It’s been a busy day in Hollwood Land, with the nominations for the 2010 Academy Awards announced this morning before sunrise. Now the whole city is a-Twitter (literally) with predictions over who will take the big gold statues home from the Oscars on March 7. Not to be left out, I have compiled my own list of comments and judgements about the potential future winners:
Best Motion Picture of the Year:
The Blind Side
The Hurt Locker
A Serious Man
Up in the Air
This is the most exciting category for a number of reasons. For one, it’s Best Picture, only the biggest prize a movie could ever hope to achieve. Two, the list has expanded from the traditional five nominees to ten, with some surprise nods as a result. Avatar, Inglourious Basterds, Precious, The Hurt Locker, and Up In the Air were all shoo-ins (see: the nominees for Best Director). The list was expanded to give little art gems a shot at some recognition, which is where A Serious Man and An Education fit in (though no one but some film buffs saw them… I was one of three people in the theater when I went to see An Education). The big box-office draws (District 9, The Blind Side, Up) this year also got noticed, but fan favorites Star Trek, The Hangover, and the Michael Jackson tribute This Is It all got snubbed (though Star Trek got some nods for technical achievements).
I’m going to call it right now: the award’s going to Avatar. It’s breaking records left and right, it won the Golden Globe, it’s from Oscar fave James Cameron, and it’s all anyone can talk about in Tinsel Town these days. It’s a great movie, to be sure — whether or not it deserves the award is up for debate.
Achievement in Directing:
James Cameron, Avatar
Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker
Quentin Tarantino, Inglourious Basterds
Lee Daniels, Precious
Jason Reitman, Up in the Air
Oscar history demonstrates that the Academy likes to give the Best Director award to the director of the Best Picture (come on… it just makes sense). But I’d like to see this one go to Quentin Tarantino, for a work of true artistic vision.
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
This one is Jeff Bridges’. Might as well mail him the Oscar now.
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, Inglourious Basterds
Everyone’s betting on Christoph Waltz for his astounding turn in Inglourious Basterds. But I would like to see this one go to Woody Harrelson, whose work in The Messenger will make you forget all about Zombieland.
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
Meryl Streep, Julie & Julia
The Academy loves Meryl Streep, but Gabourey Sidibe deserves to finally win something. Who’s harder to play: Julia Childs or raped, inner-city teenage mother? Please.
Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role:
Penélope Cruz, Nine
Vera Farmiga, Up in the Air
Maggie Gyllenhaal, Crazy Heart
Anna Kendrick, Up in the Air
And the award goes to… Mo’Nique (as it should). But who decided Penélope Cruz deserved a nomination?! Did anyone see Nine?! It was laughable. Penélope Cruz was the only good thing in that movie, but she stole the nomination slot from the far more deserving Julianne Moore in A Single Man.
Best Animated Feature Film of the Year:
Fantastic Mr. Fox
The Princess and the Frog
The Secret of Kells
This category should just be renamed “Best Pixar Film of the Year.”
The Hurt Locker, Mark Boal
Inglourious Basterds, Quentin Tarantino
The Messenger, Alessandro Camon and Oren Moverman
A Serious Man, Joel Coen and Ethan Coen
Up, Pete Docter, Tom McCarthy and Bob Peterson
All are amazing scripts, which is exciting considering the amount of drivel that tends to grace the silver screen (even Avatar was a bit cringe-worthy at times), so it’s a tough one to call. But I’m going to bet on Tarantino, just because he is so freakishly original.
District 9, Neill Blomkamp and Terri Tatchell
An Education, Nick Hornby
In the Loop, Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Armando Iannucci and Tony Roche
Precious, Geoffrey Fletcher
Up in the Air, Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner
Another tough one, but Up In the Air has to win something… so this one will go to Reitman and Turner.
As for the rest of the categories, let’s be honest: No one cares. However, my nerdy side rejoiced when I learned that Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince got a nod for Cinematography. Take that, Twilight!