Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Oscar Watch, Pt. III with Add-Ons!

Ah, the final Oscar Watch! post is finally upon us. And while the original list of 24 Films to Keep Tabs On was good, I stupidly left off some very deserving films. These are most definitely now included with this third installment of the Oscar Watch! series. 

The first installment (and other half of the first installment) and the second installment included some ridiculously amazing films. However, this last list is even better in my opinion.

It features what may be the two films that duke it out for the majority of awards . . .

The Social Network 

Directed by David Fincher

Starring Jesse Eisenberg and Andrew “Spiderman” Garfield 

Why It’ll Win: David Fincher’s latest film is currently the leading candidate in the Best Picture race (although it could get some serious competition from some films that were just released and going to be released). Eisenberg’s performance as nerdy goon and Facebook inventor Mark Zuckerberg is also sure to grab a nomination for Best Actor. Look for Andrew Garfield (aka Spiderman) to also be in the running for a Best Supporting Actor nomination. The Social Network also raked in 6 Golden Globe nominations. Even though this is a totally irrelevant statistic, it is interesting nonetheless, and the top critics at RottenTomatoes.com give The Social Network a 100% certification. Impressive.

Why It’ll Fizzle: Well... I guess the only reason it won’t do well is another film rocketing onto the Award Show scene: The King’s Speech. Other than that... I see no reason The Social Network shouldn’t take the Oscars by storm.  
Release Date: 1 October 2010 (Go see this film. Like, seriously. Stop reading this blog- come back, of course- and watch this movie.)

The Tempest 

Directed by Julie Taymor
Starring Alfred Molina, Helen Mirren, Felicity Jones, and Russell Brand

Why It’ll Win: Ummmm... well... it looked good at the start... I mean, Helen Mirren is in it... right...?

Why It’ll Fizzle: Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Taymor’s film totally collapses from beneath itself from the deranged, spastic, terrible CGI and total mundane acting. Anyway, I should have seen this coming, as not many Shakespearian works translate to the motion picture medium very well. Oh well. 
Release Date: 10 December 2010

The Town 

Directed by Ben Affleck
Starring Ben Affleck, Blake Lively, and Jeremy Renner (and Don Draper aka Jon Hamm)

Why It’ll Win: Since its release, The Town has gotten glowing reviews from critics and audiences alike. Well directed and acted, Ben Affleck’s crime drama was certainly a surprise Fall hit. Renner is also up for a Golden Globe and a Screen Actors Guild award for Best Supporting Actor. 

Why It’ll Fizzle: While it was a critical and commercial success, the comparisons to Heat and The Departed may actually hurt its Oscar winning chances. Also, it may lack the depth and emotion that some of its competition possesses. Some may see it as a cliche crime-heist-type story. Its strength in the box office may have negative repercussions as well. 
Release Date: 17 September 2010

Toy Story 3 

Directed by Lee Unkrich
Starring (voice cast) Tom Hanks and Tim Allen

Why It’ll Win: Pixar, Pixar, Pixar. Yes, namebrand! But any and all accolades are rightfully deserved for this amazing, poignant animated film. The visuals were stunning, the story was an emotional roller coaster of happiness and sorrow and then bittersweet joy, and to top it all off, it was the capstone to an amazing franchise that has captured and captivated the imaginations of toddlers, adolescents, and adults alike. It is and forever will be, a truly revolutionary franchise.

Why It’ll Fizzle: Well, it is an animated film... and those don’t do so well against their live actoin counterparts. The only real competition it has for the Best Animated Film Award would have to be How to Train Your Dragon, and... as good as the latter is, it’s no Toy Story 3. 
Release Date: 18 June 2010 (Seriously, if you haven’t seen it yet, get out from under your rock or escape North Korea or stop hating joy.)

Tree of Life 

Directed by Terrence Malick
Starring Brad Pitt and Sean Penn

Why It’ll Win: Talk about heavy hitters! Brad Pitt with Sean Penn being directed by Terrence Matlick (The New World, The Red Line). A lot of details are being kept close to the chest, but we do know it’s a period piece (set in the 1950s). After tons of setbacks, this film will finally roll into theaters in November or December. Definitely an intriguing film with Malick at the helm and Pitt and Penn along for the ride.

