First reaction: Oscar nominations

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

District 9

An Education

The Hurt Locker

Inglourious Basterds


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

Mo’Nique, Precious

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.”

Original Screenplay:

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.

Adapted Screenplay:

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!