Our Oscar Prediction for 2011, published Sunday February 27, 2011. Below is the unedited copy of our annual exclusive Oscar Predictions for iMAGES on Sunday, Dawn Newspaper. The link to the paper version, now online, can be found at the end of the post.
The Prediction Game
By Mohammad Kamran Jawaid & Farheen Jawaid
In just a few short hours (depending on when you’re reading this), the 83rd annual Academy Awards – aka the Oscars – will air live via Star Movies in the wee hours of the morning; and as per our exclusive tradition we present our picks for 2011.
But before we begin, a little 101 on the process: Our predictions are not a dip-stick poll that rummages information from the internet. We predict winners using the age old model of watching (almost) all the contenders, in as many categories as humanly possible. The predictions are then shortlisted by industry trends, previous winning at other industry awards – and most importantly – last minute Oscar pushes by distributors, and of course experience. Predicting winners is just a small part of a bigger, more intricate, game.
As always, our predictions are broken down into three categories. One is our predicted winner, followed by our own personal favorites who may upset the event; in many cases our favorites will overcome our predictions. In some, it’s the other way around.
In two cases – Best Picture and Director – our personal favorites conflict with the upsets. The Social Network is a stronger picture with wins at all regional critic award circles and especially a last minute win at the Eddie Awards (held by the honorary American Cinema Editors society – aka ACE) last Sunday. In the last six out of ten years the picture that wins best dramatic Eddie secures Best Picture.
If The Social Network wins Best Picture over The King’s Speech it will be by a very narrow margin. Both Producer Guild (PGA) and Directors Guild (DGA) have supported The King’s Speech, which creates the shake-up because most members of ACE, DGA and PGA are members of the Academy. The DGA logic also applies to the competition between directors Tom Hooper and David Fincher. Mr. Hooper has the DGA; Mr. Fincher is the favorite.
In many categories – especially Foreign Film, Documentary and Song – we found conflicting emotional ties to most contenders; something we feel will strongly influence decisions tomorrow morning.
Three Foreign Films (In a Better World; Biutiful; Incendies – pronounced ‘On-Sen-Des’) proved most difficult to judge on a personal basis; all of them were raw, emotionally unforgiving and beautiful.
Rawer and more relevant were the five documentaries. Each as diverse, technically and aesthetically, as its subject would allow: One presented the future of quirky cinematic documentary making (Exit Through the Gift Shop); one was socially significant (Gasland); another was a spellbinding, moving, journey of art (Waste Land); then there was a Hurt Locker of the set (Restrepo) and finally, a harrowing account of Wall Street’s fall in 2008 (Inside Job) – which is the best horror movie of this – or perhaps, any – year.
The bigger, more commercial, categories are a bit easier to speculate. The King’s Speech recently emerged as a hyped favorite, mercilessly head-butting The Social Network. The Fighter will overawe both Supporting Actor categories. One look at the flimsy Christian Bale, with his eyes darting, his fists flying and you know he’s the winner; the same applies to his bossy mother played by Melissa Leo. Natalie Portman (Black Swan) has an easy win over Annette Bening (The Kids Are All Right) – who we found did not extrude a Best Actress aura.
Inception will nab the technicalities. And Roger Deakins, with a resume overflowing of Oscar noms – The Shawshank Redemption, Fargo, Kundun, O Brother Where Art Thou?, The Man Who Wasn’t There, No Country for Old Men, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford and The Reader – will win for True Grit, if only for sentimental reasons (a possible upset could be Wally Pfister for Inception, who won The American Society of Cinematographers award; not that the same scenario helped The White Ribbon’s win over Avatar last year).
But that’s enough of reasoning. So, now without further ado: presenting the possible winners of the 83rd Academy Awards –
Picture: The Social Network
Possible Upset: The King’s Speech
MKJ / FJ: The Social Network
Director: David Fincher (The Social Network)
Possible Upset: Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech)
MKJ / FJ: David Fincher (The Social Network)
Actor: Colin Firth (The King’s Speech)
MKJ /FJ: Colin Firth (The King’s Speech)
Actress: Natalie Portman (Black Swan)
MKJ / FJ: Natalie Portman (Black Swan)
Supporting Actor: Christian Bale (The Fighter)
MKJ / FJ: Christian Bale (The Fighter)
Supporting Actress: Melissa Leo (The Fighter)
MKJ / FJ: Melissa Leo (The Fighter)
Animated Feature: Toy Story 3
MKJ / FJ: Toy Story 3
Documentary Feature: Inside Job
MKJ: Exit through the Gift Shop; Gasland
FJ: Restrepo; Waste Land
Foreign Language Film: In a Better World (Denmark)
MKJ: Biutiful (Mexico)
FJ: Incendies (Canada)
Adapted Screenplay: Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network)
MKJ / FJ: Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network)
Original Screenplay: David Seidler (The King’s Speech)
MKJ / FJ: Christopher Nolan (Inception)
Art Direction: Robert Stromberg, Karen O’ Hara (Alice in Wonderland)
MKJ: Guy Hendrix Dyas, Larry Dias, Doug Mowat (Inception)
FJ: Eve Stewart, Judy Farr (The King’s Speech)
Cinematography: Roger Deakins (True Grit)
MKJ: Roger Deakins (True Grit)
FJ: Wally Pfister (Inception)
Costume Design: Colleen Atwood (Alice in Wonderland)
MKJ: Colleen Atwood (Alice in Wonderland)
FJ: Jenny Beavan (The King’s Speech)
Editing: Angus Wall, Kirk Baxter (The Social Network)
MKJ: Jon Harris (127 Hours)
FJ: Tariq Anwar (The King’s Speech)
Make-Up: Rick Baker, Dave Elsey (Wolfman)
MKJ: Rick Baker, Dave Elsey (Wolfman)
FJ: Adrian Morot (Barney’s Version)
Original Score: Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross (The Social Network)
MKJ: A.R. Rahman (127 Hours)
FJ: Alexander Desplat (The King’s Speech)
Song: We Belong Together (Randy Newman; Toy Story 3)
MKJ: I See the Light (Alan Menken, Glenn Slater; Tangled); Coming Home (Tom Douglas, Troy Verges, Hillary Lindsey; Country Song)
FJ: If I Rise (A.R. Rahman; 127 Hours)
Sound Editing: Richard King (Inception)
MKJ / FJ: Richard King (Inception)
Sound Mixing: Lora Hirschberg, Gary A. Rizzo, Ed Novik (Inception)
MKJ / FJ: Lora Hirschberg, Gary A. Rizzo, Ed Novik (Inception)
Visual Effects: Paul Franklin, Chris Corbould, Andrew Lockley, Peter Bebb (Inception)
MKJ: Paul Franklin, Chris Corbould, Andrew Lockley, Peter Bebb (Inception)
FJ: Ken Ralston, David Schaub, Carey Villegas, Sean Phillips (Alice in Wonderland)
The link to Dawn.com / Printed version is: