Sunday, January 31, 2010

Final Oscar Nomination Predix

Best Picture

(500) Days of Summer
An Education
The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
A Serious Man
Up in the Air

Alternates: District 9, Crazy Heart, Where the Wild Things Are

I think that District 9 is far from a lock, since it came out a while ago and is essentially an action blockbuster. It's a film with passionate followers but how many? Competition is sturdy. From there, A Serious Man doesn't look that strong but there's no denying the film's Jewishness will appeal to certain quarters of the Academy, and the Coen's are fast becoming Oscar staples. 500 Days has been hitting top tens all year but can it make the one that matters? I don't see why not given that its had a long time to gain fans and a status as an offbeat hit.

Best Director

Kathryn Bigelow - The Hurt Locker
James Cameron - Avatar
Clint Eastwood - Invictus
Jason Reitman - Up in the Air
Quentin Tarantino - Inglourious Basterds

Alternate: Michael Haneke - The White Ribbon

Lee Daniels still seems like an awfully outlandish pick for the Academy to make. Eastwood's inclusion would show a lack of imagination but at this point seems the more likely bet, but can Michael Haneke steal in with a film bound for two nominations anyway and with one of the few real "prestige" films left in the contest?

Best Actress in a Leading Role

Sandra Bullock - The Blind Side
Helen Mirren - The Last Station
Carey Mulligan - An Education
Gabourey Sidibe - Precious
Meryl Streep - Julie & Julia

Alternate: Emily Blunt - The Young Victoria

I couldn't bring myself to predict Emily Blunt, though everything suggests to me that Helen Mirren is on shaky ground.

Best 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

Alternate: Matt Damon - The Informant!

This seems nailed on.

Best Actress in a Supporting Role

Vera Farmiga - Up in the Air
Anna Kendrick - Up in the Air
Melanie Laurent - Inglourious Basterds
Mo'Nique - Precious
Samantha Morton - The Messenger

Alternate: Penelope Cruz - Nine

Samantha Morton missed Globe and SAG but there's shades of In America. The girl is clearly a favourite with the Academy, and her role is exactly the kind that gets nominated in this category. Anna Kendrick and Vera Farmiga will coast in without any kind of category confusion, leaving Penelope Cruz, Diane Kruger, Julianne Moore, Marion Cotillard, and Melanie Laurent to fight it out for the fifth spot.

With the packed nature of the race it would seem wise to ditch the people with any category confusion and go for Cruz or Moore, whose precursor presence has been fairly consistent. But still, I can't help thinking that Diane Kruger's SAG nomination was because they couldn't vote for Laurent, and that the younger Actress will receive enough #1 ballots to place her above the competition.

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

Woody Harrelson - The Messenger
Christian McKay - Me and Orson Welles
Christopher Plummer - The Last Station
Stanley Tucci - The Lovely Bones
Christoph Waltz - Inglourious Basterds

Alternate: Matt Damon - Invictus

It seems wrong to tamper with Globe and SAG but Christian McKay's gimmicky turn is something Oscar have historically gone for. Time then to sub out the youngest guy, though I still don't think that Plummer is a done deal either.

Best Original Screenplay

(500) Days of Summer
The Hurt Locker
A Serious Man

Alternate: The Hangover

Best Adapted Screenplay

District 9
An Education
Julie & Julia
Up in the Air

Alternate: Crazy Heart

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