Oscar Predictions 2017

With such a diverse nominee list this year, the #OscarsSoWhite controversy of last year seems to be pretty much laid to rest. This season’s nominees are a particularly illustrious bunch, but there seems to be quite a number of categories where the winners are pretty locked. La La Land is the belle of the ball with an astounding 14 nominations, and is likely to walk away with a handful of statuettes, but the overly effusive love from the industry is a little puzzling to me, honestly. Sadly I am once again bereft of any Oscar pool or viewing party and so will be abstaining from the documentary and short film categories. Now, on to the predictions:

Best Motion Picture of the Year

Should win: Moonlight

Prediction: La La Land

Moonlight is easily the best movie of 2016 for me, and if it was any other year, it would easily have clinched the award, but with La La Land in the fray… This is a category where I would love to be proven wrong in.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role

Should win: Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea)

Prediction: Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea)

This is Casey Affleck’s award to lose this year. Denzel Washington could have an outside chance with his mesmerizing performance in Fences, but it’s also a difficult role to identify and empathize with.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role

Should win: Emma Stone (La La Land)

Prediction: Emma Stone (La La Land)

Emma Stone is likely to win here, especially when it isn’t decided by the Hollywood Foreign Press, which likely explained Isabelle Huppert’s win for the Globes. Stone managed to turn in yet another impressive performance in La La Land, cementing her position as one of the best younger actresses of our time, and it should finally be her moment in the sun this year.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role

Should win: Mahershala Ali (Moonlight)

Prediction: Mahershala Ali (Moonlight)

Honestly not a very inspiring list of performances to pick from, but I believe Mahershala’s performance just slightly edges out Jeff Bridge’s role in Hell or High Water.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role

Should win: Viola Davis (Fences)

Prediction: Viola Davis (Fences)

The African American actresses in this category are simply superb, and it’s a tough choice between Naomie Harris’ devastating turn as a drug-addled mother in Moonlight and Viola Davis’ equally impressive performance in Fences. Viola Davis has a more “Oscar-winning” performance and should win here.

Best Achievement in Directing

Should win: Barry Jenkins (Moonlight)

Prediction: Damian Chazelle (La La Land)

It would be foolish to bet against Damian Chazelle in this category, but once again I feel Barry Jenkins deserves the nod more.

Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen

Should win: La La Land

Prediction: La La Land

La La Land should be able to win here, unless they decide to give Kenneth Lonergan a consolation prize here for Manchester by the Sea.

Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published

Should win: Moonlight

Prediction: Moonlight

Every nominee here is deserving of the win, honestly, but the beautiful story and handling of Moonlight would hopefully give it the nod.

Best Achievement in Cinematography
Should Win: Bradford Young, Arrival

Prediction: Linus Sandgren, La La Land

Bradford Young did amazing work in Arrival, but Linus Sandgren manages to display a lot of breadth and depth in the lensing of La La Land.

Best Achievement in Editing

Prediction: La La Land

Best Achievement in Production Design

Prediction: La La Land

La La Land is a love story to Old Hollywood, and so should be an easy win here.

Best Achievement in Costume Design

Prediction: Jackie

Perhaps the only other that impresses in Jackie apart from Natalie Portman’s performance is the costume design, and this should be one category that La La Land can’t clinch.

Best Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling

Prediction: Star Trek Beyond

When in doubt, root for the movie with aliens in it.

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score

Prediction: La La Land

A pretty locked category in my opinion.

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song

Prediction: City of Stars, La La Land

An insane earworm and another lock for La La Land – would be extremely surprising if any other song managed to win here.

Best Achievement in Sound Mixing

Prediction: La La Land

Best Achievement in Sound Editing

Prediction: La La Land

Best Achievement in Visual Effects

Prediction: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

It’s Disney’s award to lose here, as the two most likely winners would be The Jungle Book and Rogue One. Star Wars got snubbed last year so this year it may stand a higher chance of winning.

Best Animated Feature Film of the Year

Prediction: Zootopia

Honestly I hope Kubo and the Two Strings will win here, but it seems silly to bet against Disney.

Best Foreign Language Film of the Year

Prediction: The Salesman

Full disclosure that I have not watched any of the movies in this category, so this is an educated guess based on Oscar buzz.

 

 

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Oscar Predictions 2016

The Oscars have been hit with controversy this year, but the actual nominations themselves aren’t particularly surprising. It’s pretty clear that The Revenant is likely to be taking back a bunch of the major Oscars, and Mad Max will end up with a good number of technical Oscars. Once again, given that I am not involved in any Oscar pool this year, I will be abstaining from the documentary and short film categories. Now, on to the predictions:

Best Motion Picture of the Year

Should win: Mad Max: Fury Road

Prediction: The Revenant

Mad Max is hands down one of my favourite movies of 2015, and it had the surprise factor – no one actually thought it would be so good or do so well at the box office. However, The Revenant is more likely to win in this category

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role

Should win: Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant)

Prediction: Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant)

This is Leonardo’s award to lose this year. The most locked category of the night for sure.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role

Should win: Charlotte Rampling (45 Years)

Prediction: Brie Larson (Room)

Charlotte Rampling did an incredible job in 45 Years, but arguably the momentum that has been building for Brie Larson is likely to give her the win for this category. It’s a pretty strong list of nominees this year unlike the last, so much so that two actresses were shafted into the Supporting Actress category.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role

Should win: Sylvester Stallone (Creed)

Prediction: Sylvester Stallone (Creed)

This is not a strong category in my point of view, and my vote would have gone to either Stallone or Mark Rylance (for Bridge of Spies).

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role

Should win: Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl)

Prediction: Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl)

Alicia Vikander has had a particularly bountiful year, and honestly her performance in The Danish Girl was the best part of the movie (sorry Eddie). Both her and Rooney Mara rightfully should have been contending for Best Actress, but since they are in the Supporting category, in my opinion Vikander has a better chance.

Best Achievement in Directing

Should win: George Miller (Mad Max: Fury Road)

Prediction: Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu (The Revenant)

Innaritu’s work on Birdman (to me) was far more exciting than The Revenant, and in all honesty Miller created a modern masterpiece with Mad Max: Fury Road. The odds are still not in Miller’s favour though, and Innaritu is likely to clinch the statuette for a second year running.

Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen

Should win: Inside Out

Prediction: Spotlight

Inside Out was just such an original and well-written movie I feel it should win, but Spotlight is likely to get the “consolation” award here as it is unlikely to win any other major award despite the number of nominations.

Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published

Should win: The Big Short

Prediction: The Big Short

Almost all the nominees in this category are deserving, but The Big Short is so uniquely written that it stands out from the rest of the field.

Best Achievement in Cinematography

Should Win: Ed Lachman, Carol

Prediction: Emmanuel Luzbeki, The Revenant

Carol is one of the most beautifully lensed movies of the year, and is my favourite. However, any of the nominees here are hugely deserving, and The Revenant’s more challenging vistas mean that Luzbeki stands a better chance here.

Best Achievement in Editing

Prediction: Mad Max: Fury Road

It could not have been easy to edit a coherent two hour film from the constantly moving footage of Mad Max: Fury Road, and Margaret Sixel did a really great job here.

Best Achievement in Production Design

Prediction: Mad Max: Fury Road

The unforgettable production designs in Mad Max should ensure it a win in the category.

Best Achievement in Costume Design

Prediction: Cinderella

Although I think (again) that Jenny Beavan did an excellent job for Mad Max, Sandy Powell’s costume designs for Cinderella are solid and more traditional, which is likely to give her the edge here.

Best Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling

Prediction: Mad Max: Fury Road

I honestly don’t think The Revenant can win here, and The 100 Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared is simply not as high profile as the other two nominees.

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score

Prediction: Ennio Morricone, The Hateful Eight

The very fact that Ennio Morricone had never actually won an Oscar for Original Score (apart from his honorary Oscar) means his chances here are high.

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song

Prediction: ‘Til It Happens to You

I had thought Furious 7’s hugely popular “See You Again” would have been a shoo-in for this category, but it was strangely snubbed. Personally I felt Sam Smith’s theme song for Spectre was a particularly weak entry, and the combined star power of Diane Warren and Lady Gaga should be sufficient to give the song a win.

Best Achievement in Sound Mixing

Prediction: Mad Max: Fury Road

Best Achievement in Sound Editing

Prediction: Mad Max: Fury Road

The technical difficulties of Mad Max in terms of a good sound mix and edit means the film is likely to win for both categories.

Best Achievement in Visual Effects

Prediction: The Revenant

While Mad Max was impressive for its restrained use of visual effects, that is likely also likely to reduce its chance of winning in this technical category. Sorry Star Wars, but I think The Revenant stands a better chance here.

Best Animated Feature Film of the Year

Prediction: Inside Out

It’s a really good mix of nominated animated films this year, but Inside Out ranks amongst one of the best movies I’ve seen in 2015, not just in the category of animated films. It would be a travesty if it lost out to any of the other nominees here.

Best Foreign Language Film of the Year

Prediction: Son of Saul

I have not seen any of the movies nominated for this category, but the Academy always has a preference for movies about the Holocaust.

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Oscar Predictions: 2015

Truth be told, the Oscar nominations this year have been rather unexciting, with few surprises and a number of movies and performances that I liked getting the snub. Fortunately, it’s not all clear-cut and there are a small number of categories in which there are no front runners. Given that I am not involved in any Oscar pool this year, I have reverted back to the practice of abstaining from the documentary and short film categories. Now, on to the predictions:

Best Motion Picture of the Year

Should win: Birdman

Prediction: Birdman

Although Boyhood has a good chance here, it’s not as flashy and exciting as Birdman, and feels a bit more like improv. Birdman is one of the most original films I have seen in years and wins my vote here.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role

Should win: Michael Keaton (Birdman)

Prediction: Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything)

The Academy loves performances like Eddie Redmayne’s, plus he even got an endorsement from Stephen Hawking himself. It’s an astonishing physical transformation for sure, but in terms of actual acting, I feel Michael Keaton did a better job. If Jake Gyllenhaal had been nominated for Nightcrawler, it would have been a closer race, but alas that was not to be.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role

Should win: Julianne Moore (Still Alice)

Prediction: Julianne Moore (Still Alice)

This is not a particularly strong category – most of the performances here are good but not great, which means Julianne Moore’s outstanding performance in Still Alice will likely give her a win. Rosamund Pike’s performance in Gone Girl was certainly a career-best one, but it’s still not good enough to beat Moore.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role

Should win: J.K. Simmons (Whiplash)

Prediction: J.K. Simmons (Whiplash)

Honestly, this category is J.K. Simmons to lose. Not only is he a veteran in the industry, the performance he gave in Whiplash is unforgettable and well worth a win.  I loved Edward Norton’s performance in Birdman as well, but I don’t think he has a chance to win when pitted against J.K. Simmons.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role

Should win: Patricia Arquette (Boyhood)

Prediction: Patricia Arquette (Boyhood)

The amount of time invested in Boyhood is tremendous, and I think the fact alone that Arquette has more or less devoted 12 years to the movie will make her the front runner in this category. I really liked Emma Stone’s performance as well, but don’t think she has a chance to win here.

Best Achievement in Directing

Should win: Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu (Birdman)

Prediction: Richard Linklater (Boyhood)

Birdman is such an amazingly conceived and technically capable film that I feel Innaritu should get the nod here. However, Linklater has also crafted one of the best films of the year, and the fact that the labour of love took a dozen years means he stands a better chance here.

Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen

Should win: Birdman

Prediction: The Grand Budapest Hotel

This is a strong category and my personal preference is for Birdman. However I believe the quirky screenplay for The Grand Budapest Hotel is likely to win out.

Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published

Should win: Whiplash

Prediction: Whiplash

This has been one of the most divisive categories in the awards race this year – I am giving it to Whiplash because Damian Chazelle both wrote and directed the film, but really it can feasibly go to any nominee here and wouldn’t be too surprising.

Best Achievement in Cinematography

Should Win: Birdman

Prediction: Birdman

Emmanuel Lubezki’s work in Birdman is stunning to stay the least, and the oft-nominated Roger Deakins will likely have to sit this one out again.

Best Achievement in Editing

Prediction: Boyhood

Editing 12 years of footage down to a coherent film is an immense, daunting task, and Sandra Adair totally deserves a win here.

Best Achievement in Production Design

Prediction: The Grand Budapest Hotel

The quirky and standout production design in The Grand Budapest Hotel stands out from the rest.

