Sunday, March 7, 2010

Your voting results and my Oscar predictions

Before I give my predictions, I'll quickly go over the unusual results of our informal Oscar vote.  I had asked you to rank the 10 Best Picture nominees in order of preference, just as the Academy voters themselves were asked to do.  It's obviously a much smaller sample size: I had 8 ballots including my own, compared to the 5,777 members of AMPAS.

Separating the ballots into piles according to the choice number 1, there were three for The Hurt Locker, two each for Avatar and Up in the Air, and one for A Serious Man.  Since A Serious Man got the least votes, it got dropped and we we t to the second choice on that ballot, which was Up in the Air.  Now The Hurt Locker and Up in the Air each had three, while Avatar had the smallest pile with two.  So Avatar gpt eliminated, and we moved to the second choice votes on those ballots.  But one went to The Hurt Locker and the other went to Up in the Air.  Since there were no more smallest piles to eliminate, we technically had a tie between the two. This result pleases me, since those were the only two films from the 10 nominees that made my top 10 list of the past year.  Ties do happen in the Academy Awards, such as when both Katherine Hepburn and Barbra Streisand had the same number of votes in 1968 and each received a Best Actress award.

The winner of the contest is Ike M. Ogosi, so message me and let me know which Oscar-winning DVD you'd like.  Okay, now here are my picks for who will win.

Best picture
Will win: The Hurt Locker
Should win: The Hurt Locker or Up in the Air
As I explained over a month ago, The Hurt Locker will pull off the upset over Avatar.

Best director
Will/should win: Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker
James Cameron would also be a deserving winner of this, since no other director would have been able to pull off a film like Avatar.  His success with Titanic and now Avatar is truly remarkable.

Best actor
Will win: Jeff Bridges, Crazy Heart
Should win: George Clooney, Up in the Air
Really, all of the choices in this category are deserving in their own way.  This is a strong field.

Best actress
Will/should win: Meryl Streep, Julie & Julia
It's a close race between Sandra Bullock and Meryl Streep, but I'm betting that enough voters come to their senses and give this to Streep.  Bullock is a nice person but not remotely close to the level of Streep.  She could never have done what Streep did in Julie & Julia, whereas Streep could have done The Blind Side in her sleep.

Best supporting actor
Will win: Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds
Should win: Woody Harrelson, The Messenger
Harrelson's performance in The Messenger is outstanding, and truly a supporting role, whereas Waltz is really the lead in his film.

Best supporting actress
Will win: Mo'Nique, Precious
Should win: Vera Farmiga, Up in the Air
I've explained my reasons why Mo'Nique is undeserving of the award that she is certain to win.

Best foreign-language film
Will win: Das weisse Band (The White Ribbon) Germany

Should win: Un prophète (A Prophet), France
This is always an unpredictable category and a strong field.  But these were two great films that also made my top 10 list for the year.  I have a slight preference for Un prophète but it's edgier and probably won't be as easily embraced by the voters in this category (which tends to be older because viewing the films is mandatory). Das weisse Band is edgy too but has a World War historical aspect which they will like.

Best adapted screenplay
Will win: Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner, Up in the Air
Should win: Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Armando Iannucci, Tony Roche, In the Loop
Both of these are great scripts, but In the Loop was the funniest of the year.

Best original screenplay
Will win: Mark Boal, The Hurt Locker
Should win: Alessandro Camon and Oren Moverman, The Messenger
Again, two great scripts.  But I'd love to see The Messenger get some recognition too.

Best animated feature film
Will win: Up
Should win: The Secret of Kells
Not enough people will have seen The Secret of the Kells, but those who have love it.

Best art direction
Will/should win: Avatar
Avatar looked astounding and will be rewarded for its spectacular visuals.

Best cinematography
Will win: Avatar
Should win: The White Ribbon
Avatar did have great cinematography, but it's not always clear how much work was the cinematographer, since there is so much CGI as well.  Still, I won't be upset to see Avatar take it.

Best sound mixing
Will/should win: The Hurt Locker
With sound mixing, it's a bit of a toss up against Avatar, but both would be worthy choices.  But The Hurt Locker won the CAS (Cinema Audio Society, the sound mixer's guild) Award, so seems a good bet.

Best sound editing
Will/should win: Avatar
will take this one handily. 

Best original score
Will win: Up, Michael Giacchino
Should win: Avatar, James Horner
James Horner's music in Avatar was outstanding and well-suited to story.  It was almost non-stop, but enhances the movie without drawing attention to itself.  Yet that will hurt it in the voting because people won't remember the music as much as with Up, where the music was often in the forefront.

Best original song
Will/should win: "The Weary Kind (Theme from Crazy Heart)" from Crazy Heart, Ryan Bingham and T Bone Burnett
This category is often the dullest, but isn't so bad this year.

Best costume design
Will/should win: The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
The other possibility is The Young Victoria, a dull and safe choice.

Best documentary feature
Will/should win: The Cove
Strong field, but The Cove is a runaway favourite.

Best documentary short
Will/should win: Rabbit à la Berlin

Best film editing
Will win: The Hurt Locker
Should win: Avatar
Editing on Avatar was extremely difficult but so advanced that people won't necessarily understand how complicated it was.  The Hurt Locker's editing was outstanding in a more traditional sense.

Best makeup
Will/should win: Star Trek
The Young Victoria
is favoured but I'm giving the Academy credit for moving beyond period pieces.

Best animated short film
Will win: A Matter of Loaf and Death
Should win: Logorama
Nick Park always does great work, but it's time someone else was recognized too.

Best live-action short film
Will win: The Door
Should win: Instead of Abracadabra

Best visual effects
Will/should win: Avatar
Well, that's obvious.

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