Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Updated Oscar Predictions in Sidebar

For the first time this season, I have put all of my updated July Oscar predictions for all categories (except a few). So take a look at them, and enjoy. And stick around as we jump into this Oscar season, move towards the Emmys, and continue the Top 100 Films of the 1990's countdown!

State of the Race: July Oscar Predictions - Best Picture

July Predictions
Beasts of the Southern Wild
The Dark Knight Rises
Django Unchained
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Les Miserables
Life of Pi
The Master
Zero Dark Thirty

Other Contenders - Anna Karenina, The Great Gatsby, The Silver Linings Playbook, The Sessions, Hyde Park on Hudson, Trouble With the Curve, Brave, Moonrise Kingdom, To the Wonder, Rust & Bone, Amour, Flight, Imogene, This is 40, Never Back Down, Killing Them Softly, The Avengers, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Quartet, Gangster Squad
Commentary - There are so many films unseen, its hard to discern which ones will play well with the Academy. For now, I am not sure about the tone of Anna Karenina, and until I hear positive reviews. I will continue to be skeptical of The Great Gatsby. But there are certain films that look like real contenders. The biggest question will be until the nominations are announced, will The Dark Knight Rises get in? Well, since they expanded this category because of its predecessor's lack of a nomination, I think that it will be a strong contender. This summer's other big success story has been Beasts of the Southern Wild, which has  Tree of Life-esque presence, and could be the big indie hit this year. Some of the bigger productions in play include Tom Hooper's Les Miserables, which looks epic and perfectly toned from its trailer, The Hobbit, which could recapture some of the LOTR love, Django Unchained, which has an Inglourious Basterds feel, and finally, Spielberg's next great historical epic Lincoln. There are also films like Zero Dark Thirty, from one of the best action directors working today, Kathryn Bigelow, the beautifully shot Life of Pi from Ang Lee, and Paul Thomas Anderson's latest work The Master. Finally, Ben Affleck's last film The Town just barely missed the cut for Best Picture, but Argo looks great, and it could finally be his breakthrough.

2012 MTV VMA Nominees

Video of the Year
Drake feat. Rihanna, "Take Care"
‪Gotye, "Somebody That I Used To Know"
‪M.I.A., "Bad Girls"
‪Katy Perry, "Wide Awake"
‪Rihanna, "We Found Love"‪ ‬

Best New Artist
Fun. feat. Janelle Monae, "We Are Young"
‪Carly Rae Jepsen, "Call Me Maybe"
‪Frank Ocean, "Swim Good"
‪One Direction, "What Makes You Beautiful"
‪The Wanted, "Glad You Came"

Best Male Video
‪Chris Brown, "Turn Up the Music"
‪Justin Bieber, "Boyfriend"
Drake feat. Rihanna, "Take Care"
‪Frank Ocean, "Swim Good"
‪Usher, "Climax"

Best Female Video
‪Beyonce, "Love on Top"‬
‪Selena Gomez & The Scene, "Love You Like a Love Song"
‪Nicki Minaj, "Starships"
‪Katy Perry, "Part of Me"
‪Rihanna, "We Found Love"

Best Pop Video
Justin Bieber, "Boyfriend"
‪Fun. feat. Janelle Monae, "We Are Young"
‪Maroon 5 feat. Wiz Khalifa, "Payphone"
‪One Direction, "What Makes You Beautiful"
‪Rihanna, "We Found Love"

Best Rock Video
The Black Keys, "Lonely Boy"
‪Coldplay, "Paradise"
‪Imagine Dragons, "It's Time"
‪Linkin Park, "Burn it Down"
‪Jack White, "Sixteen Saltines"

Best Hip-Hop Video‪
Childish Gambino, "Heartbeat"
‪Drake feat. Lil Wayne, "HYFR"
Nicki Minaj feat. 2 Chainz, "Beez in the Trap"
‪Watch the Throne, "Paris"
‪Kanye West feat. Pusha T, Big Sean & 2 Chainz, "Mercy"

Best Electronic Dance Music Video
Avicii, "Le7els"‬
Duck Sauce, "Big Bad Wolf"
‪Calvin Harris, "Feel So Close"
‪Skrillex, "First of the Year (Equinox)"
‪Martin Solveig, "The Night Out"‪

Best Video With a Message
Kelly Clarkson, "Dark Side"
‪Gym Class Heroes, "The Fighter"
K'Naan feat. Nelly Furtado, "Is Anybody Out There?"
‪Demi Lovato, "Skyscraper"
‪Rise Against, "Ballad of Hollis Brown"
Lil Wayne, "How to Love"

Best Art Direction‬
Drake feat. Rihanna, "Take Care"
‪Of Monsters & Men, "Little Talks"
‪Katy Perry, "Wide Awake"
‪Lana Del Rey, "Born to Die"
‪Regina Spektor, "All the Rowboats"

Best Choreography‬
Avicii, "Le7els"
‪Beyonce, "Countdown"
‪Chris Brown, "Turn Up the Music"
‪Jennifer Lopez f/Pitbull, "Dance Again"
‪Rihanna, "Where Have You Been"

Best Cinematography
Adele, "Someone Like You"
‪Coldplay feat. Rihanna, "Princess of China"
‪Drake feat. Rihanna, "Take Care"
‪M.I.A., "Bad Girls"
‪Lana Del Rey, "Born to Die"

Best Direction‬
Coldplay feat. Rihanna, "Princess of China"‪
Duck Sauce, "Big Bad Wolf"
‪M.I.A., "Bad Girls"
‪Frank Ocean, "Swim Good"
‪Watch the Throne, "Otis"

Best Editing
A$AP Rocky, "Goldie"
‪Beyonce, "Countdown"
‪Gotye, "Somebody That I Used to Know"
‪Watch the Throne, "Paris"
‪Kanye West feat. Pusha T, Big Sean and 2 Chainz, "Mercy"

Best Visual Effects‬
David Guetta feat. Nicki Minaj, "Turn Me On"
‪Linkin Park, "Burn it Down"‬
‪Katy Perry, "Wide Awake"
‪Rihanna, "Where Have You Been"

Monday, July 30, 2012

State of the Race: July Oscar Predictions - Best Director

July Predictions
Paul Thomas Anderson "The Master"
Peter Jackson "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey"
Ang Lee "Life of Pi"
Steven Spielberg "Lincoln"
Quentin Tarantino "Django Unchained"

Other Contenders - Ben Affleck "Argo", Joe Wright "Anna Karenina", Tom Hooper "Les Miserables", Baz Luhrmann "The Great Gatsby", David O. Russell "The Silver Linings Playbook", Roger Mitchell "Hyde Park on Hudson", Kathryn Bigelow "Zero Dark Thirty", Christopher Nolan "The Dark Knight Rises", Behn Zeitlin "Beasts of the Southern Wild", Terrence Malick "To the Wonder", Robert Zemeckis "Flight", Wes Anderson "Moonrise Kingdom", Joss Whedon "The Avengers", Ben Lewin "The Sessions", Michael Heneke "Amour", Jacques Audiard "Rust and Bone"
Commentary - There are so many faces who are previous nominees, winners, or who have hugely buzzed projects that at this point, that it is difficult to narrow it down to just five. For example, names like Joe Wright, Tom Hooper, David O. Russell, Kathryn Bigelow, Robert Zemeckis, Terrence Malick, all previous nominees or winners all have buzzed projects. Ben Affleck, who has struck gold as a director is also on the outside, as he has failed so far to be nominated, but Argo could be his ticket to gold. Christopher Nolan is once again on the list, although the director's branch of the Academy doesn't seem to respect his work. Names who are newer on the list like Ben Lewin and Behn Zeitlin could be surprises if their films maintain their building buzz. In my five slots, I have played it safe with all previous nominees. Steven Spielberg didn't get in for War Horse, but Lincoln has been his passion project for years, and I think he will knock it out of the park, and put himself in the directing race once again. The Master's new trailer shows that it could be divisive, but if it plays as well as There Will Be Blood, then Paul Thomas Anderson is surely going be a factor. Quentin Tarantino got in for Inglourious Basterds despite its ridiculousness, and Django Unchained looks like it is along the same vein. Some are doubting Peter Jackson, and after the announcement that it will be 3 films, I am starting to doubt as well. But Jackson did wonders with the LOTR series, and the first scenes that have been seen show a lot of promise. If he nails it again, look for him in this race. The last spot is a stretch, but after seeing how beautiful and visionary Life of Pi seems, I think that Ang Lee, who has won recently in this category could be back in the Oscar race after a couple of duds in recent years.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Top 100 Films of the 1990's: Part IV

70. Being John Malkovich (1999) - Spike Jonze combined with Charlie Kaufman may have been just quite possibly the perfect combination, especially with their outcome, 1999's Being John Malkovich. In the great year of movies that was 1999, it says a lot that this film is one of those that really stood out from the pack. It takes the basic idea of transporting through a portal to a new place, like say in Alice in Wonderland, to a whole new level, but making its characters go into the incredibly fascinating mind of actor John Malkovich. If it sounds ridiculous, it really is. But with the vision of Jonze, the brilliant screenplay by Kaufman, and a set of great performances, particularly from the always incredible Catherine Keener, make the ridiculousness of its set up melt away, as you are sucked into one of the most original, unique, and fascinating movie experiences of the 1990's.

