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Thursday, January 6, 2011

The State of the Race - Part Deux

With a concentration of the Supporting acting categories, and our confusing Best Director contenders.

Don't stop. Get it, get it.

Yesterday, we focused on the Best Picture, Actor, and Actress categories, and got a great response. Hopefully, this will prove just as interesting. 

First thing's first -

Best Supporting Actor

Christian Bale - The Fighter
Andrew Garfield - The Social Network
Jeremy Renner - The Town
Mark Ruffalo - The Kids Are All Right
Geoffrey Rush - The King's Speech

Christian Bale has been poised to take this Oscar home since the trailer for his film first hit the public. The man has his detractors, yet I know many of those people who left the theater amazed by what he accomplished. Mark Ruffalo, though it's complete category fraud, is getting in, as well. Same for Garfield, and Rush. It's all about their films' momentum. And those movies are too hot in the critical circle to miss out on the praised performances being nominated. Renner, he's in because of his strong reviews, though the movie itself seems to be slowing down, unfortunately. 

We, of course, can't count out John Hawkes in Winter's Bone. He's got solid reviews, and the movie was a total sleeper hit. Lawrence is getting in, so he might ride her coat tails to his first, way overdue, nomination.

Best Supporting Actress

Amy Adams - The Fighter
Helena Bonham Carter - The King's Speech
Mila Kunis - Black Swan
Melissa Leo - The Fighter
Hailee Steinfeld - True Grit

Let me say this out loud - Hailee Steinfeld is LEAD. It's total category fraud and the most upsetting thing about this year, other than Somewhere being a complete bore. But, unless the voters decide she's leading enough to be placed in Lead, she'll get nominated here. And rightfully so, as it's a hell of a performance. even though it's... you know, lead. >_> 

Mila Kunis has been in since her surprise Globe nomination, and then her SAG nod got it locked. It's between Helena and Melissa Leo to take home the prize, while Adams gets another nomination to add to her resume. Will she ever win? Not this year, that's for sure. 

Dianne Weist is on the outside of her Rabbit Hole looking in, and very deserving of a nod, were she to get one. I think that film is all about Kidman, though, in terms of awards.

Best Director

Here's the fun one. Four seem to be all but locked, but the race for spot no5 is insanely tight. Here's what I think -

Darren Aronofsky - Black Swan
David Fincher - The Social Network
Tom Hooper - The King's Speech
Christopher Nolan - Inception
David O'Russell - The Fighter

Is it weird to say that I think Boyle is in the bottom of the Academy's top10 choices? Franco stands a good shot of winning, and the film will certainly get other nominations, but he has something going against him this year - fading buzz, and a strong entry into the race from Black Swan. It came out at the perfect time, and the stars aligned for that film. 127 Hours, not so much. The rest of the guys, there's no need to discuss. Four possible Best Picture winners, four locked directors.

Look, however, for Lisa Cholodenko to swoop in and mess it all up. Aronofsky's spot is of course up for grabs, but it's down to three. In my mind, it's down to him and Cholodenko, but we never really know until the envelope is read. 

Coming soon - Screenplay, my thoughts on 127 Hours, and a dissection of the Animated Feature category and what it really means.