First stab at winner predictions

Posted by · 3:13 pm · November 9th, 2009

Chris Pine in Star TrekI don’t offer up predictions on a given year’s Oscar winners until November, generally speaking.  And, well, it’s November.  Which is still, of course, too early to be making calls like these, since we don’t even have a nominations slate to go by, but I like to take an early stab, revisit in early December and then one more time in early January before we get the nominees.

I asked over the weekend what readers thought would take the Best Picture crown this year, and the majority seemed to lean toward Lee Daniels’s “Precious.” It might be too easy to figure on that at this stage, but it’s difficult to argue with the early box office success and overall critical approval.

But there are certainly other spoilers lurking and the danger of peaking early (yielding more time for competitors to take you down) is always apparent with a film like this.

Keep reading to have a look at what I’m thinking.  Rattle off your thoughts and predictions in the comments section if you like.

Best Picture: “Precious”
Best Director: Kathryn Bigelow, “The Hurt Locker”
Best Actor: Jeff Bridges, “Crazy Heart”
Best Actress: Gabourey Sidibe, “Precious”
Best Supporting Actor: Christopher Plummer, “The Last Station”
Best Supporting Actress: Mo’Nique, “Precious”
Best Adapted Screenplay: “Up in the Air”
Best Original Screenplay: “The Hurt Locker”
Best Art Direction: “Nine”
Best Cinematography: “Nine”
Best Costume Design: “Nine”
Best Film Editing: “Precious”
Best Makeup: “Star Trek”
Best Music (Original Score): “Avatar”
Best Music (Original Song): “The Weary Kind” from “Crazy Heart”
Best Sound Editing: “Star Trek”
Best Sound Mixing: “Star Trek”
Best Visual Effects: “Avatar”
Best Animated Feature Film: “Up”
Best Foreign Language Film: “Forever Enthralled”
Best Documentary Feature: “The Cove”




→ 86 Comments Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Filed in: Daily

86 responses so far

  • 1 11-09-2009 at 7:38 pm

    David said...

    I have not seen most of the contenders, but to this point Up is by far the best film I have seen.

  • 2 11-09-2009 at 7:42 pm

    Speaking English said...

    Best Original Screenplay: “A Serious Man”

    No question. How this is even a contest is beyond me. “The Hurt Locker?” Weak. “Up,” okay, but in comparison just doesn’t even stand up to the Coens’ triumph.

    And if Bigelow gets anywhere near that damn Best Director Oscar I’ll scream a scream that’ll be heard across the world. I’d like to hope the first woman to win Director would actually be deserving. Give it to Campion if you must award a woman. Don’t do it just because ‘it’s never happened.’ That’s idiotic reasoning.

  • 3 11-09-2009 at 7:43 pm

    luke828 said...

    Best Picture: Precious
    Best Director: Kathryn Bigelow
    Best Actor: George Clooney
    Best Actress: Meryl Streep
    Best Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz
    Best Supporting Actress: Mo’Nique
    Best Adapted Screenplay: An Education
    Best Original Screenplay: “The Hurt Locker”
    Best Art Direction: “Nine”
    Best Cinematography: “Nine”
    Best Costume Design: “Nine”
    Best Film Editing: Avatar
    Best Makeup: “Star Trek”
    Best Music (Original Score): “Avatar”
    Best Music (Original Song): “The Weary Kind” from “Crazy Heart”
    Best Sound Editing: “Star Trek”
    Best Sound Mixing: “Star Trek”
    Best Visual Effects: “Avatar”
    Best Animated Feature Film: “Up”
    Best Foreign Language Film: “Forever Enthralled”
    Best Documentary Feature: “The Cove”

  • 4 11-09-2009 at 7:53 pm

    Rob said...

    **vague, not-really-a-spoiler alert**

    I find it interesting (if still technically accurate) that “Precious” is being labeled the ‘dark’ film and “Up in the Air” as the ‘light’ film, while the former ends on a note of hope/uplift, and the latter closes on a note of restrained sadness.

