Oscars 2012: Predictions 0 69

Oscars 2012 predictions

The time has come once again for the Oscars, a night of glitz, glamour and angry reactions at the wrong films and people winning. We could spend all day arguing over the glaring omissions like Shame, We Need To Talk About Kevin, Tyrannosaur, Drive (it did get one nomination, but only for sound editing).. the list goes on and on.

But let’s not dwell on what didn’t get nominated and focus on what did, shall we? Below are all the nominees for the 84th Academy Awards along with our predictions of who will win, as well as who we would like to see win (they are often not one and the same) and who else might win.

So without further ado here are the nominees in all 24 of the categories:

Best Picture

  • The Artist
  • The Descendants
  • Hugo
  • War Horse
  • Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
  • The Help
  • Midnight In Paris
  • Moneyball
  • The Tree of Life

What will win – The Artist

What might win – The Descendants

What we want to win – The Tree of Life

Best Director

  • Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist)
  • Alexander Payne (The Descendants)
  • Martin Scorsese (Hugo)
  • Woody Allen (Midnight In Paris)
  • Terrence Malick (The Tree of Life)

Who will win – Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist)

Who might win – Martin Scorsese (Hugo)

Who we want to win – Terrence Malick (The Tree of Life)

Best Actor

  • Demian Bachir (A Better Life)
  • George Clooney (The Descendants)
  • Jean Dujardin (The Artist)
  • Gary Oldman (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy)
  • Brad Pitt (Moneyball)

Who will win – George Clooney (The Descendants)

Who might win – Jean Dujardin (The Artist)

Who we want to win – Gary Oldman (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy)

Best Actress

  • Glenn Close (Albert Nobbs)
  • Viola Davis (The Help)
  • Rooney Mara (The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo)
  • Meryl Streep (The Iron Lady)
  • Michelle Williams (My Week With Marilyn)

Who will win – Meryl Streep (The Iron Lady)

Who might win – Viola Davis (The Help)

Who we want to win – Meryl Streep (The Iron Lady)

Best Supporting Actor

  • Kenneth Branagh (My Week With Marilyn)
  • Jonah Hill (Moneyball)
  • Nick Nolte (Warrior)
  • Christopher Plummer (Beginners)
  • Max von Sydow (Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close)

Who will win – Christopher Plummer (Beginners)

Who might win – Kenneth Branagh (My Week With Marilyn)

Who we want to win – Christopher Plummer (Beginners)

Best Supporting Actress

  • Berenice Bejo (The Artist)
  • Jessica Chastain (The Help)
  • Melissa McCarthy (Bridesmaids)
  • Janet McTeer (Albert Nobbs)
  • Octavia Spencer (The Help)

Who will win – Octavia Spencer (The Help)

Who might win – Berenice Bejo (The Artist)

Who we want to win – Berenice Bejo (The Artist)

Best Original Screenplay

  • The Artist (Michel Hazanavicius)
  • Bridesmaids (Annie Mumolo & Kristin Wiig)
  • Margin Call (J.C. Chandor)
  • Midnight In Paris (Woody Allen)
  • A Separation (Asghar Farhadi)

What will win –  The Artist (Michel Hazanavicius)

What might win – Midnight In Paris (Woody Allen)

What we want to win – Midnight In Paris (Woody Allen)

Best Adapted Screenplay

  • The Descendants (Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash)
  • Hugo (John Logan)
  • The Ides of March (George Clooney, Grant Heslov and Beau Willimon)
  • Moneyball (Aaron Sorkin and Steven Zaillian)
  • Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (Bridget O’Connor and Peter Straughan)

What will win – The Descendants (Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash)

What might win – Moneyball (Aaron Sorkin and Steven Zaillian)

What we want to win – Tinker Tailor Solider Spy (Bridget O’Connor and Peter Straughan)

Best Foreign Language Film

  • Bullhead (Belgium, dir. Michael R. Roskam)
  • Monsieur Lazhar (Canada, dir. Philippe Falardeau)
  • A Separation (Iran, dir. Asghar Farhadi)
  • Footnote (Israel, dir. Joseph Cedar)
  • In Darkness (Poland, dir. Agnieszka Holland)

What will win – A Separation

What might win – In Darkness

What we want to win – A Separation

Best Animated Film

  • A Cat in Paris
  • Chico & Rita
  • Kung Fu Panda 2
  • Puss In Boots
  • Rango

What will win – Rango

What might win – Chico & Rita

What we want to win – Rango

Best Documentary

  • Hell and Back Again
  • If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front
  • Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory
  • Pina
  • Undefeated

