Oscar Predictions and Selections of 2010 part 2
Here comes the finale!
During this article, I'll not only give you my predictions on whom will win in each category, but I'll go over possible upsets and runner ups. For those that are confused by what I mean by that, then I'll gladly explain. Possible upsets is basically a category, after I've predicted the winner, where I'll state which film has the best possible chance of upsetting the heavy favorite. Runner ups, basically lets me tell you exactly what I think about the film briefly and why it has virtually no chance to win, despite it's nomination.
Another thing I would like to point out is this, none of the picks that I predict to win doesn't necessarily reflect on who I think should win. Because if it were up to me, some of the films listed in the nominations wouldn't have been nominated over much more deserving movies. I'm just mainly basing my predictions off the usual trend of how the Academy Awards usually pick out winners for their films, based off watching them every single year. And based off my own assumptions of how the Academy might be a bit worried about ratings this year. Which is why they decided to nominate ten films for best picture this year, versus their usual five, to draw in more viewers.
Anyway, I hope you all enjoy reading this as much as I had writing it, and be sure to tune in to the Academy Awards this March 7, 2010; hosted by Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin.
Oh by the way, I decided to put up some videos of the ten films nominated for Best Picture, and I'll be going over Oscar Snubs, where I'll tell you which films and actors/actresses that were robbed of even a nomination. Enjoy reading.
Best Animated Feature Film
Which animated movie do you think should win best animated feature film?
- 11% Princess and the Frog
- 56% Up
- 22% Coraline
- 11% Fantastic Mr. Fox
- 0% The Secret of Kells
This poll is now closed to voting.
Best Animated Feature Film
Winner: Well seeing as how "Up" was the only animated film, the Academy decided was worthy enough to not only be nominated in the "Best Animated Feature" category, but the "Best Picture" nomination as well. I think it would be fairly safe to assume that "Up" has this one in the bag. Not that it was a bad film by any means, as "Up" was truly one of the best animated films out there in 2009. Featuring a heartfelt and touching story, along with some amazing visuals. It's easy to see why the Academy thinks so highly of this film.
Possible Upsets: Out of all the films being nominated in this category, I would have to say "Fantastic Mr. Fox" has the best chance to pull off an upset here. The reason why I say that is because out of all the animated films, this was by far the best one. Featuring amazing visuals that never before been seen in any animated epic, with a story line that could easily rival any of the films of last year. Why the Academy didn't nominate this film in "Best Picture", since they felt they had to nominate an animated movie, is beyond me. However, if the Academy chooses to base this solely off the quality of the films, without taking in the account that "Up" is also nominated, in "Best Picture", then "Fantastic Mr. Fox" has a great chance at walking away from this one.
Another sleeper, I wouldn't count out here is "Coraline." Like "Fantastic Mr. Fox", "Coraline" too had spectacular visuals that were clearly unmatched by any other animated film. Although the story line for "Coraline" may not be as strong as "Fantastic Mr. Fox", the visuals and character development, along with the great voice acting by Dakota Fanning and Terri Hatcher alone make it a serious threat to win this category.
Runner Ups: I'll be honest, I loved "The Secret of Kells." Seriously, I did. In fact, it's probably one of the best animated religious/historical based films, since "Prince of Egypt." The story line and character development in that movie was simply amazing to say the least. In fact, if the Academy were to base this award off the story content alone, then "The Secret of Kells" could seriously take the "Best Animated Feature" category. However, since this film is having to compete against "Up", "Fantastic Mr. Fox", and "Coraline", I doubt seriously it stands much of a chance to win it.
"Princess and the Frog" was by far one of my favorite Disney films ever made, but that's not going to be good enough to win. Don't get me wrong, "Princess and the Frog" was a great animated film. However, the visuals in "Coraline", "Up", and "Fantastic Mr. Fox" is too much for this new Disney musical to over come. Sure, they might of had a chance if any those previous films I mentioned, didn't have that great of a story. However, that's clearly not the case, as all the animated films in this category have great stories as well. Therefore, it looks like Disney's new attempt to get back into making musical animated films, might be good to win a lot of box office and DVD sales, but it won't be good enough to win an Oscar. Not by a long shot.