  • 5 11-09-2009 at 7:54 pm

    luke828 said...

    Best Picture: Right now, Precious has the momentum, but that doesn’t mean something like Avatar, Lovely Bones, or Nine can derail it.

    Best Director: Daniels could pull a surprise, but the direction for Precious isnt anything new. Id put money on Bigelow, but maybe James Cameron if the Academy has gotten over his last acceptance speech.

    Best Actor: While Bridges may be great, Clooney’s reviews out of film festivals have been stellar and he is already an Academy favorite. This may come down to name recognition.

    Best Actress: In my opinion, Sidibe isnt close to having this one wrapped up. Sidibe is an actress whose future in the industry could be limited given some of her physical characteristics. (Not that I approve of this.) This fact will dissuade some voters, and last year’s close race between Winslet and Streep may lead the Academy to award Streep her third Oscar as a way of honoring all her accomplishments since her last win.

    Best Supporting Actor: The fact that Basterds will probably not be a Best Pic nominee may lead some voters to honor the film with at least this award. Besides, of the nominees, its probably going to be the highest grosser.

    Best Supporting Actress: Mo’Nique. She has it wrapped up right now, but Im thinking it may go the way of Eddie Murphy’s Dreamgirls nod. Her indifference to the awards may derail her. Then it will be Moore’s.

  • 6 11-09-2009 at 7:58 pm

    De'Garryan said...

    Meryl Streep only has two Oscars, one for supporting, and one for lead. I PRAY PRECIOUS WINS EVERY OSCAR IT’S NOMINATED FOR!!!

  • 7 11-09-2009 at 8:18 pm

    Mr. F said...

    I’m rooting for either Sidibe or Streep to win. Sidibe because as history shows it is unlikely she will get another role of this caliber (although she is doing a nice of job getting projects that seem to have some quality, and I’m happy about that), and Streep because, well she is overdue. As for Mulligan, I feel it is too early for her to win. She will go on to give better performances, and if she wins now it will be hard for her to win for those other performances

  • 8 11-09-2009 at 8:39 pm

    Phil said...

    I’m surprised there’s not more support for Invictus (who knows how the film will play once it actually comes out). Eastwood and Freeman are a potent combination. Plus, as the earlier post about South Africa mentioned, it seems like the right film for the right time, given current state of affairs in the U.S., one year after a historic election.

  • 9 11-09-2009 at 8:42 pm

    luke828 said...

    De’Garryan: I said Streep has two Oscars. I was saying that this could be the year she wins her third.

  • 10 11-09-2009 at 8:42 pm

    Ali E. said...

    @Speaking English…

    You know you’re in the minority about your feeling towards The Hurt Locker, right? Bigelow may or may not win, but she’d be a deserving winner and that won’t change just because you don’t think so… Why so arrogant?

    And I’ll personally be very happy if she wins, not just because of her great work in The Hurt Locker, but because she has always been a great filmmaker…

  • 11 11-09-2009 at 8:43 pm

    leonardo said...

    My early predictions:
    Best Picture: “Up in the air”
    Best Director: Jason Reitman, “Up in the Air”
    Best Actor: Colin Firth, “A single man”
    Best Actress: Meryl Streep, “Julie & Julia”
    Best Supporting Actor: Alec Baldwin, “It’s complicated”
    Best Supporting Actress: Mo’Nique, “Precious”
    Best Adapted Screenplay: “Up in the air”
    Best Original Screenplay: “The hurt locker”
    Best Art Direction: “Nine”
    Best Cinematography: “Up in the air”
    Best Costume Design: “Nine”
    Best Film Editing: “Up in the air”
    Best Makeup: “Star Trek”
    Best Music (Original Score): “Up”
    Best Music (Original Song): “I See in Color” from “Precious”
    Best Sound Editing: “Up in the airr”
    Best Sound Mixing: “Avatar”
    Best Visual Effects: “Avatar”
    Best Animated Feature Film: “Up”
    Best Foreign Language Film: “A prophet”

  • 12 11-09-2009 at 8:45 pm

    luke828 said...

