Tomorrow my personal favorite precursor body, the National Society of Film Critics, will announce their 2009 winners.
Regular awards-watchers will know that the NSFC is generally the most highbrow of the critics’ groups, as well as the most independent-minded — last year, they went wholly against the Oscar grain, giving Best Picture to “Waltz With Bashir” and four major awards to “Happy-Go-Lucky.” They can, however, be ahead of the curve when it comes to late-breaking Oscar heavies — think “The Pianist” or “Million Dollar Baby.”
This year, however, I’m guessing they’ll stick to the status quo: with such modest box-office, it seems critics want to give “The Hurt Locker” all the help it can get in the race. With that in mind, Kathryn Bigelow’s film could become the first to sweep the big three critics’ prizes since “L.A. Confidential” in 1997.
My predictions after the cut. What are yours?
Best Picture: “The Hurt Locker”
Best Director: Kathryn Bigelow, “The Hurt Locker”
Best Actor: Jeremy Renner, “The Hurt Locker”
Best Actress: Tilda Swinton, “Julia”
Best Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz, “Inglourious Basterds”
Best Supporting Actress: Edith Scob, “Summer Hours”
Best Screenplay: Michael Haneke and Jean-Claude Carriere, “The White Ribbon”
Best Foreign Language Film: “Summer Hours”
Best Non-Fiction Film: “The Beaches of Agnes”
Best Cinematography: Greig Fraser, “Bright Star”