Why It’ll Fizzle: The oodles of setbacks does not help this film, at all, and it seems a bit too similar to Darren Aronofsky’s film, The Fountain, and The Fountain was good, but it had a disappointing award season run. And after all the stalling and starting, is this film worth the wait?
NOTE: Tree of Life is no longer an Oscar contender. Why, you ask? The release date:
Release Rate: 27 May 2011 (ineligible for ’11 Academy Awards)
A true pity because check out this gorgeous trailer...   

True Grit 

Directed by the Coen Brothers (Joel and Ethan)
Starring Matt Damon, Jeff Bridges, Hailee Steinfield and Josh Brolin

Why It’ll Win: Where ever the Coen Brothers go, award shows seem to follow closely behind. It also helps that last years’ Best Actor Award Winner, Jeff Bridges, along with Matt Damon and Josh Brolin are featured in this remake of the classic John Wayne Western from 1969. A-List actors with A-List directors make for a pretty heavy hitting combo punch come Award Show Season.

Why It’ll Fizzle: One word: remake. Ugh. Not only is it a remake, but it’s a remake of a classic-ish, Western tale. That’s like remaking My Fair Lady! Oh wait... But regardless of how “faithful” of an adaption the Coen Brothers do this film, I am skeptical it could match it’s original. Also, True Grit was snubbed from even getting a Golden Globe this year. Sure, nothing too major, but still something to factor into the discussion. 
Release Date: 22 December 2010

The Way Back 

Directed by Peter Weir
Starring Colin Farrell, Ed Harris, and Saorise Ronan

Why It’ll Win: War drama? Check. Solid cast? Check. Tear jerking storyline? You betcha. Phenomenal director? Oh yeah. These are key ingredients when it comes time to cook up some awards. It also helps that the project is headed by Weir, who has directed Oscar nominated films WitnessDead Poet’s SocietyGreen CardThe Truman Show, and Master and Commander

Why It’ll Fizzle: Well, when it comes time to promote an Oscar-type film, it helps to have a strong distribution company behind you. Does The Way Back possess this power? Unfortunately no. Also, reviews haven’t exactly been super glowing, which is what it would take for a small film, like this one, to even be considered. 
Release Date: 11 January 2010

Winter’s Bone 

Directed by Debra Granik
Starring Jennifer Lawrence and John Hawkes

Why It’ll Win: It started off with an award, winning the Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic Film and Best Screenplay at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. This indie film has raked in glowing reviews for its dark, gritty story. It is truly unforgettable. Lawrence has also gathered a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress and Lawrence and Hawkes were both nominated for a Screen Actors Guild award.

Why It’ll Fizzle: While it may be considered too dark and foreboding for the Academy, Winter’s Bone’s main concern should be its super-indie status. Even though its in a different situation than The Way Back (Winter’s Bone has the glowing reviews), it is still something that raises concern. Also, from an early glance, it looks like a two horse race for Best Picture, and that is between The King’s Speech and The Social Network. And while Lawrence is very deserving for her performance as a fearless teen, she is going up against terrific competition in the Best Actress category.
Release Date: 11 June 2010

These are the foolishly left-off-the-original-list list of films!
Enjoy the bonus. . .

Directed by Sofia Coppola 
Starring Stephen Dorff, Elle Fanning, and Chris Pontius

Why It’ll Win: Well, for one thing, its a Sofia Coppola (The Virgin Suicides, Lost in Translation) film. The film also won the Golden Lion at the 67th Venice International Film Festival. The film follows a Hollywood hooligan (Dorff) and his wild lifestyle, and the changes he must make when his 11-year-old daughter comes for an inopportune visit. This definitely is the type of character study film the Academy loves to hand out nominations to. 

