Oscar Predictions 2011

Ed Note: Every year Hollywood Dump critic Jay Jammer and your's truly discuss the nominees for that year's Academy Awards. Here's our predictions for this year big pat-on-the-back fest:


The easiest category to pick was Best Actor. Colin Firth is the only choice. The women have mediocrity in their lead role and it’s hard to decide what mediocrity is better than the other, but the men have strong roles, however, Firth stands out the most.

Only three categories need to go the way I say so that the Oscars can live another year without me destroying them with hate thoughts. Those three are: Best Actor, Best Film and Best Adapted Screenplay.

Actor in a Leading Role
Javier Bardem in “Biutiful”
Jeff Bridges in “True Grit”
Jesse Eisenberg in “The Social Network”
Colin Firth in “The King's Speech”
James Franco in “127 Hours”

I could stand someone else winning most categories, but not in this one. If Colin Firth doesn’t win…to hell with the Oscars. You might not like The King’s Speech, but how can you deny the awesome that is Firth? Sure, one can deny it, but they’d be wrong. If you like being wrong, be my guest.

JUDGE- Franco's performance in 127 hours was a little campy, Jeff Bridges did a good job of copying John Wayne and Jesse Eisenberg essentially played his usual deadpan self and should have never been nominated. I'll go with Firth on this one.

Actor in a Supporting Role

Christian Bale in “The Fighter”
John Hawkes in “Winter's Bone”
Jeremy Renner in “The Town”
Mark Ruffalo in “The Kids Are All Right”
Geoffrey Rush in “The King's Speech”

I hated The Town. It was clichéd, boring and Boston, but Jeremy Renner was amazingly bad in a great way. He’s talented and made me hate him and wish him dead. He deserves it. If he doesn’t get it, then Geoffrey Rush, but for the love of god not the annoying Christian Bale. I think he’s a great actor, but that character (real or not) was obnoxious.

JUDGE - In "the Fighter," Bale was an obnoxious, spastic, emaciated mess, which is apparently very true to the real person he portrayed. Bale looks like he really smoked crack to get into the character (damn method actors). His comittment to the role really made it hard for me to think of him as the suave, debonaire Bruce Wayne from "The Dark Knight" or the muscle bound character from "Reign of Fire." On-set public meltdowns aside (and perhaps the only reason why he wouldnt get the nod), my pick is Christian Bale.

Actress in a Leading Role
Annette Bening in “The Kids Are All Right”
Nicole Kidman in “Rabbit Hole”
Jennifer Lawrence in “Winter's Bone”
Natalie Portman in “BS”
Michelle Williams in “Blue Valentine”

This is the most boringest award this year. I could care less. Oh wait, I lied. I do not want Natalie Portman to win. Her role was not Oscar material. I picked Annette Bening just because it seems like the PC thing to do. I’m mocking two things there…in case you’re wondering. Michelle Williams role was boring. How is her acting any better than Ryan Gosling? They were equally good and he was not nominated. Not to mention Emma Stone was NOT nominated for her role in Easy A, easily being one of the best actresses last year. Totally, and I mean totally, blowing every single one of these melodramatic ladies out of their period stale water. Why does comedy get the shaft so often?

JUDGE - Im throwing darts at a board for this one. I'll agree that Natalie Portman's work in Black Swan was really nothing to write home about, but Im also one of the few individuals that think that movie really wasnt as fantastic as all the critics scream about. I'll go with Jenniffer Lawrence in Winter's Bone for no particular reason. I didnt even see that one. Chances are most of the non-voting audience didnt either. And all the more reason why she'll probably get it.

Actress in a Supporting Role
Amy Adams in “The Fighter”
Helena Bonham Carter in “The King's Speech”
Melissa Leo in “The Fighter”
Hailee Steinfeld in “True Grit”
Jacki Weaver in “Animal Kingdom”

The Fighter has the most annoying characters of any film…even (and this is hard to type) Black Swan, not by much, though. I wish that no one from
The Fighter or BS to win an award. Good enough to be liked, but not enough to win. Hailee Steinfeld showed a range of emotion that the other actresses left on the floor with the rest of their dimensions.

JUDGE - Hands down, this one has got to go to Hailee Stienfeld in "True Grit." She delivered difficult Cohen brothers lines with effortless percision. Her character had depth and was really someone worth watching in that film. Its a breakout role for her, much the same way "Precious" was for Gabourey Sidibe. I thnk the Academy recognizes talent when they see it on the screen and I feel Hailee deserves it more than anyone else in the list.

Animated Feature Film
“How to Train Your Dragon” Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois
“The Illusionist” Sylvain Chomet
“Toy Story 3” Lee Unkrich

Is it necessary to pick a film that is foreign to add to the animated films? Or is that film really better than Tangled? According to IMDB it isn’t. I believe Toy Story 3 will win and for good reason. It is one of the best movies of the year, boots down.

