Sunday March 7th is quickly arriving and with the hype of the hosts, Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin, to the widening if the ‘Best Picture’ category…  well, my guess is as good as yours really!  How do you think it will go?

Actor in a Leading Role

  • Jeff Bridges in “Crazy Heart”
  • George Clooney in “Up in the Air”
  • Colin Firth in “A Single Man”
  • Morgan Freeman in “Invictus”
  • Jeremy Renner in “The Hurt Locker”

This is a hard one…  Jeremy Renner I think should totally take it however I think it’s Jeff’s year.  George’s performance was pretty strong however I felt the whole time he was playing…  himself.

Actor in a Supporting Role

  • Matt Damon in “Invictus”
  • Woody Harrelson in “The Messenger”
  • Christopher Plummer in “The Last Station”
  • Stanley Tucci in “The Lovely Bones”
  • Christoph Waltz in “Inglourious Basterds”

Christoph Waltz – the guy came out of oblivion having done European television…  and he was brilliant as the ‘Jew Hunter’! I was so hoping Stanley would take it as he is a favorite of mine and a brilliant actor but yeah, Christoph has this one covered.

Actress in a Leading Role

  • Sandra Bullock in “The Blind Side”
  • Helen Mirren in “The Last Station”
  • Carey Mulligan in “An Education”
  • Gabourey Sidibe in “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire”
  • Meryl Streep in “Julie & Julia”

I think it’s Sandra’s year.  She’s had two very highly grossing films and let’s face it, she’s funny and she brings in the doe!  I think she also set a precedent by being in both a highly grossing film and a complete box office flop (All About Steve… eek!).  Gabourey Sidibe though could be the surprise of the night…

Actress in a Supporting Role

  • Penélope Cruz in “Nine”
  • Vera Farmiga in “Up in the Air”
  • Maggie Gyllenhaal in “Crazy Heart”
  • Anna Kendrick in “Up in the Air”
  • Mo’Nique in “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire”

Two words – Mo’Nique!  I still haven’t had a chance to see this film as I know I will cry like a baby (might go this weekend) however she is the favorite this year so this one is in the bag!  The rest of the ladies did a fine job however none were as powerful as I’m suspecting Mo’s is…

Animated Feature Film

  • Coraline” Henry Selick
  • Fantastic Mr. Fox” Wes Anderson
  • The Princess and the Frog” John Musker and Ron Clements
  • The Secret of Kells” Tomm Moore
  • Up” Pete Docter

I haven’t seen any of them – not a huge animation person – I did rent ‘Up’ and then I got busy and had to return it…  I think ‘Up’ is the favorite though so if I were to take a guess…

Art Direction

  • Avatar” Art Direction: Rick Carter and Robert Stromberg; Set Decoration: Kim Sinclair
  • The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus” Art Direction: Dave Warren and Anastasia Masaro; Set Decoration: Caroline Smith
  • Nine” Art Direction: John Myhre; Set Decoration: Gordon Sim
  • Sherlock Holmes” Art Direction: Sarah Greenwood; Set Decoration: Katie Spencer
  • The Young Victoria” Art Direction: Patrice Vermette; Set Decoration: Maggie Gray

Ummmm…  Avatar!  I have a feeling it will take most of the tech, design, make up type awards.  

Cinematography

  • Avatar” Mauro Fiore
  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” Bruno Delbonnel
  • The Hurt Locker” Barry Ackroyd
  • Inglourious Basterds” Robert Richardson
  • The White Ribbon” Christian Berger

This is a difficult one actually – The ‘Hurt Locker’ had some great shots and angles and well ‘Avatar’ developed an entirely new system sooooo…  Hurt Locker?  ;)

Costume Design

  • Bright Star” Janet Patterson
  • Coco before Chanel” Catherine Leterrier
  • The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus” Monique Prudhomme
  • Nine” Colleen Atwood
  • The Young Victoria” Sandy Powell

These were all great designs!  It will be sooo hard for the Academy to choose…  however I’m going to go with ‘Imaginarium’. 

