Oscar Nominees: Old vs. New Hollywood

January 25, 2011

Oscar nominations were announced this morning and my hotel internet has been down almost all morning. Must rush to get this posted!

Some first thoughts.

Right down the line, this year really is going to be a generational vote between The Old Hollywood and The New Hollywood.

Best Actress: Natalie Portman will almost surely be the favorite of younger Academy voters for her performance in Black Swan. Many older voters will certainly be embracing Annette Bening for The Kids Are All Right. In addition, Ms. Bening may get votes for her entire body of work and Black Swan as a film may not appeal to as many older voters.

Best Actor: Colin Firth seems a shoo-in here, not just for his performance in The King’s Speech, but also for his body of work. Again, generationally, Jesse Eisenberg will get a lot of votes for his wonderful performance in The Social Network, but The Old Hollywood will almost certainly win out here.

Best Supporting Actor: Christian Bale will almost certainly win favor with younger voters for The Fighter but Geoffrey Rush also has the career arc issue in his favor with older voters for The King’s Speech. in addition, The King’s Speech seems a better fit with older voters than The Fighter.

Best Supporting Actress: Again, Helena Bonham Carter for The King’s Speech as The Old Hollywood or Amy Adams or Melissa Leo for The Fighter, representing the New Hollywood?

Best Picture. Old vs. New Hollywood again. Will the older Academy members go with a prototypical Old Hollywood, inspirational movie with 2 admired actors in The King’s Speech or The Social Network,  the younger Hollywood film about the social phenomenon of our times.

I’ve never seen a year when the generational lines seem as clearly drawn as this year so the vote will be a fascinating insight into how the Academy is feeling nowadays about the film that represents the film industry to the rest of the world. Will it be an Old Hollywood film or a New Hollywood film? Or will it be a split decision?

Much more in the days ahead.

What do you think about the nominations this year?

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Carl Occhipinti January 25, 2011 at 9:00 am

I haven’t seen all the films yet but I do agree with your comments. Annette Benning was wondeerful and desrerves to be recognized for all of her work. It’s almost hard to believe she has never won before. So this year is it.

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Rita Curtis January 25, 2011 at 11:54 am

I’m not sure I agree with The Fighter being a movie with younger crowd appeal. I’m 62 and, even though I didn’t think I was crazy about fight films, I loved Mickey Rourke a couple years ago, and this year’s Wahlberg film was great. Solid, evocative performances by all four top-billed actors, especially Melissa Leo.

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Melanie January 25, 2011 at 2:42 pm

I’m torn! I’m chronologically old enough be considered “Old Hollywood” but young at heart and keeping up with my kids enough to appreciate “New Hollywood” as well. I don’t think I breathed through “Black Swan”, “King’s Speech” was fabulous, poignant, but “Social Network” I’d see again and again just to savor the dialogue and appreciate this journey that has impacted us all.

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Brian Mills January 30, 2011 at 3:18 pm

My predictions would be:
Best Film: THE KING’S SPEECH
Best Actor: COLIN FIRTH – The King’s Speech
Best Actress: NATALIE PORTMAN – Black Swan
Best Supporting Actor: CHRISTIAN BALE – The Fighter
Best Supporting Actress: AMY ADAMS – The Fighter
Best Director: DAVID FINCHER – The Social Network
Best Original Screenplay: CHRISTOPHER NOLAN – Inception
Best Adapted Screenplay: AARON SORKIN -The Social Network

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