The time approaches, in what imdb tells us is in 6 days and 6 minutes. The Annual Academy Award ceremony will be presented live from the Kodak theatre, and millions of viewers from over a hundred countries will be watching. And out of all these viewers, a good portion will be anxiously awaiting to see if their prediction skills are on par, or if they need to do a bit more legwork before the next ceremony.
I know that I look forward to this day as much as probably christmas. The memories last forever, and thankfully to youtube, remain in the public sphere until the end of time (although unlucky for some, a.k.a. you-really-like-me-Sally Field.)
So, I hereby make my predictions on the upcoming Oscars, and I have to say that this year, it really does seem quite easy to predict. But who knows, maybe there will be some surprises….
- The Hurt Locker
It’s either this or Avatar. With THL winning the Producers Guild award, the Writers Guild award, as well as the Directors Guid award, it’s the safest bet. However, you have Avatar being akin to the 1927 revolutionary Jazz Singer, so perhaps they’ll want to reward pioneering efforts. Hopefully, we’ll see THL taking home the prize. Amazing story, direction, themes, acting. It has the X factor.
- Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker
Like the category of Best Picture, Bigelow has attracted the title of safest bet. However, when you consider 81 years of Oscar history, she has a lot going against her. She is only the fourth woman to be nominated for the prize, and no woman has won this before. One of the many things going for Bigelow is that she just wants to be recognised as a director. The shots in THL literally made my jaw drop, and this was on a tiny screen on an aeroplane. James Cameron (the ex) is her biggest threat, with the Avatar factor running as an advantage. But it’s girl power time. (I can’t believe I just wrote that!)
- Jeff Bridges, Crazy Heart
The time has come for one of the most underappreciated actors in Hollywood to get his recognition. On his fifth nomination (the first being in 1971 for Best Supporting Actor in The Last Picture Show) shows a performance that will take him to the Oscar podium. Clooney, Renner, Firth and Freeman pose no threat.
- Sandra Bullock, The Blind Side
I’ve had this discussion with a few people now. Bullock’s performance is very good, but not really Oscar worthy. Sadly, it is the same case with the other contenders in the category. Having not seen Helen Mirren’s performance in The Last Station (which opens in April here in Oz), I can not give as good a prediction as I would prefer, but I do not see this as a hindrance in determining the winner. Mulligan, Sidibe and Streep give great performances, just like Bullock, but nothing astounding. Mulligan is probably the most deserving contender, but with the Screen Actors Guild and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association bestowing Bullock with their Best Actress prize, it seems she will be the victor come Sunday night.
Best Supporting Actor
- Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds
Clear winner here. Has collected all of the main precursor awards and his performance boasts the successful elocution of the Italian, French, German and English dialects. This is a no brainer here. Damon, Tucci, Harrelson and Plummer do not stand a chance.
Best Supporting Actress
- Mo’Nique, Precious
Like Waltz, this one is a no brainer to predict. There has been no other actress that has been recognised as the winner in this category, even at the British Oscars (BAFTA) which usually likes to reward its citizens (as in the case of Carey Mulligan winning the Best Actress prize.) Her performance, which was absolutely terrifying, puts her in a category all to herself. It’s out of mere politeness that Farmiga, Kendrick, Gyllenhaal and Cruz were nominated.
Best Adapted Screenplay
- Up in the Air, Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner
While I’d prefer to see this award go to three out of the other four nominees, sadly, I can’t see this happening as Reitman and Turner have been scooping up the awards this season. The only other possible surprise contender taking out the prize could be In the Loop. Why? Because it has the best script. But like I said, Reitman and Turner have been showered in awards so far, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to stop now.
Best Original Screenplay
- Inglourious Basterds, Quentin Tarantino
Some hate Tarantino, and some love him. I’m of the latter, so I have no problem is seeing Basterds as among his finest achievements, and thankfully so do the award giving groups. With the film not being nominated for Best Original Screenplay at the Writer’s Guild Awards, and The Hurt Locker winning the prize there, there is a chance of the possible upset. This is the category which I stand to loose the most on, but I’m willing to take the chance.
(Note: the Oscars will be screened this Monday from 12.30pm on Channel 9.)