What will win – Undefeated

What might win – Hell and Back Again

What we want to win – Hell and Back Again

Best Cinematography

  • The Artist (Guillaume Schiffman)
  • The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (Jeff Cronenweth)
  • Hugo (Robert Richardson)
  • The Tree of Life (Emmanuel  Lubezki)
  • War Horse (Janusz Kamisnki)

What will win – The Artist (Guillaume Schiffman)

What might win – Hugo (Robert Richardson)

What we want to win – The Tree of Life (Emmanuel Lubezki)

Best Art Direction

  • The Artist
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
  • Hugo
  • Midnight In Paris
  • War Horse

What will win – The Artist

What might win – War Horse

What we want to win – Hugo

Best Costume Design

  • Anonymous
  • The Artist
  • Hugo
  • Jane Eyre
  • W.E.

What will win – Jane Eyre

What might win – The Artist

What we want to win – Hugo

Best Film Editing

  • The Artist (Anne-Sophie Bion and Michel Hazanavicius)
  • The Descendants (Kevin Tent)
  • The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall)
  • Hugo (Thelma Schoonmaker)
  • Moneyball (Christopher Tellefsen)

What will win – The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

What might win – Hugo

What we want to win – The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

Best Original Score

  • The Adventures of Tintin (John Williams)
  • The Artist (Ludovic Bource)
  • Hugo (Howard Shore)
  • Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (Alberto Iglesias)
  • War Horse (John Williams)

What will win – The Artist

What might win – War Horse

What we want to win – War Horse

Best Original Song

  • “Man or Muppet” (The Muppets)
  • “Real In Rio” (Rio)

What will win/what we want to win – “Man or Muppet” (The Muppets)

Best Visual Effects

  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
  • Hugo
  • Real Steel
  • Rise of the Planet of the Apes
  • Transformers: Dark of the Moon

What will win – Rise of the Planet of the Apes

What might win – Hugo

What we want to win – Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Best Sound Mixing

  • The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
  • Hugo
  • Moneyball
  • Transformers: Dark of the Moon
  • War Horse

What will win – Hugo

What might win – Transformers: Dark of the Moon

What we want to win – Hugo

Best Sound Editing

  • Drive
  • The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
  • Hugo
  • Transformers: Dark of the Moon
  • War Horse

What will win – Hugo

What might win – War Horse

What we want to win – Drive

Best Makeup

  • Albert Nobbs
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
  • The Iron Lady

What will win – The Iron Lady

What might win – Albert Nobbs

What we want to win – The Iron Lady

Best Documentary Short

  • The Barber of Birmingham: Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement
  • God is the Bigger Elvis
  • Incident In New Baghdad
  • Saving Face
  • The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom

What will win – Incident In New Baghdad

What might win – The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom

What we want to win – The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom

Best Live Action Short

  • Pentecost
  • Raju
  • The Shore
  • Time Freak
  • Tuba Atlantic

What will win – The Shore

What might win – Raju

What we want to win – Time Freak

Best Animated Short

  • Dimanche/Sunday
  • The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore
  • La Luna
  • A Morning Stroll
  • Wild Life

What will win – The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

What might win – Wild Life

What we want to win – The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

– – – – –

So there you have it, our predictions of what the results will be on Oscar night. Now it’s time for you to give your opinion: What have we got right, what have we got dead wrong, what would you like to see win?.. Let us know your opinions in the comments below

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I’m a freelance film reviewer and blogger with over 10 years of experience writing for various different reputable online and print publications. In addition to my running, editing and writing for Thoughts On Film, I am also the film critic for The National, the newspaper that supports an independent Scotland, covering the weekly film releases, film festivals and film-related features.

I have a passion for all types of cinema, and have a particular love for foreign language film, especially South Korean and Japanese cinema. Favourite films include The Big Lebowski, Pulp Fiction and 2001: A Space Odyssey.

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Final Predictions For Star Wars: The Force Awakens 0 115

star-wars-the-force-awakens-final-predictions-feature

Note: This is article was written not having seen the film so it’s SPOILER FREE UNLESS EXPLICITLY STATED.

Well, it’s finally… almost here.

Star Wars Episode VII – The Force Awakens premiered this week and will be widely released on Thursday in the UK and Friday in the U.S. Although there aren’t many early indications, the ones we’ve seen are positive. A host of prominent celebrities filed out of the premiere on Monday evening, and though they were generally wonderful about avoiding spoilers, the overall tone was hard to miss: they loved it. From Patton Oswalt to Rob Lowe, the lucky few who caught the early screening were positively gushing in vague tweets.

