Early October Oscar Projections 2010

Now that a few festivals have gotten out of the way (Telluride, Toronto, Venice), the Oscar race is starting to take shape. Hopefully things will kick into gear pretty soon, because with only three months left in the year, 2010 is gonna have to scramble to find a handful of titles that are worthy of awards recognition.

It seems I'm in the minority on this issue, but from where I'm standing, so far, there haven't been ten movies released that deserve Best Picture nominations. In fact, I don't think there have even been five.

But prospects are starting to look good now, thanks to some heavy buzz that's come courtesy of some of the aforementioned festivals, some snazzy trailers and the recent release of a much hyped-about drama that didn't disapppoint.

Below, I've organized who I think will get nominated based on their likelihood (as opposed to alphabetical order). My list has already changed some since I took a stab at some early Oscar projections back in August. Hopefully I'll be more on the right track this time.




127 HOURS (James Franco)
127 HOURS (James Franco)

1. The Social Network - it lived up to its enormous hype, it's relevant, and it's got the outstanding reviews to its credit. As of right now, it's probably the one to beat.

2. The King's Speech- the biggest benefactor from festival buzz. Word has it this is the kind of film Oscar voters eat up. With its lead actor now the frontrunner in his category, it could easily claim the #1 slot.

3. 127 Hours - another film that was helped a great deal with its festival debut, though it wasn't quite as lauded as the title above it. Still, the ink it received is enough for now.

4. True Grit - mere weeks ago, this sounded like it'd be good. Now that we've seen that fantastic theatrical trailer, I think it's pretty safe to say that this should have no problem making the cut.

5. Another Year - buzz has died down some since Cannes, where it received lots of critical praise. Nevertheless, the Academy likes Mike Leigh, even if that love is only restricted to his receiving directing and/or writing nods. With some critics comparing it to his excellent SECRETS & LIES, it sounds like Leigh's latest effort could vie for the top prize.

6. Toy Story 3 - it's still one of the best-received films of the year so far, and with the Best Picture category now numbering 10, this should find itself following the same path as last year's UP.

7. The Kids Are All Right - for my money, this was good, but not great. However, there don't seem to be too many other films keeping it away from this category. That could change in the coming months, but as of right now, it seems to be safe.

8. Inception - like KIDS, I thought this was good, but I didn't love it. And I'm not as confident as other prognasticators of this film's Oscar chances. Clearly, the Academy isn't too crazy about Nolan, and I can see several of the voters scratching their heads over this one. Yet, this category was expanded because movies like Nolan's earlier (and better) film were passed over, so maybe he's got a better shot than I think.

9. Made in Dagehnam - still don't know too much about this one, but the buzz for a couple of the actresses is growing. And if the performances are as good as one is led to believe, that can only help the film's chances.

10. The Town - expect this to change, but for now, I'm sticking it here. I enjoyed the film a great deal, but I don't think it was Best Picture-good. Regardless, it's got the reviews and, more importantly, the box office numbers to showcase it as a real threat. That, and there aren't too many other films out there now that could fill this final slot.




1. The Social Network (David Fincher) - the Best Picture frontrunner can't truly be the most likely to succeed unless its director comes attached.

2. The King's Speech (Tom Hooper) - what applies to the frontrunner applies to the runner-up as well.

3. 127 Hours (Danny Boyle) - coming off of a relatively recent Oscar win can't hurt (although winning so soon again is a different story).

4. True Grit (Joel & Ethan Coen) - the brothers just had a film in the Best Picture race last year, but they were overlooked. If this proves to be anywhere near as good as NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN (and it looks like it might be), they'll probably make the shortlist.

5. Another Year (Mike Leigh) - he's the most vulnerable, especially since the buzz from his film isn't as fresh on people's minds. Still, he seems to always be a major possibility.




1. The King's Speech (Colin Firth) - unless the guy he lost to last year turns in a performance that's truly amazing, I think the trophy, even at this stage in the game, is Firth's to lose.

2. True Grit (Jeff Bridges) - the buzz from finally winning last year will help, he's a great actor in a role that won a lesser performer an Oscar, and it seems like the last time Bridges and the Coens teamed up, he knocked the role out of the park, even if the Academy wasn't watching. Now that he's got their eye, he's a strong contender.

