Award season kicks in next week with the New York Film Critics announcing their choices of the years best on Nov 29, soon followed by the National Board Of Review (Dec 1) and the infamous Golden Globe Award (noms Dec 11), then comes a flurry of award shows and critics top ten lists concluding with the grand poobah of ceremonies – The Oscars. (nominations due Jan 24, ceremony Feb 26)
And we must never forget The Gloscars!!! (first week in January)
Awards pundits are in a prediction frenzy that puts Nostradamus to shame. I will join them all and try and predict a few in some categories. Of course this does not respect my choices and I have not seen all of the films.
Check out some of the trailers at the end to see what all the fuss is about.
This year there is a possible 5-10 nominees depending on how the new voting system pans out. I wish they would bring back the 5 only rule.
The critics darling, a homage to the days of silent film making in Hollywood. Silent film star George Valentin refuses to participate in the talkies leading to his downfall and a romance with a young upcoming dancer/actress. Directed by a Frenchman and coming out of nowhere it is sure to be one to beat.
Steven Spielberg directs this adaptation of a famous children’s novel. A young boy goes to war to find his beloved horse who had been drafted earlier. The same story has been adapted into a play by London’s National Theatre that earlier this year swept Broadway’s Tony awards – winning best play. It has all the hallmarks of a sentimental Spielberg extravaganza, and looks like pure Oscar bait.
A surprise sleeper hit that scored at the US box office. A story of the trials and tribulations of being a black maid in America’s south around the time of Martin Luther King and the civil rights movement. A terrific ensemble cast that are sure to be recognised in the acting categories.
George Clooney stars in this new film by Alexander Payne who scored well with “Sideways” a few years back. A dramedy set in Hawaii about a family in crisis.
Stephen Daldry directs this post 9/11 story that I am dreading to see, not a fan of Daldry as a film director, stick to the stage Steve! The trailer is dreadful, so I can imagine what the film will be like 😦
THE TREE OF LIFE
Terrence Malick’s bore of a film may make it to the block. I hated it, critics raved. A film that divides opinion.
MIDNIGHT IN PARIS
Woody Allen’s souffle of a film. A return to form for Woody and a box office success – a rarity for him.
THE IDES OF MARCH
The handsome duo of George Clooney and spunk of the moment Ryan Gosling star in this political drama directed by Mr Clooney.
Clint Eastwood’s biopic of the famed founder of the FBI – a cross dressing closet case apparently. Leonardio DiCaprio stars.
MARCY MARTHA MAY MARLENE
This years Sundance stand out success, a staple lately in the Oscar race.
STEPHEN DALDRY – Up Close And Extremely Personal *Yuk*
STEVEN SPIELBERG – War Horse *Groan*
MICHELl HAZANAVICIUS – The Artist
MARTIN SCORCESE – Hugo
Scorcese first children’s film and in 3D, critics are raving at it is doing well at the box office. Like “The Artist” it plays tribute to the early years of filmaking. Set in a Parisian railway station it is sure to rule the technical nominations.
TERENCE MALICK – The Tree Of Life – Aaargh!
GEORGE CLOONEY – The Descendants
A previous winner in the support category for “Syriana” it has ben a good year for this debonair star, he may make it to the podium for a second time
JEAN DUJARDIN – The Artist
If the film strikes a chord with the Academy, expect this French actor to go along for the ride.
LEONARDO DiCAPRIO – J. Edgar
Often nominated, never to win, could it be Leo’s year? Perhaps he will have to wait for his Gatsby turn next year, but I wouldn’t hold my breath on that happening.
MICHAEL FASSBENDER – Shame
Swooooooon!!!! A big year for Fassbender appearing in 4 films (Jane Eyre, X-Men:First Class, A Dangerous Method) It is his turn as a sex addict that is turning heads and gaining serious momentum. Not to mention he is naked a lot and full frontal too!! Controversial and brave I guess. Film is directed by artist Steve McQueen who brought us to the attention of the actor with the brilliant but gruelling “Hunger”.
MICHAEL SHANNON – Take Shelter
A much talked about performance from Sundance, it was a while back but I wouldn’t be surprised if he turns up on the list. He was nominated a few years back for his supporting turn in “Revolutionary Road” so not a stranger to Oscar voters.
