Thursday, February 24, 2011

Neville's Oscar Picks-Pricks-and-Predicts: 2011

Best Picture
What will win: The King's Speech
What should win: Toy Story 3
What can't win because it wasn't nominated ('those pricks!'): Blue Valentine

The King's Speech
and The Social Network are said to be neck-and-neck, but consider this: all too often, the picture with the most noms goes home with the B.P. gold (Shakespeare in Love won over Saving Private Ryan, Titanic over L.A. Confidential, etc.). Even though I wouldn't be surprised if there was an upset here, I do think that The King's Speech is the better film and so, deserves the prize. However, I'd love--love--to see an upset and have another film (not one of these two) win. Consider Toy Story 3, and let's do a 2003 repeat by awarding Best Picture to the third film in a film/story franchise (e.g. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King).

Best Actress

Who will win: Natalie Portman for Black Swan
Who should win: Michelle Williams for Blue Valentine
Who can't win because they weren't nominated ('those pricks!'): Kim Hye-ja for Mother

I feel an upset in this category is in order. Maybe it's the post-prop-8-of-2008 political California air--and the fact that it's a multiple-nominated, no-win Annette Bening up against the young, she-has-plenty-of-chances-to-win-again-in-the-future-favorite Natalie Portman. Whatever the case may be, Natalie Portman's frantic, frenzied performance is why awards shows exist. But don't rule out Bening. She could steal the prize so don't bet too much on this category. And of course, I'd love a repeat of 2002 Oscars and have someone like Adrian Brody win (the equivalent in this category being, Michelle Williams, who seems to be favored 4th to win). That would make my heart skip a beat. As far as Nicole Kidman (Rabbit Hole was a strong film but her performance seemed a tad uneven, and over-the-top), and Jennifer Lawrence (the best thing about Winter's Bone), this year will not be their year.

Best Actor
Who will win: Colin Firth for The King's Speech
Who should win: Colin Firth for The King's Speech
Who can't win because they weren't nominated ('those pricks!'): Ryan Gosling for Blue Valentine

He didn't win last year for A Single Man, which he deserved to win for over Jeff Bridges (sorry, but it's true--Jeff Bridges should've won a long time ago, not for Crazy Heart). But alas, that's not how Oscars seem to play out these days. Therefore, Colin Firth is a shoe-in. Jesse Eisenberg is great, but he'll win an Oscar before he's 40, so the Academy won't give him one just yet. At least, I don't think they will. Same goes for James Franco (who really held and sold 127 Hours).

Best Supporting Actress
Who will win: Melissa Leo for The Fighter
Who should win: Jacki Weaver for Animal Kingdom
Who can't win because they weren't nominated ('those pricks!')(tie): Leslie Manville for Another Year and Dianne Wiest for Rabbit Hole

Leslie Manville's performance in Another Year was a revelation. It is a shock she wasn't nominated. See the film and tell me that isn't the strongest supporting actress performance of 2010. But I digress. I know people are talking about how Melissa Leo may lose this award because of her controversial, self-publicized "for your consideration" ads, but I'm not buying it. I think with the film's momentum, and the fact that it's more of a showcase for actors (not really an original story/film), Leo's got it according to me. However, this is the category that tends to go crazy. In the past, the shoe-ins have lost to nominees no one thought could've garnered it. So don't rule out Helena Bonham-Carter who, while the performance was just average, has made a career out of playing wonderful women and not being awarded for it. Plus, she was the best thing about Alice In Wonderland last year, so an award for her here is an award for her career. The young star of True Grit could also upset (given the film's surprising recognition in nominations, alone) but I still think that's not where voters are going to go. However, if I could make one wish, if I could hope for one award to go a different way, it would be for Jacki Weaver to win for Animal Kingdom. In it, she plays a truly original, truly terrifying woman (the matriarch of an Aussie crime-family). With every kiss, with every speech, with every embrace, you can feel the duplicity of Weaver's character. Out of these five nominees, she clearly is the strongest. And the year's 2nd best supporting actress performance has (like Manville) also been grossly overlooked. Two-time Academy Award winner Dianne Wiest (Rabbit Hole) was the best thing about that film, and stole every scene she was in. If I could write in a name to vote for, Wiest would be my pick.

Best Supporting Actor
Who will win: Christian Bale for The Fighter
Who should win: Geoffrey Rush for The King's Speech
Who can't win because they weren't nominated ('those pricks!'): Andrew Garfield for The Social Network

I have a theory: if the real man Christian Bale portrayed wasn't featured in b-roll footage at the end of The Fighter, he wouldn't be winning this statue. However, since it was, we're shown what an amazing impersonation he did, how he really did embody that character of a drugged out, washed-up boxer, self-destructed and all. My opinion? Too much, too much. That kind of acting is for the stage and to be honest, I never felt that Bale wasn't giving a 'performance.' It was never more than this. Geoffrey Rush, however, did the opposite. He embodied the spirit, feeling and truth of Lionel in The King's Speech and in some scenes, stole them away from Firth. He's that good and he deserves the win here, hands down. As much as I love Mark Ruffalo, this isn't the film he should win for (The Kids Are Alright). He'll win one before 2020, though. Guaranteed.


Agree? Disagree? Let me know.

1 comment:

kactus said...

Neville - you are a REALLY good writer with imagination, flair and believability! Thank you ole Pard! I'll be watching (or reading) of this event and pulling for your choices. Way to go my brother!