Posts tagged ‘The Help’

January 23, 2012

My Final 2012 Oscar Nomination Predictions!

It’s hard to believe it’s been a whole year since all of Los Angeles woke up at 5:30 AM to hear Mo’Nique read a list of 10 movies everyone knew were going to be nominated. But this year, it’s different. It seems there are so many more questions than just “which best picture nominee won’t get a screenplay nomination?!?!” Supporting Actor and Actress have so much fluidity, the Original Screenplay race has 3 spots wide open, and we don’t even know how many best picture nominees there will be this year! Count me as excited!

So without further ado, here are my final predictions for this year’s Oscar nominees.

Best Picture

  1. The Artist
  2. The Descendants
  3. Hugo
  4. The Help
  5. Midnight in Paris
  6. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
  7. The Tree of Life
  8. Moneyball
  9. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
  10. Bridesmaids

This would be my 10 list, but I am going to predict the top 7. Moneyball feels like it’s been getting just a little too little buzz in these last couple of weeks to truly go the distance. Conversely, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo struck at exactly the right moment, and I think some Fincher love will carry this one through. I’ve also been predicting The Tree of Life from the beginning and I’m going to continue to do so. It will get number 1 votes. It has to, right?

Director:

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

Sorry Tate and David. I just don’t think it’s your time.

Actor:

  • George Clooney – The Descendants
  • Leonardo DiCaprio – J. Edgar
  • Jean Dujardin – The Artist
  • Michael Fassbender – Shame
  • Brad Pitt – Moneyball

While this has been the 5 all along, many are predicting a change. I think the shocker will be that it stays the same. No love for Oldman, and just enough love for a DiCaprio performance I actually can not convince myself to see. The academy loves themselves an Eastwood biopic nomination so this should be no problem. And if that nomination fails, it will be the first time since 2002 and Blood Work that a one of his movies did not score a nomination in a year when he made a film. A weird statistic, yes. But a true one.

Actress:

  • Glenn Close – Albert Nobbs
  • Viola Davis – The Help
  • Meryl Streep – The Iron Lady
  • Tilda Swinton – We Need to Talk About Kevin
  • Michelle Williams – My Week with Marilyn

Another boring slate, but I’m having a large problem putting Swinton on my list. It just almost doesn’t seem real that this incredibly weird and alienating movie will be the one weird and alienating movie she makes that actually gets her the already overdue next nomination.

Supporting Actor:

  • Kenneth Branagh – My Week with Marilyn
  • Albert Brooks – Drive
  • Jonah Hill – Moneyball
  • Nick Nolte – Warrior
  • Christopher Plummer – Beginners

I feel extremely uncomfortable predicting Nick Nolte since Warrior was such a non-starter, but I wrote about it and him and I guess it just seems like the safest choice. But it’s not even that safe! There’s about a 10% chance he gets a nomination. There just so happen to be 22 other choices for the nomination. Exhausting.

Supporting Actress:

  • Bérénice Bejo – The Artist
  • Jessica Chastain – The Help
  • Janet McTeer – Albert Nobbs
  • Octavia Spencer – The Help
  • Shailene Woodley – The Descendants

So for those of you counting at home, I’m leaving off Melissa McCarthy, Vanessa Redgrave, and Carey Mulligan. Shame is just the Fassbender show, Redgrave only has weird non-buzz, and I don’t believe in the strength of Bridesmaids. My own feelings aside, it seems too broad to really break in anywhere interesting and McCarthy seems a little too 2011 right now.

Adapted Screenplay:

  • The Descendants
  • The Help
  • Hugo
  • Moneyball
  • Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

I really wanted to keep Dragon Tattoo on here, but I just don’t think it has quite as strong of a literary narrative as these other choices. The Help could be weak because the screenplay is weak and Tinker Tailor could be out because it is unseen. But I think Zaillian will have to deal with one nomination in this category.

Original Screenplay:

  • The Artist
  • Bridesmaids
  • 50/50
  • Midnight in Paris
  • Young Adult

It seems too lighthearted to be true. Look for some dark, sad spoiler to oust Young Adult or 50/50. I’m thinking A Separation or Take Shelter. P.S. This is easily my favorite category this year for potential nominees. It runs so deep in terms of quality, not in terms of plausibility.

Art Direction:

  • The Artist
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
  • Hugo
  • Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
  • The Tree of Life

This is my most wishful of my forced nomination guesses for The Tree of Life. But I firmly believe that the art direction in that movie isn’t just amazing, but it also has the cool story of them buying an actual block and decorating the whole thing to be the set. That’s a cool narrative. Narratives get you nominations.