3. 127 Hours (James Franco) - after the buzz he received from Telluride, Franco's odds at a nomination have increased considerably. He might even be a lock.

4. The Social Network (Jesse Eisenberg) - Eisenberg has always been a great young actor with unbelievable comedic timing, but he's never had that awards-friendly breakout role. Now he may just make the cut after nailing his performance in a role that fit him like a glove.

5. Get Low (Robert Duvall) - critics didn't seem to be falling over themselves to praise his film, but Duvall's performance was consistently singled out. He'll need lots of precursor attention to stay afloat, or he'll have to pass off his nomination to someone else.




WINTER'S BONE (Jennifer Lawrence)
WINTER'S BONE (Jennifer Lawrence)

1. Black Swan (Natalie Portman) - while some critics' opinions already differ when it comes to the film as a whole, everyone seemed to note that Portman was fantastic in the lead role, and the praise is such that she is now the frontrunner in this race.

2. The Kids Are All Right (Annette Bening) - at least it looks like Hilary Swank is nowhere in sight this time. Although I found Bening's performance, like the film, to be fine but nothing too extraordinary, the actress still has lots of buzz (in addition to the "due" factor) working in her favor.

3. Another Year (Lesley Manville) - the early word on her acting from Cannes should sustain her here. Switching to the less-crowded supporting field would seem to be the smarter move, but perhaps the performance is strong enough.

4. Winter's Bone (Jennifer Lawrence) - this is one of those people I'll be pushing for. Her performance stayed with me long after the film was over. There's plenty of competition, so she'll need some precursor love.

5. Made in Dagehnam (Sally Hawkins) - although I distinctly remember several people referring to her character in HAPPY-GO-LUCKY as "annoying," many still felt she deserved an Oscar nom. Word on the street is she's even better here, and if that holds true, maybe she will get that mention that eluded her last time.




1. The King's Speech (Geoffrey Rush) - although his co-star has received the lion's share of the good ink, Rush has been mentioned almost as frequently for his part. It's been a while since he's earned a nomination, but it looks like he might just have the right kind part in the right kind of movie.

2. The Fighter (Christian Bale) - the trailer for David O. Russell's boxing drama seemed to hit all of the cliche buttons. Nonetheless, boxing films have a good history with the Academy when it comes to coaches/trainers earning nominations (CINDERELLA MAN, MILLION DOLLAR BABY, RAGING BULL, ROCKY). With that, the odds tip in Bale's favor. Not to mention, he was about the only good thing to take away from an otherwise forgettable preview.

3. The Social Network (Andrew Garfield) - the soon-to-be Spider-Man was getting much praise from critics (even more than the lead) before the film finally opened October 1. It's an interesting, engaging performance that should make him a lock here pretty soon.

4. The Social Network (Justin Timberlake) - I can't believe I'm predicting that the pop singer will earn his first Oscar nomination, but I have to say, he played his part well. Timberlake chews scenery whenever he can, and his character has one of those memorable, noteworthy introductions. And let's not forget, he's already won an Emmy. When given the right role, Timberlake can actually act.

5. The Town (Jeremy Renner) - like both Bridges and Firth, Renner is coming off of a memorable performance from last year after headlining 2009's Best Picture winner. He was hands-down the best part of Affleck's latest homage to Boston, and if the film itself actually gets in to vie for the top prize, Renner would have to be set too, right?




1. Made in Dagenham (Miranda Richardson) - after a clip was released showcasing Richardson's performance, it became obvious that she's likely to earn some awards. As of right now, she seems to be the surest thing in this category.

2. Rabbit Hole (Dianne Wiest) - although she hasn't been in the game for a while, Wiest is no stranger to Oscar nominations. She, too, had an online clip released, and she, too, moves up in the ranks as a result.

3. The King's Speech (Helena Bonham-Carter) - her performance hasn't really been as lauded in the same way as her two male co-stars'. Regardless, the film's momentum may be enough to carry her through.

