The obligatory Oscar 2018 predictions post: Who will win & who should win

Are you ready for the Oscars this weekend? Well like tax season, it’s not like we have a choice, it’s here whether we care about it or not. Well, it’s the year I have to do TWO filings, thanks to our short film Hearts Want, my hubby and I have to file business (LLC) tax on top of our personal one :\

What a year it has been for the film industry… I’m especially thrilled there are more discussions (that’s the start anyway before real change can take place) about women’s role and contributions that often constantly get overlooked. Before I get into more of that, check out this article on The Hollywood Reporter where THR commissioned A-list artists, sculptors and designers to reinterpret the coveted gold statuette for the #MeToo era. These are so cool, I especially LOVE #3, 11 and 12.

Jimmy Kimmel is back as the host of the 90th Oscars, I certainly hope he’d be entertaining. Check out the video of him poking fun of that crazy Best Picture mix-up, I certainly remember that moment as clear as day. Well mostly I remember how upset I was when I heard La La Land instead of the rightful winner, Moonlight! (you can see my reaction in last year’s Oscars blog recap)

Honestly, even though it’s Oscar week, I hadn’t really been thinking much about the Oscars. I didn’t even get a chance to see many of the Oscar-nominated films I’ve missed, though I did see The Breadwinner, which is one of the animated films nominated. Suffice to say, I think the nom is well deserved!


Anyhoo, I’m not predicting ALL of the categories though, and given that I haven’t seen ALL of the nominees, some predictions are merely based on what I’ve read and general buzz of the films/talents. Per tradition, I have my picks for who I think will win and the one I want to win. Click on this handy Oscar ballot from Vanity Fair if you want to see the full nominees.

So here we go:

BEST PICTURE

Who will win: The Shape of Water
Who should win: The Shape of Water

Every year I have one film I’ll be rooting for. Last year it was Moonlight (which deservedly won) and this year it’s The Shape of Water. A film that swept me off my feet and one I can’t wait to see again. Like my personal favorite I championed back in 2016, Mad Max Fury Road, it’s such a singularly unique film that’s spectacularly-crafted all around. So yeah, with 13 nominations, plus a Producers Guild Awards & Directors Guild Award win already in the bag, this Guillermo del Toro’s film is surely the one to beat.

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BEST ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE

Who will win: Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour
Who should win: Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour

I feel like this could very well be the year Oldman gets his due. He’s such a stellar actor that I’m astonished he’s only been nominated one other time before, which was in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. Like McDormand, he’s won SAG, Golden Globes and BAFTA this year and Oscars always love actors portraying real life personas. I’ve only seen Daniel Day-Lewis’ performance in Phantom Thread in this group, and there’s a chance they might give it to him since it’s supposedly his last role before he retires from acting. If it’s not Oldman’s year again, I actually would rather see Timothée Chalamet just based on what I’ve read about his performance so far.

BEST ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE

 Who will win: Frances McDormand,
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Who should win: Sally Hawkins, The Shape of Water

No doubt Frances McDormand is the frontrunner in this category, and her odds are strong here having won the Golden Globes, SAG, BAFTA and a slew of other awards. She is a fantastic actress and I’m glad she’s getting a meaty role here that merits all the praise.

I do have a soft spot for Hawkins’ emotional performance as a mute janitor in love with a sea creature in The Shape of Water. It’s such a sweet, poignant yet bold performance that tugs my heartstrings unlike anything I’ve seen this year. It made me think of Joaquin Phoenix’s performance in Her, which is also about an unconventional love story.

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BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Who will win: Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards
Who should win: Richard Jenkins, The Shape of Water

Though I really want Jenkins to win this one, I certainly wouldn’t be upset if Rockwell win it. Most likely he would given he’s swept every other major award like Golden Globes, SAG, Critics’ Choice and BAFTA. He’s a consistently good actor, but like his co-star McDormand, doesn’t always get the credit he’s due. I have heard great things about Christopher Plummer so he might prove to be the upset of the night, especially given the short time span he had replacing Kevin Spacey in All the Money in the World.