Best Achievement in Costume Design

Prediction: The Grand Budapest Hotel

This category sees a number of deserving nominations but I believe The Grand Budapest Hotel will beat out Maleficent and Into the Woods to clinch the statuette.

Best Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling

Prediction: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Based on the wins so far this awards season, it seems likely that The Grand Budapest Hotel will win here as well.

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score

Prediction: The Theory of Everything

I felt Hans Zimmer overdid it a little for Interstellar, and virtually no one saw Mr Turner. There could be a chance it would be either of Desplat’s nominations, but the possibility of split votes makes Johann Johannson the likelier winner here.

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song

Prediction: I’m Not Gonna Miss You (Glen Campbell… I’ll Be Me)

This is a particularly flat category for me this year, without a favourite to root for.

Best Achievement in Sound Mixing

Prediction: American Sniper

Best Achievement in Sound Editing

Prediction: American Sniper

I have a feeling Interstellar would not be taking any awards home despite being the more deserving winner for both sound categories, so I’m predicting American Sniper for both.

Best Achievement in Visual Effects

Prediction: Guardians of the Galaxy

This category is wide open since none of the Best Picture nominees ended up here, so for me it’s going to be either Interstellar or Guardians of the Galaxy. I think Guardians is likely to be the more popular vote here.

Best Animated Feature Film of the Year

Prediction: Big Hero 6

The Lego Movie is a truly shocking omission here – I may not have loved the movie as much as many critics and moviegoers, but I would have expected it to be a shoo-in for the nomination at the very least. In the absence of The Lego Movie, it’s likely the “bigger” commercially-released animations will win out here, and my vote goes to Big Hero 6.

Best Foreign Language Film of the Year

Prediction: Leviathan

Full disclosure – I have not seen any of the five nominated films here, unfortunately. Leviathan has been the critics’ darling so I will go with that here.

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Oscars 2014 – The Predictions

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It’s a rare year when every major film nominated for the Oscars reaches our shores before the Awards ceremony proper. 2014 is such a year, and I have managed to “unlock” the achievement of seeing all the movies before the big event. Also, as I am going to be a live screening of the ceremony with an Oscar pool, I am breaking past tradition by doing a full (if uneducated) list of predictions this year. It’s been quite an interesting lead up to the Oscars, with some categories a virtual lock and some still seemingly quite wide open. Without further ado, my predictions:

Best Motion Picture of the Year
Should win: 12 Years a Slave
Prediction: 12 Years a Slave

Admittedly the more popular choice would be either American Hustle or Gravity, but I am not that big a fan of the former, and whilst I was very impressed by Gravity, I don’t think it’s managed to qualify (in my books) as the best movie for the whole of 2013. 12 Years a Slave was an engrossing, hard-hitting, well-rounded movie, and hence my pick for the nod in this category. However, this is one of the most wide-open races for Best Picture in years, so an upset is certainly possible.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role

Should win: Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club)
Prediction: Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club)

The Academy voters love extreme weight loss and gain, so McConaughey’s shocking weight loss for Dallas Buyers Club alone would have ensured a fair number of votes. On top of that, it is honestly an excellent, career-defining performance from McConaughey, and the lead up awards seem to indicate this as a near lock for him.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role

Should win: Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine)
Prediction: Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine)

It’s a very strong category this year, with plenty of deserving performances (Emma Thompson really ought to have been nominated for her excellent performance in Saving Mr Banks though). However, Cate Blanchett is simply astounding in Blue Jasmine and it’s practically in the bag.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role

Should win: Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club)
Prediction: Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club)

A clear frontrunner in this category, Leto’s first role in 6 years has rewarded him amply with wins in almost every single award show so far (barring the BAFTAs in which Leto was surprisingly not nominated). His performance in Dallas Buyers Club is extremely memorable, and based on thespian quality alone, actually a notch higher than that of McConaughey. The remaining nominations are honestly a mixed bag, so it would really be an upset if Leto loses out in this category.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role

Should win: Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave)
Prediction: Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave)

Although this category has been awarded often to newcomers, it almost seems like an impossible task for Nyong’o to win out against Jennifer Lawrence, who worked so hard at delivering her performance in American Hustle that it was literally exhausting to watch. There seems to be an increasing backlash against American Hustle, and hence I’m going with Nyong’o as the dark horse winner here.

Best Achievement in Directing

Should win: Alfonso Cuaron (Gravity)
Prediction: Alfonso Cuaron (Gravity)

Given that Cuaron has won almost every award out there for his work on Gravity, this category is virtually locked. The only possible upset would be Steve McQueen, but even that seems like a remote possibility.

Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen

Should win: Her
Prediction: Her

I totally enjoyed Her but it is way more “out there” than the other nominees. Hopefully the Academy would recognize the brilliance of Her and give it the nod it deserves.

Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published

Should win: Before Midnight
Prediction: 12 Years a Slave

I have been an ardent fan of the Before… series and found Before Midnight to be hugely enjoyable. However, it has not been nominated for anything else so the chances of a win here is rather slim. 12 Years a Slave seems to be the more obvious choice, but Philomena was a delight and could be a dark horse as well.

Best Achievement in Cinematography

Should Win: Inside Llewyn Davis
Prediction: Gravity

Inside Llewyn Davis was a gorgeously shot movie but will probably suffer from lack of exposure. Gravity is an equally handsome movie and is a much higher-profile film, meaning its chances are exponentially better here.

Best Achievement in Editing

Prediction: Captain Philips

The natural choice would have been Gravity, but given that ACE awarded the win to Captain Philips, there’s a good chance this would be repeated for the Oscars.

Best Achievement in Production Design

Prediction: The Great Gatsby

If nothing else, The Great Gatsby was a sumptuous celebration in art direction (renamed production design this year) and costume design. More deserving of these two awards in my opinion than any of the other nominees.

Best Achievement in Costume Design

Prediction: The Great Gatsby

The only potential upset would be American Hustle’s daring 70s costumes, but I should think The Great Gatsby will have more of a wow factor.

Best Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling

Prediction: Dallas Buyers Club

I honestly don’t think the Academy will have the chutzpah to give Jackass: Bad Grandpa an Oscar even if it really was the most deserving amongst the three. I don’t understand Lone Ranger’s nomination here and so it will have to default to Dallas Buyers Club.

