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85th Oscar Predictions: October Edition   3 comments


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Posted August 9, 2012 by Nicol Latayan in Awards, Films

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85th Oscar Predictions: May Edition   Leave a comment

I know it’s too early yet, but this is what every Oscar prognosticator does at the start of the year to measure which performances will maintain buzz and momentum til we lead that podium next year yet again. This one is just purely based on buzz, some Oscar history, and mostly gut choices. I’m calling this the pre-Cannes edition. Here are who I think will be nominated for next year:


1. Les Misérables
2. Life of Pi
3. Hyde Park on Hudson
4. The Dark Knight Returns
5. The Master
6. Lincoln
7. Gravity
8. The Silver Linings Playbook
9. Argo
10. Django Unchained


1. Tom Hooper – Les Misérables
2. Ang Lee – Life of Pi
3. Roger Michell – Hyde Park on Hudson
4. Paul Thomas Anderson – The Master
5. Steven Spielberg – Lincoln
6. Quentin Tarantino – Django Unchained
7. Ben Affleck – Argo
8. Alfonso Cuaron – Gravity
9. David O. Russell – The Silver Linings Playbook
10. Christopher Nolan – The Dark Knight Returns


1. Bill Murray – Hyde Park on Hudson
2. John Hawkes – The Surrogate
3. Hugh Jackman – Les Miserables
4. Daniel Day Lewis – Lincoln
5. Philip Seymour Hoffman – The Master
6. Leonardo di Caprio – The Great Gatsby
7. Brad Pitt- Killing Them Softly
8. Clint Eastwood – Down for the Road
9. Ben Affleck – Argo
10. Bradley Cooper – The Silver Linings Playbook


1. Laura Linney – Hyde Park on Hudson
2. Helen Hunt – The Surrogate
3. Marion Cotillard – Rust and Bone
4. Maggie Smith – Quartet
5. Qvanzane Wallis – Beasts of the Southern Wild
6. Sandra Bullock – Gravity
7. Keira Knightley – Anna Karenina
8. Jennifer Lawrence – The Silver Linings Playbook
9. Mary Elizabeth Winstead – Smashed
10. Meryl Streep – Great Hope Springs


1. Leonardo di Caprio – Django Unchained
2. Russell Crowe – Les Miserables
3. Tobey Maguire – The Great Gatsby
4. Joaquin Phoenix – The Master
5. John Cusack – The Paper Boy
6. David Strathairn – Lincoln
7. Samuel Jackson – Django Unchained
8. Tommy Lee Jones – Lincoln
9. Woody Harrelson – Seven Psychopaths
10. Guy Pearce – Lawless


1. Anne Hathaway – Les Miserables
2. Nicole Kidman- The Paper Boy
3. Annette Bening – Imogene
4. Sally Field – Lincoln
5. Olivia Williams – Hudson in Hyde Street
6. Samantha Barks – Les Miserables
7. Helena Bonham Carter – Great Expectations
8. Jackie Weaver – The Silver Linings Playbook
9. Amy Adams – The Master
10. Vanessa Redgrave – A Song for Marion

Posted May 3, 2012 by Nicol Latayan in Awards, Films

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20 Most Deserving Oscar Best Actress Wins   3 comments

In one of many Oscar traditions, I will be doing a best of the best Oscar list. Sure, winning an Oscar is one of the best career highlights for any actor in Hollywood. However, it’s better if you win for your a very deserving performance. While the likes of Jodie Foster (The Accused), Elizabeth Taylor (Butterfield 8), Gwyneth Paltrow (Shakespeare in Love), Halle Berry (Monster’s Ball), Reese Witherspoon (Walk the Line), and Sandra Bullock (The Blind Side) always get the flack for most controversial wins, we will focus on those who tailored some of the most inspiring performances that actually deserved to win the coveted gold statuette. Here are 20 of them:

20. NATALIE PORTMAN, “Black Swan” (2010)

Role: Nina Sayers, a confused ballerina on her way to a major break
Competition: Annette Bening (The Kids Are All Right), Nicole Kidman (Rabbit Hole), Jennifer Lawrence (Winter’s Bone), Michelle Williams (Blue Valentine)

Portman, in probably her flashiest role to date, managed to deliver both the physical and mental demands necessary to master the role of Nina. In the movie, not only does she master ballet for every other scene, and while most people question whether it was actually her doing all the dancing in the film, it is nonetheless unquestionable that her best scenes in the film (including the overexposed yet very effective He picked me, mommy! scene) are the most memorable ones.

