Oscar Eye: Predicting The Part That Has Nothing To Do With The New Host

By Katey Rich 2011-11-10 20:13:13discussion comments
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Oscar Eye: Predicting The Part That Has Nothing To Do With The New Host image
For the first time all season, the Oscars were all over the headlines this week, though for reasons that have absolutely nothing to do with what we talk about in this column. Regardless of who new producer Brian Grazer chooses to host the show, the awards will be handed out to the same batch of movies we've been predicting, and hopefully none of them will be forced to endure awful jokes, tired dance routines, or anything as dull as James Franco rolling his eyes. But really, the choice of a host doesn't have much of an impact on the race itself, which continues on even with the host's spot totally empty (for now).

So this week we finally see the release of the latest Clint Eastwood movie, pegged for Oscar chances-- like most other Eastwood movies of late- from the moment we knew it existed. I reviewed it already and was surprised, given how dreadful Hereafter and Invictus were, not to hate it. It's not really a good movie, but given the great performances Leonardo DiCaprio and Armie Hammer are giving, it works surprisingly well in parts. I'm not really counting on the movie to make much of a splay, nor should Dustin Lance Black go two-for-two on Best Original Screenplay nominations, but I'd like to see DiCaprio and Hammer get into their respective acting categories. Judi Dench and Naomi Watts, sadly, don't have nearly enough to do to make it in theirs.

Other than that it's relatively quiet on the Oscar front as we head into the Thanksgiving holiday, and next week two children's movies-- Martin Scorsese's Hugo and The Muppets-- may start making their own bids toward awards glory. But in the meantime-- and while we wait on news of the new Oscar host to chew over-- it's on to the charts.

oscar winner prediction
BEST PICTURE

No change in this category from last week, though next week will probably be the time to bump J. Edgar down as a long shot-- Eastwood movies have a way of sticking around the conversation longer than you'd think, so I'm not ready to write it off just yet. And as I write this I'm on my way to big a promotional push for the Blu-Ray release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, and I'm wondering if the sheer force of box office might find that movie a spot in the Top 5, or 10, or however many they pick. They've certainly got enough money to launch a serious campaign.

MORTAL LOCK

The Artist
The Descendants
The Help
 
LIKELY CONTENDER

Midnight in Paris
Moneyball
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
War Horse
Young Adult
 
STILL IN THE RUNNING

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
Hugo
The Ides of March
The Iron Lady
J. Edgar
The Tree of Life
 
OUTSIDE CHANCE

Beginners
Carnage
Coriolanus
A Dangerous Method
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Jane Eyre
Martha Marcy May Marlene
My Week WIth Marilyn
Rampart
Shame
Take Shelter
We Bought A Zoo
Win Win


oscar winner prediction
BEST DIRECTOR

I've bumped up Martin Scorsese as still in the running, given the continued warm buzz for Hugo and the film's power as a love letter to the movies. I wonder if maybe Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy could fizzle a little in its U.S. release, and the Academy might go for a homegrown director instead of the Swedish up-and-comer. Just food for thought as the race remains relatively unshaped.
 
MORTAL LOCK

Alexander Payne, The Descendants
 
LIKELY CONTENDER

Tomas Alfredson, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Woody Allen, Midnight In Paris
Michel Hazanvicius, The Artist
Terrence Malick, The Tree of Life
Bennett Miller, Moneyball
 
STILL IN THE RUNNING

George Clooney, The Ides of March
Stephen Daldry, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
Clint Eastwood, J. Edgar
David Fincher, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Steve McQueen, Shame
Martin Scorsese, Hugo
Steven Spielberg, War Horse
 
OUTSIDE CHANCE

David Cronenberg, A Dangerous Method
Cameron Crowe, We Bought A Zoo
Sean Durkin, Martha Marcy May Marlene
Ralph Fiennes, Coriolanus
Phyllida Lloyd, The Iron Lady
Tom McCarthy, Win Win
Mike Mills, Beginners
Oren Moverman, Rampart
Jeff Nichols, Take Shelter
Roman Polanski, Carnage
Jason Reitman, Young Adult
Tate Taylor, The Help
 

oscar winner prediction
BEST ACTOR
It's very hard to say if DiCaprio is a lock at this point, given J. Edgar's mixed reviews and the fact that he doesn't always get nominated (much as it feels like he does). But I'd say he's got a better shot than pretty much anyone else in that lineup. I'm really wondering about Ryan Gosling, in fact, since The Ides of March seems to be swiftly falling out of the collective memory. But you have to wait to see if he's remembered by critics before calling that one off, and after the year he's had, who can resist Gosling? Finally, Sony Pictures Classics has decided to campaign the full Carnage cast in Supporting, so they've been put there.

