December winner predictions, part 2: Yours and mine

Posted by · 4:53 pm · December 29th, 2009

Melanie Laurent in Inglourious BasterdsAs I like to do when Kris boldly throws out a set of winner predictions, I thought I’d follow up with an indication of which way our readers are leaning — as well as an update of my own previous guesses.

The conclusion: well, what a difference seven weeks makes. Of course, it’s inevitable that things would go topsy-turvy in this of all months, when multiple question marks have been answered — some becoming unexpectedly insistent exclamation marks in the process.

Still, I’m surprised by how dramatically my own picks have shifted, largely due to my overestimation of “Precious”‘s pop-culture sway, and my misplaced hunch that “Avatar” would disappoint. (Well, it disappointed me, but that’s hardly the deal-breaker I’d like it to be.) Today, I’m not even predicting a nomination for the man I (rather rashly) backed to win Best Director last month … such is the fickle nature of the game.

Collectively, you guys have stuck to your guns a little more than Kris and I have — most of you (probably sensibly) never shared our belief in “Precious” anyway — though “Avatar” fever has inevitably struck.

The majority of your predictions following Kris’s post yesterday align with his for the most part, though you’re evenly split on George Clooney and Jeff Bridges for Best Actor, while the few of you who ventured into below-the-line categories came up with narrowly differing leaders in Best Cinematography (“The Hurt Locker”), Makeup (“Star Trek”) and Original Score (“Up”). Still none of you are considering a foreign-language champ other than “The White Ribbon” or “A Prophet,” slightly favoring the latter.

For my part, I’m resisting the “Avatar” hype — partly, perhaps, because the prospect of a victory for Cameron’s film gives me even less pleasure than the “Precious” sweep I once foresaw, but mainly because I think the new preferential voting system for Best Picture could play havoc with conventional wisdom. With that in mind (and with humble apologies to Tom O’Neil), here are my picks. For now.

Best Picture: “Inglourious Basterds”
Best Director: Kathryn Bigelow, “The Hurt Locker”
Best Actor: Jeff Bridges, “Crazy Heart”
Best Actress: Carey Mulligan, “An Education”
Best Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz, “Inglourious Basterds”
Best Supporting Actress: Mo’Nique, “Precious”
Best Adapted Screenplay: “Up in the Air”
Best Original Screenplay: “Inglourious Basterds”
Best Art Direction: “Inglourious Basterds”
Best Cinematography: “The Hurt Locker”
Best Costume Design: “Bright Star”
Best Film Editing: “The Hurt Locker”
Best Makeup: “District 9”
Best Music (Original Score): “Up”
Best Music (Original Song): “The Weary Kind” from “Crazy Heart”
Best Sound Editing: “Avatar”
Best Sound Mixing: “Avatar”
Best Visual Effects: “Avatar”
Best Animated Feature Film: “Up”
Best Foreign Language Film: “Letters to Father Jacob”
Best Documentary Feature: “Mugabe and the White African”

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64 responses so far

  • 1 12-30-2009 at 10:04 am

    Holden said...

    Okay, Avatar was an amazing movie, but it was not so great that it deserves or will even win the top prize! Besides, with a screenplay that sucked, it doesn’t have as a good of a chance to win.When was the last time a movie won Best Picture without at least being nominated for its screenplay that wasn’t Titanic? And those of you thinking of Titanic, that movie sucked and didn’t deserve to win. L.A. Confidential did.

  • 2 12-30-2009 at 10:06 am

    Holden said...

    Anyone can sink a boat, and tell an awful story.

  • 3 12-30-2009 at 10:13 am

    Me. said...

    I’d love to see Holden’s groundbreaking film that shows a boat sinking since he makes it look like something really easy.

  • 4 12-30-2009 at 10:20 am

    movielocke said...

    I would love to see Kris or Sasha or Dave or someone write an article about how the only argument against Sandra Bullock winning is that movie snobs are insanely prejudiced against her because she’s only ever been in romantic comedies and money makers like Speed, never in one of “their” movies.

    Bullock has all the momentum and timing in her favor, she has way more likability than any of the other contenders, and she has the advantage of being a veteran actress that has survived aging taking on a rare oscar worthy turn.

    Meryl has ten billion nominations, nobody wants her to win again and her movie came out in the summer. Yes she was terrific as Julia Child, but isn’t it odd how when she gives an imitation performance ala Jamie Foxx or Reese Witherspoon all the people that heaped shitloads of scorn on those two phenomenal performances are bending over backwards to sing excessive and idiotically hyperbolic praise of Meryl?

    I think it’s Bullock’s year, and I think she probably should win it. Meryl will be nominated for doing whatever from here until she dies, even if it’s a movie about farting in an old folks home, but she doesn’t need any more wins.

  • 5 12-30-2009 at 11:29 am

    Brian said...

    Hurt Locker made a profit I believe, so it’s not particularly a “box office failure”. Also, they do give it to ballsy little films, such as “Moulin Rouge!” which I don’t think made a profit (domestically).

  • 6 12-30-2009 at 11:59 am

    Megan said...

    While I like the idea of more and more pundits leaning toward the possibility of an “Inglourious Basterds” Oscar victory, I’m still very skeptical.

    However, long before anyone else thought it possible, I was almost certain IB would at least get a BP nomination. And I stand by that.

    But at the end of the day, if Waltz wins Best Supporting Actor and IB Best Original Screenplay, I’ll be happy.

