I hate award shows in general and I really don’t care about the Oscars. However, I love movies and this year had a pretty good crop. I saw a fair number that were in the Director and Best Picture categories, so I thought I’d throw down my predictions. Best PictureWhat I didn’t see:
The Blind Side; An Education; Precious
What I want to win:
District 9. Was the surprise movie of the year for me and hasn’t received nearly enough attention, which is too bad. Hopefully it wins for Adapted Screenplay. What I think will win:
The Hurt Locker. Despite the controversy that surrounds it (the campaigning producer and knocks on its accuracy), it’s probably the second best film I’ve seen this year.
It wouldn’t be a surprise to me if Avatar or A Serious Man won, but either selection would make me kind of angry. A Serious Man is too much of an inside joke – those that get the references love the movie. I’ve met a ton of people in NY that think it’s great. I was bored with it though, and I nearly lost some friends who I convinced to come with me to see it (they hated it). Avatar, for all it’s innovation and entertainment value, is not Oscar-worthy. It’s the blockbuster to beat all blockbusters, but that’s about it. The plotline, character development and acting just are not there – it can take home all of the cinematography, art direction, sound, etc awards it likes and deserve all of them, but Best Picture this movie is not. Best DirectorWhat I didn’t see:
Precious (Lee Daniels)Who I want to win:
Jason Reitman for Up in the Air. It was well written and supported by solid acting, but it was the direction that made kind of a boring idea for a story highly engaging. Who I think will win:
James Cameron. I think that he will take it for all the vision and innovation required to pull off Avatar. Will also be a good split of the major awards with his ex-wife, Bigelow.Best Animated Feature What I didn’t see:
Princess & the Frog; The Secret of KellsWhat I want to win:
Fantastic Mr. Fox – this film probably gives Wes Anderson his best chance at taking home an Oscar. Still a bit of a long shot. Who I think will win:
Up. Always a safe bet with Pixar/Disney, plus it was the only animation nominated for a Best Picture.Best ActorWhat I didn’t see:
Invictus (Morgan Freeman); Crazy Heart (Jeff Bridges); A Single Man (Colin Firth) Who I want to win:
Sam Rockwell in Moon, or Sharlto Copley from District 9 (looking forward to seeing him as Murdock in the upcoming A-Team movie). Too bad neither were nominated.Who I think will win:
Jeff Bridges seems like he needs an Oscar already.
George Clooney was typically solid in his Clooney way and Renner was really good. I didn’t think either were Oscar-worthy as I was watching them. I thought the dude from District 9 was much better. I think that there’s an off-chance that Freeman takes it. For some reason, it also seems like Clooney’s year. If ever there is a multiple choice question and ‘Clooney’ is an option – you will score higher every time if you pick that answer… his ties to Hollywood’s best directoral talent seems to keep him secure in potential winning roles. But I won’t mind seeing Bridges take home an Oscar… I don’t think the Tron sequel will get him that nomination, and he seems like a favorite this year. Best Supporting ActorWhat I didn’t see:
Invictus (Matt Damon); The Messenger (Woody Harrelson); The Last Station (Christopher Plumber)Who I want to win:
Christoph Waltz (Inglorious Basterds). He was unbelievable as the chillingly two-faced Jew hunter & stole the show from Brad Pitt, who’s no slouch. Who I think will:
Tucchi was great in a shitty film, and I think that there are cases to be made for Plumber, Harrelson and Damon to be honored, but this will not be their year. The Academy especially loves to reward those performers who feature in a wide range of roles through the year and both Harrelson (Zombieland) & Damon (The Informant) played more colorful characters in their other films of ’09, returning from a relatively quiet ’08 for both actors. This might be the last nomination for Plumber, who’s getting up there – and the supporting role is one where the Academy likes to give props to veteran actors/actresses. And Tucchi, another veteran performer, was very creepy in his role as a serial killer and on top of everything, lost his wife this year.
On the face of it, things seem stacked against the relatively unknown Waltz. However, I still think he will win. And he will win on merit, which is all that much sweeter. If he takes it, it will likely be the most deserving Oscar of the night as I suspect that the other categories will be too filled with politics, or too close to call. Best ActressWhat I didn’t see:
all of them, so… The Last Station (Helen Mirren); An Education (Carey Mulligan); Precious (Gabourey Sidibe); Julie & Julia (Meryl Streep); The Blind Side (Sandra Bullock) Who I want to win:
I don’t really care. I thought Natalie Portman was pretty good in Brothers, but I really don’t have much point of reference on this one now, do I?Who I think will win:
Bullock. Seems like she’s got it wrapped up. Best Supporting ActressWhat I didn’t see:
Nine (Penelope Cruz); Crazy Heart (Maggie Gyllenhaal); Precious (Mo’Nique)Who I want to win:
Cruz. She is very good looking and I think that her acceptance speech would be endearing. Who I think will win:
Gyllenhaal. She’s highly regarded and weird (let's say 'quirky'). I don’t mind her taking it home. Mo’Nique seems to be getting a lot of buzz too, but I’ll stick with Ma’Ggie.