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BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Who will win: Allison Janey, I Tonya
Who should win: Lesley Manville, Phantom Thread

I’m always glad to see character actors finally getting the recognition they deserved. So in this category, I’ll be happy with whomever walk away w/ the statue. My absolute favorite is Octavia Spencer, who always enliven everything she’s in, but despite her tremendous performance in The Shape of Water, I have to hand it to Lesley Manville. Her astute performance in Phantom Thread is simply amazing, an incredibly nuanced and quiet style of acting that is so difficult to pull off. It may not be flashy, but understated can be oh so unforgettable.

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BEST DIRECTOR

Who will win: Christopher Nolan, Dunkirk
Who should win: Guillermo del Toro, The Shape of Water

This is a really tough category to predict. The Academy seem to always give Best Picture and Best Director to two different films, so either The Shape of Water wins Best Picture or del Toro will get Best Director, but not both. Dunkirk is an amazing accomplishment mostly because of the way it’s directed, taking something that could’ve easily been a run-of-the-mill war action film into something cutting edge and a movie-going experience like no other. Paul Thomas Anderson could be the upset in this category, and though I admired Phantom Thread but not in love with it, I do think it’s an exquisitely-crafted filled with stunning attention to detail.

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BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Who will win: Blade Runner 2049
Who should win: Blade Runner 2049

I feel like every year I keep predicting that Roger Deakins will win and once again I was let down. He’s now on his 14th nominations (come on Academy!!), I mean what more visual mastery does the man have to produce to finally win this thing??! I am thrilled that this year we finally have a woman join the rank as a nominee in cinematography (Rachel Morrison for Mudbound), and she might as well be the wild card in this category. But as much as I love seeing a woman breaking new ground, I really, really wish Deakins would NOT walk away empty handed again.

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BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM

Who will win: Coco
Who should win: The Breadwinner/Loving Vincent

I think Pixar just might snatch the big win here, though I personally would rather see the female-directed, female-led The Breadwinner, a poignant tale about a young girl pretending to be a boy in war-torn Afghanistan. Loving Vincent is groundbreaking in that it’s the first fully painted feature film. It took a team of 125 painters to create 65,000 frames made of oil painting on canvas, using the same technique as Van Gogh. That’s impressive filmmaking in itself and it’s quite a beautiful film.

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BEST COSTUME DESIGN

Who will win: Phantom Thread
Who should win: Phantom Thread

This is the only category I’m rooting for Phantom Thread to win. And for a film that’s practically a love letter for the art of costume design, I’d think this is a shoo in. The attention to detail for each piece by Mark Bridges is exquisite, it’s almost every dress on Vicky Krieps tells a story, you could say the costumes are a character in itself in this film.

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BEST MUSIC (ORIGINAL SCORE)

Who will win: The Shape of Water
Who should win: The Shape of Water

This is Alexandre Desplat’s eighth nomination and he’s already won one for Grand Budapest Hotel in 2015. But his ethereal, romantic score is absolutely magical. It’s as magnificent and otherworldly as the film, a perfect complement to the beautiful visual and story. It’s my fave score amongst the nominees by far, and one of my faves of the year. My second favorite would be Phantom Thread, followed by Dunkirk.

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BEST MUSIC (ORIGINAL SONG)

Who will win: This Is Me, Greatest Showman
Who should win: Mighty River, Mudbound


The only one I have actually listened to is This Is Me, and it seems it has a pretty good chance of winning despite the song writers have already won for La La Land last year. It seems in terms of its message, it resonates well in the #MeeToo era, and it IS a catchy tune. I really don’t know who I’d want to win since I haven’t listened to the others, but for argument’s sake, how cool would it be to see Mary J. Blige win this? She has already broken ground as the first person to be nominated for acting and music in the same year for Mudbound!

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BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

Who will win: The Shape of Water
Who should win: The Shape of Water

Oh man, this is this year’s Fury Road for me hands down. Though each nominee deserved its place for its amazing production design, this fantasy romance truly transport you to the Cold War era. Having just been to the del Toro’s exhibit at Museum of Arts in Minneapolis, here’s a filmmaker whose invested painstaking detail to create the universe in each film he created. I love this article how The Shape of Water transformed Ontario into 1960s America.

