Joel

The Cutting Room Floor

Or Something Like It.........

The 2014 Oscar Predictions!!!
Joel
damngoodphil
BEST PICTURE
American Hustle
Captain Phillips
Dallas Buyers Club
Gravity
Her
Nebraska
Philomena
The Wolf of Wall Street
12 Years a Slave

Despite how close the race is this year, Best Picture ultimately comes down to either 12 YEARS A SLAVE or GRAVITY. 12 YEARS would be the Academy’s safe choice, but with all the (deserved) hype and buzz generated by GRAVITY, this may be one category played a little less safe than in previous years.

SHOULD AND WILL WIN: Gravity

BEST ACTOR
Christian Bale, American Hustle
Bruce Dern, Nebraska
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street
Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club
Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave

All great, but McConaughey’s had this locked for a while now. Texas forever?

SHOULD AND WILL WIN: Matthew McConaughey

BEST ACTRESS
Amy Adams, American Hustle
Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
Sandra Bullock, Gravity
Judi Dench, Philomena
Meryl Streep, August: Osage County

If Sandra Bullock could win an Oscar for THE BLIND SIDE, she can definitely win here. However, her performance was also one of the few things about GRAVITY that wasn’t groundbreaking. And while the others were strong, Cate Blanchett stands out as victorious here.

SHOULD AND WILL WIN: Cate Blanchett

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips
Bradley Cooper, American Hustle
Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave
Jonah Hill, The Wolf of Wall Street
Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club

Barkhad Abdi’s performance in CAPTAIN PHILLIPS was absolutely stellar, but Leto has won virtually every award imaginable for his work in DALLAS BUYERS CLUB, so it’s hard to believe he’ll lose here.

SHOULD WIN: Barkhad Abdi
WILL WIN: Jared Leto

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Sally Hawkins, Blue Jasmine
Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
Lupita Nyong'o, 12 Years a Slave
Julia Roberts, August: Osage County
June Squibb, Nebraska

As much as I would love to see June Squibb win (perhaps the most underrated of the bunch in this category), it’s down to either Lawrence or Nyong'o, and Lawrence already won for a far better performance last year.

SHOULD AND WILL WIN: Lupita Nyong'o

BEST DIRECTOR
Alfonso Cuaron, Gravity
Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave
Alexander Payne, Nebraska
David O. Russell, American Hustle
Martin Scorsese, The Wolf of Wall Street

David O. Russell has a dark horse chance (those performances in HUSTLE were that good), but let’s face it: Alfonso Cuaron is getting it. No contest.

SHOULD AND WILL WIN: Alfonso Cuaron

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
The Croods
Despicable Me 2
Ernest & Celestine
Frozen
The Wind Rises

After the cold shoulder (no pun intended) the Academy gave WRECK IT RALPH last year, I think Disney has the best shot this time.

SHOULD WIN: The Wind Rises OR Frozen
WILL WIN: Frozen

BEST FOREIGN FILM
The Broken Circle Breakdown, Belgium
The Great Beauty, Italy
The Hunt, Denmark
The Missing Picture, Cambodia
Omar, Palestine

Have not seen any of these. Out of my admiration for Mads Mikkelsen, I’m going with THE HUNT.

WILL WIN: The Hunt

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
American Hustle, Eric Singer and David O. Russell
Blue Jasmine, Woody Allen
Dallas Buyers Club, Craig Borten and Melisa Wallack
Her, Spike Jonze
Nebraska, Bob Nelson

We can eliminate NEBRASKA, DBC, and BLUE JASMINE. HER is the obviously winner, but this could also be another category the Academy plays safe in with HUSTLE, especially since it won’t be winning in any other categories - which is sad, because if there’s one thing HUSTLE should not win for, it’s this category.

SHOULD WIN: Her
WILL WIN: American Hustle

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Before Midnight, Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke
Captain Phillips, Billy Ray
Philomena, Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope
12 Years a Slave, John Ridley
The Wolf of Wall Street, Terence Winter

Ultimately, it’s down to 12 YEARS or CAPTAIN PHILLPS, but the latter is much more a technical/directorial piece than it is writing.

SHOULD AND WILL WIN: 12 Years a Slave

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
The Book Thief
Gravity
Her
Philomena
Saving Mr. Banks

Though GRAVITY seems the obvious choice, it’s also going to be winning almost every other category on the ballot. Desplat’s wonderfully subtle and emotional work on PHILOMENA will take the award here.

SHOULD WIN: Gravity OR Philomena
WILL WIN: Philomena

BEST ORIGINAL SONG
Alone Yet Not Alone, from Alone Yet Not Alone
Happy, from Despicable Me 2
Let It Go, from Frozen
The Moon Song, from Her
Ordinary Love, from Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom

I’m not going to lie - none of these songs stand out as winners to me. The one with the most hype is ‘Let it Go,’ and it likely has the best chance of the bunch.

SHOULD AND WILL WIN (I guess): Let It Go, from Frozen

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
The Grandmaster
Gravity
Inside Llewyn Davis
Nebraska
Prisoners

GRAVITY. This is not up for debate.

SHOULD AND WILL WIN: Gravity

BEST COSTUME DESIGN
American Hustle
The Grandmaster
The Great Gatsby
The Invisible Woman
12 Years a Slave

AMERICAN HUSTLE has great costumes, but the whole ‘looking like kids who raided their parents closet’ vibe works against it. The craftsmanship on THE GREAT GATSBY will be what gets noticed here.

SHOULD AND WILL WIN: The Great Gatsby

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
The Act of Killing
Cutie and the Boxer
Dirty Wars
The Square
20 Feet from Stardom

Again, I’ve seen none of them, so I’m going by the synopsis of each.

