Sunday, February 21, 2010

2010 Oscars: Predictions, Thoughts, and Gripes

Oscar season is here once again in what I have considered to be a weak year. After a 2008 season in which so many films were snubbed, the Academy has resorted to its olden practice of nominating 10 films for Best Picture, yet there seems a dearth of films worth nominating in 2009. Nonetheless, here we are, with 10 nominees and an unpredictable Best Picture race while all the other major categories seem utterly predictable. Well, here are my thoughts on the major categories:
Best Picture
Like I said, this is the only tough category to call. I think it's a race between Avatar and The Hurt Locker and many are predicting the latter low budget sleeper to take down the former gargantuan, but I am not sure. Though Cameron has won big before, I think the smart money's on Avatar. As far as other films nominated in this category, I named Inglourious Basterds as the film of the year but I think Up in the Air is a film of the times and I hope it pulls an upset and wins. District 9 and Blind Side had no business being nominated and I would have liked to see nods for (500) Days of Summer and Crazy Heart.
Prediction: Avatar
Preference: Up in the Air
Best Director
They got this one right. The best directors were nominated and again I think that again it will come down to Avatar vs. Hurt Locker. This time Kathryn Bigelow should win for several reasons-Cameron's won before, the Academy would like to honor a woman for the first time, and most importantly, The Hurt Locker was the year's best and most meticulously directed film. I just hope the Academy doesn't continue to pass over QT in this category.
Prediction: Kathryn Bigelow
Preference: Kathryn Bigelow
Best Actor
Jeff Bridges is the front runner and I'm in the minority when I say that he shouldn't be. Crazy Heart's Bad Blake was not a challenge for The Dude and though he should eventually be rewarded as he is a major talent, it should not be for this role. Clooney was delightful in Up in the Air and is the deserving nominee. I would have liked to see nods for Michael Stuhlbarg (A Serious Man) and Sam Rockwell (Moon) though I'm not sure who should have stayed home.
Prediction: Jeff Bridges
Preference: George Clooney
Best Actress
For whatever Godforsaken reason this is Sandra Bullock's year. She's the least deserving in the category and should not be rewarded for a comeback role. Streep and Mirren were great in their roles, but have won before. Sidibe was great as well, but we have nothing to compare her work. My vote goes with Carey Mulligan as a smart young woman who takes up with an older man in An Education.
Prediction: Sandra Bullock
Preference: Carey Mulligan
Best Supporting Actor
Christoph Waltz all the way. It was not only the best supporting performance, it was the performance of the year. I love how this category has gone to villains and he will continue the trend. The rest of the category is screwed up. Damon was unjustly nominated. Tucci did better supporting work in Julie & Julia. I did like Plummer's nomination at 80-years-old. But the biggest crime comes with overlooking Christian McKay's performance in Me & Orson Welles as the great and egotistical director.
Prediction: Christoph Waltz
Preference: Christoph Waltz
Best Supporting Actress
Mo'Nique will win, I won't have a problem if she does, but the race should be closer. Vera Farmiga did wonderful work in Up in the Air and she's my pick. Nine is the only film I have yet to see in the major categories, but I'm still going to question Penelope Cruz's nomination. She won last year and did great supporting work this year in Broken Embraces. Samantha Morton (The Messenger), Paula Patton (Precious), and even Mariah Carey (Precious) were overlooked. Why don't they expand these categories?
Prediction: Mo'Nique
Preference: Vera Farmiga
Original Screenplay
Prediction: Inglourious Basterds
Preference: Inglourious Basterds
Adapted Screenplay
Prediction: Up in the Air
Preference: Up in the Air
Prediction: Avatar
Prediction: The Hurt Locker
Foreign Language Film
Prediction: The White Ribbon
Prediction: The Cove
Animated Film
Up should not be nominated in Best Picture and Best Animated Film
Prediction: Up

Well that's that, you are on your own for the rest of the categories. Be sure to tune into the awards on Sunday, March 7th @ 8pm on ABC, and check back here for thoughts on the show.