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My 2010 Oscar Picks

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On The Oprah Winfrey Show this week, film critic Roger Ebert, despite losing his ability to talk and eat, was able to give his Oscar predictions in his own voice using a special computer software (link here). “I can’t remember a year when it seems easier to predict the Oscars, ” he began. “Of course, those might be famous last words.” I found that, in the major categories, I agree with Ebert completely. However, like he said, it is quite predictable this year. I really don’t care about the Oscars all that much, but here goes anyway with my predictions:

Best Picture

“Avatar” James Cameron and Jon Landau, Producers

“The Blind Side” Nominees to be determined

“District 9″ Peter Jackson and Carolynne Cunningham, Producers

“An Education” Finola Dwyer and Amanda Posey, Producers

“The Hurt Locker” Kathryn Bigelow, Mark Boal, Nicolas Chartier and Greg Shapiro

“Inglourious Basterds” Lawrence Bender, Producer

“Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” Lee Daniels, Sarah Siegel-Magness and Gary Magness, Producers

“A Serious Man” Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, Producers

“Up” Jonas Rivera, Producer

“Up in the Air” Daniel Dubiecki, Ivan Reitman and Jason Reitman, Producers

**My prediction: The Hurt Locker. People are sick of Avatar and James Cameron’s ego. Plus, it’ll add more drama to the Nicols Chartier email fiasco.


Actor in a Leading Role

Jeff Bridges in “Crazy Heart”

George Clooney in “Up in the Air”

Colin Firth in “A Single Man”

Morgan Freeman in “Invictus”

Jeremy Renner in “The Hurt Locker”

**My prediction: Jeff Bridges. He should’ve won for The Big Lebowski twelve years ago. His Bad Blake was a great performance — made the film. Why not give him the gold now?

Actress in a Leading Role

Sandra Bullock in “The Blind Side”

Helen Mirren in “The Last Station”

Carey Mulligan in “An Education”

Gabourey Sidibe in “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire”

Meryl Streep in “Julie & Julia”

**My prediction: Sandra Bullock. She starred in an inspirational drama that would’ve felt right home on The Hallmark Channel, The Blind Side — and it was a huge hit. Julia Roberts got her Oscar for the exact same situation in 2001 with Erin Brokovich. She may not be the best actress, but she’s certainly the most popular. And plus, Meryl Streep, the other front-runner, already has two statuettes.


Actor in a Supporting Role

Matt Damon in “Invictus”

Woody Harrelson in “The Messenger”

Christopher Plummer in “The Last Station”

Stanley Tucci in “The Lovely Bones”

Christoph Waltz in “Inglourious Basterds”

**My prediction: Christoph Waltz, duh. He’s won every acting award imaginable since the Basterds premiered at the Cannes Film Festival last may. He’s as much as a shoe-in as Heath Ledger was for The Dark Night last year. And Oscar loves those wacky, sadistic antagonists.


Actress in a Supporting Role

Penélope Cruz in “Nine”

Vera Farmiga in “Up in the Air”

Maggie Gyllenhaal in “Crazy Heart”

Anna Kendrick in “Up in the Air”

Mo’Nique in “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire”

**My prediction: Mo’Nique. Her performance as an out-of-control, heartless welfare mother is memorable. It’s even more impressive since she’s primarily known for comedic roles in silly films like Beerfest.

Directing

“Avatar” James Cameron

“The Hurt Locker” Kathryn Bigelow

“Inglourious Basterds” Quentin Tarantino

“Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” Lee Daniels

“Up in the Air” Jason Reitman

**My prediction: Kathryn Bigelow. Lots of people are talking about the competition between her and ex-boyfriend, James Cameron. But in my opinion, there’s no question that she will win. The Hurt Locker is original, beautifully cinematic and is completely relevant to the times. Plus, it’s about damn time a woman wins a directing Oscar. The Academy has been sexist for over seventy years now.


Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

“District 9″ Written by Neill Blomkamp and Terri Tatchell

“An Education” Screenplay by Nick Hornby

“In the Loop” Screenplay by Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Armando Iannucci, Tony Roche

“Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” Screenplay by Geoffrey Fletcher

“Up in the Air” Screenplay by Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner

**My prediction: Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner. Reitman didn’t win any Oscars for Juno, a film the Academy loved. It seems like they really want to give him one this year, no matter what the project is (it happens to be Up in the Air, a mediocre George Clooney vehicle).


Writing (Original Screenplay)

“The Hurt Locker” Written by Mark Boal

“Inglourious Basterds” Written by Quentin Tarantino

“The Messenger” Written by Alessandro Camon & Oren Moverman

“A Serious Man” Written by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen

“Up” Screenplay by Bob Peterson, Pete Docter, Story by Pete Docter, Bob Peterson, Tom McCarthy

**My prediction: Quentin Tarantino. He hasn’t won much of anything since Pulp Fiction — and that’s a long time ago. And it helps that his screenplay is complex and unique, with great dialogue and inventive structure (sound familiar?).


Animated Feature Film

“Coraline” Henry Selick

“Fantastic Mr. Fox” Wes Anderson

“The Princess and the Frog” John Musker and Ron Clements

“The Secret of Kells” Tomm Moore

“Up” Pete Docter

**My prediction: Up. I didn’t care for it much, but everybody else did.


Art Direction

“Avatar” Art Direction: Rick Carter and Robert Stromberg; Set Decoration: Kim Sinclair

“The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus” Art Direction: Dave Warren and Anastasia Masaro; Set Decoration: Caroline Smith

“Nine” Art Direction: John Myhre; Set Decoration: Gordon Sim

“Sherlock Holmes” Art Direction: Sarah Greenwood; Set Decoration: Katie Spencer

“The Young Victoria” Art Direction: Patrice Vermette; Set Decoration: Maggie Gray

**My prediction: Avatar. Since it’s not going to win Best Picture, it will probably pick up a couple of categories like this one.


