Sunday, February 27, 2011

Academy Award Winners

Well, here it is folks, the final list. A nice evening, some deserving winners, and a wonderful year in movies. On Tuesday afternoon, I will post my post-Oscar reactions, and announce the upcoming projects for the Spring and Summer. Thank you for tuning in.

Best Picture - The King's Speech
Best Director - Tom Hooper "The King's Speech"
Best Actor - Colin Firth "The King's Speech"
Best Actress - Natalie Portman "Black Swan"
Best Supporting Actor - Christian Bale "The Fighter"
Best Supporting Actress - Melissa Leo "The Fighter"
Best Adapted Screenplay - Aaron Sorkin "The Social Network"
Best Original Screenplay - David Seidler "The King's Speech"
Best Animated Feature Film - Toy Story 3
Best Documentary Feature Film - Inside Job
Best Foreign Language Film - In A Better World
Best Film Editing - The Social Network
Best Art Direction - Alice in Wonderland
Best Cinematography - Wally Pfister "Inception"
Best Costume Design - Colleen Atwood "Alice in Wonderland"
Best Makeup - The Wolfman
Best Original Score - Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross "The Social Network"
Best Original Song - Randy Newman "We Belong Together" from "Toy Story 3"
Best Sound Mixing - Inception
Best Sound Editing - Inception
Best Visual Effects - Inception
Best Animated Short - The Lost Thing
Best Documentary Short - Strangers No More
Best Live Action Short - God of Love

The Quiet Before the Storm....

Well, here it is Sunday afternoon before the Oscars, the quiet before the storm. Tonight could be the most predictable, or most unpredictable, there will be worthy winners, potential upsets, and hopefully some fun along the way. As of now, the only thing I can say to you is: thank you. This has been an crazy Oscar season, and a hell of a lot of fun. For those that stuck by and followed it along with me, I thank you, and hope you will continue to tune in to The Awards Psychic.

Once again here are my final predictions, and I will be posting the winners live:

Best Picture - The King's Speech
Best Director - David Fincher "The Social Network"
Best Actor - Colin Firth "The King's Speech"
Best Actress - Natalie Portman "Black Swan"
Best Supporting Actor - Christian Bale "The Fighter"
Best Supporting Actress - Helena Bonham Carter "The King's Speech
Best Animated Feature - Toy Story 3
Best Original Screenplay - David Seidler "The King's Speech"
Best Adapted Screenplay - Aaron Sorkin "The Social Network"
Best Documentary Feature - Inside Job
Best Art Direction - The King's Speech
Best Cinematography - True Grit
Best Costume Design - The King's Speech
Best Film Editing - The Social Network
Best Foreign Language Film - In A Better World (Denmark)
Best Makeup - The Wolfman
Best Original Score - Alexandre Desplat "The King's Speech"
Best Original Song - "We Belong Together" from Toy Story 3
Best Sound Editing - Inception
Best Sound Mixing - Inception
Best Visual Effects - Inception

Final Predictions - Best Picture

“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

Will Win - The King's Speech
Should Win - Complicated
Could Win - The Social Network
Commentary - I think that the SAG, DGA, and PGA wins are going to be enough for The King's Speech to take home the Best Picture Oscar. It is as simple as that. Or is it? But The Social Network is a critical smash, it took home every major critics' award, on top of that it won the BFCA and the Golden Globe. I am still a huge TSN fan, but reality tells me that none of those prizes matter. The only significant prize it won that is an indicator of Best Picture was the ACE Eddie, and to be honest, I don't think that is enough. So there you go, The King's Speech will take the prize. The question that lingers in my mind is not who will win, but who should win? For me this is complicated. Yes, I put TSN as the top movie of the year in my own personal awards. But will I be dissappointed if all of the sudden The King's Speech wins the prize. No! This was an incredible year for movies. Last year, the 10 film format didn't really work, as we all knew that there were five above the rest of the pack. But this year, I feel that there is not one dud in the bunch, and all ten films, on their own merits deserve the recognition that they have received. So I honestly don't care if TKS wins, it was one of my favorite movies of the year. While I would love to see TSN surprise us all, I wouldn't mind if it lost to TKS, to Inception, to The Fighter, to Black Swan, to The Kids Are All Right, to Toy Story3, to infinity and beyond (a little joke). Here is my point. This was a great year for movies, and some deserving films are going to win some awards, and some deserving films are going to miss out. This has been a long season, and the votes are in, just....let it be.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Razzie "Winners"

The Golden Raspberries are hilarious to me, and the "winners" this year definitely deserved it, ranging from The Last Airbender, Killers, SATC 2, Valentines Day, and Twilight. Anyway, here is the list below, a little fun before tomorrow afternoon's big event:

Worst Picture - 'The Last Airbender'
Worst Actor - Ashton Kutcher, 'Killers' and 'Valentine's Day'
Worst Actress - The Four Gal Pals, 'Sex and the City 2'
Worst Supporting Actor  - Jackson Rathbone, 'The Last Airbender' and 'The Twilight Saga: Eclipse'
Worst Supporting Actress - Jessica Alba, 'The Killer Inside Me,' 'Little Fockers,' 'Machete' and 'Valentine's Day'
"Worst Eye-Gouging Mis-Use of 3-D" - 'The Last Airbender'
Worst Screen Couple / Ensemble - The Entire Cast, 'Sex and the City 2'
Worst Director - 'The Last Airbender,' M. Night Shyamalan
Worst Screenplay - 'The Last Airbender,' M. Night Shyamalan
Worst Prequel, Remake, Rip-Off or Sequel  - 'Sex and the City 2'

Final Predictions - Best Director

“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

Will Win/Should Win - David Fincher "The Social Network"
Could Win - Tom Hooper "The King's Speech"
Should Have Been Nominated -Christopher Nolan "Inception"

Commentary - While the Nolan snub still stings, I know I must move on and look at the actual nominees. Aronofsky, Russell, and the Coens are all excellent directors, but really, they are going to take a backseat to the main fight: Hooper vs. Fincher. I think that Tom Hooper did an excellent job with TKS (despite some people's ramblings), and made a taut, well-executed story that was enjoyable to watch. However, for me, it was still not on the same level of David Fincher. Fincher's eye for storytelling combined with Sorkins sharp script is what made what could have been an incredibly boring movie, a spectacle to watch. So although TKS will most likely win best picture, and Hooper definitely has a shot, I am going with the BP/BD split. Plus, Hooper's story reminds me a lot of Rob Marshall's back in 2002. So maybe the same thing will happen, where you take away the TV voting branch of the DGA, and Polanski wins, aka Fincher wins. It is not set in stone by any means, and if Hooper's name is read out, I will not be shocked, but I'm going with my gut.