Why It’ll Fizzle: While the reception has been positive, it hasn’t been overwhelmingly glowing. With stiff competition on all fronts, it will need a big final Oscar push to even fight for nomination spots, due to the overwhelming success of films such as The King’s SpeechThe Social Network, and the like. 
Release Date: 22 December 2010
How to Train Your Dragon

Directed by Dean DeBlois and Chris Sander
Starring Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler, and Christopher Mintz-Plasse

Why It’ll Win: Definitely a fan favorite, especially for those who want to see Pixar be dethroned as animation king (who would want this, I ask?). I am shocked I included Toy Story 3 on my Oscar Watch List, and not this gorgeously animated film. Perfectly executed 3D visuals also help the film’s cause. How to Train Your Dragon may even grab a Best Picture nomination, and it will definitely give Pixar’s Toy Story 3 a run for its money.

Why It’ll Fizzle: Well, it is an animated film... and those awards are usually given to Pixar, as of late. It is very deserving, but personally, How to Train Your Dragon doesn’t come close to matching the emotional connection, the intellect, nor the visual prowess of Pixar’s Toy Story 3. So, its main competition is definitely its animated counterpart, TS3. 
Release Date: 26 March 2010 (Another film you should go see.)
Check out our own YAMB review done by Ben here.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Pt. I 

Directed by David Yates
Starring Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint

Why It’ll Win: It won’t. But, hey, it is 1) a fan favorite. 2) a much needed shot in the arm for a franchise that was for Potter fans only. 3) the best of the franchise, thus far. 4) did I mention it was a fan favorite? Okay, so being part of the mainstream was usually looked down on by the Oscars in the past; however, with a much needed boost to its television ratings (seriously, I mean, you know you’re getting desperate when your asking the who’s-who of Twilight to present at your award ceremony!), don’t be surprised  if HP 7, Pt. I, claims a nomination for Best Picture. And, it would be nice to have the Academy Awards acknowledge a film franchise that has been passionately followed by a rabid group of Potterheads. However, any award to the franchise would most likely come with the last one.

Why It’ll Fizzle: Well, as good as it was, let’s be honest, it’s not (I repeat) not Best Picture at the Academy Awards material. Maybe Best Movie for the MTV Awards or Nickelodeons whatever award. But not the Academy Awards.    
Release Date: 19 November 2010
(Since most of you have seen the real trailer, check out this literal trailer!)

The King’s Speech

Directed by Tom Hooper
Starring Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, and Helen Bonham Carter

Why It’ll Win: Wow. Why didn’t I include this on the first list? I’m an idiot (Hey! Don’t be so quick to agree...). Seriously, The King’s Speech was getting so many accolades and lauded with praise, I have no idea why it slipped past me. At the Toronto Film Festival, it won the People’s Choice Award (the film deemed the best by the audience). Colin Firth is definitely a front runner for Best Actor, with his portrayal of George VI. Geoffrey Rush should also garner some critical acclaim for his performance as the king’s eccentric speech coach, Lionel Logue. It also should be noted that The King’s Speech leads all films with 7 Golden Globe nominations. 

Why It’ll Fizzle: Well... I don’t really foresee this film fizzling out. When it finally is released, it should ride those ever increasing critical accolades right through to the Oscars. The only way it may not do as well as hoped is due to the fact that Firth has some stiff competition in the Best Actor category, and the Best Picture category is pretty deep as well. It should be fun a fun Award Season to follow!
Release Date: 24 December 2010

Well. We have finally come to a close on my Oscar Watch! series. Sad day. However, don't be so quick to be dismayed! Yet Another Movie Blog will definitely be keeping you up to date on the latest happenings of this busy award season. 
Our Oscar predictions will also be out, when the Academy Awards inch closer, and our reactions to the winners (and nominees) of various awards, such as the SAGs and Golden Globes, can and will also be found here!
And, I for one, cannot wait for this upcoming Academy Awards show! Plus, it features James Franco and Anne Hathaway as hosts! 
Oh, by the way. . . the "the two films that duke it out for the majority of awards" may be The King's Speech and The Social Network. They are definitely the early favorites! 



1 comment:

  1. you know i typed in film, blog and yours compelled me to click. Very thorough research, and im glad i clicked 'follow'. Ive just started on my own blog, which i hope will be a success.


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