Ian's Movie Reviews
Short Reviews of Movies, Board Games, and Other Stuff

My Oscar Predictions – Part 2: The Technicals

When someone asks me “Do you like awards shows?” I say “No… except the Oscars.”  Why?  Because the Oscars still award achievements in the technical aspects of film as well as the big celebrity what-have-you awards that most people care about. If the day comes when these awards are cut from the Oscars, or no longer televised, then I will probably give up on the Oscars.  But so long as they still celebrate all aspects of film-making, they still hold credibility with me, despite all the red carpet, glitz and glamour B.S. that goes on around it.  So what do I think will win?

Avatar (20th Century Fox), Joe Letteri, Stephen Rosenbaum, Richard Baneham and Andrew R. Jones
District 9 (TriStar), Dan Kaufman, Peter Muyzers, Robert Habros and Matt Aitken
Star Trek (Paramount and Spyglass Entertainment), Roger Guyett, Russell Earl, Paul Kavanagh and Burt Dalton

Avatar will win this category.  I mean, it is a revolutionary landmark in special effects and CGI motion capture.  It will win.  The only way it doesn’t is if somehow the voters look at effects in comparison to budget (which they won’t) in which case D9 will upset.  But lets face it: Avatar has this wrapped up.

Prediction: Avatar

Avatar (20th Century Fox), Art Direction: Rick Carter and Robert Stromberg, Set Decoration: Kim Sinclair
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (Sony Pictures Classics), Art Direction: Dave Warren and Anastasia Masaro, Set Decoration: Caroline Smith
Nine (The Weinstein Company), Art Direction: John Myhre, Set Decoration: Gordon Sim
Sherlock Holmes (Warner Bros.), Art Direction: Sarah Greenwood, Set Decoration: Katie Spencer
The Young Victoria (Apparition), Art Direction: Patrice Vermette, Set Decoration: Maggie Gray

This one is not as easy to predict, but once again I am going with Avatar.  Pandora was a very rich and full world with a lot of creative artistic merits, and I believe that this pure imagination will win Avatar this award.

Prediction: Avatar

Bright Star (Apparition), Janet Patterson
Coco Before Chanel (Sony Pictures Classics), Catherine Leterrier
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (Sony Pictures Classics), Monique Prudhomme
Nine (The Weinstein Company), Colleen Atwood
The Young Victoria (Apparition), Sandy Powell

The Young Victoria will win. Why? Because the Academy can NOT resist giving this award to Victorian-era movies.  And This one has Victoria right in the title.  At first I thought about Coco before Chanel, but really, aren’t those costumes just emulating old Chanel designs?  Young Victoria.

Prediction: The Young Victoria

Il Divo (MPI Media Group through Music Box), Aldo Signoretti and Vittorio Sodano
Star Trek (Paramount and Spyglass Entertainment), Barney Burman, Mindy Hall and Joel Harlow
The Young Victoria (Apparition), Jon Henry Gordon and Jenny Shircore

This is another tough one.  The most famous movie here is of course Star Trek.  And their makeup really consists of Nero’s face tattoo and Spock’s ears.  The other two films involve transforming actors into historical figures.  And from what I’ve seen, Il Divo looks like the most impressive transformation here.

Prediction: Il Divo

Avatar (20th Century Fox), Christopher Boyes, Gary Summers, Andy Nelson and Tony Johnson
The Hurt Locker (Summit Entertainment), Paul N.J. Ottosson and Ray Beckett
Inglourious Basterds (The Weinstein Company), Michael Minkler, Tony Lamberti and Mark Ulano
Star Trek (Paramount and Spyglass Entertainment), Anna Behlmer, Andy Nelson and Peter J. Devlin
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (DreamWorks and Paramount in association with Hasbro, Distributed by Paramount), Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers and Geoffrey Patterson

I’m going to admit I don’t really know what will win here.  I can’t see Transformers bringing any new sounds to the table other than the metallic transforming sounds they’ve already done.  Star Trek found a nice balance between retro Trek sounds and new sounds.  Inglourious Basterds’ mixing doesn’t stand out enough.  So its between Hurt Locker and Avatar, and since Avatar mixed noises from a whole new world, I’m saying Avatar wins this one.

Prediction: Avatar

Avatar (20th Century Fox), Christopher Boyes and Gwendolyn Yates Whittle
The Hurt Locker (Summit Entertainment), Paul N.J. Ottosson
Inglourious Basterds (The Weinstein Company), Wylie Stateman
Star Trek (Paramount and Spyglass Entertainment), Mark Stoeckinger and Alan Rankin
Up (Disney•Pixar), Michael Silvers and Tom Myers

This category is usually the butt of a lot of jokes, but its a legitimate category.  How does the soundtrack fit with the video?  As a rule, achievement in this area is most noticeable with sharp sounds in fast-moving action, which is why war films are great candidates for this.  Since the Hurt Locker fits this bill, that’s who I’m predicting wins.

Prediction: The Hurt Locker

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