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score

Prediction: Alexandre Desplat (Philomena)

This is a category that could go any of 5 ways, but given the number of nominations that Alexandre Desplat and Thomas Newman have garnered, I think it will be one of them clinching the award. Saving Mr Banks’ only nomination is here and it is thus unlikely for it to really gain any traction and win this award.

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song

Prediction: Let It Go (Frozen)

Let It Go has become a pop culture phenomenon and there’s clearly no other contender that even comes close.

Best Achievement in Sound Mixing

Prediction: Lone Survivor

War movies have always done well in this category and I’m guessing that will be the only reason the film stands a marginally higher chance than Gravity in this category.

Best Achievement in Sound Editing

Prediction: Gravity

I actually preferred All Is Lost but it’s unlikely to beat out Gravity, which is far more visible and should be bagging most of the technical awards.

Best Achievement in Visual Effects

Prediction: Gravity

This one is a dead lock.

Best Animated Feature Film of the Year

Prediction: Frozen

Again, nothing else comes close.

Best Foreign Language Film of the Year

Prediction: The Great Beauty

Full disclosure – I have not seen any of the five nominated films here. It seems the buzz is either for The Broken Circle Breakdown or The Great Beauty and I’ll just pick The Great Beauty as the synopsis seems more appealing.

Best Documentary Feature

Prediction: 20 Feet from Stardom

Given that the voting rules have changed this year for the category, The Act of Killing would probably lose out to the much more feel-good documentary about backup singers.

Best Documentary Short Subject

Prediction: The Lady in Number 6: Music saved My Life

Best Animated Short Film

Prediction: Get a Horse!

It’s a new Mickey cartoon and very enjoyable (and innovative) – I don’t think the rest of the nominees would be able to take that combination down.

Best Live Action Short Film

Prediction: The Voorman Problem

It’s the only English-speaking film in the category plus it stars Morgan Freeman, so on a very superficial level this should likely be the winner.

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Oscar Predictions 2013

Better very very late than never – a last minute Oscar prediction tally, in a year where once again writing about movies has taken a back seat to work commitments. Have ponied up for a one month subscription to Fox Premium Movies since no free-to-air channel or basic cable channel (again!) are broadcasting the Awards live this year. It’s a clear sign that the Awards are becoming increasingly irrelevant to the typical viewer. Anyway. Like last year, I will not be predicting the documentary and short film categories since they are blind guesses (although I am definitely rooting for Paperman to win the Animated Short Film category, much as it pains me that The Simpsons will miss out because of this). This year is a particularly interesting one because there are no clear front runners for some of the major award categories, which makes for what hopefully would be a more fun viewing experience: 

Best Motion Picture of the Year
Should win: Argo
Prediction: Argo

Argo has become the lead contender in this race, judging from the lead up awards to the Oscars. Deservedly so, but it will face stiff competition from Lincoln and Zero Dark Thirty, with Life of Pi and Silver Linings Playbook being potential outliers. Still, it does seem that while most of the other movies will gain some statuettes from other categories, Argo’s best chance lies in clinching Best Motion Picture (especially since Ben Affleck was unjustly snubbed from the Directing category).

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
Should win: Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln)
Prediction: Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln)

It’s a really good performance and it will take a serious upset to deny Day-Lewis his third Best Actor nod. Honestly I feel it’s next to impossible. 

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role
Should win: Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook)
Prediction: Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook)

Jessica Chastain may have gotten a lot of buzz for Zero Dark Thirty but I felt Jennifer Lawrence in Silver Linings Playbook put forth the better performance. Plus, Chastain reminded me of Claire Danes in Homeland and I couldn’t have been the only one who felt that way. The only other contender would be Emmanuelle Riva in Amour, but the two young ladies probably still stand a better chance. 

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role
Should win: Tommy Lee Jones (Lincoln)
Prediction: Tommy Lee Jones (Lincoln)

An interesting category where all five nominees have won Oscars before – but my vote goes to Tommy Lee Jones in Lincoln. Christoph Waltz has won for a similar role just three year prior so even though he’s also a frontrunner I foresee Tommy Lee Jones winning the nod here. 

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role
Should win: Anne Hathaway (Les Miserables) 
Prediction: Anne Hathaway (Les Miserables)

This is another locked-in category. Personally I really disliked Les Miserables but there’s no denying that Anne Hathaway put forth a very powerful performance that has won awards left right and centre. 

Best Achievement in Directing
Should win: Steven Spielberg (Lincoln)
Prediction: Steven Spielberg (Lincoln)

It’s a shame that both Kathryn Bigelow and Ben Affleck were snubbed in this category, but this does clear the way for Steven Spielberg. Potentially Ang Lee stands a chance to be the dark horse, but the subject matter and cachet attached to Lincoln is likely to swing votes its way. 

Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen
Should win: Moonrise Kingdom
Prediction: Zero Dark Thirty

Personally, Moonrise Kingdom told one of the best stories this past year on the silver screen, but the nod is likely to go to Zero Dark Thirty as a consolation prize, as is often the case for the two writing categories.  

Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published
Should win: Life of Pi
Prediction: Argo

Life of Pi was seen to be an unfilmable novel, but the end results proved that it could be a great film in the right hands. However, Argo is probably the more compelling story and is just as accomplished, which means it stands a higher chance to win here.  

Best Achievement in Cinematography
Prediction: Claudio Miranda (Life of Pi)

Skyfall was one of the most handsome movies I’ve seen in 2012 (and is Deakin’s tenth nomination to boot), but the fact that Life of Pi was such a visually stunning movie and worked so well in 3D means Claudio Miranda has better odds here. 

Best Achievement in Editing
Prediction: Argo

It’s a toss-up between Argo and Zero Dark Thirty (though it seems kind of moot since both would honour William Goldenberg), but I will go with the masterfully edited Argo for my prediction. 

Best Achievement in Art Direction
Prediction: Lincoln

There’s two more years for The Hobbit to compete so I doubt it would win this year, especially since everything looked so visibly CGI-ed in the case of The Hobbit (and to a lesser extent, Life of Pi). Lincoln seems to be the safe choice here. 

Best Achievement in Costume Design
Prediction: Anna Karenina

Sumptuous period costumes usually win in this category, and Anna Karenina is chock-full of such costumes. Was not too impressed by the two Snow White variants nominated, and of the three period films, Anna Karenina seems to be ahead. 

