Today in Hollywood the nominations for the 82nd Academy Awards were nominated. To get it out of the way right now, I’m deeply disappointed Christian McKay was not nominated for his work in Me and Orson Welles, but c’est la vie.
The nominations for Best Picture were Avatar, The Blind Side, District 9, An Education, The Hurt Locker, Inglourious Basterds, A Serious Man, Precious: Based on the Novel “Push” By Sapphire (hereafter simply referred to as Precious), Up, and Up in the Air.
Some notable surprises here. First off, despite what many people expected, Invictus was not nominated for Best Picture. That’s a major surprise especially considering that Matt Damon and Morgan Freeman were both nominated for their acting in the movie.
Also, The Blind Side, which I’ve heard mediocre things about, was nominated. I’m very surprised that District 9 was nominated as the Academy has a great reputation for ignoring science fiction films, as well as fantasy, and horror, and super hero movies. To be fair, most of them don’t deserve any awards, but some do.
I’m pleasantly surprised to see Up on the list as, ever since the Academy created the Best Animated Feature category, I thought we’d never see any animated films on here again.
Should win: Up in the Air is the real worthy film this year, followed closely behind by The Hurt Locker, which I just saw yesterday.
Will win: Avatar. Let’s not pretend there’s any question here. It’s the highest grossing movie of all time, and a major, epic spectacle. This is Oscar bait at its greatest and, frankly, while I don’t think it deserves to win compared with some of the nominees, it’s certainly far from a bad movie.
In the Best Director category there’s no surprises. Kathyrn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker, James Cameron for Avatar, Lee Daniels for Precious, Jason Reitman for Up in the Air and Quentin Tarantino for Inglourious Basterds (man, my spell-check hates that title).
I’ve seen all the movies on this list except for Precious. I plan to wait on that until I have decent anti-depressant medications nearby. Reitman and Tarantino both deserve to be on this list and in other years, both would entirely deserve to win.
But the real contest here is between Bigelow and her ex-husband, James Cameron. Both movies are extremely different, but the direction for both was top-notch.
Should win: It’s a tough choice, but I have to give it to Cameron. He put together a movie that had a budget larger than several countries, introduced brand-new technology, made more money than any other movie ever, and set a new standard not just for science fiction or 3-D films, but for films in general.
Will win: Bigelow has the momentum at the moment, but ultimately that’s going to fail her and Cameron will wind up getting the Oscar.
Moving onto Best Actor, we see Jeff Bridges for Crazy Heart, George Clooney for Up in the Air, Colin Firth for A Single Man, Morgan Freeman for Invictus, and Jeremy Renner for The Hurt Locker.
The only two performances I’ve seen in this category are those by Clooney and Renner, both of whom were fantastic. I’ve not see the other three films, but I’ve heard nice buzz around everyone, especially Bridges.
Should win: Hard to say since I’ve not seen all the movies, or even most of them. George Clooney’s performance was one of the best of the year, so we’ll say he should win.
Will win: Jeff Bridges. No contest. He’s got a good “story” and everyone I’ve heard has said his performance was truly excellent.
For Best Actress we see Sandra Bullock for The Blind Side, Helen Mirren for The Last Station, Carey Mulligan for An Education, Gabourey Sidibe for Precious, and Meryl Streep for Julie & Julia.
I haven’t seen any of these movies. Not one. This therefore makes it somewhat hard for me to judge. I can’t do a “should win” for this so we’ll settle for a “will win”.
Will win: Sandra Bullock, as she’s got the momentum, plus she’s somewhat of a Hollywood darling. Sidibe would’ve won had she gotten the Golden Globe. Even still I’d say there’s a decent chance that she’ll be a dark horse winner.
In the Best Supporting Actor category we have Matt Damon for Invictus, Woody Harrleson for The Messenger, Christopher Plummer for The Last Station, Stanley Tucci for The Lovely Bones and Chrisoph Walz for Inglourious Basterds.
Well, I’ve seen one of these movies. Thankfully it’s one that contains both the “should win” and “will win” candidate. I remain entirely annoyed that Christian McKay was not nominated for his astonishingly good performance in Me and Orson Welles, but oh, well.
Should win/Will win: Hands down, Christoph Walz. His performance is truly mesmerizing. There is not a single moment he’s on screen that he doesn’t suck all your attention over to him. He’s an incredible actor doing an incredible job and I don’t see any chance that anyone else will get the statue for this one.
The Best Supporting Actress category gives us Penelope Cruz for Nine, Vera Farmiga for Up in the Air, Maggie Gyllenhaal for Crazy Heart, Anna Kendrick for Up in the Air, and Mo’Nique for Precious.
The only film on this list I’ve seen was Up in the Air. Of the two actresses from that movie, Vera Farmiga is the better pic for a win. Since I’ve seen only that movie on here, I don’t feel that I can do a “should win” choice.
Will win: Mo’Nique. She won the Golden Globe and she’ll get this one, too. From what I hear, it’s entirely deserved.
Moving onto the other awards, I’m going to say Up will get Best Animated Feature (though at least we have better movies and more variety in this category than usual). Mark Boal will win Best Original Screenplay for The Hurt Locker as a way of the Academy apologizing for the film not getting Best Picture. For the same reason Up in the Air will get Best Adapted Screenplay.
I’ve not seen any of the movies nominated in the Best Foreign Language Film category, nor any of the documentaries or short films. For Best Original Score, I’ll say it’s a toss-up between Avatar and Up. The former may take it because Avatar will likely win for everything it’s nominated for, but the latter may take it because frankly I can’t think of any memorable music from Avatar.
That’s about all that I have to say about the nominations. The award ceremony will happen on March 7, and if all goes well I’ll be here live-blogging it! Hope you’ll tune into it and read along with me!