Sunday, February 27, 2011

DiggAcademy Awards Predictions & Commentary

Best Picture
The Fighter
Kings Speech  - Will Win
Black Swan
Social Network - Should Win
True Grit
The Kids are Alright
127 Hours
Toy Story 3
Winters Bone

Commentary:  King’s Speech had great performances by Rush and Firth, but so did every other nominated movie.  King’s was a fine movie but if it wins it will be the biggest travesty since Shakespeare In Love bested Saving Private Ryan for Best Picture in 1998.  Social Network was well paced, entertaining, and gripping.  For the record, if Best Picture goes to the most enjoyable experience, I would rate The Fighter, Social Network, Black Swan, True Grit, and Inception over King’s Speech.
Best Actor
Colin Firth – Will Win/Should Win
Jeff Bridges
Javier Bardem
James Franco
Jesse Eisenberg

The above commentary notwithstanding, Colin Firth was incredible and deserves the Oscar.  I like Jesse Eisenberg, but after seeing Zombieland and Adventureland (Perhaps Social Network should have been named Facebookland)I am seeing the same character a la Michael Cera.

Best Actress
Annette Bening
Nicole Kidman
Natalie Portman – Will Win/Should Win
Michelle Williams
Jennifer Lawrence

If a King’s Speech win is a travesty, then worse yet would be if Annette Bening wins Best Actress over Natalie Portman.  No comparison at all.  Portman’s personal commitment to the film and her portrayal of a dancer’s descent into madness was magnificent.  Full disclosure: her scene with Mila Kunis wasn’t too bad either.
Best Supporting Actor
Christian Bale – Will Win/Should Win
Geoffrey Rush
Mark Ruffalo
Jeremy Renner
John Hawkes

All of these performances, yes I did see them all, were fabulous and nomination worthy.  Renner was the best part of The Town, Hawkes continues to impress since his days on Deadwood, Rush is always great, and Ruffalo has mastered the role of socially stunted adult.  But Bale was tremendous as the crack addict Dicky Eklund; the latest in great performances starting with his portrayal of Jim in Spielberg’s Empire of the Sun back in 1987.

Best Supporting Actress
Melissa Leo – Will Win
Amy Adams
Hailee Steinfeld – Should Win
Helena Bonham Carter
Jacki Weaver

I have been a fan of Leo since her days on Homicide and her performance in Frozen River was Oscar worthy.  Along with her costar Amy Adams from The Fighter, this year’s performances were exceptional and I wouldn’t be disappointed if either wins.  Carter was OK.  But after watching young Steinfeld hold her own against Bridges, Damon, and Brolin in True Grit, I have to say it was the best performance.  Having to recite those Charles Portis lines as directed and written for the screen by the Coen Brothers was a joy to watch.

Best Director
David Fincher (Social Network) – Will Win/Should Win
Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan)
Tom Hooper (King’s Speech)
David O. Russell (The Fighter)
Joel and Ethan Coen (True Grit)

If Social Network loses out to King’s Speech, then it is likely that Fincher will get the much deserved Oscar for directing.  His flashback laced production brought out the best in his cast and that is what directing is all about.  All five directors deserve credit for creating outstanding visions of the respective scripts.  Biggest disappointment is the fact that Hooper is being talked up as a possible winner when Aronofsky’s work on Black Swan was superior.  As for the Coen brothers, has there been a more consistent body of work by any individual or team?

Best Documentary
Inside Job – Will Win/Should Win
Exit Through The Gift Shop
Waste Land

I know documentaries typically get little notice, but thanks to An Inconvenient Truth and the work of Michael Moore (love him or hate him he raises the importance of social issues) these films are essential to the film industry and society.  Restrepo and GasLand were both exceptional, but Inside Job is the clear winner for best documentary and more significantly, the most important movie of the year.

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