Best Achievement in Makeup
Prediction: Les Miserables

I disagree with Hitchcock’s nomination here because the makeup was easily the weakest link in the film. Again, The Hobbit has another two years to be in contention, so by default we are left with Les Miserables. Much as I am loathe to say it, the production values in the movie musical were mostly top notch. 

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score
Prediction: Mychael Danna (Life of Pi)

It’s a tossup between Mycheal Danna’s world music influenced score for Life of Pi and the excellent old school-new school James Bond score that Thomas Newman created for Skyfall. I think Life of Pi edges ahead by a very small margin. 

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song
Prediction: Skyfall (Skyfall)

There’s almost no contention here – Adele has been winning numerous awards for Skyfall and it should be no different come Oscar night. 
 
Best Achievement in Sound Mixing
Prediction: Les Miserables

I can’t envision how difficult it must have been to record the actors singing live during the shoot instead of lip syncing during post production, so this Oscar should deservedly go to the Les Miserables team. 

Best Achievement in Sound Editing
Prediction: Skyfall

The only “true” action movie in the mix is Skyfall, which means it should stand the highest chance of a win here. 

Best Achievement in Visual Effects
Prediction: Life of Pi

Richard Parker is probably the best visual effect I’ve seen all year, and given the tiger’s persistence in more than half the movie, it’s nearly impossible to imagine even an effects-heavy movie like Marvel’s The Avengers trumping the film in this category. 

Best Animated Feature Film of the Year
Prediction: Wreck-It Ralph

Brave is a “lesser Pixar” and Wreck-It Ralph is simply put the far more accessible animated feature. 

Best Foreign Language Film of the Year
Prediction: Amour (Austria)

This is such a lock – unless Amour wins the Best Picture nod, which will mean all bets are off (full disclosure: I’ve not seen any of the other films nominated here). 
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Oscar Predictions: 2012

A confession – it’s been an insanely busy year at work, and it has impacted both my ability to watch and write about movies. This year, I’m going into the awards day without having seen a fair number of contenders, so this time round it’s more guesswork than personal preference. It’s also another year of a “first”, because this is the first year both free to air and basic cable channels aren’t televising the awards live (blasphemy!), but I have had the good fortune of being able to score an invite to the GV Oscars viewing party thanks to my client. I have also decided this year to stop predicting the documentary and short film categories since they are blind guesses. Let’s see how I will fare this year:
 
Best Motion Picture of the Year

Nominees:
The Artist
The Descendants
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
The Help
Hugo
Midnight in Paris
Moneyball
The Tree of Life
War Horse

Should win: Hugo
Prediction: The Artist

Perhaps because I am a cinephile, but a film like Hugo really appeals to the inner film geek, and it’s a master’s tribute to another master, which the industry may pick up on. However, The Artist is an equally good film and has garnered so many awards in the awards season that a win here is probably unstoppable. My personal favourite amongst all the titles here is Hugo, which is simply as magical as film can get.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role

Nominees:
Demián Bichir, A Better Life
George Clooney, The Descendants
Jean Dujardin, The Artist
Gary Oldman, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Brad Pitt, Moneyball

Should win: Jean Dujardin
Prediction: Jean Dujardin

Few actors have to go through an entire film without saying anything, and Jean Dujardin’s silent film performance is a testament to great acting. Although the other actors all do pretty well, it’s hard to imagine Dujardin being upstaged at this point.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role

Nominees:
Glenn Close, Albert Nobbs
Viola Davis, The Help
Rooney Mara, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady
Michelle Williams, My Week With Marilyn

Should win: Meryl Streep
Prediction: Viola Davis

I personally thought Meryl Streep was amazing as Margaret Thatcher, but I think her hopes of clinching yet another Oscar would be dashed by Viola Davis because The Help was simply a bigger movie. It would be a waste to have Streep lose yet again after her multiple nominations though.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role

Nominees:
Kenneth Branagh, My Week With Marilyn
Jonah Hill, Moneyball
Nick Nolte, Warrior
Christopher Plummer, Beginners
Max von Sydow, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

Should win: Christopher Plummer
Prediction: Christopher Plummer

The age bracket for the winner in this category should be quite high, as I feel the strongest contenders would be Christopher Plummer and Max von Sydow. Max von Sydow is a bit handicapped (no pun intended) by the fact that he’s also playing a non-speaking character, and Jean Dujardin already has that aspect locked down.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role

Nominees:
Bérénice Bejo, The Artist
Jessica Chastain, The Help
Melissa McCarthy, Bridesmaids
Janet McTeer, Albert Nobbs
Octavia Spencer, The Help

Should win: Bérénice Bejo
Prediction: Octavia Spencer

I think every actor (including the dog) in The Artist are great actors, but Bérénice Bejo is likely to lose out to Octavia Spencer (who was also quite good in The Help) based on pre-Oscar wins and indicators.

Best Achievement in Directing

Nominees:
The Artist, Michel Hazanavicius
The Descendants, Alexander Payne
Hugo, Martin Scorsese
Midnight in Paris, Woody Allen
The Tree of Life, Terrence Malick

Should win: Martin Scorsese
Prediction: Michel Hazanavicius

Personally I think Martin Scorsese did a brilliant, amazing job in Hugo that outranks The Artist, but how do I go against the near perfect barometer of the Director’s Guild of America Award, which granted it to Michel Hazanavicius?

Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen

Nominees:
The Artist, Written by Michel Hazanavicius
Bridesmaids, Written by Annie Mumolo & Kristen Wiig
Margin Call, Written by J.C. Chandor
Midnight in Paris, Written by Woody Allen
A Separation, Written by Asghar Farhadi

Should win: Midnight in Paris
Prediction: The Artist

I liked Margin Call a lot but it’s a really small movie, and although I think Allen did a great job with Midnight in Paris, the Academy would likely reward The Artist for being “retro-revolutionary” as a silent film.

Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published

Nominees:
The Descendants, Screenplay by Alexander Payne and Nat Faxon & Jim Rash
Hugo, Screenplay by John Logan
The Ides of March, Screenplay by George Clooney & Grant Heslov and Beau Willimon
Moneyball, Screenplay by Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin.  Story by Stan Chervin
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Screenplay by Bridget O'Connor & Peter Straughan

Should win: Hugo
Prediction: Hugo

It’s a pretty even playing field for this category, and I am split between predicting The Descendants (a film which may be given this award as a consolation prize for not winning anything else) and Hugo. I felt that Hugo was a more involving film, however, hence the choice for the win here.