19. JOANNE WOODWARD, “Three Faces of Eve” (1957)

Role: Eve White, Eve Black, and Jane, a woman suffering from a multiple personality disorder
Competition: Deborah Kerr (Heaven Knows, Mr. Alison), Anna Magnani (Wild is the Wind), Elizabeth Taylor (Raintree Country), Lana Turner (Peyton Place)

Sounds such a very baity role made for award hogging? Yeah, that one is not new. However, for what its worth, Woodward sold the hell out of all her scenes in the movie. The shifting of her persona for the three personalities is so complicated, yet she makes it look so natural. That alone makes her win one of the best in this category.

18. INGRID BERGMAN, “Anastasia” (1956)

Role: Anna Koreff/Anastasia, the questioned Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna
Competition: Caroll Baker (Baby Doll), Katharine Hepburn (The Rainmaker), Nancy Kelly (The Bad Seed), Deborah Kerr (The King & I)

Bergman is probably one of the best actresses to grace the screen, and her performance as the chosen lady to be the Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia is a clear testament of this. In Anastasia, it was never clear if Bergman is actually Anastasia, and while some hints here and there were given that she actually is, Bergman’s performance not only convinced the characters in the movie, but the moviegoers as well.

17. HELEN MIRREN, “The Queen” (2006)

Role: royal monarchy Queen Elizabeth II
Competition: Penelope Cruz (Volver), Judi Dench (Notes on a Scandal), Meryl Streep (The Devil Wears Prada), Kate Winslet (Little Children)

Probably one of the most rewarded performances in film history, it was an easy stroll for the Dame on her road to the Oscar. However, she was up against a fantabulous  group of co-nominees which all gave superb, if not iconic, performances as well. What made Mirren very deserving of the Oscar though was that she made Queen Elizabeth II human, and with that comes a very natural approach to all her scenes in the movie.

16. HOLLY HUNTER, “The Piano” (1993)

Role: Ada McGrath, mute pianist living in the mid-19th century
Competition: Angela Bassett (What’s Love Got to Do With It), Stockard Chaning (Six Degrees of Separation), Emma Thompson (The Remains of the Day), Debra Winger (Shadowlands)

Always contested as one of the closest Oscar fights in this category, Hunter was probably helped over by the fact that she was double nommed that year. Nevertheless, I believe that it was her performance as Ada McGrath that won over the voters. it just goes to show that even acting at it’s most quiet still gets rewarded with Oscars.

15. DIANE KEATON, “Annie Hall” (1977)

Role: Annie Hall, quirky ex girlfriend of main character Alvy Singer
Competition: Anne Bancroft (The Turning Point), Jane Fonda (Julia), Shirley Maclaine (The Turning Point), Marsha Mason (The Goodbye Girl)

The thing I love the most about Keaton’s victory is that it was her best performance to date.  She was very natural and fit to the role of Annie Hall, and she complimented Woody Allen’s Alvy Singer perfectly. Sure while Reds, Manhattan, Marvin’s Room, and even Something’s Gotta Give showed her flair for acting, Annie Hall was its prime predecessor.

14. JODIE FOSTER, “The Silence of the Lambs” (1991)

Role: Clarice Sterling, FBI trainee assigned to the case of Hannibal Lecter
Competition: Geena Davis (Thelma and Louise), Laura Dern (Rambling Rose), Bette Midler (For the Boys), Susan Sarandon (Thelma and Louise)

While peope can question Anthony Hopkins’ 14 minute portrayal of Hannibal Lecter as a Lead performance, there is no doubt that Jodie Foster deserves the Oscar for her fierce portrayal of Clarice Sterling. Foster made the viewers feel as if we were on a journey with her; it’s as if we were actually beside her during the whole movie. She was tough when the scenes need to, and she was vulnerable during the moments that require that. Oscar worthy in my eyes.