  • 7 12-30-2009 at 12:46 pm

    tg said...

    Picture: Inglorious Basterds vs Avatar (with Avatar prevailing). Up in the Air will be Juno’d out of memories; Hurt Locker will be rewarded with Director and Precious’ is buzz less

    Actor: Bridges/Firth or Clooney – going with Bridges as winner but I would prefer Firth. Academy won’t be able to resist not handing Bridges an Oscar

    Actress: For all you Mulligan lovers – you are nuts to think that the Academy will check her name over finally giving Streep her third. Deserving or not, Streep’s performance as Julia Child was buzzy even last year during her Doubt nomination – and they cannot pass up the oppty to award her number 3 finally over a newcomer.

    Sup Actor: Nothing will stop Christoph Waltz

    Sup Actress: If Mo’nique keeps her mouth shut and doesn’t pull a Russell Crowe/Insider or Eddie Murphy/Dreamgirls and piss off the Academy, she’s a shoo-in. She luckily doesn’t have an opponent with the likability and industry respect of Denzel (in Russell’s year) or Alan Arkin (in Murphy’s year). Kendrick is too young … I actually think Julianne Moore, if there is an upset, will be the one Academy members will want to award if Mo’nique sours.

  • 8 12-30-2009 at 2:21 pm

    Andrew said...

    I agree with tg. But I am 90% sure Avatar will win Best Picture.

  • 9 12-30-2009 at 2:27 pm

    Andrew said...


    What a stupid comment that is!

  • 10 12-30-2009 at 2:59 pm

    SHAAAARK said...

    Here’s one reason to be skeptical of Avatar’s chances: the last movie to win Best Picture with no acting or writing nominations was Grand Hotel. SO YEAH. The Hurt Locker is in for Original Screenplay and Actor, Up in the Air will have Actor, Supporting Actress x2, and Adapted Screenplay, Inglourious Basterds will have Supporting Actor and Original Screenplay, Precious will have Actress, Supporting Actress, and Adapted Screenplay. I…just don’t see the logic. When awards season returns, everyone will stare soberly at their Avatar predictions, and wonder what they were thinking.

  • 11 12-30-2009 at 3:00 pm

    Brian said...

    The idea with Basterds winning is two fold, I think. Firstly, it has a great shot at getting the most nominations, and secondly, with this ranked voting system, it could be very favorable to it.

    This is shaping up, I think, to be another EVERYONE’S A WINNER Oscar campaign. Tarantino and Reitman win for screenplays (QT taking the Globe), Bigelow sweeps director, and Cameron winning Best Picture (or the satisfaction that he can now build Pandora from scratch with all the money he’ll be making. again.).

  • 12 12-30-2009 at 10:47 pm

    Glenn said...

    tg, think you mean Russell/Beautiful Mind scenario. I doubt Mo’Nique is going to start reading poetry at the BAFTAs though, do you? Although if some studio decides to program a “Phat Girlz 2” type movie right there in February…? That could hurt.

  • 13 12-31-2009 at 4:50 am

    Ross said...


    I bet there are far more people (especially in the business) who’d love to see Meryl win much more than Sandra Bullock.

    Bullock has zero support from the critics. She didn’t win a single award. And let’s face it – she’ll make the cut (if she does; she’s no lock) only because the year’s weak. For a not so respected actor to win the Oscar, there has to be real consensus that it’s a performance that will win the Oscar – Witherspoon and Roberts had the consensus. Both won a lot of critics’ awards.

    And actually, it’s not true that nobody wants Meryl to win again. The NYFCC proves as well that even critics consider her overdue. I think Meryl will win the Oscar.

  • 14 1-05-2010 at 8:51 pm

    Paul said...

    I think this year there is no such thing as a “lock.” I think that it will be very unpredictable and that the love may be spread to quite a few movies.

    For best picture, I have a gut feeling that it will play out between “Avatar” and “The Hurt Locker.” The latter has much critical support right now, but we all know that doesn’t necessarily mean a win. The critics don’t cast Oscar ballots. “Avatar” may be the spoiler and I don’t really think I would be surprised if it eeked out a win.

    Best Director should be very interesting. It could be a close race between exes with Kathryn Bigelow going up against James “King of the World” Cameron. They may very well split votes which could allow Jason Reitman to slip in.

    Best Actor: George Clooney or Jeff Bridges? Colin Firth as an upset, anyone? Not quite. Clooney crosses the line first.

    Best Actress: It’s baffling that quite a few people are doubting Sandra Bullock’s odds. If she makes the cut, I think she is one of the front runners. Meryl Streep was sublime as always, but was “Julie and Julia” some of her best work? Carey Mulligan is virtually unknown and doesn’t seem to have the Hilary Swank mojo. Gabourey Sidibe would be a welcome upset, but I think this may be Bullock’s to win. She does have industry support as she is very well respected by her peers and she has turned in some great work in the past, if the films themselves left much to be desired. She just made history with “The Blind Side” crossing $200M. Don’t count out the Bullock.

    Supporting Actor and Actress: It would seem Christophe Waltz’s to lose, and I think he will…to Stanley Tucci. The ladies from “Up in the Air” will be left exactly there as Mo’Nique and Julianne Moore duke it out for the win, unless Marion Cotillard sneaks in and grabs the gold again for her great work in “Public Enemies” or “Nine.”

    This should be a fun year to watch!