Archive for the ‘The Oscars’ category

Oscar Predictions 2011 and Welcome Back

February 27, 2011

Let me just start by welcoming you back to FilmStank. It’s been holidays, and we’ve enjoyed the time off, planning for this next year, and just relaxing. But holidays are over, as I’m sure is the same for most of you, and so the blogs will begin to pour out again, so let me begin 2011 with a blog about the approaching Academy Awards.

 

Oscar Predictions 2011

Well, the Academy Awards are upon us again, and it’s better late than never for me to come up with my own predictions as to who are going to take home the top gongs. I think this year is a tough one to decipher as there are so many great films, both classic Academy Award films and the not so classic Academy Award films, and with the changing times, you never know for sure whom the Academy is going to pick as the best in their field. But I think I have a pretty good idea, check it out.

 

Best Writing, Based on Previous Material: The Social Network – Aaron Sorkin

Best Writing, Directly for the Screen: Inception – Christopher Nolan

Best Director: Tom Hooper – The King’s Speech

Best Supporting Actress: Melissa Leo – The Fighter

Best Supporting Actor: Christian Bale – The Fighter

Best Actress: Natalie Portman – Black Swan

Best Actor: Colin Firth – The King’s Speech

Best Picture: The King’s Speech

 

 

Best Writing, Based on Previous Material: The Social Network – Aaron Sorkin

Let’s start at the bottom, and work our way up. Quite briefly, I think the type of film The Social Network, I think the contemporary subject of the film, and the way Aaron Sorkin developed the book titled Accidental Billionaires into the screenplay used for this film will win him this Oscar on the night.

 

Best Writing, Directly for the Screen: Inception – Christopher Nolan

To be honest, I’m a little hesitant to putting Christopher Nolan’s name as my prediction to winning. I think there’s something wrong with the relationship between Christopher Nolan and the Academy; whilst he’s been nominated 3 times now (2 for Inception, and 1 for Memento), he’s been snubbed more than once. First for The Dark Knight where he failed to earn any nomination himself, and now for a director’s nod for Inception, which in my opinion he should have easily won.

There are a lot of potential winners in this category, but I think Chris Nolan deserves this award the most, and I really hope to Academy give it to him.

 

Best Director: Tom Hooper – The King’s Speech

In my opinion, this is the toughest category of the year, and for me it’s a process of elimination with a few points. Here they are; first of all, I think Joel and Ethan Cohen (Director’s for True Grit) are the least favourite to win in this category due to the fact the film is a remake, and it is rare that a remake will win at the Oscars (The Departed is an exception to this). Also, they have each got 4 Oscars to their name, so I think the Academy knows they are well decorated enough to win this year, and the film wasn’t outstanding from the rest. So let’s take them off the list. The next four nominees are the directors what I would most people would agree are the front-runners to the Best Picture win. I don’t think The Social Network is going to sweep the awards for some reason, and I think if it wins the writing award, it won’t win this award. David O. Russell did an exceptional job with his work on The Fighter, but I think the acclaim is more focused on the acting, rather than the direction. This leaves me with Darren Aronofsky and Tom Hooper. There’s one main reason I have picked Tom Hooper above the rest, and that is because generally the Best Picture award goes hand in hand with the Best Director award.

 

 

Best Supporting Actress: Melissa Leo – The Fighter

Again, a really tough category, and as much as I would love Jacki Weaver to win this award for her outstanding performance in one of the greatest Aussie flicks, Animal Kingdom, I don’t think the Academy will have picked her. Amy Adams was brilliant as always in The Figher, but unfortunately was overshadowed by the performance of her co-star, Melissa Leo. Helena Bonham Carter did an exceptional job in The King’s Speech, but I think she too will fall short of glory in this field. Remaining are Melissa Leo and Hailee Steinfield, both of which gave great performances, but as I heard another writing describe, I don’t think Hailee Steinfield has paid her dues. She’s 14 years old, and she’s only just become known for her role in True Grit, but I think the more matured Melissa Leo will have the Academy voting for her.

 

 

Best Supporting Actor: Christian Bale – The Fighter

I think the two front-runners for this category are Christian Bale and Geoffrey Rush, despite exceptional performances by the other actors in this category. It’s tough to determine who the Academy will choose out of Bale and Rush, as this is Bale’s first nomination, and at the age of 37 he is (relatively) quite young for someone to win an Oscar. Rush is a seasoned performer, and one of the greatest Actors of our time, but he has already been awarded the top acting gong for his performance in Shine. Ultimately, I believe Bale will win as his performance is flawless and there is no sign of Christian Bale in the character, and despite this being his first nomination, he has a huge resume of films under his belt, and the Academy might think it time to give him what he deserves.

 

 

Best Actress: Natalie Portman – Black Swan

Whilst all the nominees gave unbelievable performances in this category, I believe the performance Natalie Portman gave in Black Swan will earn her the top gong. A truly disturbing, yet brilliant performance took a lot of guts for Portman to tackle, and for her to execute in the way that she did, I’d say she deserves this award.