Final Predictions - Best Actor

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”

Will Win/Should Win - Colin Firth "The King's Speech"

Commentary - There really is not much to say about this category. Javier Bardem and Jeff Bridges are previous winners, but won't be winning a second anytime soon. Franco and Eisenberg are talented young stars who will most likely see many nominations in the coming years. But really this is all about Firth. He probably would have won last year had it not been for Bridges' late entry. But this year, I see nothing stopping the King from reigning supreme.

Independent Spirit Award Winners

Black Swan and Winter's Bone clean up at Indie Spirits. The only repeat will probably be Portman.

Best Picture: Black Swan
Best Director: Darren Aronofsky, Black Swan
Best Actress: Natalie Portman, Black Swan
Best Actor: James Franco, 127 Hours
Best Supporting Actress: Dale Dickey, Winters Bone
Best Supporting Male: John Hawkes, Winter’s Bone
Best Screenplay: The Kids Are All Right
Best Cinematography: Matthew Libatique, Black Swan
Best Documentary: Exit Through the Gift Shop
Best Foreign Film: The King’s Speech
Best First Feature: Get Low
Best First Screenplay: Lena Dunham, Tiny Furniture
Truer Than Fiction Award: Marwencol, Jeff Malmberg
Someone to Watch Award: Mike Ott, Littlerock
Producers Award: Anish Savjani, Meek’s Cutoff
Robert Altman Award (ensemble): Please Give
Cassavetes Award: Daddy Longlegs

Final Predictions - Best Actress

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 - Annette Bening "The Kids Are All Right"
Will Win - Natalie Portman "Black Swan"
Commentary - I was thrilled at the nominations of Nicole Kidman and Michelle Williams, but I know that they are going to have to wait for another year. Jennifer Lawrence could be a spoiler, but my guess is that many members of the Academy will say that she is not "due" yet. So it comes down to the same two women that it has been about all year. From day one it was Bening v. Portman, and during the long, stressful season, these incredible actresses managed to keep their buzz all the way up till the very end. I still think that Annette Bening should win the Oscar, and if enough people vote with their hearts, she could pull off an upset. However, I think that Portman has too many important precursors under her belt, and despite her annoying "he wanted to sleep with me" speeches, I think she will take home Oscar gold.

Final Predictions - Best Supporting Actress

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”

Will Win - Helena Bonham Carter "The King's Speech"
Should Win - Any of them
Could Win - Leo, Adams, Steinfeld
Commentary - I know what you're thinking...really? This category has made my life stressful, as everytime I think I land on the choice that seems right, I switch it. Melissa Leo will most likely win this award. But I equate this year with 2007, the Amy Ryan, Ruby Dee, and Tilda Swinton battle. In the end, it was BAFTA winner Swinton that ended up taking the prize despite a lack of precursors. Carter is one of my favorite actresses, but even I would agree this is not her best role, its a perfectly lovely part, but nothing spectacular. She should have probably had 4 or 5 nods by now, so I'll chalk this nod as a lumping of all those better roles. However, Leo's "Consider" ads, combined with Adams votesplitting, and Steinfeld's newcomer status, make me think that Academy voters look at Carter as the uncontroversial choice, a well-liked actress in a well-liked movie that deserves recognition. I am going out on a limb (as MK would say, "That limbs gonna break!"), and saying that although Leo, Steinfeld, and Adams all have a shot at taking home the gold, that the witty HBC does instead. Plus, I would probably have voted for her after hearing her incredible BAFTA speech, which was funny and humble, and made us all realize why we love her so much. Remember, Academy members vote with their hearts.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Final Predictions - Best Supporting Actor

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/Will Win - Christian Bale
Could Win - Geoffrey Rush "The King's Speech"
Commentary - John Hawkes, Jeremy Renner and Mark Ruffalo should just be happy that they were nominated and try to enjoy a fun weekend, as they are not really even factors in this race. It all comes down to Bale and Rush. While Supporting Actress is a complete mess, I feel that this one will end up going like it is supposed to. Rush definitely is a major threat, as he won the BAFTA, but although Christian Bale is British as well, his role is an American story, and I believe that there is enough support for the movie (and no Amy Adams vote splitting), that he will at least be its token win.

Final Predictions - Shorts

***Disclaimer note. I am going off of a consensus among experts, but personally and completely unsure of these predictions***

Okay, now that that is over with, here are the predictions:

Best Animated Short
“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

Will Win: Day & Night
Could Win: The Gruffalo

Commentary - This race seems to be down to the two films mentioned above, and while I'm not sure, I'm going with Pixar as the safe choice.

Best Documentary Short
“Killing in the Name” Jed Rothstein
“Poster Girl” Sara Nesson and Mitchell W. Block
“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

Will Win - Strangers No More
Could Win - any of the other four

Commentary - A film about an international school in Israel seems right up the Academy's alley.

Best Live Action Short
“The Confession” Tanel Toom
“The Crush” Michael Creagh
“God of Love” Luke Matheny
“Na Wewe” Ivan Goldschmidt
“Wish 143” Ian Barnes and Samantha Waite

Will Win - Na Wewe
Could Win - Wish 143

Commentary - Like a four year old...Because I said so!

Final Predictions - Costume Design

“Alice in Wonderland” Colleen Atwood
“I Am Love” Antonella Cannarozzi
“The King's Speech” Jenny Beavan
“The Tempest” Sandy Powell
“True Grit” Mary Zophres

Should Win: I honestly have no idea.
Will Win - The King's Speech
Could Win - Alice in Wonderland
Commentary - Like Art Direction, this race has become increasingly tight, and even the best experts in the game are struggling over who is going to be the eventual winner.  While The Tempest and I Am Love managed to defy their odds (terrible film and foreign film, respectively), to score deserved nods in this category, they are going to be on the outside looking in. True Grit definitely has a chance, but my books this is a two way race between vastly different movies. Alice is going to be a tough contender, but it has a few things going against it: the movie itself wasn't that good (Although past winners in this category have proven that that is not necessarily a deterant), the fact that it is a fantasy film (only one has one in the last ten years and it last LOTR: ROTK in a sweep), and the fact that it is up against The King's Speech. It is the frontrunner for BP, a period piece, and a movie about monarchy. While I am a little shaky in this prediction, I think the Academy will go for it.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Final Predictions - Foreign Language Film

“Biutiful” Mexico
“Dogtooth” Greece
“In a Better World” Denmark
“Incendies” Canada
“Outside the Law (Hors-la-loi)” Algeria

Should Win - Dogtooth
Will Win - In a Better World
Commentary - Dogtooth, in my humble opinion, is the best of the bunch, but it and the Algerian entry Outside the Law will most likely sit on the sidelines come Sunday. For me this is a three way race. I feel that the Canadian hit Incendies could get some votes, and could be a dark horse contender. Biutiful is probably the most popular of the films considering its director (Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu), and its star Javier Bardem, who scored an Oscar nod for his role. While Bardem is getting praise, the film itself is not getting the best reviews. I am going with the surprise Golden Globe winner In a Better World, as are most pundits calling this race. However, I feel we all could be thinking too much about this category, and the more obvious choice of Biutiful will end up winning, but since I know very little about this category, I will stick with the majority on this one.

