I will be on sabbatical of sorts until early April. After that I will be back with lots of new stuff.
Saturday, March 6, 2010
Well, I suppose it's that time of year again. Below are my picks for the upcoming (Sunday) Academy Awards. I usually go 17 or 18 for 24 in my annual predictions, but last year I had a career high 19 correct out of 24. I'm going for 21+ this year. Here they are.
Best Picture - The Hurt Locker
For a while this looked like a two way race between Avatar and The Hurt Locker, but after victories at ALL THE GUILDS, The Hurt Locker is the clear frontrunner here. But then again, the Oscars are notorious for awarding audacious style over substance (Chicago over The Pianist!?) so it still remains a two-dog race. Then again, a split vote could help Inglourious Basterds (it's pretty damn audacious in its own right). I would love to see Basterds take it, but I would still be pretty happy with The Hurt Locker (my third favourite film of the year). Just no Avatar please - it'll be Titanic all over again (remember it beat out L.A. Confidential!?).
Best Director - Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker
Again, it had looked like a two-way race between ex-spouses, but with her DGA win, the brilliant and quite beautiful Ms. Bigelow should easily pull this one off - even if Avatar takes the top prize. Of course there is always the possibility of these two exes splitting the votes and hearing "and the Oscar goes to...Quentin Tarantino." Hmmmmmm...
Best Actor - Jeff Bridges in Crazy Heart
A real no-brainer here (as I believe all four acting categories are) as Bridges has deserved this before and never gotten it + he is kinda like Hollywood royalty after all. Colin Firth's last minute buzz may have come a bit too late.
Best Actress - Sandra Bullock in The Blind Side
I hate to say this, but yeah, she's gonna win. La Streep (my personal choice) or even Mulligan could pull off an upset, but doubtful. Incidentally, Bullock is also up for Worst Actress at The Razzies (for the film All About Steve) and could become the first person to pull off those two awards in one weekend.
Best Supporting Actor - Christoph Waltz in Inglourious Basterds
Pulling off "the" performance of the year (in any category), Waltz made the most unlikable of characters fun to watch - and he did it in English, French, German AND Italian. Another no-brainer, although Plummer's never having won before (never even nominated actually) could pull off an upset - it would be a damn big upset and likely won't happen.
Best Supporting Actress - Mo'Nique in Precious
This is such a sure thing, the other four nominees need not even show up. Of course, this category is notorious for surprises, but even the most likely surprise (Anna Kendrick) will probably not break through.
Best Original Screenplay - Quentin Tarantino for Inglourious Basterds
A lot of people are going with The Hurt Locker here, but I have a feeling QT is going to win his second writing Oscar here - or is this just wishful thinking?
Best Adapted Screenplay - Jason Reitman for Up in the Air
This is pretty much a sure thing here, sort of a consolation prize (as the screenplay Oscars often are - just ask Tarantino when Pupl Fiction won a screenplay Oscar but lost the top prize to Forrest Gump!!?).
Best Cinematography - The White Ribbon
Many are saying this is Avatar's award, but c'mon, that is not cinematography. That is 3D visual effects. The White Ribbon won the guild award here so it should win this. Again, is this just wishful thinking? Anyway, I think Basterds should take this in all honesty, but that ain't gonna happen.
Best Art Direction - Avatar
I suppose the one thing the movie had going for it was it's visual artistry (even if it was all stolen from Roger Dean's artwork) so it probably will win this award. Look for either Sherlock Holmes or The Young Victoria to upset though.
Best Film Editing - The Hurt Locker
Slightly more often than not, this category syncs up with best pic. I see no reason why it will not happen again - that is, if The Hurt Locker wins Best Pic.
Best Costume Design - The Young Victoria
This award so often goes to the most period-y period piece, which means The Young Victoria. Coco Before Chanel or Bright Star probably deserve the award more (they are movies about designers after all) and I would love to have seen the work in Basterds get nominated here - oh well, Young Vickie it is.
Best Animated Picture - Up
Though I would love to see a Fantastic Mr. Fox upset here (always a sucker for stop-motion) it ain't about to happen... or is it?
Best Foreign-Language Film - El Secreto de sus Ojos (Argentina)
Everyone is saying it is between The White Ribbon and un Prophet, but this category, more than any other, loves to upset all those office Oscar pools (remember No Man's Land beating Amelie, Nowhere in Africa topping Hero, The Lives of Others taking down Pan's Labyrinth and Departures toppling Waltz With Bashir just last year - btw, I successfully predicted all but the last one) so who knows...I'm still rooting for The White Ribbon though.
Best Documentary Feature - The Cove
It is between The Cove and Food Inc., and neither one would surprise, but I think The Cove has more momentum to take the award.
...and the rest...
Best Original Song - The Weary Kind from Crazy Heart
Best Original Score - Up
Best Make-Up - Star Trek
Best Sound Mixing - The Hurt Locker
Best Sound Editing - Avatar
Best Visual Effects - Avatar
...and then there are those that many have no idea about, and I really don't either, but...
Best Documentary (Short Subject) - The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant
Haven't seen any of these but the subject matter should put this one on top (and there is no holocaust doc to beat it). Of course there is a bit of buzz on Music by Prudence.
Best Short Film (Animated) - Logorama
I am pretty much picking this one because it was my favourite of the bunch, but The Academy does love Wallace & Gromit, so they could easily win instead. Of course let us not count out The Lady & the Reaper.
Best Short Film (Live Action) - Instead of Abracadabra
Pretty much anybody's guess. Kavi is probably the conventional favourite though.
Well, there are my picks for this year's Oscars. I am always filled with trepidation when doing this each year (although I know the Oscars rarely do the right thing) and there are several categories I will want to change at the last second (Foreign, Cinematography, any of the shorts) but I suppose I will stick with these.
Changing the venue of my lovely wife and My's Annual Oscar Bash, I will be watching my predictions come true (and you know they will dammit!) at Midtown Cinema in Harrisburg PA - broadcast live on the big screen. Excelsior!