    Speaking English: The academy wont just hold off giving an award to a woman until someone monumental comes around. If Bigelow did the best job of the year, she deserves it. I agree that Campion is more talented, but she didnt deserve it more than Spielberg in 1993.

  • 13 11-09-2009 at 8:53 pm

    Speaking English said...

    ***If Bigelow did the best job of the year, she deserves it.***

    I agree. But she didn’t. I could list you at least six directorial jobs this year I feel are far superior to her work, and probably will be able to name ten or more by the end of the year. It’s just a matter of a woman winning when she truly, genuinely deserves it, not when everyone is clamoring for it because it’ll make “history.” Campion did a far better job on Bright Star this year. I would give it to her (although the Coens are my #1 choice).

  • 14 11-09-2009 at 8:55 pm

    luke828 said...

    Bigelow isnt going to win because of gender, and if she does, it will be a testament to her talent because the Academy is slow to award certain groups for the first time

  • 15 11-09-2009 at 9:40 pm

    Andy said...

    Best Picture: “Precious”

    Best Director: Jason Reitman, “Up in the Air”

    Best Actor: George Clooney, “Up in the Air”

    Best Actress: Gabourey Sidibe, “Precious”

    Best Supporting Actor: Christopher Plummer, “The Last Station”

    Best Supporting Actress: Julianne Moore, “A Single Man”

    Best Adapted Screenplay: “Precious”

    Best Original Screenplay: “The Hurt Locker”

    Best Art Direction: “Nine”

    Best Cinematography: “Nine”

    Best Costume Design: “Nine”

    Best Film Editing: “The Hurt Locker”

    Best Makeup: “Star Trek”

    Best Music (Original Score): “Avatar”

    Best Music (Original Song): “The Weary Kind” from “Crazy Heart”

    Best Sound Editing: “Star Trek”

    Best Sound Mixing: “Star Trek”

    Best Visual Effects: “Avatar”

    Best Animated Feature Film: “Up”

    Best Foreign Language Film: “Samson & Delilah”

    Best Documentary Feature: “The Cove”

  • 16 11-09-2009 at 9:42 pm

    SeanDean said...

    The shockeroo of the Oscar nominations will be Streep getting nominated for Lead for IT’S COMPLICATED.

  • 17 11-09-2009 at 10:24 pm

    Leone said...

    I’m just not betting on Academy over the top winning love for a movie like PRECIOUS, so here goes, some based on what I’ve seen and others obviously, well, not.

    Best Picture: UP IN THE AIR
    Best Director: Clint Eastwood, INVICTUS
    Best Actor: George Clooney, UP IN THE AIR
    Best Actress: Carey Mulligan, AN EDUCATION
    Best Supporting Actor: Stanley Tucci, THE LOVELY BONES
    Best Supporting Actress: Anna Kendrick, UP IN THE AIR
    Best Adapted Screenplay: THE LOVELY BONES
    Best Original Screenplay: THE HURT LOCKER
    Best Art Direction: NINE
    Best Cinematography: AN EDUCATION
    Best Costume Design: STAR TREK
    Best Film Editing: STAR TREK
    Best Makeup: STAR TREK
    Best Music (Original Score): THE ROAD
    Best Music (Original Song): PRECIOUS
    Best Sound Editing: STAR TREK
    Best Sound Mixing: NINE
    Best Visual Effects: AVATAR
    Best Animated Feature Film: UP
    Best Foreign Language Film: THE WHITE RIBBON

  • 18 11-09-2009 at 10:24 pm

    Leone said...

    And Best Documentary – ANVIL THE STORY OF ANVIL

  • 19 11-09-2009 at 10:55 pm

    Ed of WeHO said...