But enough about expectations and early impressions. Pretty much everyone who’s interested in Star Wars is hoping for (and in many cases expecting) a genuine triumph from J.J. Abrams. What many of us are more curious about isn’t whether or not this will be a good film, but rather who and what we’re about to see on screen. Who’s the main protagonist? Where is Luke Skywalker hiding in all the posters and trailers? Is there a new Sith lord? Will any older characters make surprise reappearances?

These are the questions that have been been keeping Star Wars fans up at night throughout most of 2015. And just for fun before the film finally reaches the cinema, here’s one last round of predictions to ponder.

Chewbacca Will Not Die

star-wars-the-force-awakens-han-solo-chewbacca

Naturally there’s been a great deal of ridiculously detailed analysis of the trailers for The Force Awakens, and one of the most popular theories to come out of it all is that we’ve been shown hints that Chewbacca will die in the new film. The case is certainly compelling when you’re looking at things clip-by-clip with the theory in front of you… but then again, J.J. Abrams has gone out of his way to express that the trailers are hardly showing us anything of consequence. And rest assured, this is a director with enough attention to detail to know exactly what dedicated fans will make of footage. Thus, any rumour coming entirely out of trailer footage is hard to take too seriously. Plus, while Abrams likely wouldn’t be too shy to kill an old hero or two, offing Chewbacca just seems cruel.

Rey Will Be The Jedi Hero

star-wars-the-force-awakens-daisy-ridley-ray

Be warned: there’s a very slight spoiler included in this theory, and it’s related to how much each of the main characters actually has to do with the film. More specifically, LA Times writer Steven Zeitchik saw fit to tweet out his own “list of cast prominence.” In that list (again, spoiler alert), Zeitchik listed Daisy Ridley (who plays Rey) as the most prominent cast member, which suggests she’s the main character we’re looking for. We do see Finn (John Boyega) wielding a lightsaber in the trailers, but there’s always a chance Rey takes the lead as the “main” Jedi, so to speak.

Yoda, Obi-Wan, & Anakin Will Appear

star-wars-the-force-awakens-yoda-obi-wan-anakin

A while back, before the cast of The Force Awakens was announced and we learned for sure that Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, and Carrie Fisher would be reprising their roles, odds were posted as to which characters would appear in Episode VII. The main focus was on Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, and Princess Leia, but at the time, odds were also offered for the likes of Yoda, Obi-Wan, and Anakin Skywalker. And now, on the eve of the film’s release, all three of them seem almost suspiciously forgotten. Abrams is considered something of a master of misdirection. With all the focus on the three main characters of the original trilogy returning, as well as all the exciting new elements, these three vital characters have been dismissed. Don’t be shocked if they show up in some sort of vision similar to what Luke witnessed at the end of Return Of The Jedi.

Han Will Kill Captain Phasma

star-wars-the-force-awakens-captain-phasma

With all the focus on mysterious new villain Kylo Ren, the bizarre super-Stormtrooper Captain Phasma (portrayed by Gwendoline Christie, who famously plays Brienne of Tarth on Game Of Thrones) is flying under the radar. The character has been described as “Boba Fett-like,” however, which indicates she could become a fan favourite. She could also become a disposable sub-villain, though. We all know Han Solo had serious beef with Boba Fett, and frankly it’s more realistic for Han to take on someone like this than, say, a Sith warrior. Fans will be hoping for some kind of great Han triumph, and offing the character who’s expected to be similar to his old nemesis seems fitting.

Snoke Will Be A Sensation

star-wars-the-force-awakens-snoke-andy-serkis

There are a ton of rumours floating around regarding Supreme Leader Snoke, a behind-the-scenes Sith lord who’s been lurking around the Star Wars saga from the beginning. One incredibly fun theory even suggests that Jar Jar Binks was Snoke all along, and frankly it’s so convincing that there’s the tiniest chance this is really the case. But it’s still extraordinarily unlikely. What we do know is that Andy Serkis (who jokingly confirmed the rumour) is depicting Supreme Leader Snoke through motion capture. And when Serkis jumps into a motion capture suit, majestic things tend to happen. This is the same guy who brought the likes of Smeagol (Lord of the Rings and Caesar (the newer Planet Of The Apes films) to life. Simply put, he doesn’t mess around. Even if he has only a minimal role in Episode VII, expect Snoke to steal any scene he’s in.

That about does it for a final round of theories. Oh, and Luke hasn’t gone to the dark side—it’s just too hard to believe. Right? Right!?

