Day Sixty-Two – Oscar Predictions: Music

3 03 2010

Music is a category that everyone can make a reasonable guess for. The problem with the category is it’s probably the most subjective of them all. There are agreed upon qualities that make a film a good film, but for music, there are so many different tastes and attributes that it’s hard to determine what the Academy will look for when thinking about the Best Score and Best Original Song.

My criteria is the most “hum-able” song and score.

Not that it has to be catchy or even “hum-able” in a literal sense, but what do I find myself humming when I’m doing menial tasks. Last year, I found myself humming the theme from The Dark Knight more often than not.

Though there isn’t a score that I find myself humming quite as much as that one, there is one clear winner…

Best Score
Avatar
Fantastic Mr. Fox
The Hurt Locker
Sherlock Holmes
Up

I don’t even remember the Score from the other nominees. Avatar‘s was a little over-bearing at times, trying to fill in the gaps for character-development that the script didn’t provide. I didn’t even realize there was a score for The Hurt Locker, which is probably a good thing for the tone of the movie.

Up easily takes it as it conveys every emotion it needs to without ever trying to be the star of the show.

Download or sample the score to Up here.

Best Song
“Almost There,” The Princess and the Frog, Randy Newman
“Down in New Orleans,” The Princess and the Frog, Randy Newman
“Loin de Paname,” Paris 36, Reinhardt Wagner & Frank Thomas
“Take It All,” Nine, Maury Yeston
“The Weary Kind,” Crazy Heart, T-Bone Burnett & Ryan Bingham

Crazy Heart‘s “The Weary Kind” made the film. Aside from how important it is to the plot, it’s the song that got people into the theatre to watch the movie. The music was good all around, but “The Weary Kind” carries most of the weight and does so very well. Though I believe the producers of the Oscars made a good decision in dropping the five seperate performances for each nominated song, this is one I would have enjoyed seeing on the telecast.

Listen to a sample or download the single for Crazy Heart here.

This was one of the easier categories to predict and I’m pretty confident in my choices. Anything other than this would be a shock.

Tomorrow, we guess the Genre categories – Documentary, Animated and Foreign.

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Day Sixty – Oscar Predictions: Technical Awards

1 03 2010

It’s a cliché to say “It’s an honor just to be nominated”. That’s usually reserved for those who aren’t voted as Best in their category, but for the technical awards, it holds true.

These awards are voted on by Academy members who don’t necessarily know what goes into good costume design or editing, where the nominations are voted on by their peers within the craft. That results in awards going to anyone who uses their craft in excess, making the artist’s influence on the piece very clear for the voter.

Here are my predictions:

Best Art Direction
Avatar
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
Nine
Sherlock Holmes
The Young Victoria

My guess is Imaginarium based in my theory that the most apparent will win. You could also make the case for Avatar and Nine in that respect, but the Imaginarium has so much going on in one single frame that laymen will believe that to be better work than something a little more sublte like The Informant!, which wasn’t nominated.

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

Inglourious Basterds is a choice that I believe deserves to win and I predict that it will. Basterds had a glow to it that was reserved for the movies of Old Hollywood, when most of the films where shot on soundstages exclusively. For a film just as much about film as it was about the Second World War, cinematography becomes a part of the story telling.

Best Costume Design
Bright Star
Coco Before Chanel
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
Nine
The Young Victoria

This category follows the theory more than any other. I’m usually able to pick a winner without ever seeing the film. Basically, the film with the most frilly and/or Victorian dresses win. This is a hard year to pick, since the choices are similar in style, but Victoria is just as much a fashion show as it is a film.

Best Visual Effects
Avatar

District 9
Star Trek

Whoever uses the most CG wins this category. Based on that alone, it goes to Avatar, which deserves it. The quality of the environments in Pixar-level good. If it doesn’t win this category, than I wouldn’t expect Avatar to win Best Picture either, since the CG was the main selling point. I’m a little upset that District 9 won’t get it, because the way that the humans interacted with the prawns hasn’t been so spot on since Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

Best Editing
Avatar
District 9
The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
Precious

The most cuts wins. Action films tend to steal this category based on that and this year will be no different with The Hurt Locker. Avatar could surprise and collect another win here, but the film was a bit long to credit it for being able to cut stuff.

Best Makeup
Il Divo
Star Trek
The Young Victoria

The characters in Star Trek really packed on the make-up, as they always have in the series, and will likely be rewarded for doing so. The make-up was definitely the best of the series so far. Not as obvious as before and didn’t give everyone that vinyl look they have on the TV show.

Best Sound Editing
Avatar
The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
Star Trek
Up

Best Sound Mixing
Avatar
The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
Star Trek
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

I’m going to admit, I have no idea why I’m voting for what I voted for here. I don’t understand why these categories are on the big show at all, but they’re here and I’m forced to make a choice. I basically split them between the front runners, but really I have nothing to back it up outside of a blind guess.

Now with the technical awards out of the way, we can jump into the categories where I can make an educated prediction, having seen much of the pictures up for awards this year.

Tomorrow, the Short Category. I’ve already posted my reviews and threw a prediction in for the Animated category. I’m hoping to see the Live-Action shorts tonight and will post my prediction for those tomorrow, along with the Short Documentary, which I’ve only seen a couple of.

Agree or disagree? Feel free to comment.