Monday, February 1, 2010

Oscar Nomination Predictions (Revised)

The Oscar nominations come out tomorrow and I figured, what the hell, let's beat the news to the punch. So here are my predictions on who gets the nod, with the eventual winner first on the list.


1. The Hurt Locker
2. Avatar
3. Up In The Air
4. Precious
5. Inglorious Basterds
6. An Education
7. Invictus
8. A Serious Man
9. 500 Days of Summer
10. Up


1. The Blind Side
2. District 9


1. Invictus
2. 500 Days of Summer

(Almost. I was only off by two on this one. I was very surprised that Invictus didn't get a nod. Far from being Clint Eastwood's best, it was however, the type of biopic that usually makes these lists. 500 Days of Summer, not making it, wasn't too surprising, as if fell into that how to fill out the last couple of spots list. To all the far right critics (Not film critics.) who like to moan about liberal Hollywood, well Blind Side, a movie that was poorly reviewed, except for Sandra Bullock's performance, got a nomination. Oh those old fashioned, far right, Christian values. On District 9. These predictions were based on what critics have written, and other awards that have been given out, not strictly limited to films I've seen, but I did see District 9 and hated it. Very much of a video game film, with the constant pop pop pop of action.)


1. Kathryn Bigelow: The Hurt Locker
2. James Cameron: Avatar
3. Lee Daniels: Precious
4. Jason Reitman: Up In The Air
5. Quentin Tarantino: Inglorious Basterds

(Right across the board.)


1. Jeff Bridges: Crazy Heart
2. George Clooney: Up In The Air
3. Colin Firth: A Single Man
4. Morgan Freeman: Invictus
5. Jeremy Renner: The Hurt Locker

(Right across the board.)


1. Sandra Bullock: The Blind Side
2. Meryl Streep: Julie & Julia
3. Helen Mirren: The Last Station
4. Gabourey Sidibe: Precious
5. Zoe Saldana: Avatar

(I went against conventional wisdom in picking Zoe Saldana against Carey Mulligan for An education. I overestimated Avatar's coat tail affect.)


1. Carey Mulligan: An Education


1. Zoe Saldana: Avatar


1. Cristoph Waltz: Inglorious Basterds
2. Stanley Tucci: Julie & Julia
3. Christopher Plummer: The Last Station
4. Anthony Mackie: The Hurt Locker
5. Woody Harrelson: The Messenger

(I was sort of wrong on two of these. I'm a big Stanley Tucci fan, but found his work in Julie & Julia far more impressive than his creepy turn in The Lovely Bones. If I was rooting for any actor in these catagories it was Anthony Mackie for The Hurt Locker. His performance was the perfect counterpoint to Renner, and Renner's performance works far less well without Mackie. Matt Damon was good in Invictus, but if that part had been played by a lesser known actor, I doubt it would have got a nod, even if it had been better executed.)


1. Matt Damon: Invictus
2. Stanley Tucci: The Lovely Bones


1. Anthony Mackie: The Hurt Locker
2. Stanley Tucci: Julie & Julia


1. Mo'Nique: Precious
2. Maggie Gyllenhaal: Crazy Heart
3. Diane Kruger: Ingloriuos Basterds
4. Melanie Laurent: Inglorious Basterds
5. Vera Farmiga: Up In The Air

(Of all the categories, to me, this one had the biggest surprise. Diane Kruger for Ingloriuos Basterds got across the board nominations in virtually every other competition. I'll bet the lady went to bed last night assuming her name would be listed. A big disappointment for her and all the fans of the film, and I'm one of them. I know, the same can be said for Penelope Cruz in Nine, but in all honesty, I thought it was over rated, and thought for sure it was the most disposable of the lot. I guess we can never underestimate the star power of a sex pot role. I've kind of overlooked Anna Kendrick as the far more conventional character in Up In The Air. Farmiga was memorable, but Kendrick has always been just "sort of there" for me. Not bad, but her work wasn't the role I thought about after the movie was over. If she wins, does she say goodbye to the Twilight franchise? It would probably be a good move.)


1. Anna Kendrick: Up In The Air
2. Penlope Cruz: Nine


1. Diane Kruger: Ingloriuos Basterds
2. Melanie Laurent: Inglorious Basterds

The increase in best picture nominations makes it both easier and harder to make predictions. The number of sure bets goes up, but the border line pictures add to those last three or four nominations. If the major nominees divide the vote enough, it's possible that a film like Inivctus or 500 Days of Summer could win, though that is very unlikely. With 10 noms, it's unlikely that a director without a picture in the running can get nominated. I just picked those I thought most likely. I thought the five actors listed are so far above and beyond the other contenders that this is the one category I feel really sure about, though Daniel Day Lewis for Nine wouldn't surprise me. I felt sure about the first four actresses listed, but with all the money made by Avatar and curiosity about new technical advances, I snuck Zoe Saldana in for Avatar. It's also the nomination I feel least sure of. Supporting nominations are always the ones with the most chance to have unexpected nominees and winners. I picked Tucci for Julie & Julia rather than The Lovely Bones because it was a far more popular movie, and let's be honest, he was more creepy than effective in Bones. A Christopher Plummer could end up winning the Oscar just like Alan Arkin did; a career award, edging out Cristoph Waltz. Anthony Mackie sneaks in because The Hurt Locker is winning so many other awards. Supporting actress is the real guess work category. Mo'Nique and Diane Kruger are, to me, the only sure bets in this category. Melanie Laurent may be a stretch, but I thought she was better than Kruger for the same movie. Gyllenhaal gets swept along with Jeff Bridges.

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