Oscar Predictions Part 1: Documentaries, Foreign Language Film and Animated Feature

It’s Oscar week!  A favorite time of year for us here at Flix66, where our movie judgments get to be reinforced or slapped in the face by Academy members. Throughout the week, I’ll be taking categories, breaking them down and giving my predictions. I’ll start small for Part One then work my up to the bigger categories. The 84th Academy Awards are this Sunday February 26, 2012 on ABC and will be hosted by Billy Crystal.

Foreign Language Film

Nominees:  BULLHEAD, FOOTNOTE, IN DARKNESS, MONSIEUR, A SEPARATION

Projected Winner: A SEPARATION

As the only nominee with a nomination in another category (Original Screenplay), A SEPARATION appears to be a no brainer.  However, in years past an odd upset is not unusual (multi-nominated and beloved AMELIE lost to relatively obscure NO MAN’S LAND).  I’m sticking with it though because it is so deserving and one my personal top ten favorite films of the year.

A Separation

Documentary

Nominees:  HELL AND BACK AGAIN, IF A TREE FALLS: A STORY OF THE EARTH LIBERATION FRONT, PARADISE LOST 3: PURGATORY, PINA, UNDEFEATED

Projected Winner: PARADISE LOST 3: PURGATORY

I watched a lot of documentaries this year and wasn’t really blown away by any.  With a few decent nominees, I’m giving it to the doc that covers a story that has progressively gotten more Hollywood backing and support.  After three documentaries, the horrific story about three Arkansas boys know as the West Memphis Three wrongly convicted of murder from shady evidence, will be rewarded for bringing the topic to light.  And for actually making a difference by freeing the lives of these three men who have spent twenty years in prison.

Jason Baldwin, Damien Wayne Echols and Jessie Miskelly in Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory

Animated Feature

Nominees:  A CAT IN PARIS, CHICO & RITA, KUNG FU PANDA 2, PUSS IN BOOTS, RANGO

Projected Winner:  RANGO

What an absolute abysmal year for animated films.  In a world where Pixar is King, deservingly beating all it’s competition year to year, they finally put out an absolute stinker in CAR 2 and have given someone else a shot.  Sadly, it’s also the first year where there wasn’t anyone else that deserves the shot.  I haven’t seen the two obscure foreign animated films, so my hope is that they are good and beat the very average RANGO.  But as it stands the momentum and other awards are pointing toward a victory for the DreamWorks picture.

Johnny Depp voices the lead character in Rango

Short Film (Animated)

Nominees:  DIMANCHE/SUNDAY, THE FANTASTIC FLYING BOOKS OF MR. MORRIS LESSMORE, LA LUNA, A MORNING STROLL, WILD LIFE

Projected Winner:  THE FANTASTIC FLYING BOOKS OF MR. MORRIS LESSMORE

Short Film (Life Action)

Nominees:  PENTECOST, RAJU, THE SHORE, TIME FREAK, TUBA ATLANTIC

Projected Winner:  RAJU

Documentary Short

Nominees:  THE BARBER OF BIRMINGHAM: FOOT SOLDIER OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT, GOD IS THE BIGGER ELVIS, INCIDENT IN NEW BAGHDAD, SAVING FACE, THE TSUNAMI AND THE CHERRY BLOSSOM

Projected Winner:  SAVING FACE

These last three categories are usually held as tiebreakers in most Oscar pools and it is rare for anyone to get all three correct.  My expertise goes as far as reading the synopsis on all of them so clearly my opinion counts.

Be sure to check back for picks in the rest of the categories including Cinematography, Actor and Picture.

Oscar Predictions Part 2: Visual Effects, Score, Cinematography and other Technical Awards

Oscar Predictions Part 3:  Acting and Supporting Acting Awards

By Nathan Swank

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