Top 5 Johnny Depp Movies 2 230

black-mass

This week Johnny Depp returns to our screens with what might be his best performance to date. In Black Mass he plays James “Whitey” Bulger, one of America’s most notorious criminals, a man who ruled the Southeast of Boston because of his partnership with the FBI who basically let him get away with his crimes in exchange for information about rival gangsters invading his turf.

The film itself is disappointingly generic, pulling from and subsequently standing in the shadow of a million other gangster movies from Goodfellas to The Departed and beyond. It’s not bad, in fact it’s perfectly entertaining particularly if you’re a fan of the genre. But it’s nothing we haven’t seen done better before and that’s most disappointing to me because it’s directed by Scott Cooper, who made Crazy Heart and the extremely underrated Out of the Furnace.

The film might be lacking but the same can’t be said for Depp himself who gives a towering, magnetic and mesmerizing performance in the lead role. His interpretation of Whitey Bulger is at once terrifying and utterly compelling, making him a real life monster of whom you want to see and hear more. It might just nab the actor yet another Oscar nomination.

Depp hasn’t been this great in a long time but over the years he has starred in some pretty fantastic films. Here’s my top 5. Note: I purposefully didn’t include A Nightmare on Elm Street as, for the purposes of this article, I didn’t count as “a Johnny Depp movie.”

5. Finding Neverland

finding-neverland

This year’s Pan may have painted the beloved children’s story in a messy light but this could easily be considered the true origin story on film. Depp plays Scottish Peter Pan author J.M. Barrie in early 20th century who befriends a father-less family (the mother of which played by Kate Winslet) and whose experiences with them inspired him to write the original magical story. It’s a deeply moving (if you don’t well up at little Freddy Highmore in the final scene, you’re a robot!) and enchanting film, one which celebrates the potential for imagination within stories – for children and grown-ups alike – and gives us a real sense of a storytelling genius. It’s one of Depp’s less showier performances and all the better for it; his flawless Scottish accent and sensitive portrayal is one of the reasons the film is so effective.

4. Edward Scissorhands

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It’s the film that put him on the worldwide map and made him a star. And even when you go back and watch it now it’s easy to see why it captured the hearts of so many, with its charming story of a gentle “near-complete” man with scissors for hands created by an eccentric inventor who is brought into an unfamiliar suburban community after living in isolation where he befriends a teenage girl (Winona Ryder). It’s a Gothic fairytale that Tim Burton has rarely, if ever, been able to top and a wonderfully endearing performance by Depp filled with a believable sense of childlike innocence.

3. Donnie Brasco

donnie-brasco

It’s one of the films that Black Mass seems to be drawing from, starring Depp as real life undercover FBI agent Donnie Brasco who infiltrates the mob and finds himself identifying with their life, particularly when he befriends his “mark” Lefty (Al Pacino). It’s an example of a film that can exist very much within that familiar Goodfellas-seque gangster world – one of the highlights is Depp explaining the various different meanings of “fogedaboudit” – while still mark itself out as a compelling, unpredictable and surprisingly thoughtful entry into the genre. Depp manages that difficult job of making us car about a character that often makes foolish or at least rash decisions that compromise the goal of his character.

2. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

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“We can’t stop here, this is bat country!” Not five minutes into this adaptation of the Hunter S. Thompson novel and it’s abundantly clear that it’s directed by Terry Gilliam. Depp plays a version of the author as he goes on a drug-fuelled trip to Las Vegas with his unstable lawyer (Benicio del Toro). What follows is a journey of utter hell-raising craziness that, whether you like it or not, is hard to shake from your mind. It’s certainly not for everybody – I know of just as many people who hate it as love it – but the psychedelic visuals, dark humour and general unhinged vibe make it one of Depp’s most ludicrously enjoyable films in my eyes.

1. Ed Wood

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This might tie with Black Mass for Depp’s best performance, playing the notoriously terrible film director Ed Wood as he tries to get his films made despite lack of support in Hollywood, namely the famously awful Plan 9 from Outer Space. It’s one of his many collaborations with Tim Burton but lacks the sort of generic eccentricities that have become so dull with their projects as of late (we’re looking at you, Dark Shadows and Alice in Wonderland). It’s presented in beautiful black and white, with Depp giving a complex and heartening performance at the head of an amazing cast that also includes Martin Landau as Bela Lugosi, Vincent D’Onofrio as Orson Welles and Bill Murray as Bunny Breckinridge. Easily the best Burton/Depp collaboration and my favourite of film of the actors repertoire.

Honourable mentions: Rango, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

Which is your favourite Johnny Depp movie? Let us know in the comments below! Black Mass is in cinemas now.