Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Overdue Oscar Predictions

Odd that we've made it to September without me making Oscar predictions. I actually didn't think I'd do any this year until it really got to crunch time. Then Forest Whitaker started to get all this "sure thing" Oscar buzz for The Last King of Scotland, and I had been saying he was gonna get nominated since April, except I never posted it anywhere. But I totally did! Ask Nathaniel! Anyway, here's how I think the race will shake out as of right now.It won't end up like this, of course, but let's see how close I can get.

Best Picture

01 – Dreamgirls (Dreamworks/Paramount)
02 – Flags of Our Fathers (Dreamworks/Paramount)
03 – Little Children (New Line)
04 – Stranger Than Fiction (Columbia)
05 – Bobby (The Weinstein Co.)

06- Little Miss Sunshine (Fox Searchlight); 07- World Trade Center (Paramount); 08- Babel (Paramount Vantage); 09- The Last King of Scotland (Fox Searchlight); 10- The Good German (Warner Bros.); 11- The History Boys (Fox Searchlight); 12- The Departed (Warner Bros.); 13- The Pursuit of Happyness (Columbia); 14- The Good Shepherd (Universal); 15- United 93 (Universal); 16 - The Queen (Miramax); 17 - Catch A Fire (Focus Features); 18 - The Fountain (Warner Bros.); 19 - Volver (Sony Pictures Classics); 20 - Running With Scissors (Columbia).

** This category is shaping up more and more each week, though Dreamgirls looks like the only "lock." I worry that I may be tranferring my own personal love for Little Miss Sunshine to the academy, but doesn't this seem like the perfect lovable/inoffensive/success story to grab a fifth slot? The only reason I don't have it picked is that Stranger Than Fiction seems to be crowding that slot. Also, I suspect Babel and Little Children (and maybe Bobby; and maybe The Good German) will duke it out for critical champion.

Best Director
01 – Bill Condon (Dreamgirls)
02 – Clint Eastwood (Flags of Our Fathers)
03 – Oliver Stone (World Trade Center)
04 - Alejandro Gonzalez Iñaritu (Babel)
05 – Todd Field (Little Children)

06- Steven Soderbergh (The Good German); 07- Marc Forster (Stranger Than Fiction); 08- Emilio Estevez (Bobby); 09- Nicolas Hytner (The History Boys); 10- Paul Greengrass (United 93); 11- Jonathan Dayton/Valerie Ferris (Little Miss Sunshine); 12- Martin Scorsese (The Departed); 13- Kevin MacDonald (The Last King of Scotland); 14- Stephen Frears (The Queen); 15- Pedro Almodovar (Volver).

** I can't peg Emilio Estevez as an Oscar nominee. I just can't. Iñaritu seems a much better bet, even if his film gets the snub.

Acting categories await if you follow the link below . . .

Best Actor
01 – Forest Whitaker (The Last King of Scotland)
02 – Brad Pitt (Babel)
03 – Will Smith (The Pursuit of Happyness)
04 – Patrick Wilson (Little Children)
05 – Peter O'Toole (Venus)

06- Matt Damon (The Good Shepherd); 07- Derek Luke (Catch A Fire); 08- Ryan Gosling (Half-Nelson); 09- Will Ferrell (Stranger Than Fiction); 10- Jamie Foxx (Dreamgirls); 11- Sean Penn (All the King's Men); 12- Jude Law (Breaking and Entering); 13- George Clooney (The Good German).

** O'Toole's the sentimental wild card (he's never won). Though Will Smith's role seems more sentimental than a truckload of kittens and grandmothers. Could be a battle.

Best Actress
01 – Meryl Streep (The Devil Wears Prada)
02 – Helen Mirren (The Queen)
03 – Kate Winslet (Little Children)
04 – Annette Bening (Running With Scissors)
05 – Maggie Gyllenhaal (Sherrybaby)

06- Judi Dench (Notes on a Scandal); 07- Penelope Cruz (Volver); 08- Cate Blanchett (Notes on a Scandal / The Good German); 09- Beyoncé (Dreamgirls); 10- Nicole Kidman (Fur); 11- Julie Walters (Driving Lessons); 12- Ashley Judd (Bug).

** Those top four will be damn hard to unseat. Gyllenhaal's a wild card, with an unlikeable role but is having one of those "three worthy performances, give her a nod for something" years. Cruz continues to get crazy praise. And Notes on a Scandal continues to be a great unknown entity.

Best Supporting Actor
01 – Ben Affleck (Hollywoodland)
02 – Eddie Murphy (Dreamgirls)
03 – Jack Nicholson (The Departed)
04 – James MacAvoy (The Last King of Scotland)
05 – Robert Downey Jr. (Fur)

06- Brian Cox (Running With Scissors); 07- Steve Carell (Little Miss Sunshine); 08- Jackie Earle Haley (Little Children); 09- Stanley Tucci (The Devil Wears Prada); 10- Tobey Maguire (The Good German); 11-Michael Sheen (The Queen); 12- Richard Griffiths (The History Boys); 13- Jude Law (All the King's Men); 14- Michael Peña (World Trade Center); 15- Alan Arkin (Little Miss Sunshine).

