2011 Oscar Predictions

Wednesday, September 9, 2009 at 2:52 pm
By Shane Rivers

In February or March of 2011, the 83rd Academy Awards will be held in Hollywood (most likely at the Kodak Theatre, which has hosted the awards ceremony since 2002). As I write this article, that’s still a couple of years away, but it’s never too early for some 2011 Oscar predictions.

Since most actors or actresses haven’t even committed to projects in 2011, the bulk of these predictions are complete guesswork. I’m going by past nominations and throwing in some wild cards for good measure. If I have the chance, I’ll revisit these predictions in a few years and see how close I got.

Some of these 2011 Oscar predictions will be right on the money, while others will seem just plain silly in retrospect. Whatever the case, this article should provide some food for thought when it comes to upcoming Oscar ceremonies.

Best Supporting Actress for 2011

2011 Oscar PredictionsThe Best Supporting Actress category always provides a few surprises. Women like Mira Sorvino and Marisa Tomei have come out of nowhere to capture the award in the past, and 2011 shouldn’t be any exception. While actresses such as Cate Blanchett, Kate Winslett and Meryl Streep are always favorites to be nominated in this category, I wanted to focus on some surprise contenders for my 2011 Oscar predictions for Best Supporting Actress.

Cathy Cahlin Ryan – For seven seasons, Ryan demonstrated her acting chops in the role of Corrine Mackey on television’s The Shield. She appeared on a number of television shows, but she’s also married to Shawn Ryan, creator of such shows as The Unit and The Shield. This should allow her to be more selective in her roles (since she’s not going to starve), and hopefully find one which is equal to her considerable talent.

Paz Vega – Since starring in Spanglish opposite Adam Sandler, this Spanish actress has slowly been building her resume in Hollywood. In 2004, she co-starred with Morgan Freeman in 10 Items or Less, a performance which could very well have garnered her an Oscar nomination. Even while taking the time to give birth to two children, her work schedule has remained busy. Since I’m making 2011 Oscar predictions, expect this talented actress to follow in the footsteps of fellow Spaniard Penelope Cruz.

Rosario Dawson – Since debuting in the controversial Kids, Dawson has appeared in a wide array of independent films and Hollywood blockbusters. Some of her most well-known roles have been in Men in Black II, The Rundown, Alexander, Sin City, Clerks II, and Death Proof. While she’s yet to be nominated for an Oscar, I feel that it’s only a matter of time; Rosario Dawson is just that talented.

Elizabeth Banks – This actress has appeared in The 40-Year-Old Virgin, the Spider-Man trilogy, W., Invincible, The Uninvited, and Zack and Miri Make a Porno. While her good looks are instantly noticeable, she’s also been slowly improving her acting talents. In the last few years, she’s worked with both Oliver Stone and Kevin Smith, and I fully expect more top directors to seek out her services.

Megan Fox – The incredibly beautiful Fox came to the attention of audiences around the globe in the 2007 Transformers film. While she’s currently regarded as nothing more than a pretty face, keep in mind that Tomei and Sorvino were held in the same regard by many critics. She’s already turned down an offer to keep the Tomb Raider franchise going as Lara Croft, so we might expect her to start looking for meatier roles in Hollywood. She’s a long shot to win in this category (or even be nominated), but that’s what this article is all about.

Best Actress for 2011

When it comes to the Best Actress Oscar, a number of names keep popping up from year-to-year. Since we’re doing 2011 Oscar predictions, there’s no reason to think the talented ladies listed below won’t be right in the thick of things.

Meryl Streep – With 15 Academy Award nominations and 23 Golden Globe nominations, Meryl Streep is undoubtedly the finest actress of this or any generation. She is also one of the few people to have won all four major acting awards (BAFTA, SAG, Golden Globes and an Oscar). It’s a no-brainer to assume that she’ll be up for another award in 2011.

Anne Hathaway – Since making a name for herself in Disney’s The Princess Diaries, Hathaway has established herself as a talented actress with a bright future. After starring in a number of family films, she graduated to more mature roles in Brokeback Mountain and Havoc. In the film The Devil Wears Prada, she had a chance to act opposite her screen idol, Meryl Streep. Hathaway was nominated for an Oscar in 2009, and I’m betting that it’s only the first of many.

Kate Winslet – Many critics regard Winslet as the best young actress currently working. She has gained critical praise for a number of films: Sense and Sensibility, Titanic, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Little Children, Revolutionary Road, and The Reader. At the age of 33, she became the youngest actor or actress to ever receive six Oscar nominations. In 2009, she finally captured the Best Actress award for her role in The Reader.

Cate Blanchett – The Australian actress known for her ability with accents has won an Academy Award, two BAFTAs, two Golden Globes, and two SAGs. She has acted in a diverse collection of films including The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Elizabeth, and The Aviator. Blanchett is highly respected in the acting community, and any role she takes on has some level of Oscar potential. If you’re making your own 2011 Oscar predictions, you could do far worse than this Aussie.

Best Supporting Actor for 2011

Since the supporting categories are always more unpredictable, let’s once again take a look at some wild card contenders for the 2011 Best Supporting Actor Oscar. Some of these may just be crazy, but you never know what’s going to happen in the land of Hollyweird.

