It’s that time of year again when nominees are set on edge, performers begin prepping the musical numbers, and the band gets ready to play you off at the thirty-second mark. Yes, friends, it’s Oscar season!
And that means it’s time for me to keep with tradition and and give my picks for the awards – which have historically proven to be totally accurate*.
First off, you should be reminded that the Academy changed up the format a bit this year, nominating ten movies for the Best Picture category – up from the more traditional five. They claimed this was so they could give movies that don’t traditionally make it into the category a fair shake – movies like “The Dark Knight” who were arguably snubbed in previous years because they weren’t dramas, which tend to dominate the category.
They won’t win, mind you, but they can get nominated.
Lets take a look at the nominee list. It’s a pretty impressive bunch this year, with a number of surprising movies getting nods in a number of categories. “Avatar” and “The Hurt Locker” both tied for most nominations – which should come as no surprise – with a total of 9 in a variety of categories. Nipping at their heels is overrated revenge fantasy “Inglorious Basterds” which everyone seems to like except me. “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” and “Up in the Air” both got 6 nods, which is also no big surprise as both had a lot of Oscar buzz when they came out.
That’s the top five in terms of sheer numbers, but I’m going to go one further due to surprise – Disney-Pixar’s “Up” got 5 nominations. And one of them is for Best freakin’ Picture. I half expected it, but seeing it happen is still a pleasant surprise.
We’ll start with the crappy awards, and work our way up to the statues that actually matter. Or you can skip to the end to see a handy list of all the nominees along with my picks depicted in glorious Red Carpet Red.
Starting things off at the bottom, achievement in art direction, achievement in cinematography and achievement in visual effects will all get snapped up by “Avatar” without much question. “King of the World” James Cameron had better hold those statues tight, though… it’s going to be a long night of disappointment for him.
“Inglorious Basterds” will get a bone thrown their way in the technical mix as well, for achievement in film editing.
Achievement in sound editing and achievement in sound mixing will both go to “Star Trek“. Yes, I just wrote that. “Star Trek” will win a pair of Oscars – just one less than I predict “Avatar” will.
Achievement in makeup goes to “The Young Victoria” because the Academy loves period pieces, which is why it’ll be unusual to see it get beaten to the podium by “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus” for achievement in costume design.
“Food, Inc.” will take best documentary feature, while “China’s Unnatural Disaster: The Tears of Sichuan Province” takes best documentary short subject. While we’re on the topic of movies no-one will ever see, best foreign language film of the year will go to French film “Un Prophete”.
In the short film categories, best live action short film will be given to “The Door” and best animated short film goes to “Logorama”.
Moving on to the more melodious categories, we see Disney all over the freakin’ place – as they always are. That said, Hans Zimmer will get the award for best original score with “Sherlock Holmes”. Disney needn’t worry, though, as Randy Newman will pick up the best original song award for “Down in New Orleans”, one of the two songs he was nominated for from “The Princess and the Frog”.
In the writing mix, adapted screenplay will go to “Up in the Air”, while original screenplay will end up in the hands “The Hurt Locker”.
Alright, we’ve gone through to the stuff people really care about. First of all, it’s the only nominee who’s also up for a best picture award, so is there really any doubt “Up” will take best animated feature film of the year?
Going through the acting awards we’ll see Jeff Bridges and Sandra Bullock repeat their Golden Globes victories as best performance by an actor in a leading role and best performance by an actress in a leading role respectively. For those keeping track, that’s for “Crazy Heart” and “The Blind Side”. Best performance by an actor in a supporting role will go to Woody Harrelson for “The Messenger”. Best performance by an actress in a supporting role will end up in the hands of Maggie Gyllenhaal for “Crazy Heart”.
Final two. Still with me? Hold onto your hat, James Cameron because achievement in directing will go to Kathryn Bigelow for “The Hurt Locker”, and where directing goes, so too does best motion picture of the year. Why? Because ultimately, “Avatar” is a science fiction movie.
