oscar predictions from bill bodkin, sue rowley and brent johnson
So there is some suspense to this year’s Oscar season after all.
As many insiders have been predicting for months, the frontrunners in the acting races may very well be locks. But Best Picture? It’s apparently an extremely tight race between the gritty indie-ness of the The Hurt Locker and the computer-enhanced epic-ness of Avatar. There’s also talk that the off-beat cool-ness of Inglourious Basterds may pull off an upset.
Plus, as tonight’s telecast creeps closer, millions of Cablevision subscribers are wondering whether they’ll get to see the Oscars at all. Disney — which owns ABC — and the cable company are at odds over a contract, and Disney has threatened not to broadcasts the awards if a deal isn’t reached as of air time.
Anyway, here’s our picks for we think will go home with statuettes.
— brent johnson
Should Win: Up In The Air
It’s the most well-constructed, well-acted and topical film of the year. Where The Hurt Locker is gruff and intense and Avatar is sweeping and visionary, Up In The Air is simply entertaining, funny and touching. Sometimes, that’s all a movie needs.
Will Win: The Hurt Locker
It’ll be incredibly close, but Avatar probably won’t get the support of the Academy’s acting wing — its largest voting branch — or its writer’s wing. And for all of Avatar’s achievements, The Hurt Locker is a better film. That still matters, right?
Should Win: Quentin Tarantino, Inglourious Basterds
He didn’t win this prize for 1994’s Pulp Fiction (Robert Zemeckis took Best Director for Forrest Gump that year). For that alone, this award should be QT’s. Also, Basterds bore the mark of Tarantino’s singular style: rich in dialogue, full of off-kilter performances, loaded with humor and thrills. He pulled off the most unique vision of the year.
Will Win: Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker
Even if Avatar takes Best Picture, Bigelow will likely win — and I’m okay with that. She pulled off a unique vision of her own with the sepia-toned realism and tension-soaked drama of Locker. Plus, my two other top directors in this race — Tarantino and Up In The Air’s endlessly promising Jason Reitman — have to eventually win one day.
Should Win: Jeremy Renner, The Hurt Locker
A month ago, I would have said George Clooney for his masterfully understated yet charming work in Up In The Air. But even though I wasn’t a fan of The Hurt Locker at first, the film stuck in my memory — largely because of Renner’s herky-jerky, slightly manic performance. He embodies that role.
Will Win: Jeff Bridges, Crazy Heart
He’s been overlooked for too long, and this year is his to win. As with Bigelow, I’m okay with that. He’s a wonderful, underrated actor who deserves an Oscar. And his ramshackle performance as an aging country star is excellent.
Should Win: Carey Mulligan, An Education
The British newcomer is so confident, so natural, so touching as a young girl discovering that real life is often as heartbreaking as it is exciting. There’s talk that she could pull off an Adrien Brody-like upset if Sandra Bullock and Meryl Streep split the vote, but …
Will Win: Sandra Bullock, The Blind Side
… I doubt it. Bullock’s performance is pleasant, amusing and surprisingly strong. And while it’s not the best of the year, she’s well-liked and has been humble this whole awards season. Plus, personally? I don’t think Meryl Streep was as gripping in Julie & Julia as she was in Doubt or even The Devil Wears Prada.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Should Win: Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds
As I said in a previous post, Waltz’s performance was the most thrilling I’ve seen in a while. Villainous yet charming, amazingly assured — and delivered in four languages.
Will Win: Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds
Luckily, voters for most acting awards this year have agreed with me. The Oscar is his to lose — the only true shot at an upset may be Woody Harrelson for his against-type turn as a gruff army officer in The Messenger. But that’s unlikely.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Should Win: Mo’Nique, Precious
I loved both Vera Farmiga and Anna Kendrick in Up In The Air. But Mo’Nique’s final scene in Precious is killer. Just killer.
Will Win: Mo’Nique, Precious
Seriously, tell me who can beat her. No one in this category has a scene like that — and Oscar voters chew up killer scenes.
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Should Win: Quentin Tarantino, Inglourious Basterds
As with all QT scripts, it bristles with attitude, wordplay and originality — and this time, it’s mostly in foreign tongues.
Will Win: Mark Boal, The Hurt Locker
All the Locker love should spread over to this category, awarding a script that has many snippets of memorable dialogue and moments, even though it’s light on words.
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Should Win: Jason Reitman & Sheldon Turner, Up In The Air
What a good, sturdy script should have: a smart, timely story; quotable dialogue; moments of genuine heart.
Will Win: Jason Reitman & Sheldon Turner, Up In The Air
This is where the Academy will honor Up In The Air, a film that used to be a Best Picture frontrunner.
Sue Rowley’s Predictions
*Best Picture — The Hurt Locker
*Best Director — Kathryn Bigelow
*Best Actor — Jeff Bridges
*Best Actress — Sandra Bullock
*Best Supporting Actor — Christoph Waltz
*Best Supporting Actress — Mo’Nique
*Best Original Screenplay — Inglourious Basterds
*Best Adapted Screenplay — Precious
Bill Bodkin’s Picks o’ Plenty
First off, I cannot tell you how this whole Cablevision/Disney war is pissing me off. I mean, c’mon!
But thank goodness for the Internet, because tonight the B&B staff (Brent Johnson, myself and guest bloggers Sue Rowley and Logan Fowler) will be watching the show on my computer.
So here’s my predictions … my winners with outside shots
Best Picture: Hurt Locker [Will not rule out Avatar or Inglorious Basterds]
Best Actor: Jeff Bridges [Clooney is an outside shot, but Renner is the biggest threat to Bridges]
Best Actress: Sandra Bullock [Meryl Streep could easily take this]
Best Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz [Dude’s a lock, but Woody Harrelson could make a huge upset — real long shot, though]
Best Supporting Actress: Mo’Nique [No competition here — two Up In The Air noms, will cancel out Farmiga and Kendrick]
Best Director: Kathryn Bigelow [QT and Cameron are strong candidates]
Best Original Screenplay: Hurt Locker [Avatar doesn’t stand a chance]
Best Adapted Screenplay: Up In The Air [Don’t discount District 9]