February 25, 2011

Oscar predictions: Part II

Animated Feature Film
How to Train Your Dragon, Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois
The Illusionist, Sylvain Chomet
Toy Story 3, Lee Unkrich
Toy Story 3 is entering this race as the presumptive winner, so strong is the critical reception to this film (it even gained a Best Picture nomination – only the second animated feature to do so). It’s coincidentally the one nominee out of the three that I haven’t seen. I can’t help but feel a little bit of Pixar fatigue however – they’ve won every year from the past three, and despite their high and consistent quality I can’t help but feel they’re not always offering me anything new any more. My pick to win is easily Sylvain Chomet’s The Illusionist, which was subtle, beautiful, funny and melancholic.
What’s going to win: Toy Story 3
What I want to win: The Illusionist
Art Direction
Alice in Wonderland (Production Design: Robert Stromberg; Set Decoration: Karen O'Hara)
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 (Production Design: Stuart Craig; Set Decoration: Stephenie McMillan)
Inception (Production Design: Guy Hendrix Dyas; Set Decoration: Larry Dias and Doug Mowat)
The King's Speech (Production Design: Eve Stewart; Set Decoration: Judy Farr)
True Grit (Production Design: Jess Gonchor; Set Decoration: Nancy Haigh)
More often than not this category goes to the nominee with the most vivid and obvious production design (The Lord of the Rings, Avatar, Moulin Rouge, and so on). Based on that theory the most obvious winner would seem to be Alice in Wonderland. That said, my personal favourite of the five is Inception, which looked sensational.
What’s going to win: Alice in Wonderland
What I want to win: Inception

Black Swan, Matthew Libatique
Inception, Wally Pfister
The King's Speech, Danny Cohen
The Social Network, Jeff Cronenweth
True Grit, Roger Deakins
What an outstanding selection of nominees in this category! It’s likely been fairly hard for voters to pick an immediate winner out of this list, based on the quality of the photography in at least four of the five films (I don’t remember even noticing the photography of The King’s Speech). While Wally Pfister and Matthew Libatique would both be worthy winners, I think the momentum here is with Roger Deakins’ wonderful work on True Grit. Given he’s one of the best cinematographers working today, it’s shocking that Deakins has yet to win an Oscar. This is his year – and it’s a good thing too.
Who’s going to win: Roger Deakins
Who I want to win: Roger Deakins

Costume Design
Alice in Wonderland, Colleen Atwood
I Am Love, Antonella Cannarozzi
The King's Speech, Jenny Beavan
The Tempest, Sandy Powell
True Grit, Mary Zophres
My initial thought was that this was going to boil down to Colleen Atwood’s Alice in Wonderland designs versus Sandy Powell’s The Tempest designs. On reflection, however, I think that Mary Zophres may steal the prize for her work on True Grit. I’m still hoping for Atwood to win – her designs for Alice’s dresses alone deserve recognition.
Who’s going to win: Mary Zophres
Who I want to win: Colleen Atwood

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