 

 

Best Actor: Colin Firth – The King’s Speech

The easiest of all the categories, and if it doesn’t result in the way predicted, there will be a lot of surprised people in Hollywood. Whilst the rest of the nominees gave good performances, none stood out as much as Colin Firth’s perfect performance. Honestly, you cannot fault this man with his performance in The King’s Speech, it was a truly outstanding job, and he more than deserves the title of the Best Actor of 2010.

 

 

Best Picture: The King’s Speech

Now, let’s get down to business. First things first, with the inclusion of another 5 nominees (making a total of 10 nominees) in this category for last years Academy Awards, you can usually determine which films are the true nominees. This can be simply determined by a few things. First, look at the amount of nominations the film has, if it’s 3 or less, you can generally say it’s not a front-runner; unfortunately each film nominated has a minimum of four nominations, so no dismissals yet.

Secondly, and it pains me that this is the case, but Animated films nominated for Best Picture never win, even though they most likely have an equal (if not greater) chance of winning; so we therefore eliminate Toy Story 3.

Thirdly, usually at least 4 of the 5 films that were nominated for Best Director are also nominated for Best Picture; therefore requiring me to eliminate The Kid’s Are All Right, 127 Hours and Winter’s Bone from the race (I believe Inception may still be a front-runner despite its lack of nomination for Best Director. Additionally, there is usually one film that is specially nominated for Best Director, but not Best Picture and in my opinion, Joel and Ethan Cohen fit this description; so I’m going to eliminate True Grit from the race, despite its critical acclaim. This leaves us with, wait for it, 5 films to choose from, which is a standard amount of Best Picture nominees. This includes Inception, The Social Network, The King’s Speech, Black Swan and The Fighter.

Okay, now it’s time for me to release the pride, and admit Inception won’t win, due to its lack of a Best Director nomination. As I mentioned in the Best Director paragraph, I think the Academy will choose The Fighter to be more of a performance driven film more-so than anyone else, therefore leading me to believe it won’t win Best Picture. This leaves me with what I believe to be the true front-runners. Now, I believe Black Swan pushes the boundaries too far in its content, and its lack of wins (in my predictions) in other categories will prevent it from securing the top prize. The only way to decipher who will win between The Social Network and The King’s Speech is that The King’s Speech is a classic Academy Awards film (don’t let that detract from it’s brilliance), where as The Social Network is a contemporary film which may hinder it winning the top prize. The King’s Speech checks all the boxes; it’s a history film, it’s based on a true story, and it has an uplifting story. So I believe The King’s Speech will take the top gong on the night of the Oscars, and I think it more than deserves this title.

 

 

I’d love to hear your thoughts on who you think will win. Do you disagree or agree with my choices. Let me know in the comment section below.

 

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Oscar Predictions by Sam

February 11, 2010

Well, it’s that time of year, and naturally, Oscar predictions are flying about all over the net. Some people have decided to go with the flow, and are picking the most obvious choices, whilst others are going a bit more left of field, and picking some surprise winners.

It’s Sam of FilmStank here, a Film/Television Student studying in Australia, and here are my predictions for what are regarded as the top eight awards:

Best Picture: Avatar
Best Actor: Jeff Bridges – A Crazy Heart
Best Actress: Sandra Bullock – The Blind Side
Best Supporting Actor: Christopher Waltz – Inglorious Basterds
Best Supporting Actress: Mo’Nique
Best Director: Kathryn Bigelow
Best Writing, Directly for the Screen: Quentin Tarantino – Inglorious Basterds
Best Writing, Based on Previous Material: Neill Blomkamp and Terri Tatchell – District 9

Firstly with the big one,

Best Motion Picture:

I think there are only three real contenders in this category, Avatar, Inglorious Basterds and The Hurt Locker. The winner is not so easy to pick. Avatar is everyones favourite pick, and understandably too. Over the years, Members of the Academy usually love the epics, they love a happy ending, and if some great drama is tied in, it’s usually the pick for Best Picture. Avatar has all three of these elements, as well as the great visual imagery it provides, the massive budget, and simplistic story line. Although, there is a chance that The Hurt Locker may pull a Slumdog Millionaire. It is the under-dog favourite to win, it has the low budget, similar to that of Slumdog, so it could also be the winner. And Inglorious Basterds, well, what can I say, it is a great piece of filmmaking and it has that unique element of script writing that Members of the Academy either love or hate.
But I think I would have to say my vote goes with Avatar. That’s not to say it was my favourite film of all the contenders, but I think it is the best fit for what Members of the Academy are voting for.

