Sunday, February 28, 2010

Review: Crazy Heart

So this weekend, I finally saw Scott Cooper's directorial debut, and three-time Oscar nominated film Crazy Heart, starring the impeccable Jeff Bridges and Maggie Gyllenhaal.

Crazy Heart is the story of a washed-up country musician, the infamous Bad Blake (Bridges) whose life has been boiled down to playing at bowling alleys, drinking his favorite whiskey, and watching his once protege (Colin Farrell) become a country music superstar. When he meets a local reporter (Maggie Gyllenhaal), who struggles as a single mom, Bad stikes up a romantic involvement that helps him rediscover the reasons for living, and write the song that will reboot his career.

Crazy Heart is a heartfelt journey about the story of a man looking for a second chance, a classic American frontier tale that is twisted up in the changing scenery of a modern world. Scott Cooper, for this first time out, as shown us a lot of promise with this tale that effortlessly combines music, humor, and a great cast to makes what could have been a boring and familiar tale into something deeper and more entertaining than it had any right to be.

Colin Farrell and Bob Duvall are fantastic in their limited roles, adding some depth and perception beyond the two main characters. Maggie Gyllenhaal is a revelation as always playing the tough, yet wounded heroine, whose own life eventually mirrors that of Bad's.

The music, from the great T-Bone Burnett never fails to entice, and The Weary Kind is a classic for the ages.

But the true savior of this film is, of course, Bridges. His gruff, yet charming, anti-hero, yet somehow heroic characterization of a man rediscovering his life is pitch perfect, from the drawl to the noticeable shuffle and alcoholic's cough. Bridges brings decades of experience and acting subtlety to what, in this humble blogger's opinion, is the role of a lifetime. If there is any justice in the world, Bridges will finally get to stand on that podium at Kodak Theater and accept his first, and long overdue Oscar.

Review: A-

Review: The Crazies

A remake of George Romero's classic, The Crazies is a flawed, but sometimes effective horror film, that's first half especially is eeries, exciting, and intriguing, but eventually gives way to a cliche-ridden second half that dissapoints.

The Crazies is the story of a small town where a mysterious plane wreck has infiltrated the water supply, and has cause the residents of the town to become deranged, blood thirsty killers. Those that survive are shuffled away by the US military, and meet a semi-suprising conclusion. The three main protagonists are David and Judy Dutton (Timothy Olyphant and Radha Mitchell), the town's sheriff and doctor, and the deputy sheriff Russell (Joe Anderson), who try to outrun both the crazed townspeople and the government operatives who are searching and destoying everything in their path. The story takes many twists and turns, full of blood, gore, and scares to a less than stellar conclusion that leaves you wanting more.

Compared to most horror movies nowadays, The Crazies has a good amount of positive aspects that make it stand out. The acting is actually pretty decent, led by the charming and smooth Timothy Olyphant, with a host of supporting characters that are believable and play along with director Breck Eisner's vision. The imagery and effects are pretty cool themselves and the director does have a nack for delvering some great scares, and some enduring creepy, yet satisfying moments. Furthermore, the only side of the story we see are of the three protagonists. We know only as much as they do which gives the film some pull on the audience.

Where the film slips however is in the narrative. While it initially pulls you in from the get-go, the second half turns into a more predictable, out-run-the-bad-guy tale that dissapoints consdering the potential it had. Furthermore, there are large plot holes, and to be honest, I can't tell if these Crazies are supposed to be zombies or just deranged individuals. Futhermore what seemed as an important part of the story, the virus itself, is either left out or mentioned only in passing.

To be honest, The Crazies is a solid, not great movie, where much potential is wasted. I was genuinely scared at moments, but left the theatre wanting more to be said, more to be done, as if it was almost cut short. But for movie goers who are looking for a good scare and a good time, The Crazies is the best we can hope for at the time of the year that usually shows simply rotten movies.

Grade: C+

CAS & ASC Winners

Tonight, The Hurt Locker took the CAS Sound Mixing Award and in a surprise, The White Ribbon took home the ASC award for Cinematography.

In terms of the Oscar race, this may be bad news for The Hurt Locker as the CAS winners don't exactly have the best track record at the Oscars. On the other hand, the ACS winners do, so does that mean The White Ribbon wins? I wouldn't put my money on it, as I still think either The Hurt Locker or Avatar will win, but it at least makes the category interesting.

Tomorrow I will review The Crazies.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

NAACP Image Award Winners

Here are the deserving winners of the 26th Annual Image Awards. Congrats to Precious!

