Tag Archives: 2011 movies

FINAL Oscar Predictions

So this is it. In less than 48 hours, the nominations for the 84th Academy Awards will be announced. It’s been a pretty good race, in my opinion. It seems more unpredictable than the past couple of years, which is fun. Movies and performances that should been major contenders have kind of fallen by the wayside, while unexpected dark horses have emerged. I’m still conflicted about a couple of the acting categories, and I feel like there are definitely going to be some surprises on Tuesday morning. Here are my final FULL predictions for the nominees (the individual category pages, which include rankings, have also been updated).

Best Picture

The Artist

The Descendants

The Help


Midnight in Paris


War Horse

I’m predicting that the Academy will nominate these seven films, though I could definitely see War Horse potentially missing the cut. The other six are pretty much sure bets. If the Academy wants to nominate more than seven (or snubs War Horse), then The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo would be my next guess, since it does seem to be picking up steam. The Tree of Life is another viable contender, but ultimately, I don’t think either film will make it in.

Best Director

Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris

Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist

Alexander Payne, The Descendants

Martin Scorsese, Hugo

Steven Spielberg, War Horse

In some ways, this has been one of the least predictable categories. Hazanavicius, Scorsese, and Payne are obvious choices, but what about the other two slots? Spielberg should be a shoe-in for the visually grand War Horse, but what if the Academy snubs it for Best Picture. And what about that fifth slot? Bennett Miller for Moneyball seems like a solid choice, but his support really hasn’t been strong this awards season (he hasn’t gotten any major directing nominations this year). Similarly, Terrence Malick would be a very deserving nominee, but The Tree of Life seems too “out there” for the Academy (and if it doesn’t get a Best Picture nomination, could he still get in?). That’s why I’m going with Woody Allen. His film was an unexpected hit, he got the DGA and Golden Globe noms, and everyone loves Woody, right?

Best Actor

George Clooney, The Descendants

Leonardo DiCaprio, J. Edgar

Jean DuJardin, The Artist

Michael Fassbender, Shame

Brad Pitt, Moneyball

This is one of those categories that seem like they’re all sewn up. But while I am predicting Fassbender, I also wouldn’t be surprised at all to see him miss out on a nomination thanks to his controversial, small film. (Despite what some people are saying about Leo, I think he’s locked.) I just can’t come up with a compelling enough alternative to switch Fassbender out for. Gary Oldman would be the most likely replacement, I suppose, but aside from the BAFTA nomination, he really doesn’t have much momentum. Gosling, Birchir, and Shannon are all vaguely possible. I say Fassbender’s in, but there could definitely be an upset here.

Best Actress

Glenn Close, Albert Nobbs

Viola Davis, The Help

Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady

Tilda Swinton, We Need to Talk About Kevin

Michelle Williams, My Week With Marilyn

These category appears to be a little bit more cut and dry. Sure, Close or even Swinton could miss out in favour of Charlize Theron or Rooney Mara, but I don’t really see that happening.

Best Supporting Actor

Kenneth Branagh, My Week With Marilyn

Albert Brooks, Drive

Jonah Hill, Moneyball

Nick Nolte, Warrior

Christopher Plummer, Beginners

We’ve got our winner already in this category, it’s just a matter of figuring out who the other nominees will be. Branagh is in, and Brooks and Hill look like pretty safe bets (but Brooks did miss out on that SAG nomination…). Nick Nolte is the most obvious fifth pick, but while lots of people like the performance, it doesn’t seem like he’s exactly taking this Oscar season by storm. I still think Max von Sydow could sneak in as a surprise, but he’s been almost completely absent this awards season (just like his film). Even Stanley Tucci had some precursor support when he got nominated for a similarly disliked prestige picture. Hammer, Oswalt, Mortensen, and Serkis have at least received a bit of precursor support, but I can’t really see any of those happening. What about Ben Kingsley? At least his film has some traction. Again, I wouldn’t be surprised to see an upset here, but for now, I’ll go with the “obvious” picks.

Best Supporting Actress

Berenice Bejo, The Artist

Jessica Chastain, The Help

Janet McTeer, Albert Nobbs

Octavia Spencer, The Help

Shailene Woodley, The Descendants

I’ve probably agonized over this category the most. Spencer is the only sure bet. Bejo and Chastain are quite likely. But I could see any combination of McTeer, Woodley, and Melissa McCarthy getting in for the last two spots. No matter who misses out, it will be surprising (to me, at least). I know a lot of people think Woodley will miss out because she didn’t get a SAG nomination (or a BAFTA nom), and that is very possible. The same kind of thing happened to Andrew Garfield last year. But I’m sticking with her (barely). Maybe it’s more wishful thinking on my part, but it just seems like the right film and the right role to get a young actress nominated.

Best Original Screenplay


The Artist


Midnight in Paris

Young Adult

I’m not sure if so many comedies can get in, but the WGA went solid comedies in this category, too. And these were some of the best original screenplays of the year, so why not recognize them accordingly? Margin Call is definitely a possible spoiler, though.

