I thought I would make some Oscar predictions since they will be announced in about two weeks. Since I haven’t seen every movie that is getting buzz, I am basing these on what precursor awards they have been getting, critical reception, box office, and buzz in general. I also offer some commentary in the major categories about who I think is the weakest I’m predicting and what or who could replace it. Some of these predictions might be weird or crazy, but that is because my heart is telling me they will be nominated, but most of them are based on rational thought.
Best PictureAvatar District 9 An Education The Hurt Locker Inglourious Basterds Precious: Based on the Novel “Push” by Sapphire A Serious Man Star Trek Up Up in the Air
I think these are a safe bet based on the amount of awards they have already gotten. The only weak spots here are Up, District 9, and Star Trek because the first one already has a category where it will probably win, and the other two are science fiction, a genre that AMPAS tends to snub. So, if they are not nominated, I can easily see Invictus, The Messenger, Nine, or Crazy Heart getting in. I also can’t shake the feeling that Where the Wild Things Are could be a surprise nominee. It’s not only because it is my favorite film of the year, but the parallels between this and The Wizard of Oz, in terms of the “there’s no place like home” theme and the mild critical and commercial reception it got.
Best DirectorJames Cameron, Avatar Neil Blomkamp, District 9 Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker Quentin Tarantino, Inglourious Basterds Jason Reitman, Up in the Air
Although Blomkamp was not nominated for the DGA awards, I can see him doing well with the foreign members of the director’s branch of the Academy. He is also the most vulnerable for that reason. So, if he’s snubbed, then Lee Daniels for Precious or Clint Eastwood for Invictus will replace him. The others are pretty much locks.
Best ActorJeff Bridges, Crazy Heart George Clooney, Up in the Air Colin Firth, A Single Man Morgan Freeman, Invictus Jeremy Renner, The Hurt Locker
I’d say all of these are pretty safe, with Renner being the most vulnerable one. If he somehow missed out then Daniel Day-Lewis (Nine), Matt Damon (The Informant!) or Viggo Mortensen (The Road) could get in. I’m hoping that Sam Rockwell will get a surprise nomination for Moon, the best performance of the year.
Best ActressSandra Bullock, The Blind Side Helen Mirren, The Last Station Carrey Mulligan, An Education Gabourey Sidibe, Precious: Based on the Novel “Push” by Saphire Meryl Streep, Julie & Julia
The only one that I’m having doubts about is Helen Mirren because she has not gotten any precursor awards, although she did get a SAG nomination. Bullock could miss, but her film is too big to ignore. If any of those two miss out then Emily Blunt could get in for The Young Victoria because she has gotten a lot of buzz lately. Then there is Melanie Laurent (Inglourious Basterds), who I can see getting in easily instead of Mirren or Bullock. And if the voters feel like going for something different then they could nominate Tilda Swinton for her work in Julia or Zoe Saldana for AvatarBest Supporting Actor
Woody Harrelson, The Messenger Alfred Molina, An Education Christopher Plummer, The Last Station Stanley Tucci, The Lovely Bones Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds
With the exception of Waltz and Harrelson, the others are not a sure thing. Tucci could be nominated for Julie & Julia instead of The Lovely Bones. The fact that he is in a Clint Eastwood film could get Matt Damon nominated for Invictus. Alec Baldwin could be a surprise for It’s Complicated or Anthony Mackie could be swept along the The Hurt Locker train
Best Supporting ActressVera Farmiga, Up in the Air Anna Kendrick, Up in the Air Diane Kruger, Inglourious Basterds Mo’Nique, Precious: Based on the Novel “Push” by Sapphire Julianne Moore, A Single Man
Kruger is the only one I’m worried about, as her part is too short and prior to the SAG nom there was no buzz for her. In her place, Samantha Morton could get in for The Messenger, Maggie Gyllenhaal for Crazy Heart, Marion Cotillard or Penelope Cruz or Judi Dench from Nine.
Original Screenplay(500) Days of Summer The Hurt Locker Inglourious Basterds A Serious Man Up
I’d say these are all pretty safe, but Avatar could get in since it got nominated for the WGA awards, but the weakness of the dialogue might prevent it. Then there’s The Messenger, a movie with a passionate following. It might battle it out with (500) for a slot.
Adapted ScreenplayAn Education Crazy Heart District 9 Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire Up in the Air
An Education, Precious, and Up in the Air are locks. I’m predicting District 9 and Crazy Heart for the remaining two spots, but they face strong competion from Fantastic Mr. Fox, Julie & Julia, Invictus, A Single Man, and Star Trek, all of which I can see taking one of those two spots.
Best Animated FeatureCoraline Fantastic Mr. Fox Ponyo The Princess and the Frog Up
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs has a rather large following among animators, or so I hear, plus it made money, so that could get nominated instead of Ponyo. Mary & Max may get an unexpected, but not surprising nomination given the passionate support it has.
Art Direction:Avatar Inglourious Basterds Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince A Serious Man Sherlock Holmes
Cinematography:Avatar Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince The Hurt Locker Inglourious Basterds Nine
Costume Design:Bright Star Coco Before Chanel Inglourious Basterds Nine The Young Victoria
Editing:Avatar District 9 The Hurt Locker Inglourious Basterds Star Trek
Make-Up:District 9 The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus Star Trek
Original Score:Avatar– James Horner Fantastic Mr. Fox– Alexandre Desplat The Informant!- Marvin Hamlisch Star Trek- Michael Giacchino Up- Michael Giacchino
Original Song“I See You”– Avatar “The Weary Kind”– Crazy Heart “Take it All”-Nine “Down in New Orleans”– The Princess and the Frog “All is Love”– Where the Wild Things Are
Best Sound EditingAvatar District 9 The Hurt Locker Star Trek Up
Best Sound MixingAvatar District 9 The Hurt Locker Inglourious Basterds Star Trek
Best Visual EffectsAvatar District 9 Star Trek