Josh’s Oscar Predictions

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As far as actual merit, I don’t put a lot of stock in the Academy Awards.  I don’t really care what Brad Pitt thinks is the best film of the year, no offense to you Mr. Pitt.  However it is a fun horse race and sometimes the Academy manages to surprise us and actually get it right.  Sometimes they will nominate something or someone that is so deserving that you can’t help but cheer.  The following are my predictions for what and who I think will be nominated.  These are not my personal preferences but rather my predictions.


This category starts out with five films that seem to be locked in for a nomination.  David Fincher’s The Social Network has been the movie of the year for many people and it is definitely out in front for the Best Picture win.  Christopher Nolan’s action thriller Inception is not far behind and after the snub of The Dark Knight, it is locked and loaded for the nomination.  The King’s Speech and The Fighter are probably the two most traditional Oscar fare and both are among the most celebrated films of the year.  Finally, as unlikely as it might sound, Black Swan has gotten enough precursor attention and has enough passion to be considered a lock.

While not locks, the following two films are probably safe bets to get a nomination.  After last year’s Up was the first Pixar film to get a Best Picture nomination, Toy Story 3 looks like a sure thing.  The film is widely considered to be the best of the franchise, and with ten slots, it should have no problem getting in.  We haven’t seen a western get a Best Picture nomination since Unforgiven, however that is probably going to change with the Coen Brothers’ True Grit looking likely to make it in.

Lisa Cholodenko’s comedy The Kid’s Are All Right was a surprise hit over the summer and it will probably be rewarded with an nomination.  That leaves two spots open for about eight films.  Roman Polanski made one of the best films of his career with The Ghost Writer and could find itself rewarded with an nomination.  However Summit mishandled the release and it may be considered too slight.  127 Hours was thought to be a front runner early on however it has been unable to find an audience and it will have problems being seen by Academy members.  The Way Back would have a chance had it not been released at the end of the year and had a bigger distributor.  Debra Granik’s indie Winter’s Bone has been kept alive by critics and surprisingly strong box office for an indie film.  I think it will be rewarded with a nomination.  The academy usually loves Mike Leigh but the competition might be too thick for Another YearRabbit Hole would have a better shot if its box office was stronger but it can’t seem to find any traction.  Shutter Island has its share of backers but it’s early release date and mixed critical reception probably means that it doesn’t have much of a shot.  That leaves us with the other Boston film, The Town.  Ben Affleck’s gritty crime drama was a hit both critically and commercially which means it will get rewarded with an nominaton.

FYC: It’s Kind of a Funny Story

This might be the easiest category to call right now.  There are three directors who are locks and can rest assured of getting their name called Tuesday morning.  David Fincher will get his second straight Best Director nomination for The Social Network and is easily the favorite to win.  In 2009, many people were shocked when Christopher Nolan was snubbed from getting a Best Picture nomination for The Dark Knight however his name will be called on Tuesday morning for InceptionDarren Aronofsky will finally receive his first Oscar nomination Tuesday morning for Black Swan.

While he could still be passed over in favor of showier fare, Tom Hooper will probably get his first nomination for The King’s Speech.  Things could get interesting for the battle of the last spot.  After a woman winning last year, it would make sense for Debra Granik to get a nomination for Winter’s Bone.  However the film is too small and there is too much competition.  The academy loves rewarding actor-directors so Ben Affleck might hear his name called Tuesday.  However he will probably have to wait his turn.  If Danny Boyle hadn’t won for Slumdog Millionaire, he might have been a favorite for a nomination but combine that with the 127 Hours not performing well at the box office and his chances have lessened considerably.  The Coen Brothers could get in but they might have come on too late.  This leaves the final slot to David O. Russell for The Fighter.  This is a comeback story for him and his work along with the way he has turned his persona around will likely be enough to land him the nomination.

FYC: Debra Granik – Winter’s Bone


We know that three actors are pretty much in at this point.  James Franco is the man of the hour right now and he can add Oscar nominee to his already big resume, which includes Oscar host, for his bravura performance in 127 HoursColin Firth will pick up his second nomination in a row for The King’s Speech and is likely the favorite to win.  It seemed unlikely at the start of the race but Jesse Eisenberg’s incredible performance as Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network will make him the tenth youngest nominee in this category’s history.

The other two spots are completely up for grabs.  Mark Wahlberg could pick up his second nomination for his powerful performance in The Fighter but it might be too understated to get in.  Robert Duvall was once considered to be the favorite to win for his endearing performance as the hermit Felix Bush in Get Low however the film has lost a lot of steam.  Still the fact that it is Duvall means that he might just squeak in.  If Javier Bardem’s performance in Biutiful had been in English, than he would be a lock.  However not enough people have seen the film.  Jeff Bridges won last year and hear his name called again this year in the role that won John Wayne his only Oscar in True Grit however I think that final spot will go to one-time nominee Ryan Gosling for his brave performance in Blue Valentine.