69. A Few Good Men (1992) - There have been many cases since the beginning of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars involving the misdeeds of soldiers. Some have been baseless accusations, some atrocities. It is a controversial subject, with a gray line of justice, which makes Rob Reiner and Aaron Sorkins, still a potent and relevant movie even two decades after its release. What really makes the film rise above standard law or military fare is two key pieces. First is Aaron Sorkin's magnificent and taut screenplay, probably his first memorable one. The other piece is the acting. Featuring stunning performances, particularly from Jack Nicholson and Tom Cruise, A Few Good Men becomes almost Shakespearean as the courtroom heats up, and remains one of the most entertaining and smart films of the decade.

68. South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut (1999) - Most of the animated features that were popular in the 1990's before Pixar began to take over starting in 1995, were a part of the late 1980's rejuvenation of Disney with titles like Aladdin and The Lion King, both of which are amazing films in their own rights. But, as it does on television weekly, South Park does not try to be a meaningful family animated film. Instead, South Park's 1999 feature, Bigger, Longer & Uncut, attempts instead to be the crudest, most politically-incorrect film of the 1990's, crossing barriers others wouldn't dare to even get close to. It does so with vulgar humor, fun musical numbers, and the wonderful characters we have grown attached to over the years. While some may say it is so vulgar that it loses meaning, I think that it is one of the boldest, and most clever films of a great decade of film.

67. Thelma & Louise (1991) - Thelma & Louise is one of those definitive films that everyone seems to know and love. It is a bold and wonderful tale about female liberation, adventure, and about the importance of friendship. Thelma & Louise are two women who have become fed up with the male-dominated society in which they live. They begin to take their lives into their own hands. Two great performances from Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon are full of spunk, humor, and the chemistry between these two actresses is not something that can be manufactured. But not only was Thelma & Louise a fun adventure tale that also launched the career of Brad Pitt, but also is a film whose relevance is still pertinent. As we continue to battle over issues like birth control, maybe the women of this country need to sit down and take a trip into the Grand Canyon, to learn how to take their destiny into their own hands. A  winning film indeed.

66. Three Kings (1999) - In 2010, the Oscars discovered David O. Russell with his winning sports drama, The Fighter. But they, in my opinion, missed the mark by a decade, as they, and most awarding institutions, completely ignored this underrated action gem. The story of three soldiers going after gold in post-war Iraq might sound a lot like Kelly's Heroes remake, but Russell goes to depths within the journey that elevate it beyond anything that has come before it. Beyond the three great performances from George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, and Ice Cube, yes Ice Cube, Three Kings is a true triumph because of its continued relevance, and the fact that it is not afraid at all to show its viewers the reality and hell of war. The underpaid soldiers who use tactics that would make even the hardest individual squeamish just to get a paycheck, the pain they feel from being away from home, and the elements they must face simply to survive. While, it's a wonderfully underrated movie, I think will be one that has surprising staying power for generations to come.

65. The Crying Game (1992) - During WWI, supposed enemies on both sides spent a Christmas dinner together, as all of them shared a similar experienced. They realized that they were pawns in a larger world conflict, and for one brief moment they shared each others triumph and pain. While that may seem odd to many people, apparently it is not as uncommon as we think. In 1992's The Crying Game, we see a similar friendship develop between a British solider captured by IRA terrorists. But the film is not as simple as it seems. It is heavy on dialogue like a Quentin Tarantino film, and even from the first 15 minutes or so, almost all of which is a conversation, you are instantly drawn into this incredibly well-made and well-acted film, particularly by Stephen Rea and Miranda Richardson. It is also a highly entertaining film, and has just enough twists and turns to keep you fully engaged in its story. But even if you were to take those elements out, it would still be one of the best movies of the 1990's, because of its power, depth, and presentation.

64. Clueless (1995) - Clueless, on its surface, is one of the most vapid, ridiculous, and incestous films that has ever graced the silver screen, and features some of the most moronic characters ever put on a script page. But, if you play close enough attention, you will understand that most of the people who see this film are as clueless as this film's lovable characters. Clueless is a sneaky film because it is really, underneath its surface is brilliantly funny, and a perfect satire of the exact ridiculousness of high school movies that it seemingly emulates. It's kind of funny that Scream and Clueless were released about the same time, because both are campy classics, perfect representation of the satrical cheesiness of the 1990's. Plus, whether you like it or not, you will laugh your ass off the entire time you are watching it.

63. Days of Being Wild (1990) - I have recently discovered the subtle brilliance of Wong Kar-Wai, as well as the brilliant career he is now had, stretching over four decades, with a new film coming out this year, eagerly awaited on this end. Of all of his films, 1990's brilliant Days of Being Wild remains one of his best, and a personal favorite. In an almost Altman-esque manner, Wong Kar-Wai, blends together three different stories in a beautiful style, with a noir sensibility that paints a beautiful portrait of love and loss, and the struggles of human relationships. Featuring some stunning performances, Days of Being Wild is so much more than a beautifully shot film. It is also a film that explores the depths of humanity, and teases the audience with the notion of really examining your life, and questioning the relationship choices that they have made. It is brilliantly subtle, and beautifully shot, and one of the best films of the decade.

62. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) - Tim Burton has slipped recently, and it seems that his unique vision, and quest for mixing genres has hit a bit of a snag. But in the 1990's Burton created some genre-bending masterpieces, none more horrific, funny, and entertaining than his 1993, animated classic The Nightmare Before Christmas, which was actually directed by Henry Selick, although it has Burton written all over it. It is a great mix of horror, fantasy, music, and wicked humor, and while younger audiences may not get all of the references, adult will enjoy its dark sense of humor, and its twisty tale of holiday classics. The animation style, while rudimentary in some ways, also brilliant enhances the already quirky story and characters of Tim Burton's mind. A perfect 90's classic that should be watched every Halloween and Christmas for safe measure.

61. There's Something About Mary (1998) - Every once in a while, the nerds get the chance to live out their fantasies, at least the ones that are on this planet. For every guy out there who was a nerd growing up, There's Something About Mary is there film, the chance for the nerd to finally have a date with his highschool dream girl. Of course, when the Farrelly brothers get involved, it is never as sweet and simple as the nerds dreamed it would be. This film is not one that will make the AFI Top 100 list, or will please the snobby members of AMPAS, but it is brilliant in its own right for its balls to the wall approach, insulting everyone in its path, and playing up the slapstick humor of dating so perfectly you can't help but laugh your ass off. One of the funniest movies you will ever see, and one that will stick with you for a long time.

2012 Television Critics Association Awards

Program of the Year"Game of Thrones" (HBO)

Outstanding Achievement - Drama"Breaking Bad" (AMC)
Outstanding Achievement - Comedy - "Louie" (FX)
Outstanding Achievement - Movies, Miniseries and Specials"Downton Abbey: Masterpiece" (PBS)

Outstanding New Program
"Homeland" (Showtime)
Individual Achievement - DramaClaire Danes ("Homeland," Showtime)
Individual Achievement - ComedyLouis C.K. ("Louie," FX)
Outstanding Achievement - News and Information  
"60 Minutes" (CBS)

Outstanding Achievement - Reality Programming
"So You Think You Can Dance" (Fox)

Outstanding Achievement - Youth Programming"Switched at Birth" (ABC Family)
Career Achievement Award - 
David Letterman
Heritage Award - "Cheers" (NBC)

Tom Sherak Stepping Down as President of AMPAS

After three years Tom Sherak has decided to step down as president of AMPAS. A lot of changes have gone into effect since he became president, and he has had to side step some controversies to say the least. But he worked hard and tried to help the Academy launch itself into a new decade. I guess we will be hearing soon about his replacement, and he hopes to continue to be active in the Academy for years to come. On a personal note, thank you for your service to this wonderful industry and academy that has given me the hobby of a lifetime.

Friday, July 27, 2012

State of the Race - July Oscar Predictions: Best Actor

July Predictions
Daniel Day-Lewis "Lincoln"
John Hawkes "The Sessions"
Bill Murray "Hyde Park on Hudson"
Joaquin Phoenix "The Master"
Denzel Washington "Flight"

Other Contenders - Hugh Jackman "Les Miserables", Richard Gere "Armitage", Leonardo Dicaprio "The Great Gatsby", Clint Eastwood "Trouble With the Curve", Jamie Foxx "Django Unchained", BeRussell Crowe "Les Miserables", Ben Affleck "Argo", Martin Freeman "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey", Bruce Willis "Moonrise Kingdom", Suraj Sharma "Life of Pi", Tommy Lee Jones "Hope Springs", Bradley Cooper "The Silver Linings Playbook", Liam Neeson "The Grey", Logan Lerman "The Perks of Being a Wallflower", Chris O'Dowd "The Sapphires", Ben Affleck "To the Wonder", Christopher Plummer "Barrymore"
Commentary - So many A-list names are involved, it is hard to narrow them down. Initially I had Richard Gere, and he is still a possibility but his film is small, and he seems to be the only thing about it people are talking about. I also had Philip Seymour Hoffman, but as explained in the Supporting Actor post, I have switched he and Joaquin Phoenix, as it looks like he is now the lead character, and a great possibility as the debut of The Master approaches. John Hawkes has also remained on the list as The Sessions, formerly The Surrogate continues to garner a lot of great buzz, especially for his performance and Helen Hunt's. And while the trailer for Hyde Park on the Hudson was a little underwhelming when it came to Bill Murray's protrayal of FDR, I think that it still has enough buzz, and he is still a popular enough actor to make it work. I have added Denzel Washington, while keeping the Les Mis guys at bay, because I am thoroughly intrigued by the trailer for Flight. I think it looks highly entertaining, and that there might be a deeper subplot buried underneath the action flashiness of its first look. Plus he is Denzel, and this looks like a meaty role. Finally, I, of course, put Daniel Day-Lewis for Lincoln, as he begins what seems to be his inevitable march towards a third Academy Award.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

New Oscar Poll in Sidebar

Check out the new Oscar poll in the sidebar for summer films! And also stay tuned as I continue by July Oscar predictions, and finally post Part 4 of the Top 100 Films of the 1990's. I know it's been a while since I have updated that series, but I want to kick it back into full swing.

