Monday, June 11, 2012

June Oscar Buzz and Predictions - The Genres

     Time for part two of our June Oscar preview, and those of you who only really care about the top eight categories are in for a time.  First we have to cover what I think of as the genre categories because they are each sort of their own Best Picture award, but for a very specific type of film.  To me the most prestigious of these is the Foreign Language Film category because there are almost always three or more really great films nominated that would otherwise get little exposure here in the States.  I wish Americans weren't so afraid of subtitles, because the majority of us miss some of the very best films each year.  The general public probably has more interest in the Animated Feature category, so if you have one of those reading while watching allergies, there's SOMETHING here for you.  My interest in Documentary feature waxes and wanes. There's always something worth seeing.  Last year's nominee Pina was amazing.  And then there's....

Animated Short:
Documentary Short:
Live-Action Short:
     What can I say?  The Short categories are the great equalizer of Oscar predictions.  Practically no one gets the shorts right with any sort of regularity.  I certainly don't.  Buzz is practically non-existent and completely useless where it does exist.  Early Live Action Shorts with festival acclaim include Asad, Cafe Regular Cairo, The Debutante Hunters, and Silent.  Short Documentaries Baseball in the Time of Cholera and Paraiso have earned similar praise.  This means next to nothing, however, because who even knows which, if any of these films will even meet all the qualifications for nomination?  If you must have Short predictions in June, take the titles I have given you, write them on flashcards, and throw a dart.  Animated?  I know even less. Sorry, I'm just one little Movie Frog.

Documentary Feature:
  1. Bully
  2. The House I Live In
  3. The Invisible War
  4. The World Before Her
  5. Searching For Sugarman

  6. The Island President
  7. Detropia
  8. This Is Not a Film
  9. The Law In These Parts
  10. West of Memphis
Also:  Caesar Must Die, Chasing Ice, The Flat, Love Free Or Die, Queen of Versailles, Revisionaries,
     I actually follow the buzz really closely in this category each year and still can't ever seem to predict more than three or so out of five.  The buzz doesn't mean a lot here, just ask the folks involved with Project Nim last year.  I will go out on a limb, though (and I'm not a tree frog), and say that I think there is an excellent chance that Bully will go the distance to at least a nomination.  Public awareness that it exists is unusually high for a doc, it is well received, and backed by Harvey Weinstein.  I'm thinking that's a pretty strong trifecta.

Foreign Language Film:
  1. Amour - Austria
  2. Rust and Bone - France
  3. No - Chile
  4. The Hunt - Denmark
  5. Beyond the Hills - Romania

  6. Reality - Italy
  7. Valley of Saints - India
  8. Hold Back - France
  9. In the Fog - Russia
  10. Holy Motors - France
Also:  Young and Wild - Chile, Teddy Bear - Denmark, After Lucia - Mexico, Post Tenebras Lux -
  Mexico, Aqui y Alla - Spain, Can - Turkey
     Unlike the previous four categories, we DO begin to get an idea of who SOME of the major players are in this category fairly early in the year.  The vetting process will then eliminate half of the early front runners at least twice along the way and we'll wind up with most of the top remaining contenders.  Unless Austria is foolish enough not to submit it, Amour WILL probably make it to at least a nomination.  Rust and Bone and Holy Motors would also stand excellent chances IF France chose one of them to submit.  This category is anyone's to take until the official submissions start to be announced several months down the road.

Animated Feature:
  1. Brave
  2. Paranorman
  3. Rise of the Guardians
  4. Frankenweenie
  5. The Lorax

  6. Wreck it Ralph
  7. The Rabbi's Cat
  8. Hotel Transylvania
  9. From Up On Poppy Hill
  10. Pirates! Band of Misfits
Also:  A Letter To Momo, La Tableau, Zarafa
     The Secret World of Arriety is ineligible, I have recently learned, or else it would have been on this list for sure.  If I had to spitfire my own thoughts, I'd say:
  1. Brave
  2. The Rabbi's Cat
  3. Frankenweenie
  4. Paranorman
  5. Wreck It Ralph
Alternates:  From Up On Poppy Hill, Lorax, Rise of the Guardians

      And now we are ready to go above the line in my next installment as we take a look at the screenplay categories.

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