WILL WIN: The Act of Killing

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT
CaveDigger
Facing Fear
Karama Has No Walls
The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life
Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall

Read the synopsis for THE LADY IN NUMBER 6: MUSIC SAVED MY LIFE. If it does not win, several stereotypes associated with the Academy will be proven wrong. And we can’t have that.

WILL WIN: The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life

BEST FILM EDITING
American Hustle
Captain Phillips
Dallas Buyers Club
Gravity
12 Years a Slave

While GRAVITY seems the obvious choice, I have a feeling the Academy will be going with CAPTAIN PHILLIPS here, especially after the news of the A.C.E giving Christopher Rouse the Eddie award for the film.

SHOULD WIN: Captain Phillips OR Gravity
WILL WIN: Captain Phillips

BEST MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING
Dallas Buyers Club
Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa
The Lone Ranger

Oh, just give it to DALLAS BUYERS CLUB.

SHOULD AND WILL WIN: Dallas Buyers Club

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
American Hustle
Gravity
The Great Gatsby
Her
12 Years a Slave

Like Costume Design, GREAT GATSBY will get notice here. Say what you want about Baz - the movies always look incredible.

SHOULD AND WILL WIN: The Great Gatsby

BEST ANIMATED SHORT FILM
Feral
Get a Horse!
Mr. Hublot
Possessions
Room on the Broom

No idea, haven’t seen them. It’s synopsis and guessing time again!

WILL WIN: Get a Horse!

BEST LIVE-ACTION SHORT FILM
Aquel No Era Yo (That Wasn't Me)
Avant Que De Tout Perdre (Just Before Losing Everything)
Helium
Pitaako Mun Kaikki Hoitaa? (Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?)
The Voorman Problem

Ditto the last category. Here goes nothing.

WILL WIN: Helium

BEST SOUND EDITING
All Is Lost
Captain Phillips
Gravity
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Lone Survivor

It’s a tight race between CAPTAIN PHILLIPS and GRAVITY. However, I think GRAVITY will edge it out.

SHOULD WIN: Captain Phillips or Gravity
WILL WIN: Gravity

BEST SOUND MIXING
Captain Phillips
Gravity
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Inside Llewyn Davis
Lone Survivor

Again, it’s down to PHILLIPS and GRAVITY, but I think the former, with its larger and more complex action sequences, will actually best the latter here.

SHOULD WIN: Captain Phillips or Gravity
WILL WIN: Captain Phillips


BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
Gravity
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Iron Man 3
The Lone Ranger
Star Trek Into Darkness

Once again, GRAVITY squashes the competition.

SHOULD AND WILL WIN: Gravity

The 2011 Oscar Predictions!!!
Joel
damngoodphil
BEST PICTURE
127 Hours
Black Swan
Inception
The Fighter
The Kids Are All Right
The King's Speech
The Social Network
Toy Story
True Grit
Winter's Bone

Lots of great competition here, but let’s break it down: TOY STORY will not win because it’s getting Best Animated Film. Based on the competition, we can immediately eliminate WINTER’S BONE, THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT, TRUE GRIT, and THE FIGHTER. The remaining five are what I personally believe would be the nominations if the number of best picture nominations was still limited to five. 127 HOURS and INCEPTION are great, but are not nearly generating the buzz that the other three are. BLACK SWAN would be NICE, but it’s doubtful the Academy would award such a dark horse choice. It really boils down to THE SOCIAL NETWORK and THE KING’S SPEECH. THE SOCIAL NETWORK’S buzz has been off the charts almost since before it came out, but THE KING’S SPEECH is going to topple it. It may not be the best movie of the year, but it will win.

SHOULD WIN: Black Swan, Inception, or I guess maybe The Social Network
WILL WIN: The King’s Speech

BEST ACTOR
Jeff Bridges - True Grit
Javier Bardem - Biutiful
Jesse Eisenberg - The Social Network
Colin Firth - The King's Speech
James Franco - 127 Hours

We can nix Bridges, Eisenberg, and Bardem. While James Franco certainly is deserving of the award, there’s no question who will be walking away with it in this category tonight.

SHOULD AND WILL WIN: Colin Firth

BEST ACTRESS
Annette Bening - The Kids Are All Right
NIcole Kidman - Rabbit Hole
Jennifer Lawrence - Winter’s Bone
Natalie Portman - Black Swan
Michelle Williams - Blue Valentine

Again, all great performances. Michelle Williams has a very, very, dark horse chance to steal it, but she won’t. Natalie Portman for the win.

SHOULD AND WILL WIN: Natalie Portman

BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Christian Bale - The Fighter
John Hawkes - Winter’s Bone
Jeremy Renner - The Town
Mark Ruffalo - The Kids Are All Right
Geoffrey Rush - The King’s Speech

The only person here who even has a chance of toppling Bale is Geoffrey Rush. And he won’t.

SHOULD AND WILL WIN: Christian Bale

BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Amy Adams - The Fighter
Helena Bonham Carter - The King’s Speech
Melissa Leo - The Fighter
Hailee Steinfeld - True Grit
Jacki Weaver - Animal Kingdom

This is perhaps the only acting category that isn’t truly obvious. Everyone keeps talking up Melissa Leo (who was great), but Amy Adams I think may have a clear shot as well. It’s really up in the air, but at least whoever wins will be an actor from THE FIGHTER. And if that is what it ultimately comes down to, it’s Leo.