State of the Race: July Oscar Predictions - Best Actress

2012 July Oscar Predictions
Marion Cotillard "Rust & Bone"
Viola Davis "Won't Back Down"
Helen Hunt "The Sessions"
Laura Linney "Hyde Park on Hudson"
Quvenzhane Wallis "Beasts of the Southern Wild"

Other Contenders - Kiera Knightley "Anna Karenina", Carey Mulligan "The Great Gatsby", Maggie Smith "Quartet", Meryl Streep "Hope Springs", Kristen Wiig "Imogene", Maggie Gyllenhaal "Never Back Down", Amy Adams "Trouble With the Curve", Jennifer Lawrence "The Hunger Games", Rachel Weisz "The Deep Blue Sea", Michelle Williams "Take This Waltz", Dakota Fanning "Effie", Nicole Kidman "The Paperboy", Mary Elizabeth Winstead "Smashed", Emmanuelle Riva "Amour", Rosemarie Dewitt "Your Sister's Sister", Rachel McAdams "To the Wonder", Leslie Mann "This is 40", Emma Stone "The Amazing Spider-Man"
Commentary - Not as deep of a race as I assumed, which I think paves the way for a surprise contender to emerge. I have removed Sandra Bullock as Gravity was pushed to next year, and Kiera Knightley, cause I'm just not sure on how the film will be received (the same reason I am keeping Carey Mulligan just on the cusp of getting another nod). But some of the contenders remain. I have kept Viola Davis up here, although I think that, at least from the trailer that she could go supporting and Gyllenhaal could go lead, or they could go for a double lead manuever. Either way, after last year's near miss, Davis probably has the most heat. Helen Hunt remains in this race, as The Sessions (changed from The Surrogate), continues to garner good buzz, and she is a former winner. While I'm not sure about Hyde Park on Hudson, I am sure that Laura Linney will knock it out of the park. If the film is huge, look out for her name throughout the season. Finally, my two newcomers. Most of you will probably think I am crazy for not including Meryl Streep. She just won and is a nomination machine. But Hope Springs looks more like It's Complicated than Devil Wears Prada, and now that she has finally won her third, maybe voters won't be aching to reward her again so soon. Instead, first I went with Marion Cotillard, who since her Oscar win has become an American movie star, although for some reason can't garner enough Oscar attention. Going back to her French roots, with a well-known director, combined with her Dark Knight Rises role makes me think this could be the year she finally gets that second nomination. Plus the reviews so far have been nothing but praise for her performance. The last slot goes to this year's brand new surprise star. The little tyke of Beasts of the Southern Wild is apparently a force to be reckoned with and gives a hell of a performance even for such a young age. I think she could make history and receive an Oscar nomination.

2012 Venice Film Festival Lineup

"The Reluctant Fundamentalist," Mira Nair (U.S., Qatar)

"To the Wonder," Terrence Malick (U.S.)
"Something in the Air," Olivier Assayas (France)
"Outrage: Beyond," Takeshi Kitano (Japan)
"Fill The Void," Rama Bursztyn and Yigal Bursztyn (Israel)
"Pieta," Kim Ki-duk (South Korea)
"Dormant Beauty," Marco Bellocchio (Italy)
"E' stato il figlio," Daniele Cipri (Italy)
"At Any Price," Ramin Bahrani (U.S., U.K.)
"La cinquieme saison," Peter Brosens, Jessica Woodworth (Belgium, Netherlands, France)
"Un giorno speciale, " Francesca Comencini (Italy)
"Passion," Brian De Palma (France, Germany)
"Superstar, " Xavier Giannoli (France, Belgium)
"Spring Breakers," Harmony Korine (U.S.)
"Thy Womb," Brillante Mendoza (Philippines)
"Linhas de Wellington," Valeria Sarmiento (Portugal, France)
"Paradise: Faith," Ulrich Seidl (Austria, France, Germany)
"Betrayal," Kirill Serebrennikov (Russia)

"L'homme qui rit," Jean-Pierre Ameris (France)
"Love Is All You Need," Susanne Bier (Denmark/Sweden)
"Cherchez Hortense," Pascal Bonitzer (France)
"Sur un fil," Simon Brook (France/Italy)
"Enzo Avitabile Music Life," Jonathan Demme (documentary) (Italy/U.S.)
"Tai Chi 0," Stephen Fung (China)
"Lullaby to My Father," Amos Gitai (Israel/France)
"Shokuzai" (Penance), Kiyoshi Kurosawa (Japan)
"Bad 25," Spike Lee (documentary) (U.S.)
"The Reluctant Fundamentalist," Mira Nair (India/Pakistan/U.S.)
"O Gebo e a Sombra," Manoel de Oliveira (Portugal/France)
"The Company You Keep," Robert Redford (U.S.)
"Shark (Bait 3D)," Kimble Rendall (China)
"Disconnect," Henry-Alex Rubin (U.S.)
"The Iceman," Ariel Vromen (U.S.)

OUT OF COMPETITION -- Special Events
"Anton tut ryadom" (Anton's Right Here), Lyubov Arkus (documentary) (Russia)
"Ya Man Aach" (It Was Better Tomorrow), Hinde Boujemaa (documentary) (Italy)
"Sfiorando il muro," Silvia Giralucci & Luca Ricciardi (documentary) (Italy)
"Carmel," Amos Gitai (Israel/France/Italy)
"El impenetrable," Daniele Incalcaterra & Fausta Quattrini (documentary) (Argentina/France)
"Witness: Libya," Michael Mann (documentary) (U.S.)
"Medici con l'Africa," Carlo Mazzacurati (documentary) (Italy)
"La nave dolce," Daniele Vicari (documentary) (Italy/Albania)

"Wadjda," Haifaa Al Mansour (Germany)
"Khanéh Pedari" (The Paternal House), Kianoosh Ayari (Iran)
"Ja Tozhe Hochu" (I Also Want It), Alexey Balabanov (Russia)
"Gli equilibristi," Ivano De Matteo (Italy)
"L'intervallo," Leonardo Di Costanzo (Italy/Switzerland/Germany)
"El Sheita Elli Fat" (Winter of Discontent), Ibrahim El Batout (Egypt)
"Tango Libre," Frédéric Fonteyne (Belgium/France/Luxembourg)
"Menatek Ha-Maim" (The Cutoff Man), Idan Hubel (Israel)
"Gaosu tamen, wo cheng baihe qu le" (Fly with the Crane), Li Ruijun (China)
"Kapringen" (A Hijacking), Tobias Lindholm (Denmark)
"Leones," Jazmin Lopez (Argentina/France/Netherlands)
"Bellas Mariposas," Salvatore Mereu (Italy)
"Low Tide," Roberto Minervini (U.S./Italy/Belgium)
"Boxing Day," Bernard Rose (Great Britain/U.S.)
"Yema," Djamila Sahraoui (Algeria/France)
"Araf" (Araf - Somewhere in Between), Yesim Ustaoglu (Turkey/France/Germany)
"Sennen no Yuraku" (The Millennial Rapture), Koji Wakamatsu (Japan)
"San Zi Mei" (Three Sisters), Wang Bing (documentary) (France/Hong Kong-China)

"Las manos limpias," Carlos Armella (Mexico)
"Bansulli" (The Flute), Min Bham (Nepal)
"O Afinador," Fernando Camargo & Matheus Parizi (Brazil)
"Resistente," Renate Costa & Salla Sorri (Denmark/Finland/Paraguay)
"La sala," Alessio Giannone (Italy)
"Marla," Nick King (Australia)
"Miracle Boy," Jake Mahaffy (U.S.)
"Living Still Life," Bertrand Mandico (France/Belgium/Germany)
"Frank-Étienne vers la béatitude," Constance Meyer (France)
"I'm the One," Paola Morabito (Australia)
"Luisa no está en casa," Celia Rico Clavellino (Spain)
"Cargo," Carlo Sironi (Italy)
Cho-De" (Invitation), Yoo Min-young (South Korea)
"Titloi Telous" (Out of Frame), Yorgos Zois (Greece)

"Diamond Sutra," Tsai Ming-liang (Chinese Taipei)

"L'homme qui rit," Jean-Pierre Ameris (France

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

State of the Race - July Oscar Predictions: Best Supporting Actor

2012 July Oscar Predictions
Leonardo Dicaprio "Django Unchained"
Woody Harrelson "Seven Psychopaths"
Dwight Henry "Beasts of the Southern Wild"
Philip Seymour Hoffman "The Master"
David Strathairn "Lincoln"