4. Animal Kingdom (Jacki Weaver) - the studio behind the film isn't wasting any time getting the word out on Weaver's performance. Screeners have already been sent to voters. KINGDOM may be "too small" a film to make any impact, but there aren't too many locks here, so she has a legitimate shot.

5. The Fighter (Melissa Leo) - this is kind of a blind guess. She doesn't show up much in the trailer, but she's one of those actresses who has a bit of a presence whenever they're on screen, and I'm thinking that'll be enough for a second nod for her.




THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT (Annette Bening / Julianne Moore)
THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT (Annette Bening / Julianne Moore)

1. The King's Speech (David Seidler) - given the love the film already has (and more is sure to come), this has to be a lock.

2. Another Year (Mike Leigh) - he's managed nominations here when most experts failed to even recognize him as a possibility (VERA DRAKE, TOPSY-TURVY). Now that he's got a supposedly Oscar-worthy movie (not to mention, weak competition), Mike Leigh should earn yet another mention here. This time, however, he could act as a potential upset for the win.

3. The Kids Are All Right (Lisa Cholodenko; Stuart Blumberg) - the dramedy was indeed nicely written, and nominations for Best Picture and Actress should further ensure its safety.

4. Inception (Christopher Nolan) - he's earned a nomination before for a complicated script, so it's definitely within the realm of possibility.

5. Blue Valentine (Derek Cianfrance; Joey Curtis; Cami Delavigne) - can't think of anything else to put here. Word is the film is good, but essentially all of that buzz was attributed to stars Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams.




1. The Social Network (Aaron Sorkin) - has to be the sharpest screenplay out there, be it original or adapted. I'm almost willing to bet money that this thing easily goes to Sorkin.

2. 127 Hours (Simon Beaufoy) - the last time Beaufoy and Danny Boyle were up for Oscars, both went home happy men. If they hit the right notes again, history could repeat itself.

3. Toy Story 3 (John Lasseter; Andrew Stanton; Lee Unkirch; Michael Arndt) - just as it was common for animated films to pick up song and score nominations, now it's basically automatic for them to compete in the screenplay categories, but only if they're good enough. I think it's pretty safe to say that the majority of people would conclude that this is.

4. True Grit (Joel & Ethan Coen) - seems like a smart choice, but we'll have to wait and see how the film turns out.

5. Winter's Bone (Debra Granik; Anne Rosellini) - could easily find itself switched out for the likes of RABBIT HOLE or maybe even THE TOWN, but for now, I think it's still in the running.



And the rest. . .



  1. Toy Story 3
  2. How To Train Your Dragon
  3. Tangled
  4. The Illusionist
  5. Despicable Me



  1. Inside Job
  2. Waiting for "Superman"
  3. A Film Unfinished
  4. The Tillman Story
  5. Freedom Riders



  1. Life, Above All (SOUTH AFRICA)
  2. Of Gods and Men (FRANCE)
  3. The Edge (RUSSIA)
  4. Outside the Law (ALGERIA)
  5. In A Better World (DENMARK)



  1. Inception
  2. The King's Speech
  3. Alice in Wonderland
  4. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I
  5. Micmacs



  1. True Grit
  2. The King's Speech
  3. Inception
  4. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I
  5. Micmacs



  1. The King's Speech
  2. Alice in Wonderland
  3. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I
  4. Burlesque
  5. Secretariat



  1. The Social Network
  2. 127 Hours
  3. Inception
  4. True Grit
  5. The King's Speech



  1. Alice in Wonderland
  2. Jonah Hex
  3. The Wolfman



  1. Never Let Me Go (Rachel Portman)
  2. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I (Alexandre Desplat)
  3. Let Me In (Michael Giacchino)
  4. Inception (Hans Zimmer)
  5. Toy Story 3 (Randy Newman)



  1. Waiting for "Superman" - SHINE
  2. Toy Story 3 - WE BELONG TOGETHER
  4. Tangled - YOU ARE MY FOREVER
  5. Country Strong - COUNTRY STRONG



  1. Inception
  2. True Grit
  3. 127 Hours
  4. Tron: Legacy
  5. The Town



  1. Inception
  2. Tron: Legacy
  3. Salt
  4. Iron Man 2
  5. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I



  1. Tron: Legacy
  2. Inception
  3. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I
  4. Iron Man 2
  5. Skyline


More by this Author

Comments 4 comments

Kamini 5 years ago

Predicting this early b4 everything else comes out is CRAZY, but here are my thoughts on your predicts:

Best Picture - Made in Dagehnam is a crazy pick that prob. won't happen (especially if Another Year gets in). I do like your inclusion of The Town though and think that it could definitely be a surprise nominee (everyone in Hollywood loves it right now!)