-- Comedy Series: ''Tyler Perry's House of Payne''

-- Actor in a comedy series: Daryl ''Chill'' Mitchell, ''Brothers''

-- Actress in a comedy series: Cassi Davis, ''Tyler Perry's House of Payne''

-- Supporting actor in a comedy series: Lance Gross, ''Tyler Perry's House of Payne''

-- Supporting actress in a comedy series: Keshia Knight Pulliam, ''Tyler Perry's House of Payne''

-- Drama series: ''Lincoln Heights''

-- Actor in a drama series: Hill Harper, ''CSI: NY''

-- Actress in a drama series: Jada Pinkett Smith, ''HawthoRNe''

-- Supporting actor in a drama series: Delroy Lindo, ''Law & Order: Special Victims Unit''

-- Supporting actress in a drama series: S. Epatha Merkerson, ''Law & Order''

-- Television movie, miniseries or dramatic special: ''Gifted Hands''

-- Actor in a television movie, miniseries or dramatic special: Cuba Gooding Jr., ''Gifted Hands''

-- Actress in a television movie, miniseries or dramatic special: Kimberly Elise, ''Gifted Hands''

-- Actor in a daytime drama series: Cornelius Smith, Jr., ''All My Children''

-- Actress in a daytime drama series: Debbi Morgan, ''All My Children''

-- News/information (series or special): ''The Inauguration of Barack Obama, 44th President of the United States''

-- Talk series: ''The Mo'Nique Show''

-- Reality series: ''Extreme Makeover: Home Edition''

-- Variety series or special: ''The Michael Jackson Memorial: Celebrating the Life of Michael Jackson''

-- Children's program: ''Dora the Explorer''

-- Performance in a youth/children's program: Keke Palmer, ''True Jackson, VP''

-- New artist: Keri Hilson

-- Male artist: Maxwell

-- Female artist: Mary J. Blige

-- Duo, Group or Collaboration: The Black Eyed Peas

-- Jazz album: ''He and She,'' Wynton Marsalis

-- Gospel album: ''Still,'' BeBe & CeCe Winans

-- World music album: ''Black President,'' Sila and the Afrofunk Experience

-- Music video: ''I Look to You,'' Whitney Houston

-- Song: ''God In Me,'' Mary Mary

-- Album: ''Stronger With Each Tear,'' Mary J. Blige

-- Literary work, fiction: ''The Long Fall,'' Walter Mosley

-- Literary work, non-fiction: ''In Search of Our Roots: How 19 Extraordinary African Americans Reclaimed Their Past,'' Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

-- Literary work, debut author: ''A Question of Freedom,'' R. Dwayne Betts

-- Literary work, biography/autobiography: ''Michelle Obama,'' Deborah Willis

-- Literary work, instructional: ''Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man,'' Steve Harvey

-- Literary work, poetry: ''Bicycles,'' Nikki Giovanni

-- Literary work, children: ''Our Children Can Soar: A Celebration of Rosa, Barack, and the Pioneers of Change,'' Michelle Cook

-- Literary work, youth/teens: ''Michelle Obama: Meet the First Lady,'' David Bergen Brophy

-- Motion picture: ''Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire''

-- Actor in a motion picture: Morgan Freeman, ''Invictus''

-- Actress in a motion picture: Gabourey Sidibe, ''Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire''

-- Supporting actor in a motion picture: Adam Rodriguez, ''Tyler Perry's I Can Do Bad All By Myself''

-- Supporting actress in a motion picture: MoNique, ''Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire''

-- Independent motion picture: ''Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire''

-- Foreign motion picture: ''The Stoning of Soraya M.''

-- Documentary: ''Good Hair''

-- Writing in a comedy series: Halsted Sullivan and Warren Lieberstein, ''The Office''

-- Writing in a dramatic series: Shonda Rhimes, ''Grey's Anatomy''

-- Writing in a motion picture: Geoffrey Fletcher, ''Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire''

-- Directing in a comedy series: Ken Whittingham, ''30 Rock''

-- Directing in a drama series: Chandra Wilson, ''Grey's Anatomy''

-- Directing in a motion picture: Lee Daniels, ''Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire''

Friday, February 26, 2010

Costume Designers' Guild Awards

I think I'm going with The Young Victoria to win costume at the Oscars.

