Jacques Audiard’s darkly gorgeous prison drama A Prophet has broken loose from the pack, winning the International Cinephile Society’s award for best picture of 2010. The French, Corsican and Arabic feature also received kudos for best film not in the English language, along with Audiard’s tense yet strangely mystical direction, and supporting actor Niels Arestrup’s layered portrait of an old-school gang boss slowly losing his grip.
Continuing this year’s theme of blood and politics, best actor went to √âdgar Ram√≠rez for his charismatic terrorist, Carlos the Jackal. Olivier Assayas’ masterful five-hour saga Carlos was named runner-up in four other categories: picture, director, editing, and film not in the English language.
But American studio films also showed their quality, with The Social Network taking prizes for Aaron Sorkin’s brilliantly acerbic screenplay, plus its fast-paced editing and cutting-edge musical score. British filmmaker Mike Leigh earned original screenplay honors for the delicate Another Year, whose pitch-perfect ensemble, and desperately sad alcoholic Lesley Manville, came up winners as well. Sharing best actress honors with Manville was Giovanna Mezzogiorno as Ida Dalser, Mussolini’s castoff lover and nemesis in Vincere. Supporting actress went to another political role: Olivia Williams as the prime minister’s wife with a secret agenda in The Ghost Writer.
01. A Prophet
03. Another Year
04. The Social Network
05. Everyone Else
06. I Am Love
07. Blue Valentine
08. Black Swan
09. Exit Through the Gift Shop
The funniest joke in this for me was Franco saying “nobody watches the Producers Guild.” ¬†”Good luck with your 14 classes” is also funny.
Residents and visitors here in Los Angeles can look at the costumes for The King’s Speech and True Grit, along with 100 other movie outfits, like Helen Mirren’s dress from The Tempest and Johnny Depp’s Mad Hatter¬†at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising’s annual Art Of Motion Picture Costume Design exhibition.
This seems to be down to Alice in Wonderland vs. The King’s Speech, which could pick this one up as an easy get to its overall haul.
This year’s Oscars will either be completely predictable, or there will be a surprise or two waiting for us next Sunday. ¬†Here are a few upsets that I think have a real possibility of happening.
Best Picture – although it’s still 99% probability (the DGA stat is almost unbeatable) that The King’s Speech will win, that little teeny 1% is still hanging in there and The Social Network could indeed upset.
Best Director – I don’t think either Hooper or Fincher are a done deal. ¬†There could be a split and a third unexpected director could emerge – making this almost identical to the year Gladiator won Best Pic – 12 nominations. ¬†Ang Lee and Ridley Scott split the vote, allowing Steven Soderbergh the win. This year, the Soderbergh might be Aronofsky or O. Russell.
Best Actress – Anne Thompson, Pete Hammond and a few others are predicting Bening to upset Ms. Natalie Portman. ¬†To me, this is a replay of last year with Streep V. Bullock: you only need look to the nom count. But an upset could happen.
Best Supporting Actress – the most wide open race to call with many factors heading in. ¬†Melissa Leo didn’t quite have it in the bag heading into the race, despite the number of critics awards. ¬†She’s up against the leading role of Hailee Steinfeld who has ten nominations standing behind her and the potential to be the one True Grit big win. ¬†The big problem for Leo is that Steinfeld’s is lead, but she also has two more strikes against her: Amy Adams as strong competition, and the bigger problem of Christian Bale (as was pointed out on Twitter yesterday). If voters want to acknowledge The Fighter they might do it with one or the other, Bale or Leo (I am predicting Rush and Leo). ¬†This category is so confused right now that there is no technical “frontrunner” in it. ¬†I don’t think Leo’s ad campaign hurt her, rather, I think it tips the win in her favor. ¬†But any of the five could win and I would not be surprised. ¬†All of this clears the way for the “heart light” win, Helena Bonham Carter, as Anne Thompson is predicting.
Best Supporting Actor: Geoffrey Rush’s win would be considered an upset, but it is just like the AMPAS to do something like this. ¬†Rush is likable, the other half to Colin Firth, and has won before. ¬†Bale plays a more unlikable character (like MUCH MUCH MORE UNLIKABLE) and isn’t starring in the film favorited to win Best Pic. ¬†Bale deserves it (only because Rush has already won an Oscar). But wouldn’t Bale have won the BAFTA?
