Saturday, January 14, 2012

Special to the FAC: Foreign, Editing, Cinematography


Continuing to look at “below the line” Oscar categories and the state of the Oscar race in each of them as we get closer and closer to nomination morning.  The Oscar predictors utilized for this analysis:

Scott Feinberg (The Hollywood Reporter

Sasha Stone (Awards Daily)

Kris Tapley (Incontention/Hit Fix)

Brad Brevet, Rope of Silicon

Film Experience

Film Misery

Awards Circuit


1)       A Separation

2)       Where do We Go Now

3)       In Darkness

4)       Le Havre

5)       Pina

Other possibles:

6)       Happy Happy

7)       Footnote

8)       Miss Bala

9)       Monsieur Lazhar

10)   Flowers of War

Others: Once Upon a Time in Anatolia, Superclassico, Postcard, Declaration of War, A Simple Life, and Colors of the Mountain

Comment: A Separation is the only absolute lock in this category and is the odds on favorite to win the Oscar.   As I have said, it should also be a contender for Best Original Screenplay (and maybe it will get one of those five nods, the odds are better today than they were a month ago, #occupyoscar).  The LA film critics awarded it Best Screenplay at their soiree last night.  Of course, Oscar ballots for the nomination process were due yesterday, I believe.

After A Separation 2 thru 4 are likely, but not 100% definite by any means.  Pina could well get the fifth slot, but so could ANY of the next 6 films or even Anatolia…

And then there is the possibility that Footnote bumps out Where Do We Go Now and all five films that get nominated played at TFF #38…it’s not likely…but it could happen.

Also, the level of success of “Telluride” films in this category is likely to raise the number of total Oscar noms from this year’s fest.  I have been saying, almost since the Tuesday after the close of the festival that TFF #38 would produce in the neighborhood of 20-24 nominees this year.  This category may pump that number up by a couple….we’ll see Jan. 24


1)       The Artist

2)       War Horse

3)       Hugo

4)       Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

5)       Moneyball

Also in play:

6)       Drive

7)       The Descendants

8)       Extremely Loud

9)       The Tree of Life

10)   The Ides of March

Other possibles: The Help, Tinker Tailor, J. Edgar, Contagion, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Midnight in Paris, Warrior

Comment:  Conventional wisdom holds (and the history of the Oscars tends to prove) that it is very difficult to win Best Picture without a nomination in this category.  That’s why there was some interweb scuttlebutt this week about Fox Searchlight pushing hard for The Descendants in this category and also in Cinematography.  You can see from the above list that the “push” looks likes it has had at least some success. 

I was talking to a friend of mine this week who is an Academy member and an editor and he said that the best editing happens in a film where you don’t notice it.  He also said that Descendants had, in fact, been very well edited…so…

Personally, my guess is that if there is a departure from these five listed at the top, it would be Drive.

The A.C.E. announces its nominees for its Guild award on Monday…that might provide some clarity.

You also have to wonder if the War Horse swoon continues here.  Again, Monday’s guild announcement will be enlightening.


1)       The Tree of Life

2)       Hugo

3)       War Horse

4)       The Artist

5)       The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Others with a shot (heh heh):

6)       Drive

7)       Harry Potter/Deathly Hallows

8)       Tinker Tailor

9)       The Descendants

10)   Extremely Loud

Outside shots (again, heh heh): Moneyball, Melancholia, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Jane Eyre, J. Edgar, and A Dangerous Method.

Comment: The list is a tad behind events as some of my prognosticators haven’t updated in light of the guild announcement from the ASC earlier this week that left War Horse off the list (and if it can’t get some love in this category, where is it going to come from?)  The ASC nominated: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy instead.  Will that be how it comes down on Oscar announcement day?  Probably.

Coming Sunday….Documentary, Art Direction and Costumes…

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