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March 3, 2010


Oscars predictions

Christoph Waltz

It's another Oscars year where everybody already knows who's going to win a lot of the major awards. Some of these are great picks, and some we'll think about years from now and wonder how the Academy could have made such weird choices that now make no sense (Sandra Bullock really needs an Oscar?)

We've gone through the nominees and make our predictions about who's going to get the award, like always. These are our guesses about who will win, not necessarily who should win. My grand unified theory about how these things get decided is that Academy members vote for their friends, and they love to feel good about themselves.

Put your own picks in the comments and display your nuanced understanding of how Hollywood insiders operate! If you're going to keep score at home and not just swear futilely at Sean Penn and Miley Cyrus as they announce winners, here's a printable ballot with all the nominees.

Best Actor
Jeff Bridges in "Crazy Heart" (Amy) Jeff Bridges is by far the best part of this movie--he's pretty much irresistible and everybody loves him. This is the Academy's feel-good award this year. Clooney already has an Oscar, and Colin Firth will hopefully be back another year. (Cushie) I think Jeremy Renner is the dark horse here, but Bridges will win.
George Clooney in "Up in the Air"
Colin Firth in "A Single Man"
Morgan Freeman in "Invictus"
Jeremy Renner in "The Hurt Locker"

Best Supporting Actor
Matt Damon in "Invictus"
Woody Harrelson in "The Messenger"
Christopher Plummer in "The Last Station"
Stanley Tucci in "The Lovely Bones"
Christoph Waltz in "Inglourious Basterds" (Amy) He's the obvious choice, and deserves to win, but there are other great nominees in this category. Too bad Christopher Plummer got his first nomination ever (!) this year, since he has no chance of winning. I guess that's what Lifetime Achievement awards are for. (Cushie) Matt Damon is probably the other one with a chance here, because he did a good job with a hard accent, but I think this might be the Basterds' only award.

Best Actress
Sandra Bullock in "The Blind Side" (Amy) I want to believe Meryl Streep's going to get it. Do you realize Streep has not won an Oscar since 1983? It's time for another one, but she's not going to get it. Sandra Bullock is the weakest nominee of an otherwise great category. (Cushie) I think this is Sandra Bullock's year, unfortunately. I would prefer any of the other four.
Helen Mirren in "The Last Station"
Carey Mulligan in "An Education"
Gabourey Sidibe in "Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire"
Meryl Streep in "Julie & Julia"

Best Supporting Actress
Penelope Cruz in "Nine"
Vera Farmiga in "Up in the Air"
Maggie Gyllenhaal in "Crazy Heart"
Anna Kendrick in "Up in the Air"
Mo'Nique in "Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire" (Amy) There is no question. It's kind of a cardboard caricature of a role, but she did a great job with it. (Cushie) Vera Farmiga should get the "if I wasn't against Mo'Nique I would win" award.

Best Animated Feature Film
"Fantastic Mr. Fox"
"The Princess and the Frog"
"The Secret of Kells"
"Up" (Amy) I love this movie. (Cushie)

Art Direction
"Avatar" (Amy) This is the kind of category Avatar really deserves to win. Note it did not get a screenwriting nomination. (Cushie) I am actually OK with Avatar winning this.
"The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus"
"Sherlock Holmes"
"The Young Victoria"

"Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince"
"The Hurt Locker" (Amy) The steady, unflinching camera was one of the best parts of the movie (Cushie)
"Inglourious Basterds"
"The White Ribbon"

Costume Design
"Bright Star"
"Coco before Chanel"
"The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus"
"Nine" (Amy) Can this award specifically be for Penelope Cruz's cardiac-arrest-inducing underwear costume from her big dance number? It's more likely a more obvious period piece will win, I just can't tell which one.
"The Young Victoria" (Cushie). The Academy loves period costumes, and it has a few choices here.

"The Hurt Locker" (Amy) This is it! The Academy won't be able to resist Making Movie History. I'm psyched. And will retreat into scowling hatred for the whole world if James Cameron wins. (Cushie) Time for a Lady Director!
"Inglourious Basterds"
"Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire"
"Up in the Air"

Best Documentary
"Burma VJ"
"The Cove" (Amy) I want Food, Inc. to win, but people seem to be into this one. Didn't concern for dolphins go out of vogue sometime in the early 90's, though?
"Food, Inc." (Cushie) Every single Academy member only shops at Whole Foods and feeds their beautiful child only the best in organic baby food.
"The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers"
"Which Way Home"

Best Documentary Short
"China's Unnatural Disaster: The Tears of Sichuan Province"
"The Last Campaign of Governor Booth Gardner"
"The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant" (Amy) Hollywood wants to appear concerned about the struggles of regular Americans, right before going to Elton John's afterparty at the Sunset Tower. (Cushie) Although I would not be surprised if they chose the China movie.
"Music by Prudence"
"Rabbit à la Berlin"

"District 9"
"The Hurt Locker" (Amy)(Cushie)
"Inglourious Basterds"
"Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire"

Best Foreign Language Film
"El Secreto de Sus Ojos"
"The Milk of Sorrow"
"Un Prophète"
"The White Ribbon"(Amy) Maybe too dark? Well, none of these are exactly feel-good, so I'm going with the one that's gotten the most attention.(Cushie)

"Il Divo"
"Star Trek" (Amy)
"The Young Victoria" (Cushie)

Original Score
"Avatar" (Cushie). Yuck.
"Fantastic Mr. Fox"
"The Hurt Locker"
"Sherlock Holmes"
"Up" (Amy)

Original Song
"Almost There" from "The Princess and the Frog"
"Down in New Orleans" from "The Princess and the Frog"
"Loin de Paname" from "Paris 36"
"Take It All" from "Nine"
"The Weary Kind (Theme from Crazy Heart)" from "Crazy Heart" (Amy) The songs from this movie still pop into my head all the time. (Cushie) This is actually a great song.