Directing

  • Avatar” James Cameron
  • The Hurt Locker” Kathryn Bigelow
  • Inglourious Basterds” Quentin Tarantino
  • Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” Lee Daniels
  • Up in the Air” Jason Reitman

It’s a tossup between ‘Avatar’ and ‘Hurt Locker’.  My bet is on ‘Hurt Locker’ because it was brilliant (acting, directing, shots, no CGI involved!).  Unless the Academy wants to mess with us and give it to Quentin for directing so many great films and never having won for director.

Documentary (Feature)

  • Burma VJ” Anders Østergaard and Lise Lense-Møller
  • The Cove” Louie Psihoyos and Fisher Stevens
  • Food, Inc.” Robert Kenner and Elise Pearlstein
  • The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers” Judith Ehrlich and Rick Goldsmith
  • Which Way Home” Rebecca Cammisa

I’m sorry to say I haven’t seen or heard anything on really any of them except for ‘The Cove’, so will go with this one as I’ve heard it is brilliant!

Documentary (Short Subject)

  • China’s Unnatural Disaster: The Tears of Sichuan Province” Jon Alpert and Matthew O’Neill
  • The Last Campaign of Governor Booth Gardner” Daniel Junge and Henry Ansbacher
  • The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant” Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert
  • Music by Prudence” Roger Ross Williams and Elinor Burkett
  • Rabbit à la Berlin” Bartek Konopka and Anna Wydra

Again… notta!  ‘Rabbit a la Berlin’?

Film Editing

  • Avatar” Stephen Rivkin, John Refoua and James Cameron
  • District 9” Julian Clarke
  • The Hurt Locker” Bob Murawski and Chris Innis
  • Inglourious Basterds” Sally Menke
  • Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” Joe Klotz

It will either be ‘Avatar’ or ‘Hurt Locker’.  ‘Avatar’ was probably more of a challenge to edit so that is my choice   

Foreign Language Film

  • Ajami” Israel
  • The Milk of Sorrow (La Teta Asustada)” Peru
  • A Prophet (Un Prophète)” France
  • The Secret in Their Eyes (El Secreto de Sus Ojos)” Argentina
  • The White Ribbon (Das Weisse Band)” Germany

Critics are loving ‘The White Ribbon’ plus it won at the Golden Globes.

Makeup

  • Il Divo” Aldo Signoretti and Vittorio Sodano
  • Star Trek” Barney Burman, Mindy Hall and Joel Harlow
  • The Young Victoria” Jon Henry Gordon and Jenny Shircore

STAR TREK!!  It has to take this one cause it will not win Visual Effects category

Music (Original Song)

  • Almost There” from “The Princess and the Frog” Music and Lyric by Randy Newman
  • Down in New Orleans” from “The Princess and the Frog” Music and Lyric by Randy Newman
  • Loin de Paname” from “Paris 36” Music by Reinhardt Wagner Lyric by Frank Thomas
  • Take It All” from “Nine” Music and Lyric by Maury Yeston
  • The Weary Kind (Theme from Crazy Heart)” from “Crazy Heart” Music and Lyric by Ryan Bingham and T Bone Burnett

Well – I see Randy Newman in the running and he usually takes however it will be ‘The Weary Kind’ from Crazy Heart this year (I still haven’t seen this movie because it’s not showing in my city – hopefully it will before the Academies).

Best Picture

  • Avatar” James Cameron and Jon Landau, Producers
  • The Blind Side” Gil Netter, Andrew A. Kosove and Broderick Johnson, Producers
  • District 9” Peter Jackson and Carolynne Cunningham, Producers
  • An Education” Finola Dwyer and Amanda Posey, Producers
  • The Hurt Locker” Kathryn Bigelow, Mark Boal, Nicolas Chartier and Greg Shapiro, Producers
  • Inglourious Basterds” Lawrence Bender, Producer
  • Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” Lee Daniels, Sarah Siegel-Magness and Gary Magness, Producers
  • A Serious Man” Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, Producers
  • Up” Jonas Rivera, Producer
  • Up in the Air” Daniel Dubiecki, Ivan Reitman and Jason Reitman, Producers

