Tuesday, February 2, 2010

It's Oscar Time Again!

BEST PICTURE:

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

THOUGHTS: I was one of the few who didn't think District 9 would be here. I was wrong. I WAS, however, one who thought The Hangover would be. Again, wrong. Eight of the ten were mortal locks. District 9 and A Serious Man were the toss ups. Crazy Heart, Invictus or The Messenger (judging by their presence in other categories) could have easily filled those slots. I certainly would've taken Invictus or The Messenger (and, of course, The Hangover) over District 9. A Serious Man is the only one I haven't seen yet. I would like to say this: People have said what a crappy year it was for movies. Not for me. Of the 9 nominees I've seen, I gave EIGHT of them an A or A-. (Gave District 9 a B) Not a bad year at all. The Hurt Locker, FTW!!!!!

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

THOUGHTS: None. Exactly as predicted. Jeff Bridges is a lock.

BEST ACTRESS:

Sandra Bullock, The Blind Side
Helen Mirren, The Last Station
Carey Mulligan, An Education
Gabourey Sidibe, Precious
Meryl Streep, Julie & Julia

THOUGHTS: Again, no surprises. Maybe Helen Mirren over Emily Blunt, but not a big surprise. Earlier, I predicted Meryl Streep would win since it's been 25 YEARS and her TWELFTH nomination since she last won. Her FIFTH nom in the last 10 years! But, no. Sandra Bullock is very popular in Hollywood and she just doesn't do "Oscar-worthy" very often. In my opinion, it shouldn't go to either of them. Watching Carey Mulligan in An Education was like watching Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday. An enchanting, star making performance.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR:

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

THOUGHTS: Well, Damon and Plummer were surprises, I guess. I thought Damon sucked and I like Matt Damon as an actor. I was hoping for Anthony Mackie to be nominated for The Hurt Locker. But all the other nominations are irrelevant. Christoph Waltz will win. This is a case of a performance being called "Supporting" even though he's only called that because his name's not Brad Pitt. Practically the entire first 15 minutes are just Waltz talking.

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

THOUGHTS: No real surprises here. Utter joy that the "Zoe Saldana should be nominated for Avatar" hype was exactly that. I would like to say that this SHOULD have been Vera Farmiga's third nomination. I loved her in The Departed and she stole Nothing but the Truth. Up in the Air was another role that seemed tailor made for her. And she'll lose. This award belongs to Mo'Nique.

BEST DIRECTOR:

Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker
James Cameron, Avatar
Lee Daniels, Precious
Jason Reitman, Up in the Air
Quentin Tarantino, Inglourious Basterds

THOUGHTS: ZERO surprises. If this had been a five nomination year for Best Picture, these would have been your nominees. Now that the Producers Guild and the Directors Guild have spoken, you will see the first woman to win Best Director. The woman who brought us Point Break. JOHNNY UTAH!!!!

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY:

The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
The Messenger
A Serious Man
Up

THOUGHTS: Excited to see the love for The Messenger. Terrific film. Won't win. Of the 8 major catergories, this one is the most exciting. It's a three horse race among The Hurt Locker, IB and Up. I think I predicted a Tarantino win here before, so I'll stick with that. It'll be the only chance to give a brilliant film some props.

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY:

District 9
An Education
In the Loop
Precious
Up in the Air

THOUGHTS: District 9 was a small surprise. In the Loop was a HUGE one. Being the Oscar dork I am, I actually WHOOed in the car when I heard it called out. Props to the Academy for recognizing a movie that was seen by so few people, the MPAA didn't even give it a rating. That said, this will be Up in the Air's only win of the night.

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY:

Avatar
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
The White Ribbon

THOUGHTS: Anyone else remember when there was talk of Harry Potter being nominated for Best Picture? Anyway, the most deserving film of the bunch is The Hurt Locker, although I haven't seen The White Ribbon. This is probably one of the few tech categories where Avatar could lose.

BEST FILM EDITING:

Avatar
District 9
The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
Precious

THOUGHTS: Precious is a shock! Small movies RARELY get nominated here. I could've taken guesses at the nominees for an hour before guessing Precious. I thought Up in the Air was done very well. And a year that also saw Harry Potter, Star Trek and Sherlock Holmes, it's even more surprising. But again, The Hurt Locker deserves it. Avatar will probably get it.

BEST ART DIRECTION:

Avatar
The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus
Nine
Sherlock Holmes
The Young Victoria

THOUGHTS: Avatar.