The International Film Music Award Winners

These usually don't have much, if any, bearing on the Oscar, but maybe it is a foreshadowing of a Desplat win? Either way, here are the winners:

Film Score of the Year: John Powell, HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON

Best Score for an Animated Film: John Powell, HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON
Best Score for a Drama Film: Alexandre Desplat, THE KING’S SPEECH
Best Score for an Action/Adventure/Thriller Film: Alexandre Desplat, THE GHOST WRITER
Composer of the Year: Alexandre Desplat
Best Score for a Comedy Film: Pinar Toprak, THE LIGHTKEEPERS.
Best Score to a Fantasy/Science Fiction/Horror Film: Daft Punk, TRON: LEGACY
Best Score for a Documentary Film: Bruno Coulais, OCÉANS
Best Individual Composition: Danny Elfman, “Alice Theme” from ALICE IN WONDERLAND
Breakout Composer of the Year: Nuno Malo, AMÁLIA

Emmys Merge TV Movie/Miniseries

In a little break from the hustle and bustle of the Oscar Season, I found out today that the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences has decided to merge the TV Movie and Miniseries categories into one, and have six nominees to hopefully include more. This is not such a bad decision considering that the acting awards for these categories merged in the late 1970's, and the fact that the last two years the miniseries category has only had two nominations. On the other hand, they truly are two different formats, and looking at last year, I would have hated it if Temple Grandin and The Pacific hadn't both take home top honors. In the end, we will simply have to wait and see over the next couple of years if this merger is beneficial or harming one medium over the over.

Final Predictions - Art Direction

“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

Should Win - Inception
Will Win - The King's Speech

Commentary - I think it is interesting just how close this particular race is, considering that it is Art Direction, but it has been a back and forth decision for me. After Avatar's win last year, the Academy has shown that they are not afraid to reward sci-fi/fantasy sets, so Harry Potter and Inception definitely have a shot, and I am starting to get an inkling that Inception could pull this off. As could Alice in Wonderland, another fantasy heavy film with splendid art direction,. But my guess is that all of these fantasy films cancel each other out and the more stately, and BP frontrunner The King's Speech takes the prize.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Final Predictions - Best Documentary Feature

“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

Should Win - Exit Through the Gift Shop
Will Win - Inside Job
Should Have Been Nominated - Waiting for 'Superman'

Commentary - The lack of nomination for Waiting for 'Superman' still stings as it wsa considered the frontrunner for the prize. I was thrilled with the Exit Through the Gift Shop nomination, but the controversy over his appearence (or lack there of), plus the fact that the Academy is full of a bunch of sticks in the mud who would not get the hip and funny nature of such a film, means that most likely it will not win. I am going with the safe choice, not a bad choice by any means, but the type of documentary we see once a year, a politically charged look at the world around us.

Final Predictions - Best Cinematography

“Black Swan” Matthew Libatique
“Inception” Wally Pfister
“The King's Speech” Danny Cohen
“The Social Network” Jeff Cronenweth
“True Grit” Roger Deakins

Should Win/Will Win -  Roger Deakins "True Grit"
Could Win - Inception or The King's Speech

Commentary: In this decade, the ASC winner has only matched up four times, and missed Avatar last year for The White Ribbon. Now I'm not saying that Inception winning doesn't mean anything, other than this is a close race. And while, in this category at least, The King's Speech and The Social Network have been mostly absent from the conversation, they are definitely potential spoilers, particularly TKS, if it goes on a sweep come Oscar night. But for this award, I will continue to predict the great Roger Deakins until he wins. Maybe it is just us pundits that seem to be pushing him to win, but I think we can all agree that it is about time. While this prediction is shaky, I'm hoping that a sentimental Academy will respond and finally give the man the Oscar he so richly deserves.

Costume Designers' Guild Awards

Well this does nothing to clear up what has become a tight race. Both Alice and TKS took home honors in their respective categories. Well, I guess I'll give a little more thought before I make my final prediction. Here are the film winners:

Excellence in Period Film - Jenny Beavon "The King's Speech"
Excellence in Contemporary Film - Amy Westcott "Black Swan"
Excellence in Fantasy - Colleen Atwood "Alice in Wonderland"

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Final Predictions: Best Film Editing

“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

Should Win/Will Win - The Social Network

Commentary - This is really a two-film race, as The Fighter, Black Swan, and 127 Hours, while excellent films, really stand very little chance of upsetting the top two contenders. In terms of acutal editing, this award should easily, without a doubt to The Social Network, which managed to jump back and forth between the events, and the two different court arbitrations, with flawless ease and at a zippy pace that kept the audience interested. The King's Speech is a triumphant in its own ways, its technicals, its incredible screenplay and cast, and its sweet story of overcoming the odds. But in all of that, the Editing is not its strongest suit. However, if it is coming in on a sweep, then it could take this one with it. My guess is that we don't have a sweep, and that it and TSN battle it out for some of these key categories, even though I'm pretty sure that the King will reign supreme by the end of the night.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Final Predictions - Sound Mixing and Editing

Nominees - Sound Mixing
“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

Should Win/Will Win - Inception
Could Win - True Grit, The Social Network, or The King's Speech

Commentary: Okay, sorry to Salt, but there is no way you are winning this award. Now the other four films are all in the running. The Social Network is probably the next weakest link, as it has lost its steam in the last couple of weeks overall. If The King's Speech sweeps, then it could shock everyone and take this prize as well. Finally it comes down to True Grit vs. Inception. Now True Grit winning the CAS is no fluke, and it definitely could take the prize. But my guess is that the larger Academy will go for the flashier sound of Inception, as they did in 2007 when they overlooked another Coen Bros/CAS winner, No Country For Old Men.

Nominees - Sound Editing
“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

Should Win/Will Win - Inception

Commentary - Now, the MPSE and the Academy do not always match up because they tend to pick their winners based on the quality of the Sound Editing and the Academy not so much. Furthermore, the MPSE has so many different categories that it is hard to decipher which ones end up playing a big role. I will say that over the last ten years, at least one of the MPSE category winners has usually gone on to win the big prize. It just doesn't correlate with a specific subcategory. My guess is that Inception takes the Big Three of Flashy if you will, as in Sound, Sound Editing, and Visual Effects, as it is simply that kind of movie. Also, the other category winners of MPSE, The Social Network and How to Train Your Dragon, were not nominated.

