Friday, December 14, 2012

85th Oscar Lead Actor Updates (12/14/2012)

In the 1971, George C. Scott famously refused to accept his third Oscar nomination, claiming that he did not wish to be in competition with fellow actors. The Academy didn’t care, and awarded him an Oscar for Patton anyway, along with an additional nomination the following year for his role in The Hospital.

I’m not going to draw some strained comparison about how this year could also mark Joaquin Phoenix’s third nomination, or try to compare his (now retracted) comments about Oscar campaigning to Scott’s outright rejection of the awards. After all, Scott’s film won 7 Oscars that year (something The Master is unlikely to do), and his closest counterpart in this year’s race is probably Daniel Day Lewis, given that both of their films are homages to American heroes who are so famous that their last name alone can sell a movie.

All I’m suggesting is that Joaquin’s absence from the Screen Actors Guild awards this week isn’t necessarily determinative of what the Academy will do, and that I think many pundits are reading too much into it. In what has basically become a six man race for the nomination, it only takes a few votes to push any one of them above the others, and at the moment I think that The Sessions is the most likely film to fall victim to the aggressive campaign tactics that Phoenix railed against.

Further down the list I’ve tried to anticipate the types of films that might make a surprise appearance on BAFTA’s nomination list and given them a slight boost. But with Daniel Day-Lewis playing Lincoln, there’s not really much chance of the famed British Block voting any differently than the most vehement of American patriots.

NOTE: My apologies that the rows of images don't show up below. For some reason Blogger isn’t transferring my images. I’ll update this page if I somehow am able to solve the problem. For now, enjoy the predictions!

1. Daniel Day-Lewis for Lincoln (Predicted Winner) (previous rank 2)
2. Hugh Jackman for Les Miserables (previous rank 4)
3. Joaquin Phoenix for The Master (previously listed as supporting, rank 3)
4. Bradley Cooper for The Silver Linings Playbook (previous rank 48)
5. Denzel Washington for Flight (previous rank 5)

6. John Hawkes for The Sessions (previous rank 1)
7. RIchard Gere for Arbitrage (previous rank 15)
8. Anthony Hopkins for Hitchcock (New)
9. Jamie Foxx for Django Unchained (previous rank 8)
10. Jean-Louis Trintignant for Amour (New)
11. Bill Murray for Hyde Park On Hudson (previous rank 6)
12. Suraj Sharma for Life Of Pi (previous rank 12)
13. Ben Affleck for Argo (previous rank 25)
14. Matt Damon for Promised Land (New)
15. Omar Sy for The Intouchables (New)
16. Tom Hanks for Cloud Atlas (previous rank 33)
17. Jake Gyllenhaal for End Of Watch (New)
18. Colin Farrell for Seven Psychopaths (previous rank 27)
19. Denis Lavant for Holy Motors (New)
20. Daniel Craig for Skyfall (New)
21. Jack Black for Bernie (New)
22. Brad Pitt for Killing Them Softly (previous rank 14)
23. Tom Holland for The Impossible (New)
24. Logan Lerman for The Perks Of Being A Wallflower (New)
25. Ewan McGregor for Salmon Fishing In The Yemen (previous rank 42)
26. Thure Lindhardt for Keep The Lights On (New)
27. Tommy Lee Jones for Hope Springs (previous rank 10)
28. Liam Neeson for The Grey (previous rank 43)
29. Martin Freeman for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (previous rank 50)
30. Clint Eastwood for Trouble With The Curve (previous rank 20)
31. Gael Garcia Bernal for No (New)
32. Matthias Schoenaerts for Rust And Bone (New)
33. Mads Mikkelson for A Royal Affair (New)
34. Alan Cumming for Any Day Now (New)
35. Frank Langella for Robot And Frank (previous rank 35)
36. Sam Riley for On The Road (previous rank 21)
37. John Magaro for Not Fade Away (New)
38. Adrien Brody for Detachment (New)
39. Mike Birbiglia for Sleepwalk With Me (New)
40. Aaron Paul for Smashed (New)
41. Christopher Walken for A Late Quartet (New)
42. Christian Bale for The Dark Knight Rises (New)
43. Joseph Gordon-Levitt for Looper (New)
44. Paul Rudd for This Is Forty (New)
45. Tom Hardy in Lawless (previous rank 13)
46. Wendell Pierce in Four (New)
47. Matthew McConaughey in Killer Joe (New)
48. Christopher Plummer in Barrymore (previously listed in 84th Oscar race, rank 31)
49. Robert Pattinson in Cosmopolis (previous rank 37)
50. Jared Gilman in Moonrise Kingdom (New)

As always, check the Tracker Pages in the upper right hand corner of this blog for the most updated predictions in all categories!
See Lead Actor predictions for other years HERE.
Or check out the Lead Actress, Supporting Actor and Supporting Actress predictions that will be updated soon!
See predictions for other categories at the 85th Oscars HERE.
Switch to another year: 85th,  86th,  87th,  88th,  89th  

Sunday, December 9, 2012

85th Oscar Animated Feature Updates (12/9/2012)

The animated race is interesting this year. Can Tim Burton finally win an Oscar? Will Ralph wreck the party? Are we vastly underestimating the foreign entries like we did last year? Or overestimating them in a year that had strong domestic crowd pleasers? I’m sticking with Brave to win for now, at least until some of the major precursors begin to crown a different front-runner. I just get the feeling that the male-dominated critics and blogging groups may have underestimated it, and that girl power may overtake the video game and horror themes of the other U.S. entries.

