Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Oscar Nominations: For Better or Worse

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences have spoken, and their awards have arrived. Here are the nominees (asterisks next to the ones I predicted)

Best Picture
The Blind Side
District 9*
An Eduation*
The Hurt Locker*
Inglorious Basterds*
A Serious Man*
Up in the Air*
...The Blind Side? Really? Come on. I hate this game. Though, I guess I can't complain otherwise. Not the 10 I would have nominated, but solid enough (except for The Blind Side).
Early winner prediction: The Hurt Locker

Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker*
James Cameron, Avatar*
Lee Daniels, Precious*
Jason Reitman, Up in the Air*
Quentin Tarantino, Inglorious Basterds
5/5. Not too bad. Not a bad slate either. I'm not so fond of Lee Daniels' work, but it's not terrible. At least it's not Clint Eastwood.
Early Winner Prediction: Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker

Jeff Bridges, Crazy Heart*
George Clooney, Up in the Air*
Colin Firth, A Single Man*
Morgan Freeman, Invictus*
Jeremy Renner, The Hurt Locker*
Not at all thrilled to see Morgan Freeman's soulless performance here, but I am thrilled that Jeremy Renner got in.
Early Winner Prediction: Jeff Bridges, Crazy Heart

Sandra Bullock, The Blind Side*
Helen Mirren, The Last Station
Carey Mulligan, An Education*
Gabourey Sidibe, Precious*
Meryl Streep, Julie and Julia*
With The Blind Side's best picture nomination, I (very reluctantly) have to admit that this is Mrs. Bullock's category now. Crap.
Early Winner Prediction: Sandra Bullock, The Blind Side

Supporting Actor
Matt Damon, Invictus
Woody Harrelson, The Messenger*
Christopher Plummer, The Last Station*
Stanley Tucci, The Lovely Bones*
Christoph Waltz, Inglorious Basterds*
Not my favorite category. I haven't seen The Messenger or The Last Station, but Damon and Tucci's performances did nothing for me. Luckily, none of them will win.
Early Winner Prediction: Christoph Waltz, Inglorious Basterds

Supporting Actress
Penelope Cruz, Nine
Vera Farmiga, Up in the Air*
Maggie Gyllenhaal, Crazy Heart
Anna Kendrick, Up in the Air*
Mo'Nique, Precious*
I love Gyllenhaal and Cruz, but not in these roles. Really, voters? Oh well.
Early Winner Prediction: Mo'Nique, Precious

Original Screenplay
The Hurt Locker*
Inglorious Basterds*
The Messenger
A Serious Man*
Sad to see (500) Days of Summer left out, but glad that The Messenger is getting some attention.
Early Winner Prediction: The Hurt Locker

Adapted Screenplay
District 9*
An Education*
In the Loop
Up in the Air*
Pleasantly surprised to see Crazy Heart left out here. Now, if only Hollywood Video would get a copy of In the Loop...
Early Winner Prediction: Up in the Air

Art Direction
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
Sherlock Holmes*
The Young Victoria
Where the hell is Inglorious Basterds? What are Nine and The Young Victoria doing here? This category is disappointing. There were much better-designed films out there, though I'm happy Avatar showed up, and Sherlock Holmes and Imaginarium are good enough, I suppose.
Early Winner Prediction: Avatar

Costume Design
Bright Star*
Coco Avant Chanel
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
The Young Victoria*
Again, where the hell is Inglorious Basterds? The costumes in that movie were friggin' amazing. I'm happy to see Imaginarium show up here, though annoyed by The Young Victoria's success; the costumes were competent enough, but boring. I haven't seen Bright Star or Coco Avant Chanel (yet), so I can't complain here.
Early Winner Prediction: The Young Victoria

Visual Effects
District 9*
Star Trek*
No complaints. These were the best three options.
Early Winner Prediction: Avatar

Il Divo
Star Trek*
The Young Victoria
This was weird. I haven't seen Il Divo, but I don't understand how The Young Victoria got in here. Yes, the hair was nice. But what about District 9? The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus? The Road? Oh well.
Early Winner Prediction: Star Trek