MPSE Winners

The Motion Picture Sound Editors went with The Social Network and Inception for their top awards. I am going with Inception, as TSN wasn't nominated. Here are the winners:

Best Sound Editing: DIALOGUE AND ADR IN A FEATURE FILM: “The Social Network!”
Best Sound Editing: MUSIC IN A MUSICAL FEATURE FILM: “Country Strong”
FILM: “How to Train Your Dragon”
Best Sound Editing: DOCUMENTARY IN FEATURE FILM: “Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage”
Best Sound Editing: LONG FORM DIALOGUE AND ADR IN TELEVISION: The Pacific “Basilone”
Best Sound Editing: SOUND EFFECTS, AND ADR ANIMATION IN TELEVISION: The Penguins of Madagascar “The Lost Treasure of the Golden Squirrel”
Best Sound Editing: DIRECT TO VIDEO ANIMATION: “Family Guy: It’s a Trap”
Best Sound Editing: COMPUTER INTERACTIVE ENTERTAINMENT: “Disney Epic Mickey”
Best Sound Editing: COMPUTER EPISODIC ENTERTAINMENT: “A Drop of True Blood: Sam”
Best Sound Editing: DIRECT TO VIDEO LIVE ACTION “30 Days of Night: Dark Days”
Best Sound Editing: SHORT FORM MUSICAL IN TELEVISION: “Glee: The Power of Madonna”
Best Sound Editing: SHORT FORM MUSIC IN TELEVISION: Boardwalk Empire “Anastasia”
Best Sound Editing: SHORT FORM DIALOGUE AND ADR IN TELEVISION: The Walking Dead “Guts”
Pacific“Peleliu Landing”
Best Sound Editing: LONG FORM DIALOGUE AND ADR IN TELEVISION: The Pacific “Basilone”
Best Sound Editing: SHORT FORM SOUND EFFECTS AND FOLEY IN TELEVISION: The Tudors“The Sixth and Final Wife”

Final Predictions - Best Original Screenplay

“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 - Lisa Cholodenko and Stuart Blumberg "The Kids Are All Right"
Will Win - David Seidler "The King's Speech"

Commentary - While I preferred the realtistic approach of The Kids Are All Right, a film oozing with authenticity and heart, The King's Speech is most likely going to take this one on its way to a Best Picture victory. Inception is really the wild card here. While Nolan took the WGA, Seidler was not able to be nominated, so it's strength has not been tested. Also, in terms of overall strength of the film, The King's Speech is definitely a more popular film, while Inception is seen as a technical achievement, and not as much about the story. I say it is between the three films mentioned above, with Seidler in the lead.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Final Predictions - Best Adapted Screenplay

“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/Will Win - Aaron Sorkin "The Social Network"

Commentary - Considering that all of the nominees are also Best Picture nominees, then in a normal world it would be an incredibly tight race. However, Aaron Sorkin's amazing, zippy script, has yet to lose. Period. That means through all the Critics, the Scripter, the WGA Awards, it has simply won everything. While this could mean doom come Oscar time (remember Up in the Air last year), I think that this movie has enough staying power, and Sorkin is well-liked enough that this should be a pretty easy pick for most people. The only thing I could see potentially upsetting it is True Grit, but I think that would be a shocker to say the least. On a personal note, as one of the biggest West Wing fans out there, I am thrilled to see the wonderful Sorkin get the recognition he deserves.

ACE Eddie and CAS Winners

Well, all those who thought it would be a clean King's Speech sweep, are in for a surprise, as it looks like its going to be a pretty fragmented year, with The Social Network taking editing, and most likely director, and TKS taking the top prize. However, it is important to note that the Eddie Winner has won Best Editing 17 out of the last 19 years, and Best Picture 14 times. So TSN is still in this race. Here are the Eddie winners:

Best Edited Feature, Drama: The Social Network
Best Edited Feature Comedy/Musical: Alice in Wonderland
Best Edited Animated Feature: Toy Story 3
Best Edited Documentary : Exit Through the Gift Shop
Best Edited Miniseries or Movie for TV: Temple Grandin
Best Edited 1/2-Hour Series: Modern Family
Best Edited 1-Hour Series: Walking Dead
Best Edited 1-Hour Non-Commercial Series: Treme

While the CAS has matched up the last two years, in general it is not the best predictor of the Sound Mixing Award. While True Grit's win definitely puts it in the running, my guess is that the larger voting Academy will go with the more flashy Inception. Here are the rest of the winners:

True Grit: Outstanding Acheivement in Sound Mixing for Feature Film
Boardwalk Empire: Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing for a Television Series
Temple Grandin: Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing for Television Movie or Mini-Series

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Final Predictions - Makeup

Barney's Version
The Way Back
The Wolfman

Should Win - Barney's Version
Will Win - The Wolfman

Commentary - The Academy has branched out in recent years to try to embrace more realistic makeup designs, with winners such as La Vie En Rose. If they follow that trend this year, then the makeup designs of The Way Back and Barney's Version definitely have a shot. My personal favorite was the aging of the characters in Barney's Version. While it may not have been flashy it certaintly was effective and important to the story. Speaking of flashy, the makeup effects of The Wolfman were definitely top notch, and although I prefer the more subtle approach of the other films, it will most likely prevail.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Final Predictions - Best Original Song

“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

Should Win/Will Win - "We Belong Together" from Toy Story 3

Commentary - Before I make my final final predictions on Sunday afternoon, this one may change. Part of me thinks its a dumb idea to pick one of the Disney songs, pitting two previous Academy Award winning legends against each other. Despite that, I am going with good old Randy Newman. Maybe it's because I love Toy Story 3 so much, or maybe it's because it is simply the best song of the bunch, but either way I'm going with it. If I Rise and I See the Light feature two previous winners and could easily upset come Oscar Sunday. Like I said, check back next Sunday to see if this one has changed, as it possibly could. For now, I am going with my gut.