13. JANE FONDA, “Klute” (1971)

Role: Bree Daniels, prostitute slash accomplice to a detective in solving a case
Competition: Julie Christie (McCabe and Mrs. Miller), Glenda Jackson (Sunday Bloody Sunday), Vanessa Redgrave (Mary, Queen of Scotts), Janet Suzman (Nicholas and Alexandra)

It’s such a head scratcher why Jane Fonda stopped doing quality movies (Remember Monster in Law?) when she gave layered performance one after the other such as this one of Bree Daniels. Political beliefs aside, it is truly magnificent how much attached Fonda was with the role of Bree, and this (together with her another win for Coming Home) goes to show that Fonda has the chops to match the rich material she is capable of delivering.

12. JANET GAYNOR, “Sunrise” (1928)

Role: Indre, the wife
Competition: Louise Dresser (A Ship Comes In), Gloria Swanson (Sadie Thompson)

The very first recipient of the Oscar in this category is also one of the best winners ever. Granted she was also recognized for two other performances that year, it was her role as the wife in Sunrise that showed her captivating flair for acting. Seems like she was a good omen in this category after all.

11. SISSY SPACEK, “Coal Miner’s Daughter” (1980)

Role: Loretta Lynn, country icon
Competition: Ellen Burstyn (Resurrection), Goldie Hawn (Private Benjamin), Mary Tyler Moore (Ordinary People), Gena Rowlands (Gloria)

Before starring in biopics have become the easy route on your way to the Oscar (coughSandraBullockReeseWitherspooncough), there was a time when portraying real people is as special as it can get especially when you Sissy Spacek’s Oscar winning performance as Loretta Lynn in Coal Miner’s Daughter. As music icon Lynn, it was clear that Spacek wasn’t in for lone imitation but more of a characterization. It is clear injustice why Spacek has only one Oscar on her mantle.

10. SIMONE SIGNORET, “Room at the Top” (1959)

Role: Alice Aisgill, an unhappy married old woman who’s bored with her life
Competition: Doris Day (Pillow Talk), Audrey Hepburn (The Nun’s Story), Katharine Hepburn (Suddenly Last Summer), Elizabeth Taylor (Suddenly Last Summer)

It was somehow a surprise back then how French actress Simone Signoret won the Oscar over close competitor and still then unrewarded Elizabeth Taylor. However, it will only take one viewing of Room at the Top to understand why. To give a gritty treatment to the character of Alice Aisgill and made you see the vulnerability of the character perfectly why she won that year. It won’t also hurt that she swept the Golden Globe, BAFTA, and Cannes for this performance.

09. KATHARINE HEPBURN, “The Lion in Winter” (1968)

Role: Eleanor of Aquitaine, estranged wife of King Henry II
Competition: tied with Barbra Streisand (Funny Girl), Patricia Neal (The Subject Was Roses), Vanessa Redgrave (Isadora), Joanne Woodward (Rachel, Rachel)

The Academy’s most rewarded actress is also the biggest victor in this category with all four of her trophies are in this category. My favorite, though, is her third win for The Lion in Winter as Eleanor of Aquitaine. Such fierceness yet also restraint at some parts with equally wonderful and snubbed Peter O’Toole. It sucks though that she has to share it with Barbra Streisand who was great but obviously inferior to Hepburn’s performance.

08. MAGGIE SMITH, “The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie” (1969)

Role: Jean Brodie, a committed teacher in an all girls school
Competition: Genevieve Bujold (Anne of a Thousand Days), Jane Fonda (They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?), Liza Minnelli (The Sterile Cuckoo), Jean Simmons (The Happy Ending)

Before she took on teaching duties at Hogwarts, Professor McGonagall was Jean Brodie first, and her role as a committed teacher in an all girls is one of the best portrayed films about an instructor. This is mostly due to Smith’s remarkable performance that is so relatable and charismatic that even non-students will fight to have a slot in her class.

07. ELIZABETH TAYLOR, “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf” (1966)

Role: Martha, a hard-drinking wife who’s waiting for a visitor
Competition: Anouk Aimee (A Man and a Woman), Ida Kaminska (The Shop on the Main Street), Lynn Redgrave (Georgy Girl), Vanessa Redgrave (Morgan!)

We all know the history of Taylor’s first Oscar. It was given to her out of pity because of her personal problems during that time. However, it won’t take too long of a time and deliver a performance actually worthy of an Oscar, and it was her Martha who was sassy and unstoppable in Mike Nichols’ Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf that will actually do the trick.

