So as you all know, January/February is usually one of the most expected time of the movie year as the award season unfolds.
But for now, what do we know? The critics have published their top 15 of the year, critics’ circles have started handing out awards, and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association has announced its nominees for the Golden Globes Awards.
(Picture credit : Awards Daily).
*The clear contender at the moment, and the biggest one, is David Fincher’s The Social Network, which I myself have found outrageously good and so well-written. It was a box-office success -for such a small budget at least ($50million); and it opened to rave reviews from all the major publications. The awards buzz as such grew slowly but steadily -and here we are today, with Screen Actors Guild nominations/Golden Globes nominations in all the main categories, winner of the NYFCC awards (critics’ circle from New York City, one of the most important) in the best film and director categories; and the film also swept the National Board of Review, an early and good indicator of Oscar wins.
So in short, we’re looking at a Best Picture win, Best Director nominee, a most probable Best Actor nomination for Jesse Eisenberg, an Adapted Screenplay win; and perhaps a nod in the Best Editing, Cinematography and Music Score categories.
*Right behind The Social Network is Tom Hooper’s The King’s Speech, a “costume drama” that is sure to please the Academy, as it plays all the right cards -biopic of a historical figure with stellar and intense performances. Colin Firth, after last year’s A Single Man, once again won high praises for his performance -he’s a sure Best Actor nominee; and other acting thesps such as Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter will also get Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress noms (or may even win) Actually, Colin Firth as well might just win the statuette as he’ll be the most ‘veteran’ actor in the field, and that would be great recognition indeed. But the film is also sure to get nominations in the key categories -Best Film, Directing, Original Screenplay, Cinematography, Costume Design, Art Design and Music Score (Alexandre Desplat has a good shot at winning for once, squee!).
*Hot on The King Speech‘s tail is Inception, Chris Nolan’s exploration of the dream world. Sci-fi pics usually do not fare well in award ceremonies; however as this is both compelling storytelling and visual achievement which has won the critics’ acclaim, Inception is definitely a heavy contender as well. Although it was released during the summer, its enduring box-office success made sure it was not to be forgotten when award season started; and Warner Bros clearly understood that as it is the studio’s main award contender this year, alongside Ben Affleck’s The Town, a considerably smaller film in terms of both audience and visibility. A Golden Globe nomination in the Best Picture (Drama) category reinforced its position in this year’s award race; unfortunately, Inception may have to pick up at the Oscars only what’s left by the two aforementioned films : Best Picture and Director nominations, Original Screenplay nomination is a safe bet as well; not likely to get any noms in the acting category as the cast is too widespread, it may also bag a Best Editing, Cinematography, Art Direction, Sound Mixing and Editing, Music Score nomination; and a Visual Effects win for sure.
*Alongside Inception in the ‘unconventional film’ category this year, is Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan, hailed as the best film in a career that’s already very remarkable -I wouldn’t be surprised if Aronofsky won the Best Director Oscar, although I daresay he will be in very good company in this category. Since its screening at the Venice Film Festival, Black Swan has been a shoo-in for every almost category -Best Film, Director, Best Actress for Natalie Portman and Best Supporting Actress for Mila Kunis ; it will probably get a Best Original Screenplay nom as well as Best Cinematography, Editing, Art Design, Costume Design. However Clint Mansell’s score has been announced ineligible for the Oscars as it drew too much material from Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake”. Stupid Oscars.
*No “Little Movie That Could” this year, but David O.Russell’s The Fighter might just be considered as the outsider this year. Sport biopics have always been favoured by the Academy, especially boxing ones, and so this one should be in its rightful place. It has already picked up nominations in the main categories at the Golden Globes – Best Picture (Drama) and Director; as well as Best Actor for Mark Wahlberg, Best Supporting Actor for Christian Bale and two Best Supporting Actresses for Amy Adams and Melissa Leo. Christian Bale is the main contender in his field; it’d be great to see him win an Oscar… At any rate, one can be sure to find all these acting nominations at the Academy Awards as well. Interestingly enough, the film hasn’t been nominated for its screenplay in any of the award ceremonies so far.
*The remaining candidates are: Danny Boyle’s 127 Hours, a star turn for Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling in Blue Valentine, Sundance sensation Winter’s Bone, Lisa Cholodenko’s The Kids Are All Right, Ben Affleck’s The Town, and never, never forget the Coen brothers, whose latest film True Grit could act as a real surprise, as it was released just a few days ago. Also in the acting categories, Nicole Kidman in Rabbit Hole (Best Actress) and Jacki Weaver in Animal Kingdom (Best Supporting Actress) have been generating quite a buzz for their performances.
Nominations for the Academy Awards will be announced on the 25th of January, expect a post then!