Thursday, March 4, 2010

Oscar Predictions

As you may have heard, the Academy Awards are this Sunday night. So with a few days to go, I'm going on the record with my predictions. Feel free to follow me on your Oscar pools, but remember that I'm usually very wrong.

Best Picture
Will Win: The Hurt Locker
Top Competitor: Avatar
Should Win: Up in the Air
This one's boiled down to The Hurt Locker vs. Avatar, if perhaps just for the David vs. Goliath ring to it. I'm rooting for Up in the Air mostly to be a contrarian, but Inglourious Basterds is the dark horse most likely to slip in. Still, while it could go in any direction, I'm feeling the Hurt Locker love right now.

Best Director
Will Win: Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker
Top Competitor: James Cameron, Avatar
Should Win: Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker
There's a strong argument that picture and director will split between Hurt Locker and Avatar, and that the Academy may want to reward Cameron for his decade of work and serious innovations. I still expect Bigelow to be the first female director to win.

Best Actor
Will Win: Jeff Bridges, Crazy Heart
Top Competitor: Jeremy Renner, The Hurt Locker
Should Win: Jeff Bridges or Jeremy Renner
Jeff Bridges is a very safe bet here, but if they REALLY love Hurt Locker Renner could surprise for his breakout role.

Best Actress
Will Win: Sandra Bullock, The Blind Side
Top Competitor: Meryl Streep, Julie & Julia
Should Win: Carey Mulligan, An Education
If those of us who refuse to see The Blind Side can't understand how Bullock was even nominated, remember this: Actors vote for actors, and actors LOVE her. Gabby Sidibe might actually be more likely to surprise than Streep.

Best Supporting Actor
Will Win: Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds
Top Competitor: Um.....
Should Win: Christoph Waltz
This contest ended months ago.

Best Supporting Actress
Will Win: Mo'nique, Precious
Top Competitor: Someone from Up in the Air?
Should Win: Mo'nique
Again, not really much of a contest here.

Best Original Screenplay
Will Win: Inglourious Basterds
Top Competitor: The Hurt Locker
Should Win: Inglourious Basterds
The Hurt Locker may very well win here, but I'm still betting on Tarantino for the win.

Best Adapted Screenplay
Will Win: Up in the Air
Top Competitor: An Education
Should Win: Up in the Air
I think Up in the Air's super polished script is a safe bet, but I guess Precious or An Education could surprise.

Best Animated Film
Will Win: Up
Top Competitor: Um...
Should Win: Up
Another no-brainer.

Best Foreign Language Film
Will Win: A Prophet
Top Competitor: El Secreto de los Ojos
Should Win: Haven't seen any of them
The White Ribbon's the most well-known of the lot, but the foreign language branch of the Academy doesn't care about that. I hear Secreto is the most conventional and will hence probably win, but let's compromise on A Prophet.

Best Score
Will Win: Up
Top Competitor: Avatar
Should Win: Up
Up's music was great, therefore it will win.

Best Song
Will Win: "The Weary Kind" from Crazy Heart
Top Competitor: "Down in New Orleans" from Princess and the Frog
Should Win: "The Weary Kind"
It's the only song nominated that really deserves to be there, so it should be a clear victory.

Best Documentary
Will Win: The Cove
Top Competitor: Food, Inc.
Should Win: Food, Inc.
The Cove has won every single doc award for the year, so that will probably continue. But Fooc, Inc. was really really good.

Best Art Direction
Will Win: Avatar
Top Competitor: The Young Victoria
Should Win: Avatar
I don't really know what I'm talking about here, but I refuse to predict Nine for any victories. Seems like a good place for Avatar to take an award, but they do love period pieces in these categories...

Best Cinematography
Will Win: The Hurt Locker
Top Competitor: Avatar
Should Win: The Hurt Locker
Again, Inglourious Basterds has a real shot, but I see it being between the two top-nominated movies. And here I think conventional filmmaking will win out.

Best Costumes
Will Win: The Young Victoria
Top Competitor: Bright Star
Should Win: I haven't even seen most of these movies, and for good reason.
I clearly have no idea what I'm talking about here, but period pieces always win here.

Best Makeup
Will Win: Star Trek
Top Competitor: The Young Victoria
Should Win: Star Trek
Did you recognize Eric Bana? Yeah, I didn't think so.

Best Film Editing
Will Win: The Hurt Locker
Top Competitor: Avatar
Should Win: The Hurt Locker
Tends to go to the movie with the most noticeable editing, so again, that's Hurt Locker.

Best Visual Effects
Will Win: Avatar
Top Competitor: District 9
Should Win: Avatar
Which of these movies reinvented cinema? Oh, right, that one.

Best Sound Editing
Will Win: Avatar
Top Competitor: The Hurt Locker
Should Win: Avatar
Avatar should be sweeping these tech categories.

Best Sound Mixing
Will Win: Avatar
Top Competitor: The Hurt Locker
Should Win: Avatar
May be a "different" category, but same deal.

Best Documentary Short
Will Win: The Last Truck: Closing of a GE Plant
Top Competitor: China's Natural Disaster: The Tears of Sichuan Province
I haven't seen nor read anything about these, so I'm basing my judgement on title alone. But the GE Plant one sounds timely, and the China one sounds depressing, so there you go.

Best Live Action Short
Will Win: The New Tenants
Top Competitor: Kavi
I don't really know much about this category, but I heard "Tenants" is really funny, and that "Kavi" is the serious one.

Best Animated Short
Will Win: A Matter of Loaf or Death
Top Competitor: Logorama
Wallace and Gromit won feature animated film in its year (I think), so I bet it takes short as well. Though Logorama is also a cool name.

I reserve the right to change my mind multiple times in the next few days, especially in those last three categories. Good luck with your Oscar pools, and we'll discuss more on Sunday!

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