06. MARION COTILLARD “La Vie En Rose” (2007)

Role: Edith Piaf, French singing superstar
Competition: Cate Blanchett (Elizabeth: The Golden Age), Julie Christie (Away From Her), Laura Linney (The Savages), Ellen Page (Juno)

This was a case of the little one that could. Who said that non-English performances are at a disadvantage when it comes to Oscar? Sure they just happen as rare as a blue moon, but they won’t pass the chance to reward the really deserving ones. take the case of Marion Cotillard in 2007. As French singer Edith Piaf, it wasn’t Cotillard’s singing voice used in the movie, but the emotions she showed is clearly Marion authentic.

05. MERYL STREEP, “Sophie’s Choice” (1982)

Role: Sophie Zawistowski, a mother subjected in making a life change decision
Competition: Julie Andrews (Victor/Victoria), Jessica Lange (Frances), Sissy Spacek (Missing), Debra Winger (An Officer and a Gentleman)

Always regarded as one of the best pieces of acting showcases in the history of film, Academy’s favorite actress, Meryl Streep’s Sophie Zawistowski ineded lives up to its title. The “choice” scene, as much as it was repetitive and over shown, never lost any ounce of magic in it. This performance raised the pedestal that all the other succeeding film performances tries to reach, but only a few have matched it since then. Streep was still at her finest and that short piece of moment is definitely worthy of an Oscar.

04. HILARY SWANK, “Boys Don’t Cry” (1999)

Role: Brandon Teena, a confused young woman who is in  a complicated relationship with another woman
Competition: Annette Bening (American Beauty), Janet McTeer (Tumbleweeds), Julianne Moore ( The End of the Affair), Meryl Streep (One True Thing)

Swank was in her first lead role back then, and it was for a very controversial role as Brandon Teena, a woman playing a man. The movie was a bit overlong, but that was one thing you can never describe about Swank’s performance. It was affectionate, poignant, and definitely effective. When she cries, you cries. When she’s hurt, you’re hurt. And when Swank won the Oscar, you’re happy because it was such a very inspired win.

03. VIVIEN LEIGH, “A Streetcar Named Desire” (1951)

Role: Blanche Dubois, delusional pretentious Southern belle
Competition: Katharine Hepburn (The African Queen), Eleanor Parker (The Detective Story), Shelley Winters (A Place in the Sun), Jane Wyman (The Blue Veil)

Vivien Leigh is a very effective actress that even starring in large epic films doesn’t limit her as an actress (see: Gone with the Wind). While her Scralett O’Hara is pretty much iconic already, I still prefer her Blanche Dubois performance because not only did it stand out from the group ensemble, it was also a layered and sweetheart performance that showcases Leigh’s greatest assets as an actress.

02. CHARLIZE THERON, “Monster” (2003)

Role: Aileen Wuornos, killing prostitute
Competition: Keisha Castle Hughes (Whale Rider), Diane Keaton (Something’s Gotta Give), Samantha Morton (In America), Naomi Watts (21 Grams)

One of the most heartbreaking performances of the past decade, it was indeed a surprise how Theron nailed the physical requirements to portray Aileen Wuornos. But more than that, she aced the emotional scenes with so much depth and honesty that it’s hard not to get carried away with it. The role of Aileen Wuornos has a tendency to receive a histrionic approach to it, but Charlize manages to maintain balance in between what needs to be done and what needs not to be done in order to act this role. For that plus a lot of other things, she is oh so deserving of that Best Actress Oscar in 2003.

01. OLIVIA DEHAVILLAND, “The Heiress” (1949)

Role: Catherine Sloper, rich woman trying to find her true love
Competition: Jeanne Crain (Pinky), Susan Hayward (My Foolish Heart), Deborah Kerr (Edward, My Son), Loretta Young (Come to the Stable)

And the queen of them all, is none other than screen legend Olivia de Havilland in her performance as Catherine Sloper. In The Heiress, the role was already given a nice twist to it by playing the rich woman card instantly. de Havilland was on fire with her performance in this one, and if there’s one word to describe it, I;m opted to go with flawless. Watch the last ten minutes of the film, and you’ll see acting at its finest.

