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Our Academy Award predictions

AS WE APPROACH the end of the year, the question that will inevitably come to the minds of movie fans is, “What should we expect to see at the Academy Awards?”

Practically every movie is guilty of shameless self-advertising. They put a commercial on TV saying how many people have seen it, what Rolling Stone thought of it, and the phrase “Number one movie in Canada!” gets thrown around an awful lot. With the 2011 Oscars looming in the not-so-distant future, it’s time to dig through the hype, call the bluffs, and decide which blockbusters we can expect to see on the red carpet.

The so-bad-it-wasn’t-even-good 

Transformers was quite the disappointment this year with the release of the third movie in the franchise, Transformers: The Dark of The Moon. Critics panned this movie for its bad script and unbearably long running time. It may receive some nods for its impressive special effects, but it won’t get much for acting or directing.

The Immortals suffered from similar problems. Made by the same crew as 300, it boasted brilliant art design and effects, but like Transformers, it was dragged down by a bad story. It would be the upset of the year if this movie was nominated for anything.

The Twilight saga strolled into theatres this year with The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 and got some piss-poor reviews. If you like Twilight, then you probably liked this movie, but don’t expect to see Kristen Stewart or Robert Pattinson accepting Oscars for Best Actress or Best Actor any time soon.

The contenders

J.J. Abrams sci-fi thriller Super 8 is one film that had Oscar buzz before it was even released. Reminiscent of feel-good movies like Stand By Me and E.T., with a little bit of District 9 thrown in, Super 8 turned out to be a fantastic movie with brilliant child actors and a solid script. Expect to see this movie make an appearance come Oscar night with nods for either Best Director or even Best Picture.

Marvel Comics also struck it big this year with their string of superhero movies. In the span of three months, Thor, Captain America: The First Avenger, and X-Men: First Class all came to theatres and were box office kings. Here’s hoping Marvel comes out a hero with any one of these well-executed movies for Best Visual Effects.

Arguably the biggest surprise of the year is Puss In Boots. After Dreamworks dragged the Shrek franchise through the mud with three terrible sequels, it seemed like this spin off wouldn’t be good idea. But the film, featuring a swashbuckling cat, exceeded expectations. Pixar may have dropped the ball with other recent releases, but Puss In Boots could very well take the Oscar back for Best Animated Picture.

—Brennan Bova