Okay, since the 82nd Annual Academy Awards will get underway in roughly two Avatar viewings’ time, I thought it might be worth providing a bit of a recap of all the Oscar hopefuls that I’ve covered on Screen Addict this year, as well as play that annual game of trying to second-guess the voting habits of voting members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
With my notes on Precious and The Blind Side still to come, and a few notable omissions (films I really should have seen but didn’t – The Hurt Locker, A Serious Man, District 9, A Prophet, The White Ribbon, In the Loop, An Education, Fantastic Mr. Fox, etc. and others, such as Crazy Heart, which have only just arrived in cinemas), here are the Oscar nominees I’ve covered so far:
Best Picture, Director, Original Score, Art Direction, Cinematography, Film Editing, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, Visual Effects.
“…Avatar stands a good chance simply because there isn’t any real ‘Oscar bait’ this year.”
Best Picture, Director, Actor in a Supporting Role, Original Screenplay, Cinematography, Film Editing, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing.
“…this is certainly Tarantino’s best since Jackie Brown, but then again, that’s not really saying much.”
Best Picture, Animated Feature Film, Original Screenplay, Original Score, Sound Editing.
“…it is far from being the best Pixar film yet (for my money, that award goes to another Pete Docter-led project, Monsters, Inc.!)”
UP IN THE AIR
Best Picture, Director, Actor in a Leading Role, Actress in a Supporting Role (x2), Adapted Screenplay.
“…whilst this is not the ‘Great American Film’ that many were proposing, the central notions of status obsession, existential misanthropy and greed, do speak to something which seems peculiar to the American psyche.”
JULIE & JULIA
Best Actress in a Leading Role.
“…Meryl Streep, who inhabits Julia Child’s affectations and eccentricities as if they were her own, in a performance that has critics the world over muttering about Oscars.”
HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE
“…the most uneven – and weakest – film of the series so far.”
Wow…reading those quotes back, maybe I am a cynical bastard after all! Anyway, even though I’ve not even seen all the prospective winners, I thought I’d also have a stab at picking some winners:
Best Picture: I’m still sticking with my original assumptions about Avatar on this one, but there is definitely a strong chance that The Hurt Locker might sneak in. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if the widening of the field this year has actually helped its chances. Precious and A Serious Man are my picks for the outside chance, but this year, the top category is really just a two direhorse race.
Best Director: Again, James Cameron has a strong shout here for Avatar, but I just can’t see how the Academy could go past Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker. Directorial chops aside, the Academy love their firsts, and a win for Bigelow would make her the first female director to ever pick up the gong. Plus, they also like gossip and giving the Oscar to one of James Cameron’s many ex-wives (as BAFTA and many others have) is surely an opportunity too good to pass up.
Prediction: Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker)
Best Actress: In what is by far the toughest category to pick this year, Sandra Bullock’s performance in The Blind Side leads the field for a few reasons, none of which have much to do with the quality of her performance. Unlike Helen Mirren and Meryl Streep, she’s never won a little gold statuette, but unlike Carey Mulligan and Gabourey Sidibe, she certainly isn’t wet behind the ears. Indeed, the fact that she’s stuck around so long (and had such a great year at the box office, even after all this time) means she’s going to be hard to beat – with a similar sense of longevity on Jeff Bridges side in the Best Actor race. Also, a triumphant night for Bullock would make her the first person to ever win a Razzie for worst performance and an Oscar for the best in the same year. That said, the Academy do tend to like an outsider occasionally (especially a young, minority newcomer), so Gabourey Sidibe’s performance in Precious might pose as big a threat to Bullock as Meryl Streep’s outstandingly uncanny turn as celebrity chef Julia Childs in Julie & Julia.
Prediction: Sandra Bullock (The Blind Side)
Best Actor: Jeff Bridges (Crazy Heart)
Best Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz (Inglourious Basterds)
Best Supporting Actress: Mo’Nique (Precious)
Best Animated Feature: Fantastic Mr. Fox (in an upset!)
Best Original Screenplay: Joel and Ethan Coen (A Serious Man)
Best Adapted Screenplay: Jason Reitman / Sheldon Turner (Up in the Air)
Best Foreign Language Film: The White Ribbon
Best Documentary Feature: Burma VJ
My other prediction? Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin will be an absolute laugh-riot. Then again, I also thought that Hugh Jackman was the most entertaining host in years!