Sunday, February 28, 2010

Prospero's 2010 Oscar Picks

My track record for picking Oscar winners isn't the greatest. I usually know what or who I think should win or what or who I want to win. Those are rarely who or what actually does win. And honestly, the Oscars have been so boring lately, I haven't managed to stay tuned to an entire broadcast for the last several years.

But it is the industry's highest honor, so I do want to know who and what wins. Not that it really matters. In Hollywood, money talks, and the Oscar-nominated movies are usually very high-brow films that very few people have seen. Popular films (with very few exceptions) rarely win Best Picture, unless they don't deserve to (Titanic; Crash). In order to make amends for that (and in the hopes of garnering higher ratings), the Academy decided to expand the usual 5 Best Picture nominees to 10 this year. This may seem unusual but originally, there were 12 nominees. It was pared down to 5 in the 30's and has stayed that way until now.

Anyway, here are both my personal choices and what I think will win in the 7 major categories, for what its worth:

Best Supporting Actress

The Nominees:

Penelope 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

Who Should Win: I have no idea, though Farmiga and Kendrick probably cancel each other out and Cruz (creepy as I may find her) was the second best thing in Nine. That leaves two actresses in films I did not (and probably will not) see.

Who Will Win: Mo'nique. Because it's really hard to stop a rolling boulder once it gets going.

Best Supporting Actor

The Nominees:

Matt Damon in Invictus
Woody Harrelson in The Messenger
Christopher Plummer in The Last Station
Stanley Tucci in The Lovely Bones
Christoph Waltz in Inglorious Basterds

Who Should Win: Again, no idea, as I have only seen two of these movies, and both just very recently. Harrelson has no chance; the Academy rarely awards stoners. Plummer is getting up there, but nobody saw The Last Station and while I adore Stanley Tucci as both a hot piece of man flesh and a brilliant actor, his performance in The Lovely Bones is just a little too obvious and Damon already has a naked gold guy (even if it is for writing). Which leaves:

Who Will Win: Christoph Waltz. He was without a doubt the best thing in Tarantino's alt-hist WWII talk-fest.

Best Actress

The Nominees:

Sandra Bullock in The Blind Side
Helen Mirren in The Last Station
Carey Mulligan in An Education
Gabourey Sidibe in Precious
Meryl Streep in Julie & Julia

Who Should Win: Meryl. No question about it. She practically channeled Julia Child for the film.

Who Will Win: Sandra Bullock. Mirren and Streep already have gold men, while Sidibe and Mulligan are just starting their careers. In a career that's had its ups and downs, Sandra Bullock remains America's Sweetheart and Academy members love a good comeback.

Best Actor

The Nominees:

Jeff Bridges in Crazy Heart
George Clooney in Up In the Air
Colin Firth in A Single Man
Morgan Freeman in Invictus
Jeremey Renner in The Hurt Locker

Who Should Win: I guess this should really be 'Who I want to Win,' because George Clooney was just so damned good in Up In the Air. Good enough, in fact, for me to finally break down and admit he is the modern Cary Grant. Now if only he'd do a true screwball comedy.

Who Will Win: Jeff Bridges. See Best Actress. And because he should have won for Starman.

Best Animated Feature

The Nominees:

Fantastic Mr. Fox
The Princess and the Frog
The Secret of the Kells

What Should Win: Up. Pixar's delightful and surprising adventure about an old fellow who ties a million balloons to house and floats it to South America was simply a joy to watch, while say so much about so many things.

What Will Win: Up. Pixar continues its streak, no matter how much I loved Coraline.

Best Director

The Nominees:

Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker
James Cameron for Avatar
Lee Daniels for Precious
Jason Reitman for Up In the Air
Quentin Tarantino for Inglorious Basterds

Who Should Win: Again, I have no idea. I've only seen three of the five films, though I think Bigelow should win simply because I adore Near Dark so much (and I so despise sell-out Cameron and his gigantic ego).

Who Will Win: Bigelow will take the naked man home in the movie's only win.

Best Picture

The Nominees:

The Blind Side
District 9
An Education
The Hurt Locker
Inglorious Basterds
A Serious Man
Up In the Air

What Should Win: Hmmm... Well, of the five films I've actually seen in this category, Up was the best, though it certainly won't win in two categories. That leaves 9 contenders, of which the best one I saw was District 9, though it doesn't stand a chance against the year's other big Sci-Fi hit.

What Will Win: Damnit, I'm sad to say it, but I think Avatar is going to win, though it certainly doesn't deserve to.

And lest you forget just how bad the Academy Awards can be, let me remind you:

While in the past 21 years some of those of those young actors (Ricki Lake, Patrick Dempsey,
Christian Slater) have gone to variously successful careers, most of them have faded into obscurity (D.A. Pawley? Really? Who the hell was he? Malora Hardin? Matt Lattanzi? Who?) and not a single one of them has ever been nominated (though Savion Glover did go on to win a Tony). It just goes to show that AMPAS has no idea what the hell they're doing, either.

Please don't place any bets or enter any contests based on my picks. Like I said, Uncle P's track record is pretty bad.

More, anon.


Stephen said...

Well... I love the Academy Awards. But, there is a history of giving awards because it is "someone's time", & they end up winning for the wrong film in the wrong year.

I disagree with Best Film. I think ot will go to Hurt Locker, beacuse of the new way the count the & convoluted way the will count the ballots.

Matty said...

While I loved Clooney in "Up in the Air," he already has his golden naked man from his performance in "Michael Clayton." Honestly, while Bridges is most likely to take home the award, it should really go to Colin Firth for "A Single Man." That film was very sadly snuffed during awards season this year, and very unnecessarily so. While it wasn't the best film of the year, it easily makes the top five best of the year. And Firth delivers a powerhouse performance of internal combustion.

I also think "The Hurt Locker" will take home Best Picture, at least it should. Though, "Avatar" might just swoop in from Planet Blue and nab that naked man statue.

Bullock doesn't totally deserve the Oscar for "The Blind Side" (which should NOT be up for Best Picture, since it is so incredibly conventional, and other films, like "Remember the Titans" have delivered the same message in better packaging). She's really good in it, but Gabourey and Meryl are totally more deserving. But, I guess if Bullock is going to get her Oscar, this is the best performance she's going to have to offer us as of now.

Oh, and Melora Hardin - she's been on "The Office" and was in that Zac Efron movie, "17 Again". And I saw her in "Chicago" on Broadway. She was terrible. The show was terrible. I love "Chicago," but I can't emphasize how terrible of a production it was. No wonder she faded away.

Prospero said...

If anyone knew who Melora Hardin was, it would be my favorite Go-Go Elf!