These were all so good really, and so different.  I can tell you what it won’t be – ‘The Blind Side’ as I think it just kinda squeaked into this category and would never have been nominated if not for the expansion.  Knowing the academy is not big on sifi, it won’t be ‘District 9’ (even though it was great).  ‘Avatar’ is officially the highest grossing film of all time, however I’ve never been big on James Cameron’s ego – so I hope it’s not him…  And really, I can’t say enough about how awesome ‘Hurt Locker’ was!  I’ve also always loved Kathryn Bigalow’s work (Near Dark was awesome!  I loved ‘Strange Days’ and ‘Point Break’ – heck, I even liked ‘Blue Steel’!), so I really hope it’s her as she is very deserving of it. 

Short Film (Animated)

  • French Roast” Fabrice O. Joubert
  • Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty” Nicky Phelan and Darragh O’Connell
  • The Lady and the Reaper (La Dama y la Muerte)” Javier Recio Gracia
  • Logorama” Nicolas Schmerkin
  • A Matter of Loaf and Death” Nick Park

Nick Park for ‘A Matter of Loaf and Death’ – I loved ‘Wallace & Gromit!’

Short Film (Live Action)

  • The Door” Juanita Wilson and James Flynn
  • Instead of Abracadabra” Patrik Eklund and Mathias Fjellström
  • Kavi” Gregg Helvey
  • Miracle Fish” Luke Doolan and Drew Bailey
  • The New Tenants” Joachim Back and Tivi Magnusson

I got nothing here…  hummmm, ‘The Door’?

Sound Editing

  • Avatar” Christopher Boyes and Gwendolyn Yates Whittle
  • The Hurt Locker” Paul N.J. Ottosson
  • Inglourious Basterds” Wylie Stateman
  • Star Trek” Mark Stoeckinger and Alan Rankin
  • Up” Michael Silvers and Tom Myers

This one is ‘Avatar’s’….

Sound Mixing

  • Avatar” Christopher Boyes, Gary Summers, Andy Nelson and Tony Johnson
  • The Hurt Locker” Paul N.J. Ottosson and Ray Beckett
  • Inglourious Basterds” Michael Minkler, Tony Lamberti and Mark Ulano
  • Star Trek” Anna Behlmer, Andy Nelson and Peter J. Devlin
  • Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers and Geoffrey Patterson

‘Avatar’  Visual Effects

  • Avatar” Joe Letteri, Stephen Rosenbaum, Richard Baneham and Andrew R. Jones
  • District 9” Dan Kaufman, Peter Muyzers, Robert Habros and Matt Aitken
  • Star Trek” Roger Guyett, Russell Earl, Paul Kavanagh and Burt Dalton

‘Avatar’ ;) 

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

  • District 9” Written by Neill Blomkamp and Terri Tatchell
  • An Education” Screenplay by Nick Hornby
  • In the Loop” Screenplay by Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Armando Iannucci, Tony Roche
  • Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” Screenplay by Geoffrey Fletcher
  • Up in the Air” Screenplay by Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner

This one will go to ‘Up In The Air’ and rightfully so as they did a great job adapting it from when it was originally written and changing it to the current times.  Jason Reitman also went through quite a few changes while in the process of adapting this novel…  he got married and had a kid, which definitely changes your perspective on many things.

Writing (Original Screenplay)

  • The Hurt Locker” Written by Mark Boal
  • Inglourious Basterds” Written by Quentin Tarantino
  • The Messenger” Written by Alessandro Camon & Oren Moverman
  • A Serious Man” Written by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
  • Up” Screenplay by Bob Peterson, Pete Docter, Story by Pete Docter, Bob Peterson, Tom McCarthy

Hummmm – ‘Inglorious’ took this one during the Golden Globes, however am fairly certain the ‘Hurt Locker’ will take this one as well.

Do you agree or disagree?  Please let me know your thoughts and if you think I’m correct or not.  Any suggestion may help us all effectively decide while filling out the office pool or movie theatre contest!