Oscar Predictions: And the Award Goes To…

2 02 2010

Academy Award nominations were announced this morning, and, frankly, there were few surprises. Avatar and The Hurt Locker lead with nine nominations each for the 82nd Academy Awards (to air Sunday, March 7). Up becomes only the second animated film to be nominated for Best Picture (Beauty and the Beast was the first) – it’s also nominated for Best Animated Film. As far as the technical and acting nominations, they are pretty much in line with predictions and previous award shows. Some critics are surprised that Avatar was “snubbed” for Best Original Screenplay and upset that Zoe Saldana’s motion-capture performance as Neytiri was overlooked. While I think both were good, the existing nominees are well-deserved.

Once again, I haven’t seen every film nominated, but my goal before March 7th is to see every film in the Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Actress categories – look for reviews over the next few weeks!

Below are my preliminary predictions, based on what I’ve seen, the buzz and my gut feeling.

(I did not include the categories Documentary Feature, Documentary Short, Animated Short Film and Live Action Short Film, as I have not seen any of the nominees. For a complete list of nominees, go to the official Academy Award website.)

Who I Think Will Win

Who I Want To Win

BEST PICTURE

  • Avatar (read review)
  • The Blind Side
  • District 9
  • An Education
  • The Hurt Locker
  • Inglourious Basterds
  • Precious
  • A Serious Man
  • Up
  • Up in the Air

The Academy can go two ways: either give Avatar the award and create a crowd-pleasing, blog-frenzied Oscar finale…or, award the lesser known The Hurt Locker (review to come). Honestly, I think The Hurt Locker is overrated and think Inglourious Basterds has been horribly underrated.

DIRECTING

  • James Cameron (Avatar)
  • Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker)
  • Quentin Tarantino (Inglourious Basterds)
  • Lee Daniels (Precious)
  • Jason Reitman (Up in the Air)

Once again, I feel there are really only two contenders: James Cameron and Kathryn Bigelow. It’s very likely Cameron will walk away with the Oscar, but I have a feeling Kathryn might appeal more to the Academy – not to mention that The Hurt Locker (while not my favorite film) was masterfully directed. I still think Quentin topped himself withInglourious Basterds, however.

ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE

  • Jeff Bridges (Crazy Heart)
  • George Clooney (Up in the Air)
  • Colin Firth (A Single Man)
  • Morgan Freeman (Invictus)
  • Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker)

Critic favorite Up in the Air (review to come) has surprised many by walking away award-less more often than not. I don’t think the Academy Awards will be any different. Jeff Bridges has this one. But after seeing The Hurt Locker, Jeremy Renner’s performance was seamless, evoking documentary-style believability.

ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE

  • Sandra Bullock (The Blind Side)
  • Helen Mirren (The Last Station)
  • Carey Mulligan (An Education)
  • Gabourey Sidibe (Precious)
  • Meryl Streep (Julie & Julia)

Bullock or Streep. Streep is an Academy favorite, but they might want to bring in some new blood with Bullock. Which is too bad, because newcomer Gabourey Sidibe delivered a career-changing performance.

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

  • Matt Damon (Invictus)
  • Woody Harrelson (The Messenger)
  • Christopher Plummer (The Last Station)
  • Stanley Tucci (The Lovely Bones) (read review)
  • Christoph Waltz(Inglourious Basterds)

Up against any other list of nominees, Stanley Tucci would have this award in the bag. But Christoph Waltz will win this award…and deservedly so.

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

  • Penelope Cruz (Nine) (read review)
  • Vera Farmiga (Up in the Air)
  • Maggie Gyllenhaal (Crazy Heart)
  • Anna Kendrick (Up in the Air)
  • Mo’Nique (Precious)

Mo’Nique deserves this award…sure, she’s getting a lot of awards, but this is the mother of all awards and it belongs to her – best acting performance I’ve seen in a long time.

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

  • District9
  • An Education
  • In the Loop
  • Precious
  • Up in the Air

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

  • The Hurt Locker
  • Inglourious Basterds
  • The Messenger
  • A Serious Man
  • Up

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

  • Ajami (Israel)
  • El Secreto de Sus Ojos (Argentina)
  • The Milk of Sorrow (Peru)
  • Un Prophete (France)
  • The White Ribbon (Germany)

ANIMATED FEATURE FILM

  • Coraline
  • Fantastic Mr. Fox
  • The Princess and the Frog
  • The Secret of Kells
  • Up

ART DIRECTION

  • Avatar
  • The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
  • Nine
  • Sherlock Holmes (read review)
  • The Young Victoria

CINEMATOGRAPHY

  • Avatar
  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
  • The Hurt Locker
  • Inglourious Basterds
  • The White Ribbon

COSTUME DESIGN

  • Bright Star
  • Coco before Chanel
  • The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
  • Nine
  • The Young Victoria

FILM EDITING

  • Avatar
  • District 9
  • The Hurt Locker
  • Inglourious Basterds
  • Precious

MAKEUP

  • Il Divo
  • Star Trek
  • The Young Victoria

ORIGINAL SCORE

  • Avatar (James Horner)
  • Fantastic Mr. Fox (Alexandre Desplat)
  • The Hurt Locker (Marco Beltrami, Buck Sanders)
  • Sherlock Holmes (Hans Zimmer)
  • Up (Michael Giacchino)

ORIGINAL SONG

  • The Princess and the Frog (“Almost There” – Music and Lyric by Randy Newman)
  • The Princess and the Frog (“Down in New Orleans” – Music and Lyric by Randy Newman)
  • Paris 36 (“Loin de Paname” – Music by Reinhardt Wagner, Lyric by Frank Thomas)
  • Nine (“Take It All” – Music and Lyric by Maury Yeston)
  • Crazy Heart (“The Weary Kind (Theme from Crazy Heart)” – Music and Lyric by Ryan Bingham and T Bone Burnett)

SOUND MIXING

  • Avatar
  • The Hurt Locker
  • Inglourious Basterds
  • Star Trek
  • Transformers: Revenger of the Fallen

SOUND EDITING

  • Avatar
  • The Hurt Locker
  • Inglourious Basterds
  • Star Trek
  • Up

VISUAL EFFECTS

  • Avatar
  • District 9
  • Star Trek

Check back over the next few weeks for my reviews of the top nominated films, then come back after the March 7th awards show to see if my predictions were accurate!

What do you think? Any films you think were snubbed? Post your predictions in the comments!

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2 responses

2 02 2010
Zillow Zollo

I’m with you on almost all of these!

It’s also my goal to see all of the nominations (or at least as many as I possibly can) before the ceremony. It makes the event so much more dynamic when you can stand behind a favorite nominee. I’m lucky to have a local theater show all of the shorts (animated and live-action) every year a week before the ceremony. Also I’ve seen a few of the documentaries listed on Comcast On Demand, who, once the noms are announced, has an Oscar Nominated category.

The only one that I strongly disagree with you on is Best Actor. Jeff Bridges was amazing in Crazy Heart, but on the other hand I’ve yet to see The Hurt Locker.

2 02 2010
Dustin

It’s nice that you have access to all the shorts and documentaries! I’ll have to see about finding a way to catch them. Once you’ve seen them, let me know what you think! As far as Best Actor is concerned, I’ve yet to see Crazy Heart, so I guess I’ll have to reserve final judgement till I do! 🙂

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