Film Editing
District 9*
The Hurt Locker*
Inglorious Basterds*
It's interesting to note that Up in the Air didn't score here. Best Picture winners almost always have editing nominations. It's safe to say that Up in the Air has almost no chance to win picture now.
Early Winner Prediction: The Hurt Locker

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
The Hurt Locker*
Inglorious Basterds*
The White Ribbon*
It's fun to see Harry Potter here; the sixth installment was easily the prettiest. Also good to see Avatar. I'm disappointed that A Single Man didn't make the cut, but Nine didn't either, so that's something.
Early Winner Prediction: Avatar

Original Score
The Fantastic Mr. Fox*
The Hurt Locker
Sherlock Holmes
Can't really complain on this category. I wish A Single Man had made it, but there's nothing wrong with any of these nominees.
Early Winner Prediction: Up

Sound Mixing
The Hurt Locker*
Inglorious Basterds*
Star Trek*
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
How Transformers got in over District 9 is a mystery to me.
Early Winner Prediction: Avatar

Sound Effects Editing
The Hurt Locker*
Inglorious Basterds
Star Trek*
If I were to honor Transformers in any category, it would have been this one. Still, can't say I'm sad to see it lose.
Early Winner Prediction: Avatar

Original Song
"Almost There"-The Princess and the Frog*
"Down in New Orleans"-The Princess and the Frog
"Loin de Paname"-Paris 36
"Take it All"-Nine
"The Weary Kind"-Crazy Heart*
I've never even heard of Paris 36, and I hated all the new songs from Nine. Where is Avatar's power ballad? Sure it was a bad song, but it was a POWER BALLAD.
Early Winner Prediction: "The Weary Kind"-Crazy Heart

Animated Film
The Fantastic Mr. Fox*
The Princess and the Frog*
The Secret of Kells
Where did The Secret of Kells come from? That was a bolt from the blue.
Early Winner Prediction: Up

Foreign Language Film
The Milk of Sorrow-Peru
A Prophet-France*
The Secrets of Her Eyes-Argentina
The White Ribbon-Germany*
Glad to see The White Ribbon made it. Also fun to see two South American films, as well as Israel's third consecutive nomination in this category. They've sure hit their cinematic stride of late.
Early Winner Prediction: The White Ribbon-Germany

Documentary Feature
Burma VJ
The Cove*
Food, Inc.*
The Most Dangerous Man in America
Which Way Home
I really can't speak on these intelligently. I still haven't seen any of them.

Well, there you have it. For those counting at home, the most nominated films are:
1. The Hurt Locker-9
2. Avatar-9
3. Inglorious Basterds-8
4. Up in the Air-6
5. Precious-6
6. Up-5
7. District 9-4
8. Nine-4
9. Star Trek-4
10. An Education-3

Thoughts? Reactions? Disappointments? Let me know.


  1. I am unhappy that Transformers was nominated for anything. I am glad Avatar was nominated for cinematography despite the fact that it was mostly CG, but you and I talked about this a lot. It definitely deserved it! As for actors, I hope Jeremy Renner and Christoph Waltz win. Waltz's performances was one of my favorite in the past few years.

  2. Transformers, right? Especially for Sound Mixing. I'd have accepted it in Sound Effects Editing (in fact, when I do my best lists fo the year, it'll probably be on there): the sound effects were fun and innovative. The overall mix, however, was dense, confusing, and altogether imperfect. I, too, am pumped for Avatar's cinematography nom. My first choice for cinematography this year is A Single Man, but Avatar's #2, so that's nice. And Christoph Waltz will almost certainly win, which is also quite wonderful, as I love that performance too. Sadly, I don't think Renner will pull it off. It's easily a better performance than Jeff Bridges', but, for whatever reason people have fallen in love with Bridges this season. I've heard some rumbling that Renner might pull an upset, but I highly doubt it. Which sucks, because it's one of my favorite performances of the year. Oh well. At least Christoph Waltz and Mo'Nique will get Oscars.