Best Actor:

Performance-wise; everyone in this category has a fair chance. But, as everyone knows, there’s more to it than that. George Clooney and Morgan Freeman have both previously picked up there Oscars for Best Supporting actor, and it’s Jeremy Renner’s and Colin Firth’s first nomination, so naturally I’m looking at Jeff Bridges for the win. What’s been praised as a stellar performance from the veteran actor, is also his fifth nomination without ever previously bagging a win. Members of the Academy usually look favourably towards these sort of nominees. Additionally, Bridges has won every other award so far, with the BAFTAs and The Spirit Awards still in waiting. If Bridges takes home the Spirit Award, I think we could be looking at another Mickey Rourke moment. Last year Rourke, like Bridges, took home almost every award preceding the Oscars, including, what most people call the runner-up Oscar award, The Spirit Award. He then lost out to Sean Penn at the Oscars. If Bridges does take the Spirit Award, my vote it either with Jeremy Renner or Colin Firth.

Best Actress:

This year there has been no clear-cut winner from the ladies in leading roles. Sure, there has been some great performances, there’s just no one that you instantly say, “yeah, she’ll win it hands down.” In saying that, I think the Lead Actress Oscar will be going to either Meryl Streep or Sandra Bullock. Now Meryl Streep has had 16 nominations with 2 wins, so Members of the Academy may think, at least for now, she has had enough recognition, as it appears she is not slowing down on the nominations. This leaves Sandra Bullock. Some say her performance in The Blind Side is the best of her career and this is not only her first nomination, but I think it could be her first win.

Best Supporting Actor:

I think this category is the easiest of them all. Christopher Waltz’s performance in Inglorious Basterds was his first appearance in an English film, and wasn’t it a brilliant one at that. He stole every scene he was in, making you laugh, angry, sad, happy and everything else. I say he is the most deserving of this award, and he has won every other award. The only real contender is Christopher Plummer who has a lifetime of a career behind him and this is his first nomination, and it could be potentially his last. Members of the Academy can look favourably to older actors, but looking at Peter O’Toole who has been nominated 8 times without a single win, I think Christopher Waltz can feel pretty confident he’ll be holding the Oscar in a months time.

Best Supporting Actress:

I don’t have much to say on this award, The buzz has been circulating of Mo’Nique’s excellent performance, and so my vote is that she will take home her first Oscar this coming March.

Best Director:

This one, again, is going to be a tight competition between James Cameron, Kathryn Bigelow and Quentin Tarantino. For some strange reason, I have a feeling the Award is not going to match up with the Best Picture winner, which eliminates Cameron and leaves me with Bigelow and Tarantino. I think Tarantino will take home the Screenplay award, and I felt the Academy wants to finally award a female with the Best Director award, which she does deserve. So my vote is with Bigelow.

Best Writing, Directly for the Screen:

As I stated previously, my vote is that Tarantino will take this award home. I think the only real contender is The Hurt Locker and even possibly Up, but I think the Academy likes Tarantino and his writing, so I’m going to say Tarantino.

Best Writing, Based on Previous Material:

This one is another tough one to decide a winner. I would put it between Up in the Air and District 9, and even perhaps Precious, but for some odd reason I think the Academy may look favourably to the underdogs Neill Blomkamp and Terri Tatchell for their writing on District 9.

So there you have it. Who knows, I could be way off, but I guess we will just have to wait til March 7th to find out.

So… What’s up with the Academy Awards?

February 9, 2010

It’s that time of year again, and the Academy Award nominations have been announced and it’s just short of a month til the winners are given their prizes.

Here at FilmStank, we thought we could provide an “introduction to the Academy Awards,” if you will. So take a seat in that oh so comfortable chair, and enjoy!

So, what is the ‘Academy Awards?’

Well, it’s an annual event put in place in order to celebrate the “greatest” achievements of the year in the Film World. For example, if an Actor does a superb job at acting in a particular performance of theirs throughout the year, then they may be awarded with a nomination, or even the honour of winning the award.

The rules?

There aren’t as many rules as one would have thought, yet, like all “competitions” there are rules, here they are:

1. A nominated film must have opened in the previous year, from anywhere between midnight January 1st – midnight December 31st. For example, at the 2010 Oscars, any nominated film must have opened in anytime in the year 2009.

AND

2. A nominated film must run over 40 minutes long to be categorised as a “feature-length film,” and any film running under 40 minutes is classified as a short film and therefore a part of the “short subjects awards.”

Yes there a few extra rules about ratio and the type of film used, but they are the main ones. Pretty fair if you ask me.

What awards are the best awards to win?

Some argue that there are some awards that are more prestigious than other awards. These are known as “The Big 5,” although this title is only really used when a film conquers all five of these categories, a feat only three films in history have ever achieved.

But first, “The Big 5” are as follows:
Best Picture
Best Lead Actor
Best Lead Actress
Best Director
Best Writing (Adapted or Original)

As stated before, only three films in the history of film have every come home with “The Big 5” awards in its pocket. They are:
1. It Happened One Night (1934)
2. One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest (1975)
3. Silence of the Lambs (1991)

What do I do now?

We sit… We wait… We watch…

Keep checking FilmStank over the next couple of days, and you can have a look at our own predictions of who we think will take home the awards.

On March 7th the winners will be announced, so why not grab a seat for the night and enjoy the ceremony.