Oscar Week: Final Oscar Prediction Update and MPSE Awards

 Happy Oscar week everyone! 

   It’s a big week here at Award Contenders.  I will be extremely busy wrapping up my final Oscar predictions, as well as giving you the last two installments in our first annual Aycee Awards.

   On Thursday evening, at 10 p.m. EST, I will be participating in Jason O’Brien’s annual Oscar Predictions show on BlogTalkRadio.  Please join me and 3 other experts as we unveil who we think will win the Oscars this year.  It is always a fun show to listen to, and I am honored to be invited to participate.  There is a fun chat room included with the presentation, so you can chime in with your opinions and predictions as well.  This is where I will be releasing my final predictions first, which will then appear on the site on Friday.  So be sure to listen!  Go here to check it out.  You can listen as a guest and participate in the chat, but if you want your name to show up then you will have to sign up (free and easy).  Otherwise, just click on the link at that time to listen in!

   Don’t forget to fill out your own free Oscar ballot on our site for a chance to win any of the Best Picture nominated films on DVD or Blu-Ray.  Be sure to include your name and email address at the end of the ballot, or else you won’t be eligible to win.  The voting ends this Friday.

   Check out the winners of the Motion Picture Sound Editors (MPSE) Awards after the jump…

Oscar Presenters List Updated

Constage during the 82nd Annual Academy Awards held at Kodak Theatre on March 7, 2010 in Hollywood, California.

Here is the most up to date list of Oscar presenters for this Sunday’s (omg, omg, omg) Oscar ceremony:

  • Annette Bening
  • Halle Berry
  • Russell Brand
  • Jeff Bridges
  • Sandra Bullock
  • Robert Downey Jr.
  • Tom Hanks
  • Hugh Jackman
  • Scarlett Johansson
  • Nicole Kidman
  • Jude Law
  • Alan Menken, Mandy MooreZachary LeviRandy NewmanGwyneth PaltrowA.R. Rahman (musical performers)
  • Marisa Tomei
  • Florence Welch
  • Oprah Winfrey

   I’m betting on Oprah to hand out the Best Picture award.  Anyone else want to take a guess at who might do what?

Oscar and Foreign Films, and An Argument

  It’s almost Oscar time. Whatever you think, however you feel about the Academy Awards and awards in general, there’s little arguing with the eighty plus years of history and rich tradition of this still most prestigious and popular of movie honors.

   For many years now the most interesting part of the awards for me, and  my favorite category has been the “Best Foreign Language Film” division. I look forward to it each year, both for the agony as well as the ecstasy.

   It’s also the category I’d most like to see abolished. 

   Read the rest of Gary’s essay after the jump…

Streep Going for Number 3 As Thatcher

 As many of you know, Meryl Streep will be playing British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in the upcoming film, The Iron Lady.  Could this role earn her the much deserved 3rd Oscar she has been chasing for 27 years? 

   Streep has said of the role:  “I am trying to approach the role with as much zeal, fervour and attention to detail as the real Lady Thatcher possesses – I can only hope my stamina will begin to approach her own.”

   I would bet it does.  There is nothing this actress can’t do.

On Video for February 8th

Today on video we have a whole lot of movies that I decided to pass on in 2010.  The one I did manage to see was It’s Kind of a Funny Story, starring Zach Galifianakis (The Hangover), Keir Gilchrist, and Emma Roberts.  This is definitely a cute film, well worth a rent.  You can read my brief summary here, in what was the first and only segment of my Watercooler Reviews.

   Also out today are My Soul to Take (looked like a I Know What You Did Last Summer rip-off), Tamara Drewe (which might be the sleeper renter here), Paranormal Activity 2, Ong Bak 3: The Final Battle, Middle Men, Life As We Know It, You Again, I Spit On Your Grave, and For Colored Girls. 

   If you have seen any of those films, feel free to chime in and let us know if they are worth a rent or not.

Aycee Awards : Round 7

The 7th [ and final….FINALLY!!!] part of the Aycee Awards is here!  This last set includes Original and Adapted Screenplay, Best Director and of course, Best Film of 2010.

Here is a recap of all the Aycee Awards categories:

  1. Best Animated
  2. Documentary
  3. Comedy
  4. Action Film
  5. Special Effects
  6. Cinematography
  7. Character
  8. Quote
  9. Song
  10. Score
  11. Trailer
  12. Poster
  13. Most Overrated
  14. Most Underrated
  15. Breakthrough Male Performance
  16. Breakthrough Female Performance
  17. Ending of a Film
  18. On-Screen Duo
  19. Scene
  20. Ensemble
  21. Supporting Actor
  22. Supporting Actress
  23. Lead Actor
  24. Lead Actress
  25. Original Screenplay
  26. Adapted Screenplay
  27. Director
  28. Movie of 2010

Voting will remain open until February 12th and then as we countdown to Oscars, we will unveil the winners you have chosen.

Vote in Part 7 of the Aycee Awards:Original Screenplay 
 Inception
 Black Swan 
 The King’s Speech
 The Kids Are All Right
 Animal Kingdom
 The Fighter
Adapted Screenplay 
 The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
 127 Hours
 True Grit
 The Social Network
 Winter’s Bone
 The Ghost Writer
Best Director 
 Joel Coen and Ethan Coen – True Grit
 Christopher Nolan – Inception
 Danny Boyle – 127 Hours
 Debra Granik – Winter’s Bone
 David Fincher – The Social Network
 Darren Aronofsky – Black Swan
 David O. Russell – The Fighter
 Tom Hooper – The King’s Speech
Best Film of 2010 
 The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
 The King’s Speech
 Winter’s Bone
 True Grit
 Inception
 Toy Story 3
 How to Train Your Dragon
 The Kids Are All Right
 The Town
 The Social Network
 Blue Valentine
 Animal Kingdom
 The Fighter
 Black Swan
 127 Hours

Will Melissa Leo Cost Herself the Oscar?

There is some talk going around about how Melissa Leo may have hurt her chances at taking home an Oscar later this month for her performance in The Fighter.  Having won a load of critics awards, a Golden Globe, and the SAG, most pundits have Leo out in front for Oscar, with Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit) closing in.  The smear campaign is based on the fact that the above “consider” ads were taken out by Leo personally, after her being upset about all of the covers going to younger people. 

Tony Curtis and Me, A Brief Encounter

 When I read the obit of actor Tony Curtis last September I uttered “thank God!” under my breath.

   Not thank God that he was dead, but thank God that by a stroke of serendipity I had somehow managed to have a brief, interesting encounter with him about this time a year ago, a mere seven months before his death at age 85.

   I was at work that day and we were busy. I help train new hires for a home shopping call center.  Most of our customers are elderly ladies you have to spend a long time waiting on while they search for their glasses to read you their credit card numbers while cursing their cat or dog for getting in the way.  

   Occasionally a  celebrity calls.  

   Once a film legend called, and I spoke to him.

   Read the rest of Gary’s incredible encounter after the jump…