Friday, March 05, 2010

My Oscar Picks

Well, I've seen a good number of the nominated films this year, though I'm a little sparse in a few areas, particularly the Lead Actress category.

As always, I'm limiting my picks to the major categories. When I liveblog on Sunday, I'll have picks for every category.

Adapted Screenplay:
  • District 9
  • An Education
  • In the Loop
  • Precious
  • Up in the Air
I never saw In the Loop, so I cannot comment on that, but in my mind this is a two-way race between Precious and Up in the Air, both of which were excellent.

Should Win: Up in the Air
Will Win: Up in the Air

Original Screenplay:
  • The Hurt Locker
  • Inglourious Basterds
  • The Messenger
  • A Serious Man
  • Up
The Hurt Locker will probably win a lot of Oscars, and it is many critics' pick for Original Screenplay. But I think voters might want to reward Quentin Tarantino in some way.

Should Win: Inglourious Basterds
Will Win: Inglourious Basterds

  • Avatar
  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
  • The Hurt Locker
  • Inglourious Basterds
  • The White Ribbon
Most of the technical awards will obviously go to Avatar, but I'm hoping that voters don't mistakenly think Cinematography is technical award. While we often think of cinematography in terms of "beautiful-to-look-at" films, which obviously would mean Avatar, we cannot forget that cinematography is really about how well shot a film is--it is about the camera work. Avatar was not beautiful because of a camera but because of a computer. So I'm having some faith in the voters:

Should Win: The Hurt Locker
Will Win: The Hurt Locker

Supporting Actress
  • Penelope Cruz, Nine
  • Vera Farmiga, Up in the Air
  • Maggie Gyllenhaal, Crazy Heart
  • Anna Kendrick, Up in the Air
  • Mo'Nique, Precious
This category is a sure thing.

Should Win: Mo'Nique
Will Win: Mo'Nique

Supporting Actor
  • Matt Damon, Invictus
  • Woody Harrelson, The Messenger
  • Christopher Plummer, The Last Station
  • Stanley Tucci, The Lovely Bones
  • Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds
Even more of a sure thing, and probably the most deserved sure-thing of the night.

Should Win: Christoph Waltz
Will Win: Christoph Waltz

Best Actress
  • Sandra Bullock, The Blind Side
  • Helen Mirren, The Last Station
  • Carey Mulligan, An Education
  • Gabourey Sidibe, Precious
  • Meryl Streep, Julie & Julia
Obviously Meryl Streep is a great actress, though I did not see Julie & Julia. Carrie Mullgan was great, and Gabourey Sidibe was astonishing. But everyone seems to think that Sandra Bullock should win for not making a bad movie (which I have not seen, so I cannot judge).

Should Win: I have not seen the two top contenders, I so I cannot say.
Will Win: Sandra Bullock

Best Actor
  • Jeff Bridges, Crazy Heart
  • George Clooney, Up in the Air
  • Colin Firth, A Single Man
  • Morgan Freeman, Invictus
  • Jeremy Renner, The Hurt Locker
I am hoping to see Crazy Heart this weekend, but Jeff Bridges is also a sure thing. Once I see the movie, I'll comment on the hype. I do know that Clooney, Firth, and Renner were excellent. Freeman, just ok.

Should Win: I'll go out on a limb and say Jeff Bridges, but I may amend once I see it.
Will Win: Jeff Bridges

  • James Cameron, Avatar
  • Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker
  • Quentin Tarantino, Inglourious Basterds
  • Lee Daniels, Precious
  • Jason Reitman, Up in the Air
OMG, did you hear? James Cameron and Kathryn Bigelow are ex-spouses! Oh, the drama. Well, I know I picked Avatar as my favorite film of 2009, but my Oscar picks are a little different (see Best Picture below). James Cameron should get a special Oscar for invention, for breaking ground, etc. But as himself has said, Avatar is such a collaborative effort, that maybe picking one guy is not fair. But the momentum seems to be for The Hurt Locker. That said . . .

Should Win: Quentin Tarantino
Will Win: Kathryn Bigelow

Best Picture
  • Avatar
  • The Blind Side
  • District 9
  • An Education
  • The Hurt Locker
  • Inglourious Basterds
  • Precious
  • A Serious Man
  • Up
  • Up in the Air

The 10-nominees-in-the-category thing this year is stupid. That is all I have to say about that. That said, I've seen 9 of these films, and 7 of them were on my Best Of list. Again, I know that I picked Avatar for special reasons when I made my Best Of list, but my Oscar picks do not align. So if you want to accuse me of inconsistency, so be it. (" . . . the hobgoblin of little minds.") I still think Avatar is amazing, and it has a very good chance of winning Best Picture, but my thoughts have rebalanced.

Should Win: Inglourious Basterds
Will Win: The Hurt Locker

Tune in Sunday night!


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