Best Director Poll
Who do you think deserves the Best Director Award?
- 63% Kathryn Bigelow-The Hurt Locker
- 25% James Cameron-Avatar
- 0% Lee Daniels-Precious
- 0% Jason Reitman-Up In The Air
- 13% Quentin Tarantino-Inglourious Basterds
This poll is now closed to voting.
Winner: Well seeing as how much hype James Cameron's new movie, "Avatar", has been getting. Then the fact that the last time he made a movie that defied record sales, "Titanic", it swept almost every single nomination it was up for; including "Best Director." It's going to be a rather safe bet that James Cameron will by default win this again. Not saying that it won't deserve it, as "Avatar" was a rather entertaining film. Sure, the dialogue wasn't the best, in the world, and it did fall into a few minor cliches. However, it was still a powerfully moving film, with a lot of strong underlining messages.
Possible Upsets: Jason Reitman seems to have the best chance to upset James Cameron, with his movie "Up In The Air." Not only was Reitman's direction potent and heart moving, "Up In The Air" also played on a lot strong themes about our current recession era economy. How we all tend to become confused about where we want to go in life, after investing so much of ourselves into something but to only have it blow up in our face. Then where do you go from there? Jason Reitman creates a powerful moving film that plays on that beautifully.
Lee Daniels might be another possible contender here, as "Precious" was one of the most critically praised movies of last year. Featuring a solid story arc about a young girl trying to overcome her abusive past. Where this girl not only had to strive to overcome her past of being raped and molested throughout her entire childhood, by her step father. Then abused both physically and mentally by her mother. "Precious" is basically a coming of age movie like no other. Lee Daniels does an excellent job conveying the many underlining themes of the film, while creating a beautiful story about one girl's attempt to overcome her past.
Runner Ups: Although I'll probably sound like a bit of a hypocrite, Kathryn Bigelow doesn't have much of a chance to win this category. Kathryn Bigelow did do a great job along with writer, Mark Boal, to create a authentic and realistic portrayal of the modern war, in Iraq, with "The Hurt Locker." However, with poor character development and insight to the main protagonists, makes it very hard to believe she'll win.
Then there's Quentin Tarantino, who made so many iconic films that have resonated in our western pop culture like no other. Creating such great films as "Reservoir Dogs", "Pulp Fiction", "Kill Bill Volumes 1 & 2", and many others. Indeed, Quentin has always had a knack for creating violent controversial yet remarkably entertaining films. Which is exactly why he won't win it for "Inglourious Basterds." Although I found the movie very entertaining and colorful, the Academy usually tend to shun films like this. As I've stated before, the Academy likes to be political sometimes, which makes it even more doubtful they'll recognize Quentin Tarantino this year.
Best Picture Poll
What movie would you like to see win Best Picture?
- 56% Avatar
- 0% An Education
- 22% Hurt Locker
- 0% Inglourious Basterds
- 22% District 9
- 0% The Blindside
- 0% Precious
- 0% Up
- 0% A Serious Man
- 0% Up In The Air
This poll is now closed to voting.
Winner: Seeing as how the Academy is so worried about ratings this year, which is why we have the ten nominations in this category versus the usual five. I'm going to put my money on "Avatar" to win it all this year. "Avatar" was not only a highly critically acclaimed film, it was also ranked as the highest grossing movie of all time; while it still continues to dominate box office sales to this day. That's why I doubt seriously any other film stands much of a chance to win it this year, as the Academy wouldn't want to lose ratings again, in favor of picking a film based on quality, rather than what the majority would want. Not to say that "Avatar" is a bad movie by any means. Heck, it was one of my favorite movies of last year as well, but is it worth getting "Best Picture?" The short answer would be no.
