Friday, March 5, 2010

The 82nd Annual Academy Awards: My Picks & Predictions

The annual Hollywood extravaganza has always been a kind of holiday in my neck of the woods. As I was coming up, my family and I used to make it an event at the house. My brother, Dan, and I usually are pretty good at predicting the winners, sometimes even the nominations. My parents were always about the 'moments' during the awards show. I also recall Dad being quite flustered when "The Color Purple" got that big snub back in 1985. I was pretty upset by that too. However, like the decisions of the Academy or not, I always look forward to the saga the annual Academy Awards provide; with all the glitz and glamour. We take a look back at what was the best of one of our most popular mediums with honor.

The big fun is if one of your faves wins, of course. Even better, if you predict who is going to win. Like I said, I used to be really good at the prediction part. I am a bit rusty these days, because in all honesty the older I get, the more time I spend creating my own art - thus the less opportunity I have to view films. This year I saw a few. Then, admittedly, like a lot of filmgoers who are also fans of Oscar, when the nominations came out I saw a couple more. 10 nominations for Best Picture be damned, I still come up with the same result in that category.

We will see Sunday whether my faves outweigh my predictions, mostly based on gut instinct, history and a few throws up to the movie gods...

Here we go - I went to Oscar's website and simply list them by the ballot there...

Because, after all, an Oscar IS an Oscar!


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”

Not sure why Morgan Freeman is here this time, but who am I? Jeff Bridges has sure had quite a career and "Crazy Heart" so reminds me of "Tender Mercies." Jeremy Renner impressed me.

~My Choice: Jeremy Renner, "The Hurt Locker"
~My Prediction: Jeff Bridges, "Crazy Heart"


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”

GREAT CATEGORY! Wow! All this talent in one little category is too much, but I have to say Christoph Waltz will be hard to beat...four languages, energy, raw and pure talent...hard to not tip your hat to him for such a performance.

My Choice & My Prediction: Christoph Waltz, "Inglourious Basterds"


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”

I am really going on a limb here, but Meryl Streep has been showing up many years since her last win in 1983 and you gotta be thinking, one of these years, she is gonna slip in there and take the trophy. Not positive if her comedic turn as Julia Child is enough, but she DID play that role to the hilt and Oscar loves a good 'drag' show. Any way you slice it, Streep is still here and one of these days I truly believe she will get her third win. Sure, Sandra Bullock may win. It would be perfect, the way her career has gone. She has had a solid enough one; she stopped taking the huge money roles and started picking roles with substance - you could even say it is the right time for her. I wouldn't be mad if Bullock wins, and she was my first prediction when Awards season roled around. All that being said, Gabourey Sidibe's dart right out of the shoot in "Precious," is not only a meaty role with substance, but it was the role and a performance of a lifetime. Those kind of characters, with all that grit and grandeur don't come along everyday. She was raw and awesome and beautiful.

~ My Choice: Gabourey Sidibe, "Precious"
~ My Prediction: Meryl Streep, "Julie & Julia"


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”

GO MO' NIQUE! I know "Mary Jones" - believe it or not; she has been my nemesis, my co-worker, my fan a t my shows, even my friend. She walks among our streets, hangs out in our nightclubs, shops in our stores, cruises our highways and yes, even stumbles into our churches. So real, so deep, so brilliant. Most of all, from the outside looking in on the "Mary Jones'" from my life, I didn't really understand them as much until I saw such pureness and depth in this performance. Keep making us say, "WOW!" Brava Diva!

~ My Choice & My Prediction: Mo' Nique, "Precious"


“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 Choice & My Prediction: "Up"


“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

Not knocking it, I am just not IN to "Avatar" - just putting it out there right now. It has been shoved down my throat enough. Meh. is a bar-setter, as any Cameron film has been. I think it will do well.

~ My Choice: "The Young Victoria"
~ My Prediction: "Avatar"


“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 Choice: "Inglourious Basterds"
~ My Prediction: "The Hurt Locker"


“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 Choice & My Prediction: "The Young Victoria"


“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 Choice: Lee Daniels, "Precious"
~ My Prediction: Kathryn Bigelow, "The Hurt Locker"

Footnote: History will be made if either Bigelow (she'd be the first woman to win) or Daniels (first African-American to win) - both films are deserving. As an actor, I always look at this category to see the performances the director pulled from their actors... And while "Avatar" fits that "Movies are Made, Plays are Produced' Mode... I hope the Academy goes for the grittiness the other directors pulled from the core of their actors - or make history. Just a thought.


“Burma VJ” Anders Østergaard and Lise Lense-Møller

“The Cove” Louie Psihoyos and Fisher Stevens

“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 Choice & My Prediction: "The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers"


“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 Choice: "The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant"
~ My Prediction: "China's Unnatural Disaster: The Tears of Sichuan Province"


“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

Tough category for me. Give them all a prize! LOL.

~ My Choice: "The Hurt Locker"

~ My Prediction: "Avatar"


“Ajami” Israel

“The Milk of Sorrow (La Teta Asustada)” Peru

“A Prophet (Un Prophète)” France

“The Secret in Their Eyes (El Secreto de Sus Ojos)” Argentina

“The White Ribbon (Das Weisse Band)” Germany

~ My Choice & My Prediction: "A Prophet" France


“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 Choice & My Prediction: "Star Trek"


“Avatar” James Horner

“Fantastic Mr. Fox” Alexandre Desplat

“The Hurt Locker” Marco Beltrami and Buck Sanders

“Sherlock Holmes” Hans Zimmer

“Up” Michael Giacchino

~ My Choice & My Prediction: "Up"


“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 Choice: "Down in New Orleans" (from "The Princess and the Frog")

~ My Prediction: "The Weary Kind" (from "Crazy Heart")


“Avatar” James Cameron and Jon Landau, Producers

“The Blind Side” Gil Netter, Andrew A. Kosove and Broderick Johnson, Producers

“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, Producers

“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

I just got a feeling this won't be as big a showcase between the two exes (Cameron for "Avatar" and Bogelow" for "The Hurt Locker"). Again, like my Streep prediction, I will not be mad if I am wrong and the win goes to "The Hurt Locker" (as that was my early prediction, until the whole producer from the film being barred from the show fiasco because the dope wrote an email to Academy members pointing out his film was better than "Avatar" and company - WOW!). With that, I think it may put another film in Oscar's line of sight. "Inglourious Basterds" still surprises and amazes me, so I actually wouldn't be shocked if it wins Best Picture. Call it a shot in the dark. Hell with TEN nominations, "The Blind Side" could sneak up and win. Yowza! All I know is if "Precious" sneaks up there I will gag in ecstasy!

~ My Choice: "Precious"

~ My Prediction: "Inglourious Basterds"


“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 Choice & My Prediction: "Logorama"


“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 Choice: "The Door"

~ My Predicition: "The New Tenants"


“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 Choice: "Inglourious Basterds"

~ My Prediction: "Avatar"


“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 Choice: "The Hurt Locker"

~ My Prediction: "Avatar"


“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 Choice & My Prediction: "Avatar" (I won't cry if it don't


“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

Going on a bender again... ugh... My heart tells me that "Up in the Air" is bound to win 'something,' after all the hoopla it has mustered...why? Hell if I know... 'it's the movie of our times' one critic wrote... Sorry, that appeared to be "Slumdog Millionaire" LAST, I am just gonna throw it out into the universe for "Precious"...what a story, such characters!

My Choice & My Prediction: "Precious"


“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 Choice: "Up"

~ My Prediction: "Inglourious Basterds"

Enjoy the Show!!!!