Friday, March 5, 2010
The Oscars: Predictions; If I Had A Ballot; Likely Upsets?
Before I leave for a week in Phoenix Arizona, where I will be enjoying (or cursing) the Oscar show on Sunday in the cozy living room of my late grandparents' condo, I have my predictions, my preferences, and projections for possible upsets. (If you missed 'em, check out my take on the Expanded Best Picture Category, and my traumatic Oscar Night from 2005.)
PREDICTIONS: There will be no big surprises in the Top 5 Categories. Even though Hollywood is doing its best to create some suspense (Will the new Best Picture ballot allow a dark-horse to win? Will there be a "Hurt Locker" backlash? ), I think those expected to win since the nominations were announced will, in fact, take home Oscar gold; and a week later,we will all wonder why we expected otherwise.
"Avatar", Jeff Bridges, Sandra Bullock, Mo'Nique, and Christof Waltz are going into the record books. So is Kathryn Bigelow, who should become the first woman to win in the Best Director category.
Yes, even with the convoluted ballot, I just think that "Avatar" will have the edge in popularity, critical acclaim, and a larger volume of voters who worked on the film. It would be the second year in a row that the Best Picture received no acting nominations. Seems like a trend, even though the Actors Branch has the most members. And, as we saw in 2005, a film can win all of the precursor awards that point to an Oscar victory, and still fall in defeat.
I hope I'm wrong!!! I love a worthy upset.
First, IF I HAD A BALLOT, here are my picks:
Best Picture: Of the 8 films I have seen, I loved "Up" the most. I would rank it first. In order after that, would be "The Hurt Locker", with "Up In The Air" and "Precious" in a virtual dead heat, followed by "An Education", then "Avatar", with "Serious Man" and "Blind Side" in my lowest rankings. (I just purchased a used copy of "Inglourious Basterds", in case there's time to see it before Sunday).
Best Actor: Colin Firth--no surprise--I have written extensively about "Single Man"
Best Actress: Meryl Streep--Yes, she is exquisite, even in a lightweight drama. It has been 27 years since her last win. No one who saw her Julia Child has forgotten it.
Best Supporting Actor: I have seen not one of the nominees in this category; this has never happened before! A combination of lack of interest or bad timing kept me from the films in this category. Well, many Academy members apparently vote without seeing all of the films. Based on the trailer, I'd champion Woody Harrelson in "The Messenger".
Best Supporting Actress: Mo'Nique. No doubt about it. An unforgettable performance in a once-in-a-lifetime role. I did, in fact, see all of the nominees in this category. Monique's turn in "Precious" is far and away the best, and probably the surest thing come Oscar night this Sunday.
Upsets and oddities to look for: