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Oscar/Spirits Ballot 2011: Daryl Chin

Oscar/Spirits Ballot 2011: Daryl Chin

Daryl Chin, Freelance

Film Independent’s Spirit Awards

Best Feature:
Will Win: “Black Swan”

Best Director:
Will Win: Darren Aronofsky, “Black Swan”

Best Female Lead:
Will Win: Natalie Portman, “Black Swan”

Best Male Lead:
Will Win: James Franco, “127 Hours”

Best Supporting Female:
Will Win: Dale Dickey, “Winter’s Bone”

Best Supporting Male:
Will Win: John Hawkes “Winter’s Bone”

Best Screenplay:
Will Win: “Winter’s Bone”

Best First Screenplay:
Will Win: “Tiny Furniture”

Best First Feature:
Will Win: “Get Low”

John Cassavetes Award:
Will Win: “The Exploding Girl”

Best Foreign Film:
Will Win: “The King’s Speech”

Best Cinematography:
Will Win: “Black Swan”

Best Documentary:
Will Win: “Exit Through the Gift Shop”


Best Picture:
Will Win: “The King’s Speech”

Best Director:
Will Win: Tom Hooper, “The King’s Speech”

Best Actor:
Will Win: Colin Firth, “The King’s Speech”

Best Actress:
Will Win: Natalie Portman, “Black Swan”

Best Supporting Actor:
Will Win: Christian Bale, “The Fighter”

Best Supporting Actress:
Will Win: Melissa Leo, “The Fighter”

Best Original Screenplay:
Will Win: “The King’s Speech”

Best Adapted Screenplay:
Will Win: “The Social Network”

Best Foreign Film:
Will Win: “Incendies”

Best Documentary Feature:
Will Win: “Inside Job”

Best Animated Feature:
Will Win: “Toy Story 3”

Best Cinematography:
Will Win: “True Grit”

Best Original Score:
Will Win: “How To Train Your Dragon”

Chin on this year’s awards season:

“This year, it’s very hard for me to judge the mood of the Independent Spirit Awards; the Academy Awards, this year, seems a lock, but you never know.

The problem with the Spirit Awards is simple: the membership of Film Independent and the Independent Feature Project has been in flux. In terms of the IFP (ok, an admission: for three years i was “support staff”, meaning i was one of the people who volunteered in the set-up of the market, in my case, i was one of the committee dealing with short film selections), when Michelle Byrd left, that also meant that a lot of the programs at the IFP had to be revamped, and because of that, there has been a drop in membership. And Film Independent is shifting more and more towards industry representation. In some years, the Spirit Awards are simple: the membership tends to vote in a block, and if one film is favored in a year, expect it to win big (PRECIOUS, anybody?). This year, it’s tough, because the standard-indie-vote should go to WINTER’S BONE, but industry-skewing should make BLACK SWAN and 127 HOURS show up among the vote-getters. BLACK SWAN, 127 HOURS and THE FIGHTER are flukes: these should have been “studio” films, but because of the vagaries of financing now, and the fact that all three movies had to be made fast on reduced budgets, these films now qualify as “independents” under the rules of the Spirit Awards (which does put a cap on budgets: it’s $15 million, in case you’re interested). I have no idea how people are going to vote, because of this. But there are indie stalwarts (such as Nicole Holofcener, Lisa Cholodenko, Debra Granik) that, in a different year, would really be in the running. I have no idea how people are voting.

The Academy Awards aren’t that tough: one thing i’ve learned is that you can’t trust your friends who are Academy members, because the people most of us know are industry “mavericks” and they tend to vote idiosyncratically. That’s another way of saying: i don’t know many people who would vote for THE KING’S SPEECH, yet i know that a good part of the Academy membership likes THE KING’S SPEECH. For every James Schamus (who is a member of the Academy), there are three or more people like Sherry Lansing or Richard Zanuck. The problem is that so many people tend to take it personally, as if the Academy Awards really mean anything. Well: they do and they don’t. They can indicate something about the way the industry regards a person. And there are extenuating circumstances. Everyone knows about the Weinsteins and their Oscar campaigns. But this was part and parcel of the history of the Academy Awards: in 1934, Jack Warner decided that Bette Davis was NOT to be nominated for OF HUMAN BONDAGE because that was a loan-out (to RKO) and he wasn’t going to waste his time building up this nobody he had under contract. (He had just signed Kay Francis and Ruth Chatterton from Paramount, at two of the most expensive contracts at the time; they were going to be his great dramatic actresses, and he had no time for Davis.) The Academy reacted by allowing a write-in vote, and Bette Davis came in second (though the person who won, Claudette Colbert, did get the most votes; at the time, there weren’t that many people in the Academy, but, famously, Colbert thought it would be Davis, so she didn’t bother to go to the ceremony, instead, she was going on vacation and at the train station waiting for her train, when the Acacdemy sent a car for her so she could get her award before the end of the evening). I know a lot of this crap: over the years, i actually did meet Claudette Colbert (and Bette Davis), and she told this story.

The Oscars seem a foregone conclusion, but the question is whether Melissa Leo’s misstep (her trade ads) is severe enough to hamper her. A lot of industry types (producers, directors) seem offended by her actions, but the actors don’t seem to care. And actors make up almost 50% of the Academy membership, so if they don’t care, the question is settled.

So that’s my little prognosis.”

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