Monday, 24 January 2011

Oscar Talk (FINAL PREDICTIONS): Actor and Actress

I can’t help but hate that the Actor and Actress categories are regarded as the superior ones. I guess, back in the day when the supporting players received plaques and not an actual statute that there really was a difference in winning a leading and supporting Oscar – but now that everyone’s receiving the same gold man that sort of logic seems foolish. Still, here we have them – the two main acting categories and pundits would have you believe that the winners have been chosen in both. But, this space is dedicated to predicting the nominees irrespective of potential winners – for now, anyhow.

This seems like a year evocative of 2004, a bulk of men being nominated for playing real people. Firth, of course, is the biggest lock of the category with his performance in Best Picture hopeful The King’s Speech and he’s as assured of a nod as Jesse Eisenberg in The Social Network. It’s weird, three months ago no one would have been certain of this but it’s nice to see that Eisenberg has managed to pick up traction. By omission James Franco seems like the logical person to cite next, and it’s weird – he reminds me a bit of Charlize Theron’s actress nomination in 2005 for North Country. He’s there, showing up at all the precursors but no one really seems especially fanatic about the performance. But, I suppose, he won’t be snubbed and – perhaps, the same can be said of Jeff Bridges in True Grit. Like so many of the categories that dreaded fifth spot seems up for grabs and I really don’t anticipate the AMPAS snubbing Duvall – who they’ve long had a love affair with, but there’s a host of guys fighting for that spot. Ryan Gosling in Blue Valentine comes to mind as an obvious contender, but even more I’m wondering if the surge of support for The Fighter could translate into a nod for Mark Walhberg. It’s weird; I still can’t fully reconcile how DiCaprio managed to not turn up with any awards’ traction this year and I wonder – could he be a potential spoiler? I don’t even like his work in Inception, and I wouldn’t mind a very leftfield surprise in that vein. I’m going to go with my gut – as usual, come hell or high-water.

Predictions (alpha): Jeff Bridges in True Grit / Robert Duvall in Get Low / Jesse Eisenberg in The Social Network / Colin Firth in The King’s Speech / James Franco in 127 Hours Alternates (by probability): Mark Wahlberg in The Fighter / Ryan Gosling in Blue Valentine

And then the women...I still say that Hailee Steinfeld will turn up here or nowhere, and even though I hope I’m terribly wrong and she shows up NOWHERE (sorry, I can’t get behind awards’ traction for that performance) I’m predicting her here. I can’t believe that anyone who sees True Grit can consider her a supporting player, there’s no thin line – it’s not a case of an on-the-cusp co-lead, it’s sort of a flat-out lead role so I guess I’m giving the benefit of the doubt to the AMPAS. Annette and Natalie, at this point are assured of their nominations and they’ll probably end up going head to head for the statue. Kidman and Lawrence have been turning up most everywhere, although I suppose that they’re not as certain as I anticipate. In fact, some are actually predicting a snub for Kidman (though I think she’s more assured of a nod than Lawrence) – the lack of a BAFTA nod acting as a potential impetus. But, like the actor race, I think there are four locks and one fighting spot – probably going to Steinfeld. I’m still not sure how AMPAS is going to respond to The Kids Are all Right and I still don’t want to cast off the possibility of Julianne Moore picking up a nod. Then, there’s Michelle Williams who could possibly get in for Blue Valentine. I don’t hold Swank’s SAG nod in estimation – but I suppose I shouldn’t ignore the possibility.

Predictions (alpha): Annette Bening in The Kids Are All Right / Nicole Kidman in Rabbit Hole / Jennifer Lawrence in Winter’s Bone / Natalie Portman in Black Swan / Hailee Steinfeld in True Grit Alternates (by probability): Julianne Moore in The Kids Are All Right / Michelle Williams in Blue Valentine / Hilary Swank in Conviction
Are the lead categories as wrapped up as I think or will the Blue Valentine duo crack the top 5? Will AMPAS honour Hailee here or am I just projecting – incorrectly? Any last minute predictions?


Dan said...

I'd like to see Colin Firth win it. I think he deserves it.

Walter L. Hollmann said...

They *have* to promote Steinfeld to lead. Not just because it makes sense, but because there's no fifth-slotted Actress...besides Williams and Moore, I mean. But Steinfeld, I'm sure, is in just based on her film's popularity.

I still think (hope?) Wahlberg is going to sneak in there. But then, it makes more sense that he'd bump out Duvall or Franco than Bridges, whose film is actually beloved...and he isn't hosting the Oscars. Honest, I'm a little worried about Franco's spot.