I probably shouldn't write this now. I'm still excited that, for the second year in a row, my #1 film of the year won Best Picture and I'm more than a little drunk. But, as someone who has thought that, while Avatar is a technical marvel NOW, it's not a very good movie. So here's the breakdown:
BEST PICTURE: THE HURT LOCKER
I don't normally do it in all caps, but I am so excited it won. This is the Platoon for Generation X and whole-heartedly deserved it.
BEST DIRECTOR: KATHRYN BIGELOW, THE HURT LOCKER
I actually teared up when she won. To be honest, a year ago, I could have made a LONG list of female directors I thought would have been the first and Kathryn Bigelow wouldn't have been on it. Jane Campion, Sofia Coppola, Jodie Foster, Barbra Streisand, Penny Marshall, Nancy Myers, Amy Heckerling, etc. Either way, it's a great acheivement.
BEST ACTOR: JEFF BRIDGES, CRAZY HEART
Jeff Bridges has been one of my favorites since I was a kid. He's always been one of those actors who gave phenomenal performances in roles not recognized by the Academy. I couldn't be happier.
BEST ACTRESS: SANDRA BULLOCK, THE BLIND SIDE
I'm glad she won, but it's one of those cases that the person won and not the performance. She's very popular among people in Hollywood and she's not exactly the type of actress who gets nominated. I wouldn't be shocked if this will be her only nomination.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: CHRISTOPH WALTZ, INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS
A terrific performance and I'm glad it was honored, but I will always argue that he had no business being in the supporting category. Yes, it's an ensemble piece. But so was Pulp Fiction. The first 15 minutes is almost all Christoph Waltz.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: MO'NIQUE, PRECIOUS
There was no question. It was easily one of the best performances of the year.
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: THE HURT LOCKER
Missed this one. I picked Basterds. Don't mind this one.
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: PRECIOUS
I picked Up in the Air here. I'm still surprised it lost and I owe Jason Reitman an apology. Sorry, dude.
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: AVATAR
I argued in another post that Avatar shouldn't have even been nominated. Then I read an article about how hard it was to shoot. More than just CGI and green screen. Yeah, it deserved it.
BEST FILM EDITING: THE HURT LOCKER
I picked Avatar, but was hoping for a Hurt Locker upset. I got my wish.
BEST ART DIRECTION: AVATAR
My pick and it deserved it. Congrats to the Academy for finally recognizing the efforts of set decorators, even in a CGI world. Their job is still the same.
BEST COSTUME DESIGN: THE YOUNG VICTORIA
I had no clue and went with Nine.
BEST MAKEUP: STAR TREK
The first Oscar ever for the Star Trek franchise. I believe this makes Harry Potter now the most nominated franchise to never win an Oscar.
BEST SOUND MIXING: THE HURT LOCKER
I was surprised by this one. The work on The Hurt Locker was amazing and it's wonderful that the Academy recognized the incredible work there.
BEST SOUND EDITING: THE HURT LOCKER
I thought the Academy would go with Avatar here, but felt the The Hurt Locker was more deserving. Thankfully, the Academy agreed.
BEST VISUAL EFFECTS: AVATAR
If there was EVER a slam dunk in a category, it was here.
BEST SCORE: UP
One of many slam dunks for this year's awards. The piece called "Married Life" during the montage at the beginning of the movie is one of those pieces that chokes me up just by hearing it. Congrats to Michael Giacchino, who deserved it for his work on The Incredibles and Ratatoiulle. It'll look great next to his Emmy for his work on Lost.
BEST SONG: CRAZY HEART
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE: UP
If Up didn't win, I would've torched my house. For all of the wins Pixar has had in this category, Up was one of its best achievements.
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM: EL SECRETO DE SUS OJOS
I haven't seen this one. Un Prophete is an amazing film, but I can't fairly judge.
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE: THE COVE
Terrific film. Deserved it. Although Food, Inc. would have also been a fine choice.
Now, what you've all been waiting for....
Last year, my Post Oscar Bliss predictions for 2009 were: Nine, The Informant, Lovely Bones, Invictus, The Boat the Rocked, Inglourious Basterds, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, The Road, Shutter Island, Away We Go. So, I got ONE Best Picture nominee. One movie that never even went into production. One that got bumped to 2010. Four movies that go no nominations whatsoever. And three movies that got just a few nominations. Not my finest moment. So on to this year:
THE BEST PICTURE NOMINEES OF 2010!!!!
Going on a limb here. Clint Eastwood directing a Best Picture nominee. Although Invictus and The Changeling didn't make the cut. But his genre films seem to make it. Throw in that it's written by the writer of Frost/Nixon, The Queen and The Last King of Scotland. It's a pretty safe bet even with supernatural elements.
2. Untitled James Brooks Comedy
James Brooks so rarely does movies anymore. Or ever for that matter. But after Terms of Endearment, Broadcast News and As Good as It Gets (and ignoring I'll Do Anything and Spanglish), he's Oscar bait. Especially when Jack Nicholson is involved (who has won two Oscars for James Brooks movies). Also with Oscar winner Reese Witherspoon.
3. The Tree of Life
Director Terrance Malick also has a pretty good track record with the Academy. Although The New World missed its mark, his previous two films, The Thin Red Line and Days of Heaven, were Best Picture nominees. Oh. And did I mention it stars Brad Pitt and Sean Penn?
4. Love and Other Drugs
Have to keep my streak going. Director Ed Zwick makes my list nearly every time he makes a movie and every time, I'm wrong. Be it Blood Diamond, The Last Samurai, etc. And with Judy Greer as his lead (basically best known for repeatedly flashing Jason Bateman on the show Arrested Development), but it also has Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway. Just a whim.
5. The Social Network
David Fincher finally got Oscar recognition with The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Here, he's bringing the story of the world's most popular social networking site to the big screen. I can't imagine a great story teller like Fincher even considering it without a brilliant script. And since Aaron Sorkin wrote it, I'm assuming it is. Even with a questionable cast that includes Justin Timberlake.
Hey! It worked for Seabiscuit. Diane Lane and John Malkovich head a cast directed by Braveheart scribe Randall Wallace.
7. The American
Any movie with George Clooney deserves consideration at this point. World renowned photographer Anton Corbijn pretty much guarantees it will be visually interesting, especially with the Italian location shooting. It's a suspense thriller, but the Academy has gone there before.
8. Eat, Prey Love
I may be reaching here. This will be the second film directed by Ryan Murphy, who is best known for the TV shows Glee and Nip/Tuck. It's with Julia Roberts and if it connects with people, expect it to make the short list.
While Clint Eastwood often gets nominated for genre films, Christopher Nolan has not had as much luck. In fact, it's because of Christopher Nolan that the Academy nominates 10 films for Best Picture, instead of 5. His follow-up to The Dark Knight stars Oscar nominees Leonardo DiCaprio, Ken Watanabe and Ellen Page, along with Oscar winners Marion Cotillard and Michael Caine. It's a tentpole blockbuster, which don't usually carry over to Oscar glory. But we will see.
While John Madden directed Best Picture winner Shakespeare in Love, he has not fared so well since. This one is a remake of the Israeli film "HaHov" and starts Sam Worthington (and his dog, Spot) and Oscar winner Helen Mirren. The story is Mossad agents chasing a Nazi across Europe 20 years after World War II. Perhaps the voters who chose Spielberg's Munich will like this one too, although I still don't get why they liked Munich.
Until next year.....Cheers!