A little dishing on sports

Oscar Predictions

I know this is a sports blog, but I have been doing Oscar predictions for the last 15 years, and, well, I’m going to do them anyway, so I might as well share them with you.  The Oscars are the only awards I care about.  I have always been a film fan, and ever since I sneaked out into the living room to watch Gandhi deliver a butt kicking to E.T. back in March of 1983 – non-violence my patooty! – I’ve been hooked.

Bear in mind that my predictions are not based on my personal opinion of the quality of the nominee, but simply my expectation on what the Academy is going to do.  Are you still with me?  Hang in there.  Here we go.  My Oscar predictions (thanks to for a nominee list I could actually cut and paste And thanks for nothing Oscars website!

Anyway, my predictions:

Best motion picture of the year
*“Avatar” (20th Century Fox) A Lightstorm Entertainment Production James Cameron and Jon Landau, Producers
*“The Blind Side” (Warner Bros.) An Alcon Entertainment Production Nominees to be determined
*“District 9″ (Sony Pictures Releasing) A Block/Hanson Production Peter Jackson and Carolynne Cunningham, Producers
*“An Education” (Sony Pictures Classics) A Finola Dwyer/Wildgaze Films Production Finola Dwyer and Amanda Posey, Producers
*“The Hurt Locker” (Summit Entertainment) A Voltage Pictures Production Nominees to be determined
*“Inglourious Basterds” (The Weinstein Company) A Weinstein Company/Universal Pictures/A Band Apart/Zehnte Babelsberg Production Lawrence Bender, Producer
*“Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” (Lionsgate) A Lee Daniels Entertainment/Smokewood Entertainment Production Lee Daniels, Sarah Siegel-Magness and Gary Magness, Producers
*“A Serious Man” (Focus Features) A Working Title Films Production Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, Producers
*“Up” (Walt Disney)A Pixar Production Jonas Rivera, Producer
*“Up in the Air” (Paramount in association with Cold Spring Pictures and DW Studios) A Montecito Picture Company Production Daniel Dubiecki, Ivan Reitman and Jason Reitman, Producers

Most pundits see this as a battle between Avatar and The Hurt Locker, with Locker pulling it out largely due to this weird multi-layered scoring system Oscar is using this year.  I think Dick Fuld, former CEO of the former Lehman Brothers, must have way too much time on his hands, but the system apparently favors a film like The Hurt Locker which will tend to be less polarizing than Avatar.  You can read details here

Here’s the thing: The Hurt Locker had a total gross of $21 — $36 if you include an elderly couple in Boca Raton who paid for tickets for The Hurt Locker, but sneaked into Avatar.  Hollywood is all for rewarding the occasional well made, prestige flick, but Avatar made enough money to pay back Citigroup’s debt to taxpayers.  It’s going to win.  Let’s forget the “art” and the “acting” and all the other garbage that has nothing to do with whether people go to see movies because they’re the same idiots who give Jay Leno a 6.6 rating on his triumphant return to late night.  Avatar made a lot of people in Hollywood a lot of money and when push comes to shove it will win the Oscar.

Best actor in a leading role Oscars
* Jeff Bridges in “Crazy Heart” (Fox Searchlight)
* George Clooney in “Up in the Air” (Paramount in association with Cold Spring Pictures and DW Studios)
* Colin Firth in “A Single Man” (The Weinstein Company)
* Morgan Freeman in “Invictus” (Warner Bros.)
* Jeremy Renner in “The Hurt Locker” (Summit Entertainment)

Jeff Bridges.  Nothing to see here.  Oh wait, there’s Morgan Freeman with his granddaughter.  Wait, he’s, aw, man, c’mon Morgan!

Sorry, Morgan, I couldn’t resist.

Best actress in a leading role
* Sandra Bullock in “The Blind Side” (Warner Bros.)
* Helen Mirren in “The Last Station” (Sony Pictures Classics)
* Carey Mulligan in “An Education” (Sony Pictures Classics)
* Gabourey Sidibe in “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” (Lionsgate)
* Meryl Streep in “Julie & Julia” (Sony Pictures Releasing)

This is the most talked about race because Sandra Bullock has galloped out of nowhere to take a lead in the race over the amazing Meryl Streep.  Frankly, I’m stunned.  Now, I haven’t seen The Blind Side, or rather I saw it when it was called every other movie about a spunky white person saving a helpless person of color: Cry Freedom, The Killing Fields, Dangerous Minds, etc, etc, etc, as Yul Brynner might say.  I really like Sandra Bullock personally.  I mean, I don’t actually know her, but she seems nice.  She’s never flipped off her fans on camera that I’ve seen or anything.  I have seen Julie & Julia and Meryl Streep was incredible.  Of course she was – she’s always incredible.  With all due respect, picking Sandra Bullock over Meryl Streep is like picking A quarter pounder with cheese over a steak from Peter Luger.  And another thing: Meryl Streep’s been nominated 12 times since her second and last win for 1982’s Sophie’s Choice.  At some point indictments are going to be handed down.  She has to win.  Right?

