Friday, March 5, 2010

Oscar Predictions, Pt. 1: Best Picture and Best Director

This Sunday is the 82nd annual Academy Awards, and this year, there are 10 films nominated for Best Picture, rather than the usual five. Here are the nominations, who will win and who should win.

And the nominees for Best Picture are...
The Blind Side
District 9
An Education
The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
Precious: Based On the Novel "Push" by Sapphire
Up In the Air
State of the Race: It's between James Cameron's juggernaut Avatar and ex-wife Kathryn Bigelow's war thriller The Hurt Locker, universally acclaimed by the critics. Hurt Locker has picked up the Producer's Guild Award, the Director's Guild, and the Writer's Guild, and has won big at the BAFTA's weeks ago, all are usually indicators of where the voters will usually go. Avatar, however, has one thing Bigelow's drama doesn't have: the highest grossing movie of all time, both in the States ($700+ million) and worldwide ($2 billion so far). Does the Academy follow in the footsteps of its colleagues, or will it follow the almighty dollar?

And the Oscar goes to...Inglourious Basterds...Wait, what?! Over the top-grossing movie of all time and the most critically-acclaimed film of the year? Why??? Like President Barack Obama trying to find middle ground with the Democrats and the Republicans on health care, the Academy will probably go with a middle-of-the-road indie that has had big success at the box office ($120 million), is well liked by the critics, and features a director at the top of his form in Quentin Tarantino.

And the nominees for Best Director are...
Kathryn Bigelow; The Hurt Locker
James Cameron; Avatar
Lee Dainels; Precious: Based on the Novel "Push" by Sapphire
Jason Reitman; Up In the Air
Quentin Tarantino; Inglourious Basterds
State of the Race: This years Best Director race has history between the two frontrunners. James Cameron and Kathryn Bigelow were, once upon a time, married, before calling it quits. The two are still friendly between one another, and each are hoping the other win the prize. Cameron won the top honor 12 years ago for Titanic, and he won it again this year at the Golden Globe Awards two months ago. Bigelow is just the fourth female director to be nominated for Best Director in the show's history, and she's collected the Director's Guild Award, the first time a female director has won the award. the DGA has been an indicator as to who will collect the trophy for director, so will the Academy allow a woman to join the big boys club?

And the Oscar goes to...Kathryn Bigelow. Even Oscar can't screw thin one up.

I'll have Lead Actor and Actress later tonight.

1 comment:

et said...

I think you're right about Kathryn Bigelow.

Best Picture, well, that's a toss-up. The behind-the-scenes politics of this are intricate and fraught with payback...take it from a woman whose past "congratulations to the nominees" print ads had to ensure that no Fox or Warner or Disney logo had more or less pride of place than any other in the media she placed, and whose video library still boasts then state-of-the-art VHS tapes sent "For Your Consideration" of nominated films.

"Avatar" might well take it because the Academy has decided it's time - some 30+ years after "Annie Hall" robbed "Star Wars" - that an "effects" movie takes the honors.

"The Hurt Locker" might take it for the Academy's sometime penchant for seriousness.

Even odds, says me. "Inglorious Basterds" is a dark horse, IMO.

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