Well,it's that time of the year again. Which is exciting because, in addition to March Madness and MLB Opening Day, the upcoming Academy Awards signals the upcoming melting of the snow and (drum roll), Daylight Savings Time, which this year falls on March 14, 2010. Less than 2 weeks!
Every year, since I've started this blog, I thought I'd toss out my winning picks. And, every year, since I've started this blog, I've done terrible. So, when you're filling out your ballots, take my choices with a grain of salt. Or could this be the year, I sweep them all?
Check out the list below to see if you agree:
Actor in a Leading Role
Jeremy Renner in “The Hurt Locker”
You know what, I was going to pick Jeff Bridges in ‘Crazy Heart’, but then I got to thinking. I’m going with Jeremy Renner. I thought he was phenomenal in The Hurt Locker. I haven’t seen ‘Crazy Heart’, but 'Fuck It' I’m going with Renner.
Actor in a Supporting Role
Christoph Waltz in “Inglourious Basterds”
Seems to me that Damon was nominated for the wrong film (should have been nominated for Best Actor for his role in The Informant). I’m excited that Woody was nominated as well. I haven’t seen The Messenger, but I loved him in Zombieland. However, I was mezmerized by Christoph Waltz in Basterds. Next
Actress in a Leading Role
Carey Mulligan in “An Education”
This is a tough one for me. Something’s telling me to pick Sandra Bullock, even though her role seems so milquetoast. However, this could be an ‘achievement’ type thing and the Academy may hand it to her just because she’s Sandra Bullock. However, I love underdogs and I’m going with Carey Mulligan in ‘An Education’. Again, I haven’t seen the flick, but I’m going with my gut on this one.
Actress in a Supporting Role
Mo’Nique in “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire”
I’ve been following Mo-Nique since Showtime at the Apollo. No, seriously. Me and my buddy Pete would watch it and laugh and laugh and laugh, at all the white dudes trying to sing, dance or tell jokes. The crowd was brutal. In any event, I’m going with the angry, abusive momma, over all the other roles. Seems like a juicy pick to me.
Animated Feature Film
“Up” Pete Docter
I loved Coraline. I thought Henry Selick nailed Neil Gaiman's creepy world. And it proved that he didn’t need Tim Burton to pull off his kick-ass animation. However, I’m going with UP on this one. It was just too good. I can watch this movie over, and over, and over again and never get bored. I love the bird Kevin. What a great character. It’s movies like this that make me very jealous.
“Avatar” Art Direction: Rick Carter and Robert Stromberg; Set Decoration: Kim Sinclair
Avatar should win this one. But, if the Academy wants to give more posthumous honors to the late, great Heath Ledger, then so be it. But you would have to be very, very naive not to pick Avatar here. The film was pretty remarkable. And the Art Direction is half the film.
“The Hurt Locker” Barry Ackroyd
Animation isn’t cinematography. So I’m going with ‘The Hurt Locker’. I loved the grainy film style. It made the movie for me. However, watch out for The White Ribbon as a sleeper.
“The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus” Monique Prudhomme
Okay, I’m going with Monique Prudhomme here for The Imaginarium. It’s much too classy of a costume flick to pass this up. Plus, I think all the Academy fans who are Broadway fans, will like this tip of the hat to a traveling acting show. Next on my list would be Nora Ephron’s ‘Bright Star’ as the sleeper.
“The Hurt Locker” Kathryn Bigelow
Wouldn’t it be great if Quentin won? However, that’s not going to be the case. It’s going to be Bigelow. Hands down. And she deserves it. And actor directs people. Humans. James Cameron directed a half-animated feature.
“The Cove” Louie Psihoyos and Fisher Stevens
100% - Stone Cold Lock - The Cove. Done. Although Food Inc. Is my next favorite. But what happened to The September Issue and More Than A Game for Best Documentary Oscars? Odd indeed.