Best Director - Solid!

Best Actor - Robert Duvall's performance in Get Low will probably end up being a little too low key in this competitive category. Leo's up for two critically acclaimed performances (Shutter Island and Inception), plus also in the running are Javier Bardem in foreign film Biutiful (for which he won Best Actor at Cannes) and Ryan Gosling (who supposedly gives a career-best performance in Blue Valentine).

Best Actress - I too think Lesley M. will compete in the VERY uncompetitive Supporting Actress category, leaving a spot open in this VERY competitive one for either Anne Hathaway (who plays a killer role in Love & Other Drugs...not sure if you've read/heard the spoiler about that role yet), Nicole Kidman (as a grieving mother in Rabbit Hole), Julianne Moore or Carey Mulligan (despite divided response to the film, Carey's been given stellar reviews, PLUS my friend attended the Academy screening of Never Let Me Go and told me voters went crazy for her performance!)

Supporting Actor - 4/5 yes, Justin Timberlake = no. People are divided over his performance. He did alright, but besides Garfield, the other supporting actor that's getting the most talked about from that film is Armie Hammer (who played the twins). I'd bet on the overdue Mark Ruffalo or Sam Rockwell for their first nomination, or even Bill Murray for his 2nd over Timberlake.

Supporting Actress - All or none of your picks could end up as the nominees this year. That's how weak this category is! From your picks, Helena Bonham-Carter and Miranda Richardson seem like the best bets. I'm not sold on Jacki Weaver. I saw and loved Animal Kingdom, but I thought her performance was overrated and a bit too small. Though once again, it is a weak year. The one prediction most people are making is Amy Adams in The Fighter with a lot of them thinking this might be her year to win and Oscar. IDK...we'll have to see the performance 1st. Also watch out for Saoirse Ronan in The Way Back and as a darkhorse: Kimberly Elise in Tyler Perry's For Colored Colors (Her role is the most emotional in the play).

Your screenplay predicts look legit!

Like I said... so much changes from now until the nominations are released that its CRAZY to predict this early, but all in all you did a great job!

I noticed the absence of the Clint Eastwood's Hereafter and Conviction (which I will be seeing this Thursday). I too am not predicting these, but ya never know. Also...I hear Secretariat might be one of those "The Blind Side" films, so YIKES! haha

Megavitamin profile image

Megavitamin 5 years ago

Your EARLY predictions make me want to go to the movies! I agree that 2010 has not been a great year, but the next few months should have some Oscar contenders. I'm really looking forward to "True Grit" and I'm intrigued by "Black Swan" and "Blue Valentine" so we'll have to see if they are worth all the buzz. I'll check back in with ya once these start rolling into theaters :0)

HOLLYWOODHYPE 5 years ago from Brisbane QUEENSLAND

Personally, I don't care how good Matt Damon is he has no business remaking a classic like TRUE GRIT. He's already gone down that path with ALL THE PRETTY HORSES anyway.

Best Actress is shaping up with NATALIE PORTMAN for BLACK SWAN;

NICOLE KIDMAN for THE RABBIT HOLE; HILARY SWANK as the lawyer ( I can't remember the name of the movie, but she shouldn't be discounted she's won twice before.) Also, MERYL STREEP is playing JULIA ROBERTS drug addicted, trailer trash mother - so if that's out in time, there's MERYL'S obligatory nomination. Barbra-Lee

mandawg9 profile image

mandawg9 5 years ago Author


Hilary Swank's movie is called CONVICTION, and while I guess she's still in the running, early buzz hasn't been great for that film, which will hurt. Meryl's movie with Julia was just announced. It won't be out this year.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.

    Click to Rate This Article