    And here we go again? Oh yeah, it’s November already. Oh well, so far based on the movies I have seen, here are my top 5:

    Best Picture: Precious
    Best Director: Jason Reitman, “Up in the Air”
    Best Actor: Colin Firth, “A Single Man”
    Best Actress: Meryl Streep, “Julie and Julia”
    Best Supporting Actor: Stanley Tucci, “The Lovey Bones”
    Best Supporting Actress: Mo’Nique, “Precious”

    I am 90% sure Meryl will win SAG, Critics Choice, Golden Globe and Oscars. Mulligan & Cornish is fading away, it is too soon for Sidibe, too soon for Mirren as well. It will be Meryl’s 16th noms, coming from a very formidable perfomance last year- Doubt and some years after that- Prada, and a delightful performance from Julie and Julia, she is the sure winner. I just hope she gets nominated for J & J instead of Its Complicated. Oh well, look at what happened to Kate Winslet last year, she won in The Reader instead of Rev Road. It’s not only that Streep is overdue but she was memorable in J & J! Go Meryl!

  • 20 11-09-2009 at 11:07 pm

    han said...

    Best Picture: “Precious”
    Best Director: Jason Reitman, “Up in the Air”
    Best Actor: Colin Firth, “A Single Man”
    Best Actress: Meryl Streep, “Julie & Julia”
    Best Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz, “Inglourious Basterds”
    Best Supporting Actress: Mo’Nique, “Precious”
    Best Adapted Screenplay: “Precious”
    Best Original Screenplay: “The Hurt Locker”
    Best Animated Feature Film: “Up”
    Best Foreign Language Film: “The Secret in Their Eyes”(Argentina)
    Best Documentary Feature: “The Cove”

  • 21 11-09-2009 at 11:26 pm

    red_wine said...

    Best Picture: Up In The Air
    Best Director: Reitman
    Best Actor: Bridges
    Best Actress: Sidibe
    Best Supporting Actor: Anybody besides Waltz
    Best Supporting Actress: Monique
    Best Adapted Screenplay: Up In The Air
    Best Original Screenplay: The Hurt Locker
    Best Art Direction: Nine
    Best Cinematography: Nine
    Best Costume Design: Nine
    Best Film Editing: Avatar
    Best Music (Original Score): Avatar
    Best Sound Editing: Avatar
    Best Sound Mixing: Avatar
    Best Visual Effects: Avatar

  • 22 11-10-2009 at 12:21 am

    Aaron said...

    @Mr. F…Carey Mulligan will not win because “it is too early for her to win”? This is Gabourey Sidibe’s FIRST film performance, and I think the Academy will take that into consideration…

    …I liked Precious quite a lot, but I did find it a little formulaic. There were powerful performances, and the direction was solid, but it didn’t really floor me like everyone else—I think my expectations were way too high for it….but Mo’Nique is flat out brilliant and hands down deserves that Oscar.

    I’m thinking Up in the Air will resonate with voters. They like Clooney, they like Reitman, and it seems like it deals with current issues that are very relevant in today’s societies (although I’m speculating, I haven’t seen it)

    Picture: Up in the Air
    Directing: Jason Reitman, Up in the Air
    Actor: George Clooney, Up in the Air
    Actress: Meryl Streep, Julie & Julia
    Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds
    Supporting Actress: Mo’Nique, Precious
    Adapted Screenplay: Up in the Air
    Original Screenplay: The Hurt Locker

  • 23 11-10-2009 at 1:19 am

    alex said...

    No Oscar for Pffeifer or Julianne Moore?? Oscar for the horrible james Horner for Avatar?
    Oscar for a newcomer (Sidibe) and not for great actresses with a great career??

    Definitely, there is no justice in the world. Well, maybe we have another Marlee Matlin that will win for the pity or for be a poor black and obese girl¡¡ The menbers of the academy will give her the Oscar to relax their conciences and all of us we’ll have another Marlee Matlin that will be forgotten in a few years¡

  • 24 11-10-2009 at 4:37 am

    Holden said...