Final Predictions - Best Original Score

“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

Should Win - Hans Zimmer "Inception"
Will Win - Alexandre Desplat "The King's Speech"

Commentary - Hans Zimmer's score for Inception was wonderful, and while I like The King's Speech, I think that a win here is not deserved, as it is in other categories. However, Desplat has yet to win an Oscar, and the film is so beloved, I think it takes the prize. The only other possibility is most like The Social Network, but I do not think that the uptight Academy will reward such a modern and subdued score. Rahmen and Powell should be happy with their nominations.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Final Predictions - Best Animated Feature

How to Train Your Dragon
The Illusionist
Toy Story 3

Should Win/Will Win - Toy Story 3

Commentary - I was absolutely thrilled when The Illusionist beat out the less-than-stellar, yet more popular choices of Megamind and Despicable Me for the third slot in this year's Animated Feature race. Despite that I also know that it has absolutely no chance of winning this award, so it should be happy with the nomination itself. This is really a two-dog race between How to Train Your Dragon and Toy Story 3. In some circles, HTTYD is definitely a potential spoiler, as it was a huge box-office success, had incredible reviews, and swept the Annie Awards just a week or so ago. However, despite Annie success (it didn't even campaign for it), TS3 also has awesome reviews, actually it has the best reviews of the year of any film, the biggest box office total of any film, and has the distinction of being nominated in some major categories including Best Adapted Screenplay, and of course Best Picture. Both are incredible films, but the film of the year truly is Toy Story 3, and Oscar glory is on its way.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Final Predictions - Best Visual Effects

Alice In Wonderland
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I
Iron Man 2

Should Win/Will Win - Inception 
Should Have Been Nominated - TRON Legacy
Commentary - The Academy made a smart decision this year when it extended this category to five nominees. As our society has entered the digital age, so have movies, and many more of them are using stunning and ground-breaking visual effects. This crop of nominees is pretty good, although the TRON Legacy snub still hurts. It may not have been the best movie of the year, but its effects were top notch. Harry Potter and Alice are probably in the #2 and #3 spots respectively, but this year, thats as high as they are going on this list. Without a doubt, I can predict that Inception will take home the gold. It has seven other nominations, and is the only film of the five to be nominated for best picture. Plus, it definitely had the best effects of any movie this year, so in this category it is a win/win for the Academy.

Forgotten Contenders

Here is a look at great movies that were completely overlooked by the Oscars this year.

1. Shutter Island - Martin Scorsese doesn't make bad movies, and although this particular one was definitely not his best, and had a crappy release date (seriously, whoever decided to release it January is an idiot), it still was one of the best films of year. It perfectly captured the eerie mood of the prison, and kept the audience on its toes up until the very end. Dicaprio deserved an Oscar nod for his role, and the movie itself should have at least gotten some well-deserved technical nods.

2. The Ghost Writer - Ok, I know that Polanski is a creep, but let's face it the man knows how to make a thriller, and while The Ghost Writer make be a weak entry in comparison to his other films, it was taut, well acted, well written, and extremely well done. A screenplay nod would have been awesome.

3. Please Give - When this comedic gem (and one of my favorite films of the year), got a WGA nod, I was thrilled, and although I knew was too much to hope for an Oscar nod, I was still a little dissappointed it didn't get anything. I've actually  been dissappointed all year that films like this (including Solitary Man and City Island), little gems of movies were completely ignored. Seriously, The Tourist got a GG nod over any of those movies? Travesty.

4. Never Let Me Go - As I have written many times, I found this film devastatingly beautiful, and found the performances of Andrew Garfield, Carey Mulligan, Kiera Knightley, Sally Hawkins, and the whole cast absolutely top notch. I was hoping for at least a score nod for Oscar Winner Rachel Portman's wonderful composition, but alas, it came out empty.

5. Fair Game - I love taut, liberal poltical thrillers. However, usually they end up being overdone pieces with no flare or snap. Well Doug Liman's Fair Game was not one of those movies. Putting the talented pair of Naomi Watts and Sean Penn in front of the camera didn't hurt, and their combined talents helped create one of the most interesting and entertaining movies of the year.

6. Another Year - I was thrilled when Mike Leigh's name was read out for Best Original Screenplay for this beautiful film, but was devastated when Leslie Manville was nominated for either Supporting or Lead Actress. This was truly her breakthrough role, and after starting out strong, her buzz quickly faded, leading to snub after snub. A shame.
7. Somewhere - In 2003, the Academy loved Coppola's style enough to give her an Oscar for Original Screenplay. Apparently lightning really doesn't strike twice. I found this film to be similar to Lost in Translation, and I meant that in a good way, particularly the performances of Stephen Dorff and Elle Fanning, but it simply never gained enough traction to even get off the ground.

8. Made in Dagenham - If the Oscars had been held this summer, this film would have been nominated for Best Picture. The buzz that came for this movie was tremendous. But quickly it dissappeared, and although it got some nice BAFTA nods, it's mark in America was never made. I'm still waiting for Sally Hawkins to get that overdue Oscar nod.

9. Barney's Version - Sure it got a lousy Makeup nod (not to offend the wonderful makeup designers out there), but Giamatti deserved some recognition. That was actually one of the few surprises at the Globes, and it was welcomed it open arms. A funny, touching movie that deserves to be seen.

10. The Way Back - Up until about November, I was convinced that this thing was going to make a run. Alas, I was wrong. But I think part of the problem was the fact that there was simply not enough promotion. You have to get your movie out there if you want people to see it. Either way, it is one to check out.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Grammy Analysis

This year's Grammys were chocked full of surprises, lots of winners and losers, some incredible wins, and some stinging losses. But overall, considering the lack of quality music this year, I was happy to see the best truly win. Here is a quick look at the winners, the losers, and everyone in between.

  • Lady Antebellum won huge, taking home five awards, including the coveted Record and Song of the Year.
  • After losing the Alternative Music Album away to The Black Keys, but in the end Arcade Fire's popular and critical album The Suburbs pulled off an incredible upset taking home Album of the Year over favorites such as Lady Gaga, Eminem, and Lady Antebellum.
  • Fantasia, after a tumultuous year, from highs (successful album) to lows (media blitz, overdose), won the Best Female R&B Performance for her hit Bittersweet.
  • Lady Gaga may have been snubbed, but she lit up the Pop category and took home the Best Short Form Music Video.
  • Esperanza Spaling is an incredible, unknown artist that beat out the likes of Drake, Justin Bieber, and Florence and The Machine, to take home the Best New Artist. Shocking as it was, it was one of the best moments of the night, and one of the most deserved awards.
  • Jay-Z and Alicia Keys beat out both categories in the Rap field that they were up against Eminem and Rihanna.
  • John Legend and the Roots shugged off an Oscar snub to win a couple of big awards.
  • Eminem may have won Rap Album, but he was completely shut out of the General Categories, and lost some even with the Rap Field, where I (and many others) predicted a sweep.
  • Poor Justin Bieber. Actually, not poor Justin Bieber, as he did not deserve to win, but either way, he definitely came up empty.
  • Michael Jackson really didn't deserve to win a posthumous Grammy for This is It, but it would have been one last tribute to the king.
  • Katy Perry simply couldn't compete with the power of Gaga.
Overall, after last year's Taylor Swift fiasco, this was a pretty mellow ceremony. The winners were deserving, and the surprises were good surprises. While most of the performances lacked the punch of previous years, most of them were pretty good, and enjoyable to watch. Also, it didn't seem to drag as long, and definitely did not last as long as some of the past ceremonies. Despite the year in music being pretty thin, in terms of quality, I thought the Grammys did a good job of rewarding where it was due, and making a ceremony that was fun to watch.

