Oscar Predictions: A Second Take

CyniCritcs reviewer Matt Erspamer posted his Oscar predictions and hopefuls a while ago here. For a second opinion on the main categories and a look at some of the technical awards, Luke Miller posts his picks and favorites here.

Best Picture


The Blind Side

District 9

An Education

The Hurt Locker

Inglourious Basterds


A Serious Man


Up In the Air

Will Win: The Hurt Locker. Avatar may have audiences at home swooned away with its big glitzy effects, but with the new preferential voting system in place, The Hurt Locker has a lot less haters than Avatar which makes me believe it will be found on more number two and three place ballots of those who get cut in the early rounds. Avatar winning at this point would be one big upset after losing at the PGA, WGA, DGA and BAFTA which are all huge precursors to the Oscars.

Should Win: Up In the Air. I can’t really summarize how great this film is without ranting into a whole essay. You can read about it here in my review however.

Left Out: The following films that are better than The Blind Side: Star Trek, Away We Go, Moon, (500) Days of Summer, Public Enemies, State of Play, The Road, or Where the Wild Things Are. Personally, I would have chosen a comedy to put in this bunch and Away We Go had the best blend of funny and heart to rank it up with Juno or Little Miss Sunshine.

Best Actor

Jeremy Rehner, The Hurt Locker

George Clooney, Up in the Air

Jeff Bridges, Crazy Heart

Colin Firth, A Single Man

Morgan Freeman, Invictus

Will Win: Jeff Bridges. The Dude’s got it in the bag. Hollywood has pretty much agreed it is his time and he’s picked up all the essential guild awards to be the front runner.

Should Win: Jeff Bridges. I can’t really disagree with them either. Bridges is a phenomenal actor who really sticks out in a year of pretty forgettable acting roles. I’d like to root for Clooney if his performance didn’t seem so damn easy for him.

Left Out: Sharlto Copley from District 9. The former producer was ready to leave the picture business until director friend Blomkamp cast him play this as his first acting gig. Thank god he did, its Copley’s tightly wound and focused Wikus that creates emotional investment in an amazing film.

Best Actress

Sandra Bullock, The Blind Side

Helen Mirren, The Last Station

Carey Mulligan, An Education

Gabourey Sidibe, Precious

Meryl Streep, Julie & Julia

Will Win: Carey Mulligan. I’m thinking Oscars 2007 when the frontrunners were stinking. Julie Christie and Ellen Page were getting the buzz like Streep and Bullock, but newcomer Cotillard walked away with the award by surprise. Maybe this is just me not being able to come to terms with Sandra taking it home. Barf.

Should Win: Carey Mulligan. Okay, so maybe me saying she will win is being more hopeful due to the fact that I thought her performance was the best of the year. In her first lead she carried the weight of the film and made into something that was really worth watching, without her, I don’t think it would be up for Best Picture.

Left Out: Zoe Saldana in Avatar or Maya Rudolph in Away We Go. I’m still not understanding the hate for motion capture performances. Saldana gave the Na’vi  a graceful, effortless and natural look with raw emotion that, after seeing Avatar, even left  me feeling a little blue.

Best Supporting Actor

Matt Damon, Invictus

Woody Harrelson, The Messenger

Christopher Plummer, The Last Station

Stanley Tucci, The Lovely Bones

Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds

Will Win: Waltz. He’s won just about all the major awards and pretty much has no competition at this point. Plus, the Academy could see this as its way of rewarding Basterds without giving it anything else like it did with The Dark Knight last year.

Should Win: Waltz. I liked a quote from Entertainment Weekly regarding Waltz’s performance, “When you were watching him act, it was like a well written symphony.” Couldn’t put it any better than that.

Best Supporting Actress

Penélope Cruz, Nine

Vera Farmiga, Up in the Air

Maggie Gyllenhaal, Crazy Heart

Anna Kendrick, Up in the Air

Mo’Nique, Precious

Will Win: Mo’Nique. Like Waltz she’s snatched up just about every award there has been to take home.

Should Win: Farmiga. Like I said with the Best Actor category, the pickings this year in the acting branches are really unimpressive. But Farmiga in Up in the Air is like a fresh drink, cool with a good blend of effortless sensuality and intrigue who can but heads with Clooney.

Best Director

Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker

James Cameron, Avatar

Lee Daniels, Precious

Jason Reitman, Up in the Air

Quentin Tarantino, Inglourious Basterds

Will Win: Bigelow. She’s clearly on fire, nabbing most the precursor awards including the essential DGA which 55 out of the past 51 oscar winning directors have also won. The Academy is also ready to jump at the chance for a female to earn the award for the first time in history.

Should Win: Tarantino. Although The Hurt Locker is a tidy little film with expert direction, Tarantino is the only one in here that really has crafted something stylistically important. Cameron’s film was a big task, but also a big mess (mostly do to his own writing and casting). Tarantino is a mater director that deserves to be recognized already.

Left Out: Neil Blomkamp. If he were in this race, he’d be my pick for Best Director. District 9 is the most innovative, smart and ballsy movie of the year which is all accredited to his careful work with acting, technical direction and story.

Best Original Screenplay

Will Win: The Hurt Locker

Should Win: A Serious Man

Best Adapted Screenplay

Will Win: Up in the Air

Should Win: Up in the Air

Best Costume Design

Will Win: The Young Victoria

Should Win: Nine

Best Film Editing

Will Win: The Hurt Locker

Should Win: District 9

Best Cinematography

Will Win: Avatar

Should Win: The Hurt Locker

Best Art Direction

Will Win: Avatar

Should Win: Avatar

Best Make-Up

Will Win: Star Trek

Should Win: Star Trek

Best Sound Editing

Will Win: Avatar

Should Win: Star Trek

Best Sound Mixing

Will Win: The Hurt Locker

Should Win: The Hurt Locker

Best Original Score

Will Win: Up

Should Win: Up

Best Original Song

Will Win: Crazy Heart

Should Win: Crazy Heart

Best Animated Picture

Will Win: Up

Should Win: Up

Best Visual Effects

Will Win: Avatar

Should Win: Avatar

Best Foreign Picture

Will Win: The White Ribbon

Should Win: The White Ribbon

Best Documentary

Will Win: The Cove

Should Win: Food, Inc.


2 thoughts on “Oscar Predictions: A Second Take

  1. Pingback: Complete Oscar Coverage « CyniCritics

  2. So pleased to see that your team “Up in the Air” as well! I really hope your right that Carey Mulligan will walk away with the best actress Oscar as she really is just incredible in “An Education”.

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