Best actor in a supporting role
* Matt Damon in “Invictus” (Warner Bros.)
* Woody Harrelson in “The Messenger” (Oscilloscope Laboratories)
* Christopher Plummer in “The Last Station” (Sony Pictures Classics)
* Stanley Tucci in “The Lovely Bones” (DreamWorks in association with Film4, Distributed by Paramount)
* Christoph Waltz in “Inglourious Basterds” (The Weinstein Company)

I haven’t seen Inglourious Basterds yet, but everything I’ve read suggests that Christoph Waltz is deservedly a lock.  That’s a shame because I really enjoyed Matt Damon’s performance in an otherwise pretty average Invictus.  C’est la vie.

Best actress in a supporting role
* Penélope Cruz in “Nine” (The Weinstein Company)
* Vera Farmiga in “Up in the Air” (Paramount in association with Cold Spring Pictures and DW Studios)
* Maggie Gyllenhaal in “Crazy Heart” (Fox Searchlight)
* Anna Kendrick in “Up in the Air” (Paramount in association with Cold Spring Pictures and DW Studios)
* Mo’Nique in “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” (Lionsgate)

I don’t want to give too much away about Precious: A Movie With A Really Pretentious, Long Title, but after seeing one particular scene in that movie, no sane person could honestly think that Mo’Nique was not going to win the Oscar.  I’m not saying she does or doesn’t deserve to win, just that it is a fait accompli.  How many more French phrases can he use?

Best Director
*“Avatar” (20th Century Fox) James Cameron
*“The Hurt Locker” (Summit Entertainment) Kathryn Bigelow
*“Inglourious Basterds” (The Weinstein Company) Quentin Tarantino
*“Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” (Lionsgate) Lee Daniels
*“Up in the Air” (Paramount in association with Cold Spring Pictures and DW Studios) Jason Reitman

Four years ago, Ang Lee became the first non-white man to win this award.  What should have been a magical moment for the brilliant director quickly became troubling as moments later Crash hijacked Best Picture from the more deserving Brokeback Mountain, leaving Lee looking around the room wondering when Ashton Kutcher was going to let him in on the joke.  Anyway, Hollywood hasn’t been good about acknowledging women and people of color in this category.  And since the Academy is going to jack Kathryn Bigelow on Best Picture (see above), we can safely expect them to fall all over themselves to recognize her work as director of The Hurt Locker.

Best Adapted screenplay
*“District 9″ (Sony Pictures Releasing) Written by Neill Blomkamp and Terri Tatchell
*“An Education” (Sony Pictures Classics) Screenplay by Nick Hornby
*“In the Loop” (IFC Films) Screenplay by Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Armando Iannucci, Tony Roche
*“Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” (Lionsgate) Screenplay by Geoffrey Fletcher
*“Up in the Air” (Paramount in association with Cold Spring Pictures and DW Studios) Screenplay by Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner

Nick Hornby is one of my favorite authors.  If you haven’t read About a Boy or High Fidelity, do yourself a favor and check them out.  I also like An Education an awful lot.  I wanted to get that all in here because Hornby has a better chance of being elected governor of Texas than he has of winning the Oscar this year.  Precious: A Pretty Good Film That Was Well Written, has an outside chance of winning, but the favorite has to be the script for Up in the Air, which would give Jason Reitman some consolation for the fact that he’s been nominated multiple times in multiple years and all he has for his troubles is the occasional prank call from Diablo Cody at 3 in the morning.

Best Original screenplay
*“The Hurt Locker” (Summit Entertainment) Written by Mark Boal
*“Inglourious Basterds” (The Weinstein Company) Written by Quentin Tarantino
*“The Messenger” (Oscilloscope Laboratories) Written by Alessandro Camon & Oren Moverman
*“A Serious Man” (Focus Features) Written by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
*“Up” (Walt Disney) Screenplay by Bob Peterson, Pete Docter
Story by Pete Docter, Bob Peterson, Tom McCarthy

Tough category, but while I think The Hurt Locker is probably the favorite, my gut tells me that Quentin Tarantino is going to pull off the upset here.  Let’s go with that.

Back to sports in a couple of days when I explore why the New York Knicks have said au revoir to playing defense.

Sacre bleu!


3 Responses to “Oscar Predictions”

  1. Waltz was beyond amazing. I walked out of the theater and without hesitation said, he will win an award for this role.

  2. See, I do read your blog!

  3. Waltz won! You need to see the movie, it was sooooo good!

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