ASC Winners

While the ASC has not always matched up with the Cinematography Oscar, this is good news for Inception. My hope though is that although Pfister deserves some recognition, that Roger Deakins hits a sentimental note with the rest of the Academy and takes home his long-overdue Academy Award.

Wally Pfister: ASC Award for Feature Film, for Inception!

Stephen Windon: Asc Award for TV Movie /Mini-Series for the Pacific, Okinawa
Jonathan Freeman: ASC award for TV Series – Boardwalk Empire, ‘Home’ episode
Michael O’Shea: ASC Career Achievement in TV Award
John Seale: ASC International Award for cinematography (Rain Man, Harry Potter, Perfect Storm, The English Patient)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Grammy Winners

The pre-telecast has begun, so I will put up winners of the more important categories as they come in...its going to be a long night folks. Also look out for the ASC winners.

Album of the Year - Arcade Fire "The Suburbs"
Record of the Year - Lady Antebellum "Need You Now"
Best Rap Album - Eminem "Recovery"
Best New Artist - Esperanza Spalding!!!! (Awesome win)
Song of the Year - Lady Antebellum "Need You Now"
Best Pop Vocal Album - Lady Gaga "The Fame Monster"
Best Male Pop Vocal Performance - Bruno Mars "Just the Way You Are"
Best Female Pop Vocal Performance - Lady Gaga "Bad Romance"
Best Rock Album - Muse "The Resistance"
Best Female Country Vocal Performance - Miranda Lambert "The House that Built Me"
Best Pop Performance by a Duo/Group w/Vocals - Train "Hey, Soul Sister (Live)"
Best Pop Collaboration w/Vocals - Herbie Hancock, etc. "Imagine"
Best Solo Rock Performance - Paul McCartney "Helter Skelter"
Best Rock Performance by Duo/Group w/Vocals - The Black Keys "Tighten Up"
Best Hard Rock Performance - Them Crooked Vultures "New Fang"
Best Metal Performance - Iron Maiden "El Dorado"
Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album - Michael Buble "Crazy Love"
Best Rock Instrumental Performance - Jeff Beck "Hammerhead"
Best Rock Song - Neil Young "Angry World"
Best Alternative Music Album - The Black Keys "Brothers"
Best Female R&B Vocal Performance - Fantasia "Bittersweet"
Best Male R&B Vocal Performance - Usher "There Goes My Baby"
Best R&B Vocal Performance by Duo/Group - Sade "Soldier of Love"
Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance - John Legend & The Roots "Hang On In There"
Best Urban/Alternative Performance - Cee Lo Green "Fuck You"
Best R&B Song - Shine
Best R&B Album - John Legend & The Roots "Wake Up"
Best Contemporary R&B Album - Usher "Raymond vs. Raymond"
Best Rap Solo Performance - Eminem "Not Afraid'
Best Rap Performance by a Duo/Group - Jay-Z & Swizz Beatz "On to the Next One"
Best Rap/Sung Collaboration - Jay-Z feat. Alicia Keys "Empire State of Mind"
Best Rap Song - Empire State of Mind
Best Male Country Vocal Performance - Keith Urban "Til SummerComes Around"
Best Country Performance by a Duo/Group w/Vocals - Lady Antebellum "Need You Now"
Best Country Collaboration w/Vocals - Alan Jackson and Zac Brown Band "As She's Walking Away"
Best Country Instrumental Performance - Marty Stuart "Hummingbyrd"
Best Country Song - Need You Now
Best Americana Album - Marvis Staples "You Are Not Alone"
Best Electronica/Dance Album - La Roux "La Roux"
Best Dance Recording - Rihanna "Only Girl (In the World)"
Best Song Written For Motion Picture, Television Or Other Visual Media - Ryan Bingham and T-Bone Burnett "The Weary Kind" from "Crazy Heart"
Best Score Soundtrack Album For Motion Picture, Television Or Other Visual Media - Randy Newman "Toy Story 3"
Best Compilation Soundtrack Album For Motion Picture, Television Or Other Visual Media - Crazy Heart
Best Musical Show Album - American Idiot
Best Spoken Word Album - The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Presents Earth
Best Comedy Album - Lewis Black "Stark Raving Black"
Best Short Form Music Video - Lady Gaga "Bad Romance"
Best Long Form Music Video - The Doors "When Your Strange"
Best Remixed Recording Non-Classical - David Guetta & Afrojack "Revolver (David Guetta's One Love Club Remix)"

BAFTA Winners

Well, an interesting set of winners to say the least. Here are a couple of things we found out:
  • David Fincher is not out of this race, and if BAFTA wouldn't reward their own, then I think he still is the frontrunner for BD. That being said, The King's Speech seems to be locked and loaded for the big win.
  • There will most likely not be a King's Speech sweep. Many are predicting it to go straight down the board, but I think the awards will be more dispersed this year. Inception and Alice in Wonderland stand to take some technical awards, and Editing and Cinematography could split as well with True Grit and The Social Network.
  • Helena Bonham Carter and Geoffrey Rush do well with the Brits. That combined with popularity of the film, means that if there is any chance of an upset in the Supporting categories it will come from this duo (I will also throw Hailee Steinfeld in as well, as she could easily take the prize).
  • Natalie and Colin seem unstoppable at this point, but watch out for Annette.
Best Film - The King's Speech
Best Director - David Fincher "The Social Network"
Best Actor - Colin Firth "The King's Speech"
Best Actress - Natalie Portman "Black Swan"
Best British Film - The King's Speech
Best Supporting Actor - Geoffrey Rush "The King's Speech"
Best Supporting Actress - Helena Bonham Carter "The King's Speech"
Orange Rising Star Award - Tom Hardy
Best Original Screenplay - David Seidler "The King's Speech"
Best Adapted Screenplay - Aaron Sorkin "The Social Network"
Best Animated Feature - Toy Story 3
Best Debut by British Director/Writer/Producer - Chris Morris "Four Lions"
Best Film Not in the English Language - The Girl With the Dragon Tatoo
Best Editing - The Social Network
Best Cinematography - Roger Deakins "True Grit"
Best Original Score - Alexandre Desplat "The King's Speech"
Best Production Design - Inception
Best Costume Design - Alice in Wonderland
Best Makeup and Hair - Alice in Wonderland
Best Sound - Inception
Best Visual Effects - Inception
Best Short Film - Until the River Runs Red
Best Short Animation - Short Eagle Stag

Friday, February 11, 2011

International Film Music Critics Association Nominees

In the end, when it comes to Oscar, I think The King's Speech as Original Score in the bag.