SHOULD AND WILL WIN: Melissa Leo

BEST ANIMATED PICTURE
How To Train Your Dragon
Toy Story 3
The Illusionist

Some interesting omissions (no DESPICABLE ME , TANGLED, or SHREK? Not that they necessarily deserved it, but still) and all terrific choices, but who are we kidding? TOY STORY 3 isn’t just the best of the year; it’s one of the best sequels ever made. It’s a lock.

SHOULD AND WILL WIN: Toy Story 3

BEST DIRECTOR
Darren Aronofsky - Black Swan
David Fincher - The Social Network
Tom Hooper - The King’s Speech
Joel and Ethan Coen - True Grit
David O. Russell - The Fighter

It’s either Fincher or Hooper. Hooper would certainly be a fine choice, but THE SOCIAL NETWORK would not be what it is without Fincher. Just give it to him already.

SHOULD AND WILL WIN: David Fincher

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Another Year
The Fighter
Inception
The Kids Are All Right
The King’s Speech

Not ANOTHER YEAR or THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT. THE FIGHTER could take it, but it doesn’t stand up to the remaining two. I really, really want INCEPTION (perhaps the most original script for a Hollywood movie since ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND) to take it, but I think THE KING’S SPEECH has this one in the bag. Sorry, Chris Nolan.

SHOULD WIN: Inception
WILL WIN: The King’s Speech

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
127 Hours
Toy Story 3
The Social Network
Winter’s Bone
True Grit

I’m not really sure how TOY STORY 3 fits in this category (what book?), but it doesn’t matter since it is not going to win. Neither will TRUE GRIT or WINTER’S BONE. James Franco would like us to believe 127 HOURS is the more interesting film, but let’s face it: this would be THE SOCIAL NETWORK’S even if it does win Best Picture along with it.

SHOULD AND WILL WIN: The Social Network

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Algeria, Hors la Loi
Canada, Incendies
Denmark, In a Better World
Greece, Dogtooth
Mexico, Biutiful

I have not seen any of these, but based upon word-of-mouth and the synopses/trailers, I would narrow it down to either BIUTIFUL or IN A BETTER WORLD. We'll see.

WILL WIN: Biutiful

BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN CINEMATOGRAPHY
Black Swan
Inception
The King's Speech
The Social Network
True Grit

There’s not a single nomination in this category that doesn’t deserve to win. Let’s see: I think we can eliminate TRUE GRIT and THE KING’S SPEECH. INCEPTION would be welcome, but lacks the grittiness of BLACK SWAN and the careful subtlety of THE SOCIAL NETWORK. I really want BLACK SWAN to take this one, but will it win? I’m going to say yes.

SHOULD AND WILL WIN: Black Swan

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
Exit Through The Gift Shop
Gasland
Inside Job
Restrepo
Waste Land

Again, have not seen a single one, so I’m making an educated guess. I would have to say either GASLAND or INSIDE JOB. I personally would really like to see the latter win, but the Academy is a sucker for environmental docs. Oh well.

SHOULD WIN: Inside Job
WILL WIN: Gasland

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT
Killing In The Name
Poster Girl
Strangers No More
Sun Come Up
The Warriors Of Qiugang

I swear next year I will sit and watch them all. Based on the synopses, they all sound interesting. Here goes nothing!

WILL WIN: The Warriors Of Qiugang

BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN FILM EDITING
Black Swan
The Fighter
The King's Speech
127 Hours
The Social Network

While I could see BLACK SWAN stealing it, I cannot fathom how THE SOCIAL NETWORK could lose in this category.

SHOULD AND WILL WIN: The Social Network

ACHIEVEMENT IN VISUAL EFFECTS
Alice in Wonderland
Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 1
Hereafter
Inception
Iron Man 2

With ALICE likely taking costume design, it’s doubtful it would get noticed here. All of the others have great effects, but it’s really down to INCEPTION and HARRY POTTER. INCEPTION is snagging all the other technical post awards, but I think HARRY POTTER may have the edge here. On another note, where the hell is TRON: LEGACY???

SHOULD WIN: Inception
WILL WIN: Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 1

BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN ART DIRECTION
Alice in Wonderland
Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 1
Inception
The King's Speech
True Grit

Another tough category. ALICE has a strong chance, but so does HARRY POTTER. Of all it’s nominations, this may be the only one TRUE GRIT has a chance of taking, but it won’t. INCEPTION would be nice, but doesn’t have the clout of the others. I have to give ALICE credit: it might not be a very good movie, but the art people at least showed up for work.

SHOULD WIN: Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 1
WILL WIN: Alice In Wonderland

BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN COSTUME DESIGN
Alice in Wonderland
I Am Love
The King's Speech
The Tempest
True Grit

Just don’t give it to ALICE IN WONDERLAND. You can do that can’t you, Academy? Oh, and by the way, please give it to THE KING’S SPEECH. I just know how much you guys love period pieces…but you normally give this award to the most lavish design despite the quality of the film. Aye.

SHOULD WIN: The King’s Speech
WILL WIN: Alice In Wonderland

BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN MAKEUP
Barney's Version
The Way Back
The Wolfman

Could the Academy really give THE WOLFMAN an Oscar? Not if they want to keep their dignity (though really, when has that every stopped them?). Barney’s Version for the win!

SHOULD AND WILL WIN: Barney’s Version

BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN MUSIC WRITTEN FOR MOTION PICTURES (ORIGINAL SCORE)
How to Train Your Dragon
Inception
The King's Speech
127 Hours
The Social Network

Not THE SOCIAL NETWORK, not THE SOCIAL NETWORK, please, please, ANYTHING but THE SOCIAL NETWORK!!!!

Aw, hell.

Oh, and a slap on the wrist for not nominating Daft Punk for TRON: LEGACY and James Newton Howard for AVATAR: THE LAST AIRBENDER (which on all accounts, is a HORRIBLE film, but has a five-star score that mops the floor with most of the nominees).

