Friday, 27 January 2012

Some Thoughts on The Oscar Nominations


On Monday night I posted some half-hearted predictions for the Oscar nominations. I rightly predicted Gary Oldman for Best Actor but missed out on Terrence Malick and The Tree of Life. I was hoping he and the film would be nominated and I felt he had a chance. Ultimately I put in David Fincher instead of him where I should have just gone for Malick. Here's a rundown of what I thought:

Some (quasi) surprises
While I knew who Demian Bechir was I didn't think he would make it in to Best Actor ahead of Leonardo DiCaprio or Michael Fassbender. Looking back at it, Bechir's SAG nomination was a strong indicator of his support from his fellow actors, which take up a large chunk of the Academy.

I almost put in Rooney Mara ahead of Glenn Close but I felt Close pretty much had a nomination locked. Mara ultimately knocked off Tilda Swinton. I think Mara can be considered the ingenue (I hate that word) nominee for the year, in the fashion of Jennifer Lawrence or Ellen Page.

Bigger Surprises
I thought Albert Brooks was a lock for his performance in Drive but he became this year's Andrew Garfield for me. Brooks lost out on a SAG nomination, which I guess was a foreshadowing of things to come.

While I thought Max von Sydow would have a decent shot at getting in for Best Supporting Actor, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close didn't seem to have enough steam to become a major player. Despite it's poor reviews, it scored a Best Picture nomination but broke director Stephen Daldry's nomination streak, being nominated for his last three films.

What I'm Happy About
While I haven't seen Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, It's really great to see Gary Oldman score his first Best Actor nomination.

I'm happy to see Terrence Malick recognized for his unique and personal The Tree of Life. Whether you love it or hate it, it provoked a reaction in people and will probably be the film that most people go back and watch, and talk about, long after this year's ceremony is over.

I really liked Bridesmaids and, while early on,  a nomination for Melissa McCarthy didn't seem like it would happen, she had enough support to make it in to Best Supporting Actress. McCarthy is really funny and human in the film and while she probably won't win, this gives more of a boost to McCarthy's career.

Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris is a very charming and poignant film, one Allen's most enjoyable of his recent films. While he probably won't attend the ceremony, it's nice to see him represented.

What I'm Sad About
While I knew it wouldn't happen, it's unfortunate that Joseph Gordon-Levitt's performance in 50/50 never truly caught on. Even Will Reiser's autobiographical script didn't make the cut

While I've enjoyed some of  Leonardo DiCaprio's performances more than his work in J. Edgar, I would have like to have seen him in Best Actor.

Not only was Albert Brooks ignored for Drive, so was Ryan Gosling for his subtle but affecting performance as the man only known as Driver. Heck, he was ignored for Crazy Stupid Love. and The Ides of March as well.

Who I Think Will Win
If Michel Hazanavicious wins the DGA then I think he'll probably win the Oscar since history shows that whoever wins that award goes on to win Best Director- and if he wins the Oscar The Artist will probably win Best Picture. I can't see Hazanavicious just winning Best Director, particularly ahead of some of these other guys. I could see Martin Scorsese winning Best Director and Best Picture going to The Artist.

George Clooney seems to be the front runner for his fine work in The Descendants but could Gary Oldman take it? If it was any other year, it'd probably be his. Same goes for Brad Pitt in what could be considered a career best performance in Moneyball. If it wasn't for Clooney, I think Pitt would win. Between Clooney and Pitt, I'd probably vote for Pitt.

It seems to be a race between Meryl Streep and Viola Davis. I haven't seen either performance yet but something tells me I'd vote for Davis. If Streep wins the SAG award, I think the Oscar will go to her.

I think Christopher Plummer will win the Oscar. In another year it could be Nick Nolte or Max von Sydow.

Octavia Spencer and Jessica Chastain, both nominated for The Help, could split the vote. This would open the door for the three other nominees. If Glenn Close isn't going to win for Albert Nobbs then I can't see Janet McTeer winning. Melissa McCarthy could go all the way. If there's enough love for The Artist then Berenice Bejo would get support. Still, Spencer seems to be the frontrunner and I think she'll probably win.

Only a month until the big show!

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