It never really stood a chance, now did it?
Thanks for coming out, everyone, enjoy your statues and your after parties, and get back to making movies we love to watch.
The 82nd Academy Awards
Performance by an actor in a leading role
Jeff Bridges (“Crazy Heart”), George Clooney (“Up in the Air”), Colin Firth (“A Single Man”), Morgan Freeman (“Invictus”), Jeremy Renner (“The Hurt Locker”)
Performance by an actor in a supporting role
Matt Damon (“Invictus”), Woody Harrelson (“The Messenger”), Christopher Plummer (“The Last Station”), Stanley Tucci (“The Lovely Bones”), Christoph Waltz (“Inglorious Basterds”)
Performance by an actress in a leading role
Sandra Bullock (“The Blind Side”), Helen Mirren (“The Last Station”), Carey Mulligan (“An Education”), Gabourey Sidibe (“Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire”), Meryl Streep (“Julie & Julia”)
Performance by an actress in a supporting role
Penelope Cruz (“Nine”), Vera Farmiga (“Up in the Air”), Maggie Gyllenhaal (“Crazy Heart”), Anna Kendrick (“Up in the Air”), Mo’Nique (“Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire”)
Best animated feature film of the year
“Coraline” (Henry Selick), “Fantastic Mr. Fox” (Wes Anderson), “Princess and the Frog” (John Musker and Ron Clements), “The Secret of Kells” (Tomm Moore), “Up” (Pete Docter)
Achievement in art direction
“Avatar” (Rick Carter, Robert Stromberg and Kim Sinclair), “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus” (Dave Warren, Anastasia Masaro and Caroline Smith), “Nine” (John Myhre and Gordon Sim), “Sherlock Holmes” (Sarah Greenwood and Katie Spencer), “The Young Victoria” (Patrice Vermette and Maggie Gray)
Achievement in cinematography
“Avatar” (Mauro Fiore), “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” (Bruno Delbonnel), “The Hurt Locker” (Barry Ackroyd), “Inglorious Basterds” (Robert Richardson), “The White Ribbon” (Christian Berger)
Achievement in costume design
“Bright Star” (Janet Patterson), “Coco before Chanel” (Catherine Leterrier), “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus” (Monique Prudhomme), “Nine” (Colleen Atwood), “The Young Victoria” (Sandy Powell)
Achievement in directing
“Avatar” (James Cameron), “The Hurt Locker” (Kathryn Bigelow), “Inglorious Basterds” (Quentin Tarantino), “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” (Lee Daniels), “Up in the Air” (Jason Reitman)
Best documentary feature
“Burma VJ” (Anders Ostergaard and Lise Lense-Moller), “The Cove” (tba), “Food, Inc.” (Robert Kenner and Elise Pearlstein), “The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers” (Judith Ehrlich and Rick Goldsmith), “Which Way Home” (Rebecca Cammisa)
Best documentary short subject
“China’s Unnatural Disaster: The Tears of Sichuan Province” (Jon Alpert and Matthew O’Neill), “The Last Campaign of Governor Booth Gardner” (Daniel Junge and Henry Ansbacher), “The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant” (Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert), “Music by Prudence” (Roger Ross Williams and Elinor Burkett), “Rabbit a la Berlin” (Bartek Konopka and Anna Wydra)
Achievement in film editing
“Avatar” (Stephen Rivkin, John Refoua and James Cameron), “District 9” (Julian Clarke), “The Hurt Locker” (Bob Murawski and Chris Innis), “Inglorious Basterds” (Sally Menke), “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” (Joe Klotz)
Best foreign language film of the year
“Ajami” (Israel), “El Secreto de Sus Ojos” (Argentina), “The Milk of Sorrow” (Peru), “Un Prophete” (France), “The White Ribbon” (Germany)
