The Oscar Race: Best Actress and the Screenplays

In our last week of Oscar Predictions, before the actual nominations are announced, and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and Screen Actors Guild give out their awards for the “best’s” of 2009, we shall look at the hotly contested race of Best Actress, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Original Screenplay.

Best Actress:

  • Sandra Bullock, The Blind Side
  • Helen Mirren, The Last Station
  • Carey Mulligan, An Education
  • Gabourey Sidibe, Precious, Based on the Novel Push! by Sapphire
  • Meryl Streep, Julie and Julia

I see the list above as the most likely contenders of receiving that phone call on the morning of the annoucement of the nominations. Streep is a shoe in, and is in fine form with the physicality element tied down with her accent and her appearance. She also is playing a famously historical person, which the Academy loves to reward. Also playing real people are Mirren and Bullock. Mirren has been receiving rave reviews as the wife of Leo Tolstoy, so I can easily see a nomination coming her way. Bullock will be recognised by the Academy in this box office record breaking role, rewarding an actress who is so rarely acknowledged with critical accolades. Sidibe has also received rave reviews and heaps of critical attention, as has Mulligan, for their breakthrough and standout performances (almost debuts) in their respective films.

Cooking up a treat...and a nomination...

Best Adapted Screenplay:

  • An Education
  • In the Loop
  • Julie and Julia
  • Precious, Based on the Novel Push! by Sapphire
  • Up in the Air

It’s interesting to note that Jane Campion’s film Bright Star is a potential nominee, but its placement is indeed interesting as it was an original screenplay, but as it uses Keats’ poetry to such a high degree, the Academy deemed it worthy of only being nominated in the Adapted screenplay category. Interesting rules this Academy does have indeed!

The breakthrough Indie hit of the season

Best Original Screenplay:

  • (500) Days of Summer
  • The Hurt Locker
  • Inglourious Basterds
  • A Serious Man
  • Up!

No Avatar predictions here. It’s highly possible that the film will receive a screenplay nomination, but it is also highly not possible too. Titanic, as well as Cameron’s other films over the years have often been recognised for their technical achievements, little for the acting, and even less for the scripts. And I can see this repeating.

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