So the Oscars are on Sunday. I watch the Oscars every year, I predict every year, and I follow the race to the Oscars throughout the year. Most are like, “What?” It really is a year-long business getting to the Oscars. Every year in law school, I co-hosted Oscar parties and loved them. So, here are my predictions on who will win Oscars on Sunday. Last year, I predicted a personal record of 20/24 correct. I have a Will Win (my prediction) and a Should Win (who I’d pick). You’ll notice I got lazy on the Should Wins after the big categories.
I still don’t agree with the decision to raise the field to ten nominees. If it were five, I think the nominees would be Avatar, The Hurt Locker, Inglorious Basterds, Precious, and Up in the Air. But here we are, ten nominees with a preferential voting system that could either work out the way it’s supposed to, or give us a royal shock.
There’s a lot to say about momentum in the Oscar race. Avatar peaked around Golden Globe time, but most of the major guild awards since have gone to The Hurt Locker. I don’t think The Hurt Locker is the film that defines 2009, but I think any voter that doesn’t vote it number one will vote it number two or three. This, because of the preferential voting system, will allow it to win.
Will Win: The Hurt Locker
Should Win: Up in the Air (in my opinion, a great script, great acting, great cinematography, great etc.)
This belongs to Jeff Bridges. He won the Globe, the SAG and received standing ovations when he won each one. He has previously been nominated for four Oscars without a win. Hollywood thinks he’s due.
Will Win: Jeff Bridges, Crazy Heart
Should Win: Colin Firth, A Single Man (In any other year, he would be the hands-down winner. A great performance in a film that was robbed of many other nominations it deserved.)
Meryl Streep - almost always the bridesmaid, almost never the bride. Every year, it seems like we’re having the Meryl vs. Whoever discussion. This year it’s Sandra Bullock. If we’re looking at precursors, they tied at the Critics Choice Awards (the cheap knockoff of award shows), they didn’t compete at the Globes (different categories), and Sandra beat Meryl at the SAG awards. Actors voted for Sandra for the SAG…they’ll vote for her again for the Oscar. Plus, The Blind Side got in for Best Picture which gives us a little more insight on how much voters respect the film.
Every year, it’s talked about how overdue Meryl is to win another Oscar (her third). But honestly, I’m not sure people want Meryl’s third Oscar to come for a film where she had less screen time than all of her competitors. What makes it difficult is that she WAS Julia Child.
Will Win: Sandra Bullock, The Blind Side
Should Win: Gabourey Sidibe, Precious (Her portrayal of Precious was tragic and heartwarming at the same time. What she did in her screen debut was remarkable.)
Best Supporting Actor
Christoph Waltz. 100% He has won everything up to this point, including the uber-prestigious Kansas City Film Critics Circle Award.
Will Win: Christoph Waltz, Inglorious Basterds
Should Win: Eh. I haven’t seen enough of the performances to really advocate for anyone.
Best Supporting Actress
Everything I just said about Christoph Waltz? Ditto that for Mo’Nique. The former phone sex operator (all in good fun, folks) was devastatingly perfect as Mary Jones in Precious. I hated her. She’s got this sewn up.
Will Win: Mo’Nique, Precious
Should Win: Mo’Nique, Precious
In a year when James Cameron made $999 gajillion dollars and Quentin Tarantino redefined his filmmaking, a (let us be honest) lesser known director made the first accurate cinematic portrayal of the war in Iraq. The industry seems to be rallying around Kathryn Bigelow, and that will carry over to the Oscars. She won the Directors Guild of America award for Best Director, and the person that wins that almost always wins the Oscar. It’s the same voters voting for both awards. When she wins, she will be the first female director to win the award. By the way, she's 59. Look at her. 59.
Will Win: Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker
Should Win: James Cameron, Avatar (I hate James Cameron, but I respect what he did with Avatar.)
Best Original Screenplay: Inglorious Basterds
Best Adapted Screenplay: Up in the Air
Animated Feature: Up
Art Direction: Avatar
Cinematography: The White Ribbon
Costume Design: The Young Victoria
Documentary Feature: The Cove
Documentary Short: China’s Unnatural Disaster: The Tears of Sichuan Province
Editing: The Hurt Locker
Foreign Language Film: The White Ribbon
Makeup: The Young Victoria
Original Score: Up
Original Song: “The Weary Kind”, Crazy Heart
Short Film Animated: A Matter of Loaf and Death
Short Film Live Action: Instead of Abracadabra
Sound Editing: Avatar
Sound Mixing: The Hurt Locker
Visual Effects: Avatar