the oscar race at the end of 2010

What’s goin’ on in the film world this Xmas ? Bit of TRON: Legacy here, some Love & Other Drugs there. Nothing especially incredible. Fuck off. 3D madness and awful romcom something whatever ??

I’m interested in something else, being something of a statistics nut. Being the end of the year we’re entering prime Oscar-bait territory. Producers are gearing up big advertising drives in the run-up to nominations and, finally, the Big Ceremony in Feb. If enough people see a certain movie, that’s enough people to vote it into the shortlist and, potentially, to Big Win Success.

To keep it brief, I’ll take a quick look at the potential Best Picture nominations ONLY. I have some ideas for the other categories, but that’s for another time.

What, then, do I think ? We can only have 10 pics nom’d; only one can win. On the list are likely to be The Social Network, The King’s Speech (which’ll SWEEP the BAFTAs), probably 127 Hours, Inception, The Kids Are All Right and True Grit.

I think Toy Story 3‘ll be in there; I wouldn’t bet against Winter’s Bone, though this is an outside chance being Very Very Indie (though the 17-yr-old lead, Jennifer Lawrence, is hotly-tipped for Acting awards). Compare it to The Fighter, though, or Another Year, or Black Swan. Maybe Blue Valentine or Get Low, both of which are quirky American indies with noted actors  likely to get longlisted, maybe shortlisted (Robert Duvall, Ryan Gosling, etc.).

What’s wrong with Black Swan ? Too out there. Very artsy – Darren Aronofsky directs, infusing it with the same oddness of Requiem for a Dream and Pi, rather than the more restrained Oscar-fodder of The Wrestler. Another Year ? Too British and low-key (King’s Speech is VERY British, but at least Big and Inspiring and Academy-ish). The Fighter ? Winter’s Bone ? Blue Valentine and Get Low ? Unheard-of. Weird. Not spectacle enough.

Inception‘ll be nom’d on its own substantial merits, but largely as an apology to Christopher Nolan, who famously missed out with The Dark Knight 2 years ago; The Social Network may be too hip to clean up, but will likely be seen in many categories, particularly after its sweep of the Critics’ Awards; Kids Are All Right will be beloved both as a well-acted and written dramedy and as an offset to the Brokeback Mountain debacle of 2005, which lost out on Best Pic to Crash and provoked cries of homophobia in Hollywood; True Grit hasn’t been seen by anyone, but sees the Coen Bros. doing Serious, which usually gets Academy attention (No Country, Fargo, and Best Pic/Screenplay nods for A Serious Man) – not to mention being a remake of a John Wayne classic (the Academy loves its own achievements, see).

The only near-impossible one to call – though Blue Valentine and Get Low are hardly blatant nominee possibilities in any category – is Rabbit Hole, a Nicole Kidman-starring dramedy which may or may not, depending on which critic you believe, get recognition for Actress, Supporting Actor/Actress, maybe Picture, maybe Screenplay… it’s sort of in the running but not. It’s a weird one.

Moral of the story is: go out and see more films so you can form your own opinions.

Sorry this is a ramble, I needed to write something of interest and I wanted to keep it brief. Much love.

Calum

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