MORTAL LOCK

George Clooney, The Descendants
 
LIKELY CONTENDER

Leonardo DiCaprio, J. Edgar
Jean Dujardin, The Artist
Gary Oldman, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Ryan Gosling, The Ides of March
Brad Pitt, Moneyball
 
STILL IN THE RUNNING

Matt Damon, We Bought A Zoo
Michael Fassbender, Shame
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, 50/50
Michael Shannon, Take Shelter
 
OUTSIDE CHANCE

Demian Bichir, A Better Life
Asa Butterfield, Hugo
Daniel Craig, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
Michael Fassbender, A Dangerous Method
Ralph Fiennes, Coriolanus
Paul Giamatti, Win Win
Woody Harrelson, Rampart
Thomas Horn, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
Rhys Ifans, Anonymous
Jeremy Irvine, War Horse
   

oscar winner prediction
BEST ACTRESS
Elizabeth Olsen gets a deserved bump up to Likely Contender, as Martha Marcy May Marlene continues to be the big talked-about indie of the fall-- even the Obamas watched it at the White House. When you get the Presidential seal of approval, you at least deserve to be considered for the Oscar nod. And Keira Knightley is reportedly campaigning as a lead actress in A Dangerous Method, so she's been put in her place, though with a slim shot at an actual nomination.

MORTAL LOCK

Viola Davis, The Help
   
LIKELY CONTENDER

Glenn Close, Albert Nobbs
Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady
Elizabeth Olsen, Martha Marcy May Marlene
Charlize Theron, Young Adult
Michelle Williams, My Week With Marilyn
 
STILL IN THE RUNNING

Kirsten Dunst, Melancholia
Felicity Jones, Like Crazy
Keira Knightley, A Dangerous Method
Rooney Mara, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
Tilda Swinton, We Need To Talk About Kevin
Michelle Yeoh, The Lady
 
OUTSIDE CHANCE

Jodie Foster, Carnage
Emily Watson, Oranges & Sunshine
Mia Wasikowska, Jane Eyre
Rachel Weisz, The Deep Blue Sea
   

oscar winner prediction
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
A couple of changes around here, with Armie Hammer bumped up to Likely Contender for his aforementioned excellent work in J. Edgar, and Nick Nolte knocked down, since Warrior's fade doesn't seem to be changing directions. That leaves six Likely Contenders, in addition to the entire Tinker Tailor contingent capable of breaking out. There's no clear front-runner or even crop of nominees. Kind of fun, if you think of it that way.

MORTAL LOCK

NONE
 
LIKELY CONTENDER

Kenneth Branagh, My Week With Marilyn
Albert Brooks, Drive
Armie Hammer, J. Edgar
Patton Oswalt, Young Adult
Brad Pitt, The Tree of Life
Christopher Plummer, Beginners
 
STILL IN THE RUNNING

Paul Giamatti, The Ides of March
John Hawkes, Martha Marcy May Marlene
Jonah Hill, Moneyball
Nick Nolte, Warrior
Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Ides of March
 
OUTSIDE CHANCE

Niels Arestrup, War Horse
Jim Broadbent, The Iron Lady
Benedict Cumberbatch, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Colin Firth, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Robert Forster, The Descendants
Tom Hanks, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
Tom Hardy, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Tom Hiddleston, War Horse
Ezra Miller, We Need To Talk About Kevin
Viggo Mortensen, A Dangerous Method
John C. Reilly, Carnage
Mark Strong, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
David Thewlis, The Lady Christoph Waltz, Carnage
 
 
oscar winner prediction
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
I've bumped Dench and Watts from J. Edgar to the bottom of the list-- that's the movie's damn fault for underusing both of them. This category is starting to look thinner and thinner, but at least the performances remaining-- Chastain, Redgrave, Spencer and Woodley alone would make for an excellent lineup. And as I re-read Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, I'm optimistic about what Sandra Bullock might add here too.
 
MORTAL LOCK

NONE
 
LIKELY CONTENDER

Jessica Chastain, The Help/Tree of Life/Take Shelter
Janet McTeer, Albert Nobbs
Vanessa Redgrave, Coriolanus
Octavia Spencer, The Help
Shailene Woodley, The Descendants
 
STILL IN THE RUNNING

Sandra Bullock, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
Carey Mulligan, Shame
Evan Rachel Wood, The Ides of March
 
OUTSIDE CHANCE

Berenice Bejo, The Artist
Marion Cotillard, Midnight in Paris
Judi Dench, J. Edgar
Elle Fanning, We Bought A Zoo
Charlotte Gainsbourg, Melancholia
Bryce Dallas Howard, The Help
Scarlett Johansson, We Bought A Zoo
Melissa McCarthy, Bridesmaids
Naomi Watts, J. Edgar
Kate Winslet, Carnage

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