Best Achievement in Cinematography

Nominees:
The Artist, Guillaume Schiffman
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Jeff Cronenweth
Hugo, Robert Richardson
The Tree of Life, Emmanuel Lubezki
War Horse, Janusz Kaminski

Prediction: Janusz Kaminski

All 5 films featured great cinematography is so it’s quite a toss up for me. I am inclined to go with Janusz Kaminski because his work on War Horse was simply astounding.

Best Achievement in Editing

Nominees:
The Artist, Anne-Sophie Bion and Michel Hazanavicius
The Descendants, Kevin Tent
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall
Hugo, Thelma Schoonmaker
Moneyball, Christopher Tellefs

Prediction: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

I honestly have no preference either way in this category, but The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo did boast tight editing which made the story seemed a little more immediate that its Swedish forefather.  

Best Achievement in Art Direction

Nominees:
The Artist, Laurence Bennett (Production Design); Robert Gould (Set Decoration)
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, Stuart Craig (Production Design); Stephenie McMillan (Set Decoration)
Hugo, Dante Ferretti (Production Design); Francesca Lo Schiavo (Set Decoration)
Midnight in Paris, Anne Seibel (Production Design); Hélène Dubreuil (Set Decoration)
War Horse, Rick Carter (Production Design); Lee Sandales (Set Decoration)

Prediction: Hugo

They would be insane to not award this to Hugo – if it wins nothing else it surely has to clinch the nod in this category.

Best Achievement in Costume Design

Nominees:
Anonymous, Lisy Christl
The Artist, Mark Bridges
Hugo, Sandy Powell
Jane Eyre, Michael O'Connor
W.E., Arianne Phillips

Prediction: The Artist

I think the period films always stand a better chance in this category, but The Artist has the advantage of being more high profile than a film like Jane Eyre.

Best Achievement in Makeup

Nominees:
Albert Nobbs, Martial Corneville, Lynn Johnston and Matthew W. Mungle
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, Nick Dudman, Amanda Knight and Lisa Tomblin
The Iron Lady, Mark Coulier and J. Roy Helland

Prediction: The Iron Lady

Albert Nobbs featured makeup just a smidgen better than that of J. Edgar, and since I felt that The Iron Lady’s makeup trumped both films it’s an easy choice for me here.

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score

Nominees:
The Adventures of Tintin, John Williams
The Artist, Ludovic Bource
Hugo, Howard Shore
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Alberto Iglesias
War Horse, John Williams

Prediction: Hugo

I don’t think John Williams will suffer a split vote despite having two nominations here since Tintin has been almost totally snubbed, but my personal preference for scoring is still Howard Shore’s work in Hugo.

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song

Nominees:
"Man or Muppet" from THE MUPPETS, Music and Lyric by Bret McKenzie
“Real in Rio” from RIO, Music by Sergio Mendes and Carlinhos Brown; Lyric by Siedah Garrett

Prediction: Real in Rio

Two songs only? Seriously? I’m not a fan of either but I am guessing Sergio Mendes adds some cred to the Rio contender. I love The Muppets as a whole but was really unimpressed by the song.

Best Achievement in Sound Mixing

Nominees:
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, David Parker, Michael Semanick, Ren Klyce and Bo Persson
Hugo, Tom Fleischman and John Midgley
Moneyball, Deb Adair, Ron Bochar, David Giammarco and Ed Novick
Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers, Jeffrey J. Haboush and Peter J. Devlin
War Horse, Gary Rydstrom, Andy Nelson, Tom Johnson and Stuart Wilson

Prediction: War Horse

I hardly get these technical awards right, but I am guessing that Transformers will win more for visual spectacle than sound. I was quite impressed by the quieter moments in War Horse, hence my vote for it.

Best Achievement in Sound Editing

Nominees:
Drive, Lon Bender and Victor Ray Ennis
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Ren Klyce
Hugo, Philip Stockton and Eugene Gearty
Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Ethan Van der Ryn and Erik Aadahl
War Horse, Richard Hymns and Gary Rydstrom

Prediction: War Horse

Same reason as my prediction in Sound Mixing, but honestly I have no preference either way.

Best Achievement in Visual Effects

Nominees:
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, Tim Burke, David Vickery, Greg Butler and John Richardson
Hugo, Rob Legato, Joss Williams, Ben Grossmann and Alex Henning
Real Steel, Erik Nash, John Rosengrant, Dan Taylor and Swen Gillberg
Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, R. Christopher White and Daniel Barrett
Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Scott Farrar, Scott Benza, Matthew Butler and John Frazier.

Prediction: Transformers: Dark of the Moon

I feel it’s a toss up between Hugo and Transformers, but for pure visual spectacle Transformers will definitely win out over Hugo’s more subtle visual effects. So it’s really just a matter of how the Academy votes. 

Best Animated Feature Film of the Year

Nominees:
A Cat in Paris
Chico & Rita
Kung Fu Panda 2
Puss in Boots
Rango

Prediction: A Cat in Paris

Such a weak category this year, and if memory serves correctly, the only year since this award started that Pixar was not nominated. I don’t like any of the Hollywood productions nominated here (not for an Oscar, anyway), so I am going with A Cat in Paris. Interesting how many films nominated this year have something to do with France or Paris. Honestly I felt that The Adventures of Tintin should have been nominated here and would have won my vote above the rest.