• THE GHOST WRITER, music by Alexandre Desplat
• HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON, music by John Powell
• INCEPTION, music by Hans Zimmer
• THE KING’S SPEECH, music by Alexandre Desplat
• TRON: LEGACY, music by Daft Punk


• Alexandre Desplat
• Danny Elfman
• James Newton Howard
• John Powell
• Hans Zimmer

• Óscar Araujo
• Arnau Bataller
• Daft Punk
• Herbert Grönemeyer
• Nuno Malo

• AMÁLIA, music by Nuno Malo
• BLACK SWAN, music by Clint Mansell
• THE KARATE KID, music by James Horner
• THE KING’S SPEECH, music by Alexandre Desplat
• TRUE GRIT, music by Carter Burwell


• THE LIGHTKEEPERS, music by Pinar Toprak
• LO, music by Scott Glasgow
• NANNY MCPHEE RETURNS, music by James Newton Howard
• POTICHE, music by Philippe Rombi
• VAMPIRES SUCK, music by Christopher Lennertz

• BURIED, music by Víctor Reyes
• THE GHOST WRITER, music by Alexandre Desplat
• INCEPTION, music by Hans Zimmer
• ROBIN HOOD, music by Marc Streitenfeld
• SALT, music by James Newton Howard

• ALICE IN WONDERLAND, music by Danny Elfman
• DAYBREAKERS, music by Christopher Gordon
• THE LAST AIRBENDER, music by James Newton Howard
• TRON: LEGACY, music by Daft Punk

• HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON, music by John Powell
• L’ILLUSIONNISTE [THE ILLUSIONIST], music by Sylvain Chomet
• LEGEND OF THE GUARDIANS: THE OWLS OF GA’HOOLE, music by David Hirschfelder
• TANGLED, music by Alan Menken
• TOY STORY 3, music by Randy Newman

• THE BATTLE OF BRITAIN, music by Miguel d’Oliveira
• BÉBÉS [BABIES], music by Bruno Coulais
• OCÉANS, music by Bruno Coulais
• WAITING FOR ‘SUPERMAN,’ music by Christophe Beck

• ALICE IN WONDERLAND – “Alice’s Theme” (Danny Elfman)
• THE GHOST WRITER – “The Truth About Ruth” (Alexandre Desplat)
• HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON – “Forbidden Friendship” (John Powell)
• HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON – “Test Drive” (John Powell)
• THE LAST AIRBENDER – “Flow Like Water” (James Newton Howard)

• CZAS HONORU [TIME OF HONOR], music by Bartosz Chajdecki
• DOCTOR WHO, music by Murray Gold
• HUMAN TARGET, music by Bear McCreary
• LOST, music by Michael Giacchino
• ULL PER ULL [AN EYE FOR AN EYE], music by Marc Vaíllo

• CASTLEVANIA: LORDS OF SHADOW, music by Óscar Araujo
• DARK VOID, music by Bear McCreary
• JAMES BOND 007: BLOOD STONE, music by Richard Jacques
• LEGO UNIVERSE, music by Brian Tyler

• THE ALAMO, music by Dimitri Tiomkin (Tadlow/Prometheus) – Conductor: Nic Raine; Album Producers: James Fitzpatrick, Luc Van de Ven; Liner Notes: Frank K. DeWald; Album Art Direction: GINKO DIGI
• BATMAN RETURNS, music by Danny Elfman ( La-La Land ) – Album Producers: Neil S. Bulk, Dan Goldwasser, MV Gerhard, Matt Verboys; Liner Notes: John Takis; Album Art Direction: David C. Fein
• BLACK SUNDAY, music by John Williams (Film Score Monthly) – Album Producers: Lukas Kendall, Mike Matessino; Liner Notes: Scott Bettencourt, Mike Matessino, Jeff Eldridge, Al Kaplan; Album Art Direction: Joe Sikoryak
• CONAN THE BARBARIAN, music by Basil Poledouris (Tadlow/Prometheus) – Conductor: Nic Raine; Album Producer: James Fitzpatrick; Liner Notes: Frank K. DeWald; Album Art Direction: GINKO DIGI
• FAMILY PLOT, music by John Williams (Varèse Sarabande) – Album Producers: Robert Townson, Mike Matessino; Liner Notes: Mike Matessino
• THE GOONIES, music by Dave Grusin (Varèse Sarabande) – Album Producers: Robert Townson, Mike Matessino; Liner Notes: Mike Matessino; Album Art Direction: John Alvin, Drew Struzan
• INDEPENDENCE DAY, music by David Arnold (La-La Land) – Album Producers: Nick Redman, Mike Matessino, Didier C. Deutsch, MV Gerhard, Matt Verboys; Liner Notes: Dan Goldwasser; Album Art Direction: Mark Banning
• LAWRENCE OF ARABIA, music by Maurice Jarre (Tadlow) – Conductor: Nic Raine; Album Producer: James Fitzpatrick; Liner Notes: Frank K. DeWald
• MIKLÓS RÓZSA TREASURY, music by Miklós Rózsa (Film Score Monthly) – Album Producer: Lukas Kendall; Liner Notes: Lukas Kendall, Al Kaplan, Frank K. DeWald, John Fitzpatrick; Album Art Direction: Joe Sikoryak
• SPARTACUS, music by Alex North (Varèse Sarabande) – Album Producer: Robert Townson; Liner Notes: Robert Townson; Album Art Direction: Robert Townson, Matthew Joseph Peak, Bill Pitzonka

• Film Score Monthly
• Intrada
• La-La Land
• MovieScore Media
• Varèse Sarabande

Grammy Predictions: General Categories and Music Video

Album of the Year
Should Win: Lady Gaga "The Fame/Monster" or Arcade Fire "The Suburbs" or Lady Antebellum "Need You Now"
Will Win: Eminem "Recovery"
Commentary: While Eminem's Recovery was miles above his previous effort, it is no where near his past efforts, or near the above mentioned contenders of Gaga, LA, and AF, all of whom deserve to take home this prize over Slim Shady. However, Eminem leads in nominations, and is sure to pick up at least one, possibly more.

Song of the Year
Will Win: Lady Antebellum "Need You Now:
Should Win -  Cee Lo "Fuck You"
Commentary: I would love to see Cee Lo win for his infectious hit, but my guess is that the well-done LA track Need You Now is the safer track. Watch out for Eminem and Rihanna though, especially if a sweep is in the works.