SHOULD WIN: Any of them except for The Social Network (especially How To Train Your Dragon).
WILL WIN: The Social Network (sigh)

ACHIEVEMENT IN MUSIC WRITTEN FOR MOTION PICTURES (ORIGINAL SONG)
“Coming Home” from Country Strong
“I See the Light” from Tangled
“If I Rise” from 127 Hours
“We Belong Together” from Toy Story 3

It's either gonna be "If I Rise" or "We Belong Together." I love the latter, but "If I Rise" is just such a great song and "We Belong Together," though very fun, is nothing we have not heard before from Newman. A.R. Rahman does it again, this time with Dido (I think there's a 'That's What She Said' joke in there somewhere).

SHOULD AND WILL WIN: “If I Rise”

BEST ANIMATED SHORT FILM
Day & Night
The Gruffalo
Let's Pollute
The Lost Thing
Madagascar, carnet de voyage (Madagascar, a Journey Diary)

Some really fun choices here. I’d like to see MADAGASCAR take it, but honestly, how do you top a Pixar short?

SHOULD AND WILL WIN: Day & Night

BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM
The Confession
The Crush
God Of Love
Na Wewe
Wish 143

I have not seen any of these, but based on the synopses, they all sound very creative. THE CRUSH sounds great, but I think the Academy will go with NA WEWE.

WILL WIN: Na Wewe

ACHIEVEMENT IN SOUND EDITING
Inception
Toy Story 3
Tron: Legacy
True Grit
Unstoppable

I just want TRON: LEGACY to walk home with something (especially after being snubbed for Best Original Score and Visual Effects), but I’ll be satisfied with INCEPTION.

SHOULD WIN: Tron: Legacy (please!)
WILL WIN: Inception

ACHIEVEMENT IN SOUND MIXING
Inception
The King's Speech
Salt
The Social Network
True Grit

We can forget about SALT or TRUE GRIT. I’d like to see THE SOCIAL NETWORK get it (why was this not nominated for sound editing over UNSTOPPABLE?!), but I’m going to break protocol and say INCEPTION will take them both.

SHOULD WIN: The Social Network
WILL WIN: Inception

Stay Tuned...

The 2010 Oscar Predictions!!!
Joel
damngoodphil
BEST PICTURE
Avatar
The Hurt Locker
Precious
Up in the Air
Inglourious Basterds
Up
The Blind Side
District 9
An Education
A Serious Man

Okay, here goes: Based on the competition, we can immediately eliminate INGLOURIOUS, DISTRICT 9, and THE BLIND SIDE. UP would be great, but it won't beat the others, especially since it's already getting Best Animated Feature. UP IN THE AIR, A SERIOUS MAN, or AN EDUCATION would be wonderful, but they don't quite have the emotional punch of PRECIOUS and THE HURT LOCKER. Let's get real, though: the Academy loves successful movies, and the chance of them not giving the new highest grossing film of all-time the Best Picture award is pretty slim. Not helped by Nicolas Chartier's ignorant Oscar vote E-Mail campaign against AVATAR.

SHOULD WIN: The Hurt Locker
WILL WIN: Avatar

BEST ACTOR
George Clooney, Up in the Air
Jeff Bridges, Crazy Heart
Colin Firth, A Single Man
Morgan Freeman, Invictus
Jeremy Renner, The Hurt Locker

Freeman's performance was nice, but not Oscar-worthy. Same for Colin Firth. Clooney was great, but not nearly as haunting or gripping as Renner in THE HURT LOCKER. Unfortunately, this is not Renner's award to win. Just give it to Jeff Bridges, please.

SHOULD AND WILL WIN: Jeff Bridges

BEST ACTRESS
Meryl Streep, Julie & Julia
Sandra Bullock, The Blind Side
Gabourey Sidibe, Precious
Helen Mirren, The Last Station
Carey Mulligan, An Education

Streep and Mirren are out. Sidibe wasn't as good as Mulligan, nor does she have the buzz that Bullock has. Make no mistake: Sandra Bullock will win/steal Carey Mulligan's award and become the first actress in history to win both an Oscar and Razzie in the same weekend. Here's hoping that's wrong.

SHOULD WIN: Carey Mulligan
WILL WIN: Sandra Bullock

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Matt Damon, Invictus
Woody Harrelson, The Messenger
Christopher Plummer, The Last Station
Stanley Tucci, The Lovely Bones
Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds

Tucci's performance is one of the few (if not only) redeeming qualities of LOVELY BONES, but he won't get it. Damon, Harrelson, and Plummer all had fine performances, but none of them quite as interesting (not to mention frightening) as the one put on for Col. Hans Landa.

SHOULD AND WILL WIN: Christoph Waltz

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Vera Farmiga, Up in the Air
Mo'Nique, Precious
Anna Kendrick, Up in the Air
Penelope Cruz, Nine
Maggie Gyllenhaal, Crazy Heart

Cruz may have won her (undeserved) Oscar last year, but I don't see the Academy giving it to her again, especially for this role. Gyllenhaal was good, but not nearly as good as the remaining three, while Farmiga was dwarfed by Kendrick in UP IN THE AIR. Kendrick winning would certainly be welcome, but Mo'Nique stole the show with her performance in PRECIOUS, and she'll do the same on Sunday night.