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VISUAL EFFECTS

Who will win: War for the Planet of the Apes
Who should win: War for the Planet of the Apes

I just realized Dunkirk wasn’t nominated in this category but Kong Skull Island was, huh?? Well, amongst the nominees, I am rooting for the excellent War for The Planet of the Apes. They should’ve created a special category for Andy Serkis for his spectacular mo-cap work! I’d have loved to see this amongst Best Picture nominees even, it’s THAT good. So I’d settle for it to win this category, as it truly deserved it.

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WRITING (ADAPTED SCREENPLAY)

Who will win: Call Me by Your Name
Who should win: Logan

As a writer, the screenplay category is actually the toughest for me to predict. Though I haven’t seen it yet, I feel like Call Me by Your Name has the strongest shot of winning, given James Ivory’s practically an esteemed figure in the industry. I do admire the fact that Logan managed to score a nomination given the Academy’s usually ignore the comic-book genre. Well, I’m glad it did as it’s an amazing script about a scarred hero finding redemption. It felt more like a Western Noir than a superhero film, an emotional storytelling that’s concerned with character/story than mere spectacle.

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WRITING (ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY)

Who will win: Three Billboards
Who should win: Lady Bird

I am ashamed to say I have only seen The Shape of Water out of the five nominees. So this prediction is purely based on what I’ve read so far, and Martin McDonagh seems to have a pretty strong chance of winning this. Of course I’d love to see a woman win this category, and it’s very likely Greta Gerwig will win for her screenplay rather than her directing work.

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I have a feeling this year there might not be a single film that’ll sweep all of the awards, but if that happens, I hope that’ll be The Shape of Water!


I LOVE Oscar trivia!

The GoldDerby site has compiled some interesting tidbits about this year’s nominations. Here are a few of my favorites …

  • Love LOVE Octavia Spencer in practically everything, including ‘The Shape of Water’

    Octavia Spencer‘s nomination for The Shape of Water makes her the first performer to earn three Best Supporting Actress Oscar nominations in a single decade since Cate Blanchett did so in the 2000s.

  • Though Jordan Peele is not the first time an African-American director is nominated for their directing work (he’s the 5th), he IS the first African American to be honored with a trifecta nominations at the Oscars with Best Picture, Best Directing and Best Original Screenplay for Get Out!
  • Speaking of firsts, Dee Rees is the first African-American woman to be recognized for her screenwriting work for Mudbound in the Best Adapted Screenplay category!
  • Another ‘first’ for Mudbound, as DP Rachel Morrison became the first woman ever nominated for Cinematography!
  • And most people knew this already… Meryl Streep is an actor with the most nominations overall. Her work in The Post marks her 21st nomination, wow!

So that’s it folks. I’m only predicting 15 out of the complete 24 categories. We’ll see how many I’d get wrong Sunday night 😉

Ok, so what are some of your Oscar winner predictions for this year?

The obligatory Oscar predictions post: Who will win & who should win

Oscars2016

Well, it’s that time of the year again… tax season and the Oscars. We’re in fact doing our taxes just before I worked on this post. Both are unavoidable and obligatory, well for most of us blogging/writing about movies anyway.

This is the first year I’m actually looking forward to the opening monologue more than the main event. I can’t wait to hear what Chris Rock‘s going to say about the whole diversity issue. But hopefully the whole thing won’t be too heavy handed and we get to see him poke fun at a bunch of celebs, as to be expected.

ChrisRock

To be honest with you, even though it’s Oscar week, I hadn’t really been thinking much about the Oscars. In fact, I hadn’t been seeing anything Oscar-related the past couple of weeks, though we wanted to see Shaun of the Sheep movie last night, which was nominated for Best Animated Feature but there’s a connection issue so we watched another episode of Jessica Jones instead.

oscar-ballot-2016I’ve posted my thoughts on the nominations, but now that the big event is near, I thought I’d pick who will and SHOULD win the Oscars this year. I’m not predicting ALL of the categories though, just the ones that I have actually seen. Click on this handy Oscar ballot from EW.com if you want to see the full nominees.

