Well, the 82nd Academy Awards Nominees were announced yesterday, and among the usual lot there are some neat suprises that could make for some intriguing wins (they won't). Thus I bring us now to the fabled MORNING WOOD 2010 OSCAR PREDICTIONS! Hooray!
The following is two-fold: In RED are the nominees that WILL WIN. In BLUE are the noms that SHOULD WIN. PURPLE means the shoulda is actually gonna. Got it? Good.
Best Motion Picture of the Year:
Avatar (2009): James Cameron, Jon Landau
The Blind Side (2009): Nominees to be determined
District 9 (2009): Peter Jackson, Carolynne Cunningham
An Education (2009): Finola Dwyer, Amanda Posey
The Hurt Locker (2008): Nominees to be determined
Inglourious Basterds (2009): Lawrence Bender
Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire (2009): Lee Daniels, Sarah Siegel-Magness, Gary Magness
A Serious Man (2009): Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Up (2009): Jonas Rivera
Up in the Air (2009/I): Daniel Dubiecki, Ivan Reitman, Jason Reitman
AVABAR will win this, there's no doubt. Jim has enough history with the Academy and no Best Picture can avoid looking at that cash haul, which will be beating Titanic by a wide margin by the time the Ceremony airs.
Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
Jeff Bridges for Crazy Heart (2009)
George Clooney for Up in the Air (2009/I)
Colin Firth for A Single Man (2009)
Morgan Freeman for Invictus (2009)
Jeremy Renner for The Hurt Locker (2008)
Bridges has enough support rolling from the Globes to fuel this one, and he actually deserves it (in fact he deserved it years ago). He's not facing much other steep competition and the other nominees are either older actors that have already been honoured or young ones who just haven't been snubbed yet. Jeff is just the right mix of both to pull this off.
Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role
Sandra Bullock for The Blind Side (2009)
Helen Mirren for The Last Station (2009)
Carey Mulligan for An Education (2009)
Gabourey Sidibe for Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire (2009)
Meryl Streep for Julie & Julia (2009)
Sandy has enough going on from somehow having one of the greatest years that no straight man in the 18-49 year old demographic noticed to get this. Like Bridges she has a huge body of work with little honour so there's not a lot of doubt here. Carey Mulligan has the best performance from this list, but it's not strong enough to topple Sandy. The only real fun that can come from this if she also wins a Razzie for All About Steve (2009).
Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role
Matt Damon for Invictus (2009)
Woody Harrelson for The Messenger (2009/I)
Christopher Plummer for The Last Station (2009)
Stanley Tucci for The Lovely Bones (2009)
Christoph Waltz for Inglourious Basterds (2009)
An easier prediction than Ledger last year.
Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role
Penélope Cruz for Nine (2009)
Vera Farmiga for Up in the Air (2009/I)
Maggie Gyllenhaal for Crazy Heart (2009)
Anna Kendrick for Up in the Air (2009/I)
Mo'Nique for Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire (2009)
For some reason people love Mo'Nique, but I can't get over her atrociousness in Beerfest (2006), being the only weak link in that class is SUCH a weak link. She does do a good job in the worst-name Best Picture Nominee ever, but I'd give the award to Vera if I could.
Best Achievement in Directing
Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker (2008)
James Cameron for Avatar (2009)
Lee Daniels for Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire (2009)
Jason Reitman for Up in the Air (2009/I)
Quentin Tarantino for Inglourious Basterds (2009)
Again, there's not a question this goes to Jim, but the better job, especially after reading some production stories is clearly Katie's. I'd also love to see Quentin finally get this, but this isn't his year.
Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen
The Hurt Locker (2008): Mark Boal
Inglourious Basterds (2009): Quentin Tarantino
The Messenger (2009/I): Alessandro Camon, Oren Moverman
A Serious Man (2009): Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Up (2009): Bob Peterson, Pete Docter, Thomas McCarthy
This will be the Academy's way of apologizing to Quentin for snubbing him at Best Picture and Director. He deserves it though, his distinct brand was somehow still relevant and still beautifully crafted, especially for being only about 60% English.
Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published
District 9 (2009): Neill Blomkamp, Terri Tatchell
An Education (2009): Nick Hornby
In the Loop (2009): Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Armando Iannucci, Tony Roche
Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire (2009): Geoffrey Fletcher
Up in the Air (2009/I): Jason Reitman, Sheldon Turner
I base this somehow on Milk (2008)'s win last year. Somehow the smaller yet bigger vibe and impression from that film still fits this year and Up in the Air is the only one worthy.
Best Achievement in Cinematography
Avatar (2009): Mauro Fiore
Das weisse Band - Eine deutsche Kindergeschichte (2009): Christian Berger
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009): Bruno Delbonnel
The Hurt Locker (2008): Barry Ackroyd
Inglourious Basterds (2009): Robert Richardson
Cinematography's tricky, and I DON'T think AVABAR will sweep. Thus I give it to The Hurt Locker, but it probably should be Inglourious. Harry Potter's kind of a curveball in this generally serious, un-Summer Blockbuster category, we'll see how that plays out as well.
Best Achievement in Editing
Avatar (2009): Stephen E. Rivkin, John Refoua, James Cameron
District 9 (2009): Julian Clarke
The Hurt Locker (2008): Bob Murawski, Chris Innis
Inglourious Basterds (2009): Sally Menke
Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire (2009): Joe Klotz
There was nothing really special about AVABAR's editing, but District 9's was carefully crafted to give the impression of a slow, painfully disturbing transformation. Still, AVABAR will get it.