Achievement in makeup
“Il Divo” (Aldo Signoretti and Vittorio Sodano), “Star Trek” (Barney Burman, Mindy Hall and Joel Harlow), “The Young Victoria” (John Henry Gordon and Jenny Shircore)
Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original Score)
“Avatar” (James Horner), “Fantastic Mr. Fox” (Alexandre Desplat), “The Hurt Locker” (Marco Beltrami and Buck Sanders), “Sherlock Holmes” (Hans Zimmer), “Up” (Michael Giacchino)
Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original Song)
“Almost There” (“The Princess and the Frog”, music and lyrics Randy Newman), “Down in New Orleans” (“The Princess and the Frog”, music and lyrics Randy Newman), “Loin de Paname” (“Paris 36”, music Reinhardt Wagner, lyrics Frank Thomas), “Take It All” (“Nine”, music and lyrics Maury Yeston), “The Weary Kind (Theme from Crazy Heart)” (“Crazy Heart”, music and lyrics Ryan Bingham and T Bone Burnett)
Best motion picture of the year
“Avatar” (James Cameron and Jon Landau), “The Blind Side” (tba), “District 9” (Peter Jackson and Carolynne Cunningham), “An Education” (Finola Dwyer and Amanda Posey), “The Hurt Locker” (tba), “Inglorious Basterds” (Lawrence Bender), “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” (Lee Daniels, Sarah Siegel-Magness and Gary Magness), “A Serious Man” (Joel Coen and Ethan Coen), “Up” (Jonas Rivera), “Up in the Air” (Daniel Dubiecki, Ivan Reitman and Jason Reitman)
Best animated short film
“French Roast” (Fabrice I. Joubert), “Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty” (Nicky Phelan and Darragh O’Connell), “The Lady and the Reaper (La Dama y la Muerte)” (Javier Recio Gracia), “Logorama” (Nicolas Schmerkin), “A Matter of Loaf and Death” (Nick Park)
Best live action short film
“The Door” (Juanita Wilson and James Flynn), “Instead of Abracadabra” (Patrik Eklund and Mathias Fjellstrom), “Kavi” (Gregg Helvey), “Miracle Fish” (Luke Doolan and Drew Bailey), “The New Tenants” (Joachim Back and Tivi Magnusson)
Achievement in sound editing
“Avatar” (Christopher Boyes and Gwendolyn Yates Whittle), “The Hurt Locker” (Paul N.J. Ottosson), “Inglorious Basterds” (Wylie Stateman), “Star Trek” (Mark Stoeckinger and Alan Rankin), “Up” (Michael Silvers and Tom Myers)
Achievement in sound mixing
“Avatar” (Christopher Boyes, Gary Summers, Andy Nelson and Tony Johnson), “The Hurt Locker” (Paul N.J. Ottosson and Ray Beckett), “Inglorious Basterds” (Michael Minkler, Tony Lamberti and Mark Ulano), “Star Trek” (Anna Behlmer, Any Nelson and Peter J. Devlin), “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” (Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers and Geoffrey Patterson)
Achievement in visual effects
“Avatar” (Joe Letteri, Stephen Rosenbaum, Richard Baneham and Andrew R. Jones), “District 9” (Dan Kaufman, Peter Muyzers, Robert Habros and Matt Aitken), “Star Trek” (Roger Guyett, Russell Earl, Paul Kavanagh and Burt Dalton)
“District 9” (Neill Blomkamp and Terri Tatchell), “An Education” (Nick Hornby), “In the Loop” (Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Armando Iannucci and Tony Roche), “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” (Geoffrey Fletcher), “Up in the Air” (Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner)
“The Hurt Locker” (Mark Boal), “Inglorious Basterds” (Quentin Tarantino), “The Messenger” (Alessandro Camon and Oren Moverman), “A Serious Man” (Joel Coen and Ethan Coen), “Up” (Screenplay Bob Peterson, Pete Docter, story Pete Docter, Bob Peterson and Tom McCarthy)