Best Foreign Language Film of the Year

Nominees:
Belgium, "Bullhead"
Canada, "Monsieur Lazhar"
Iran, "A Separation"
Israel, "Footnote"
Poland, "In Darkness"

Prediction: A Separation

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Oscar Predictions 2011

This will be the first year in a decade where I would not be able to catch the Oscars live (thanks for nothing, Singapore Armed Forces.) but thankfully due to the advents in technology I fully expect to be up to date on the results via various social media platforms. Unfortunately for most of you, the Oscars will also only be screened “live” locally on Star Movies, which I have a feeling is not a channel many people subscribe to. For completeness, I will be making predictions in the documentary and short film categories although most of these are “blind” guesses excepting animated short film (I’ve seen the trailers or clips for most of these categories’ nominees though). Without further ado:

Best Motion Picture of the Year
Nominees:
"Black Swan" Mike Medavoy, Brian Oliver and Scott Franklin, Producers
"The Fighter" David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman and Mark Wahlberg, Producers
"Inception" Emma Thomas and Christopher Nolan, Producers
"The Kids Are All Right" Gary Gilbert, Jeffrey Levy-Hinte and Celine Rattray, Producers
"The King's Speech" Iain Canning, Emile Sherman and Gareth Unwin, Producers
"127 Hours" Christian Colson, Danny Boyle and John Smithson, Producers
"The Social Network" Scott Rudin, Dana Brunetti, Michael De Luca and Ceán Chaffin, Producers
"Toy Story 3" Darla K. Anderson, Producer
"True Grit" Scott Rudin, Ethan Coen and Joel Coen, Producers
"Winter's Bone" Anne Rosellini and Alix Madigan-Yorkin, Producers

Should win: The Social Network
Prediction: The King’s Speech

If it were up to me I think The Social Network should sweep most of the awards, being the best film I’ve seen in 2010. However, it’s an early release and seems to have lost some momentum, while The King’s Speech seems to be riding a late wave and picking up awards left right centre. While this is no knock against The King’s Speech, which is an excellent film, The Social Network is even better in my eyes. This would be one category in which I would be happy if my prediction was wrong. Although there are ten nominations this year like the last, none of the other films apart from Inception really stand much of a chance, but Inception was released even earlier than The Social Network and has gotten even less love from the Academy in terms of nominations. 

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
Nominees:
Javier Bardem in "Biutiful"
Jeff Bridges in "True Grit"
Jesse Eisenberg in "The Social Network"
Colin Firth in "The King's Speech"
James Franco in "127 Hours"

Should win: Colin Firth
Prediction: Colin Firth

Colin Firth was amazing in The King’s Speech, and has been sweeping almost all the awards so far. I don’t see how the Academy would be voting otherwise. Jeff Bridges is unlikely to win another one so soon, and much as James Franco was very good in 127 Hours I don’t think it would be good enough to upset the front runner.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role
Nominees:
Annette Bening in "The Kids Are All Right"
Nicole Kidman in "Rabbit Hole"
Jennifer Lawrence in "Winter's Bone"
Natalie Portman in "Black Swan"
Michelle Williams in "Blue Valentine"

Should win: Natalie Portman
Prediction: Natalie Portman

Sorry ladies, this is probably the most locked-down category of the night. Natalie Portman not only puts in an amazing performance, but crazy-acting seems to be an Academy favourite too. And the strength of having won almost every single acting nod in the lead up to the Oscars means it would take a miracle for any of the other four nominees to win.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role
Nominees:
Christian Bale in "The Fighter"
John Hawkes in "Winter's Bone"
Jeremy Renner in "The Town"
Mark Ruffalo in "The Kids Are All Right"
Geoffrey Rush in "The King's Speech"

Should win: Christian Bale
Prediction: Christian Bale

This is a close one between Bale and Rush, but I feel that Christian Bale’s body of work has been a very impressive one and this should be the role that finally nabs it for him, However, Geoffrey Rush may ride the crest of the King’s Speech tsunami to once again deny Bale the statuette, though I hope that won’t be the case.
 
Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role

Nominees:
Amy Adams in "The Fighter"
Helena Bonham Carter in "The King's Speech"
Melissa Leo in "The Fighter"
Hailee Steinfeld in "True Grit"
Jacki Weaver in "Animal Kingdom"
 
Should win: Melissa Leo
Prediction: Hailee Steinfeld

My original choice would be Melissa Leo who honestly does the better job, but voters are likely to lean toward rewarding an ingénue instead of Leo. Also, Leo has two other things working against her – the poor PR stunt of buying Consideration ads for herself, and the possibility that Amy Adams’ nomination may force a split for voters who are supporting The Fighter. Steinfeld’s acting may not have been the best of the lot but it’s still very good considering her age. Plus, she really is a lead actress put into the supporting actress category so Hailee has an advantage there too. 

Best Achievement in Directing
Nominees:
"Black Swan" Darren Aronofsky
"The Fighter" David O. Russell
"The King's Speech" Tom Hooper
"The Social Network" David Fincher
"True Grit" Joel Coen and Ethan Coen

Should win: David Fincher
Prediction: Tom Hooper

This one is a toughie for me – the Directors’ Guild Award usually heralds the eventual winner of the Best Director in the Oscars, but David Fincher made such a mesmerizing film that it would seem like a great disservice to award this win to anyone else. But the DGA chose Tom Hooper to win this year, which may not bode well for Fincher.

Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen
Nominees:
"Another Year" Written by Mike Leigh
"The Fighter" Screenplay by Scott Silver and Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson; Story by Keith Dorrington & Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson
"Inception" Written by Christopher Nolan
"The Kids Are All Right" Written by Lisa Cholodenko & Stuart Blumberg
"The King's Speech" Screenplay by David Seidler
 
Should win: Inception
Prediction: Inception

Hands down one of the most fascinating original screenplays in the past few years, if not the entire decade. I just don’t see any of the other screenplays being much of contenders except maybe The King’s Speech.

Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published
Nominees:
"127 Hours" Screenplay by Danny Boyle & Simon Beaufoy
"The Social Network" Screenplay by Aaron Sorkin
"Toy Story 3" Screenplay by Michael Arndt; Story by John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich
"True Grit" Written for the screen by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
"Winter's Bone" Adapted for the screen by Debra Granik & Anne Rosellini

Should win: The Social Network
Prediction: The Social Network

There’s no doubt in my mind that Aaron Sorkin should win for his exceptional screenplay for The Social Network. It’s incredibly captivating from start to finish and everything is just so well put together that the Oscar simply MUST go to him.

Best Achievement in Cinematography
Nominees:
"Black Swan" Matthew Libatique
"Inception" Wally Pfister
"The King's Speech" Danny Cohen
"The Social Network" Jeff Cronenweth
"True Grit" Roger Deakins

Prediction: Roger Deakins

It’s a toss-up between Roger Deakins and Wally Pfister, both of whom have not won any Oscars despite being nominated many times. I am personally leaning towards Roger Deakins because his cinematography in True Grit is one of the best things about the film, plus it’s just more accessible than Pfister’s work on Inception.  

