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The Student News Site of Claudia Taylor Johnson High School

My Jag News

The Student News Site of Claudia Taylor Johnson High School

My Jag News

Early Best Picture Oscar Predictions: Let the Buzz Begin

By Tony Johnson | Arts & Entertainment Editor

Yes, they’re doing 10 Best Picture nominees again. However, with possible actor nominees Anne Hathaway and James Franco announced as co-hosts, anticipation is rising quickly for the apparent new direction the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will be taking its iconic awards ceremony on February 29th. Younger hosts and the resurrection of the lengthy Best Picture list mark a year in which producers will try to draw in the younger demographic. They’re both risky moves, but 2010 has proved to be a great year for movies, with a diverse group of possible nominees, including the mind-bending blockbuster Inception and the immersive limited release 127 Hours; Franco’s film. Whoever and whatever the nominees turn out to be, this awards season is sure to be an exciting one. Though the season kicks off with the Golden Globes in January, we’re making our predictions now for what movies will be honored and who will be taking home the hardware in February.

First we predict the Best Picture nominees.

127 Hours– Danny Boyle’s innovative thriller took the innate intensity of film to new heights by filming 80% of it within a crevice in Utah’s Canyonlands and placing James Franco at the bottom. It was a risky adaptation of hiker Aron Ralston’s critically acclaimed memoir, Between A Rock and A Hard Place, but the product is a suspenseful and spectacular tribute to what Ralston went through.

The Social Network- As the best-reviewed movie of the year, this film will undoubtedly be honored throughout the awards season with a slew of nominations. David Finicher’s dark vision of Facebook’s creation and who all were involved attracted users and non-users alike. Its sharp, dialogue-driven script (adapted by Aaron Sorkin from Ben Mezrich’s book The Accidental Billionaires), directing that’s as calculated as Jesse Eisenberg’s scathing take on Mark Zuckerburg, and an incredible cast have have reserved Social Network’s place at the Kodak Theatre.

The King’s Speech- This historical biopic of King George VI has already won prestigious festival awards and critical acclaim. Colin Firth’s performance as a incoming monarch struggling to overcome his stutter with the help of his therapist (Geoffrey Rush) has been labeled the best of his career; possibly the best seen from a leading man this year. Director and history junkie Tom Hooper has set the bar for real-world drama.

True Grit- Though no one has even seen the final product yet, the tantalizing trailers have created much anticipation and hype for the Coen brothers’ remake of the original, classic western that won John Wayne his only Oscar. With Jeff Bridges in John Wayne’s place and Matt Damon, Josh Brolin, and newbie Hailee Steinfeld as the supporting cast, there is no question that the movie will be a contender.

Inception- At least one blockbuster film makes it to ‘best picture’ every year, but Christopher Nolan’s surreal and haunting journey through consciousness proved to be one of a kind and a popular success. Star power (Leonardo DiCaprio) and the magic touch of the man who engineered the Oscar-deprived Dark Knight boosted this movie’s visibility around the world, helping it achieve a global gross of over $800 million. Though that’s an impressive number- quality aside- Inception can expect to collect its due accolades in 2011.

Other Possible 5:

The Kids Are All Right– Lisa Cholodenko’s celebrated indie flick touched audiences and critics alike, and has garnered award-buzz for its leading female actors, but the movie itself could be too explicit for the Academy.

The Fighter- The boxing/family drama has had a lot of passion put into it from director David O. Russell and Mark Wahlberg, but sport flicks often miss a spot in the nominees and comparisons to Rocky are inevitable.

Toy Story 3- The uber-successful sequel to Pixar’s beloved franchise was a hot hit this summer and had audiences shedding tears, but the only reason why this animated film has a chance at being nominated is because there are 10 open slots.

Black Swan- This mysterious, ballet-driven thriller steered by a “tour de fore” performance from Natalie Portman has been given great reception at festivals it premiered at and stellar reviews from critics, but Darren Aronofsky’s style may be too trippy for the Academy to handle.

The Town- Ben Affleck’s second turn at playing Director created an action/drama that was a surprise success, but it may be too gritty and similar to The Departed.

Wishful Thinking:

Shutter Island- You’d expect a Martin Scorsese film to be nominated for Best Picture solely because he himself is involved. The film was a terrific psychological thrill-ride, a faithful adaptation to best selling author Dennis Lehane’s novel, and visually breathtaking to watch. Though it was originally meant to be released in October of 2009, it’s push to last February was a disadvantage. Yes, it’s a great movie, but it’s early release date causes it to be gone and forgotten. Don’t be surprised to find it in the technical categories though.

Blue Valentine- This indie film directed by Derek Cianfrance and starring Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams has been around for quite some time, premiering at numerous festivals and gaining praise from every one of them for its raw take on modern domestic life and a marriage in crisis. However, it may be too dark for the Academy (the domestic drama Revolutionary Road was deprived of a Best Picture nomination in 2009), it’s not as celebrated as other potential nominees, and a firmly established NC-17 rating from the MPAA doesn’t help it either.

How Do You Know- James L. Brooks’ new movie has certainly got a like-able cast (Reese Witherspoon, Paul Rudd, Owen Wilson, and Jack Nicholson) and his movies are usually received well (excluding the underrated Spanglish). It does have a spark to it, but at the same time it seems like it’s being advertised as a “chick-flick” which will make it hard for it to be taken seriously once the awards season arrives.

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Early Best Picture Oscar Predictions: Let the Buzz Begin