SHOULD AND WILL WIN: Mo'Nique

BEST DIRECTOR
Quentin Tarantino, Inglourious Basterds
Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker
James Cameron, Avatar
Lee Daniels, Precious: Based on the novel 'Push' by Sapphire
Jason Reitman, Up in the Air

Tarantino? Has no chance against his competition here. Reitman? Great choice, but not over THE HURT LOCKER or PRECIOUS. Cameron? Unlikely, though AVATAR'S commercial success and stunning visuals could make the steal. It's basically down to Bigelow and Daniels, and while PRECIOUS was wonderfully directed, Bigelow's hard-hitting vision of the Iraq War takes the cake.

SHOULD AND WILL WIN: Kathryn Bigelow

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
Up
Coraline
Fantastic Mr. Fox
The Princess and the Frog
The Secret of Kells

All great nominations, but despite their individual strength (especially in the case of CORALINE and SECRET OF KELLS), none of them can top UP.

SHOULD WIN AND WILL WIN: Up

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
The Messenger
A Serious Man
Up

THE MESSENGER won't get it; UP won't get it for the same reason it won't get Best Picture; A SERIOUS MAN would certainly be a surprise, but it's not likely to beat the remaining two. THE HURT LOCKER is looking to sweep nearly every other major award, but it's looking more and more like Tarantino will finally have his first Oscar this year.

SHOULD WIN: The Hurt Locker OR Inglourious Basterds
WILL WIN: Inglourious Basterds

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
District 9
An Education
In the Loop
Precious
Up in the Air

DISTRICT 9 wouldn't be bad, but it's not better than the others. IN THE LOOP has had some great word-of-mouth, but doesn't stand up to PRECIOUS, UP IN THE AIR, or AN EDUCATION. Out of those three, it's either PRECIOUS or UP IN THE AIR. PRECIOUS would be nice, but UP IN THE AIR'S light-heartedness combined with its portrayal of the current economic hardships makes it a shoo-in.

SHOULD AND WILL WIN: Up In The Air

BEST FOREIGN-LANGUAGE FILM
Ajami
El Secreto de Sus Ojos
The Milk of Sorrow
Un Prophète
The White Ribbon

I have not seen any of these, but based upon word-of-mouth and the synopses/trailers, I would narrow it down to either AJAMI or THE WHITE RIBBON. We'll see.

WILL WIN: The White Ribbon.

BEST EDITING
Avatar
District 9
The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
Precious

Once again, some very tough competition here. DISTRICT 9 is good, but would be more deserving of an award for the picture with the most cuts rather than the best. AVATAR has no shot against the others. INGLOURIOUS is the dark horse here, but the talkiness of many of the scenes (while mostly brilliant) will hold it back. With PRECIOUS getting snubbed for Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay, this is their award to win, even if it should be going to THE HURT LOCKER.

SHOULD WIN: The Hurt Locker
WILL WIN: Precious

BEST ART DIRECTION
Avatar
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
Nine
Sherlock Holmes
The Young Victoria

Definitely not AVATAR or SHERLOCK HOLMES. Both VICTORIA and NINE look great, but neither are nearly as artistically or imaginatively designed as DOCTOR PARNASSUS.

SHOULD AND WILL WIN: The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Avatar
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
The White Ribbon

We can rule out HARRY POTTER and THE WHITE RIBBON. AVATAR'S visuals were stunning, but most of them were digital. Both of the remaining two were wonderfully shot, but I doubt INGLOURIOUS could topple HURT LOCKER here.

SHOULD WIN: Inglourious Basterds OR The Hurt Locker
WILL WIN: The Hurt Locker

BEST COSTUME DESIGN
Bright Star
Coco Before Chanel
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
Nine
The Young Victoria

PARNASSUS and COCO are appropriately dark and NINE boasts some vibrant outfits, but the only one of these that has a chance of beating THE YOUNG VICTORIA is BRIGHT STAR. And it won't.

SHOULD AND WILL WIN: The Young Victoria

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
Burma VJ
The Cove
Food, Inc.
The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers
Which Way Home

Once again, I've been unable to see any, so I'm going to take an educated guess. I would narrow it down to either FOOD INC. or THE COVE.

WILL WIN: The Cove

BEST MAKEUP
Il Divo
Star Trek
The Young Victoria

We can eliminate STAR TREK. YOUNG VICTORIA could take it, but IL DIVO deserves it for the way Giolio Andreotti looks alone.

SHOULD AND WILL WIN: Il Divo

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
Avatar
Fantastic Mr. Fox
The Hurt Locker
Sherlock Holmes
Up

UP needs to win this, but I have a SINKING feeling that this could be THE HURT LOCKER'S consolation prize for not getting Best Picture. The only other thing offsetting this is that HURT LOCKER will be getting several other awards...but it's just too hard to be sure. AVATAR is nothing we haven't heard from Horner before, while SHERLOCK HOLMES and FANTASTIC MR. FOX don't come anywhere close to beating UP. Nevertheless, I'm going against my better judgement and hoping that the Academy will do the right thing.

SHOULD AND WILL WIN: Up

BEST ORIGINAL SONG
Almost There from The Princess and the Frog
Down in New Orleans from The Princess and the Frog
Loin de Paname from Paris 36
Take it All from Nine
The Weary Kind (Theme from Crazy Heart) from Crazy Heart

THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG songs are fun, but won't beat out the others. "Loin de Paname" sounds nice, but it's nothing that you wouldn't expect to hear from a French song; "Take it All" isn't bad, but it's also not Best Original Song material. Meanwhile, the comforting guitar and lyrics of "The Weary Kind" are just what the Oscar ordered.

SHOULD AND WILL WIN: The Weary Kind (Theme from Crazy Heart) from Crazy Heart

BEST SOUND EDITING
Avatar
The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
Star Trek
Up

We can rule out UP. INGLOURIOUS would be an inspired choice, but not one the Academy is likely to make. Same goes for STAR TREK. AVATAR has a great soundtrack, but nothing terribly out of the ordinary (unlike the visuals). This one should go to THE HURT LOCKER, but with the Academy's knack for voting for whichever film was the loudest, AVATAR is ripe to make the steal.