Best Achievement in Editing
Nominees:
"Black Swan" Andrew Weisblum
"The Fighter" Pamela Martin
"The King's Speech" Tariq Anwar
"127 Hours" Jon Harris
"The Social Network" Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter

Prediction: The Social Network

The extremely tight editing in The Social Network is an integral reason why I felt it was the best film of 2010.

Best Achievement in Art Direction
Nominees:
"Alice in Wonderland"
Production Design: Robert Stromberg; Set Decoration: Karen O'Hara
"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1"
Production Design: Stuart Craig; Set Decoration: Stephenie McMillan
"Inception"
Production Design: Guy Hendrix Dyas; Set Decoration: Larry Dias and Doug Mowat
"The King's Speech"
Production Design: Eve Stewart; Set Decoration: Judy Farr
"True Grit"
Production Design: Jess Gonchor; Set Decoration: Nancy Haigh

Prediction: Alice in Wonderland

Alice in Wonderland is the film with the most obvious art direction in this list of nominees, and as such stands a greater chance of resonating with the voters.

Best Achievement in Costume Design
Nominees:
"Alice in Wonderland" Colleen Atwood
"I Am Love" Antonella Cannarozzi
"The King's Speech" Jenny Beavan
"The Tempest" Sandy Powell
"True Grit" Mary Zophres

Prediction: The King’s Speech

Period films tend to win this category so I’m going with The King’s Speech, probably the most watched period film amongst those nominated.

Best Achievement in Makeup
Nominees:
"Barney's Version" Adrien Morot
"The Way Back" Edouard F. Henriques, Gregory Funk and Yolanda Toussieng
"The Wolfman" Rick Baker and Dave Elsey

Prediction: The Wolfman

I’m guessing it’s going to go to Rick Baker on the nostalgia reason alone (An American Werewolf in London is the first winner in this category, and it was to Rick Baker).

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score
Nominees:
"How to Train Your Dragon" John Powell
"Inception" Hans Zimmer
"The King's Speech" Alexandre Desplat
"127 Hours" A.R. Rahman
"The Social Network" Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross

Prediction: The King’s Speech

Much as I would like Trent Reznor to win, after awarding it to A.R. Rahman two years back I’m guessing it’s going back to basics and a classical score is going to win this.

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song
Nominees:
"Coming Home" from "Country Strong" Music and Lyric by Tom Douglas, Troy Verges and Hillary Lindsey
"I See the Light" from "Tangled" Music by Alan Menken Lyric by Glenn Slater
"If I Rise" from "127 Hours" Music by A.R. Rahman Lyric by Dido and Rollo Armstrong
"We Belong Together" from "Toy Story 3" Music and Lyric by Randy Newman

Prediction: We Belong Together

I’m not really a fan of any of the nominated songs this year, but since this traditionally goes to animated films, I will pick the more high-profile of the two to win this.

Best Achievement in Sound Mixing
Nominees:
"Inception" Lora Hirschberg, Gary A. Rizzo and Ed Novick
"The King's Speech" Paul Hamblin, Martin Jensen and John Midgley
"Salt" Jeffrey J. Haboush, Greg P. Russell, Scott Millan and William Sarokin
"The Social Network" Ren Klyce, David Parker, Michael Semanick and Mark Weingarten
"True Grit" Skip Lievsay, Craig Berkey, Greg Orloff and Peter F. Kurland

Prediction: Inception

I hardly get these technical awards right, but I am guessing Inception wins out the rest for the two Sound categories.

Best Achievement in Sound Editing
Nominees:
"Inception" Richard King
"Toy Story 3" Tom Myers and Michael Silvers
"Tron: Legacy" Gwendolyn Yates Whittle and Addison Teague
"True Grit" Skip Lievsay and Craig Berkey
"Unstoppable" Mark P. Stoeckinger

Prediction: Inception

Best Achievement in Visual Effects
Nominees:
"Alice in Wonderland" Ken Ralston, David Schaub, Carey Villegas and Sean Phillips
"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1" Tim Burke, John Richardson, Christian Manz and Nicolas Aithadi
"Hereafter" Michael Owens, Bryan Grill, Stephan Trojanski and Joe Farrell
"Inception" Paul Franklin, Chris Corbould, Andrew Lockley and Peter Bebb
"Iron Man 2" Janek Sirrs, Ben Snow, Ged Wright and Daniel Sudick
 
Prediction: Inception

Personally I think Inception is one of the most visually astounding films of 2010. Alice in Wonderland looks too oddball, Hereafter’s only claim to glory would be the tsunami scene in the beginning of the film, and the other two are sequels which I feel have a far lower chance of winning.

Best Animated Feature Film of the Year
Nominees:
"How to Train Your Dragon" Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois
"The Illusionist" Sylvain Chomet
"Toy Story 3" Lee Unkrich

Prediction: Toy Story 3. Duh.

Best Foreign Language Film of the Year
Nominees:
"Biutiful" Mexico
"Dogtooth" Greece
"In a Better World" Denmark
"Incendies" Canada
"Outside the Law" Algeria

Prediction: Incendies

Best Documentary (Feature)
Nominees:
"Exit Through the Gift Shop" Banksy and Jaimie D'Cruz
"Gasland" Josh Fox and Trish Adlesic
"Inside Job" Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs
"Restrepo" Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger
"Waste Land" Lucy Walker and Angus Aynsley

Prediction: Restrepo

Best Documentary (Short Subject)
Nominees:
"Killing in the Name" Nominees to be determined
"Poster Girl" Nominees to be determined
"Strangers No More" Karen Goodman and Kirk Simon
"Sun Come Up" Jennifer Redfearn and Tim Metzger
"The Warriors of Qiugang" Ruby Yang and Thomas Lennon

Prediction: Killing in the Name

Best Short Film (Animated)
Nominees:
"Day & Night" Teddy Newton
"The Gruffalo" Jakob Schuh and Max Lang
"Let's Pollute" Geefwee Boedoe
"The Lost Thing" Shaun Tan and Andrew Ruhemann
"Madagascar, carnet de voyage (Madagascar, a Journey Diary)" Bastien Dubois

Prediction: Day & Night (Yes, another Pixar product. Surprise surprise)

Best Short Film (Live Action)
Nominees:
"The Confession" Tanel Toom
"The Crush" Michael Creagh
"God of Love" Luke Matheny
"Na Wewe" Ivan Goldschmidt
"Wish 143" Ian Barnes and Samantha Waite

Prediction: Na Wewe
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