Documentary (Short Subject)
“The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant” Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert
I saw The Last Truck on HBO last year and was moved. Also, I haven't seen any of the other films. An added bonus for me, it takes place in Ohio and is directed by Ohioans from Wright State (which houses one of only two film programs in the state of Ohio).
“Avatar” Stephen Rivkin, John Refoua and James Cameron
Let me just say that ever since I’ve been involved in these Academy picks, I’ve never lost editing. So, after some soul-searching, I’m going with Avatar, with The Hurt Locker a close second. They say, the best edited movies are the ones that you don’t really notice. That’s why I’m picking Avatar. The editing was flawless. However, let’s contemplate District 9 pulling an upset. That would be cool.
Foreign Language Film
“The White Ribbon (Das Weisse Band)” Germany
It’s going to be The White Ribbon. Michael Haneke will get an Academy Award. After reading his bio in The New Yorker, I tossed all of his movies into my Netflix queue. I’m also curious what he’s going to say.
“Star Trek” Barney Burman, Mindy Hall and Joel Harlow
Only three for best make-up? Odd. However, I’m going with my sci-fi gut and picking Star Trek.
Music (Original Score)
“Up” Michael Giacchino
I’m going with Up. I loved the original score in this animated film. When I hear Giacchino’s score, I think of the movie. Doesn’t that mean the music works?
Music (Original Song)
“The Weary Kind (Theme from Crazy Heart)” from “Crazy Heart” Music and Lyric by Ryan Bingham and T Bone Burnett
Both nominated Princess and The Frog songs will knock them both out of contention. Screw Paris 36 and Nine. I’m going with “The Weary Kind’ from Bingham and T Bone.
“The Hurt Locker” Kathryn Bigelow, Mark Boal, Nicolas Chartier and Greg Shapiro, Producers
I loved Avatar, and Basterds but for some reason I enjoyed The Hurt Locker even more. The cool thing is that all of these 10 movies deserve Best Picture, save The Blind Side. But I’m going with Locker.
Short Film (Animated)
“A Matter of Loaf and Death” Nick Park
Has Nick Park ever lost an Oscar? I don’t think so. I’m going with this Wallace and Gromit romp.
Short Film (Live Action)
“The Door” Juanita Wilson and James Flynn
I’m not sure on this one. So, I’m going with ‘The Door’ , with ‘Instead of Abracadabra’ next. No clue.
“Avatar” Christopher Boyes and Gwendolyn Yates Whittle
Got to give it to Avatar.
“Avatar” Christopher Boyes, Gary Summers, Andy Nelson and Tony Johnson
Again, Avatar. The machine gun cracks and the dragon howls are still rattling my brain.
“Avatar” Joe Letteri, Stephen Rosenbaum, Richard Baneham and Andrew R. Jones
C’mon. Really? Although I really, really enjoyed District 9’s special effects, this category is another lock.
Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
“Up in the Air” Screenplay by Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner
Reitman is an extremly likable guy and a great director who, in my opinion, hasn’t made a bad film yet (Thanking Your For Smoking, Juno, Up In The Air).
Writing (Original Screenplay)
“Inglourious Basterds” Written by Quentin Tarantino
I love Quentin’s writing. And, it was that writing that immediately pulled me into the film. From the beginning scene at Pierre LaPadite’s humble cottage, to the barroom Basterds scene to Shosanna Dreyfus second meeting with Col. Hans Landa all the way through to the end, the writing was top notch. It’s pure Quentin, with a touch of Kubrick. It’s dialogue genius.
Well, there you have it. Let’s see if I’m right. And, you’re wrong.
I’ll provide a re-cap next Monday (or Tuesday). Couple other things, what in the world happened to Where The Wild Things Are and The Road, which was a potential shoe-in for a Best Picture nod last year, at least by Mac and myself? I thought both of those flicks would be up for some awards. Weird.
In any event, good luck with your Oscar picks. Should be a fun time Sunday night.