    Best Picture: The Hurt Locker
    Best Director: Kathryn Bigelow, “The Hurt Locker”
    Best Actor: Colin Firth “A Single Man”
    Best Actress: Carey Mulligan “An Education”
    Best Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz “Inglorious Basterds”
    Best Supporting Actress: Mo’Nique, “Precious”
    Best Adapted Screenplay: “The Lovely Bones”
    Best Original Screenplay: “The Hurt Locker”
    Best Art Direction: “Nine”
    Best Cinematography: “The Hurt Locker”
    Best Costume Design: “Nine”
    Best Film Editing: “Avatar”
    Best Makeup: “Star Trek”
    Best Music (Original Score): “Up”
    Best Music (Original Song): “All is Love” Where the Wild Things Are
    Best Sound Editing: “Avatar”
    Best Sound Mixing: “Avatar”
    Best Visual Effects: “Avatar”
    Best Animated Feature Film: “Up”
    Best Foreign Language Film: “The White Ribbon”
    Best Documentary Feature: “Capitalism: A Love Story”

  • 25 11-10-2009 at 6:05 am

    John said...

    Aight, for now:

    PIC – Lovely Bones
    DIR – Bigelow, Hurt Locker
    ACTOR – Bridges
    ACTRESS – Streep
    S. ACTOR – Tucci
    S. ACTRESS – Monique
    ORIGINAL – Inglourious Basterds
    ADAPTED – Up in the Air
    CINEMATOGRAPHY – Nine
    ART DIRECTION – Nine
    COSTUMES – Nine
    MAKE-UP – Star Trek
    SOUND EDITING – Avatar
    SOUND MIXING – Avatar
    VISUAL EFFECTS – Avatar
    SCORE – Avatar
    SONG – Weary Kind, Crazy Heart
    ANIMATED – Up
    FOREIGN – White Ribbon
    DOCUMENTARY – The Cove

    Avatar – 4 wins
    Nine – 3 wins
    Lovely Bones – 2 wins
    Crazy Heart – 2 wins
    Precious – 1 win
    Hurt Locker – 1 win
    Inglourious Basterds – 1 win
    Up – 1 win
    Up in the Air – 1 win
    Julie & Julia – 1 win
    Star Trek – 1 win
    White Ribbon – 1 win
    The Cove – 1 win

  • 26 11-10-2009 at 7:34 am

    Caleb Roth said...

    Carey Mulligan: the Audrey Hepburn comparision is just perfect. Wonderful break-through, charming cinderella, Paris, Oscar. Unbeatable.

  • 27 11-10-2009 at 8:15 am

    Speaking English said...

    Definitely beatable.

  • 28 11-10-2009 at 8:34 am

    Jim T said...

    I’ll go ahead and say it. I’m not sure Meryl will be nominated. Many reasons. None of them too strong but the combination…

    1) Nominated last year.

    2) Light film

    3) It’s Complicated

    4) Competition

    5) Not a November-December release

    I give it a 50% probability.

  • 29 11-10-2009 at 8:55 am

    Aaron Chasse said...

    This year is a tough one. I don’t think Precious will get best picture since a movie underdog like it won last year and I think Lovely Bones is the most Academy award kind of movie out there. And I think the Academy will go with the director-picture double win again this year. I think Colin Firth has what it takes but I don’t think the Academy will vote for 2 gay roles back to back. Plus DDL just won and giving the best actor to Freeman is looking more and more likely. And I think Nine will win a bunch of technical awards for just being a musical.

    Best Picture: “The Lovely Bones”
    Best Director: Peter Jackson, “the Lovely Bones”
    Best Actor: Morgan Freeman, “Invictus”
    Best Actress: Gabourey Sidibe, “Precious”
    Best Supporting Actor: Stanley Tucci, “The Lovely Bones”
    Best Supporting Actress: Mo’Nique, “Precious”
    Best Adapted Screenplay: “The Lovely Bones”
    Best Original Screenplay: “The Hurt Locker”
    Best Art Direction: “Nine”
    Best Cinematography: “Nine”
    Best Costume Design: “Nine”
    Best Film Editing: “Nine”
    Best Makeup: “Star Trek”
    Best Music (Original Score): “Avatar”
    Best Music (Original Song): “Cinema Italiana” from “Nine”
    Best Sound Editing: “Avatar”
    Best Sound Mixing: “Nine”
    Best Visual Effects: “Avatar”
    Best Animated Feature Film: “Up”
    Best Foreign Language Film: “A Prophet”
    Best Documentary Feature: “Capitalism: A Love Story”

  • 30 11-10-2009 at 9:25 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    English: An important thing to keep in mind this time of year, since I see you’re already stumbling: just because you say something over and over again, doesn’t make it so.

