Just so we’re all on the same page, here are the nominations for the exciting categories:
The Blind Side
The Hurt Locker
A Serious Man
Up in the Air
James Cameron – Avatar
Kathryn Bigelow – The Hurt Locker
Jason Reitman – Up in the Air
Lee Daniels – Precious
Quentin Tarantino – Inglourious Basterds
Jeff Bridges – Crazy Heart
George Clooney – Up in the Air
Colin Firth – A Single Man
Morgan Freeman – Invictus
Jeremy Renner – The Hurt Locker
Sandra Bullock – The Blind Side
Helen Mirren – The Last Station
Carey Mulligan – An Education
Gabourey Sidibe – Precious
Meryl Streep – Julie & Julia
·Best Supporting Actor·
Matt Damon – Invictus
Christopher Plummer – The Last Station
Christoph Waltz – Inglourious Basterds
Woody Harrelson – The Messenger
Stanley Tucci – The Lovely Bones
·Best Supporting Actress·
Penélope Cruz – Nine
Vera Farmiga – Up in the Air
Maggie Gyllenhaal – Crazy Heart
Anna Kendrick – Up in the Air
Mo’Nique – Precious
·Best Original Screenplay·
The Hurt Locker
A Serious Man
·Best Adapted Screenplay·
In the Loop
Up in the Air
·Best Animated Feature·
Fantastic Mr. Fox
Princess and the Frog
The Secret of Kells
·Best Foreign Language Film·
The Milk of Sorrow (Peru) in Spanish
Ajami (Israel) in Hebrew
The White Ribbon (Austria) in German
A Prophet (France) in French
The Secret in Their Eyes (Argentina) in Spanish
And now here are my reactionary comments. It goes without saying that this is just my point of view and I do not wholly represent the opinions of the rest of the FtF staff, and with all due respect, I hear what they’re saying, but the’re completely wrong.
I am not entirely familiar with all the Foreign Language nominations, but predict The White Ribbon (directed by Michael Haneke) and A Prophet (directed by Jaques Audiard) to be the main contenders, as they have certainly been getting the most buzz (though article hype is not really a measure of quality **cough cough** Avatar **cough cough**).
For Best (love that the title is still “Best”) Animated Picture, Pixar is always a front-lier with Up, especially considered its now graduated to Best Picture as well, but the animated movies are always interesting as measurement of “best” is not always on the story/plot/characters and more on the medium’s restrictions being pushed, which would put Fantastic Mr. Fox firm last.
Again the screenplay allocations are split into Adapted and Original. Interesting that Inglorious Basterds is considered an original screen play. Regardless, I would love it to win. I would also be keen to see In The Loop win for Adapted Screenplay, as it really brings comedy and complexity in a good combination. Looking over the nominations, Adapted Screenplay does seem to be a more exciting category, it also seems like the only award Up In The Air really has a shot at.
The trend of taking the winner in the matching Golden Globe category as the favourite to win the Oscar puts Mo’Nique on top of the pile for Best Supporting Actress, and she certainly deserves it, but lets not forget that Academy darling Penélope Cruz is in there too. But its highly unlikely that Maggie Gyllenhaal will win the trinket for a mediocre performance by her own standards. Its most likely going to go to Farmiga so she can share it with Clooney and Kendrick.
I would give the Best Supporting Actor award to Christoph Waltz faster than two winks of a coal miner’s eye, and I am sure many concur. It would be great to see Woody Harrelson finally get recognition and he really had a fine year of performances in ’09.
Meryl Streep could win the academy award for Best Actress in her sleep (again heavily indicated by the Golden Globes), but how great would it be for an up and comer like Carey Mulligan or Gabourey Sidibe to steal it away. If the gorgeous Sandra Bullock wins for just not being a racist in a TV-league movie, then I’ll have to admit there’s a lot in life I don’t understand.
Best Actor could be Colin Firth or Jeff Bridges. From time to time, players with great track records win an Oscar more out of “its about time” than it really being deserved, but Jeff Bridges does have the talent to take it home. Fascinating to see Michael Stuhlbarg getting snubbed for his lead in A Serious Man
Similarly, the Coen Brothers get snubbed for best director, that may shock many. This also starts the double whammy for Jimmy C’s Avatar, both talented turns, but not really better than any of the other flicks nominated. I would give Best Director to Kathryn Bigelow, mainly because she deserves it for Point Break and the fail would inspire Jason Reitman to try even harder next time.
Best film has to be Inglorious Basterds again. I am happy Pixar are finally in the best film category, but its absolutely a year too late, and I accept this move as admittance for Wall·E not being there and winning it last year.
I won’t take up more of your time with my thoughts on cinematography, editing, and score etc., but feel free to ask if you wanna hear me whine.
On a personal note (I wasn’t being subjective until now) I am gutted Where The Wild Things Are didn’t get an Original Score nomination or just more nominations in general.
All in all, should be a good show, with the fine skills of Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin ringleading and hopefully their egos will rise to the challenge thrown down by Ricky Gervais’ grace at last month’s Golden Globe Awards.
I say we all pick who our winners will be and the person with the most right wins the pot. You can play at home with your friends, family and co-workers! Make sure to check how the Best Picture nominations stack up against Fan The Fire’s best films of the year in issue 28 (January 2010). Also, any serious misses by the Academy? Was Moon not seen by anyone? Where’s The Road? See you on March 8 when I get a bit gloaty about how much I foresaw.