With the ceremony almost a month away, the nominations for the 83rd Annual Academy Awards were announced today. James Franco and Anne Hathaway are going to be the hosts for the ceremony. This is the second year that ten films were nominated for the coveted Best Picture, and aside from one or two snubs (cough *Chris Nolan for Best Director* cough) (at least it’s not as bad as The Blind Side getting nominated last year) it’s a pretty satisfying list of nominees that will set the stage for an entertaining ceremony next month. The King’s Speech led the pack with 12 nominations, and The Social Network and Inception both held 8 each. Black Swan and True Grit also held a respectable amount of donations as well rounding out the rest of the pack of Oscar front runners. I’m also a little bummed out both Shutter Island and The Town, two phenomenal movies, were shut out aside from a respectful nomination for Jeremy Renner’s awesome performance in The Town (arguably the best part of that film, but interestingly enough was the front man of last year’s Best Picture winner). Also, although I loved Jeff Bridges performance in True Grit, his nomination here is no more than a simple nod since there’s no chance he can win after winning last year. Here’s the full list of nominees, the bold-ed nominees being my own personal predictions for the year.
- BEST PICTURE-Black Swan, The Fighter, Inception, The Kids Are All Right, The King’s Speech, 127 Hours, The Social Network, Toy Story 3, True Grit, Winter’s Bone
- BEST DIRECTOR-Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan), Joel Coen and Ethan Coen (True Grit), David Fincher (The Social Network), Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech), David O. Russell (The Fighter)
- BEST ACTOR-Javier Bardem (Biutiful), Jeff Bridges (True Grit), Jessie Eisenburg (The Social Network), Colin Firth (The King’s Speech), James Franco (127 Hours)
- BEST ACTRESS-Annette Benning (The Kids Are All Right), Nicole Kidman (Rabbit Hole), Jennifer Lawrence (Winter’s Bone), Natalie Portman (Black Swan), Michelle Williams (Blue Valentine)
- BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR-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)
- BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS-Amy Adams (The Fighter), Helena Bonham Carter (The King’s Speech), Melissa Leo (The Fighter), Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit), Jacki Weaver (Animal Kingdom
- BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY-Another Year, The Fighter, Inception, The Kids Are All Right, The King’s Speech
- BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY-127 Hours, The Social Network, Toy Story 3, True Grit, Winter’s Bone
- BEST ANIMATED FILM-How To Train Your Dragon, The Illusionist, Toy Story 3
- BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM-Biutiful (Mexico), Dogtooth (Greece), In a Better World (Denmark), Incendies (Canada), Outside the Line (Algeria)
- BEST DOCUMENTARY-Exit Through the Gift Shop, Gasland, Inside Job, Restrepo, Waste Land
- BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT-Killing in the Name, Poster Girl, Strangers No More, Sun Come Up, The Warriors of Qiugang
- BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT-The Confession, The Crush, God of Love, Na Wewe, Wish 143
- BEST ANIMATED SHORT-Day & Night (The one from before Toy Story 3), The Gruffalo, Let’s Pollute, The Lost Thing, Madagascar a Journey Diary
- BEST SOUND EDITING-Inception, Toy Story 3, Tron: Legacy, True Grit, Unstoppable
- BEST SOUND MIXING-Inception, The King’s Speech, Salt, The Social Network, True Grit
- BEST ART DIRECTION-Alice in Wonderland, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, Inception, The King’s Speech, True Grit
- BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY-Black Swan, Inception, The King’s Speech, The Social Network, True Grit
- BEST MAKEUP-Barney’s Version, The Way Back, The Wolfman
- BEST COSTUME DESIGN-Alice in Wonderland, I Am Love, The King’s Speech, The Tempest, True Grit
- BEST FILM EDITING-Black Swan, The Fighter, The King’s Speech, 127 Hours, The Social Network
- BEST VISUAL EFFECTS-Alice in Wonderland, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, Hereafter, Inception, Iron Man 2
So I heard about this trend on a podcast the other day and I thought I’d give it a try. 2011 is a semi-big year for films, and there are a lot of sink or swim moments coming up (I’m looking at you Thor and Captain America). That being said, I’m going to pick out what I think my Top Ten of 2011 list is going to be now based on what I’ve seen/heard or feel about upcoming films, and a year from now I’ll be able to check back and see how I compared. Hopefully I’ll be able to laugh at it, or be 100% right and discover I have psychic abilities.
10-Paul-After a lukewarm trailer I’m a little cautious about this one, however I feel like it’s going to surprise me. Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are writing this road trip comedy about two guys (themselves) discovering an alien (voiced by Seth Rogen) that puts them on the run from the FBI, so I have a very strong feeling like it’s going to become a cult classic but perform disastrously commercially speaking. I don’t think it’s going to blow me away, but at the same time I feel like the #10 spot is a good place to call it.
