Tomorrow's the big night, so I'll cut to the chase. Since I believe during Oscars predictions, people usually mix up what they think "should win" with what they predict "will win", like prior years I'll separate the two:
(Avatar, The Blind Side, District 9, An Education, The Hurt Locker, Inglourious Basterds, Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire, A Serious Man, Up, Up in the Air)
I can't believe Best Picture this year has become the toughest Oscar to predict. Obviously the choice is between Avatar and The Hurt Locker. And even though there's been a huge amount of publicity for Avatar as best film of the year (at least it was my top movie of the year), there's been some gaining interest in The Hurt Locker during the past weeks.
Should win: Avatar
Will win: The Hurt Locker
(James Cameron for Avatar, Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker, Quentin Tarantino for Inglourious Basterds, Lee Daniels for Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire, Jason Reitman for Up in the Air)
Not much of a competition here. Cameron already has an Oscar for Titanic, and the Academy loves titles like "first ---- Oscar winner ever!" (fill in the blank with "female, black, gay, hermaphrodite, quadriplegic, etc). So the Oscar will go to Cameron's ex, Kathryn Bigelow, the first female director Oscar winner ever.
Should win: James Cameron
Will win: Kathryn Bigelow
(Jeff Bridges in Crazy Heart, George Clooney in Up in the Air, Colin Firth in A Single Man, Morgan Freeman in Invictus, Jeremy Renner in The Hurt Locker)
Jeff Bridges has been acting forever, has been nominated 4 times before without a win, and his Crazy Heart performance was a tour de force.
Should win: Jeff Bridges
Will win: Jeff Bridges
(Sandra Bullock in The Blind Side, Helen Mirren in The Last Station, Carey Mulligan in An Education, Gabourey Sidibe in "Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire", Meryl Streep in Julie & Julia)
If you're asking me, Carey Mulligan should win for An Education (unfortunately nobody ever asked me). But she's a nobody in Hollywood, so the award will go to a somebody. Streep has been nominated n times before, and hasn't won for the past 28 years since Sophie's Choice, so she may become the wild card Sunday night. But Hollywood has a reputation of preferring to glamorize younger performers, so Sandra Bullock's authoritarian tear-jerker performance in the cliche-filled The Blind Side will take home the prize.
Should win: Carey Mulligan
Will win: Sandra Bullock
Best Supporting Actor:
(Matt Damon in Invictus, Woody Harrelson in The Messenger, Christopher Plummer in The Last Station, Stanley Tucci in The Lovely Bones, Christoph Waltz in Inglourious Basterds)
Among the nominees, I've only seen Invictus and Inglourious Basterds. But you can bet your house on it: Waltz is the winner. He's won every award under the sun - and deservedly so.
Should win: Christoph Waltz
Will win: Christoph Waltz
Best Supporting Actress:
(Penélope Cruz in Nine, Vera Farmiga in Up in the Air, Maggie Gyllenhaal in Crazy Heart, Anna Kendrick in Up in the Air, Mo'Nique in Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire).
Same story here. Mo'Nique will win . Don't even ask. But I personally prefer Maggie Gyllenhaal to win, because her presence in Crazy Heart was almost as dominating as Bridges, and I also didn't like Precious.
Should win: Maggie Gyllenhaal
Will win: Mo'Nique
Best Original Screenplay:
(The Hurt Locker, Inglourious Basterds, The Messenger, A Serious Man, Up)
There's been some talk about The Hurt Locker winning this one. But you know what? I can't imagine how QT's Inglourious Basterds could not win. The bastard (no pun intended) virtually rewrote WWII history! Now who could have ever had such audacity?
Should win: Inglourious Basterds
Will win: Inglourious Basterds
Best Adapted Screenplay:
(District 9, An Education, In the Loop, Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire, Up in the Air)
Poor former front-runner Up in the Air is going to lose in all other categories, so it'll win this one. And to be honest, it's a great metaphor of our times.
Should win: Up in the Air
Will win: Up in the Air
Best Foreign Language Film:
(Ajami - Israel, El Secreto de Sus Ojos - Argentina, The Milk of Sorrow - Peru, Un Prophète - France, The White Ribbon - Germany)
This category acts strangely every once in a while. In 2008 Departures won over Waltz with Bashir, in 2006 The Lives of Others won over Pan's Labyrinth, in 2004 The Sea Inside won over The Chorus, in 2002 Nowhere in Africa won over El Crime del Padre Amaro, and in 2001 No Man's Land won over Amelie; while in each of these years, the latter film was the critics' favorite.
This year Michael Haneke's The White Ribbon appears to be the obvious winner (it won the Palm d'Or at Cannes, and its message is too strong to ignore), but during the past weeks, there's been some major buzz surrounding Un Prophète (A Prophet) from France - it won the BAFTA award (UK's Oscar equivalent) for Best Foreign Film, and the Best Film of the European Film Awards. Although I believe The White Ribbon is worthy of great recognition, I'm taking a risk on this category.
Should win: The White Ribbon
Will win: Un Prophète
And predictions for other categories:
- Best Animated Feature Film: Up (Pixar always wins.)
- Best Animated Short Film: A Matter of Loaf and Death (The Academy loves Wallace and Gromit.)
- Best Documentary Feature Film: The Cove.
- Best Documentary Short Film: Music by Prudence
- Best Live Action Short Film: The New Tenants
- Best Editing: The Hurt Locker (Because the Editor's Guild said so!)
- Best Art Direction: Avatar
- Best Cinematography: Avatar
- Best Makeup: Star Trek
- Best Original Score: Up
- Best Original Song: Crazy Heart (for "The Weary Kind")
- Best Costume: The Young Victoria
- Best Sound Editing: Avatar
- Best Sound Mixing: Avatar
- Best Visual Effects: Avatar
* * *
So even though apparently Avatar will win huge in terms of number, the most memorable Oscars (the ones that will make it "X movie's year") will go to The Hurt Locker.
See you after the show! (Or even before the show, as you're very welcome to post your predictions, if you disagree with me.)