Other Contenders - James Gandolfini "Killing Them Softly", Russell Crowe "Les Miserables", William H. Macy "The Sessions", Tommy Lee Jones "Lincoln", Tom Courtenay "Quartet", Matthew McConaughey "Magic Mike", Bryan Cranston "Argo", John Goodman "Argo", Billy Connelly "Quartet", Christoph Waltz "Django Unchained", Sean Penn "Gangster Squad", Tom Hardy "The Dark Knight Rises", Joseph Gordon-Levitt "Lincoln", Albert Brooks "This is 40", Jared Harris "Lincoln", Bill Nighy "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel", Sacha Baron Cohen "Les Miserables", Eddie Redmayne "Les Miserables", Ian McKellen "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey"
Commentary - An interesting race that has already seen some shakeups. I have bumped Russell Crowe, because since the early part of last decade he doesn't seem to have made a mark, but he is still right on the cusp. I have also moved Sean Penn because his performance looks too much almost laughable compared to his co-stars in Gangster Squad, and I'm not sure on how the final product will turn out. Leonardo Dicaprio looks like a scene-chewer in Django Unchained, and he is still my number one simply for being so overdue for an Oscar. For The Master, I am switching categories with Hoffman and Phoenix, both of which look to be big contenders, and Hoffman is now going into supporting, a category he has been nominated several times since his win in lead. Also, as Lincoln approaches and so many male names, buzz is still the strongest for Strathairn's William Seward, and after his Oscar nod in 2005, he is no longer a no-name with no Academy recognition. There are however, two new additions to this race, both of whom are garnering huge buzz. The first is previous nominee Woody Harrelson. Apparently his role in Seven Psychopaths is top-notch Harrelson, and he too is garnering a lot of buzz. The final slot may surprise some people, especially ahead of names like Russell Crowe, Sean Penn, William H. Macy, and Tommy Lee Jones. But Beasts of the Southern Wild is really hitting it big with critics, and could be the indie darling that takes the Oscars by surprise. So watch out not only for its little star, but also for Dwight Henry in this Supporting race, where we see year in and year out lesser known names beat out the bigger stars. I think he could be a newcomer to the inner Oscar circle this year.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

2012 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) Lineup

It looks like a great lineup this year, with a lot of big contenders screening. On Thursday Venice will be announced, all ready to gear up for Oscar when September rolls around. Check out the list/descriptions below:

"A Royal Affair" / dir. Nikolai Arcel, Denmark/Sweden/Czech Republic/Germany (North American Premiere)

"Argo" / dir. Ben Affleck, USA (World Premiere)

"The Company You Keep" / dir. Robert Redford, USA (North American Premiere)

"Dangerous Liaisons" / dir. Hur Jin-ho, China (North American Premiere)

"English Vinglish" / dir. Gauri Shinde, India (World Premiere)

"Free Angela & All Political Prisoners" / dir. Shola Lynch, USA/France (World Premiere)

"Great Expectations" / dir. Mike Newell, United Kingdom (World Premiere)

"Hyde Park on Hudson" / dir. Roger Michell, United Kingdom (World Premiere)

"Inescapable" / dir. Ruba Nadda, Canada (World Premiere)

"Jayne Mansfield’s Car" / dir. Billy Bob Thornton, USA/Russia (North American Premiere)

"Looper" / dir. Rian Johnson, USA (World Premiere)

"Love," / dir. Marilyn Liz Garbus, USA (World Premiere)

"Midnight’s Children" / dir. Deepa Mehta, Canada/United Kingdom (World Premiere)

"The Reluctant Fundamentalist" / dir. Mira Nair, USA (North American Premiere)

"Silver Linings Playbook" / dir. David O. Russell, USA (World Premiere).

"Thermae Romae" / dir. Hideki Takeuchi, Japan (North American Premiere).

"Twice Born" / dir. Sergio Castellitto, Italy/Spain/Croatia (World Premiere)

"A Few Hours of Spring" / dir. Stéphane Brizé, France (North American Premiere)

"Anna Karenina" / dir. Joe Wright, United Kingdom (International Premiere)

"At Any Price" / dir. Ramin Bahrani, United Kingdom/USA (North American Premiere)

"The Attack" / dir. Ziad Doueiri, France (World Premiere)

"Byzantium" / dir. Neil Jordan, United Kingdom (World Premiere)

"Capital" / dir. Costa-Gavras, France (World Premiere)

"Caught in the Web" / dir. Chen Kaige, Japan/China (International Premiere)

"Cloud Atlas" / dir. Tom Tykwer, Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski, USA (World Premiere)

"The Deep (Djúpið)" / dir. Baltasar Kormákur, Iceland/Norway (World Premiere)

"Dormant Beauty" / dir. Marco Bellocchio, Italy/France (International Premiere)

"Dreams for Sale" / dir. Nishikawa Miwa, Japan (World Premiere)

"End Of Watch" / dir. David Ayer, USA (World Premiere)

"Everybody Has A Plan" / dir. Ana Piterbarg, Argentina (International Premiere)

"Foxfire" / dir. Laurent Cantet, France/Canada (World Premiere)

"Frances Ha" / dir. Noah Baumbach, USA (World Premiere)

"Ginger and Rosa" / dir. Sally Potter, United Kingdom (World Premiere)

"Hannah Arendt" / dir. Margarethe von Trotta, Germany (World Premiere)

"The Hunt" / dir. Thomas Vinterberg, Denmark (North American Premiere)

"The Iceman" / dir. Ariel Vromen, USA (North American Premiere)

"Imogene" / dir. Robert Pulcini, Shari Springer Berman, USA (World Premiere)
"The Impossible" / dir. J.A. Bayona, Spain/USA (World Premiere)

"In the House" / dir. François Ozon, France (World Premiere)

"Kon-Tiki" / dir. Joachim Roenning and Espen Sandberg, United Kingdom/Norway/Denmark (International Premiere)

"The Last Supper" / dir. Lu Chuan, China (World Premiere)

"A Late Quartet" / dir. Yaron Zilberman, USA (World Premiere)

"A Liar’s Autobiography — The Untrue Story of Monty Python's Graham Chapman" / dir. Ben Timlett, Bill Jones, Jeff Simpson, United Kingdom (World Premiere)

"Lore" / dir. Cate Shortland, Australia/United Kingdom/Germany (North American Premiere)

"Mr. Pip" / dir. Andrew Adamson, New Zealand (World Premiere)

"Much Ado About Nothing" / dir. Joss Whedon, USA (World Premiere)

"No" / dir. Pablo Larraín, Chile/USA (North American Premiere)

"Outrage Beyond" / dir. Takeshi Kitano, Japan (North American Premiere)

"The Perks of Being a Wallflower" / dir. Stephen Chbosky, USA (World Premiere)

"The Place Beyond the Pines" / dir. Derek Cianfrance, USA (World Premiere)

"Quartet" / dir. Dustin Hoffman, United Kingdom (World Premiere)

"Reality" / dir. Matteo Garrone, Italy/France (North American Premiere)

"Rust and Bone" / dir. Jacques Audiard, France/Belgium (North American Premiere)

"The Sapphires" / dir. Wayne Blair, Australia (North American Premiere)

"The Sessions" / dir. Ben Lewin, USA (International Premiere)

"Tai Chi 0" / dir. Stephen Fung, China (North American Premiere)

"Thanks for Sharing" / dir. Stuart Blumberg, USA (World Premiere)
"The Time Being" / dir. Nenad Cicin-Sain, USA (World Premiere)

"To The Wonder" / dir. Terrence Malick, USA (North American Premiere)

"Venus & Serena" / dir. Maiken Baird, USA (World Premiere)

"Writers" / dir. Josh Boone, USA (World Premiere)

"Zaytoun" / dir. Eran Riklis, United Kingdom/Israel (World Premiere)

Monday, July 23, 2012

State of the Race: July Oscar Predictions - Best Supporting Actress

2012 July Oscar Predictions
Amy Adams "The Master"
Annette Bening "Imogene"
Sally Field "Lincoln"
Anne Hathaway "Les Miserables"
Olivia Williams "Hyde Park on the Hudson"

Other Contenders - Vanessa Redgrave "Song for Marion", Judi Dench "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel", Maggie Smith "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel", Jennifer Lawrence "The Silver Linings Playbook", Jacki Weaver "The Silver Linings Playbook", Isla Fisher "The Great Gatsby", Pauline Collins "Quartet", Marion Cotillard "The Dark Knight Rises", Anne Hathaway "The Dark Knight Rises", Helena Bonham Carter "Great Expectations", Kerry Washington "Django Unchained". Nicole Kidman "The Paperboy", Michelle Pfeiffer "People Like Us", Olivia Colman "Hyde Park on the Hudson", Samantha Barks "Les Miserables", Reese Witherspoon "Mud", Julianne Moore "What Maisie Knew", Laura Dern "The Master", Jessica Chastain "Lawless", Melissa McCarthy "This is 40"
Commentary - An interesting race with so many big names, the question always remains, where is the surprise nominee? Who is going to breakout from the pack? With the year she is having, between an apparently great role in TDKR (no I still haven't seen it), and another flashy role in Les Miserables where she gets to show off her voice, Anne Hathaway is surely at the head of the pack going into the fall. Hot on her heels is another young star in Amy Adams. The Master looks like a real contender and after three nominations, she is defintely an Academy favorite. The fourth time could be the charm for her. Some veterans also join the race. As the controlling mother in Kristin Wiig's new comedy, Imogene, Annette Bening with have a baity role, and is long overdue for an Oscar. The fact that it is a comedy could hurt her, although after the success of Bridesmaids, maybe those altakaka voters have finally loosened up a bit. Sally Field could also join the race for the first time since the 1980's. Mary Todd Lincoln is a big role in a really big film, and I think she is back in for sure. In the final slot I am going with the hardworking, underrated Olivia Williams. Playing Eleanor Roosevelt is a tough role, and if she nails it, maybe people will finally recognize just how good she is. In terms of the other contenders, there are a few on the cusp. After seeing the trailer for Django Unchained, I am not sure that Kerry Washington will have a big enough role, although many have won with just a few minutes of screen time. And the more I thought about it, if Vanessa Redgrave hasn't been able to capitalize on this late career surge yet, will Song for Marion change voters minds? I also have the two Marigold Hotel women on the list, although the film may be too light. Watch out for Isla Fisher, HBC, Lawrence and Weaver, Colman, Barks, and Chastain as possible spoilers as the season goes on.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

