oscar futures

Oscar Futures: Grit Happens

Every week between now and January 25 when the nominations are announced, movies and stars will help themselves — or sometimes, hurt themselves — in the Oscar race. Vulture’s Oscar Futures will listen for insider gossip, comb the blogs, and out-and-out guess when necessary to track who’s up, who’s down, and who’s currently leading the race for a coveted nomination.

Best Director UP: Joel and Ethan Coen, True Grit. They're "at the top of their game" or they're working outside of their usual idiom with nice results. Either way, most news is good news. DOWN: Darren Aronofsky, Black Swan. Swan's reviews are generally good, but his direction has been dinged by some critics who don't like their psychosexual ballet thrillers as over-the-top as Manohla does.
CURRENT PREDIX: Darren Aronofsky, Black Swan; Danny Boyle, 127 Hours; David Fincher, The Social Network; Tom Hooper, The King's Speech; Christopher Nolan, Inception.
Best Actor UP: Jeff Bridges, True Grit. Not only is he allegedly better than he was in Crazy Heart, he's better than John Wayne was in 1969's original Grit (which won Wayne an Oscar). DOWN: James Franco, 127 Hours. Not since 1958 has an Oscar host also won Best Actor. Good luck, James!
CURRENT PREDIX: Javier Bardem, Biutiful; Jeff Bridges, True Grit; Robert Duvall, Get Low; Colin Firth, The King's Speech; James Franco, 127 Hours.
Best Actress UP: Natalie Portman, Black Swan. With the movie finally in theaters this week, she's predictably everywhere. She "gives the kind of performance that wins awards," says New York's David Edelstein.DOWN: Jennifer Lawrence, Winter's Bone. Not that the Gotham Awards are any great predictor of anything, but how did she lose for Breakthrough Actor?.
CURRENT PREDIX: Annette Bening, The Kids Are All Right; Nicole Kidman, Rabbit Hole; Jennifer Lawrence, Winter's Bone; Lesley Manville, Another Year; Natalie Portman, Black Swan.
Best Supporting Actor UP: Matt Damon, True Grit. He steals the movie! DOWN: Armie Hammer, The Social Network. The Gurus o' Gold and Gold Derby's experts still don't think he'll nominated. And here comes his costar Justin Timberlake's Oscar campaign, allegedly.
CURRENT PREDIX: Christian Bale, The Fighter; Armie Hammer, The Social Network; Ed Harris, The Way Back; Sam Rockwell, Conviction; Geoffrey Rush, The King's Speech.
Best Supporting Actress UP: Hailee Steinfeld, True Grit. She steals the movie! DOWN: Julianne Moore, The Kids Are All Right. Wouldn't she rather drop down to supporting and win than lose to Natalie Portman in lead? She's kinda running out of time here...
CURRENT PREDIX: Helena Bonham Carter, The King's Speech; Melissa Leo, The Fighter; Miranda Richardson, Made in Dagenham; Hailee Steinfeld, True Grit; Jacki Weaver, Animal Kingdom.
Oscar Futures: Grit Happens