FYC: Ryan Reynolds – Buried


This category is easily the most competitive category of the year, with about nine actresses fighting for five slots.  Three actresses are locks and can rest assured that they will get their name called Tuesday morning.  Annette Benning is looking for her first win in what will be her fourth attempt for her funny comedic turn in The Kids Are All RightNatalie Portman is probably leading the pack with her powerful performance in Black Swan and is in line to get her second nomination.  Indie sensation Jennifer Lawrence will become the fifth youngest nominee for her incredible performance in Winter’s Bone.

Hallie Steinfeld has been pushed in the supporting category for True Grit, however in all reality she is a lead.  BAFTA placed her in the lead category and I think she will be nominated here because child actors that are pushed for supporting tend to get nominated as leads.  That leaves one spot open for four people.  Lesley Manville got off to a hot start for her wonderful work in Another Year but failing to place in SAG and BFCA makes her a long-shot in this category.  Nicole Kidman had a comeback role with her moving performance in Rabbit Hole however the film has failed to preform at the box office and her buzz has cooled off significantly.  Julianne Moore gave the best performance in The Kids Are All Right but her buzz has been drowned out by her co-star Benning.  Noomi Rapace helped make Lisbeth Salander an iconic film character with her fearless performance in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo but she might split the votes with herself for the two sequels.  That leaves us with Michelle Williams, who gave a gutsy performance in Blue Valentine and will likely sneak in the fifth spot.

FYC: Tilda Swinton – I Am Love


This category has traditionally been the most competitive and most likely to surprise but I don’t think that will happen this year.  There are two locks in this category right now.  Christian Bale transformed himself into former real life boxing champion Dicky Englund in The Fighter and will pick up his first nomination.  Geoffrey Rush gave a wonderful comedic performance as the eccentric speech therapist Lionel Logue in The King’s Speech and will be rewarded with his fourth nomination.

Jeremy Renner will likely receive his second nomination in a row for his frightening portrayal of a Boston bank robber in The Town.  This leaves six people competing for two spots.  Andrew Garfield could be rewarded for his performance in The Social Network however he may be too young and his performance might be too low key.  Plus he also has to deal with internal competition from Armie Hammer and Justin TimberlakeJohn Hawkes will get in for his bravura turn in Winter’s Bone.  Hawkes has been around for a long time and his performance will likely get a lot of number one votes.  Matt Damon was very funny as the comedic relief in True Grit but he hasn’t popped up anywhere yet.  Sam Rockwell is due for an nomination but his film Conviction was under-seen.  Bill Murray was once thought to be a front-runner for his scene-stealing performance in Get Low but he has failed to gain any real momentum.  This leaves us with Mark Ruffalo, who gave a wonderfully charismatic performance in The Kids are All Right as the fifth nominee.

FYC: Zack Galifanakis – It’s Kind of a Funny Story


Another category where there is always a shocker, this is likely where the surprises will come.  However there are two mortal locks in the category and they both come from the same movie.  Melissa Leo brought the “Boston” with her to her nasty mother in The Fighter and will be rewarded with her second nomination.  Amy Adams shed her cute girl image with her tough performance as Mickey Ward’s wife in The Fighter and will pick up her third nomination.

Helen Bonham Carter will likely get in for her subtle performance as King George VI’s supportive wife in The King’s SpeechMila Kunis brought uncommon intelligence and wit to her role in Black Swan and will probably get rewarded with her first nomination.  This leaves us with five actresses fighting for one spot.  Hallie Steinfeld seemed like a likely favorite in this category for her performance in True Grit but I am going with her in the Best Actress category.  Lesley Manville might have a better chance here for her wonderful performance in Another Year but will it be too late?  Blake Lively gave one of the best performances of the year in The Town but the competition is probably too thick.  Diane Wiest has failed to pick up any traction for her beautiful performance in Rabbit Hole.  This means that the final spot will go to Jacki Weaver for her chilling performance in Animal Kingdom.

FYC: Dale Dickey – Winter’s Bone

Best Original Screenplay:
Another Year
Blue Valentine
The Kids are All Right
The King’s Speech

Best Adapted Screenplay:
The Social Network
The Town
Toy Story 3
True Grit
Winter’s Bone

Best Film Editing:
Black Swan
The Fighter
The King’s Speech
The Social Network

Best Cinematography:
127 Hours
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt 1
The Social Network
True Grit

Best Art Direction:
Alice in Wonderland
The King’s Speech
Shutter Island
True Grit

Best Costume Design:
Alice in Wonderland
Black Swan
The King’s Speech
True Grit

Best Visual Effects:
Alice in Wonderland
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt 1
Iron Man 2
TRON Legacy

Alice in Wonderland
Jonah Hex
The Wolfman

Best Sound Editing:
Black Swan
Iron Man 2
TRON Legacy

Best Sound Mixing:
Black Swan
Iron Man 2
The Social Network
TRON Legacy

Best Original Score:
127 Hours
The Ghost Writer
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt 1
The Social Network

Best Original Song:
127 Hours
Country Strong
Toy Story 3

Best Documentary:
Exit through the Gift Shop
Inside Job
Waiting for Superman

Best Animated Feature:
How to Train Your Dragon
The Illusionist
Toy Story 3

Best Foreign Language Film:
In a Better World
Life Above All

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