SHOULD WIN: The Hurt Locker
WILL WIN: Avatar

BEST SOUND MIXING
Avatar
The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
Star Trek
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

The subtlety of INGLOURIOUS won't be enough for it to stand out here. TRANSFORMERS has a slight chance, but is unlikely to topple the others. STAR TREK would be nice, but doesn't have the clout of AVATAR or THE HURT LOCKER. Both of these would be deserved, but we all know AVATAR was more about visuals than sound mixing. Sorry, Cameron.

SHOULD WIN: Avatar OR The Hurt Locker
WILL WIN: The Hurt Locker

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
Avatar
District 9
Star Trek

While I'd love to see TREK or DISTRICT 9 get this, AVATAR has this one in the bag (and deservedly so).

SHOULD AND WILL WIN: Avatar

Stay Tuned...

Hot Street - An Unreleased Michael Jackson Tune - Thoughts?
Joel
damngoodphil
I'd be lying if I said I haven't been listening to Michael Jackson lately. Truth be told, I actually began to revisit Thriller late in 2008 (the only Jackson album I owned on CD at the time) and was amazed not only how good the album was, but how timeless. It's no wonder why clubs and parties still continue to play music from the album now. There is no doubt in my mind that if Michael had produced Thriller today, it would have still been a runaway success. This renewed interest prompted me to pick up some of the other albums (specifically Off The Wall and Bad). While these were all enjoyed, it was the bonus songs on the 2001 Special Editions that got me curious about what else we may not have heard.

As it's been reported through various news sites (sadly, in the wake of his tragic and unfortunate passing), Michael recorded hundreds of songs over the course of his career, most of which have never been heard before. However, some of these tracks have leaked out over the years, allowing fans some impression of what they never got on those original album releases.

Hot Street was a song written and recorded for Thriller, but never included on the final cut. The song was written by Rod Temperton (writer of Baby Be Mine, Thriller, and several other Michael Jackson tunes) and recorded probably around early 1982. The story reportedly was that Michael liked the song, but when it came time to narrow down the album choices, Temperton and Quincy Jones felt it wasn't strong enough.

The rumor is that Hot Street was left off the Thriller album in favor of Beat It. The Powers That Be ultimately chose wisely and Beat It became the hit we all know and enjoy today.

Nevertheless, judging it as a song on its own, Hot Street (in my opinion) is still a catchy tune. It's Michael at his best; just the right amount of R&B/Funk combined with solid lyrics and a good beat (not unlike much of what he was making back then). Still, it's probably a good thing it was left off of Thriller.

Hit the link below to check it out. What do you guys think?

Hot Street by Michael Jackson

The 2009 Oscar Predictions!!!
Joel
damngoodphil
Okay, here goes:

BEST PICTURE
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Frost/Nixon
Milk
The Reader
Slumdog Millionaire

We can nix THE READER and FROST/NIXON. BUTTON wouldn't be bad, but it won't beat SLUMDOG or MILK. SLUMDOG has been getting more and more buzz lately, but somehow, I just don't think the Academy will award it here. It'll get almost everything else, but I think MILK has this one in the bag.

SHOULD WIN: Slumdog Millionaire
WILL WIN: Milk

BEST DIRECTOR
Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire
David Fincher, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Ron Howard, Frost/Nixon
Stephen Daldry, The Reader
Gus Van Sant, Milk

We can automatically rule out Howard and Daldry (who nominated those guys, anyway?). Fincher would be nice, but doesn't seem likely to beat out Van Sant or Boyle. If Boyle wins, he'll certainly be getting it for his best film, but Van Sant could very easily steal it. Fortunately, they both deserve it. I must note: how Chris Nolan (THE DARK KNIGHT) and Clint Eastwood (CHANGELING) were not nominated here is beyond me.

SHOULD WIN: Danny Boyle or Gus Van Sant
WILL WIN: Danny Boyle

BEST ACTOR
Richard Jenkins, The Visitor
Frank Langella, Frost/Nixon
Sean Penn, Milk
Brad Pitt, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler

Jenkins' nomination is welcome, but he doesn't have a chance against the others. Pitt and Langella both put forth strong performances, but neither have the buzz of Rourke's or Penn's. I'd love for Rourke to get it (and he does deserve it), but we all know how much the Academy looooves Sean Penn (though Penn's performance isn't bad either).

SHOULD WIN: Mickey Rourke
WILL WIN: Sean Penn

BEST ACTRESS
Anne Hathaway, Rachel Getting Married
Angelina Jolie, Changeling
Melissa Leo, Frozen River
Meryl Streep, Doubt
Kate Winslet, The Reader

Kate is going to win. I just really wish it was for any other movie she's done but this one. ANY one.

SHOULD AND WILL WIN: Kate Winslet

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Josh Brolin, Milk
Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight
Robert Downey Jr., Tropic Thunder
Philip Seymour Hoffman, Doubt
Michael Shannon, Revolutionary Road

Shannon was good, but doesn't have a shot against his competition; Downey Jr. was amusing, but he's not even in the same league as the others in this case. As good as Brolin and Hoffman were, neither of them can touch the performance we all knew was going to take it home this year.

SHOULD AND WILL WIN: Heath Ledger

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Amy Adams, Doubt
Penélope Cruz, Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Viola Davis, Doubt
Taraji P. Henson, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Marisa Tomei, The Wrestler

Tomei would be nice, but she won't get it; Davis and Henson both had strong performances, but not Oscar worthy. I hope with every fiber of my being that Cruz DOES NOT win, but the Academy has some kind of fascination with her and I can totally see them snubbing Adams. Boo!