9-Cowboys and Aliens-One of the biggest dark horses of the year, I feel like Jon Favreau’s newest film will definitely find a certain audience and stick with it. That being said, I feel like I’m the perfect example of that audience. I have no doubt I’ll love Favreau’s newest movie, and it very well could rank higher on the list than at #9, but this feels like a pretty safe bet.
8-Super 8-See what I did there? Super 8 looks like it’ll be the critical darling of next summer mainly because no one has any idea what it’s about. I’m usually a fan of J.J. Abrams’ stuff (Cloverfield is still one of my favorite horror films ever), and the inclusion of mastermind Steven Spielburg definitely doesn’t hurt it.
7-Sucker Punch-While I honestly can’t wait to see this one in theaters this Spring, the fact that I have no prior experience with the source material is a little bit alarming for me. Whereas with Guardians of Ga’Hoole, Watchmen, and 300 were all films that had prior treatment/guidelines, Sucker Punch is something completely born in Snyder’s mind. That could result in a film that lets his creative juices seep all over the place and give birth to a cultural mish-mash that blows peoples’ minds, or result in “a little too much” for the eyes and ears. Time will tell.
6-Your Highness/The Hangover 2/The Sitter-I’m lumping these three together because A-One or more of them could suck (although I’m definitely seeing all three in theaters) and B-The few that don’t suck will probably still be lumped together at the end of the year unless one really stands out and deserves to be separated (or even be #1, who knows). Your Highness is being made by the team behind Pineapple Express, The Hangover 2 is sure to be a hit, and The Sitter stars Jonah Hill, so I’m immediately sold. I am prepared to laugh (hopefully WITH the film).
5-Hugo Cabret-When a film gets branded with Martin Scorsese’s name, my ears immediately perk up with interest. His involvement with The Departed and last year’s incredible Shutter Island made them both fantastic movies, and I can only begin to imagine how great this next movie can be. Let me set the stage for you. High Concept Visual Style + Ben Kingsley and Sacha Baron Cohen + 3D + Christmas Time. This is the one to watch for me in the latter half of next year, and has a HUGE chance of pulling one of the higher spots when it’s all said and done.
4-Crazy, Stupid, Love-I’ll admit I’m a sucker for romantic comedies. One of, if not my favorite in the mushy-gushy brand of films is Steve Carell’s 2007 hit Dan in Real Life. While a lot of my friends make fun of the film and me for liking it because it is considerably slow and not a lot of funny stuff happens in it, there’s something about the pace and subtlety of the comedy that warms my heart. So when Steve Carell is hired onto another romantic comedy much in the same vein, you better believe it pops up on my radar. It’s almost guaranteed a spot.
3-The Green Hornet-With less than two weeks away from this film’s release, I can very soon tell you if there’s any chance this one might end up this high on my list. For my money, I have a feeling like it will. I love the fact that Michel Gondry is peppering in his visual flair, I love the fact it’s a bromance written by Rogen, I love the fact that Waltz is the bad guy, everything about this movie is pitch perfect on paper, and I cannot wait to see it in action. Films that start off the year with a bang (like Shutter Island) usually have a great shot at staying high on the list through the year.
2-The Muppets-What more is there to say about this project other than the fact than it’s the freaking muppets coming back to the big screen in a holiday release starring and being written by one of the funniest guys in Hollywood that perfectly “gets” the humor of the muppets. There’s no better person for the job. In fact, he wrote one of the best puppet-themed sketches in the past few years with Dracula’s Lament. If you haven’t seen it yet, Youtube it immediamente. If this film sucks or is bad enough to not warrant being on this list, either there were a ton of great movies next year or I’m going to stop watching film.
1-The Adjustment Bureau-Whenever I first saw the trailer for this movie early in 2010, something about it jumped out at me. Matt Damon (who was one of the leads in my favorite film of 2010, True Grit) is starring in it while wearing a cool looking fedora in the trailer, along with a lot of cooler-looking old guys in trench coats. It’s a high concept drama about a man having to confront an “adjustment bureau” that oversees the way the world works. They’re threatening Matt Damon’s character’s overall thread of life if he continues to go after this one girl he’s not “destined to be with”. If it lives up to its potential its setting with its lofty romance and high concepts of the “fate of the universe”, it’ll be worth the wait and a guaranteed #1 hopefully. But if not, it’ll be one of the bigger disappointments of this year.
So this time next year, I’ll pull up this post and compare it in my actual Top Ten of 2011 post, and see where I stood. Honestly, I don’t think I did too poorly. I feel like most of these films will still be in the list by the end of the year, it’s just the order I’m concerned with. Only time will tell though. As an addendum, here are a few “black horses” for the year with some films that look promising but I didn’t see as “Best of the Year” likely. Happy movie going in 2011!!
Dark Horses of 2011-
- 30 Minutes or Less
- Kung Fu Panda 2: The Kaboom of Doom
- Take Me Home Tonight
- The Dilemma
- Source Code
- Hall Pass
- Green Lantern
- Captain America
- Water for Elephants