Cinematography

“Avatar” Mauro Fiore

“Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” Bruno Delbonnel

“The Hurt Locker” Barry Ackroyd

“Inglourious Basterds” Robert Richardson

“The White Ribbon” Christian Berger

**My prediction: The Hurt Locker. The look of this film is perfect and it has such rich texture. It’s gotta win.


Costume Design

“Bright Star” Janet Patterson

“Coco before Chanel” Catherine Leterrier

“The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus” Monique Prudhomme

“Nine” Colleen Atwood

“The Young Victoria” Sandy Powell

**My prediction: The Young Victoria. It’s the only costume drama on the list. I guarantee this film takes it home.

Documentary (Feature)

“Burma VJ” Anders Østergaard and Lise Lense-Møller

“The Cove” Nominees to be determined

“Food, Inc.” Robert Kenner and Elise Pearlstein

“The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers” Judith Ehrlich and Rick Goldsmith

“Which Way Home” Rebecca Cammisa

**My prediction: Food, Inc. It’s a doc with a message.

Documentary (Short Subject)

“China’s Unnatural Disaster: The Tears of Sichuan Province” Jon Alpert and Matthew O’Neill

“The Last Campaign of Governor Booth Gardner” Daniel Junge and Henry Ansbacher

“The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant” Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert

“Music by Prudence” Roger Ross Williams and Elinor Burkett

“Rabbit à la Berlin” Bartek Konopka and Anna Wydra

**My prediction: The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant. I dunno. This one’s got a message, too. And it’s relevant.


Film Editing

“Avatar” Stephen Rivkin, John Refoua and James Cameron

“District 9″ Julian Clarke

“The Hurt Locker” Bob Murawski and Chris Innis

“Inglourious Basterds” Sally Menke

“Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” Joe Klotz

**My prediction: The Hurt Locker. This suspense film’s all about the editing.


Foreign Language Film

“Ajami” Israel

“El Secreto de Sus Ojos” Argentina

“The Milk of Sorrow” Peru

“Un Prophète” France

“The White Ribbon” Germany

**My prediction: The White Ribbon. Michael Haneke is a director who’s world renowned, and has come back with some of his strongest work after the dismal American remake of Funny Games.


Makeup

“Il Divo” Aldo Signoretti and Vittorio Sodano

“Star Trek” Barney Burman, Mindy Hall and Joel Harlow

“The Young Victoria” Jon Henry Gordon and Jenny Shircore

**My prediction: Star Trek. It’s gotta win something, right?

Music (Original Score)

“Avatar” James Horner

“Fantastic Mr. Fox” Alexandre Desplat

“The Hurt Locker” Marco Beltrami and Buck Sanders

“Sherlock Holmes” Hans Zimmer

“Up” Michael Giacchino

**My prediction: Up. The score is one of the few things I liked about this film.

Music (Original Song)

“Almost There” from “The Princess and the Frog” Music and Lyric by Randy Newman

“Down in New Orleans” from “The Princess and the Frog” Music and Lyric by Randy Newman

“Loin de Paname” from “Paris 36″ Music by Reinhardt Wagner Lyric by Frank Thomas

“Take It All” from “Nine” Music and Lyric by Maury Yeston

“The Weary Kind (Theme from Crazy Heart)” from “Crazy Heart” Music and Lyric by Ryan Bingham and T Bone Burnett

**My prediction: T Bone Burnett. It’s a solid soundtrack and he’s on top of his game after a very successful a couple of decades in the music biz.


Short Film (Animated)

“French Roast” Fabrice O. Joubert

“Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty” Nicky Phelan and Darragh O’Connell

“The Lady and the Reaper (La Dama y la Muerte)” Javier Recio Gracia

“Logorama” Nicolas Schmerkin

“A Matter of Loaf and Death” Nick Park

**My prediction: Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty. It sounds whimsical. The Academy loves wimsy.


Short Film (Live Action)

“The Door” Juanita Wilson and James Flynn

“Instead of Abracadabra” Patrik Eklund and Mathias Fjellström

“Kavi” Gregg Helvey

“Miracle Fish” Luke Doolan and Drew Bailey

“The New Tenants” Joachim Back and Tivi Magnusson

**My prediction: Kavi. For no particular reason.

Sound Editing

“Avatar” Christopher Boyes and Gwendolyn Yates Whittle

“The Hurt Locker” Paul N.J. Ottosson

“Inglourious Basterds” Wylie Stateman

“Star Trek” Mark Stoeckinger and Alan Rankin

“Up” Michael Silvers and Tom Myers

**My prediction: Avatar. It did have great sound. I think.


Sound Mixing

“Avatar” Christopher Boyes, Gary Summers, Andy Nelson and Tony Johnson

“The Hurt Locker” Paul N.J. Ottosson and Ray Beckett

“Inglourious Basterds” Michael Minkler, Tony Lamberti and Mark Ulano

“Star Trek” Anna Behlmer, Andy Nelson and Peter J. Devlin

“Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers and Geoffrey Patterson

**My prediction: Avatar. If it wins for sound editing, then it might as well win for mixing, too.


Visual Effects

“Avatar” Joe Letteri, Stephen Rosenbaum, Richard Baneham and Andrew R. Jones

“District 9″ Dan Kaufman, Peter Muyzers, Robert Habros and Matt Aitken

“Star Trek” Roger Guyett, Russell Earl, Paul Kavanagh and Burt Dalton

**My prediction: Avatar. It’s the special effects film of the decade (maybe this one and the last one). If it doesn’t win in this category, then, well, I owe you a dollar.

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