Rex: The State Of The Oscar Race

oscarpicssecuredownloadLemonWade’s Oscars prognosticator, Rex Okpodu, has studied all the data (critics’ picks, award nominations) and come up with the following assessment of the current state of the race for the 2011 Academy Awards.

Best Picture:

The Social Network is the zeitgeist movie of the year. Its box office and critical acclaim makes it a lock for a nomination and the current frontrunner for the win on Oscar night. If Network is the young turk contender, The King’s Speech is the more traditional opposite contender. The directing category (see analysis below) is the strongest barometer for where the oscar for best picture is destined each year. That said, there are 10 contenders from this list of 12:

The King’s Speech
The Social Network
Toy Story 3
127 Hours
The Kids Are Alright
True Grit
Black Swan
Winter’s Bone
The Fighter
The Town
Another Year

Best Director

The director is usually the star of the best picture race. The directing category is also the strongest indicator of where Oscar for best picture is headed each year. Only three films have won Best Picture without their directors being nominated (though only one since the early 1930s): Wings (1927/28), Grand Hotel (1931/32), and Driving Miss Daisy (1989). Rarely do the five 5 contenders for best picture correspond to the director category, though this has happened thrice in the last 10 years (in 2000, 2005 and 2008). With the increase in best picture contenders to 10, some films will be nominated without their directors getting the nod.

Fincher and Hooper seem like locks, Nolan might get in as consolation for his absence for 2008’s Dark Knight (which is arguably why the best picture list was increased to 10, to include critically acclaimed summer blockbusters). Boyle was a recent winner and might be included despite 127 Hours losing some steam recently. Darren Aronofsky and David O. Russell might make the list for their critically acclaimed The Fighter and Black Swan respectively. The Coens already have their directing Oscars but could figure if True Grit is well received. Peter Weir and Mike Leigh are well-liked and could get a nod. And Lisa Cholodenko could be recognised for giving a realistic take on an alternative family threatened around the seams.

The complete list will probably have 5 nominees from this list of 8:

David Fincher – The Social Network
Tom Hooper – The King’s Speech
Danny Boyle – 127 Hours
Christopher Nolan – Inception
Darren Aronofsky – Black Swan
David O. Russell – The Fighter
Ethan and Joel Coen – True Grit
Lisa Cholodenko – The Kids are Alright

Best Actor

If there is a category with a strong favorite, it’s here, where Colin Firth is likely to win. The first four names on the list are locks for nominations, with the fifth slot between Duvall, Gosling, and Wahlberg.

Five nominees from this list of 7 :

Colin Firth – The King’s Speech
James Franco – 127 Hours
Jesse Eisenberg -The Social Network
Jeff Bridges – True Grit

Robert Duvall – Get Low
Ryan Gosling – Blue Valentine
Mark Wahlberg – The Fighter

Best Actress:

Like the Best Actor race, the first 4 are locks. The last slot will go to either Williams, Swank or Repace.

Five nominees will emerge from this list of 7:

Annette Bening – The Kids Are All Right
Natalie Portman – Black Swan
Jennifer Lawrence – Winter’s Bone
Nicole Kidman – Rabbit Hole

Hilary Swank – Conviction
Michelle Williams – Blue Valentine
Noomi Rapace – The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Best Supporting Actor:

Rush and Bale are locks. Ruffalo and Garfield are strong possibilities, though the latter was bumped off by Hawkes at the Screen Actors Guild nominations.

Five nominees from this list of 7:

Geoffrey Rush – The King’s Speech
Christian Bale – The Fighter

Mark Ruffalo – The Kids Are All Right
Andrew Garfield – The Social Network
Vincent Cassel – Black Swan
John Hawkes – Winter’s Bone
Jeremy Renner – The Town

Best Supporting Actress:

Bonham-Carter, Kunis, and Steinfeld appear to be locks in this category. Globe and SAG nominations suggest strength for Leo and Adams from The Fighter. It remains to be seen whether both actresses will make it into the Oscar noms or will split the vote, allowing in Weaver, who has had a good run with the critics and the Golden Globe noms but was shut out by the actors at SAG.

Five nominees from this list of 7:

Mila Kunis – Black Swan
Helena Bonham Carter – The King’s Speech
Hailee Steinfeld – True Grit

Amy Adams – The Fighter
Melissa Leo – The Fighter
Jacki Weaver – Animal Kingdom
Barbara Hershey – Black Swan

Animated Feature:

This may as well be called the Pixar award, since Pixar movies tend to dominate it. This year, that means Toy Story 3, which is the overwhelming favorite to win.

Three from this list of 5:

Despicable Me
How To Train Your Dragon
The Illusionist
Toy Story 3

Original Screenplay:

Five from this list of 7:

Inception – Christopher Nolan
The Kids Are All Right – Lisa Cholodenko and Stuart Blumberg
Another Year – Mike Leigh
The King’s Speech – David Seidler
Made in Dagenham – William Ivory
Blue Valentine – Derek Cianfrance
Black Swan – Mark Heyman, Andres Heinz, and John J. McLaughlin

Adapted Screenplay:

Five nominees from this list of 8:

127 Hours – Simon Beaufoy and Danny Boyle, based on the book “Between a Rock and a Hard Place, by Aron Ralston

The Social Network – Aaron Sorkin, based on the book The Accidental Billionaires, by Ben Mezrich

Winter’s Bone – Debra Granik and Anne Rosselini, based on the novel, Winter’s Bone, by Daniel Woodrell

Fair Game – Jez Butterworth and John-Henry Butterworth, based on the book “The Politics of Truth,” by Joseph Wilson and Valerie Plame

How To Train Your Dragon – William Davies, Dean DeBlois, and Chris Sanders, based on the novel “How To Train Your Dragon,” by Cressida Cowell

True Grit – Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, based on the novel True Grit, by Charles Portis

The Way Back – Keith R. Clarke and Peter Weir, based on the novel The Long Walk: The True Story of a Trek To Freedom, by Slavomir Rawicz

One Comment to “Rex: The State Of The Oscar Race”

  1. Great predictions.
    Still think Lesley would have a much better shot at a Best Actress nom if the movie were to open a little earlier. I think it is one of the best performances in a Mike Leigh movie, even if some may feel uncomfortable watching it (which I think is a feat).
    Jennifer Lawrence has the worst personality..I saw her interview with David Poland and I cringed many times. I really don’t think her performance is mind-blowing as others say. It was ok. People need to heighten their own opinions in order to make an impact…
    The one thing that bothers me the most is category fraud and from what I hear, Hailee is a lead in True Grit.


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