2012 Teen Choice Award Winners

Choice comedian: Ellen DeGeneres
Choice Web stars: Sophie Grace and Rosie
Choice TV show (sci-fi/fantasy): "The Vampire Diaries"
Choice TV actress (sci-fi/fantasy): Nina Dobrev
Choice TV actor (sci-fi/fantasy): Ian Somerhalder
Choice movie actor (drama): Zac Efron, "The Lucky One
Choice movie drama: "The Lucky One"
Choice male hottie: Ian Somerhalder
Choice female hottie: Miley Cyrus
Choice music group: Selena Gomez & the Scene
Choice male TV scene stealer: Michael Trevino
Choice movie comedy: "21 Jump Street"
Choice TV Actor (action): Adam Rodriguez, "CSI: Miami"
Choice actress (sci-fi fantasy): Jennifer Lawrence, "The Hunger Games"
Choice liplock: Josh Hutcherson and Jennifer Lawrence
Choice movie (sci-fi/fantasy): "The Hunger Games"
Choice book: "The Hunger Games"
Choice male scene stealer: Liam Hemsworth
Choice villain: Alexander Ludwig, "The Hunger Games"
Choice Comedy Actress - Emma Stone, "Crazy Stupid Love"
Choice drama actress - Emma Stone, "The Help"
Choice breakout in a film: Rihanna, "Battleship"
Choice hissy fit: Charlize Theron, "Snow White and the Huntsman"
Choice movie of the summer: "Katy Perry: Part of Me"
Choice breakup song: Maroon 5's "Payphone," featuring Wiz Khalifa
Choice female movie star of the summer: Kristen Stewart, "Snow White and the Huntsman"
Ultimate choice award: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner
Choice movie (romance): "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1"
Choice movie actress (romance): "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1"
Inspire award: Miranda Cosgrove
Choice TV drama: "Pretty Little Liars"
Choice summer female TV star: Troian Bellisario, "Pretty Little Liars"
Choice TV actress (drama): Lucy Hale, "Pretty Little Liars"
Choice TV actor (drama): Ian Harding, "Pretty Little Liars"
Choice female artist: Taylor Swift
Choice single by a female artist: "Eyes Open," Taylor Swift
Choice country song: "Sparks Fly," Taylor Swift
Choice movie voice: Taylor Swift as Audrey, "Dr. Seuss' The Lorax"
Choice TV Female Scene Stealer: Candice Accola, "The Vampire Diaries"
Choice female TV breakout star: Hannah Simone, "New Girl"
Choice male artist: Justin Bieber
Choice male music star of the summer: Justin Bieber
Choice male fashion icon: Justin Bieber
Choice single by a male artist: "Boyfriend," Justin Bieber
Choice movie actor (sci-fi/fantasy): Josh Hutcherson, "The Hunger Games"
Choice summer music star group: One Direction
Choice music breakout group: One Direction
Choice love song: "What Makes You Beautiful," One Direction
Choice summer male movie star: Chris Hemsworth, "Snow White and the Huntsman"
Choice TV comedy: "Glee"
Choice TV reality star: Pauly D
Choice Twit: Demi Lovato
Choice summer female music star: Demi Lovato
Choice breakout artist: Carly Rae Jepsen
Choice song of the summer: "Call Me Maybe," Carly Rae Jepsen

The 4th Annual Halfway Awards: Winners

Best Picture
Winner - (Tie) Moonrise Kingdom and 21 Jump Street
Runner Up - The Avengers
Commentary - No you are not reading that incorrectly. Moonrise Kingdom is the film from the first half that has Oscar potential, and is probably the best film so far. But 21 Jump Street desreves recognition as well. It tooks something old, acknowledged that they were not reinventing the wheel, and transformed it into the funniest and most entertaining that I have seen in a long time. Laugh if you will, but I dare you to watch it and not to enjoy it.

Best Director
Winner - Wes Anderson "Moonrise Kingdom"
Runner Up - Steven Soderbergh "Magic Mike"
Commentary - Wes Anderson has been criticized for being so unique and quirky that he loses humanity. But this time around, he combined his one of a kind vision with the tale of a sweet young romance beautifully and made what has been one of his best movies.

Best Actor
Winner - Channing Tatum "21 Jump Street" and "Magic Mike"
Runner Up - Bruce Willis "Moonrise Kingdom"
Commentary - I never thought in my lifetime that I would give any positive award to Channing Tatum for acting, but by God, I think he has proven all of us wrong this year, and is on his way to becoming a really big star that also creates memorable and well-created characters. His dead-pan humor in 21 Jump Street, and his pure charisma in Magic Mike show us a growing talent. I look forward to see what he does next.

Best Actress
Winner - Rachel Weisz "The Deep Blue Sea"
Runner Up - Michelle Williams "Take With Waltz"
Commentary - Williams is always incredible, although her role in Take This Waltz was not as bold as some of her more recent characters. Instead, I am going with Rachel Weisz's stunning performance in The Deep Blue Sea. It's been a while since she has really popped on the screen, and although so few people have seen this movie, I encourage you to do so if for nothing else than for Weisz. I do hope that as the year goes on that her performance is not forgotten.

Best Supporting Actor
Winner - Edward Norton "Moonrise Kingdom"
Runner Up - Matthew McConaughey "Magic Mike"
Commentary - For some reason, Edward Norton's performance in Moonrise Kingdom really stuck out to me. Maybe its because I am so used to him playing dark characters, it was so nice to see him play a character with such vulnerability. It was a nice surprise, and it made him a stand out among a talented cast.

Best Supporting Actress
Winner - Charlize Theron "Prometheus/Snow White and the Huntsman"
Runner Up - Maggie Smith "The Best Exotic Marigold"
Commentary - This one was tough because I think Maggie Smith hung the moon, and like her fellow castmates seemed to have so much fun making The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. But instead, I have been incredibly impressed by Charlize Theron in two roles this year. Her Prometheus role was less involved, but she was probably the best thing about Snow White, and helped shield us from Kristen Stewart. She proved that big blockbusters can still have well thought out performances, and her Evil Queen was masterfully scary and powerful, and reminded us why she is one of the best actresses working today.

Best Screenplay
Winner - Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola “Moonrise Kingdom”
Runner Up - Phil Lord, Chris Miller, Michael Bacall “21 Jump Street”
Commentary - Really a landslide, Moonrise Kingdom's script was delightfully constructed, and could be the film's biggest Oscar chance.

Best Ensemble
Winner - The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Runner Up - Moonrise Kingdom
Commentary - While this may surprise some people, I like to reward ensemble based on their role in the success of the film. Moonrise Kingdom was beautifully constructed and its acting only enhanced it. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel would have been mediocre at best if it weren't for the lively performances of some of Britain's best.

Best Animated Feature
Winner - Brave
Runner Up - Madgascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted
Commentary - Brave may not be up to par with some of Pixar's best, but it was still visually appealing, filled with great voiceover performances, and still better than most of the live action films released so far. Still a winner for the studio in my book.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Review: Moonrise Kingdom

Now that the Emmy nominations have been revealed, I finally have a little break to start to focus on the upcoming Oscar season. I thought a perfect way to start was by posting some reviews of films I had seen by had not got the chance to really talk about. The best place to start is with what is probably my favorite film of the first half of 2012 (which you will find out soon enough when I reveal by Halfway Award winners either today or tomorrow!).

Moonrise Kingdom is the story of two twelve year olds, both of whom feel abandoned, one literally through being an orphan, and one through her emotionally dead parents, who decide to run away and meet up on a small New England island in the summer of 1965, and start a new life together in the wilderness. As authorities begin looking for them, and a huge storm brews off the coast, the quiet country island is turned upside down, and these kids find love in the open wilderness, while the adults began to look at themselves in a new light.

Moonrise Kingdom, like most of Wes Anderson's films, is one of the most quirky, original, and best films so far this year. Anderson's camerawork is always unique and well-shot, and gives us looks into a world that few directors have the guts to try. But the angles of the camera aren't the only thing that makes Moonrise Kingdom a signature Wes Anderson film. The quirky cutaways, the eccentric characters, the impeccable script written alongside Roman Coppola and the fact that he only once bows down to Hollywood stereotypes is what separates the film, and Anderson's body of work as a whole, away from the mainstream and into a realm of filmmaking that is always enjoyable as well as mentally stimulating.

The film is also lifted by the magnitude of its performances. While I actually thought that the two leading kids (Kara Hayward and Jared Gilman) could have used a little more depth and life in their characterizations, they both nailed the classic Anderson deadpan, and still were memorable. But it was the adults that really shine, as well as the smart-mouthed members of Sam's scout troop. Bruce Willis and Edward Norton are particular standouts here as a the lonely sheriff and lonely scoutmaster who seem to sympathize with the kids, proving the addage that people never really grow up. Both are talented actors, but its nice to see them take on such sympathetic charaters, and nail them with gusto. Frances McDormand and Bill Murray are fantastic as always, and I would have loved to have seen more of Tilda Swinton and Jason Schwartzman, both of whom are scene stealers in what are essentially cameos.

What I think I liked most of about Moonrise Kingdom however was the warmth and humor that spilled from its frames. Anderson has always been criticized for being so quirky and so different, that he loses any humanity in the process. That is simply not the case this time, as the film, thanks to its wonderful screenplay, is a perfect balance of his signature elements, and of a wonderfully cute love story between two lost souls. My only complaint about the film came at its ending, which seemed too conventional and two tied-up nicely for a film of such eccentricities. But otherwise Moonrise Kingdom is an enjoyable and fun experience filled with excellent performances, a unique vision, and a lot of heart.