JUDGE - bah. Pixar. They're Disney's golden goose and its a safe bet that they to squeeze another one out for the mouse house. This one is a no-brainer.

Art Direction
“Alice in Wonderland”
Production Design: Robert Stromberg; Set Decoration: Karen O'Hara
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1”
Production Design: Stuart Craig; Set Decoration: Stephenie McMillan
Production Design: Guy Hendrix Dyas; Set Decoration: Larry Dias and Doug Mowat
“The King's Speech”
Production Design: Eve Stewart; Set Decoration: Judy Farr
“True Grit”
Production Design: Jess Gonchor; Set Decoration: Nancy Haigh

It’s really difficult to pick between Alice in Wonderland and Inception, but I believe Inception has amazing art direction.

JUDGE - "Alice" had some pretty amazing stuff. It was filled with typical Burton-esque touches, but thankfully tempered to a more tolerable level. On the other hand, "Inception" blew my mind with the visuals. Im going to go with "Alice in Wonderland" but I think the Academy might still be swayed by period pieces and go with "The King's Speech."

“Black Swan” Matthew Libatique
“Inception” Wally Pfister
“The King's Speech” Danny Cohen
“The Social Network” Jeff Cronenweth
“True Grit” Roger Deakins

I don’t understand how some films get nominated in this category. Maybe I don’t get it as well as I should. I had to double check Sound Mixing and Sound Editing, because I couldn’t remember the difference. I don’t get why BS and The Social Network get nominated for having city backdrops that aren’t at all that powerful to look at. Which is why I pick True Grit for the win. I don’t have a great track record, but I do like to pick what should win more than prattle about who the Academy will pick.

JUDGE - This category is about going beyond expetations to deliver something that is memorable to the audiences. the only thing that was memorable about the cinematography in "The Social Network" was the tilt-shifted boat race sequence. The rest was a matter of necessity. And "Black Swan" was sophmoric in its approach. As for "True Grit" I was expecting some "big Country/ Dances with Wolves" kind of gorgeous landscapes but it just didnt didnt deliver. I have to go with Wally Pfister for "Inception" on this one.

Costume Design
“Alice in Wonderland” Colleen Atwood
“I Am Love” Antonella Cannarozzi
“The King's Speech” Jenny Beavan
“The Tempest” Sandy Powell
“True Grit” Mary Zophres

Another category that confuses me on how some films get nominated. For some reason I see Alice in Wonderland winning hands down. But what do I know? I certainly don’t have a finger on the vein of the Oscars. I wouldn’t want to. I’d catch lack of humor or something worse, pretentiousness.

JUDGE - Always pick the film that has the most elaborate costumes. If its got a corset or a bustle, its a shoe in for the Oscar. This one is going to be a toss up between "The Tempest" and "The Kings Speech" and something tells me "King's" is going to take this one.

“BS” Darren Aronofsky
“The Fighter” David O. Russell
“The King's Speech” Tom Hooper
“The Social Network” David Fincher
“True Grit” Joel Coen and Ethan Coen
I can’t believe Inception’s Christopher Nolan isn’t nominated. That’s ridiculous and stupid. The Fighter, really? Not to mention Black Swan (BS for short). How the hell do they get nominated for forgetful films? Come on….wait five years and then ask what was the best films of 2010 and no one will remember Black Swan or The Fighter. They will remember Toy Story 3, Easy A, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, Inception and The Social Network. And that last one is my choice for director. David Fincher for the ultimate win.

JUDGE - Im going to pick Fincher for this one as well. While the shots werent that visually creative, the way the film was cut and how it was paced should go a long way in the Academy voters eyes.

Documentary (Feature)
“Exit through the Gift Shop” Banksy and Jaimie D'Cruz
“Gasland” Josh Fox and Trish Adlesic
“Inside Job” Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs
“Restrepo” Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger
“Waste Land” Lucy Walker and Angus Aynsley

Actually Netflix helped here. I watched the one I picked and it was pretty darn good. Banksy is a smart cookie. I loved hearing him speak about what he thought and I loved listening to other street artist talking about him and what he’s done. Great documentary if you like documentaries. It may not win, but it is worth seeing.

JUDGE - Its dartboard time for me on this one again. Im going with "Restopo" I didnt see it, but it sounds like something that should be an Oscar winner. I know that's kind of a lame excuse, but screw it, how many documentaries did YOU see?

Documentary (Short Subject)
“Killing in the Name” Jed Rothstein
“Poster Girl” Sara Nesson and Mitchell W. Block
“Strangers No More” Karen Goodman and Kirk Simon
“Sun Come Up” Jennifer Redfearn and Tim Metzger
“The Warriors of Qiugang” Ruby Yang and Thomas Lennon


JUDGE - huh? Whatever.