Best Adapted Screenplay

The Descendants

The Help



Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

The last couple of spots are murky, and The Ides of March or The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo could easily get in over Hugo or Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy


The Artist


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2

The Tree of Life

War Horse

Art Direction

The Artist

Captain America: The First Avenger

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2


War Horse

Visual Effects

Captain America: The First Avenger

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows


Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Transformers: Dark of the Moon


Albert Nobbs

The Help


Jane Eyre

My Week With Marilyn


The Green Lantern

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2

J. Edgar

Film Editing

The Artist

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo



War Horse

Sound Editing

Captain America: The First Aveger


Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

War Horse

Sound Mixing

The Adventures of Tin-Tin


Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

War Horse

Original Score

The Artist

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo



War Horse

Original Song

“Lay Down Your Head”, Albert Nobbs

“Star-Spangled Man”, Captain America

“Hello Hello”, Gnomeo & Juliet

“The Living Proof”, The Help

“Life’s a Happy Song”, The Muppets

Animated Feature

The Adventures of Tin-Tin

Happy Feet 2

Puss in Boots


Winnie the Pooh

Golden Globe Final Predictions!

Best Picture – Drama

Will Win: The Help

Should Win: The Descendants

Best Picture – Comedy

Will Win: The Artist

Should Win: Midnight in Paris

Best Actor – Drama

Will Win: George Clooney, The Descendants

Should Win: George Clooney, The Descendants

Best Actress – Drama

Will Win: Viola Davis, The Help

Should Win: Davis is the only one I’ve seen, and I thought she was great.

Best Actor – Comedy

Will Win: Jean DuJardin, The Artist

Should Win: Jean DuJardin, The Artist

Best Actress – Comedy

Will Win: Michelle Williams, My Week With Marilyn

Should Win: Kristen Wiig, Bridesmaids (though I haven’t seen Marilyn)

Best Supporting Actor

Will Win: Christopher Plummer, Beginners

Should Win: Christopher Plummer, Beginners

Best Supporting Actress

Will Win: Jessica Chastain, The Help

Should Win: Shailene Woodley, The Descendants

Best Director

Will Win: Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist

Should Win: Martin Scorsese, Hugo

Best Screenplay

Will Win: Moneyball

Should Win: Midnight in Paris

Best Original Song

Will Win: “The Living Proof”, The Help

Best Original Score

Will Win: The Artist

Best Animated Film

Will Win: The Adventures of Tintin

Best Foreign Language Film

Will Win: A Separation

Best TV Series – Drama

Will Win: Boardwalk Empire

Best TV Series – Comedy

Will Win: Modern Family

Should Win: Modern Family

Best Mini-Series/Made for TV Movie

Will Win: Mildred Pierce

Best Actor in a TV Series – Drama

Will Win: Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire

Should Win: Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad

Best Actress in a TV Series – Drama

Will Win: Claire Danes, Homeland

Best Actor in a TV Series – Comedy

Will Win: Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock

Best Actress in a TV Series – Comedy

Will Win: Laura Linney, The Big C? (No idea who will take this category)

Should Win: Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation

Best Actor in a Mini-Series/Made for TV Movie

Will Win: William Hurt, Too Big to Fail?

Best Actress in a Mini-Series/Made for TV Movie

Will Win: Kate Winslet, Mildred Pierce

Supporting Actor in a Series, Mini-Series, or Made for TV Movie

Will Win: Paul Giamatti, Too Big to Fail (these TV supporting categories are so packed that I could see anyone winning)

Supporting Actress in a Series, Mini-Series, or Made for TV Movie

Will Win: Maggie Smith, Dowton Abbey

10 Actors Who I’m Happy To See Nominated Just Because I Like Them

  • Michael Fassbender
  • Ryan Gosling
  • William Hurt
  • Diane Lane
  • Joseph Gordon-Levitt
  • Kelly MacDonald
  • Bill Nighy
  • Guy Pearce
  • Kristen Wiig
  • Owen Wilson

Things We Learned From the Critics Choice Awards

1. The Help may be an even bigger threat than many anticipated

The Help has been a shoe-in for a Best Picture Oscar nomination for a while now. But do the Ensemble, Actress, and Supporting Actress wins from the Critics forecast its Oscar chances? Supporting Actress seems like a wide open race, so I wouldn’t be surprised if Spencer ends up taking home the Oscar (if she wins the Globe, she’ll become a safe bet for the win). I think Davis has tougher competition from Streep and Williams, but this is definitely a good early sign for her. It’ll be interesting to see how the SAG award for Best Ensemble plays out, seeing as that award often echoes the eventual Best Picture winner at the Oscars. The Help has proven to be a fiercer competitor in the Best Picture race with these victories tonight, but I don’t think it will win the Oscar. Speaking of that…

2. The Artist will win Best Picture and probably Best Director

This isn’t really news, but I’d get used to seeing Michel Hazanvicius endearingly muddle his way through awards speeches. Scorsese and maybe Payne do pose a bit of a threat in the Best Director race, but I really think Hazanavicius is taking home the Oscar.