Excellence in Contemporary Film: - "Crazy Heart" – Doug Hall
Excellence in Period Film: - "The Young Victoria" – Sandy Powell
Excellence in Fantasy Film: -"The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus" – Monique Prudhomme

Thursday, February 25, 2010


By now you've heard of the email controversy regarding The Hurt Locker's producer, and a not so suttle shot at Avatar. I personally think it is a low shot, and the producer should have some form of punishment by the Academy. In terms of the movie winning, that's a different story. While it would be a nice "fuck you" to that dick of a producer, I would hate that Kathryn Bigelow and the incredible cast be snubbed because one of their crew is an ass.

Anyway, here is an interesting take from AwardsDaily and Sasha Stone below:

"Well, the clusterfuck has finally come full circle. The producer of The Hurt Locker blah blah blah, violated the rules by sending out an email, blah blah blah and cut to — he has had to apologize. He did finally apologize:

The academy has not yet issued a statement about how it intends to deal with this severe violation of Oscar campaign rules. Penalties could be equally harsh, including the withdrawal of some tickets to the Oscar ceremony.

This is similar to the infamous Robert Wise ad taken out by Harvey Weinstein that endorsed Martin Scorsese for the Best Director prize for The Aviator. According to the rules, you are not supposed to contact Academy members and ask for their vote. You can beg and plead on FYC ads — you can give interviews all over the place – you can invite your buddies, who also happen to be Academy members, to parties and screenings…but you may not address them and request their vote – at least not in so many words.

You gotta love an 11th hour scandal, eh? Meanwhile, I’m sure someone will tell all of those Academy members to stop telling Pete Hammond whom they’re going to vote for because if he starts saying whom they plan to vote for, isn’t that an endorsement? A slippery way of going about it, though, non?"

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Hurt Locker Wins Big at BAFTA's

I'm thinking that the sound awards will be split, and that Tarantino will miss out on original screenplay at the Oscars. Great wins for Firth and Mulligan, maybe upset material? Mo and Christoph solidy their already gigantic leads. Looks as if the Oscars are going to be BORING this year. I'm also working on an article about the role of critics in the last two awards seasons. Also a little note, The Young Victoria could get a Makeup Oscar with this win tonight.

Here are the winners:

Best Picture – The Hurt Locker
Best Actress – Carey Mulligan, An Education
Best Actor – Colin Firth, A Single Man!
Best Director -Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker
Film not in the English Language – Un Prophete
Animated Film – Up
Adapted Screenplay – Jason Reitman & Sheldon Turner for Up In The Air
Orange Rising Star Award – Kristen Stewart
Production Design: Rick Carter, Robert Stromberg & Kim Sinclair for Avatar
Original Screenplay: Mark Boal for The Hurt Locker
Outstanding British Film: Fish Tank
Supporting Actress: Mo’nique, Precious (Based On The Novel Push By Sapphire)
Makeup and Hair: Jenny Shircore for The Young Victoria
Costume Design: Sandy Powell for The Young Victoria
Supporting Actor – Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds
Visual Effects – Avatar
Cinematography – Barry Ackroyd for The Hurt Locker
Editing – The Hurt Locker
Sound – The Hurt Locker
Music – Michael Giacchino for Up
Outstanding British Debut: Duncan Jones for Moon
Short Film – I Do Air
Short Animation – Mother Of Many

Avatar Wins Big at MSPE Golden Reel Awards

Best Sound Editing: Sound Effects, Foley, Dialogue and ADR in a Foreign Feature Film - District 9

Best Sound Editing: Sound Effects, Foley, Music, Dialogue and ADR Animation in a Feature Film - Up

Best Sound Editing Music in a Feature Film - Avatar

Best Sound Editing: Sound Effects and Foley in a Feature Film - Avatar

Best Sound Editing: Music in a Musical Feature Film - This Is It

Best Sound Editing: Dialogue and ADR in a Feature Film - Inglourious Basterds

Saturday, February 20, 2010

WGA Winners

No surprises, without IB, the Original category means nothing. Up in the Air, I think, is locked and loaded for the win.

Original Screenplay: "The Hurt Locker," Mark Boal
Adapted Screenplay: “Up in the Air,” Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner
Documentary: "The Cove," Mark Monroe

Friday, February 19, 2010

Review: Shutter Island

In Marty Scorsese's newest film, Shutter Island, he attempts to pick up where he left off with Cape Fear almost twenty years ago. However, what was marketed as a horror film turns out to be anything but. That however, doesn't mean that it disappoints, it just might disappoint those that expected a bloody horror movie. Instead, in true Scorsese fashion, he created a beautifully shot film that exudes beauty and oozes with eeriness and suspense.