Film Editing
“BS” Andrew Weisblum
“The Fighter” Pamela Martin
“The King's Speech” Tariq Anwar
“127 Hours” Jon Harris
“The Social Network” Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter

If you see 127 Hours you’ll see how it’s a great film experience. Not great in total entertainment, but based on what it’s about, the film does an excellent job. It had to have great editing to make it fit into a quick paced film. I’m so sick of seeing Black Swan whored around. I want to shoot a black swan.

JUDGE - Im going with 127 Hours on this one as well. This film makes you feel in a way that other films only dream about. You feel hot. You feel thirsty. I cringed watching this film.

Foreign Language Film
“Biutiful” Mexico
“Dogtooth” Greece
“In a Better World” Denmark
“Incendies” Canada
“Outside the Law (Hors-la-loi)” Algeria

I picked it because it’s from Canada. I bet Mexico wins, though. For some reason….the Best Actor nod makes me feel that it has an edge.

JUDGE - Biutiful. Because a lot of people have been talking about it. I personally couldn't care any less.

“Barney's Version” Adrien Morot
“The Way Back” Edouard F. Henriques, Gregory Funk and Yolanda Toussieng
“The Wolfman” Rick Baker and Dave Elsey

I didn’t see any of these boring films for reasons that had less to do with the Oscar Nominated makeup and more with the lack of interest any of these films generated. Wolfman just sounds very makeupy.

JUDGE - I didnt see any of these films but Wolfman seems like the obvious choice.

Music (Original Score)
“How to Train Your Dragon” John Powell
“Inception” Hans Zimmer
“The King's Speech” Alexandre Desplat
“127 Hours” A.R. Rahman
“The Social Network” Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross
I can’t remember the following scores: How to Train Your Dragon, The King’s Speech and 127 Hours. So they’re forgettable and shouldn’t have been nominated. I don’t get why TRON: Legacy wasn’t nominated. Great score. It’s between Inception and The Social Network. I believe it’s a close, close battle and only one of the two should win. I pick The Social Network because it’s ingenious and works so well with the story.

JUDGE - I'm biased when it comes to this category. Im a Trent Reznor fan. Hans Zimmer is always amazing, but it was really interesting to hear what Trent and Atticus Ross came up with. There is a texture and style to the music that carried through each scene - which is what any good score should do. I think they both deserve this one for doing something that was not expected.

Music (Original Song)
“Coming Home” from “Country Strong” Music and Lyric by Tom Douglas, Troy Verges and Hillary Lindsey
“I See the Light” from “Tangled” Music by Alan Menken Lyric by Glenn Slater
“If I Rise” from “127 Hours” Music by A.R. Rahman Lyric by Dido and Rollo Armstrong
“We Belong Together” from “Toy Story 3" Music and Lyric by Randy Newman

I find it interesting that Country Strong eked out a nod. It’s a good song, but a country song won last year. It is the second best song, so it might just win. I cannot remember 127 Hours’ song at all. I really like Tangled’s because it’s catchy and sounds wonderfully original as it should.

JUDGE - What? Disney doesnt have 3 songs in this category like last year? My pick is for "Rahman and Dido for "127 Hours" I really like it.

Best Picture
“BS” Mike Medavoy, Brian Oliver and Scott Franklin, Producers
“The Fighter” David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman and Mark Wahlberg, Producers
“Inception” Emma Thomas and Christopher Nolan, Producers
“The Kids Are All Right” Gary Gilbert, Jeffrey Levy-Hinte and Celine Rattray, Producers
“The King's Speech” Iain Canning, Emile Sherman and Gareth Unwin, Producers
“127 Hours” Christian Colson, Danny Boyle and John Smithson, Producers
“The Social Network” Scott Rudin, Dana Brunetti, Michael De Luca and Ceán Chaffin, Producers
“Toy Story 3” Darla K. Anderson, Producer
“True Grit” Scott Rudin, Ethan Coen and Joel Coen, Producers
“Winter's Bone" Anne Rosellini and Alix Madigan-Yorkin, Producers

Over saturation of BEST PICTURE nods because the Academy has sucked for years with nominating. They decided it is best to pretend to care about ten nods as they never have before. It’s a tiresome list and I’ve seen every single film but on and the on I haven’t seen isn’t that interesting enough to have a single chance against The Social Network. The power of words machine gunned from the screen into the ear canals of moviegoers could not have found a better film to represent than this BEST PICTURE. I will also reuse this later. This is the second award that must go as I stated or all in the Academy should die a painful death by screaming eels.

JUDGE - I think the nominees for this category are hinting at a new direction in filmmaking that might steer the audience kicking and screeming from the candy-coated popcorn flick into a film where you actually have to engage the brain. Of course, no film out there did that more than Inception, but I think there is enough momentum to put Social Network ahead of them in this category.