That’s it. How about you? What are your choices? Did you agree with this list? Who would you have removed from the list? And also, can you name the six actresses in the cover photo? 🙂

84th Academy Awards Nominations Predictions   Leave a comment

So after everything has been said and done, this will all boil down to this one. As a reminder, the 84th Academy Awards nominations will be announced on the morning of January 24 by Academy president Tom Sherak and Oscar Best Actress nominee Jennifer Lawrence. This is a very confusing year when it comes to nominations, and though I’ll probably enjoy some gutsy predictions I made that paid off last year (ehemJavier Bardem for Biutifulehem), this one turns out to be a much more difficult and complicated year. Let’s begin!

• The Artist
• The Descendants
• The Help
• Hugo
• Midnight in Paris
• Moneyball
• War Horse

8th (but not predicted) : The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
9th (but not predicted) : Bridesmaids
10th (but not predicted) : The Tree of Life

Had there been five nominees only, it’s easier to predict since Moneyball and War Horse will get the boot; however, this new rule of uncertain number of nominations complicate things further. I’m currently predicting  seven pictures to get nominated and while I’m pretty confident with the first six, I’m really skeptical about War Horse’s chances. However, I think it can still get that needed 5% votes to get in the race.

• Michael Hazanavicius, “The Artist”
• Alexander Payne, “The Descendants”
• Nicolas Winding Refn, “Drive”
• Martin Scorsese, “Hugo”
• Woody Allen, “Midnight in Paris”

Now there goes my first NGNG (that’s no guts, no glory) prediction for this year. This is more of a wishful thinking, since Terrence Malick, Steven Spielberg, Bennett Miller, and David Fincher are in a much better position to be nominated than Winding Refn, but I don’t know who among them will actually make it, so I just threw a random name there.

• George Clooney, “The Descendants”
• Leonardo di Caprio, “J. Edgar”
• Jean Dujardin, “The Artist”
• Gary Oldman, “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”
• Brad Pitt, “Moneyball”

Oh damn poor Fassbender. This is one category where I’m itching to be wrong just so dear Michael Fassbender squeaks in an Oscar nod for Shame. Clooney, Dujardin, and Pitt are sure locks already. And as much as people want to dismiss di Caprio’s chances, it’s difficult to fight against an Eastwood directed performance, because the Academy is very much receptive to the performances even if the movie has lukewarm reception (see Angelina Jolie in Changeling and Morgan Freeman in Invictus). Leo is in that direction. As for that Fassbender-should-have-been-here spot, I’m predicting co-Brit and never been nominated Gary Oldman to get in; thanks to the late sudden surge of buzz for TTSS.

• Glenn Close, “Albert Nobbs”
• Viola Davis, “The Help”
• Meryl Streep, “The Iron Lady”
• Tilda Swinton, “We Need to Talk About Kevin”
• Michelle Williams, “My Week with Marilyn”

I’m going with the safe and conventional five. And as much as people want to think that Rooney Mara is considered a serious contender, uhm… no. It’s not gonna happen. Davis, Streep, and Williams are sure bets. Swinton got all precursors needed (a critics award? Check. GG? Check. BFCA? Check. SAG? Check. BAFTA? Check.), and that never missed a beat (EVER!). Even Cate Blanchett in the horrible Elizabeth: Golden Age film got in because of those precursors. And once again, I’m reiterating that passion project does well, so Glenn Close gets in. Anyway, is there a way to get Queen Charlize in? Damn.

• Kenneth Branagh, “My Week with Marilyn”
• Albert Brooks, “Drive”
• Jonah Hill, “Moneyball”
• Nick Nolte, “Warrior”
• Christopher Plummer, “Beginners”

Meh. What an embarrassment of riches this category has become, had there been a better set of nominees. Practically, no one’s safe aside from Plummer, but no one’s too strong as well to make a surprise appearance (Kingsley, but he certainly didn’t get any (and when I say any, I mean AAAANNNYYYY) precursors for this one). With that, I’m sticking to this group.

• Berenice Bejo, “The Artist”
• Jessica Chastain, “The Help”
• Janet McTeer, “Albert Nobbs”
• Octavia Spencer, “The Help”
• Shailene Woodley, “The Descendants”

Once again, I’m going on a limb and predict Woodley to get in for a fifth slot. Bejo, Chastain, and Woodley are in now. Then there’s this thing called Melissa McCarthy who surprisingly got BFCA, SAG, and BAFTA nod. That’s probably one of the best combos ever, and had it been any other performance, it’s a shoo-in already. But will the Academy srsly consider someone pooping on a sink?!!? Seriously!?!?? I’m feeling though that McCartney will get nominated, but I don’t know who between McTeer and Woodley to replace her. Odds favor Woodley to get bumped off (missing a SAG and BAFTA), but with this one, I’m clearly going on personal preference, as I want her to get that nomination.