The story is about Teddy (Dicaprio) and Chuck (Ruffalo) who are sent as federal marshals to Shutter Island to investigate the escape of a patient (Emily Mortimer). Headed by psychiatrists (Ben Kingsley and Max Von Sydow) it is an island for the criminally insane. Throughout their investigation, we see Teddy haunted by his own past. Not only was he there at Dachau when US troops marched in, but the memory of his dead wife (Michelle Williams) hangs even more prominently. As Teddy becomes convinced that the US government is conspiring and meets with old acquaintances (Jackie Earl Haley has a particularly creepy role) and new allies (Patricia Clarkson is magnificent in a small, but significant role), to help him solve the mystery of the 67th patient, and the suspicion that all those on the island are hiding more.

The acting is terrific throughout. Kingsley plays the creepy, yet stately doctor with an aura of mystery. Clarkson and Haley (as previously mentioned) were fantastic with little screen time. Ruffalo proves he can actually act. Williams and Mortimer are incredible as always. But the real revelation here is Dicaprio. His frantic and
impeccable performance hopefully will be remembered come Oscar time next year.

Scorsese and Schoonmaker once again make a well directed and edited movie that keeps the suspense and aura lingering over every scene incredibly well. The narrative however is where the normally flawless pair falls flat. There are long scenes of gloom and doom with no real purpose and it is about 30 minutes too long. It stops and goes and makes us wait just a little too long to get to its semi-surprise ending, and there are moments that simply fall flat.

Shutter Island will not go down as one of Scorsese's best, but in February where the shit is usually dumped its nice to see a decent movie with great performances and a storyline that actually makes you think, brighten up the winter.

Grade: B

London Film Critics Award Winners

DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR - Kathryn Bigelow – The Hurt Locker
BRITISH DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR - Andrea Arnold – Fish Tank
ACTOR OF THE YEAR - Christoph Waltz – Inglourious Basterds
ACTRESS OF THE YEAR -Mo’Nique – Precious
BRITISH ACTOR OF THE YEAR - Colin Firth – A Single Man
BRITISH ACTRESS OF THE YEAR - Carey Mulligan – An Education
BRITISH ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE - Michael Fassbender – Fish Tank
SCREENWRITER OF THE YEAR - Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Armando Iannucci & Tony Roche – In the Loop

Monday, February 15, 2010

ACE Eddie Award Winners

To be honest, I think (as i've said before) that The Hurt Locker winning BP will cause a huge effect, mostly negative against the Oscars as out of touch elitists. Now I know that we shouldn't vote for movies because of their box office, but one of the lowest grossing movies of the year winning doesn't do much for ratings. Also, I feel that the Guilds start to hop on a bandwagon completely disregarding actualy merit and following in line with the momentum of the frontrunner. So much for a suspenseful Best Picture race.

Best Editing, Drama: The Hurt Locker
Best Editing, Comedy: The Hangover
Best Editing, Documentary: The Cove
Best Editing, Animated Feature: Up
Best Editing, Miniseries: Grey Gardens
Best Editing, Drama Series: Dexter
Best Editing, Comedy Series: 30 Rock

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Art Directors Guild Winners

So The Hurt Locker and Avatar (Plus Sherlock Holmes) split again, tonight the Eddies will be a huge difference.

Period Film: Sherlock Holmes
Fantasy Film Winner: Avatar
Contemporary design: The Hurt Locker

Saturday, February 13, 2010

"Wolfman" Stinks and Updates

While it may do well at the box office, the long-awaited, star studded, redone a couple of times, The Wolfman turns out to be not very scary and not very good. It's currently sitting at 29% on RT. I just hope Shutter Island does better next time.

Tonight are the Art Director's Guild Awards, and tomorrow are the ACE Eddie Awards. There are 373 Art Directors and 227 Editors in the Academy, and the Eddies have gone on to win the Editing Awards six years in a row. If Avatar or Hurt Locker win Eddie, they become the Oscar frontrunner. If Avatar wins both of these, it could stop the Hurt Locker streak. We will wait and see.

Monday, February 8, 2010

The Red Carpet Campaign

The amazing folks at AwardsDaily posted this link for an amazing article, one which every movie fan and all of us who follow the Academy Awards should read:

Here in the link:


Sunday, February 7, 2010

Annie Award Winners

While Up only won two awards, one of them happened to be Best Animated Feature.

