note: After writing out the list, I realized I really haven't seen as many movies as I thought I did. I think it's because I watch most movies on DVD, and only catch the movies I'm really excited about at the theater. So I'll be checking out PRECIOUS, THE BLIND SIDE, THE LAST STATION, CRAZY HEART, and all those documentaries and foreign flicks on DVD soon enough.
nominees: AVATAR, THE BLIND SIDE, DISTRICT 9, AN EDUCATION, THE HURT LOCKER, INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS, PRECIOUS: BASED ON THE NOVEL 'PUSH' BY SAPPHIRE, A SERIOUS MAN, UP, UP IN THE AIR
thoughts: The Academy decided to expand the amount of nominees for this category from 5 to 10, starting this year, and I'm all for it. I don't think it'll ultimately affect the eventual winner, but it's a nice way to give some recognition to good movies that may have been overlooked had the nominees stayed at 5.
should win: INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS. My favorite movie of 2009, and overall I think is the best out of this list.
will win: AVATAR. I know, I know... it kills me too. But look at the facts -- the Academy showed a lot of love to Cameron the last time he made a feature film (so did the audience), and I see history repeating itself here. A SERIOUS MAN is too Jewish. An animated film has yet to win this category so UP is out. AN EDUCATION doesn't have much of a buzz except for the actors. Similar to UP IN THE AIR. And no matter how much I love DISTRICT 9, I know it doesn't have a chance in hell of winning. THE BLIND SIDE doesn't either, although I didn't think CRASH would win few years ago and look how that turned out (and both feature Sandra Bullock... hmm). So the real race is between AVATAR, THE HURT LOCKER, INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS, and PRECIOUS: DO I REALLY HAVE TO WRITE OUT THAT SUBTITLE. Out of those, the most "Oscar"-like film is PRECIOUS. But I have a feeling the Academy will give the award to FERNGULLY 3D: WAR OF THE GIANT SMURFS. (smurves?)
nominees: Jeff Bridges in CRAZY HEART, George Clooney in UP IN THE AIR, Colin Firth in A SINGLE MAN, Morgan Freeman in INVICTUS, Jeremy Renner in THE HURT LOCKER
thoughts: Where is Sam Rockwell for MOON? Or Tom Hardy for BRONSON? Or Tahar Rahim for A PROPHET?
should win: Jeremy Renner, but that's because I haven't seen CRAZY HEART yet. If I had, I would probably pick...
will win: Jeff Bridges. According to all the experts, this is his award to lose. Clooney is playing himself. Freeman is nominated for being in a Clint Eastwood film.
Best Supporting Actor
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 INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS
thoughts: I've only seen one film on this list. Guess which.
should win: Christoph Waltz
will win: Christoph Waltz. No one else has a chance. Maybe Stanley Tucci.
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
thoughts: Streep gets nominated every. single. year. For not so great movies. I'll start caring when she's in a great one. (ADAPTATION was too long ago.)
should win: Carey Mulligan, because she's in the only movie I saw on here.
will win: Sandra Bullock. It's a tough call because I haven't seen these movies. It's either her or Sidibe. For leading roles, it usually goes to the veteran, not the newcomer (that's usually in the supporting roles).
Best Supporting Actress
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
thoughts: Only saw UP IN THE AIR.
should win: Vera Farmiga. What do you mean that wasn't really her ass in that scene?!
will win: Mo'Nique. She and Christoph Waltz have their trophy stands already set and polished, ready for that little gold statue.
Best Animated Feature
nominees: CORALINE, FANTASTIC MR. FOX, THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG, THE SECRET OF KELLS, UP
thoughts: The real surprise here is THE SECRET OF KELLS, which I knew nothing about until the nominees were announced. It looks great, but I won't be able to see it until it comes out on DVD.
should win: FANTASTIC MR. FOX
will win: UP, which is also nominated for Best Picture. It can't be nominated for Best Picture and not win Best Animated Film, right? I mean, that wouldn't make any sense!
nominees: James Cameron for AVATAR, Kathryn Bigelow for THE HURT LOCKER, Quentin Tarantino for INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS, Lee Daniels for PRECIOUS, Jason Reitman for UP IN THE AIR
thoughts: Good list, except I would replace Reitman with the Coen brothers for A SERIOUS MAN.
should win: Quentin Tarantino. I'm usually in the "Best Director should go to the director of the Best Picture" camp. My Best Picture is INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS, so logically Tarantino should win here. That said, I definitely wouldn't mind if Bigelow gets it.
will win: Kathryn Bigelow. No woman has ever won this award, and I think the Academy will take this opportunity to make history by giving it to her. However, we all know how much they love Cameron, so I won't even bat an eye if he ends up winning. I'll just let out the world's loudest sigh.
Best Documentary Feature
nominees: BURMA VJ, THE COVE, FOOD INC., THE MOST DANGEROUS MAN IN AMERICA: DANIEL ELLSBERG AND THE PENTAGON PAPERS, WHICH WAY HOME
thoughts: Only caught two of these -- THE COVE, and FOOD INC.
should win: THE COVE
will win: I'm not really sure... so let's just go with THE COVE.
Best Foreign Film
nominees: AJAMI (Israel), THE MILK OF SORROW (Peru), A PROPHET (France), THE SECRET IN THEIR EYES (Argentina), THE WHITE RIBBON (Germany)
thoughts: Where's Asia? Nothing from Korea, Japan, China, Thailand... guess the Academy didn't like THIRST or MOTHER.
should win: A PROPHET. It's like De Niro's section from THE GODFATHER PART 2, done by the French. Or a much more realistic version of SCARFACE.
will win: THE WHITE RIBBON. That's what my guts say anyway. But this is usually a hard category to predict. (No one expected DEPARTURES to win last year.)
Best Visual Effects
nominees: AVATAR, DISTRICT 9, STAR TREK
should win: AVATAR. I feel like this is the one award that it actually deserves. All that money has to count for something, right? But I really like DISTRICT 9 going up against the big budget blockbusters here.
will win: AVATAR
Best Adapted Screenplay
nominees: DISTRICT 9, AN EDUCATION, IN THE LOOP, PRECIOUS, UP IN THE AIR
should win: IN THE LOOP. Gotta love the Brits for their awesome dialogue.
will win: Either PRECIOUS or UP IN THE AIR. Yawn.
Best Original Screenplay
nominees: THE HURT LOCKER, INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS, THE MESSENGER, A SERIOUS MAN, UP
thoughts: Where's AVATAR? Oh right, this is Best Original Screenplay.
should win: INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS
will win: INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS. This is the one award to Tarantino that the academy is comfortable with.