So here we go:

BEST PICTURE

Who will win: The Revenant

Who should win: Mad Max: Fury Road

No doubt The Revenant is the frontrunner this year in many categories, but once the dust of award season’s settled I think Fury Road is one people will remember more in the end. It’s such a singularly unique film that’s spectacularly-crafted all around.

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ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE

Who will win: Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant

Who should win: Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant

Even without having seen his performance in full as I have yet to see the film, I think it’s safe to say this is Leo’s year.

Leo_Brie
Methinks we’ll see a repeat of Leo-Brie pairing in the leading performance category

ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE

 Who will win: Brie Larson, Room

 Who should win: Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn

Having won pretty much every other award in this category, I think Brie will be this year’s Jennifer Lawrence. I still want to see Ronan win it though, as I think Ronan’s understated performance leaves a more lasting impression to me. It’s not a flashy role which takes an astute performer to pull it off so beautifully.

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ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Who will win: Sylvester Stallone, Creed

Who should win: Tom Hardy, The Revenant

I had been championing Stallone from the get go and I’m not surprised he’s the frontrunner in this category. However, part of me thinks that Hardy’s been overlooked in general despite his astonishing performance in no less than three films: Legend, Mad Max: Fury Road and The Revenant, which I read is just as compelling as Leo’s and that his character is actually more complex in the film.

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ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Who will win: Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs

Who should win: Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs

I have only seen two performances in this category and I for one don’t think Rachel McAdams is THAT great to be nominated. I mentioned before that I actually wished for Kristen Stewart to be recognized for Clouds of Sils Maria instead of McAdams. So I’ll pick Winslet in this lot as I was impressed by her performance.

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DIRECTING

Who will win: Alejandro González Iñárritu, The Revenant

Who should win: George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road

I’m going to borrow Variety‘s Justin Chang’s reasoning for what he called ‘a tour de force visual storytelling’… “[Miller] gave us far more than just a master class in how to block, frame, shoot and edit action.” Amen to that, let’s hope he’s properly recognized.

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CINEMATOGRAPHY

Who will win: The Revenant

Who should win: Sicario


Fury Road
and Sicario are both spectacularly shot. But I give Sicario the edge because Roger Deakins’ visual mastery has been overlooked time and time again. This is his thirteen nominations with not a single win so far. I read this article on Deakins and his approach to his work and how his imagery is done to serve a larger purpose is why he is such a legend.

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ANIMATED FEATURE FILM

Who will win: Inside Out

Who should win: Anomalisa

Though I wasn’t blown away by the story of Anomalisa, I think it deserves to win for being such a unique piece of art. It’s one of the most lifelike claymation and the story is unconventionally dark and moody for this genre.

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COSTUME DESIGN

Who will win: Mad Max: Fury Road

Who should win: Cinderella

I think Fury Road has won many awards in this category and I certainly won’t be fuming if they win again at the Oscars. But I’d LOVE to see Sandy Powell win in either category, especially Cinderella, given the incredible amount of gowns she has to design. I’m more enamored by Cate Blanchett’s dresses, though of course Cinderella’s sparkly ballgown in iconic in its own right.

CInderellaCostumes

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MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING

Who will win: The Revenant

Who should win: Mad Max: Fury Road

I think Leo’s severe flesh wounds from the bear attack will likely garner a win for the makeup artist. But the look of the characters in Fury Road is simply astonishing and unforgettable.

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MUSIC (ORIGINAL SCORE)

Who will win: The Hateful Eight

Who should win: Sicario

One can’t deny the masterful work of Ennio Morricone, who like Deakins have never won a single Oscar for an individual piece of work (he did won an honorary Oscar in 2007). But I was blown away by Jóhann Jóhannsson’s score in Sicario, which adds so much tension and dread to the film.

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MUSIC (ORIGINAL SONG)

Who will win: Writing’s On The Wall, Spectre

Who should win: Till It Happens To You, The Hunting Ground


Anything other than Sam Smith’s song please!! I think the melody of Writing’s on the Wall is fine but the song w/ his whiny voice is more like writhing against the wall. I actually just listened to Lady Gaga’s song Til It Happens To You and it’s a powerful one on an important subject.