Best Achievement in Art Direction
Avatar (2009): Rick Carter, Robert Stromberg, Kim Sinclair
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2009): David Warren, Anastasia Masaro, Caroline Smith
Nine (2009): John Myhre, Gordon Sim
Sherlock Holmes (2009): Sarah Greenwood, Katie Spencer
The Young Victoria (2009): Patrice Vermette, Maggie Gray
No question, but again, these nominees are pretty interesting. All of them, actually.
Best Achievement in Costume Design
Bright Star (2009): Janet Patterson
Coco avant Chanel (2009): Catherine Leterrier
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2009): Monique Prudhomme
Nine (2009): Colleen Atwood
The Young Victoria (2009): Sandy Powell
See what happens when you CGI the whole movie? No costumes. Nine will get this based on its snuffage for just about everything else while Dr. P probably earned it more. Too bad every studio hates Terry Gilliam.
Best Achievement in Makeup
Il divo (2008): Aldo Signoretti, Vittorio Sodano
Star Trek (2009): Barney Burman, Mindy Hall, Joel Harlow
The Young Victoria (2009): John Henry Gordon, Jenny Shircore
This is a Young Victoria-kind of category, but it would be sweet to see Trek pull it off.
Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score
Avatar (2009): James Horner
Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009): Alexandre Desplat
The Hurt Locker (2008): Marco Beltrami, Buck Sanders
Sherlock Holmes (2009): Hans Zimmer
Up (2009): Michael Giacchino
AVABAR's was typical, but it'll win. I like the quirky twans of Mr. Fox much better, though.
Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song
Crazy Heart (2009): T-Bone Burnett, Ryan Bingham("The Weary Kind")
Faubourg 36 (2008): Reinhardt Wagner, Frank Thomas("Loin de Paname")
Nine (2009): Maury Yeston("Take It All")
The Princess and the Frog (2009): Randy Newman("Down in New Orleans")
The Princess and the Frog (2009): Randy Newman("Almost There")
Crazy Heart will upset Nine and it should.
Best Achievement in Sound Mixing
Avatar (2009): Christopher Boyes, Gary Summers, Andy Nelson, Tony Johnson
The Hurt Locker (2008): Paul N.J. Ottosson, Ray Beckett
Inglourious Basterds (2009): Michael Minkler, Tony Lamberti, Mark Ulano
Star Trek (2009): Anna Behlmer, Andy Nelson, Peter J. Devlin
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009): Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers, Geoffrey Patterson
Transformers should legitimately get this award. ESPECIALLY after it got jerked around by The Bourne Ultimatum (2007) last time. C'mon, the sounds are sweet in that movie.
Best Achievement in Sound Editing
Avatar (2009): Christopher Boyes, Gwendolyn Yates Whittle
The Hurt Locker (2008): Paul N.J. Ottosson
Inglourious Basterds (2009): Wylie Stateman
Star Trek (2009): Mark P. Stoeckinger, Alan Rankin
Up (2009): Michael Silvers, Tom Myers
This is true.
Best Achievement in Visual Effects
Avatar (2009): Joe Letteri, Stephen Rosenbaum, Richard Baneham, Andy Jones
District 9 (2009): Dan Kaufman, Peter Muyzers, Robert Habros, Matt Aitken
Star Trek (2009): Roger Guyett, Russell Earl, Paul Kavanagh, Burt Dalton
In any other year this would have been District 9's game, but not this year. AVABAR gets this legit.
Best Animated Feature Film of the Year
Coraline (2009): Henry Selick
Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009): Wes Anderson
The Princess and the Frog (2009): John Musker, Ron Clements
The Secret of Kells (2009): Tomm Moore
Up (2009): Pete Docter
I like seeing a film like Coraline in there, but c'mon. Pixar is Pixar.
Best Foreign Language Film of the Year
Das weisse Band - Eine deutsche Kindergeschichte (2009)(Germany)
El secreto de sus ojos (2009)(Argentina)
Un prophète (2009)(France)
La teta asustada (2009)(Peru)
Best Documentary, Features
Burma VJ: Reporter i et lukket land (2008): Anders Østergaard, Lise Lense-Møller
The Cove (2009): Nominees to be determined
Food, Inc. (2008): Robert Kenner, Elise Pearlstein
The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers (2009): Judith Ehrlich, Rick Goldsmith
Which Way Home (2009): Rebecca Cammisa
The only one I've heard of - thus is a good indication that it has enough word of mouth to win. This is also true.
Best Documentary, Short Subjects
China's Unnatural Disaster: The Tears of Sichuan Province (2009) (TV): Jon Alpert, Matthew O'Neill
The Last Campaign of Governor Booth Gardner (2009): Daniel Junge, Henry Ansbacher
The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant (2009) (TV): Steven Bognar, Julia Reichert
Królik po berlinsku (2009): Bartosz Konopka, Anna Wydra
Music by Prudence (2010): Roger Ross Williams, Elinor Burkett
Academy loves this kind of shit.
Best Short Film, Animated
French Roast (2008): Fabrice Joubert
Granny O'Grimm's Sleeping Beauty (2008): Nicky Phelan, Darragh O'Connell
La dama y la muerte (2009): Javier Recio Gracia
Logorama (2009): Nicolas Schmerkin
Wallace and Gromit in 'A Matter of Loaf and Death' (2008) (TV): Nick Park
They have enough history with the Academy, and frankly I know nothing about any other nominees to make a more educated prediction.
Best Short Film, Live Action
The Door (2008): Juanita Wilson, James Flynn
Istället för abrakadabra (2008): Patrik Eklund, Mathias Fjällström
Kavi (2009): Gregg Helvey
Miracle Fish (2009): Luke Doolan, Drew Bailey
The New Tenants (2009): Joachim Back, Tivi Magnusson
I like the Doors but Miracle Fish has a cooler name. Go figure.
Award are presented March 7th. Stay tuned for additional coverage!