Best Animated Feature: Up
Best Home Entertainment Production: Futurama: Into the Wild Green Yonder
Best Animated Short Subject - Robot Chicken: Star Wars 2.5
Best Animated Television Commercial: Spanish Lottery “Deportees”
Best Animated Television Production: Prep and Landing
Best Animated Television Production for Children: The Penguins of Madagascar


Animated Effects - James Mansfield “The Princess and the Frog”
Character Animation in a Television Production: Phillip To “Monsters vs. Aliens: Mutant Pumpkins from Outer Space”
Character Animation in a Feature Production: Eric Goldberg “The Princess and the Frog”
Character Design in a Television Production: Bill Schwab “Prep and Landing”
Character Design in a Feature Production: Shane Prigmore “Coraline” — Laika
Directing in a Television Production:Bret Haaland “The Penguins of Madagascar - Launchtime”
Directing in a Feature Production: Pete Docter “Up”
Music in a Television Production:Guy Moon “The Fairly OddParents: “Wishology-The Big Beginning”
Music in a Feature Production: Bruno Coulais “Coraline”
Production Design in a Television Production: Andy Harkness “Prep and Landing”
Production Design in a Feature Production - Tadahiro Uesugi “Coraline”
Storyboarding in a Television Production: Robert Koo “Merry Madagascar”
Storyboarding in a Feature Production: Tom Owens “Monsters vs. Aliens”
Voice Acting in a Television Production: Tom Kenny - Voice of SpongeBob - “SpongeBob SquarePants — Truth or Square”
Voice Acting in a Feature Production:Jen Cody - Voice of Charlotte - “The Princess and the Frog”
Writing in a Television Production: Daniel Chun - “The Simpsons: Treehouse of Horror XX”
Writing in a Feature Production: Wes Anderson and Noah Baumbach - “Fantastic Mr. Fox” — 20th Century Fox

USC Scripter Awards

Up in the Air solidified it's Adapted Screenplay Oscar winning the USC Scripter Award last night.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Blind Side and the Impact of Ten

As you have probably heard by now, The Blind Side scored what was most likely the tenth and last spot for Best Picture of the Year at yesterday's Oscar Nomination ceremony. As soon as I heard it myself, I rolled my eyes and sighed not because I was mad that the movie was nominated, but because I knew that the pundits, bloggers, and nameless comment droppers on various websites would NEVER shut up about it. More importantly, they would use it as proof that ten nominations was a waste of time. I hope to refute that by the time this article is over.

First, while The Blind Side scored the lowest of the nominees on RT (70%), it still had decent to okay reviews from most major critics. Furthermore, this is not a critic's movie. That C average from critics was matched by an A average among fans. For the first time in a long time, the general populous finally got it's movie into the running. I know what your thinking, isn't that what the People's Choice Awards are for? True, but with ten nominees, it was nice to see at least one movie stick in, that blazed onto the Oscar scene because of the fans that loved it and the inspiration it exuded from it's frame. Furthermore, it's not that bad of a movie. Hell, it's ten times better than The Reader, which is the worst Best Picture nominee in the last 25 years.

Second, okay so let's say you are still fuming about The Blind Side. The question I have is what about the other 9? Every year we get at least one stinker, or each of us has one or two movies we can't stand that still get into the Best Picture race. Movie reviewing is subjective in itself, and so what made you think that even with ten slots that all of the sudden you were going to like all of the movies. Furthermore, minus The Blind Side, the other nine were a nice mixture of art house films (Precious, An Education, A Serious Man, The Hurt Locker), middle-ranged adult themed films (Up in the Air), and well-reviewd blockbusters (Avatar, Inglourious Basterds, Up, and District 9). So if you don't like The Blind Side, hell for that matter, if you don't like one or two or even three of the nominees, be happy that with the edition of five more nominees, some incredible works of art who would have normally missed out are getting their due.

So you ask, what do I think? In my opinion, the ten nomination experiment gets a good grade from me. If Precious, Up in the Air, IB, Avatar, and The Hurt Locker were the favored five, then the inclusion of movies like Up and District 9, movies the Academy would have most likely ignored, makes it all worth it for me. I think were going to have to give this a couple of years to see if it continues to be so successful, but the Academy got exactly what they wanted with the previously mentioned mix that crosses a range of categories, and more importantly, they hopefully have caught the attention of a couple million viewers who normally would have changed the channel.

Avatar Reaches It's Peak

From Awards Daily:

"It has taken James Cameron’s latest film just over seven weeks to accomplish what his last film took almost a year to do. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Cameron’s Avatar has broken the all-time domestic box-office record, with an updated domestic take of $601.2 million through Tuesday."