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PRODUCTION DESIGN

Who will win: Mad Max: Fury Road

Who should win: Mad Max: Fury Road

war_rig_FuryRoad

It’ll be Fury Road hands down in this category. I mean, the set pieces of Fury Road is unlike any other film I’ve seen. The vehicles alone are incredible, as you can see in this top 10 list. They actually built every single one of those, instead of relying on CGI effects.

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VISUAL EFFECTS

Who will win: Mad Max: Fury Road

Who should win: Ex Machina

Ava_ExMachina

I certainly won’t have any qualms if Fury Road wins again in this category. But I was thrilled to see the ‘little film that could’ Ex Machina, with its $15 mil budget get in the race. I’d love to see it win this thing because it’s a visually spectacular film that looks more expensive than it is. The look of the robot Ava alone is so unique in a plethora of robot movies in Hollywood. This film also happens to boast the first female nominee in the visual effects category in more than a decade!

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WRITING (ADAPTED SCREENPLAY)

Who will win: The Big Short

Who should win: The Big Short

The Big Short won best adapted screenplay at the Writers Guild Awards and also took the top prize at the Producers Guild Awards, so I’d think it has a big chance of taking home the Oscar. It’s really an unconventional take of a financial crisis, but the risk paid off. I wouldn’t mind The Martian or Brooklyn winning either, esp. the latter.

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WRITING (ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY)

Who will win: Spotlight

Who should win: Spotlight

I was simply blown away by this meticulous, sharp and understated film. Powerful without resorting to sensationalism or emotional manipulation. This is my second pick after Mad Max: Fury Road to win Best Picture, and if it won in this category, it’ll have a major chance of winning the top prize.

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I have a feeling this year there might not be a single film that’ll sweep all of the awards, but if that happens, I hope that’ll be Mad Max: Fury Road!

So that’s it folks. I’m only predicting 16 out of the complete 24 categories.We’ll see how many I’d get wrong tomorrow night 😉


Ok, so what are some of your Oscar winner predictions for this year?

Counting down to Oscar 2010: FlixChatter’s Predictions

Hello folks, just a day away until the biggest movie event of the year! Normally I don’t even bother to ponder much about this event until 6pm Sunday night when I actually sit down on my couch and watch the festivities. But as this is the first year I observe award season as a movie blogger, I thought it might be fun to join in the Oscar prediction game, even if it’s just to see how my picks stack up (or how far off they’ll be) come tomorrow night. I know I said in my Oscar musings post last month that I wasn’t going to do my predictions, and that I was hoping to see all the nominated flix. Well, as of tonight, I’ve only seen seven out of the 10 Best Picture noms, but I’ve read quite a bit about all of the movies – as well as the actors – nominated to hopefully make an educated guess 😉

Below are ten categories I’m taking part in, and the one in bold are my predictions, which aren’t necessarily the ones I’m rooting to win:

1. Best Picture

  • Avatar
  • The Blind Side
  • District 9
  • An Education
  • The Hurt Locker
  • Inglourious Basterds
  • Precious
  • A Serious Man
  • Up
  • Up in the Air

I’m rooting for: Inglourious Basterdsa masterpiece-level of work for a director I normally am not a huge fan of, but this film truly exceeds my expectation in many levels that it actually knocked District 9 out of my fave released last year. I really enjoyed Avatar, but the weak script/dialog makes me think it doesn’t deserve to win Best Picture. As I’ve said before about The Hurt Locker, I thought it was a decent movie but not exactly a groundbreaking film. At the same time, I won’t be fuming if it indeed win as Kathryn Bigelow would be making history as the first female director to take home a Best Picture Oscar out of four that have ever been nominated in 81 years. It remains to be seen if the recent controversies surrounding the film will hurt its Oscar chances or not.