• Will Reiner, “50/50”
• Michel Hazanavicius, “The Artist”
• Kristen Wig, Annie Mumulo, “Bridesmaids”
• Woody Allen, “Midnight in Paris”
• Asghar Farhadi, “A Separation”

Now this one’s interesting. I’m predicting two NGNG entries here: the first one being Bridesmaids, who got in the WGA as well, but we know how much the Academy isn’t receptive to laugh out loud raunchy genre like this one. The other one is A Separation who swept majority of the critics awards in this category to extend their nomination after the Foreign Language Film one. But of course, one can still expect the likes of Young Adult, Take Shelter, and Win Win to get mentions if any of my NGNG predictions fail to take off.

• Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, Jim Rash, “The Descendants”
• Tate Taylor, “The Help”
• John Logan, “Hugo”
• Steve Zaillian, Aaron Sorkin, “Moneyball”
• Bridget O’Connor, Peter Strong, “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”

• The Adventures of Tintin
• Arthur Christmas
• Cars 2
• Puss N Boots
• Rango

This will be the actual test to identify if AMPAS are Pixar suckers. If they nominated that critically panned Cars 2 (though they did nominate the first one), then you know they have a Pixar hard on. I’m currently betting on it, but don’t underestimate more critically acclaimed films such as “Chico and Rita” or even “Winnie the Pooh” to get that fifth slot.

• Footnote (Israel)
• In Darkness (Poland)
• Monsieur Lazhar (Canada)
• Pina (Germany)
• A Separation (Iran)

To be safe, I nominated Pina both here and in the Docs categories. Let’s see which one it will get. if I have my way, I’ll give an automatic nomination to Denmark’s Superclasico just for its hilarious trailer alone.

• Hell and Back Again
• Paradise 3: Purgatory
• Pina
• Project Nim
• Semper Fi

Unlike any other year where there’s a clear frontrunner here (Bowling for Columbine, An Inconvenient Truth, The Cove), there isn’t any this year. The guilds didn’t help and nominated those who weren’t even in the top fifteen, so aside from Paradise 3, and Project Nim, the three are random choices. Like what I said, I included Pina both here and in FLF since that’s the most logical thing to do.

• The Artist
• Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
• Hugo
• Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
• War Horse

• The Artist
• The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
• Hugo
• The Tree of Life
• War Horse

• The Artist
• The Help
• Hugo
• Jane Eyre
• War Horse

• The Artist
• The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
• Hugo
• Moneyball
• War Horse

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

• The Adventures of Tintin
• The Artist
• The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
• Hugo
• War Horse

• Lay Your Head Down (Albert Nobbs)
• Life’s a Happy Song (The Muppets)
• The Living Proof (The Help)
• Pictures in My Head (The Muppets)
• Star Spangled Man (Captain America)

• Hugo
• Rise of the Planet of the Apes
• Super 8
• Transformers: Dark of the Moon
• War Horse

• The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
• Hugo
• Moneyball
• Super 8
• Transformers: Dark of the Moon

• Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
• Hugo
• Rise of the Planet of the Apes
• Transformers: Dark of the Moon
• The Tree of Life

The following categories, I have no idea what they are so I’m just picking random names out of the list.

• The Barber of Bingham
• God is the Bigger Elvis
• Incident ni New Baghdad
• Pipe Dreams
• The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom

• The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr Morris Lessmore
• La Luna
• Magic Piano
• A Morning Stroll
• Wild Life

• Je Pourrais Être Votre Grand-Mère (I Could Be Your Grandmother)
• Love at First Sight
• The Road Home
• Sailcloth
• The Shore

12 – Hugo
10 – The Artist
7 – The Help, War Horse
6 – Moneyball
5 – The Descendants
3 – Midnight in Paris, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Albert Nobbs, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
2 – A Separation, The Iron Lady, Pina, My Week with Marilyn, Tree of Life, Drive, Adventures of Tintin, The Muppets, Super 8, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Rise of the Planet of the Apes

That’s it! So what do you think? Is Melissa McCarthy gonna make it? Am I overestimating War Horse? Will Drive drive its way to a Director nod? And can we call it Academy Award nominated film Captain America? Feel free to insert your predictions as well.