So Avatar has finally done it. Does this mean that it is too big for the Academy to ignore? We'll see....

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Academy Awards Nominations

Well, the time has come. Below, I will list the nominees then compare them to my predictions. Overall all though, only a few real shockers (and not that shocking), include Maggie Gyllenhaal For BSA, The Secret of Kells for BAF, and of course, The Blind Side for BP. Another interesting note: the Academy was already gearing up for a Avatar v. Hurt Locker showdown, now both lead the nomination race...perfect.

Best Picture

“The Blind Side”
“District 9”
“An Education”
“The Hurt Locker”
“Inglourious Basterds”
“Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire”
“A Serious Man”
“Up in the Air”

My Predictions - 8/10. I should have known that they weren't hip enough to honor three sci-fi flicks in the same year. Kind of surprised though that Invictus didn't get in, I guess the love for Clint is drying up. The Blind Side nomination is surprising, but for me, what it really translates into is a win for Sandra Bullock.

Actor in a Leading Role

Jeff Bridges in “Crazy Heart”
George Clooney in “Up in the Air”
Colin Firth in “A Single Man”
Morgan Freeman in “Invictus”
Jeremy Renner in “The Hurt Locker”

My Predictions -5/5! No surprises here

Actor in a Supporting Role
Matt Damon in “Invictus”
Woody Harrelson in “The Messenger”
Christopher Plummer in “The Last Station”
Stanley Tucci in “The Lovely Bones”
Christoph Waltz in “Inglourious Basterds”

My Prediction: 5/5! Once again no shock.

Actress in a Leading Role

Sandra Bullock in “The Blind Side”
Helen Mirren in “The Last Station”
Carey Mulligan in “An Education”
Gabourey Sidibe in “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire”
Meryl Streep in “Julie & Julia”

My Prediction: 4/5. So I thought that Emily Blunt would sneak in over Helen Mirren, which was me trying to go out on a limb, oh well, they went the way everyone else thought they would go.

Actress in a Supporting Role

Penélope Cruz in “Nine”
Vera Farmiga in “Up in the Air”
Maggie Gyllenhaal in “Crazy Heart”
Anna Kendrick in “Up in the Air”
Mo’Nique in “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire”

My Prediction: 4/5. So I called Penelope Cruz, but I don't think many people got the Maggie Gyllenhaal, aka the Michael Shannon of this year. Congrats to her though, she finally gets a well deserved Oscar nomination.

Animated Feature Film

“Coraline” Henry Selick
“Fantastic Mr. Fox” Wes Anderson
“The Princess and the Frog” John Musker and Ron Clements
“The Secret of Kells” Tomm Moore
“Up” Pete Docter

My Prediction: 4/5. Did anybody see The Secret of Kells coming? For that matter, did anyone see the movie? Oh well, this one is wrapped up anyway.

Art Direction

“Avatar” Art Direction: Rick Carter and Robert Stromberg; Set Decoration: Kim Sinclair
“The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus” Art Direction: Dave Warren and Anastasia Masaro; Set Decoration: Caroline Smith
“Nine” Art Direction: John Myhre; Set Decoration: Gordon Sim
“Sherlock Holmes” Art Direction: Sarah Greenwood; Set Decoration: Katie Spencer
“The Young Victoria” Art Direction: Patrice Vermette; Set Decoration: Maggie Gray

My Prediction: 3/5. I got Avatar, Nine, and Sherlock Holmes. If IB had scored a nod then it would have been a three way tie for the number of nods. I got HP in this category instead of Cinematography. Should have seen YV and IMDP, very artsy films.


“Avatar” Mauro Fiore
“Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” Bruno Delbonnel
“The Hurt Locker” Barry Ackroyd
“Inglourious Basterds” Robert Richardson
“The White Ribbon” Christian Berger

My Prediction: 4/5. I switch Nine for HP, but overall pretty happy about this category.

Costume Design

“Bright Star” Janet Patterson
“Coco before Chanel” Catherine Leterrier
“The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus” Monique Prudhomme
“Nine” Colleen Atwood
“The Young Victoria” Sandy Powell

My Prediction: 3/5. Should have guessed Bright Star, but it was receiving no buzz at all, and IMDP was a stupid mistake on my part. I had IB and Sherlock Holmes instead.


“Avatar” James Cameron
“The Hurt Locker” Kathryn Bigelow
“Inglourious Basterds” Quentin Tarantino
“Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” Lee Daniels
“Up in the Air” Jason Reitman

My Prediction: 5/5! No surprise Clint Eastwood nomination. Cult of Clint must have stopped having meetings. Great for Lee Daniels and Kathryn Bigelow though!