Grade: A-

Oscar Potential: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor (Willis), Best Supporting Actor (Norton and Murray), Best Supporting Actress (McDormand), Best Original Screenplay, Best Original Score (Alexandre Desplat)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

First 2012 Emmy Winner Predictions

Best Drama Series - Downton Abbey
Best Comedy Series - Modern Family
Best Actor in a Drama Series - Bryan Cranston "Breaking Bad"
Best Actress in a Drama Series - Claire Danes "Homeland"
Best Actor in a Comedy Series - Jim Parsons "The Big Bang Theory"
Best Actress in a Comedy Series - Julia-Louis Dreyfuss "Veep"
Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series - Giancarlo Esposito "Breaking Bad"
Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series - Maggie Smith "Downton Abbey"
Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series - Jesse Tyler Ferguson "Modern Family"
Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series - Kathryn Joosten "Desperate Housewives"
Best Television Movie/Miniseries - Game Change
Best Actor in a TV Movie/Miniseries - Clive Owen "Hemingway and Gelhorn"
Best Actress in a TV Movie/Miniseries - Julianne Moore "Game Change"
Best Supporting Actor in a Movie/Mini - Ed Harris "Game Change"
Best Supporting Actress in a Movie/Mini - Jessica Lange "American Horror Story"
Best Variety Series - The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
Best Reality-Competition Program - The Amazing Race
Best Directing for a Drama Series - Michael Cuesta "Homeland - Pilot"
Best Writing for a Drama Series - Julian Fellowes "Downton Abbey - Episode 7"
Best Directing for a Comedy Series - Robert B. Weide "Curb Your Enthusiasm - Palestinian Chicken"
Best Writing for a Comedy Series - Amy Poehler "Parks and Recreation - The Debate"
Best Guest Actor in a Drama Series - Michael J. Fox "The Good Wife"
Best Guest Actor in a Comedy Series - Michael J. Fox "Curb Your Enthusiasm"
Best Guest Actress in a Drama Series - Loretta Devine "Grey's Anatomy"
Best Guest Actress in a Comedy Series - Melissa McCarthy "SNL"

2012 Emmy Nomination Reactions

Well, we knew it would probably eventually happen, but this year, the sad exclusion of The Good Wife (a real shame if you ask me, especially with the delightfully boring Boardwalk Empire continuing to rack up), all of the nominees for Best Drama Series are from cable networks. Broadcast networks should be shaking their heads in disappointment, and start worrying less about ratings and more about quality. But honestly, the nominees are not shocking. Seven series for six nods, and one was left out as predicted. It is the acting awards however that provide us with some eyeraisers to say the least. In the Drama actor, Kelsey Grammer was snubbed completely, which is interesting, because with his episode submissions he could have easily been a winner. As was Hugh Laurie in his last season, a shame really that he will never win an Emmy for House. In their places, Michael C. Hall snuck in again despite the decline of Dexter, proving he really is an Emmy darling, and a surprise nod for Hugh Bonneville, which should have set me off that it was really going to clean up, especially when he beat out Laurie, Grammer and even Dustin Hoffman. In the actress race, a miracle happened. Mariska Hargitay was finally not nominated for an Emmy award, which will make many people happy, and surprise many as well. With the Downton Abbey love, I thought last year's nominee McGovern would be the replacement. Surprisngly instead it was Michelle Dockery, a well-deserved nomination indeed. In terms of winning, I thought Danes was a lock. But Homeland did not perform as well as expected, only 9 nods total, and with Dockery, Close, Moss, and Margulies, hell even Bates, this is not going to be a cakewalk. Now I knew Downton Abbey was going to be big,  but it wasn't until I saw the nods for Supporting Actor and Actress that I realized just how strong this series is this year. In Supporting Actor, Dinklage, Esposito, and Paul all expectedly got in. John Slattery was left off in favor of his co-star Jared Harris, but considering Harris' season that isn't necessarily surprising. Then Downton Abbey got not 1, but 2! actors, Jim Carter and Brendan Coyle, into the nominations. This is really a shock, especially considering that neither are big names, and that they beat out the likes of Slattery, Charles, Braugher, Cumming, and Goodman. This is huge for Downton Abbey, and wonderful for these two actors, but still a complete shock. Once again in the Supporting Actress category, Downton Abbey showed its strength by knocking off people like Angelica Huston, Kelly MacDonald and Michelle Forbes and instead getting Joanne Froggatt on the list. I don't think I even had her as a possibility, and the fact that she was included once again shows just how strong DA is this year. The three series at the top Homeland, Mad Men, and Downton Abbey, got all the writing nods, but Boardwalk Empire and Breaking Bad got in as well. Breaking Bad ended up with a stunning 13 nominations, right behind Mad Men's 17 and Downton Abbey's 16. I think that the stigma that Breaking Bad is too trashy for the Emmys is melting away as it continues to do better and better each year. It could surprise the two frontrunners and Homeland and sneak in a win.

If you thought the Drama side had some surprises, you ain't seen nothing yet! As expected Modern Family, The Big Bang Theory, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and 30 Rock made the cut. But Louie, despite like six individual nods for C.K. nor Parks and Recreation, which is a huge snub that really stings considering how great it is, got in. Instead, HBO's two newest Girls and Veep managed to get in instead. Both are great shows, but I am honestly surprised that both did so well, considering that neither really seemed like they were up the alley of Emmy voters. But alas, both got in and Girls is the only one of the six to get an acting, directing and writing nod. Modern Family was surprisingly cut from writing, but snubbed Parks and Rec got two nominations. Community fans have bemoaned the lack of support, and while it may seem like a slap in the face to only get one, it did get a writing nod, which should make at least a few of its fans happy. I also think it is interesting that this is probably the first year that 30 Rock has been snubbed in both writing and directing (as well as Jane Krakowski), meaning that they have started to tire (although the series still got in, so not that tired yet). Last year's nominees Glee and The Office, both of which had terrible seasons were completely left out, Glee only getting a few technical nods, and a nod for Dot-Marie Jones, and The Office (I Think), getting absolutely nothing. It is nice to see the Emmy voters this year recognize that it was time to move on for both, and in its place two more deserving nominees. The acting nods also provided some surprises. Not in Comedy Actor, although I really hate that Johnny Galecki was left off in favor of Jon Cryer, but it wasn't exactly a shocking turn of events. On the Comedy Actress side, Emmy voters had as much trouble as we did picking that they had to go to seven nominees! None of those that got in are surprising, although Deschanel and Dunham's nods are a nice tip of the hat to a new generation of leading ladies, and as I expected Edie Falco once again was nominated (I knew I should have included her). I am surprised though that Emmy favorite Laura Linney and Golden-Globe winner Laura Dern were left off, but then again their shows were left out across the board, and there were so many contenders in this category that somebody had to get left off, I just assumed it would have been someone else. Then we get to the Supporting categories, and once again, voters threw us some curveballs. In Supporting Actress neither Cloris Leachman and Betty White got in. I want you to let that sink in for a second. Two of Emmy's favorite gals did not get in, both of which were predicted to do so easily. Wiig, Bowen, Vergara all got in. But in the last three slots we had some shockers. The first, Kathyrn Joosten is acutally not a shocker, and the more I thought about it, I should have known they would give her one last posthumous nod, which is well-deserved to say the least. But the other two are really jaw-dropping. Mayim Bialik, who will have some knock-out episode submissions got in, as The Big Bang Theory's popularity at the Emmys continues to rise. The last one though, no one saw coming. Merritt Wever of Nurse Jackie was a possibility in its first season, but after two of not being nominated, I don't think anyone though she stood a chance anymore. But by God, Emmy voters finally recognized her talent and she was nominated alongside her co-star Falco. On the male side, anotehr shockeroo happened. The four MF guys got in, alongside newcomer Max Greenfield, which is an awesome nomination. New Girl also got a directing nod, meaning that it could pull a Big Bang Theory, and after another season or two, make it into the top race, as contenders like 30 Rock phase out. But the real shocker for me was Bill Hader. He is one of the funnier guys on SNL, but I just assumed that none of those regular male cast members were ever going to be nominated. I will say though that he did take the place of Nick Offerman, which is frustrating considering how good he is on Parks. With the exception of the Parks & Recreation snubs (I now think that Poehler will never win for this role, and it looks like Dunham or Dreyfuss will win instead), I think this is a great set of nominees that is a nice combination of new shows and talent, and old favorites, and none of nominees, with the exception of Jon Cryer are undeserving of their recognition.

TV Movie/Miniseries
Besides the lack of nods for Appropriate Adult, Page Eight, and Great Expectations, particularly Emily Watson, Bill Nighy, and Rachel Weisz, the rest of these nominations weren't a complete surprise. I hadn't predicted Sherlock to be as big as it was, but I am glad since it was a stellar production. The race was once between Hatfields & McCoys and Game Change (I'm not buying into this Hemingway & Gelhorn hype, just cause it has a lot of nods, once they actually sit down and watch the contenders it won't win). But with 17 nominations, leading the pack including four acting nods, American Horror Story has surprised us all and now could play a huge role beyond Jessica Lange. The only really shocking and undeserved nod was Ashley Judd. I think she could be a great actress with better roles, and Missing ain't one of them, a shocking nod to say the least especially over Oscar winner Weisz and SAG nominee Watson.

