It’s that time of the year, when my favorite season, the Award Season will come to an end, with the Grand Finale, which is none other than the one, the only Oscar! The 83rd annual Academy Awards will unfold this Sunday, and here’s a look at all that we should expect from the biggest night in Hollywood!
To see the complete list of nominees of the 83rd annual Academy Awards, CLICK HERE
We are just days away from the night when all the stars see red, while just twenty-four of them see gold! The Oscars are the one event I look forward to all year round, to the extent of feeling depressed as soon as they’re over, because that means I have to wait another year for the next edition. But as the year that began last year, after The Hurt Locker took award the Oscar for Best Picture comes to an end, let’s just take a look at what Oscar night 2011 has in store for us…
|Photo Courtesy: AMPAS|
When it was announced that James Franco (nominee for 127 Hours) and Anne Hathaway were going to host this year’s Academy Awards, I was thrilled. The last few years haven’t exactly been the best in terms of hosts. While Hugh Jackman was unexpectedly brilliant, and Jon Stewart lived upto expectations, funny-man Steve Martin and 30 ROCK star Alec Baldwin, last year, and promising Ellen DeGeneres, who came with great promise, were less than entertaining. After the Martin-Baldwin debacle of 2010, I am glad that the Academy has given a chance to younger talent, and how! Besides the fact that both Hathaway and Franco are promising stars, who will definitely see Oscars in their careers; those two just seem like a breath of fresh air in the promos of this year’s show. Hathaway’s number on stage with Jackman two years ago was one of the most memorable Oscar-hosting moments for me, so she seemed like the perfect choice. On the other hand, if there’s any young actor I’d like to see hosting, it would probably be James Franco. Rising from his supporting roles in the Spiderman movies, he’s shown brilliance in his craft with works like Pineapple Express, Milk and now, 127 Hours! He’s definitely one star to look out for. And look we will, on Sunday night, when he and Anne Hathaway will bring the Oscars to us.
(Left to right) Sandra Bullock, Hilary Swank, Jeff Bridges,
Reese Witherspoon, Halle Berry
A trend that the Oscars started was to have the previous year’s Best Actress winner present the Oscar to the current year’s Best Actor winner and vice versa. As much as I loved watching that happen, as though it was like them passing over the reins to successors, I really enjoyed the new format that they started with two years ago, with five previous winners in a category announcing the nominees for that category and presenting the award. This year, we will see quite a few of our Oscar alumni presenting. While Halle Berry (Best Actress, 2001), Jeff Bridges and Sandra Bullock (Best Actor and Actress 2011) were announced as presenters even before the nominees were announced, Tom Hanks (Best Actor, 1993, 1994), Reese Witherspoon (Best Actress, 2005), Cate Blanchett (Best Supporting Actress, 2004), Hilary Swank (Best Actress, 1999, 2004), Helen Mirren (Best Actress, 2006) and Javier Bardem (Best Supporting Actor, 2007) were subsequently revealed as this year’s presenters. And while former nominees Robert Downey Jr, Annette Bening, Josh Brolin and Jude Law will be up there to hand out a few statuettes, so will former host Hugh Jackman and Scarlett Johannson, Matthew McConaughey and Russell Brand, among others. With the number of former alumni in the lists above, one can be sure to expect a power-packed presentation!
|The official poster of the 83rd annual Academy Awards|
The hosts set the tone for the show, and then the rest is up to the presenters, but before it all gets started, it’s the red carpet that’ll capture everyone’s attention. This year, there have already been a number of distinct trends set by the red carpet events prior to Oscar night. While green was the richest hue at the Golden Globes, the color-scale that generally seems to working most is the beige-nude-pink gradient. Whether in full-sleeved, backless or strapless numbers, the strongest trend has been of those shades. And while black continues to be an evergreen element, we’ll have Robin Roberts, Tim Gunn, Krista Smith and Maria Menounos judge the best and the worst on the red carpet, as they are set to host the ‘Oscar’s Red Carpet Live’ on Sunday.
Moving inside, after the hosts set the mood, and the presenters take the show forward, the performances have to be gripping, because no one likes to have to wait for the next award, while watching mediocre performances. The performances have mainly comprised of the nominated for Best Songs, and that’s actually what makes the most sense. Two years ago, they had a medley of the nominated songs, but last year, they went back to individual performances of the five nomiees. This year as well, we’ll have the nominated songs being perfomed. Gwyneth Paltrow will sing ‘Coming Home’ from Country Strong; AR Rahman and Florence Welch will perorm ‘If I Rise’ from 127 Hours; Alan Menken, Mandy Moore and Zachary Levi will perform ‘I See the Light’ from Tangled; and Randy Newman will sing ‘We Belong Together’ from Toy Story 3. Going by the quality of the songs this time, the music will be good while we wait for the awards announcement.
|The ten nominees for Best Picture|
Going by the winners at the Golden Globes and the SAG Awards, it seems clear that the acting awards will go to Colin Firth (The King’s Speech), Natalie Portman (Black Swan), Christian Bale and Melissa Leo (both, The Fighter). However, if the Academy were to surprise us, the winners could also be James Franco (127 Hours), Annette Bening (The Kids Are All Right), Geoffrey Rush (The King’s Speech) and Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit). While Franco and Steinfeld would be deserving winners anyway, I strongly feel that Portman and Bale should be the only choice in their respective categories.
In Direction, while David Fincher does deserve an Oscar, I don’t think he deserves it for The Social Network. I’d give that one to Darren Arronofsky for Black Swan. Christian Bale may have, disappointingly, been left out of the Direction award nominee list, but his film, Inception hasn’t gone unnoticed. It may not win Best Picture, but I strongly believe that it stands a very good chance of winning Cinematography and Art Direction. The strongest competition there would have to be Alice in Wonderland, which should rightfully win in at least one of those categories. Inception should win Hans Zimmer an Oscar for Best Original Soundtrack, but again, the offbeat music of The Social Network winning that one might add to the predictability.
When it comes to Editing, I would give it to Black Swan, but I have a strong feeling that the Academy will honor The Social Network for executing its narrative. That brings me to Screenplay, which comprises of categories that usually offer consolation to near Best Picture winners, but this year, the competition is too tight for that. The Social Network will win Adapted Screenplay, which I would give to 127Hours, and while The Kids Are All Right might win Original Screenplay, I strongly feel that The King’s Speech will take that one away. The King’s Speech might get the Screenplay award as a consolation if it’s not winning Best Picture, but that’s the tricky part. While I think that Best Picture should go to The King’s Speech or Black Swan, I suspect the Academy will go the predictable way, as it has been, for the last two years at least, and give it to The Social Network.
So those were the predictions and the expectations from the awards. The show promises a lot, in terms of competitive wins and content on-stage. There’s no reason why this year’s edition of the Academy Awards should let us down in any way, so here’s hoping for an absolutely spectacular show.
I would also recommend that you register yourself on http://oscar.go.com/, where you can involve yourself in a lot of interactive features, including listing down your own set of predictions for Oscar night.