Documentary (Feature)

“Burma VJ” Anders Østergaard and Lise Lense-Møller
“The Cove” Nominees to be determined
“Food, Inc.” Robert Kenner and Elise Pearlstein
“The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers” Judith Ehrlich and Rick Goldsmith
“Which Way Home” Rebecca Cammisa

Documentary (Short Subject)

“China’s Unnatural Disaster: The Tears of Sichuan Province” Jon Alpert and Matthew O’Neill
“The Last Campaign of Governor Booth Gardner” Daniel Junge and Henry Ansbacher
“The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant” Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert
“Music by Prudence” Roger Ross Williams and Elinor Burkett
“Rabbit à la Berlin” Bartek Konopka and Anna Wydra

Film Editing

“Avatar” Stephen Rivkin, John Refoua and James Cameron
“District 9” Julian Clarke
“The Hurt Locker” Bob Murawski and Chris Innis
“Inglourious Basterds” Sally Menke
“Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” Joe Klotz

My Prediction: 4/5. I had Up in the Air instead of Precious, which seems to be like a lot more in the Academy than I thought with this nomination. Could spoil Adapted Screenplay.

Foreign Language Film

“Ajami” Israel
“El Secreto de Sus Ojos” Argentina
“The Milk of Sorrow” Peru
“Un Prophète” France
“The White Ribbon” Germany


“Il Divo” Aldo Signoretti and Vittorio Sodano
“Star Trek” Barney Burman, Mindy Hall and Joel Harlow
“The Young Victoria” Jon Henry Gordon and Jenny Shircore

My Prediction: 1/3. I thought this category was set the way I had it, but alas, apparently I do not understand the craft. Hell, I know I don't understand the craft. Maybe this means that Star Trek will actually win an award.

Music (Original Score)

“Avatar” James Horner
“Fantastic Mr. Fox” Alexandre Desplat
“The Hurt Locker” Marco Beltrami and Buck Sanders
“Sherlock Holmes” Hans Zimmer
“Up” Michael Giacchino

My Prediction: As much as I liked The Hurt Locker, Marvin Hamlisch's brilliant score in The Informant! was robbed.

Music (Original Song)

“Almost There” from “The Princess and the Frog” Music and Lyric by Randy Newman
“Down in New Orleans” from “The Princess and the Frog” Music and Lyric by Randy Newman
“Loin de Paname” from “Paris 36” Music by Reinhardt Wagner Lyric by Frank Thomas
“Take It All” from “Nine” Music and Lyric by Maury Yeston
“The Weary Kind (Theme from Crazy Heart)” from “Crazy Heart” Music and Lyric by Ryan
Bingham and T Bone Burnett

My Predictions: 4/5. Consdering the unpredictability of this category. I was happy with the four that I got. I think The Weary Kind is the frontrunner.

Short Film (Animated)

“French Roast” Fabrice O. Joubert
“Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty” Nicky Phelan and Darragh O’Connell
“The Lady and the Reaper (La Dama y la Muerte)” Javier Recio Gracia
“Logorama” Nicolas Schmerkin
“A Matter of Loaf and Death” Nick Park

Short Film (Live Action)

“The Door” Juanita Wilson and James Flynn
“Instead of Abracadabra” Patrik Eklund and Mathias Fjellström
“Kavi” Gregg Helvey
“Miracle Fish” Luke Doolan and Drew Bailey
“The New Tenants” Joachim Back and Tivi Magnusson

Sound Editing

“Avatar” Christopher Boyes and Gwendolyn Yates Whittle
“The Hurt Locker” Paul N.J. Ottosson
“Inglourious Basterds” Wylie Stateman
“Star Trek” Mark Stoeckinger and Alan Rankin
“Up” Michael Silvers and Tom Myers

My Prediction: 4/5. Had D9 instead of IB. Since I no nothing about sound editing, pretty happy.

Sound Mixing

“Avatar” Christopher Boyes, Gary Summers, Andy Nelson and Tony Johnson
“The Hurt Locker” Paul N.J. Ottosson and Ray Beckett
“Inglourious Basterds” Michael Minkler, Tony Lamberti and Mark Ulano
“Star Trek” Anna Behlmer, Andy Nelson and Peter J. Devlin
“Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers and Geoffrey Patterson

My Predictions: 4/5. Missed Up for IB. Damn I underestimated IB a lot. Either way, happy with my picks

Visual Effects

“Avatar” Joe Letteri, Stephen Rosenbaum, Richard Baneham and Andrew R. Jones
“District 9” Dan Kaufman, Peter Muyzers, Robert Habros and Matt Aitken
“Star Trek” Roger Guyett, Russell Earl, Paul Kavanagh and Burt Dalton

My Prediction: 3/3. Sorry Transformers, this year you needed to actually be a good movie.