1. Brenda Chapman and Mark Andrews for Brave (Predicted Winner) (previous rank 1)
2. Tim Burton for Frankenweenie (previous rank 6)
3. Rich Moore for Wreck-It Ralph (previous rank 15)
4. Jean-Francois Laguionie for The Painting (Le Tableau) (previous rank 36)
5. Chris Butler and Sam Fell for ParaNorman (previous rank 7)

6. Antoine Delesvaux and Joann Sfar for The Rabbi’s Cat (Le Chat Du Rabbin) (previous rank 10)
7. Peter Ramsay for Rise Of The Guardians (previous rank 4)
8. Goro Miyazaki for From Up On Poppy Hill (Kokuriko Zaka Kara) (New)
9. Peter Lord and Jeff Newitt for The Pirates! Band Of Misfits (previous rank 3)
10. Remi Bezancon and Jean-Christophe Lie for Zarafa (previous rank 32)
11. Genndy Tartakovsky for Hotel Transylvania (previous rank 12)
12. Wayne Thornley for Adventures In Zambezia (previous rank 35)
13. Billy Jones, Jeff Simpson and Ben Timlett for A Liar’s Autobiography: The Untrue Story Of Monty Python’s Graham Chapman (New)

14. Vikram Veturi for Hey Krishna (Krishna Aur Kans) (New)
15. Nikhil Advani for Delhi Safari (New)
16. Eric Darnell, Tom McGrath and Conrad Vernon for Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted (previous rank 18)
17. Ken Daurio and Kyle Balda for Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax (previous rank 8)
18. Isamu Imakake for The Mystical Laws (Shinpi No Ho) (New)
19. Silvain Viau for Walter And Tandoori’s Christmas (Le Noel De Walter Et Tandoori) (New)
20. Steve Martino and Mike Thermeier for Ice Age: Continental Drift (previous rank 16)
21. Roberts Gannaway and Peggy Holmes for Secret Of The Wings (New)

As always, check the Tracker Pages in the upper right hand corner of this blog for the most updated predictions in all categories!    
See Animated Feature predictions for other years HERE.
If you’re really into animation, check out the Animated Shorts also.
See predictions for other categories at the 85th Oscars HERE.
Switch to another year: 85th,  86th,  87th,  88th,  89th  

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Who Is Announcing Next? (The Updated Oscar Calendar)

Let's hope the critics are in a kinder mood than this
guy as they choose their award winners this month!
In the movie awards universe, December belongs to the critics, pseudo-critics and wanna-be critics, while the guilds (with the notable exceptions of the Screen Actors and the Animators) wait until January to announce their favorites.

All of which is a round-about way of saying that I’ve updated the Oscar Calendar, so that you can keep up the whirlwind of announcements that will be coming out in the next few months! Go check it out HERE.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

85th Oscar Visual Effects Updates (12/5/12)

Richard Parker may not have appreciated the water, the whale 
or the meerkats, but the Academy will!
The Academy recently announced a ten film short-list of features that will compete in the “Bake-Off” for a Visual Effects nomination. According to Academy rules, the branch membership receives written descriptions explaining the procedures used to create the effects, and then watches ten minutes of excerpts showing the effects described. Additionally, the branch is asked to vote based on two criteria: “consideration of the contribution the visual effects make to the overall production” and “the artistry, skill and fidelity with which the visual illusions are achieved”. This means that branch members are considering the entries with a level of expertise that audiences may miss if they’re only looking for the coolest explosion. Instead, they are looking for achievements that break new barriers artistically and technologically. 

Life of Pi seems like the clear winner in this category. As the only one of these films in contention for a best picture nomination, it is the one film that every academy member will feel obligated to see before they cast their ballots. Plus, you’ve got Academy favorite James Cameron calling it a masterpiece. Picking which of the superhero movies will fill the fifth spot was a much bigger challenge, but at the moment I think that the scope of The Dark Knight Rises will beat out the The Avengers and Spider-Man.

1. Life Of Pi (Predicted Winner) (previous rank 8)
2. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (previous rank 1)
3. Prometheus (previous rank 4)
4. Cloud Atlas (previous rank 7)
5 The Dark Knight Rises (previous rank 2)

6. The Avengers (previous rank 11)
7. The Amazing Spider-Man (previous rank 12)
8. John Carter (previous rank 25)
9. Skyfall (New)
10. Snow White And The Huntsman (previous rank 28)

As always, check the Tracker Pages in the upper right hand corner of this blog for the most updated predictions in all categories!    
See Visual Effects predictions for other years HERE.
If you’re into visual effects, you might also like Cinematography and Film Editing.
See predictions for other categories at the 85th Oscars HERE.
Switch to another year: 85th,  86th,  87th,  88th,  89th  

Saturday, December 1, 2012

The Academy Members Project Crosses The Fifty Yard Line!

