Welcome back, sofa monkeys! Today we'll look at the acting and writing categories: two places where I probably won't have the balls to call the upsets that I should. Oh well. C'est la vie.
Jeff Bridges, Crazy Heart
George Clooney, Up in the Air
Colin Firth, A Single Man
Morgan Freeman, Invictus
Jeremy Renner, The Hurt Locker
This one's just about a done deal, and it breaks my heart. Jeff Bridges has won everything in sight (seriously, he just won your computer), and there's no signs of slowing. Some brave, hopeful people have suggested that Jeremy Renner might surprise us all and take this one come Oscar night, but, as much as I'd like to see it, it's just not going to happen.
Winner: Jeff Bridges, Crazy Heart
Alternate: Jeremy Renner, The Hurt Locker
Dark Horse: George Clooney, Up in the Air
Sandra Bullock, The Blind Side
Helen Mirren, The Last Station
Carey Mulligan, An Education
Gabourey Sibide, Precious
Meryl Streep, Julie and Julia
I really, really wish I had the cojones to predict Gabourey Sidibe here. Precious showed up on nomination morning with more support than anticipated (editing nomination? Really?), which could work in Sidibe's favor. People will be remembering Mo'Nique come ballot time, and perhaps they'll remember Gabby as well. Sandra Bullock and Meryl Streep are neck-and-neck here. Either one could take it, and, as a result of their close competition, someone else could slip through. Actually, you know what? I'm gonna go with Sidibe here. Screw it.
Winner: Gabourey Sidibe, Precious
Alternate: Sandra Bullock, The Blind Side
Dark Horse: Meryl Streep, Julie and Julia
Best Supporting Actor
Matt Damon, Invictus
Woody Harrelson, The Messenger
Christopher Plummer, The Last Station
Stanley Tucci, The Lovely Bones
Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds
A few sad, lonely bloggers are trying to convince me that Christopher Plummer will ride the whole "Dear Lord, he's 80, let's give him an Oscar before he hits the ground" thing to a win, but they just want someone to talk to. This is Waltz's. Plain and simple.
Winner: Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds
Alternate: Christopher Plummer, The Last Station
Dark Horse: Woody Harrelson, The Messenger
Best Supporting Actress
Penelope Cruz, Nine
Maggie Gyllenhaal, Crazy Heart
Vera Farmiga, Up in the Air
Anna Kendrick, Up in the Air
I'm not even going to dignify this with discussion.
Winner: Mo'Nique, Precious
Alternate: Maggie Gyllenhaal, Crazy Heart
Dark Horse: Vera Farmiga, Up in the Air
Best Original Screenplay
The Hurt Locker
A Serious Man
Here's another maddeningly tight race. The Hurt Locker and Inglourious Basterds stand about equal chances of winning. The Hurt Locker is the Best Picture frontrunner, but people really love Tarantino when he writes. I'd say that a third film might sneak in and grab the prize while the other two are fighting, but I honestly can't imagine any of the other nominees getting enough votes to do that.
Winner: The Hurt Locker
Alternate: Inglourious Basterds
Dark Horse: Up
Best Adapted Screenplay
In the Loop
Up in the Air
This screenplay race, on the other hand, is just jaw-droppingly obvious. Up in the Air used to be the film to beat for Best Picture. Now it's getting a consolation prize.
Winner: Up in the Air
Dark Horse: District 9
There we have it. Tomorrow I'll wrap this up. Sunday I'll post my 'final' predictions. I'll wrap up the Oscars later, and then we can get back to content that people might want to read. Super!