Posted January 23, 2012 by Nicol Latayan in Awards, Films

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84th Oscar Masterlist Nomination Predictions   1 comment

So before Jennifer Lawrence and Academy president Tom Sherak announced the nominations on January 24 (that’s Tuesday night, 9PM here in Manila), I’m gonna give you a cheat sheet that can help you in case you are joining any Oscar nomination prediction contest. Mind you, this has been based from the guilds nominations and critics mentions this awards season, and while this is not 100% correct predictability rate, majority, if not all nominations will certainly come from this list. Otherwise, that’ll be the surprise from this year’s nominees. Also, I’ll be including those shortlists from the Academy in some of the technical categories. Here we go!


The Artist
The Descendants
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
The Help
Midnight in Paris
The Tree of Life
War Horse

Since the Oscar nominees for this year ranges from anything between five to ten, there’s a tendency that all the listed films above can still hear themselves as nominees for Best Picture this year. Many of these films are already sure bet for nominations, and while others are not that shoo-ins (Bridesmaids, Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), the big guild support they received can push them for a nomination. I still don’t know how many among these ten will make my final list, but these are the ten films that excelled the most during the past few months.


Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris
David Fincher, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
Terrence Malick, The Tree of Life
Bennett Miller, Moneyball
Alexander Payne, The Descendants
Nicolas Winding Refn, Drive
Martin Scorsese, Hugo
Steven Spielberg, War Horse
Tate Taylor, The Help

Probably the busiest crowd, the best director category most of the time offers some odd but very deserving curveballs in terms of nominations such as Fernando Meirelles in 2003 for City of God and Paul Greengrass in 2006 for United 93. This year’s curveball candidate is probably Nicolas Winding Refn who can carry his Cannes victory all the way to an Oscar nomination. It can also go to critics favorite Terrence Malick for Tree of Life. Or to established directors such as Scorsese, Spielberg, and Allen. BP nominees can also carry their directors to a nomination so Tate Taylor and Bennett Miller shouldn’t be discounted as well.


Demian Bichir, A Better Life
George Clooney, The Descendants
Leonardo di Caprio, J. Edgar
Jean Dujardin, The Artist
Michael Fassbender, Shame
Gary Oldman, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Brad Pitt, Moneyball
Michael Shannon, Take Shelter

Otherwise known as the prettiest set of nominees ever, Clooney, Pitt, di Caprio, Fassbender, and Dujardin are the most likely frontrunners in this category. However, do not underestimate Demian Bichir who received a SAG nod (which indicates a sold actors support), overdue for a nomination Gary Oldman (whom the British bloc can go behind with), and Michael Shannon ( remember he got in 2009 without any precursor support) to kick one to two guys from the list.


Berenice Bejo, the Artist
Glenn Close, Albert Nobbs
Viola Davis, The Help
Rooney Mara, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady
Tilda Swinton, We Need to Talk About Kevin
Charlize Theron, Young Adult
Michelle Williams, My Week with Marilyn

Outside of the three perceived frontrunners (Davis, Streep, Williams), the two spots can go to any of the five remaining women. Glenn Close is doing a vanity project and though sometimes it pays off with a nom (Salma Hayek in Frida), there are times when it does not (Madonna in Evita). Rooney Mara can sail coast to a nomination after the strong showing of Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Tilda Swinton got the necessary precursors needed, but she’s gonna be one of those filler nominees in case. Charlize Theron is an Oscar winner actress who headlines her own comedy, and this is probably the case of past Oscar winner making it due to name alone (Nicole Kidman in Rabbit Hole, Helen Mirren in Last Station). Lastly, if there’s a strong case of support, Berenice Bejo can move up to a Lead nomination even if campaigned in Supporting as proven by the likes of Susan Sarandon, Valerie Perrine, Keisha Castle Hughes, and Kate Winslet.