Cinematography:

  • The Artist
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
  • Hugo
  • Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
  • The Tree of Life

I can’t even come up with a plausible 6th option. Moneyball?

Costume Design:

  • The Artist
  • The Help
  • Hugo
  • My Week with Marilyn
  • W.E.

I had War Horse up there until the last second, but it all felt a little too Euro-centric. I added The Help for that flair of Americana.

Film Editing:

  • The Artist
  • The Descendants
  • Drive
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
  • Hugo

This entire plausible slate would send the world into an uproar. But I think Drive is strong enough to score outside of Brooks and The Descendants is powerful enough to clinch this necessary nomination.

Makeup:

  • Anonymous
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
  • The Iron Lady

This is the only category where I think sentimentality alone will sweep up Harry Potter to a nomination. Makeup is so unpredictable that why not? Harry Potter!

Original Score:

  • Ludovic Bource – The Artist
  • Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross – The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
  • Howard Shore – Hugo
  • Dario Marianelli – Jane Eyre
  • John Williams – War Horse

To all those predicting double Williams – you’re wrong! The Artist is a behemoth, Dragon Tattoo and the NIN boys are way too cool to pass up, Howard Shore and Hugo are breathtakingly obvious, and you never bet against Dario Marianelli doing a stringy classical score for a romantic British novel adaptation. Just don’t do it. So I had to choose a Williams.

Original Song:

  • Lay Your Head Down – Albert Nobbs
  • Star Spangled Man – Captain America: The First Avenger
  • The Living Proof – The Help
  • Life’s A Happy Song – The Muppets
  • Man or Muppet – The Muppets

I can’t believe a super hero movie is going to get a nomination in this category. It seems so wacky.

Sound Editing:

  • The Adventures of Tintin
  • Rise of the Planet of the Apes
  • Super 8
  • Transformers: Dark of the Moon
  • War Horse

Sound Mixing

  • The Artist
  • Hugo
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
  • Super 8
  • Transformers: Dark of the Moon

People seem to question The Artist and Hugo here when they happen to be the two that I am the most sure of. Sound Mixing is a little notorious for sneaking in Best Picture nominees. It also helps that these two films have sound mixes that are an active part of the story. And I’ve mentioned before that there exists no Pirates of the Caribbean movie nor a Rob Marshall movie without an Oscar nomination. I don’t bet against statistics so I made room for On Stranger Tides in this category. As I write this now I’m considering going back and predicting an Art Direction nomination too… hmm….

Visual Effects:

  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
  • Hugo
  • Rise of the Planet of the Apes
  • Transformers: Dark of the Moon
  • The Tree of Life

Hasn’t this been decided for months now?

Animated Feature:

  • The Adventures of Tintin
  • Cars 2
  • Puss in Boots
  • Rango
  • Rio

I just don’t believe that more than 2 sequels can get in. And Puss feels less like a cash grab than Kung Fu Panda 2, but let’s face it… It is such a weak year for this category. And I just can’t bring myself to nominate a movie with Christmas in the title. I was including it for it’s production diversity, but I guess Tintin gets to be European enough and Rio gets to be Latino.

Documentary Feature:

  • Bill Cunningham New York
  • Hell and Back Again
  • If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front
  • Pina
  • Project Nim

Bio Doc, War Doc, Eco Doc… Check, Check, Check. I worry that I checked some of those boxes twice, but there are usually two of some kind.

Foreign Film:

  • In Darkness
  • Monsieur Lazhar
  • Omar Killed Me
  • Pina
  • A Separation

A film with “monsieur” in the title makes up for snubbing a French movie in Oscar math. Don’t ask questions.

Here is the overall nomination count for anything with more than 1 predicted nomination.

11 – The Artist

10 – Hugo

7 – The Help

6 – The Descendants

5 – The Tree of Life

4 – The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

3 – Albert Nobbs, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, Midnight in Paris, Moneyball, My Week with Marilyn, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Transformers: Dark of the Moon

2 – The Adventures of Tintin, Drive, The Iron Lady, The Muppets, Pina, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Super 8, War Horse

I wish I could’ve found more room for War Horse. 2 seems awfully small. It is in 6th or 7th place in my predictions in Adapted Screenplay, Art Direction, Cinematography, Costume Design, Film Editing, Sound Editing, Director, Best Picture. I could see it surprising and doing really well. But I’m predicting the other end of the spectrum… disaster.