Only three big notices. The Voice got in and bumped out the rating juggernaut Idol which is huge for the aging show, and another boost for The Voice as AI's permanent replacement. Also it was great to see Jimmy Kimmel, who announced in his pajamas to finally get a nod. Finally, they found a spot for Betty White despite the Hot in Cleveland snub in Reality Host, but in the process they snubbed the only winner of this category Jeff Probst. This is a shock to say the least, and now opens this race wide open.

2012 Emmy Nominations

I will post a full discussion of all the nominees, including my reactions, also including writing, directing, and variety/reality. I will also post my initial winner predictions either later today or tomorrow!! As always the Emmys threw us some curveballs so there is a lot to talk about!!

Best Drama Series
Boardwalk Empire
Breaking Bad
Downton Abbey
Game of Thrones
Mad Men

Best Comedy Series
The Big Bang Theory
Curb Your Enthusiasm
Modern Family
30 Rock

Best Actor in a Drama Series
Hugh Bonneville "Downton Abbey"
Steve Buscemi "Boardwalk Empire"
Bryan Cranston "Breaking Bad"
Michael C. Hall "Dexter"
Jon Hamm "Mad Men"
Damien Lewis "Homeland"

Best Actress in a Drama Series
Kathy Bates "Harry's Law"
Glenn Close "Damages"
Claire Danes "Homeland"
Michelle Dockery "Downton Abbey"
Julianna Margulies "The Good Wife"
Elisabeth Moss "Mad Men"

Best Actor in a Comedy Series
Alex Baldwin "30 Rock"
Don Cheadle "House of Lies"
Louis C.K. "Louie"
Jon Cryer "Two and a Half Men"
Larry David "Curb Your Enthusiasm"
Jim Parsons "The Big Bang Theory

Best Actress in a Comedy Series
Zooey Deschanel "New Girl"
Lena Dunham "Girls"
Edie Falco "Nurse Jackie"
Tina Fey "30 Rock"
Julia-Louis Dreyfuss "Veep"
Melissa McCarthy "Mike & Molly"
Amy Poehler "Parks & Recreation"

Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Aaron Paul "Breaking Bad"
Giancarlo Esposito "Breaking Bad"
Brendan Coyle "Downton Abbey"
Jim Carter "Downton Abbey"
Jared Harris "Mad Men"
Peter Dinklage "Game of Thrones"
Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Christine Baranski "The Good Wife"
Archie Panjabi "The Good Wife"
Anna Gunn "Breaking Bad"
Joanne Froggett "Downton Abbey"
Christina Hendricks "Mad Men"
Maggie Smith "Downton Abbey"

Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Ty Burrell "Modern Family"
Eric Stonestreet "Modern Family"
Ed O'Neill "Modern Family"
Jesse Tyler Ferguson "Modern Family"
Bill Hader "SNL"
Max Greenfield "New Girl"

Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Mayim Bialik "The Big Bang Theory"
Merritt Wever "Nurse Jackie"
Kristen Wiig "SNL"
Julie Bowen "Modern Family"
Sofia Vergara "Modern Family"
Kathryn Joosten "Desperate Housewives"

Best Guest Actor in a Comedy Series
Michael J. Fox "Curb Your Enthusiasm"
Jimmy Fallon "SNL"
Will Arnett "30 Rock"
Jon Hamm "30 Rock"
Bobby Cannavale "Nurse Jackie"
Greg Kinnear "Modern Family"

Best Guest Actress in a Comedy Series
Maya Rudolph "SNL"
Melissa McCarthy "SNL"
Dot-Marie Jones "Glee"
Elizabeth Banks "30 Rock"
Margaret Cho "30 Rock"
Kathy Bates "Two and a Half Men"

Best Guest Actor in a Drama Series
Dylan Baker "The Good Wife"
Mark Margolis "Breaking Bad"
Michael J. Fox "The Good Wife"
Jeremy Davies "Justified"
Jason Ritter "Parenthood"
Ben Feldman "Mad Men"

Best Guest Actress in a Drama Series
Martha Plimpton "The Good Wife"
Loretta Devine "Grey's Anatomy"
Jean Smart "Harry's Law"
Julia Ormond "Mad Men"
Joan Cusack "Shameless"
Uma Thurman "Smash"

Best TV Movie/Miniseries
American Horror Story
Game Change
Hatfields & McCoys
Hemingway & Gelhorn

Best Actor in a TV Movie/Mini
Kevin Costner "Hatfields & McCoys"
Bill Paxton "Hatfields & McCoys"
Benedict Cumberbatch "Sherlock"
Idris Elba "Luther"
Clive Owen "Hemingway and Gelhorn"
Woody Harrelson "Game Change"

Best Actress in a TV Movie/Mini
Connie Britton "American Horror Story"
Nicole Kidman "Hemingway and Gelhorn"
Julianne Moore "Game Change"
Ashley Judd "Missing"
Emma Thompson "The Song of Lunch"

Best Supporting Actor in a TV Movie/Mini
Tom Berenger "Hatfields & McCoys"
Martin Freeman "Sherlock"
Denis O'Harie "American Horror Story"
Ed Harris "Game Change"
David Strathairn "Hemingway & Gelhorn"

Best Supporting Actress in a TV Movie/Mini
Judy Davis "Page Eight"
Sarah Paulson "Game Change"
Mare Winningham "Hatfields & McCoys"
Jessica Lange "American Horror Story"
Frances Conroy "American Horror Story"

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

2012 Emmy Nomination Predictions: Drama Series

2012 Nomination Predictions
1. Mad Men
2. Downton Abbey
3. Homeland
4. Breaking Bad
5. The Good Wife
6. Game of Thrones

Other Contenders - Boardwalk Empire, Smash, Justified, Dexter, House, Boss, Once Upon a Time, Revenge, Grey's Anatomy, The Walking Dead
Commentary - Essentially, there are seven shows that have the best chance of getting in, with shows like Smash and Justified as more outside contenders. Mad Men could become the first Drama Series to win five in a row, but with last year's total haul being only two, and two new contenders both having the prestige to go all the way, I think that it could be upset. Probably its biggest competition will be Downton Abbey. It is the only other show nominated which has won a top prize, and it has a snob factor that older voters will love. The other one is Homeland. It discusses an important and pertinent topic,and has been the hit new show of the season. Also, talk around the blogosphere is that it is on the tongues of many Emmy voters. Solidly in fourth is Breaking Bad. It may be a critic's haven, but in terms of winning, I think it is just too intense, and a not snobby enough to ever take the top prize. Some people may be surprised that I included The Good Wife, but for a very good reason. Not only is it an excellent show (and my personal favorite), it is also the only broadcast show besides Smash that is actually in contention. I think that the powers that be within the big 4 community will rally around to make sure that they are not completely overcome by cable shows. It is the last slot that I am having trouble with. Boardwalk Empire has the prestige and guild support, but I wonder how passionate its fan base is. How many people will put it at number 1 on their ballots! In comparison, Game of Thrones has a very passionate fan base, and I think has just enough support to overcome its rival. Although if the snob factor comes into play again, I think that Empire will overcome its HBO partner. A tough choice indeed.

Monday, July 16, 2012

2012 Emmy Nomination Predictions: Comedy Series

2012 Nomination Predictions
1. Modern Family
2. Curb Your Enthusiasm
3. Parks & Recreation
4. The Big Bang Theory
5. 30 Rock
6. Louie

Other Contenders - Glee, Veep, Girls, New Girl, Enlightened, Nurse Jackie
Commentary - I honestly feel pretty good about the first five series getting in. Modern Family is clearly the frontrunner, although longtime Emmy favorite Curb Your Enthusiasm returns this year, and has a great set of episodes that could upset the apple cart. Both The Big Bang Theory and Parks & Recreation got into the race last year, and although there are a slew of new shows such as Girls, New Girl, and others hoping to knock them off, I think both have enough strength to hang on for at least one more year. Finally, I think that 30 Rock, which continues to be an Emmy favorite, and with the announcement that this coming season is its last, Emmy voters only have two more years to reward it. Its the final spot that I think is tricky. The aforementioned Girls is too young and female skewed probably for male voters, New Girl is too quirky, Enlightened doesn't have enough viewers, and Veep, probably the strongest of this list, may be just too crude and not as blow-your-mind funny as expected. The one I am worried about is Glee. This last season was simply dreadful, but it did get a SAG and PGA nod eariler this year, and will probably rack up in the Creative Emmys, meaning it could get in again. But my money is on a different show. Louis C.K. is now one of the hottest stars on television, he will probably get at least three individual nods. And considering how popular it was last year, I think that it has gained enough support to surprise a few people and get a Comedy Series nomination.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

2012 Emmy Nomination Predictions: Television Movie/Miniseries

2012 Nomination Predictions
1. Game Change
2. American Horror Story
3. Hatfields & McCoys
4. Great Expectations
5. The Hour
6. Hemingway and Gelhorn

Other Contenders - Page Eight, Sherlock, Birdsong, Five
Commentary - An interesting mix of movies and miniseries, but certaintly not the strongest year. What we do know is that Game Change will be big with the Emmys, and will probably end up winning this award. Hatfields & McCoys is also a pretty safe bet considering how huge it was when it was released in May, right around the time Emmy ballots were out. There are a lot of British products, and while Sherlock did well with critics and Page Eight is sure to get some acting nods, I think that The Hour and Great Expectations are overall more potent contenders. American Horror Story will have to overcome the genre barrier, but with a light year, and a lot of press, I think that it could do it, and definitely should. Finally, while Hemingway and Gelhorn got mixed reviews, it has too much star power to pass up, similar to last year' The Kennedy's, and will probably get in and take the last slot.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

