay packets falling, so has studio power. Ironically its people like George Lucas ad Stephen Spielberg who were ignored religiously during the awards season who now run Holly through Dreamworks and Sound and Vision. These great directors have made bigger FXs big budget movies Like Gladiator expectable for the big triumphs at The Golden Globes and Oscar’s. This greatly increases The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter chances to get something over the usual serious genres. We have seen some abysmal awards lately like Angeline Jolie for Girl Interrupted .The director said that directing here was like directing Lassie!.and Cuba Junior for Jerry Mcguire.But it was that film studio who made that films turn to win the big one. Poor recent years have had the very average undeserving Erin Brokivich up for the big one that was clearly shoe horned in to get a girly winner. But things are changing slowly as the old academy power men die off and the voter demographics gets younger. This year should see those FXs films like The Rings do rather better with its cinematography bound to be rewar
ded for brilliant screenplay and technical triumph. Theres always a British film in there to, usually starring Judy Dench who has timed it just right again with Iris. I haven’t seen it as it premiers tomorrow but they are saying that the biopic on Iris Murdoch the writer with Kate Winslett has been prepped just for the big one. Personally I can’t say the last three years has been much good as far as great films go. The last truly piece of brilliant cinema for me was Schindlers List.America Beauty and Shakespeare In Love along with Titanic were the last big films to take a ton of Oscars and i can safely say they are all instantly forgettable. No one can forget the story of the persecution of the Jews in so vivid detail. We saw how special effects can be used overly relied on to make film in the awful and tired Star Wars sequel. We need a balance now between great acting and context to capture the coveted statues over the incest that exists in the dusty voting rules. If I had the nominee’s list in my hand I could pretty much predict the top Oscar winners for you. Nearer the day when that is out I will ad to this opinion to prove my point. Nicole Kidman may be rewarded for her extremely busy year in dumping Tom and her major success in Moulin Rouge and The Others.Tom Cruise is almost invisible now as he drowns in the stunning Aussies success. He may well believe his middle school yearbook that had him and Robin Williams the least likely to succeed. They both seem to be regressing to their school days don’t you think. The joke in Hollywood goes that when they got divorced they had to hand the kids back. Seems like a nice boy!. My favorite films of the year wont be winning any rewards. I loved The Dish and Amores Perres the Mexican film along with the enjoyable Best in Show and a couple of obscure foreign films. But at the end of the movie day as the 35mm digital film roles of the spool it will be t
he most hyped and lobbied films that will win the day and the acclaim. Those 5102 trustees of the statues are not beyond a few gifts for votes you know. Possible winners before I see the lists….. IRIS…. Typical quality Brit film that appeals to the Americans in style and period floppy hat and dress. When in doubt in a lean year for great women performances, Judy Dench is always they’re waiting. LORD OF THE RINGS……They cant ignore the best and darkest film of the year and will pepper it with tenichal nominations and a statue or two. ALMOST FAMOUS…. Kate Hudson was excellent as the shrewd rock sexy muse here and deserves it just to show up mum,(Goldie Hawn). AMELIE….I hope this wonderful French film wins as its visually gorgeous.Although Amores Perres should be lurking if the French joi de vie doesn’t clinch it!. Before night Falls is also a strong contender and may just sneak up and nick it. GHOST WORLD…. Haven’t seen it but the reports are strong. Looks America’s best hope for something that’s not rigged. THE PLEDGE…..Jack Nicholson, Oscar night, great performance………. MOULIN ROUGE…..We know where all the musical score statues are going don’t we…. maybe best director to. I know its not likely, but Ben Kingsley in Sexy Beast was a revelation and so far gone from Ghandi, if you haven’t seen his extraordinary psychotic performance then do it now. I will leave you with this piece of anonymous graffiti at the funeral of Jerry Kramer, director of High Noon and Guess who’s coming to dinner.who died this year.”You see!,give the public what they want and they will come!”.