It’s the Oscars! It’s the Oscars!

// March 6th, 2010 // Uncategorized

It’s Oscar time! For years now, I’ve celebrated Oscar season with more enthusiasm than Christmas. I tend to get more gifts from the Oscars than I ever do at Christmas anyway. This is the fifth year that I’ve been organized in my efforts and as soon as the noms are announced, I download a ballot and start frantically trying to figure out which movies I need to see to make an informed decision on who’s going to win and who isn’t. And most years I do pretty darn well with my predictions. Two years ago a scored a whopping 83% which means I only missed four awards out of the 24 major Oscars. I literally was giddy at the end of that show at my prowess. But last year I suffered a crushing defeat, scoring worse than I ever have since I’ve been keeping track, getting only *5* awards correct. The bitter irony was that last year I busted my ass and watched more of the movies than I ever had and many of the awards I lost, I had seen all the movies in the category.

So I learned an important lesson last year and that is to not get so attached to the movies. After the show as I looked at my ballot that I had scribbled invectives on as the show had progressed, I saw a clear pattern which was that I was picking movies I thought should have won. The key to playing this game is to pick the movies you think will win based on how the industry works and that does not always mean the best movie or actor wins. So this year I tried to be more detached, we’ll see how I do.

This was a great year for the movies and I thought we got a lot of diversity which I always like seeing. None of the movies featured in the awards this year made me fall in love with them immediately like when we had No Country For Old Men and There Will Be Blood in the same year. But I’m fairly certain that after repeat viewings, I’ll find several that will be on my favorites list. Those of you who read my Avatar review will be surprised to hear me say that, because it certainly looked like I fell in love with it. Truth be told, while I still think it’s great, as I sit here now I have no desire to put it in and watch it again. But had I the time, I’d definitely watch The Hurt Locker or Crazy Heart again or for that matter I’d watch A Serious Man long before I’d watch Avatar again and I’ve already seen that movie twice.

I’ve got to say, though, that this year my preparations were seriously derailed by Precious. That movie was so fucked up it actually made me not want to watch any more movies for days. It’s a great movie with amazing performances but man, it is so dark it was a major chore to get through.   Ultimately, Precious has the one performance I’m positive will yield an award this year. Well, I’m also pretty confident in Jeff Bridges chances.

So here are my picks. Feel free to follow along on Sunday and revel in my triumphs and feel my shame when I mess up. Feel free to download your own ballot and follow along here.

Leading Actor – Jeff Bridges is the man. A combination of a great performance in a great movie and his years of not getting recognized means this year is his year with little doubt. Jeremy Renner deserves special mention here as he did a fantastic job and with different competitors, he might have won.

Supporting Actor – Cristoph Waltz from Inglourious Basterds. I love Tarantino and I liked this movie a lot but not as much as I expected to. But I’ll keep watching it nonetheless, in part because of how awesome Cristoph is in it. I’d love to see Harrelson get this award because I think his performance was among the best in his career, but my gut is telling my Waltz will get it.

Leading Actress – Gabourey Sidibe from Precious. Most critics I think are predicting Sandra Bullock for this and Bullock is good but Gabourey is better.

Supporting Actress – Mo’Nique from Precious. There’s no doubt in my mind on this. I have a hard time thinking of any other performance I’ve ever seen that has made me hate an actor or actress as strongly as I hate Mo’Nique right now. Well, I hate Hayden Christensen for what he did in the two Star Wars movies but that might be a tad different type of hatred.

Best Animated Feature – Up. Never vote against Pixar.

Art Direction – Avatar

Cinematography – The Hurt Locker. This is a tough one to call. I loved the look and feel of Avatar, it really was something wonderful. But The Hurt Locker was a different beast entirely and I really want it to win. There, I said it. I’m picking from the heart and not my head. I also thought Inglorious Basterds had great cinematography, it just wasn’t as transcendent.

Costume Design – The Young Victoria

Directing – Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker. This one will probably hurt my percentage because I know there’s a good chance Avatar will nab it but that’s just plain wrong.

Documentary Feature – The Cove

Documentary Short – China’s Unnatural Disaster: The Tears of Sichuan Province

Film Editing – Avatar

Foreign Language Film – The White Ribbon

Make Up – Star Trek

Original Score – Up – Michael Giacchino is awesome. I didn’t think this is his best score but who cares?

Original Song – The Weary Kind from Crazy Heart

Short Film Animated – A Matter of Loaf and Death

Short Film LA – The New Tenants

Sound Editing – Avatar

Sound Mixing – The Hurt Locker

Visual Effects – Avatar

Adapted Screenplay – Up In The Air

Original Screenplay – Inglourious Basterds

Best in Show: Avatar

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