3. It’s within the realm of possibility that Bridesmaids could be a Best Picture nominee

The PGA nomination was huge for Bridesmaids, and it proved its awards traction again tonight by winning Best Comedy over presumed favourite Midnight in Paris. There are eight movies ahead of it in the Best Picture race, but since the category can go up to ten nominees, it’s a definite possibility.

4. Shailene Woodley is in trouble (maybe)

First Woodley missed out on the SAG nomination, which is kind of a big deal. Tonight, she lost the Best Young Actor award to Thomas Horn. And while Best Young Actor isn’t equivalent to Best Supporting Actress at the Oscars, this loss suggests that support for her performance could be waning. However, Clooney’s win tonight suggests the film isn’t losing traction as a whole, as some speculated, so maybe support for his performance will help pull her through. I hope so, anyways.

5. Plummer is all but a lock for the win

He’s been the frontrunner ever since Brooks lost out on the SAG nomination (I don’t want to hyperbolize, but that snub is huge. Nobody wins the Oscar after missing out on a major precursor nomination like that.) His win tonight suggests that he’ll probably win the Oscar, and I am quite alright with that.

6. Best Actor is probably as predictable as it seems

Clooney has been the obvious choice to win the Oscar for quite a while, but all this hoopla about The Artist had some suggesting that DuJardin could win. Then Moneyball was a big hit and many were championing Pitt’s chances. And while they are still contenders (also: am I the only one who could see DiCaprio pulling out some bizarro win out of nowhere?), Clooney seems to be widening the gap with his win tonight. DuJardin will win the Comedy Actor Globe, and Clooney will probably win the Drama Actor Globe (seeing as he’s also nominated for Director), so Pitt’s chances seem to be diminishing. It’d be fun to have a Clooney/Pitt megastar showdown for the Oscar, though.

7. Diane Kruger is incapable of looking un-fierce

Sorry, this isn’t Oscar-related, but by my money, Diane Kruger is the best dressed at pretty much every event.

Favourite Movie Posters of 2011

We Bought a Zoo (2011)

I love Cameron Crowe. He’s one of my favourite directors. Almost Famous is among my top five movies of all time, and I even enjoy his “lesser” films like Elizabethtown and Singles quite a bit. So when I heard that he was releasing a new movie last year, I was excited. Sure, the premise didn’t sound too exciting (a family buys an abandoned zoo and tries to get it back up and running), but anything Crowe is going to grab my interest. My faith waned a little bit thanks to a fairly sappy looking trailer, and the eventual response to the film (lukewarm reviews, and a general lack of interest from the public). But I went out and saw it today, and I’ll go as far as to say that this is a great film.

Okay, first of all, I will say that We Bought a Zoo has its flaws. It’s a family film, and at times, things get a little to precious and predictable. Some jokes fall flat, and some of the minor characters feel more like caricatures. But none of that really mattered to me in the end, because the film has so much heart. The relationship between Matt Damon’s character and his children is very warm, and as an viewer, you’re really rooting for them to make everything work out.

Speaking of Matt Damon, he is great here. It’s a mature, varied performance, and he plays a father very well. He hits the right emotions, and he brings a lot of warmth to the screen. Thomas Hayden Church also stands out as his brother, adding a lot of humour, and also sympathy to the character. The biggest surprise in the cast for me was Colin Ford, who plays Damon’s 14-year-old son. He’s very convincing as a moody, grieving teenager, and he brings the right combination of petulance and pathos to his portrayal. I was unfamiliar with Ford as an actor, but his screen presence here has me convinced that I’ll be seeing a lot more of him. Elle Fanning is also luminous in a smaller role. She’s proven to be highly charismatic and charming in films like Somewhere and Super 8, and she does similarly great work here with more limited screen time here. It’s also worth noting that this is one of Scarlett Johansson’s best performances. Her character is very well-defined by Crowe, and Johansson picks up on the nuances well.

As with all Cameron Crowe films, We Bought a Zoo also has a great soundtrack. Crowe digs out lots of old favourites, including Neil Young and Bob Dylan, but he also uses Bon Iver’s “Holocene” to nice effect. It’s also great to hear Temple of Dog’s “Hunger Strike” pop up, which is a neat little nod to Crowe’s love of 90’s grunge. Sigur Ros’ Jonsi also provides an original score the film, which is fantastic. It’s triumphant and uplifting, and that score adds a lot of emotional heft to several scenes. Crowe is a master of music, and the soundtrack is always one of my favourite elements of his films.

We Bought a Zoo is certainly trying to pull on your heartstrings, and for me, it worked. It’s lovely and simple, and sometimes that’s the best kind of film. A shorter run time could have made the film a bit tighter, yet I never felt bored. I find it very difficult for a film to keep my interest for the whole duration, but We Bought a Zoo did that.