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March 5, 2010

Oscar Predictions (you knew this was coming)

The Full List of Nominees

To be fair, I haven't seen every movie nominated. I tried, but it's hard. Too much time and money are required to be completely up to speed around Oscar time (plus your local movie theater where you attend college is closed for January and February for renovations...). There's always illegally watching movies online, but that earned my parents' computer a virus and caused me to reformat my hard drive...

Down to business:

Best Picture: The Hurt Locker
Why: Various members of the Academy (those who vote) will likely want to keep the $700 million grossing "Avatar" from winning. Particularly the actors branch of the Academy, who would prefer a dramatic story of the Iraq war over a sci-fi blockbuster that was 60% CGI. Although "Avatar" took the Golden Globes for Best Picture: Drama and Best Director, I don't see that happening on Oscar night. It's a whole different group of voters with different perspectives on the industry. "Avatar" is a great film, but "The Hurt Locker" is a better one. No other story this year was as captivating and tenuous as this one, except maybe "Precious," but critics and Oscar pundits have said the race is down to "Avatar" and "The Hurt Locker," with "Inglourious Basterds" as the only possible outside chance.

Best Director: Kathryn Bigelow, "The Hurt Locker"
Why: If "The Hurt Locker" wins, so will she. It's a pattern the Academy has seemed to follow, and practical reasons. If you made the best movie of the year, you deserve the recognition. Plus, she will be the first woman to ever win this award, opening the doors for female directors everywhere. That's not why she should win, but that's why it should be appreciated.

Best Actor in a Leading Role: Jeff Bridges, "Crazy Heart"
Why: Still haven't seen this, but I really want to. Long time actor and nominee, has never won. Winning the Golden Globe was a good indication, and no one has even mentioned any other actors winning.

Best Actress in a Leading Role: Sandra Bullock, "The Blind Side"
Why: Probably her best performance yet, and for someone who's been a star for as long as she has, she's never been nominated before. I don't think this movie was really Oscar material, but then again there were several others in the expanded Best Picture category I think don't belong.
Who Do I Really Wish Would Win: Streep, Sidibe, or Mulligan. I thought they were all better in their films, but they've got some things against them. Streep has the record for Oscar nominations (and wins) and to be honest, her portrayal of Julia Child, though spot on, wasn't enough to earn this award. Sidibe has never acted before, and although she was outstanding, an Oscar is something you usually have to earn over time. Mulligan is also a bit young, and her film, "An Education," which was fantastic, was generally overlooked (have you heard of it?).

Best Actor in a Supporting Role: Christoph Waltz, "Inglourious Basterds"
Why: Hands down one of the best performances all year. A predominantly German actor, Waltz stole the show in Tarantino's Nazi revenge blockbuster, and it was my earlier opinion that he should have been nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role, as he was on screen more than anyone else in that movie (including Brad Pitt).

Best Actress in a Supporting Role: Mo'Nique, "Precious"
Why: Again, one of the most memorable of the year. It seems the supporting actors were the easy ones to tell this year. No arguments from anyone, she's got it in the bag.

Best Animated Feature: Up
Why: Duh...

Best Original Screenplay: Quentin Tarantino, "Inglourious Basterds"
Why: I'd say it's between this and "The Hurt Locker," and personally I feel a fictitious re-telling of WWII is more creative the a story about the Iraq war written by a journalist who spent time there. Not trying to underplay the story or the war, but Tarantino's "Basterds" was near perfect in plot and it contained so many subtleties that only he could create.

Best Adapted Screenplay: Up in the Air
Why: Everyone seems to be saying it, but I still haven't seen it (I plan to very soon). Jason Reitman is great, and his film probably won't be taking home any other awards this year, so why not?

Other Predictions:
-Hosts Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin will make some good jokes at each other, and their film "It's Complicated," which was good, but earned no Oscar attention. Eventually they'll get really boring and unfunny, and probably start looking tired (Baldwin will look slightly intoxicated).
-Sacha Baron Cohen will do something dumb.
-"Avatar" will take nearly all of the technical awards, in true James Cameron fashion.
-Mo'Nique will cry during her speech.
-Jason Reitman and Quentin Tarantino will both act really full of themselves.

That's about it. See you at the Oscars! Sunday night on ABC.


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