2. Best Director

  • James Cameron (Avatar)
  • Kathryn Bigelow  (The Hurt Locker)
  • Quentin Tarantino (Inglourious Basterds)
  • Lee Daniels (Precious)
  • Jason Reitman (Up In The Air)

I’m rooting for: Quentin Tarantino – that’s just how highly I thought of Basterds. But Cameron comes close as his extraordinary vision and decade-long of hard work making Avatar is really something to be admired.

3. Best Actor

  • Jeff Bridges (Crazy Heart)
  • George Clooney (Up in the Air)
  • Colin Firth (A Single Man)
  • Morgan Freeman (Invictus)
  • Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker)

I’m rooting for: Jeff Bridges – I’m not terribly impressed with the two performances I’ve seen (Clooney and Renner), and though I have not seen Crazy Heart, I think Bridges is a fine actor who’s been nominated five times. It’d be great to see him gets his dues.

4. Best Actress

  • Sandra Bullock (The Blind Side)
  • Helen Mirren (The Last Station)
  • Carey Mulligan (An Education)
  • Gabourey Sidibe (Precious)
  • Meryl Streep (Julie and Julia)

I’m rooting for: Bullock & Streep (tie) Ok, this is a tough one because I’ve only seen both of their performances out of the five, and it’s probably going to come down to these two. Bullock played against type and delivered a compelling performance in The Blindside, but Streep was also phenomenal as Julia Child. But if I have to absolutely choose, I’d go with Bullock as Streep has her two Oscars and we’ve probably seen equally great performance – if not better – out of her before this one.

5. Best Supporting Actor

  • Matt Damon (Invictus)
  • Woody Harrelson (The Messenger)
  • Christopher Plummer (The Last Station)
  • Stanley Tucci (The Lovely Bones)
  • Christoph Waltz (Inglourious Basterds)

I’m rooting for: Christoph Waltz hands down. He’s really one of the major factors why the movie works, and the fact that he’s swept off every other award this year is an indication. I am tickled pink to see Christopher Plummer being singled out here though, we know this hard-working actor has done amazing work in the past. I can’t believe he’s been in 180 projects (movies & TV), though I’ll always remember him as Capt. Von Trapp.

6. Best Supporting Actress

  • Penelope Cruz (Nine)
  • Vera Farmiga (Up in the Air)
  • Maggie Gyllenhaal (Crazy Heart)
  • Anna Kendrick (Up in the Air)
  • Mo’Nique (Precious)
I’m rooting for: Mo’Nique Though I have not seen her performance (other than from the trailers), I’m basing my opinion on what I’ve read about it. Sounds like her terrifying portrayal of an abusive single mother is really buzz-worthy. Besides, out of the two performances I have seen, I don’t think I can pick between the equally-compelling work of Farmiga and Kendrik. Both actresses impressed me (I’d even say they earn their noms more so than Clooney did).
….
7. Best Original Screenplay
  • Quentin Tarantino (Inglourious Basterds)
  • Mark Boal (The Hurt Locker)
  • Pete Docter and Bob Peterson  (Up)
  • Oren Moverman and Alessandro Camon  (The Messenger)
  • Joel and Ethan Coen  (A Serious Man)

I’m rooting for: Inglourious Basterds

8. Best Adapted Screenplay

  • Nick Hornby (An Education)
  • Neill Blomkamp and Terri Tatchell  (District 9)
  • Jesse Armstrong and Armando Iannucci  (In The Loop)
  • Geoffrey Fletcher – (Precious)
  • Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner – (Up in the Air)

I’m rooting for: District 9I love this movie for its unusual plot, it’s definitely not a run-of-the-mill alien storyline delivered in such a fresh way. If they win this, it’d make up for Sharlto Copley not being nominated despite his noteworthy performance in his debut film.

9. Best Art Direction

  • Avatar
  • The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
  • Sherlock Holmes
  • The Young Victoria
  • Nine
I’m rooting for: Avatar
10. Best Visual Effects
  • Avatar
  • District 9
  • Star Trek
I’m rooting for: Avatar

Ok folks, care to share your predictions? Anyway, stay tuned for my Oscar highlights post Monday morning like I did for the Golden Globes.