BEST COSTUME DESIGN:

Bright Star
Coco Before Chanel
The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus
Nine
The Young Victoria

THOUGHTS: I hate this category. Unless there's a movie nominated for Best Picture that has thousands of costumes, you never know who will win this. I mean, LOOK at this list! The only movie to even get a wide release was Nine. Screw it. Let's go with Nine. In my "Calling My Shot" posting, I picked Inglourious Basterds.

BEST MAKE UP:

Il Divo
Star Trek
The Young Victoria

THOUGHTS: None. I usually miss this one. I picked Avatar in the "Calling My Shot". I guess computer generated makeup still doesn't count. They must think it's a computer programmer who comes up with the look.

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE:

Avatar
Fantastic Mr. Fox
The Hurt Locker
Sherlock Holmes
Up

THOUGHTS: Fantastic Mr. Fox was a pleasant surprise. I loved that film. This is the one category I disagree with nominating The Hurt Locker. The score, what little there is, feels like it was lifted right off the There Will Be Blood soundtrack. But I am excited for this category. Michael Giacchino will win the Oscar he should have won for The Incredibles. To go along with the Emmy he won for Lost. In my opinion, he's the best composer in film right now.

BEST SONG:

Crazy Heart
Nine
Paris 36
The Princess and the Frog
The Princess and the Frog

THOUGHTS: I HATE this category. Not because it's hard to pick, but because it shouldn't even exist. There used to be a category called Best Song Score. THAT, to me, made sense. Award a movie for having great songs, not a great song. It's would be like having a separate writing category for Best Line of Dialogue or a sound effect category for Best Use of the Wilhelm Scream (which would go to Up this year. You don't expect a Wilhelm Scream to come from a dog.) Crazy Heart will win this. At least it's easy this year.

BEST SOUND MIXING:

Avatar
The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
Star Trek
Transfomers 2

THOUGHTS: Why the face?! ANOTHER year without a nomination for 20-time nominee, never winner Kevin O'Connell?! He hasn't gone this long without being nominated since the Drought of '93-'95. Apparently, the Academy didn't like how Public Enemies sounded. Perhaps he'll be back next year for his work on Prince of Persia. Or not. Avatar deserves this one and will win.

BEST SOUND EDITING:

Avatar
The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
Star Trek
Up

THOUGHTS: Avatar will win. The Hurt Locker deserves it.

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS:

Avatar
District 9
Star Trek

THOUGHTS: If there was EVER a category that was so unquestionably going to a particular movie, it's this one. 100% to Avatar. The ONLY reason there's even another nominee is because the voters had to pick three. I doubt even the people who worked on the other films would have voted against Avatar.

BEST ANIMATED PICTURE:

Coraline
Fantastic Mr. Fox
The Princess and the Frog
The Secret of Kells
Up

THOUGHTS: Gee. Let's see. One of these films was actually nominated for Best Picture. So, I pick the Secret of Kells. Kidding. I'd never actually heard of that one until this morning. I didn't care for Coraline. Haven't seen the P & the F yet. But I will say this: I liked The Fantastic Mr. Fox ALMOST as much as I liked Up. But Up will win and deservedly so.

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM:

Ajami
Das weisse Band - Eine deutsche Kindergeschichte (The White Ribbon)
El secreto de sus ojos
Un proph├Ęte
La teta asustada

THOUGHTS: It's rare when I've actually seen one of these and 2009 was no exception. When filling out your ballots on Oscar night, go with the one that's been nominated outside of the catergory. I choose the White Ribbon since my pick in "Calling My Shot" wasn't even nominated.

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE:

Burma VJ: Reporter i et lukket land
The Cove
Food, Inc.
The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers
Which Way Home

THOUGHTS: Like the foreign language category, it's rare when I've seen one of these, much less two. The Cove and Food, Inc. are the two heavy weights, but I can't imagine The Cove losing, barring some scandal that it was faked in any way. If you haven't seen The Cove, go rent it. It's a documentary that was more exciting to watch than the last Indiana Jones and a VERY important message.



HAPPIEST SURPRISE: In the Loop for Adapted Screenplay

UNHAPPIEST SURPRISE: The Hangover for NOTHING

NOM THAT MADE ME YELL "WHY THE FACE?!": Matt Damon for Invictus

MOST BEWILDERING SNUB: An Education for Best Costume Design. Those clothes were just cool.

P.S. I don't actually say "Why the face?" For the purposes of writing a family friendly blog, I just prefer to not actually say WTF?

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