Short Film (Animated)
“Day & Night” Teddy Newton
“The Gruffalo” Jakob Schuh and Max Lang
“Let's Pollute” Geefwee Boedoe
“The Lost Thing” Shaun Tan and Andrew Ruhemann
“Madagascar, carnet de voyage (Madagascar, a Journey Diary)” Bastien Dubois


JUDGE - zzzz

Short Film (Live Action)
“The Confession” Tanel Toom
“The Crush” Michael Creagh
“God of Love” Luke Matheny
“Na Wewe” Ivan Goldschmidt
“Wish 143” Ian Barnes and Samantha Waite


JUDGE - zzz

This always gets people confused. Here's the difference.

Sound Editing
“Inception” Richard King
“Toy Story 3” Tom Myers and Michael Silvers
“Tron: Legacy” Gwendolyn Yates Whittle and Addison Teague
“True Grit” Skip Lievsay and Craig Berkey
“Unstoppable” Mark P. Stoeckinger

The sounds were great in TRON: Legacy and I was amazed by that and the score. I’m so easily entertained sometime.

JUDGE - I'm going with Tron on this one as well. Very well done and yet subtle. Great work.

Sound Mixing
“Inception” Lora Hirschberg, Gary A. Rizzo and Ed Novick
“The King's Speech” Paul Hamblin, Martin Jensen and John Midgley
“Salt” Jeffrey J. Haboush, Greg P. Russell, Scott Millan and William Sarokin
“The Social Network” Ren Klyce, David Parker, Michael Semanick and Mark Weingarten
“True Grit” Skip Lievsay, Craig Berkey, Greg Orloff and Peter F. Kurland

These are hard categories. A lot of different things went on that made Inception awesome and it had to do with what was seen and heard. And heard has a lot to do with the fantastic score intertwined with the action CGI work, as well as the normal sounds of walking on the ceiling.

JUDGE - I agree with this one as well: Inception for mixing, Tron for editing. Its a simple one this year.

Visual Effects“Alice in Wonderland” Ken Ralston, David Schaub, Carey Villegas and Sean Phillips
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1” Tim Burke, John Richardson, Christian Manz and Nicolas Aithadi
“Hereafter” Michael Owens, Bryan Grill, Stephan Trojansky and Joe Farrell
“Inception” Paul Franklin, Chris Corbould, Andrew Lockley and Peter Bebb
“Iron Man 2” Janek Sirrs, Ben Snow, Ged Wright and Daniel Sudick

For me it was between the two I’s. Inception and Iron Man 2. Inception had the concept and the visual that really tied in with the original screenplay.

JUDGE - There's a train rolling through the middle of the street blowing cars off to the side. And then there is a city folding on top of itself and bending and doing all kinds of stuff that only happens when you take a shit load of acid. (or so I've been told.) I'm going with Inception on this one for the easy win.

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
“127 Hours” Screenplay by Danny Boyle & Simon Beaufoy
“The Social Network” Screenplay by Aaron Sorkin
“Toy Story 3” Screenplay by Michael Arndt; Story by John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich
“True Grit” Written for the screen by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
“Winter's Bone” Adapted for the screen by Debra Granik & Anne Rosellini

Or True Grit, but the machine gunned words from a script that was so well adapted from a book has to win even if I do think Aaron Sorkin can be a bit prickish, he’s a talented writer. I could watch it over and over again and never get bored with the words. It flowed and worked so well. He really deserves it and I will be mad if he doesn’t get it. This is the third award that should happen as I said or to hell with the Oscars until next year.

JUDGE - I like Aaron Sorkin and his writing has always been engaging, compelling and smart. Social Network was no exception to this. He told the story about a nerdy college kid with no social skills who built a social networking empire. He made a fairly boring story interesting. Sorkin deserves credit for this one.

Writing (Original Screenplay)
“Another Year” Written by Mike Leigh
“The Fighter” Screenplay by Scott Silver and Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson;
Story by Keith Dorrington & Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson
“Inception” Written by Christopher Nolan
“The Kids Are All Right” Written by Lisa Cholodenko & Stuart Blumberg
“The King's Speech” Screenplay by David Seidler

Inception screams original. It screams it so loud that there’s no way Inception could be made into a book and be as interesting as it was visually on the screen. Making Inception a fantastic original screenplay. The rest of the screenplays could all be books and therefore not too original for the screen.

JUDGE - What? They still make movies that arent based on comic books or adapted from plastic toys we played with as kids? Im going with Inception for the most mind-bending, brain tweaking film Ive seen in a long time.

Good riddance to one of the worst years for films. Look at the nominations. BORING. Just a few strong films that one could count on three fingers are really worthy. Maybe one more finger can be added…maybe.

JUDGE - now the only real question is how long the broadcast will last and how terrible the ratings will be this year.

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