SHOULD WIN: Amy Adams
WILL WIN: Penélope Cruz

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Frozen River, Courtney Hunt
Happy-Go-Lucky, Mike Leigh
In Bruges, Martin McDonagh
Milk, Dustin Lance Black
WALL-E, Andrew Stanton, Jim Reardon, Pete Docter

Wall-E would be nice, the the Academy would never award such a choice. MILK certainly wouldn't be unexpected, but the other nominees have more writing buzz and with all the attention that IN BRUGES has gotten recently, it seems like a lock. Still, Happy Go-Lucky would be nice.

SHOULD WIN: Happy Go-Lucky
WILL WIN: In Bruges

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Eric Roth
Doubt, John Patrick Shanley
Frost/Nixon, Peter Morgan
The Reader, David Hare
Slumdog Millionaire, Simon Beaufoy

We can nix DOUBT and THE READER (hopefully). FROST/NIXON is good, but doesn't have the clout of BUTTON or SLUMDOG. I would love to see either of these two win, but SLUMDOG seems likely to sweep this one.

SHOULD WIN: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button OR Slumdog Millionaire
WILL WIN: Slumdog Millionaire

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
Bolt
Kung Fu Panda
WALL-E

Is this even a contest? Please, Academy: do the right thing.

SHOULD AND WILL WIN: Wall-E.

BEST ART DIRECTION
Changeling
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
The Duchess
Revolutionary Road

Really tough. THE DARK KNIGHT probably doesn't have a shot against its competition. THE DUCHESS pretty much already has a lock for costume design, but ROAD and CHANGELING are so similar that it's likely they'll split the vote. A pity, especially considering that CHANGELING'S already been snubbed on so many deserved nominations.

SHOULD WIN: Changeling
WILL WIN: The Duchess

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Changeling
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
The Reader
Slumdog Millionaire

Both THE READER and DARK KNIGHT are out. THE CHANGELING looks amazing, but doesn't have the picturesque look of BUTTON. I really think this is BB'S most deserved Oscar, but I have a feeling the Academy is going to leave this one to SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE.

SHOULD WIN: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
WILL WIN: Slumdog Millionaire

BEST COSTUME DESIGN
Australia
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Duchess
Milk
Revolutionary Road

We can rule out MILK and AUSTRALIA; BUTTON and ROAD are great, but both have very similar designs, leading them to likely split the vote. Not that it matters though, because THE DUCHESS trumps them all.

SHOULD AND WILL WIN: The Duchess

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
The Betrayal (Nerakhoon)
Encounters at the End of the World
The Garden
Man on Wire
Trouble the Water

I've seen none of these, so I'm gonna take a guess based purely on synopsis. With that, I find it hard to believe any of the nominated could trump a film on KATRINA.

WILL WIN: Trouble the Water

BEST EDITING
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
Frost/Nixon
Milk
Slumdog Millionaire

Very tough. FROST/NIXON is good, but not on the caliber of the others. BUTTON works, but isn't quite as tight as the rest and THE DARK KNIGHT just doesn't beat the remaining two. It really boils down to MILK Vs. SLUMDOG and as well as both of them are cut, MILK lacks the building tension that SLUMDOG has (save for maybe near the end), largely thanks to the film's editing.

SHOULD AND WILL WIN: Slumdog Millionaire

BEST MAKEUP
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
Hellboy II: The Golden Army

So it's Button Vs. Joker Vs. Hellboy. All three films certainly have a chance here. Oscar politics would dictate BENJAMIN BUTTON to be the winner, but I have a feeling DARK KNIGHT and BB will split the vote, making HELLBOY victorious (and deservedly so).

SHOULD AND WILL WIN: Hellboy II: The Golden Army

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Alexandre Desplat
Defiance, James Newton Howard
Milk, Danny Elfman
Slumdog Millionaire, A.R. Rahman
WALL-E, Thomas Newman

The Academy will likely ignore Newman, Howard, and Elfman (as they always do, sadly). BUTTON has a wonderfully subtle and emotional score, but I have a sinking feeling the Academy is going to pull a "Santaolalla" and recognize SLUMDOG for perhaps the only award it doesn't deserve.

SHOULD WIN: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
WILL WIN: Slumdog Millionaire

BEST ORIGINAL SONG
''Down to Earth,'' WALL-E
''Jai Ho,'' Slumdog Millionaire
''O Saya,'' Slumdog Millionaire

SLUMDOG could very easily split the vote, shooing WALL-E in for the win. Still, I don't see how SLUMDOG doesn't have this one locked.

SHOULD AND WILL WIN: "Jai Ho," Slumdog Millionaire

BEST SOUND EDITING
The Dark Knight
Iron Man
Slumdog Millionaire
WALL-E
Wanted

The only one of these that even has a chance of taking WALL-E is IRON MAN, and even it falls short here.

SHOULD AND WILL WIN: Wall-E

BEST SOUND MIXING
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
Slumdog Millionaire
WALL-E
Wanted

SLUMDOG has a dark horse chance here, though once again, I find it hard to believe that any of these could have a chance against a movie that is built entirely upon sound.

SHOULD AND WILL WIN: Wall-E

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
Iron Man

IRON MAN may not be the best of the three (in fact, it isn't), but the other two films simply don't offer as much in the way of visual effects. THE DARK KNIGHT boasts only one major sequence (two, if you count the "Bat-Sonar"), while BUTTON'S success lies more in the makeup than in the CGI. I'd love for the Academy to award this on the merit of subtlety, but it ain't gonna happen.