** Very strong top ten, I think. Any of them could place and I would not be surprised.

Best Supporting Actress
01 – Jennifer Hudson (Dreamgirls)
02 – Jennifer Connelly (Little Children)
03 – Vera Farmiga (The Departed)
04 – Emma Thompson (Stranger Than Fiction)
05 – Emily Blunt (The Devil Wears Prada)

06- Maggie Gyllenhaal (World Trade Center / Stranger Than Fiction); 07- Carmen Maura (Volver); 08- Maria Bello (World Trade Center); 09- Anika Noni Rose (Dreamgirls); 10- Diane Lane (Hollywoodland); 11- Sharon Stone (Bobby); 12- Natalie Portman (Goya's Ghosts); 13- Rinko Kincuchi (Babel); 14- Abigail Breslin (Little Miss Sunshine); 15- Frances de la Tour (The History Boys).

** Hardest category to call. Only Hudson seems like a strong bet at this point. Everything beyond that is wild guesswork.


Kamikaze Camel said...

Whether he gets a nod for Directing or not, Emilio Estevez has two other shots at an Oscar nod. He wrote Bobby (which seems like a really good bet for a nod at this point) and I'm sure he will be named as one of the producers because he worked so tirelessly on it and got that cast and got it up and running.

Joe R. said...

It's a mad, mad world, is it not?

jessica said...

Do you think they'll campaign Meryl as Lead instead of Supporting Actress? I know she's the focal point of the movie, but I think dear Ms. Hathaway is technically the lead. Interesting call.

And don't be hatin' on Emilio. If William Zabka can be a nominee (for short film in 2003), then anybody can.

Carrie Ann said...

I think Stranger Than Fiction is getting a critical thrashing at the Toronto Film Fest, so it'll be pretty easy to unseat that one.

If Gosling doesn't get the nod for Half-Nelson that he deserved for The Believer (stupid eligibility rules, grrrrrrr), the whole thing will be a joke. But he's my precious, so I may be a little biased.

Joe R. said...

See, this is what I get for not keeping up-to-the-minute on the Toronto buzz.

And yeah, it does look like Streep will be campaigned as a lead, though a case could be made for either categorization. Anne Hathaway isn't really in the conversation anyway, so she's not a consideration.

FYI, Dave Poland today is touting Kate Winslet for the win in that category, which makes Best Actress easily the most competetive and top-heavy category from this vantage point. I could see Streep, Mirren, Winslet, or Bening coming out with the Oscar.

adam k. said...

I am SALIVATING for this year's best actress category. I would love it if it were Streep, Bening, Mirren, Winslet, and Cruz (just cause it's always fun when foreign perfs make the cut). And I am on Team Kate all the way for the win.

And speaking of actresses... it must be said... will we EVER see who wins the actress-dome tournament??? Did I miss it or something? Did you already do it? Cause if not, how long will it take? Not that there's much doubt as to the winner. I mean... come on, now...

Also, yeah, Stranger Than Fiction does seem a little "faux-profound" to me, like it's trying to hard to be the Truman Show. They kind of lost me when they had a real-world man be a fictional character in a real-world woman's book. Cause he's, you know, living in the real world. Not her book. That just doesn't make sense. I need some serious explaining of this. If that's really all it is, then that's just lazy writing.

Joe R. said...

Adam, I have a feeling Thursday might be a satisfying day for you.

Also, you seem to be rejecting the entire premise of Stranger Than Fiction. Like, entirely. Which is fine, of course, but...that's what the movie is about.

adam k. said...

With regard to Stranger Than Fiction... I mean... I'm willing to see the film and hope for a good elaboration of said premise, but I just think, from this distance, it looks lame. Basically like a lame redux of stuff that's been done before. Truman Show was brilliant in its reality-show posturing, but here, he's just... out in the world. Except also in someone's book. That just doesn't make logical sense. I'm not feeling it.

Again, I will see the film and maybe I'll be surprised... but I'm not expecting brilliance.

With regard to the actress tournament... well... why wait for tomorrow when I'm checking back in RIGHT. NOW.

Joe R. said...

Uh...refresh, dude.

jessica said...

Umm, I missed something. A thirty-something man unwittingly living his entire life on a TV show makes logical sense?

Suspension of disbelief is the point.

Deirdre said...

I saw Stranger Than Fiction and loved it; it reminded me of Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next books more than of The Truman Show (or Adaptation, which is the other comparison being drawn). And Will Ferrell is really good in it. But I admit it's not getting raves all over the place, although there was applause at the press screening.

Joe, you may need to make room for A Good Year in at least the actor and director categories (Russell Crowe, Ridley Scott). It's not getting great reviews either, but it's hard to count the Gladiator team out completely.

Anonymous said...

Put Sigourney Weaver for Snow Cake as Best Actress posibility.