Marty McFly has told me that in a future post, I’ll breakdown the more mainstream categories including Best Picture, Best Actor/Actress and such. So with that in mind, I’ll take this opportunity to rundown the awards categories that nobody really cares about and only watch to see who’s presenting.
“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
My Pick: Inception Frankly, it’s a two-way race between Potter and Inception. Not to take anything away from Alice, which could play a spoiler role here, but with so much angst regarding Nolan’s directing snub, voters may look to reward him in as many categories as possible, minus Best Picture. Potter is always a strong candidate, but the Hogwarts hero’s award is most likely due next year once the series has wrapped.
“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
My Pick: True Grit While Inception and Social Network are also solid dark horses, the Coen Bros. western should score here. The King’s Speech nom is a token gesture while, I suppose, Salt is just filling out the category.
“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
My Pick: True Grit Honestly, this category is wide open. Any one of these could win, if voters keep to the true definition of sound editing. But Grit should have early momentum with Inception playing spoiler.
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
My Pick: Wish 143 Ah yes, the eeny-meeny category. In the past, I’ve often just looked at the titles and thought, “If I were an Academy voter, which movie would I vote for,” which, I wouldn’t be surprised, is how the winner is chosen in this category. Especially since I usually get this one right. So while God of Love might appeal to the religious voters and The Confession may be intriguing, Academy voters in general are softy mainstreamers so a title like Wish 143 fits their bill perfectly. And when they get a load of the storyline, it’s a lock.
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
My Pick: Day & Night Remember what I said about “mainstreamers?” Well, this is another category where that rule is in effect. Honestly, I could only remember one of these five and frankly, it is the best one in this group. Also, Day & Night preceded Toy Story 3. End of discussion.
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
My Pick: “We Belong Together” Randy Newman basically owns this category. The only time another songwriter/performer has a shot is if he’s not nominated. And a weak crop of songs only strengthens this lock.
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
My Pick: The Social Network This is Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’ award to lose. An essential lock that only Hans Zimmer from Inception could possibly spoil. But I don’t see it in this case.
“Barney’s Version” Adrien Morot
“The Way Back” Edouard F. Henriques, Gregory Funk and Yolanda Toussieng
“The Wolfman” Rick Baker and Dave Elsey
My Pick: The Wolfman Look at these three movies. Which one requires the most make-up work? Exactly, Wolfman. A lock.
“In a Better World” Denmark
“Outside the Law (Hors-la-loi)” Algeria
My Pick:Biutiful Boy this one is a tough one to pick from. Especially since a couple films that I thought would be in this group got left out. In A Better World could also win this award, but my hunch is that Academy voters are fond of familiar faces and with Javier Bardem attached to Biutiful, I’m leaning toward Mexico for the win.
“Black Swan” Andrew Weisblum
“The Fighter” Pamela Martin
“The King’s Speech” Tariq Anwar
“127 Hours” Jon Harris
“The Social Network” Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter
My Pick:Black Swan Strange how Inception is not in this category considering the numerous levels of dreams that had to be pieced together in a coherent manner. Nolan’s loss is Black Swan‘s gain as it is the strongest candidate in this group.
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
My Pick: Strangers No More Once again applying the “Short Film Live Action strategy” here, Strangers sounds like a movie about people who come together either in a time of adversity or through extraordinary circumstance, which trumps the vaguely titled Sun Come Up and Poster Girl. Of course, I hardly ever get this category right, so who the hell knows.
Documentary (Feature Film):
“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
My Pick:Exit Through the Gift Shop Inside Job could play spoiler here with the Academy not wanting to risk Banksy being the newest “Most Outrageous Oscar Moment,” though banning him from the stage seems to already have made quite an uproar. That been said, Gift Shop is the stand out in this category.
“Alice in Wonderland” Colleen Atwood
“I Am Love” Antonella Cannarozzi
“The King’s Speech” Jenny Beavan
“The Tempest” Sandy Powell
“True Grit” Mary Zophres
My Pick: The King’s Speech My thinking is that if King’s Speech is going to have a big night, this is where it begins. Granted, I don’t think it deserves to win in this category, but it’s the safe, chic pick that Academy voters love.
“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
Production Design: Jess Gonchor; Set Decoration: Nancy Haigh
My Pick: Alice in Wonderland Tim Burton movies do extremely well in this category (I wonder why *sarcasm*) so this Oscar should be a lock.
Animated Feature Film:
“How to Train Your Dragon” Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois
“The Illusionist” Sylvain Chomet
“Toy Story 3” Lee Unkrich
My Pick: Toy Story 3 Seriously, the only other category that’s more pre-determined than Colin Firth winning Best Actor is Toy Story 3 for the win.
Now that we have that out of the way, we can focus on the more mainstream awards, however, as I mentioned in the very first sentence of this post, that will come at a later time. Thoughts, agree, disagree, general praise. Comment below.