Record of the Year 
Will Win -  Eminem feat. Rihanna "Love the Way You Lie"
Should Win - Jay-Z feat. Alicia Keys "Empire State of Mind"
Commentary - Love the Way You Lie is probably too big to ignore, but Empire State of Mind was an anthem for the generations, and should, and possibly could steal this one away.

Best New Artist
Will Win - Drake or Justin Bieber
Should Win - Florence + the Machine
Commentary - My gut tells me that Bieber will win, an unfortunate embarassment for the Recording Academy, but my hope is that the inventive Florence and the Machine beats out the bigger dogs in the fight to take home the gold.

Best Short Form Music Video
Will Win/Should Win - Lady Gaga "Bad Romance"
Commentary - Because anyone else would simply be wrong

Thursday, February 10, 2011

London Film Critics Circle Winners

The Social Network continues its critics' streak, and Annette Bening wins over Natalie Portman (an omen?). The King's Speech takes the British awards, and will most likely win the BAFTA this Sunday.

Film of the Year: The Social Network

Actor of the Year: Colin Firth, The King’s Speech
Actress of the Year: Annette Bening, The Kids Are All Right
Director of the Year: David Fincher, The Social Network
British Film of the Year: The King’s Speech
British Director of the Year: Tom Hooper
Screenwriter of the Year: Aaron Sorkin
British Actor of the Year: Christian Bale
British Supporting Actor of the Year: Andrew Garfield
British Actress of the Year: Lesley Manville
British Supporting Actress of the Year: Olivia Williams

Grammy Predictions: Pop and Dance

Best Pop Vocal Album
Will Will/Should Win - Lady Gaga "The Fame/Monster"
Commentary: The album that should win Album of the Year may face competition from Perry and her nod in both categories, and unfortunately Bieber also has a shot, but I think they will go Gaga for Gaga.

Best Female Pop Vocal Performance
Will Win/Should Win - Lady Gaga "Bad Romance"
Commentary: Still shocked that it was snubbed for Record of the Year, but should win this category with ease.

Best Male Pop Vocal Performance
Will Win - Michael Jackson "This is It"
Should Win - Michael Buble "Haven't Met You Yet"
Commentary - Buble and Bruno Mars are the biggest spoilers, but I think the Grammys will take one last opportunity to reward the King of Pop.

Best Pop Performance by a Duo/Group w/Vocals
Will Win - Train "Hey Soul Sister (Live)"
Should Win - Sade "Babyfather"
Commentary - Sade's smooth vocals would be nice, but my guess is that Grammy favorites Train take home the prize.

Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals
Will Win - Elton John and Leon Russell "If It Wasn't For Bad"
Should Win - Lady Gaga and Beyonce "Telephone"
Commentary - Gaga should win another one, but my guess is that John and Russells legendary matchup will take the prize. Also look out for Imagine, simply because of the starpower.

Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album
Will Win/Should Win - Barbra Streisand "Love is the Answer"
Commentary - Babs is back, and is performing. My guess this is her welcome back gift.

Best Electronica/Dance Album
Will Win/Should Win - La Roux "La Roux"
Commentary: Their crossover hit Bulletproof should help them secure them over previous winners The Chemical Brothers.

Best Dance Recording 
Will Win - Lady Gaga "Dance in the Dark"
Should Win - Robyn "Dancing on My Own"
Commentary - I would love to see Robyn take home a Grammy for her Techno comeback, but my guess is that Queen Gaga sweeps. Also watch out for Rihanna. 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Grammy Predictions: Rock and Alternative

Best Rock Album
Will Win: Muse "The Resistance"
Should Win: Neil Young "Le Noise"
Commentary: In a weak year for Rock music, Neil Young should get this award. But my guess is that the legend status of Young, Petty, and Pearl Jam splits votes allowing the more hip Muse to take home the prize.

Best Rock Song
Will Win: Muse "Resistance"
Should Win: The Black Keys "Tighten Up"
Commentary: This category is tricky as Muse, Kings of Leon, and The Black Keys are all possibilites. I am going with Muse, as they seem to be the most popular of the bunch.

Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance
Will Win: John Mayer "Crossroads"
Should Win: Neil Young "Angry World"
Commentary: Mayer will likely beat out four better alternatives simply because he was well represented this year in terms of nominations, and the Grammys love him. But watch out for McCartney and Young.

Best Rock Vocal Performance by a Duo/Group w/Vocals
Will Win: Muse "Resistance"
Should Win: The Black Keys "Tigthen Up"
Commentary: Once again, Muse will probably win over the much more-deserving Black Keys. Watch out for Arcade Fire.

Best Alternative Music Album
Should Win/Will Win: Arcade Fire "The Suburbs"
Commentary: This brilliant gem snagged an Album of the Year nod, and while it will most likely not win that category, it should take this one easily.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Grammy Predictions: R&B

Best Male R&B Performance
Will Win: Usher "There Goes My Baby"
Should Win: El DeBarge "Second Chance"
Commentary: El DeBarge could be a spoiler, but my guess is that Ushers catchy tune takes the prize.

Best Female R&B Performance
Will Win: Fantasia "Bittersweet"
Should Win: Jazmine Sullivan "Holding You Down"
Commentary: I see this as a three-way race between Sullivan, Monica, and the lady I predict to ride her comeback and personal troubles all the way to a long-overdue Grammy win, Fantasia.

Best R&B Vocal Performance by a Duo/Group w/ Vocals
Will Win: John Legend & The Roots "Shine"
Should Win: Sade "Solider of Love"
Commentary: While I'm still dissapointed in Sade's general category snubs, I still don't think they even have a shot here, as Legend and the Roots could sweep their categories.

Best R&B Album
Will Win/Should Win: John Legend and The Roots "Wake Up!"
Commentary: This socially conscience album should upstage the comback stories on its tale (Monica and Fantasia)

Best Contemporary R&B Album
Will Win: Usher "Raymond vs. Raymond"
Should Win: Janelle Monae "The ArchAndroid"
Commentary: What an awesome night it will be if Janelle Monae wins this award. However, I feel that Usher's hitmaker Raymond vs. Raymond will overpower Monae and take home another Grammy.

Best R&B Song
Will Win/Should Win: Shine
Commentary: While the Oscars may have shamefully snubbed this song, the Grammys will most likely make up for it, if not for the song, then at least for the star power of The Roots and John Legend.

Best Urban/Alternative Performance
Will Win/Should Win: Cee-Lo "Fuck You"
Commentary: While it should win Record of the Year, my guess is that this wonderfully old-school/dirty word anthem will have to settle for this award instead.

Best Traditional R&B Performance
Will Win - John Legend & The Roots "Hang On In There"
Should Win - Betty Wright "Go [Live]
Commentary - I would love to see Wright win, but I think Legend's got this one.