2010 Oscar Preview: Foreign Film may feature a 'Secret' upset
It may be hard to believe, but there are actually a few Academy Award categories this year that don't have anything to do with the expected battle between "Avatar" and "The Hurt Locker." Here's a rundown of three of the more prestigious Oscar races that have received little attention so far this season.
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
At the beginning of this award season there was some speculation that "Coraline" could compete with "Up," but that seems to have been wishful thinking by fans of the Henry Selick stop-motion hit. Not only has "Up" dominated the animation awards it became the first film since "Beauty and the Beast" to receive a premier Best Picture nomination. The Pixar blockbuster won't surprise for the top award, but there is no way the Academy won't reward it among its peers.
“Coraline” Henry Selick
“Fantastic Mr. Fox” Wes Anderson
“The Princess and the Frog” John Musker and Ron Clements
“The Secret of Kells” Tomm Moore
“Up” Pete Docter
Who Will Win: "Up"
Who Should Win: "Up"
Upset Contender: "Coraline," but this is one of the biggest long-shots of the night.
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
There are no doubt Academy members who are afraid to watch the powerful documentary about dolphin hunting, "The Cove," but that hasn't stopped word from getting around how moving the film is. The industry has no qualms about making a political statement with supporting an activist feature like "Cove" and after months of accolades, it would be a surprise if first time filmmaker Louie Psihoyos didn't get his chance to please his case from the Kodak stage.
The nominees are:
“The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers”
“Which Way Home”
Who Will Win: "The Cove"
Who Should Win: "The Cove"
Upset Contender: "The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers" or "Food Inc," but neither of the filmmakers behind those docs are spending too much time on possible acceptance speeches.
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
This is where the show gets interesting and the first real upset could occur. It's still something of a darkhorse, but longtime frontrunner "The White Ribbon" from Germany faces some stiff competition from Argentina's "The Secret In Their Eyes (El Secreto de Sus Ojos)." Most of the media haven't heart of "Secret," but it's the sort of classy thriller that could win over the hearts of Academy members. Because only members who have seen all five nominees can vote, it tends to be a much smaller pool than the overall 5,000 plus membership and they tend to be older members with much more time on their hands. It's one of the reasons Japan's "Departures" stunned by defeating "The Class" and "Waltz with Bashir" last year and little known (or heard since) "Tsotsi" defeated "Paradise Now" in 2006 and "Nowhere in Africa" surprised Zang Yimou's "Hero" in 2003. If it happens again this year, the Academy will consider it a major embarrassment and there will be a major drumbeat to change the rules to allow all or more members to vote.
The nominees are:
“The Secret in their Eyes (El Secreto de Sus Ojos)” Argentina
“The Milk of Sorrow” Peru
“A Prophet (Un Prophète)” France
“The White Ribbon” Germany
Who Will Win: "The White Ribbon"
Who Should Win: "A Prophet"
Upset Contender: "The Secret in their Eyes" could pull an upset. It's a very commercial film with some fine performances. It's fiftysomething "heroes" appeal to the Academy demographic (sad, but true), but it's nowhere near the achievement of "Ribbon" or "Prophet."
Look for more stone cold lock Academy Award predictions as the Academy Awards draw near.
Best Original Score, Best Original Song
Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Original Screenplay
Live Action, Animated and Documentary Shorts
Cinematography, Production Design, Costumes and Make Up
Wednesday, March 3
Thursday, March 4
Thursday, March 4
Friday, March 5
For a list of all the 82nd Academy Award nominees, click here.
For the latest Oscar and Entertainment news, follow Gregory Ellwood on Twitter @HitFixGregory.
2013 | Thriller | RSummary: Based on the true story of Daniel Lugo (Mark Wahlberg) a Miami bodybuilder who wants to live the American dream. He would like to have the money that other people have. So he enlists the help of fellow bodybuilder Adrian Doorbal (Anthony Mackie) and ex-convict, Christian bodybuilder Paul Doyle (D...Director: Michael Bay
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Anthony Mackie, Tony Shalhoub
2007 | Comedy | PGSummary: Newlyweds Nick (Ice Cube) and Suzanne (Long) decide to move to the suburbs to provide a better life for their two kids. But their idea of a dream home is disturbed by a contractor (McGinley) with a bizarre approach to business.Director: Steve Carr
Cast: John C. McGinley, Ice Cube, Nia Long, Aleisha Allen
2013 | Drama | RSummary: Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill have boundless energy in the story of a real-life commodities crook who earned millions through scummy small-time stock trades.Director: Martin Scorsese
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie
1995 | Mystery | NRSummary: Denzel Washington plays an out of work WWII vet who takes the wrong job and is soon neck-deep in a mess of politics, murder, and jazz in '40s Los Angeles.Director: Carl Franklin
Cast: Denzel Washington, Tom Sizemore, Jennifer Beals
2008 | Science Fiction | PGSummary: Animated series continues the story of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker as they battle the Emperor Palpatine, Count Dooku and General Grievous, but also takes time to explore other smaller characters in the Star Wars universe.Director: George Lucas (creator)
Cast: Tom Kane, Dee Bradley Baker, Matt Lanter
1996 | Crime | RSummary: Jerry, a small-town Minnesota car salesman is bursting at the seams with debt... but he's got a plan. He's going to hire two thugs to kidnap his wife in a scheme to collect a hefty ransom from his wealthy father-in-law. It's going to be a snap and nobody's going to get hurt... until people start ...Director: Joel Coen
Cast: William H. Macy, Frances McDormand, Steve Buscemi, Peter Stormare
1993 | Sports | PGSummary: Emotionally powerful sports classic featuring Sean Astin as a skinny high school kid with big football dreams and the determination to make his way towards his dream team at Notre Dame.Director: David Anspaugh
Cast: Sean Astin, Jon Favreau, Ned Beatty
1997 | Crime | RSummary: Quentin Tarantino adaptats an Elmore Leonard novel into this story of a few increasingly desperate people scraping to get by.Director: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Pam Grier, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Forster
2013 | Comedy | NRSummary: Insanely funny comedy show created by Amy Schumer, who stars in brilliantly funny sketches about sex, city living, dating, and friendship.Director: Daniel Powell, Amy Schumer (creators)
Cast: Amy Schumer, Kevin Kane, Mike Houston
Let Streaming Genie help you.