  • 31 11-10-2009 at 9:41 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    “While Bridges may be great, Clooney’s reviews out of film festivals have been stellar and he is already an Academy favorite. This may come down to name recognition.”

    Are you implying that Bridges isn’t a recognizable name? Wow.

  • 32 11-10-2009 at 9:51 am

    leonardo said...

    I think that the battle between new comers Sibide and Mulligan, gonna make the way so much easier for Meryl Streep and her third oscar for Julie & Julia, not for It’s Complicated. But i got a felling that Alec Baldwin can give a surprise and win for his supporting role for It’s Complicated. The man is so funny, and seems like the heart and soul of the movie. And the academy likes to recognize that kind of supporting roles from time to time. Remember Whoopi Golberg, Cuba Gooding Jr., Diane Wiest , Jack Palance and Kevin Kline, just to name a few.

  • 33 11-10-2009 at 10:36 am

    Joey said...

    I am a huge Julianne Moore fan so I am excited for her to maybe get nominated yet again. But I just want her to win a damn Oscar already! I am sure that Mo’Nique will take the award, but if the Best Supporting Actress tradition picks back up again, it will be a surprise. My only concern is that if Moore wins, I don’t want backlash to start against her. Actually, if there is a surprise winner for Supporting Actress, it might go to Anna Kendrick.

  • 34 11-14-2009 at 6:31 pm

    Andrew said...

    always find it hard to pick winners from unreleased films.

    hope there’s more love for Bright Star and Julianne Moore is soooo overdue

  • 35 11-17-2009 at 10:56 am

    luke828 said...

    @Guy Lodge-
    Bridges is recognizable, but has never come close to the type of star power that Clooney currently has. Add in the fact that Up In The Air will be more widely seen, and he has two big obstacles in his way. The Academy has constantly snubbed the best performance in order to award the more visible one

  • 36 11-21-2009 at 7:23 am

    Ashley said...

    Kris, I agree with most of your predictions. Especially the Bridges one, Colin Firth, is a polarizing actor, with some loving him and others (like me) totally immune to his abilities. I think Bridges is way overdue and because Clooney has an Oscar already it is highly likely that they will go for Bridges–but it will be a tough get for him. Could go either way. Strong cases could be made for both films. Some might argue that Bridges has the “Mickey Rourke/Bill Murray/Ellen Burstyn/Julie Christie slot” and they could be right, but only time will tell.

    Here we go:
    (runner up in brackets)

    Best Picture: “Precious” (The Hurt Locker)
    Best Director: Kathryn Bigelow, “The Hurt Locker” (Lee Daniels)
    Best Actor: Jeff Bridges, “Crazy Heart” (Clooney)
    Best Actress: Gabourey Sidibe, “Precious” (Streep, Julia)
    Best Supporting Actor: Christophe Waltz (no competition)
    Best Supporting Actress: Mo’Nique, “Precious” (locked for the win)
    Best Adapted Screenplay: “Up in the Air”
    Best Original Screenplay: “The Hurt Locker”
    Best Art Direction: “Nine”
    Best Cinematography: “Nine”
    Best Costume Design: “Nine”
    Best Film Editing: “Nine”
    Best Makeup: “Star Trek”
    Best Music (Original Score): UP
    Best Music (Original Song): “The Weary Kind” from “Crazy Heart”
    Best Sound Editing: “Star Trek”
    Best Sound Mixing: “Star Trek”
    Best Visual Effects: “Avatar”
    Best Animated Feature Film: “Up”