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?