Kenneth Branagh, My Week with Marilyn
Albert Brooks, Drive
Armie Hammer, J. Edgar
Jonah Hill, Moneyball
Ben Kingsley, Hugo
Viggo Mortensen, A Dangerous Method
Nick Nolte, Warrior
Christopher Plummer, Beginners

Like the Best Actress category, there are three contenders who are ahead of the competition this year: Branagh (as Oscar loves actors who play actors), Brooks (Oscar loves em veterans), Plummer (Oscar loves em veterans + gay roles).  Jonah Hill got GG + SAG nods, but Mila Kunis is a testament that does not equate with an Oscar nominee title. Nick Nolte and Armie Hammer got SAG nods which indicates support from the actors branch. Viggo Mortensen is a respected actor that can benefit from an open competition. Lastly, Ben Kingsley can get in due to name alone, but he also stars in a BP nominee which can translate to a nomination.


Berenice Bejo, the Artist
Jessica Chastain, The Help
Melissa McCarthy, Bridesmaids
Janet McTeer, Albert Nobbs
Carey Mulligan, Shame
Vanessa Redgrave, Coriolanus
Octavia Spencer, The Help
Shailene Woodley, The Descendants

Surprisingly, there’s only one lock in this category: eventual winner Octavia Spencer. The rest of the women, though highly probably, can still logically miss on a nomination. With all good performances, Jessica Chastain can be victimized with a vote splitting especially since some of her films can have some passionate supporters (Tree of Life, Take Shelter), and though the most logical chance is “The Help”, she won’t win against co-star Octavia Spencer. Melissa McCarthy got some important precursor nods, and it’s logical to predict her at this point. We’ll just have to wait with how the Academy responds to Bridesmaids. Janet McTeer can easily get lost in the shuffle, but this is a scene stealing role in an otherwise blah movie. If there’s enough love for Shame, past Best Actress nominee Carey Mulligan can get in this year for a very haunting performance. Now if there’s someone who can get in with no precursors at all, it’s Vanessa Redgrave who was a scene stealer in Coriolanus. As for Shailene Woodley, not getting SAG and BAFTA can hurt her big time, but this is the category that loves young actresses so much (Anna Kendrick, Michelle Williams, Saoirse Ronan) so that might work on her advantage.


The Artist
Margin Call
Midnight in Paris
A Separation
Take Shelter
Win Win
Young Adult


The Descendants
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
The Help
The Ides of March
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
War Horse

NOTE: Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close has NO shot in hell of getting nommed, but since I want to close to ten contenders, I’m including it. So if you are into serious Oscar predicting, I’m removing one contender for you already. EL&IC is not happening. LELZ.

As for the official lists that the AMPAS released, here are some other categories with shortlists left for voting:


  • Bullhead, directed by Michael R. Roskam, Belgium
  • Monsieur Lazhar, directed by Philippe Falardeau, Canada
  • SuperClásico, directed by Ole Christian Madsen, Denmark
  • Pina, directed by Wim Wenders, Germany
  • A Separation, directed by Asghar Farhadi, Iran
  • Footnote, directed by Joseph Cedar, Israel
  • Omar Killed Me, directed by Roschdy Zem, Morocco
  • In Darkness, directed by Agnieszka Holland, Poland
  • Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale, directed by Wei Te-Sheng, Taiwan


  • Battle for Brooklyn
  • Bill Cunningham New York
  • Buck
  • Hell and Back Again
  • If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front
  • Jane’s Journey
  • The Loving Story
  • Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory
  • Pina
  • Project Nim
  • Semper Fi: Always Faithful
  • Sing Your Song
  • Undefeated
  • Under Fire: Journalists in Combat
  • We Were Here


  • The Barber of Birmingham
  • God Is the Bigger Elvis
  • In Tahrir Square: 18 Days of Egypt’s Unfinished Revolution
  • Incident in New Baghdad
  • Pipe Dreams
  • Saving Face
  • The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom
  • Witness
  • Albert Nobbs
  • Anonymous
  • The Artist
  • Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
  • Hugo
  • The Iron Lady
  • Captain America: The First Avenger
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2
  • Hugo
  • Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
  • Real Steel
  • Rise of the Planet of the Apes
  • Transformers: Dark of the Moon
  • The Tree of Life
  • X-Men: First Class
Hope this helps you all Oscar freaks out there. I’ll be posting my predictions on Tuesday morning. Happy Oscar guessing game everyone! 🙂

Posted January 20, 2012 by Nicol Latayan in Awards

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