Today I am happy to report that The Academy Members Project has identified OVER HALF of the Academy’s membership. That’s right! At current count, we have identified 3,381 Academy members -- 50.9% of the 6,638 possible total (including associate and retired members).

As far as I can tell, this is now the largest publicly accessible roster of Oscar voters in existence. We know that the studios and Oscar campaigners have more complete lists, but they aren’t likely to share them with you the way that we do here at The Academy Members Project -- free of charge and available to peruse in your pajamas!

It is kind of inspiring that in just a few short months a kid with an internet connection, a library card and a dream was able to come so far. But we’re not done yet. The remaining 49% may be harder to find, but I think we can do it if we try. It’s simply a matter of looking through the credits for older movies to find names we should be researching; hunting down those hard to find newspaper and magazine articles; and hoping that today’s artists, agents and journalists help us out by mentioning their status in their bios, interviews and articles.

In the meantime, why not click through and see some of the names we’ve discovered to date:

(About) (Origins) (Branch Statistics) (Progress Updates) ( A ) ( B ) ( C ) ( D ) ( E ) ( F ) ( G ) ( H ) ( I ) ( J ) ( K ) ( L ) ( M ) ( N ) ( O ) ( P ) ( Q ) ( R ) ( S ) ( T ) ( U ) ( V ) ( W ) ( X ) ( Y ) ( Z ) (Non-Members)
Know of an Academy member that we have missed? Think we have included someone who shouldn’t be here? The Academy Members Project is a work in progress, and welcomes your input! Additions, suggestions, corrections and verifications may be submitted in the comments section, or by emailing

Thursday, November 29, 2012

85th Oscar Best Picture Updates (2012-2013 Awards Season) (11/29/12)

I’m back! And I suppose it is time that I started giving some attention to predictions again. I admit that the title of this blog “Never Too Early Movie Predictions” has been a bit misleading for the past eight months, as I’ve found myself much more interested in The Academy Members Project that I started back in April (I’ll be giving you a status update on that tomorrow). But with the announcement of the Gotham Awards and the Independent Spirit Award Nominations this week, I figured now was as good a time as any to start bringing truth back into this blog’s advertising. Just keep in mind that it will take me some time to get through all the categories that I’ve missed.

As in the past, I am going to include my previous rankings in parenthesis to show how wrong I got things before. In this case, it has been eleven months since I updated these, so there are a lot of changes. Still, several of today’s top competitors were on the radar a year ago, which probably says more about the Academy’s consistent tastes than my own predicting capabilities.

All listings are in order, with 8 being the number of films I currently think will make the 5% cut off. Enjoy!

1. Argo (Predicted Winner) (previous rank 18)
2. Lincoln (previous rank 1)
3. Les Miserables (previous rank 7)
4. Silver Linings Playbook (previous rank 16)
5. Life Of Pi (previous rank 6)
6. Beasts Of The Southern Wild (New)
7. Zero Dark Thirty (previous rank 36)
8. The Master (previous rank 2)

9. The Impossible (New)
10. Amour (New)

11. Moonrise Kingdom (previous rank 28)
12. Flight (previous rank 44)
13. Anna Karenina (previous rank 12)
14. Django Unchained (previous rank 5)
15. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (previous rank 4)
16. Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (New)
17. Hitchcock (New)
18. Cloud Atlas (previous rank 10)
19. Middle Of Nowhere (New)
20. Promised Land (New)
21. The Dark Knight Rises (previous rank 3)
22. Quartet (New)
23. The Sessions (New)
24. Skyfall (New)
25. Rust And Bone (New)

26. End Of Watch (New)
27. The Intouchables (New)
28. The Perks Of Being A Wallflower (New)
29. Not Fade Away (New)
30. Looper (New)
31. Arbitrage (New)
32. Bernie (New)
33. On The Road (previous rank 26)
34. Killing Them Softly (previously ranked 22)
35. Hope Springs (previous rank 30)
36. Keep The Lights On (New)
37. The Avengers (New)
38. The Loneliest Planet (New)
39. Trouble With The Curve (New)
40. Lawless (previous rank 25)
41. No (New)
42. Take This Waltz (previously listed in 84th Oscar race, rank 44)
43. Brave (previous rank 8)
44. The Paperboy (previous rank 31)
45. Cosmopolis (previous rank 19)
46. Prometheus (previous rank 27)
47. Hyde Park On Hudson (previous rank 13)
48. Holy Motors (New)
49. Song For Marion (New)
50. Your Sister’s Sister (New)

As always, check the Tracker Pages in the upper right hand corner of this blog for the most updated predictions in all categories!   
See Best Picture predictions for other years HERE.
See predictions for other categories at the 85th Oscars HERE.
Switch to another year: 85th,  86th,  87th,  88th,  89th