MERYL STREEP – The Iron Lady
Meryl as Maggie Thatcher how can we or the Academy resist? I am sure it will be the only nod for the film. Critics have been harsh, only praising the magnificent M but not the direction of her “Mamma Mia” collaborator Phyllida Lloyd who is another of those pesky stage directors who should not be allowed behind a lens.
MICHELLE WILLIAMS – My Week With Marilyn
Critics are raving about Michelle as the famed movie goddess but lukewarm about the film itself. She looks good in the trailer and has been so excellent in all her past performances. I predict a win!
TILDA SWINTON – We Need To Talk About Kevin
Ice queen Tilda is sure to gain a nomination in this controversial role of a mother who doesn’t warm to her child with disastrous results
GLENN CLOSE – Albert Nobbs
It has been a while since she was in the Oscar line up (1989 her last) after numerous nominations (5) and no win. This one looks promising as it is a cross-dressing role and the Academy love them. She plays a woman who masquerades as a butler to survive in 19th century Ireland, it is a pet project of Glenn’s so hopefully she may be rewarded.
ELIZABETH OLSEN – Martha Marcey May Marlene
This years Jennifer Lawrence (Winter’s Bone)? Rave reviews at Sundance, she plays a young girl who escapes from a religious cult and her struggle to re-enter society. She is also the sister of TV’s the Olsen twins!! This is the performance I am looking forward to seeing.
in with a good shot – VIOLA DAVIS – The Help (outstanding in “Doubt” she grounds this fine cast with such grace)
CHRISTOPHER PLUMMER – Beginners
After such a long distinguished career and many a fine performance surely this is his year to get the golden man. Playing a gay man in his golden years who comes out of the closet after the death of his wife much to the dismay of his son. This film is a heartbreaker and Mr Plummer is the highlight.
ALBERT BROOKS – Drive
Normally seen in comedy roles, Albert Brooks is menacing as an ex-film producer turned gangster in a film that I absolutely loved. The Academy do like to reward comedy actors in dramatic roles.
MAX VON SYDOW – Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close
Max may get the veteran vote and be competition for Plummer
KENNETH BRANAGH – My Week With Marilyn
Some say miscast as Sir Laurence Olivier but many say hilarious and a standout alongside Miss Williams as Marilyn. He always saw himself as a successor to Olivier with his Shakespeare film adaptations, now he gets to play him – go figure!
EZRA MILLER – We Need To Talk About Kevin
Creepy children can do well with the Academy (Linda Blair or Patty McCormack anyone?)
OCTAVIA SPENCER – The Help
Very funny and strong performance that is sure to be recognised. And shit she can make a mean chocolate pie!
JESSICA CHASTAIN – The Help
Appearing in no less than 5 films this year (she should team up with Michael Fassbender next) – Tree Of Life, The Debt, Take Shelter and Coriolanus are the others. it was this scene stealing role that grabbed attention and will surely get her a nod.
VANESSA REDGRAVE – Coriolanus
A grand lady of acting and a previous controversial winner (her speech not the role) for “Julia” many years ago. If they go the veteran route this year and not the newcomer then it will be her year.
SHAILENE WOODLEY – The Descendants
Apparently shines in the role of Clooney’s daughter – she will play the newcomer card alongside Chastain
CAREY MULLIGAN – Shame
Playing the songstress sister of sexaholic Fassbender, a raw performance that is garnering praise alongside her co-star
Best Art Direction
HUGO – Dante Ferretti
WAR HORSE – Rick Carter
THE ARTIST – Laurence Bennett
THE HELP – Mark Ricker
J. EDGAR – James J. Murakami
HUGO – Sandy Powell
THE ARTIST – Mark Bridges
MY WEEK WITH MARILYN – Jill Taylor
THE HELP – Sharen Davis
J. EDGAR – Deborah Hooper
HUGO – Robert Richardson
WAR HORSE – Janusz Kaminski
TREE OF LIFE – Emmanuel Lubezki
THE ARTIST – Guillaume Schiffman
DRIVE – Newton Thomas Sigel
Check out some of the trailers below.