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

“District 9” Written by Neill Blomkamp and Terri Tatchell
“An Education” Screenplay by Nick Hornby
“In the Loop” Screenplay by Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Armando Iannucci, Tony Roche
“Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” Screenplay by Geoffrey Fletcher
“Up in the Air” Screenplay by Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner

My Prediction: 4/5. I had Julie & Julia for a surprise, and I was surprised none the less, by an even better movie. So happy for In the Loop

Writing (Original Screenplay)

“The Hurt Locker” Written by Mark Boal
“Inglourious Basterds” Written by Quentin Tarantino
“The Messenger” Written by Alessandro Camon & Oren Moverman
“A Serious Man” Written by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
“Up” Screenplay by Bob Peterson, Pete Docter, Story by Pete Docter, Bob Peterson, Tom McCarthy

My Prediction: So Avatar didn't get the screenplay nod. It's not really shocking, but nice to see The Messenger get in instead.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Final Oscar Predictions

So here it its, the final stop. After a long season of twists and turns, rising and falling, tomorrow morning the 2010 Academy Award Nominations will be announced. I will post tomorrow afternoon, my thoughts, and give initial predictions about winners. Here is a look at my final predictions:

Best Picture

An Education
District 9
The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
Precious: Based on the Novel PUSH by Sapphire
Star Trek
Up in the Air

Best Director

Kathryn Bigelow “The Hurt Locker”
James Cameron “Avatar”
Lee Daniels “Precious”
Jason Reitman “Up in the Air”
Quentin Tarantino “Inglourious Basterds”

Best Actor

Jeff Bridges “Crazy Heart”
George Clooney “Up in the Air”
Colin Firth “A Single Man”
Morgan Freeman “Invictus”
Jeremy Renner “The Hurt Locker”

Best Actress

Emily Blunt “The Young Victoria”
Sandra Bullock “The Blind Side”
Carey Mulligan “An Education”
Gabourey Sidibe “Precious”
Meryl Streep “Julie & Julia”

Best Supporting Actor

Matt Damon “Invictus”
Woody Harrelson “The Messenger”
Christopher Plummer “The Last Station”
Stanley Tucci “The Lovely Bones”
Christoph Waltz “Inglourious Basterds”

Best Supporting Actress

Penelope Cruz “Nine”
Vera Farmiga “Up in the Air”
Anna Kendrick “Up in the Air”
Mo’Nique “Precious”
Julianne Moore “A Single Man”

Best Original Screenplay

James Cameron “Avatar”
Mark Boal “The Hurt Locker”
Quentin Tarantino “Inglorious Basterds”
Joel and Ethan Coen “A Serious Man”
Bob Peterson and Pete Doctor “Up”

Best Adapted Screenplay

Neill Blomkamp & Terri Tatchell “District 9”
Nick Hornby “An Education” Nora Ephron “Julie & Julia”
Gregory Fletcher “Precious”
Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner “Up in the Air”

Best Animated Feature

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs
The Fantastic Mr. Fox
The Princess and the Frog

Best Art Direction

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Inglorious Basterds
Sherlock Holmes

Best Cinematography

The Hurt Locker
Inglorious Basterds
The White Ribbon

Best Costume Design

Coco Before Chanel
Inglourious Basterds
Sherlock Holmes
The Young Victoria

Best Film Editing

District 9
The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
Up in the Air

Best Makeup

District 9
The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus
Star Trek

Best Original Score

Alexandre Desplat “The Fantastic Mr. Fox”
Michael Giacchino “Up”
Marvin Hamlisch “The Informant!”
James Horner “Avatar”
Hans Zimmer “Sherlock Holmes”

Best Original Song

“The Weary Kind” from Crazy Heart
“Cinema Italiano” from Nine
“Take It All” from Nine
“Down In New Orleans” from The Princess and the Frog
“Almost There” from The Princess and the Frog

Best Sound Mixing

The Hurt Locker
Star Trek
Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen

Best Sound Editing

District 9
The Hurt Locker
Star Trek

Best Visual Effects

District 9
Star Trek