Robert James Ritchie – This singer-songwriter is better known by his stage name Kid Rock. I know you think I’m crazy, but Mr. Rock has sold over 21 million records in the U.S., and he’s also made a cameo in the film Joe Dirt. With film credentials like that, why wouldn’t he be nominated for an Oscar in 2011? I’m guessing the nomination will come after Ritchie plays against type as an office drone or suburban father.

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson – The former WWE champion is making a nice career for himself as an actor. While he’s specialized in action movies, Johnson has also appeared in more dramatic films such as Southland Tales and Gridiron Gang. With a bit more experience, and the right role, there’s a chance that he could have an Oscar to place next to his title belt on the mantle.

Samuel L. Jackson – Everyone loves Samuel L. Jackson. As he continues to age, the action roles will diminish and allow him to explore his talents as a dramatic actor. If he can ever get nominated, Jackson’s a guy who everyone will be pulling for.

Bill Nighy – With his distinctive looks and voice, Nighy is a respected British actor of the highest order. He’s also the European equivalent of Samuel L. Jackson in many ways, as he’s starred in a number of pop culture hits (Underworld, Shaun of the Dead, etc.). Nighy’s easily got the talent to receive an Oscar nomination, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see him nominated in 2011.

Best Actor for 2011

The Best Actor category is usually a little easier to nail down when making 2011 Oscar predictions. Here are a few names you can count on when it comes to making a short list of contenders.

Jim Carrey – In 2011, Jim Carrey will be starring in Ripley’s Believe It or Not!. Ever since he became a star with films like Dumb and Dumber, Carrey has been trying to stretch his acting abilities and gain respect as more than just a comedian. This may be the role which finally allows him to do so.

Leonardo DiCaprio – The star of Titanic has done an admirable job of shedding his teen idol image and becoming a respected actor (especially through his work with Martin Scorsese). He’s been nominated multiple times for an Oscar, but his upcoming role in The Chancellor Manuscript could do the trick. Based on a 1977 novel, it tells the story of secret files of J. Edgar Hoover which are used to blackmail high-ranking individuals.

Daniel Day-Lewis – After taking several years off from acting, Day-Lewis returned with a vengeance in Gangs of New York. Since 1997, he’s only done four films, but There Will Be Blood earned him an Oscar win for Best Actor. He previously earned a Best Actor award for portraying Christy Brown in My Left Foot in 1989. Assuming he does a movie in the next few years, Day-Lewis is certain to get an Oscar nomination.

Philip Seymour Hoffman – Although he’s already won a Best Actor award for Capote, Hoffman just keeps cranking out the critically-acclaimed films. He’s also enjoyed success in the theatre, twice being nominated for a Tony award. He’s an actor who stays very busy, so there’s no doubt he’ll star in multiple films in 2011–at least one of which will earn him a nomination.

Best Picture Oscar for 2011

As of this writing, many 2011 films have yet to be announced. While this makes it difficult to predict the winners, I can predict the types of movies which may be nominated.

Holocaust Film – Every few years, a film which involves the Holocaust will get nominated for an Oscar. In 2009, it was The Reader. What will it be in 2011?

Depressing Film Starring Ralph Fiennes – When it comes to choosing excellent roles, it’s hard to beat Ralph Fiennes. It’s also hard to top him when it comes to starring in movies which will induce suicide in the audience. From The Constant Gardner to Schindler’s List, Fiennes has shown his uncanny ability time after time.

Big Budget Pop Culture Hit – Although it wasn’t nominated for a Best Picture award in 2009, everyone seemed to think that The Dark Knight deserved such an honor. When 2011 comes around, which summer blockbuster will capture the imagination of audiences enough to warrant an Oscar nomination? The two films below could be very strong contenders.

In addition, the following films are scheduled to arrive in theaters during 2011. Either one could be a strong Oscar contender, following in the footsteps of The Dark Knight or Return of the King. Click here to learn more about good movies coming in 2011.

The Avengers – This epic superhero tale will feature Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, The Hulk, Ant Man and The Wasp. How can it not get nominated for Best Picture of 2011?

The Hobbit – Guillermo Del Toro will direct this prequel to the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Expect another monster hit, especially since many of us grew up watching the animated version of this one (featuring John Huston as the voice of Gandalf, I believe).

Best Director for 2011

When it comes to the Best Director category, only a few of the same names turn up on a consistent basis. Otherwise, the cast of characters rotates from year-to-year. The following directors are those with enough talent to show up when the Academy hands out its 2011 nominations.

Martin Scorsese – Even though he finally received his long-overdue Oscar with 2006’s The Departed, there’s no indication that Martin Scorsese is going to slow down anytime soon. The man is constantly working, and we should expect another movie about crooked cops, gang members or Italians in the very near future.

Paul Thomas Anderson – Since 1997, Paul Thomas Anderson has been nominated for 5 Academy Awards (including Best Screenplay, Best Director and Best Picture). At that rate, he’ll be due for another nomination right about 2011.

Terry Gilliam – Known for his unique vision, Terry Gilliam is a respected director and former member of the Monty Python comedy troupe. His long-awaited film, The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, should finally be in theaters in 2011, and it’ll be well worth the wait.

Joel and Ethan Coen – After winning the Best Director award for No Country for Old Men, the Coen brothers went right back to work. Whatever project they have coming out in 2011, you can count on it having a quirky sense of humor. Frances McDormand or George Clooney may also star.