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 Categoryand 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:

--If the Best Picture balloting does in fact create an unexpected win for a dark horse, it could be the first time since "Grand Hotel" in the 1930's that a Best Picture Oscar will be the film's sole victory.

--There's a higher likelihood that, if the numbers come out a certain way, there could be a tie for Best picture.
--There is no love for "Nine" this year, but I would still like to see it win for Best Costume Design at least, a category for which is has its best chance at an Oscar win.

--Sandra and Meryl could cancel each others' votes.  Gabourey Sidibe could benefit.  That would be a pleasant surprise.

--Lee Daniels has a very outside chace of becoming the first Black winner of the Best Director award.

--Tired of the hype, and splitting hairs, voters choosing a "slate" could result in a sweep for either "Avatar" or "Hurt Locker". 

Enjoy the show..see you all in one week! 

1 comment:

  1. Interesting choices as usual, even when we disagree.

    If I had a ballot, I'd vote Up for Best Picture for sure.

    Up would also get Best Animated Feature as well. Although Princess and the Frog is a worthy pick as well. But don't get me started on how Ponyo was stiffed in favor of a movie that wasn't even given a theatrical release until today-The Secret of Kells. The fact it was nominated despite not having an Oscar qualifying theatrical run (it only played a film festival in LA) demonstrates everything wrong with the Oscars.

    Best Actor would have me torn up between three-Firth, Bridges & Renner. I'd probably lean towards Bridges, but it's a tough choice.

    I'd make a real statement by writing None of the Above in the Best Actress category. Maybe it's the George Carlinesque streak in me, but that's what I'd do.

    I'd vote for Harrelson, but at least Christoph Waltz one can make a case for. He was the best thing in the overdone Inglorious Basterds.

    I'm not among the Mo'Nique brigade. Maggie Gyllenhaal would get my vote.