Musings on the 2010 Oscar nominations

Well, the biggest day of the movie biz has arrived, where the words ‘snubbed’ or ‘robbed’ become a staple around cinephiles and those who give a hoot about what the Academy thinks. Anne Hathaway revealed the nominees of the 82nd Oscar Tuesday morning, and for the first time we have 10 Best Picture nominations instead of 5. I didn’t bother making predictions because for one, I’ve only seen half of the movies nominated, so that hardly makes me a good judge. I’m going to make it a flix-resolution to see the rest of the five by Oscar time, perhaps if I’m ambitious enough, to see the nominated performances of all the actors … which equals to twelve movies I’ve got to catch up on in about a month!

For a full list of nominees, check out MadHatter’s or Caz‘s blog.

In the Best Picture category, I’m glad to see Avatar and District 9, though sci-fi films are usually snubbed so The Hurt Locker probably has a better chance of taking home the golden bald dude. It completely escaped me that The Hurt Locker‘s director Kathryn Bigelow was once married to James Cameron! WOW, what a showdown that’ll be, as people have dubbed it the David vs. Goliath as the small art house flick about a bomb disposal unit in Iraq will vie against the behemoth blockbuster that is Avatar. Both of them are also up for Best Director, though with Bigelow already winning Best Director at Directors Guild Award gives her the upper hand here.

Sharlto Copley in District 9

I’m quite surprised to see The Blindside being singled out, though I’m not entirely averse to it like some bloggers out there. I just think that though it was good, it’s not exactly Oscar caliber. I thought that (500) Days of Summer would get a shot, and I would’ve liked to see Joseph Gordon-Levitt in the Best Actor noms, as opposed to George Clooney. I read somewhere earlier today that put this better than I ever could, “Clooney in Up in the Air is essentially playing himself… but he does it really, really well.” But if Gordon-Levitt didn’t even stand a chance, there’s no way District 9‘s Sharlto Copley would get recognized. That’s too bad, I thought he easily gave one of the most memorable performance I’ve seen, and he was truly the heart of the movie. I’m going to hold my tongue, or fingers in this case, about Morgan Freeman/Matt Damon acting nod combo for Invictus as I haven’t seen the movie. It’s just they seem kind of obligatory if you will, given the characters they’re playing. Whilst carrying a movie entirely on your own like Sam Rockwell did as a forlorn astronaut in Moon is by no small feat by any means. MTV movie blog even went so far as calling the movie criminally-underrated, which could very well be the case.

The Young Victoria

I also agree with Cinematical about (500) Days being left out in the Best Original Screenplay category. At least it didn’t lose out to Avatar, though I have yet to see The Messenger to see if it’s indeed a more deserving pick. The other one is District 9 for Best Makeup, at least one other nod the movie should’ve gotten besides Copley’s acting. It’s arguably ‘easy’ to make Emily Blunt look flawless in The Young Victoria, but Wikus’ shocking transformation in the South African sci-fi was one you won’t soon forget. I can see the period drama winning Best Costume Design though, whilst I wasn’t impressed at all by the frocks Abbie Cornish wore in Bright Star, though it’s hardly the movie’s biggest flaws.

Wow, lots of love for Up I see. I’m more in the Wall-E camp myself, though I’m not saying I dislike Up, I just think though the first part was so poignantly moving, the whole experience was rather underwhelming to me. Interesting how the Pixar flick is up for (pardon the pun) both Best Picture and Best Animated Feature.

Glad to see the dreadful Avatar song ‘I See You’ wasn’t in the Best Original Song category. The score is pretty good, though not as memorable as say Hans Zimmer’s work in Gladiator, at least it won’t give me migraines every time I hear it.

Anyway, it’s late so I’m going to wrap things up here. Here are a few other Oscar chatters from my blogger friends at Anomalous Material (Red over there apparently has an amazing crystal ball about the Oscar) and M. Carter @ The Movies ponders on who got snubbed (pre-rapper Joaquin for one) by the Academy.

Edit: The Huffington Post published this article title The Forgotscars, and I got to admit I like their picks far better.

Well, what do you think readers, any thoughts on the Oscar picks/snubs this year?