I can’t wait to see how I did. Go Tree of Life!

August 30, 2011

The 2012 Oscar Nomination Predictions: The End of Summer Edition

In just a couple of mercifully short days, the festival circuit will start, Oscar-bait movie season will be here and I’ll never have to struggle to find something in the movie theatre until February! In order to get my final two cents in before the storm, I’m making another big ballsy set of Oscar Predictions now. I recently read something by (I think) Jeff Wells on how all of the Oscar pundits, like myself, all start predicting things to win. Then the voters will think, “Well if they’re saying it might win, we should at least be talking about it!” So they talk, the pundits hear more buzz, the talk increases and soon everyone is only talking about the same films.

I’m here to buck the system a little. I tried to stay as faithful as possible to the unseen predictions I had made in March. Of course I didn’t stay 100% faithful, but my decisions are nevertheless different and I am truly confident with a lot of my choices. I’ll give a little bit of analysis after the list, but first I want to explain how I’m going to predict Best Picture under the new system.

With the new rules, a movie needs 5% of the vote to be a #1. That means it has to be over 600 people’s favorite film. That is no easy task. So long as 5 movies get over that 5%, how ever many make it, make it. Those who don’t, well, there’s a surplus rule, and you need the #2 votes of the more popular #1 votes, but also the #2 votes of those that got nearly 0 number #1 votes, and the whole thing is a statistical nightmare. In the end, there will be anywhere from 5 to 10 nominees, with the number to only be revealed after you count up all of the names they read out in February. It’s making the pundits nuts, so what I’m going to do is list my Top 5 unranked. Then numbers 6 through 10 will be in order of likeliness to be nominated with a small break where I think the cutoff will fall. Kapiche?

Best Picture:

  • The Artist
  • A Dangerous Method
  • The Help
  • The Tree of Life
  • War Horse
  • 6. Albert Nobbs
  • 7. Young Adult
  • 8. The Rum Diary
  • 9. Midnight in Paris
  • 10. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II
Best Director:
  • David Cronenberg – A Dangerous Method
  • Michel Hazanavicius – The Artist
  • Terrence Malick – The Tree of Life
  • Jason Reitman – Young Adult
  • Steven Spielberg – War Horse
Best Actor:
  • George Clooney – The Descendants
  • Johnny Depp – The Rum Diary
  • Leonardo DiCaprio – J. Edgar
  • Jean Dujardin – The Artist
  • Joseph Gordon-Levitt – 50/50
Best Actress:
  • Glenn Close – Albert Nobbs
  • Viola Davis – The Help
  • Elizabeth Olsen – Martha Marcy May Marlene
  • Meryl Streep – The Iron Lady
  • Charlize Theron – Young Adult
Supporting Actor:
  • Kenneth Branagh – My Week with Marilyn
  • Viggo Mortensen – A Dangerous Method
  • Brad Pitt – The Tree of Life
  • Christopher Plummer – Beginners
  • Alan Rickman – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II
Supporting Actress:
  • Elle Fanning – Super 8
  • Keira Knightley – A Dangerous Method
  • Vanessa Redgrave – Coriolanus
  • Andrea Riseborough – W.E.
  • Octavia Spencer – The Help
Adapted Screenplay:
  • Albert Nobbs
  • A Dangerous Method
  • The Descendants
  • The Help
  • War Horse
Original Screenplay:
  • Like Crazy
  • Martha Marcy May Marlene
  • Midnight in Paris
  • The Tree of Life
  • Young Adult
Art Direction:
  • The Artist
  • A Dangerous Method
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II
  • War Horse
  • W.E.
Cinematography:
  • The Artist
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
  • The Rum Diary
  • The Tree of Life
  • War Horse
Costume Design:
  • Albert Nobbs
  • A Dangerous Method
  • My Week with Marilyn
  • W.E.
  • Wuthering Heights
Film Editing:
  • The Artist
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
  • The Rum Diary
  • The Tree of Life
  • War Horse
Makeup:
  • Albert Nobbs
  • J. Edgar
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
Original Score:
  • The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn – John Williams
  • The Artist – Ludovic Bource
  • Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close – Nico Muhly
  • The Ides of March – Alexandre Desplat
  • War Horse – John Williams
Original Song:
  • “Star Spangled Man” by Alan Menken – Captain America: The First Avenger
  • “Collision of Worlds” by Brad Paisley and Robbie Williams – Cars 2
  • “The Living Proof” by Mary J. Blige – The Help
  • Untitled Chris Cornell Song – Machine Gun Preacher
  • “Think You Can Wait” – Win Win
Sound Editing:
  • The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II
  • Source Code
  • Super 8
  • War Horse
Sound Mixing:
  • The Artist
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II
  • Transformers: Dark of the Moon
  • The Tree of Life
  • War Horse
Visual Effects:
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
  • The Rise of the Planet of the Apes
  • Transformers: Dark of the Moon
  • The Tree of Life
Animated Feature:
  • The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn
  • Happy Feet 2
  • Kung Fu Panda 2
  • Rango
  • Rio
Assorted Notes:
  • A Brief list of movies that weren’t  at all or were barely on my radar 6 months ago: A Dangerous Method, War Horse, The Artist, W.E., The Help. Good.
  • Animated movies this year are just not up to snuff. Pity.
  • I gave Young Adult the exact same nomination spread Juno got. It seems logical and I love Jason Reitman.
  • The Original Song category is just made up of original songs I know exist. I firmly believe “The Living Proof” will make it, and “Collision of Worlds” has a chance, but the others are mostly fillers. I know I’m the first to predict anything for Original Song so you heard it here first!
  • I think J. Edgar is going to be terrible. Like Invictus terrible. There is a high possibility it will be too long, bloated, and just scenes from this man’s life. Leo will still get the nomination (like they did for Invictus) but it’s just going to be a non-starter otherwise.
  • My love for The Tree of Life is undying, so I somehow managed to go down from 12 nominations to 8. Since the individual branches vote on nominations, I think they will be smart enough to reward all of the wonderful work.
  • Michael Fassbender or Viggo Mortensen?
  • I’m the only one with The Rum Diary really on the radar, but it was all abuzz about a year ago. I’m still interested.
  • I once heard train movies did really well in Sound Editing because they have to supply the constant sound of the train chugging. This proved true when Unstoppable got a nomination. Ergo Source Code.
  • Boy was I wrong about One Day. 6 nomination guesses down the drain.
  • I’m most proud of my set of 2 nominations for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Cinematography and Film Editing – a very Fincher film strong set) and the 3 nominations for Madonna’s W.E. (Supp. Actress, Art Direction, Costume Design). They just seem ultra appropriate.
  • My Best Picture slate seems really devoid of thriller action stuff. It’s very 2008.
  • The strongest category is Supporting Actor, the weakest is Supporting Actress.
There is a short list of movies that either only have 1 nomination or are altogether absent from my predictions. I want the world to know that I do know they exist and I am shunning them for a variety of reasons.
  • Carnage – Roman Polanski is officially a pariah and moreover he seems wrong for the film. Christoph Waltz has problems with the English language (see Water for Elephants). No amount of Kate Winslet will make this not seem like a stage play.
  • Drive – I forgot about it while making my list. I could also say it will be too extreme/hip/wonderful for the Oscars. They might find it a little too much of an exercise in fun serious movies.
  • Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close – I gave it a score nomination possibly only because it suggests something about the score in the title. I have a feeling it will play very similarly to The Town or Secretariat. Very-well liked, Oscar buzzed a little, and then it may or may not go a couple places. And Stephen Daldry films are usually very musical.
  • The Ides of March – I feel like it’s going to be The Ghost Writer but with more attractive people. I wanted to give Alexandre Desplat something and since he did so well with the similarly themed The Ghost Writer, I thought this would be a lovely nomination for score. Political thrillers don’t usually do well. Sorry.
  • Moneyball – I had this in a lot of categories once upon a time. And then other things just became more interesting and shinier.
  • Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy – This is the one I’m most likely to be completely wrong about. I’m again hoping it plays too minor, but something tells me my nomination slate is going to be spoiled by this.
  • We Bought a Zoo – I don’t trust Cameron Crowe. I did once, but no longer.
August 27, 2011

Gold Diggers: The Oscar Chances of The Help

So right now there is a whole lot of talk going around about this little movie that could. While The Help is a movie I’m not particularly too wild about, it’s important to take a look at it in the abstract sense. Right now, it’s the movie everyone is talking about, which is impressive for a movie on its 3rd weekend, even at the end of August. People are talking about the controversial messages, both overt and unintended, that stem from white people effecting change for blacks. People are talking about it as a female book of the month movie adaptation and how it compares to the now annual list of late summer similarities. But what I hear most now is people talking about The Help and the Oscars.

Let’s start big. Right now, a perfect storm is brewing. The Help is going to have 5 things going for it to snag a Best Picture nominee.

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