Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Annual Arbitrary Oscar Predictions

Disclaimers: Ok, I suspect my subscribers know this already, but I hardly ever base my Oscar picks on any kind of knowledge or insight I've gained from my years studying film or my brief sojourn in Hollywood. Usually, I choose based on whether or not I can make a joke about why I chose it. And, since I only saw four new movies in 2009, this year's picks might be the most arbitrary yet!

The Noms Everyone Cares About

Best Picture
The Blind Side
District 9
An Education
The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
Precious: Based on the Novel "Push" by Sapphire
A Serious Man
Up in the Air
Why? I'm in an anti-Avatar mood, and how good can a movie really be if they have to tell you in the title what the source text is? Normally, I'd go with Tarantino, but that spelling just makes me cringe. Also, this new ten nominee thing is just stupid.

Best Actor
Jeff Bridges, Crazy Heart
George Clooney, Up in the Air
Colin Firth, A Single Man
Morgan Freeman, Invictus
Jeremy Renner, The Hurt Locker
Why? Because he's the Dude, that's why.

Best Actress
Sandra Bullock, The Blind Side
Helen Mirren, The Last Station
Carey Mulligan, An Education
Gabourey Sidibe, Precious: Based on the Novel "Push" by Sapphire
Meryl Streep, Julie and Julia
Why? Sally Sparrow, FTW.

Best Supporting Actor
Matt Damon, Invictus
Woody Harrelson, The Messenger
Christopher Plummer, The Last Station
Stanely Tucci, The Lovely Bones
Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds
Why? Um... Gotta support my sort-of ex-boss??

Best Supporting Actress
Penelope Cruz, Nine
Vera Farmiga, Up in the Air
Maggie Gyllenhaal, Crazy Heart
Anna Kendrick, Up in the Air
Mo'Nique, Precious: Based on the Novel "Push" by Sapphire
Why? Eanie, meanin, minie, Mo'nique. Normally, I'd pick Penelope Cruz, but I'm not sure how to feel about a musical remake of 8 1/2.

Best Director
James Cameron, Avatar
Katheryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker
Quentin Tarantino, Inglourious Basterds
Lee Daniels, Precious: Based on the Novel "Push" by Sapphire
Jason Reitman, Up in the Air
Why? In case you've somehow managed to miss every single news report about the Oscar noms that have mentioned this (and they all have), Katheryn Bigelow is James Cameron's ex-wife. In the battle of the sexes, I back the girl. Plus, she didn't marry that drip from The Terminator who can't act.

The Noms I, At Least, Care About

Best Foreign Language Film
Ajami, Israel
El Secreto de Sus Ojos, Argentina
The Milk of Sorrow, Peru
Un Prophete [there's a missing accent mark on that first "e"], France
The White Ribbon, Germany*
Why? It's a Michael Haneke film. I'm slightly worried that if I don't pick it, mysterious video tapes will start appearing on my doorstep....

Best Animated Feature
Fantastic Mr. Fox
The Princess and the Frog
The Secret of the Kells
Why? All the animation experts I know (all two of them) think highly of this one.

Best Documentary Feature
Burma VJ
The Cove
Food, Inc.
The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers
Which Way Home
Why? Mmm... topical... *drools Homer Simpson-esquely*

Adapted Screenplay
Neill Blomkamp and Terri Tatchell, District 9
Nick Hornby, An Education
Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Armando Iannucci, Tony Roche, In the Loop
Geoffrey Fletcher, Precious: Based on the Novel "Push" by Sapphire
Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner, Up in the Air
Why? A movie about aliens that's supposed to be a political allegory... Sounds good to me. Someone remind me why I didn't see this? Oh, that's right, because grad school EATS ALL OF YOUR TIME.

Original Screenplay
Mark Boal, The Hurt Locker
Quentin Tarantino, Inglourious Basterds
Alessandro Camon and Oren Moverman, The Messenger
Joel and Ethan Cohen, A Serious Man
A Bunch of People, Up
Why? Anyone notice what box-office record breaking movie isn't nominated? There's a reason for that...

Original Song
"Almost There," Randy Newman (The Princess and the Frog)
"Down in New Orleans," Randy Newman (The Princess and the Frog)
"Loin de Paname," music by Reinhardt Wagner, lyrics by Frank Thomas (Paris 36)
"Take It All," Maury Yeston (Nine)
"The Weary Kind (Theme from Crazy Heart)," Ryan Bingham and T Bone Burnett (Crazy Heart)
Why? Disney's days of taking dominating the best song category are long gone. Also, I saw T Bone live and he ROCKS.

Well, Somebody Must Care....

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
The White Ribbon
Why?? Finally, one I've seen!!!

Art Direction
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
Sherlock Holmes
The Young Victoria
Why? I've seen this one, too!!! Oh, and it was awesomely steampunk.

Visual Effects
District 9
Star Trek
Why? If you have to ask why, just stay under that rock you've been living beneath.

Original Score
Fantastic Mr. Fox
The Hurt Locker
Sherlock Holmes
Why? Does Robert Downey, Jr., being really awesome in it count as reason enough for this category?

Film Editing
District 9
The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
Precious: Based on the Novel "Push" by Sapphire
Why? *Shrugs*

Sound Editing
The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
Star Trek
Why? Here's the better question: Why wasn't this nominated for Best Picture? This was definitely the best movie I've seen this year. (Remember I've only seen four....)

Sound Mixing
The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
Star Trek
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
Why? Sound Mixing and Sound Editing. Can you really have one without the other? Fun fact: despite having taken a class on film sound last year, I still don't understand what the difference between these two awards is.

Costume Design
Bright Star
Coco Before Channel
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
The Young Victoria
Why? It's a movie about fashion. Maybe, just maybe, it's got a chance at winning.

Il Divo
Star Trek
The Young Victoria
Why? One word: Romulans.

What, There's More???

Live Action Short
The Door
Instead of Abracadabra
Miracle Fish
The New Tenants
Why? Say the magic word!

Documentary Short
China's Unnatural Disaster: The Tears of Sichuan Province
The Last Campaign of Booth Gardner
The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant
Music by Prudence
Rabbit a la Berlin
Why? Always pick the one with the most topical-sounding title.

Animated Short
French Roast
Granny O'Grimm's Sleeping Beauty
The Lady and the Reaper (La Dame y la Muerte)
A Matter of Loaf and Death
Why? The title made me laugh.

*I started to type "Michael Haneke" as the country. Ironically, it would probably have made more sense had I left it that way.

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