2012 Emmy Nomination Predictions: Best Actor in a Drama Series

2012 Nomination Predictions
1. Bryan Cranston "Breaking Bad"
2. Kelsey Grammer "Boss"
3. Damien Lewis "Homeland"
4. Jon Hamm "Mad Men"
5. Steve Buscemi "Boardwalk Empire"
6. Hugh Laurie "House"

Other Contenders - Dustin Hoffman "Luck", Timothy Olyphant "Justified", Kiefer Sutherland "Touch", Hugh Bonneville "Downton Abbey", Michael C. Hall "Dexter"
Commentary - The first five names easily came to me as the top contenders. Cranston will probably win again, for his searing portrayal on Breaking Bad. Hamm may never win this category, I mean he couldn't even win the one year Cranston was not on the ballot, but will probably continually be nominated. Damien Lewis is excellent in Homeland, and if that show will be as popular as we assume, he's in. Kelsey Grammer could surprise some people and win, as he plays bad really well, and is an Emmy favorite. He's definitely in for a nod. Steve Buscemi continues to win these SAG Awards, and while I think Boardwalk Empire doesn't have as much heat this year, I think he still gets in pretty easily. It is that last slot I am having trouble with. Dustin Hoffman is a two-time Oscar winning actor and at this point in his career, a living legend. But Luck has gotten some bad press, cancelled during the shooting of Season 2, and his only chance of getting in is on name recognition alone. Michael C. Hall is always great, but Dexter I think is finally out of the discussion. Timothy Olyphant was nominated last year, but with all this new competition, I don't know if he has enough support to repeat. Instead I am going with Hugh Laurie. He has never won for House, but has always been a contender, and this being his last time, I think the Emmys will not pass up another opportunity to give him one last recognition.

Friday, July 13, 2012

2012 Emmy Nomination Predictions: Best Actress in a Drama Series

2012 Nomination Predictions
1. Claire Danes "Homeland"
2. Julianna Margulies "The Good Wife"
3. Glenn Close "Damages"
4. Elisabeth Moss "Mad Men"
5. Mariska Hargitay "Law & Order: SVU"
6. Kathy Bates "Harry's Law"

Other Contenders - Michelle Dockery "Downton Abbey", Debra Messing "Smash", Elizabeth McGovern "Downton Abbey", Kyra Sedgwick "The Closer", Jessica Pare "Mad Men", Mierelle Enos "The Killing"
Commentary - The first four names you read were easily written down and are ready to go. I would be shocked if Danes, Margulies, Close, and Moss were not included on this list, and would be saddened because they are all actually worthy contenders. From these four, we will also probably draw our winners, with Danes way out in front, and the other three a distant second. It is those last two slots that are causing trouble. Messing is an Emmy winner, and is on a show about show business, Enos was nominated last year, Sedgwick is a former winner for this role, Dockery and McGovern are on a proven winner Downton Abbey, as is Jessica Pare in terms of Mad Men. That being said, we know that in this category (for some reason), voters have continued to stick with old favorites, and be more concerned about the person than the perfomance. Which leads me to my last two predictions. Now, let me say first, I get tired of the Mariska Hargitay bashing as of late. At one point SVU was a decent crime serial, and Hargitay was always delivering decent performances earning an Emmy win for it. While I agree it is her time to go, and the show and character have overstayed their welcome, I really wish pundits would stop bashing her over the head. It's not her fault that the Academy loves her. So I am once again putting her in the mix, and will continue to do so until the Emmy voters say otherwise. The last predictions might also signal some groans. Once again, I agree that even the great Kathy Bates couldn't save the quality of Harry's Law, and that there are far better performances and shows out there who deserve recognition. But she is Kathy Bates, she got another SAG nomination, and I think that while they still have a chance, voters will give her another Emmy one as well.

2012 Emmy Nomination Predictions: Writing and Directing for a Comedy/Drama Series

2012 Nomination Predictions - Comedy Writing
1. Abraham Higginbotham and Dan O'Shannon "Modern Family - Aunt Mommy"
2. Louis C.K. "Louie - Pregnant"
3. Lena Dunham "Girls - Pilot"
4. Steve Levitan "Modern Family - Treehouse"
5. Amy Poehler "Parks and Recreation - The Debate"

2012 Nomination Predictions - Comedy Directing
1. Robert B. Weide "Curb Your Enthusiasm - Palestinian Chicken"
2. Michael Spiller "Modern Family - Aunt Mommy"
3. Beth McCarthy-Miller "30 Rock - Live From Studio 6H"
4. Fred Savage "Modern Family - After the Fire"
5. Louis C.K. "Louie - Duckling"

2012 Nomination Predictions - Drama Writing
1. Julian Fellowes "Downton Abbey - Episode 7 Christmas"
2.  Courtney Kemp Agboh, Robert King & Michelle King– The Good Wife, "Blue Ribbon Panel"
3. Semi Chellas & Matthew Weiner "Mad Men - The Other Woman"
4. Meredith Stiehn "Homeland - The Weekend"
5. George R.R. Martin "Game of Thrones - Blackwater"

2012 Nomination Predictions - Drama Directing
1. Michael Cuesta "Homeland - Pilot"
2. Brian Percival "Downton Abbey - Episode 7 Christmas"
3. Neil Marshall "Game of Thrones - Blackwater"
4. Vince Gilligan "Breaking Bad - Face Off"
5. Gus Van Sant "Boss - Pilot"

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Oz the Great and Powerful Trailer

I'm not sure. Will definitely be a lot of fun to watch visually, and a technical feat. And the cast looks great, Sam Raimi is behind it, and hopefully it will have a dark and wonderful story to back it. But it looks a lot like an Alice in Wonderland sequel, and I wonder if it is too much CGI. Right now I am optimistic. We'll have to wait and see. Hits theaters next March.

2012 Emmy Nomination Predictions: Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

2012 Nomination Predictions
1. Amy Poehler "Parks & Recreation"
2. Julia-Louis Dreyfuss "Veep"
3. Tina Fey "30 Rock"
4. Laura Linney "The Big C"
5. Zooey Deschanel "New Girl"
6. Laura Dern "Enlightened"

Other Contenders - Melissa McCarthy "Mike & Molly", Edie Falco "Nurse Jackie", Martha Plimpton "Raising Hope", Christina Applegate "Up All Night", Lena Dunham "Girls"
Commentary - I have not still completely made up my mind about this category. With all the new shows this year, it has simply thrown this whole category for a tailspin. It just seems so difficult to leave off Emmy darling Edie Falco, upstart Lena Dunham, and last year's winner Melissa McCarthy. They are all such strong contenders, and heck all three could get in instead of some of my predictions. But alas, tough choices had to be made, and before I make my final list on the day before the nominations are announced, I may change my mind. I know one this is sure. This race seems to be between Dreyfuss and Poehler, both are comic genius on their respective series. I am also pretty sure about the well-liked Tina Fey, although with her show aging she is vulnerable. Laura Linney is well-liked by the Emmys, and many expected her to win last year. I'm sure there is enough good will left over to merit another nod. Zooey Deschanel is a personal pick, and even though some of the buzz from the show wore off as the season progressed, I think she has had enough of a breakout to still get a nomination. Of all my picks though, she is the one I am most concerned about. New Girl is really quirky and appeals to a younger audience, which could keep her out of the race. Finally, it has been a long time since a Golden Globe winner in this category wasn't at least nominated. So Laura Dern, who is also well-liked by the Emmys, and has a great role in Enlightened is hard to bet against. The one I know I should not leave out is Edie Falco. I just know I am going to regret that. Oh well, I have a week to figure it out.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

2012 Emmy Nomination Predictions: Best Actor in a Comedy Series

2012 Nomination Predictions
1. Jim Parsons "The Big Bang Theory"
2. Louis C.K. "Louie"
3. Larry David "Curb Your Enthusiasm"
4. Alec Baldwin "30 Rock"
5. Jon Cryer "Two and a Half Men"
6. Johnny Galecki "The Big Bang Theory"

Other Contenders - Don Cheadle "House of Lies", Joel McHale "Community", Will Arnett "Up All Night", Tim Allen "Last Man Standing", Adam Scott "Parks & Recreation"
Commentary - Not as many contenders as some of its counterparts, this category could still afford a few surprise come Emmy nomination morning. I feel pretty confident about four men in particular, and would honestly be shocked if one of them did not get nominated. Parsons, David, Baldwin, and C.K. are all previous nominees/winners, and all had great years on their respective shows. My guess is that they all four easily get in once again. In the last two slots I am a bit confused. I have bet against Jon Cryer before and have paid the price for it. Although, he has never been nominated as a lead, although it was not for a lack of trying in the first few season. Also, with the exit of Sheen and introduction of Kutcher, this show went from being mediocre to just outright awful. All of this points to him finally being left off the list, but let's not forget just how much the Emmys love him, and while I hope I am wrong, my guess is that he gets in again. It's the last slot that may confuse some people. Most pundits and people I have talked to think that Don Cheadle is a lock. He's a moviestar, Oscar-nomianted actor, and will be too much for voters to pass up. But, House of Lies buzz is completely dead, and the role is not exactly laugh out loud funny. In contrast, The Big Bang Theory is a lock for a Comedy Series nomination, and seems to be growing in popularity with the Television Academy. While it could go either way, I think that Johnny Galecki, who got his first nod last year, will manage to overcome Cheadle and surprise a few people with his second nomination. My hope is that both he and Cheadle get in and Cryer is left out in the cold. Crossing my fingers!