Shooting fish in a barrel: Award Movies of 2011

It’s about that time again – the lead-up to awards season when all the best movies of the year come out. And it’s fairly easy to predict which films will be nominees, much like its easy to predict what summer movies will top the box office (i.e. Transformers, Pirates of the Caribbean, the last Harry Potter). Below is what I think will be the films that will be talked about ad nauseum in the coming months (and they may be talked about ad nauseum here too).

The Ides of March

It’s a political film (just in time for the 2012 election) so it’s timely. It stars George Clooney (who did double-duty directing as well), Ryan Gosling, Paul Giamatti, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Marisa Tomei, etc. This one, I’m predicting, will be nominated in a lot of categories.

The Skin I Live In

Expect this one to be nominated for Best Foreign Language film, and while that category is always tricky to predict who will be the winner, renowned director Pedro Almodovar is known for his well-recieved films (the four films he’s shown at Cannes, including this one, have all be nominated for the Palme d’Or).

Margin Call

It’s about the financial crisis and it stars Kevin Spacey. It’s a shoe-in.

My Week with Marilyn

May not garner nominations for the bigger awards, but I expect Michelle Williams will be nominated as Best Actress for her portrayal of Marilyn Monroe.

J. Edgar

Clint Eastwood. Leonardo DiCaprio. Biopic. Well, this one will be nominated for everything.

The Descendants

Another George Clooney movie – this time from a favorite director of mine – Alexander Payne. The brains behind Election, About Schmidt, and Sideways, Payne has never made a bad movie. While it might not garner many nominations, at least a nod in the writing (or directing) categories would be nice.

A Dangerous Method

A David Cronenberg period drama about Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud. Exploding heads are doubtful, but award nominations (Best Actor, Best Supporting) are a sure bet.

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Based on a John le Carre novel (Best Adapted Screenplay nom – check) starring Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, and John Hurt (Best Supporting/Best Actor nominations in there somewhere) and a spy thriller plot. Probably a Best Picture nomination too – it has a good title.

Young Adult

It’s by Jason Reitman – who has directed four films with three of them being nominated for Best Picture. I think it’s safe to say he’ll be continuing the streak with this one, and Charlize Theron may just end up being nominated for Best Actress again.

The Iron Lady

The Weinstein Company always picks films that are often heavily-nominated and go on to win the big prize (The King’s Speech). This year round it’s Meryl Streep (Best Actress nomination- another notch on her belt) as Margaret Thatcher. Best Screenplay and Picture nominations? I would think so.

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Tom Hanks stars in this adaptation of a Jonathan Safran Foer novel regarding a little boy’s attempts to come to terms with his father’s death on September 11th. Best Picture nominee? It could be a contender.

I also think Drive (Best Original Score nomination – I hope so) and Contagion (maybe a nod to director Steven Soderbergh?) could have a spattering of nominations as well. Just none of the big awards. Those are saved for the films mentioned above.

My predictions for Best Picture Nominees:

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

The Ides of March

Young Adult

The Iron Lady

A Dangerous Method

J. Edgar

And if last year’s winner is anything to judge by, this year’s winner will be a film that takes place in the past, is rather stuffy and has a muted, dreary set design, generates an inordinate amount of buzz during awards season, and then is never spoken, nor thought about ever again. So, The Iron Lady will win Best Picture.


4 Responses to Shooting fish in a barrel: Award Movies of 2011

  1. Nostra says:

    Will be seeing The Ides of March and The Skin I Live in pretty soon, looking forward to them both! As for the others I really want to see Tinker Tailor Solider Spy!

  2. Can’t wait to watch most of those. I still can’t believe that they’ve made a film about frumpy old Maggie Thatcher though.

  3. I don’t need to see any more movies this year because I’ve already watched the best one, Moneyball. 😉

  4. Modest Movie says:

    @Nostra – I’m especially excited for The Skin I Live In…something creepy about the concept and seeing a character attack people in a flesh-coloured body suit.

    @prettyfeetpoptoe – I know. I’ll never understand why “prestige” films often mean period settings and are often indistinguishable from Grade 8 “edutainment” videos.

    @Jim – have you seen Drive yet? Coolest movie of the year.

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