SHOULD WIN: The Dark Knight or The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
WILL WIN: Iron Man

Stay Tuned...

Good God......WHY?!
Joel
damngoodphil
Source: Variety, October 1, 2008

The CW is developing a series based on Batman sidekick Robin's pre-Caped Crusader days, reports Variety.

"Smallville" executive producers Kelly Souders and Brian Peterson, as well as "Supernatural" executive producer McG, are behind "The Graysons," which has landed a put pilot commitment at the network.

Just as "Smallville" focuses on Clark Kent in the years before he became Superman, "The Graysons" will follow the world of Dick "DJ" Grayson before he takes on the iconic Robin identity and aligns himself with Batman.

"The Graysons" is seen as a potential replacement for "Smallville" should that show end its run this season, which has been speculated. Should "Smallville" return next year, "The Graysons" might also make a strong companion piece.

In the one-hour "Graysons," which will be set in modern times, young DJ will face challenges involving first loves, young rivals and his family as he grows up. Souders and Peterson have come up with an original take on the character.

___________

And here I thought the new KNIGHT RIDER series was the next sign of the Apocalypse.

This isn't just a bad idea.

It's a boring, awful idea.

Ugh.

Feel free to discuss.

Stay Tuned...

Emmy lateness and other nonsense...
Joel
damngoodphil
So normally around this time (or rather, a day or two ago) I would have posted my predictions for the Emmys. Problem was, I didn't even know the Emmys were airing tonight. How sad is that? I live in what most consider to be the mecha of entertainment and yet somehow, I managed to completely and utterly ignore the Emmy Awards. I may still post my reactions later (if I even feel like it).

Matt moved out last Sunday, which means for the first time since I left Fremantle, things are back to status quo. "Status quo" meaning I'm on my own again with a full time job. Over the past few months, it's either been 1) No job, 2) No job and a roommate, or 3) A job and a roommate. The first day felt really nice, although I have been rather listless since. Up until Matt left, I always felt like I had something to do; either an errand to run or something to pick up every day. Since then though, I really haven't felt like I've had to do anything (even though I have). It's very weird and I'm not sure I like it. For as much as I might complain sometimes about being too busy, I think part of me rather likes having a lot to do now and again. Go figure.

Visiting home this weekend. Should be a good trip. It'll be fast and I'm already preparing myself for it not to be like the amazing trip in March (which I still have yet to write about), but I'm still really excited for it. People have already been contacting me to hang out since I broke the news about coming back, which leads to me believe that I haven't been completely forgotten in my absence. That's always good to know.

Stay Tuned...

Family Fun and Creativity....
Joel
damngoodphil
Another month flies by.

Raynah's wedding a few weeks back was a lot of fun. I didn't take any pictures, but I did have my video camera and I even shot enough footage to make a short, five-minute video featuring the highlights of the day, which (much to my surprise) came out amazing. I sent it off on Tuesday, then on Thursday, I got a phone call from Gena, Aunt Mary, and Uncle Steve, all on speaker phone, telling me how much they enjoyed it. That made me really happy.

Since coming back from Napa Valley that weekend, I've come to 2 critical realizations:

1) I never realized how much I missed Uncle Steve and Aunt Mary.

2) Making the wedding video has to have been the most fun I've had working on something in, I don't know, maybe 2 years. Despite some of the logistical problems (like the fear of not having enough footage, that it wasn't shot well enough, and blah, blah, blah), it's been the most creatively satisfying thing I've done since I've been in Los Angeles. No problematic tape issues, or frustrating upper/mid-level management; just me making something that I really care about.

I miss doing things like that. I really do. Being in L.A. can be so great, but I swear, sometimes work leaves no time for what little creative output I have these days. Which is why I'm going to make a concentrated effort to do it more. It's going to take time (and money), but I think it's about time I started writing again. Making films again. Editing again.

Stay Tuned...

One Year Later...
Fire Trails!
damngoodphil
So Friday marked one year to the day that I arrived in L.A. permanently.

I made it through the first year.

(collapses into sleep)

Stay Tuned...

Some more short points! Here, here!
Joel
damngoodphil
So...

--A while back, I predicted that THE DARK KNIGHT would be the Godfather of comic book movies.

I was right.

--I have forgotten how terrible the bus system runs out here (make that the BURBANK bus system).

--I finally saw HAROLD AND KUMAR GO TO WHITE CASTLE and enjoyed it. Can't wait to see the second.

--Remember a few entries back when I said my apartment was clean? That didn't last long.

--The new job is even more chill than I imagined. Nice.

--Working at night is not as bad as I thought it was going to be.

--My room, the only thing I have not gotten around to working on in my place, is finally coming together.

--I've recently rediscovered the show WINGS and I still think it's enjoyable and underrated.

--I've finally reached my desired weight and am keeping it under control.

--It gets really hot when you don't have central air.

--I'm thinking about visiting home again if I can afford it.

--I'm going to my cousin's wedding in Napa Valley in a few weeks, which I am excited for.

--I can run almost 3 miles in 20 minutes now and counting.

--Despite helping to set up a successful Open Mic recently, I have been informed that it won't be a regular tradition. Bummer.

--Not only can people in L.A. not drive, but they can't really walk either.

--I am saving to buy a scooter.

--Judging by what I've seen and heard recently from different friends, I am thankful to not be in a relationship.

--I'm trying to get back into classical music, as it's gotten away from me in the past year or so.

--I need to quit buying comics because frankly, I'm losing interest fast.

--I also need to quit spending money on useless items, but that will never be.

That's about it for now.

Stay Tuned...

?

Log in