Best Picture
"Avatar" (Amy) I guess? It will win because of its total industry domination, but not much else.
"The Blind Side"
"District 9"
"An Education"
"The Hurt Locker" (Cushie) Please please please!
"Inglourious Basterds"
"Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire"
"A Serious Man"
"Up in the Air"

Best Animated Short
"French Roast"
"Granny O'Grimm's Sleeping Beauty"
"The Lady and the Reaper (La Dama y la Muerte)"
"A Matter of Loaf and Death" by Nick Park (Amy) Only because it's Nick Park. (Cushie)

Best Short Film
"The Door"
"Instead of Abracadabra"
"Miracle Fish" (Cushie) No idea. I like the name of this.
"The New Tenants" (Amy)

Sound Editing
"Avatar" (Cushie)
"The Hurt Locker"
"Inglourious Basterds"
"Star Trek" (Amy)

Sound Mixing
"Avatar" (Cushie)
"The Hurt Locker" (Amy) Hedging my bets, here.
"Inglourious Basterds"
"Star Trek"
"Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen"

Visual Effects
"Avatar" (Amy) It really deserves this one. Watching this movie was a transporting experience. (Cushie)
"District 9"
"Star Trek"

Adapted Screenplay
"District 9"
"An Education"
"In the Loop"
"Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire"
"Up in the Air" (Amy) People like this screenplay, I guess. I thought it was sloppy and non-credible, and I hope Nick Hornby gets it for An Education, but I don't think he will. (Cushie) I agree although I would love to see Hornby or Armando Iannucci.

Original Screenplay
"The Hurt Locker" (Cushie) Although I also think A Serious Man is a good contender.
"Inglourious Basterds" (Amy) Maybe he'll win this one again! Another really strong category. I'd be happy if any of these win, except maybe The Messenger.
"The Messenger"
"A Serious Man"

categories: Movies
posted by amy at 2:11 PM | #

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Argh! No! No more "time for a lady Director"! I know arguing for Oscars on the basis of quality is quixotic, but... Bigelow should not win because she's a woman and it'll be historic and blah blah blah. She should win because HURT LOCKER is the year's best-directed movie! A lot of critics tend to confuse directing with screenwriting ("Scorsese's characters are tortured men..." and the like), but what's notable about HURT LOCKER is that the script is deliberately minimal. What gives the movie drive and energy, what makes it all hang together, is the directing---the way Bigelow paces and frames scenes is what creates its momentum, rather than the plot. Please, no treating this terrific directing job as an affirmative-action hire.

Posted by: That Fuzzy Bastarrd at March 5, 2010 10:34 AM

I couldn't agree more. But I think the members of the Academy really do feel that it's "time for a Lady Director" and want to Make Movie History and feel very self-congratulatory that they're giving their big, alpha-male "I'm the King of the World" award to a woman this year. Or at least they probably are.

Kathryn Bigelow deserves to win, no question, and it's a happy coincidence that the year there's some momentum around giving the Best Director award to a woman is the same year that a woman happened to do the best directing job. Bigelow has been very clear through all of this that she doesn't consider herself a "woman director" and that the fact that she is female is irrelevant.

But I do believe that the Academy adores moments like this when they can make some gesture to show the world how very progressive Hollywood is, and pretend for one night that it's not as sexist and racist as ever.

Posted by: amy at March 5, 2010 10:48 AM

Actually, I tend to agree with Clooney that Hollywood may be sexist and racist, but it is significantly less sexist and racist than the rest of the country. Yes, Hattie McDaniel not being able to attend her own Oscar ceremony sucked. But she did get an Oscar at a time when in most of the country, she couldn't have even worked in the same office as whites. Hollywood movies, being a mass medium, play to the lowest common denominator. But from Lubitsch to Sirk to Fonda, they've tended to be well to the left of American opinion in a lot of cases.

Posted by: That Fuzzy Bastarrd at March 5, 2010 2:47 PM

I liked that Clooney Oscar speech, too. What was that, 4 years ago? Hollywood has helped to nudge (or shove) the country forward since it's existed. For every Hattie McDaniel and Todd Haynes, it feels like there are a dozen "The Ugly Truth"s, sometimes.


Posted by: amy at March 6, 2010 3:13 PM

As Theodore Sturgeon allegedly said, "90% of everything is crap."

Posted by: That Fuzzy Bastarrd at March 7, 2010 1:35 PM

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