Editing: We’ll find out this weekend if the editors are going to award The Social Network for its flawless, memorable editing, or if the sweep is real. ¬†If The King’s Speech wins the Eddie? ¬†Well, stick another fork in it. Kris Tapley is predicting The King’s Speech to win for editing at the Oscars. I’d say that would count that an upset.
Score: The King’s Speech is probably the frontrunner to win this, despite some optimistic predictions that The Social Network will (does anyone really think Trent Reznor will be an Oscar winner? ¬†Cough cough 3 Six Mafia cough cough). ¬†But the score I think could upset is actually Inception’s, which is, to my mind, probably the best “traditional” score of the year.
Documentary: I feel like Inside Job could be upset by any of the others – one is Exit Through the Gift Shop – Banksy hates them and the Oscars love people who hate them. ¬†It’s also hellagood. ¬†The real surprise in the category and the dark horse is, to my mind, Waste Land. ¬†It remains one of the few films to move me to tears this year. ¬†Retrepo is INCREDIBLE. ¬†It could also be the winner here. ¬†All of the docs, it’s worth saying, are magnificent. ¬†The best category fill of the year.
Animated Feature: It’s Toy Story 3 by a mile, but if there is a teeny tiny upset possible, that sweet little How To Train Your Dragon could sneak in there. ¬†TS3 has a Best Pic nod, so that kind of silences any argument.
What potential upsets are you seeing? ¬†Which categories seem totally locked to you?
I’ve been at this so long I remember when the Wall Street Journal used to do a poll to predict who would win — I think they turned out to be kind of right but not 100%. ¬†The reason the race is so hard to predict is because it’s won not on quality usually but on perception. ¬†And perception can change on a dime. ¬†We all remember high school, right? ¬†Sure, it was easy enough to predict who would win Homecoming Queen and King but one tiny blow-job-in-the-bathroom scandal and all hopes and dreams could be dashed. ¬†Perception, she’s a bitch.
Nonetheless, hope is a dangerous thing — and so it’s to hope that we cling — those of you who are hoping The King’s Speech wins — I don’t think you have anything to worry about – after all, this year is different for many reasons:
Can data trends generated by Google Inc.‚Äôs search engine tell us whether¬†The Social Network will take home the Academy Award for Best Picture, or whether Colin Firth‚Äôs witty British charms will lead him to a victory in the Best Actor category for his role inThe King‚Äôs Speech?
Over the past three years, the film that wound up taking home the golden statute for Best Picture saw an upward trend in search volume for at least four weeks heading into the Oscars ceremony, as well as highest regional interest from New York, according to the Web giant‚Äôs new¬†Google Oscar Search Trends site, which uses data collected by the company‚Äôs¬†Insights for Search¬†technology.
Each of the past three Best Picture winners ‚Äî¬†The Hurt Locker, Slumdog Millionaireand¬†No Country for Old Men ‚Äì saw an increase in Web queries in the weeks leading up to the awards show and saw the highest regional interest from New York.
In fact, the last time a film walked off with the Best Picture Oscar while showing highest regional interest ‚Äî a measure which determines which area is seeing the highest interest in a given search term relative to the total number of searches in that area ‚Äî from somewhere other than New York, was in 2007, when Martin Scorsese‚Äôs classic¬†The Departed took home the top prize.
That year, the highest regional interest for The Departed was in Massachusetts, which shouldn‚Äôt come as too much of a surprise, considering the film is set in Boston.
If the pattern holds true this year,¬†The Social Network ‚Äî the unauthorized biopic of Facebook co-founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg, written by Aaron Sorkin and directed by David Fincher ‚Äî is poised to take home the Oscar for Best Picture. Searches related to¬†The Social Network have been trending upwards for five weeks.
Okay, I’ll take it. ¬†And in my pretend Oscars it walks away with Picture, Director, Screenplay, Editing, Score, Sound. ¬†Cut to: “And the Oscar for Best Picture goes to …. The King’s Speech.”