I loved "Avatar" as it not only raised the standards of special effects, but it also delivered a heartfelt storyline as well. However, when compared to some of the other films getting nominated or the ones that got snubbed like "Brothers" and "The Messenger", then I'd have to say it doesn't deserve it.
Possible Upsets: If the Academy chooses to elect the film based off quality, rather than hype and money, then "The Hurt Locker" might have a great chance to beat out "Avatar." Kind of strange considering "The Hurt Locker" is directed by Cameron's ex-wife, Kathryn Bigelow, whom he also recommended to direct the film in the first place. Talk about irony at it's best. Indeed, "The Hurt Locker" was by far one of the most realistic war movies ever made, as the level of detail was simply amazing. Capturing the essence and brutality of modern warfare unlike any other film since "Platoon." Although the character development and dialogue fall short on what it could have been, the film's realism and authenticity alone makes it a worthy threat to "Avatar."
Then there's "Precious", a film that was so provokingly powerful, it could easily take this award as well. Based off the novel Push by Saphire. This story involves a young illiterate, over weight, pregnant teenager struggling through life, as she's forced to live a life of severe sexual, physical and mental abuse at the hands of her step father, and her own mother, who blames her for just about everything. Indeed, "Precious" is definitely one of the most thought provoking films, I've ever seen.
Although this film is a bit of a long shot, I would say "An Education" might have a very strong chance at taking this award as well, as it offers one of the most unique story lines ever presented in a film. Even though it was snubbed out of the "Best Director" category, "An Education" has a strong character driven movie like no other. Showing how such a talented and articulate young girl is naively swept away by a middle aged playboy, whom is not what he seems. Creating a thought provoking film about regrets and mistakes we make in life, and how we evolve to over come them in the face of adversity.
Even "Up In The Air" might have a great chance as well considering how thought provoking that film's storyline speaks true to our modern recession era. Where uncertainty and feeling lost, after putting so much of yourself into something will speak to anyone's heart. Something the Academy might not choose to ignore during these harsh times. Plus, it always helps to have a great performance from a seasoned actor like George Clooney.
Runner Ups: "Inglourious Basterds" should be one of the possible upsets here, as it offers an entertaining story that could easily rival any movie in this category. The problem? It might be too controversial, so that's why I'm going to have to say this film has no chance to win. I loved this movie, and it's one of my favorite war movies out there. However, lets face facts, the Academy rarely chooses films that are controversial and excessively violent, which makes all the more reason why "Inglourious Basterds" has no shot to win this even more. Which is really rather sad, as I thought this movie hands down one of the best war movies ever made.
"Up" was a great animated movie, as it shows that even when Pixar isn't up to it's best in "Wall-E" type quality, it'll still manage to give you a fantastic movie anyway. Featuring amazing visuals and a solid story arc to boot. Unfortunately, this wasn't even the best animated film in it's "Best Animated Feature Film" category, so I doubt seriously the Academy will give the "Best Picture" award to this animated film. As it's so obvious that they nominated "Up" just to fill in the needed ten nominations, and prove that they don't snub animated films for this category. Which is kind of sad because I think they would've been better off nominating "Fantastic Mr. Fox" in this category instead. As I think that would've stood a much better chance to win.
"A Serious Man" was a great dark comedy for what it was. However, I'm not even sure how it was even nominated for "Best Picture." Don't get me wrong, it was well deserving of it's "Best Original Screen Play" nomination, as it does offer one of the most unique story lines ever told for a dark comedy. However, it's no where near as commercially popular as the other films listed in this category, nor was the story as moving or as potent as "Precious", "Inglourious Basterds", "Up In the Air", and "District 9." Plus, no offense to "A Serious Man", but it certainly wasn't as great as the snubbed films like "The Messenger" and "Brothers" were.
Like "Inglourious Basterds", "District 9" isn't going to have a fair chance in this category. Although if it were up to me, I'd give the "Best Picture" award to either "Precious" or "District 9" since both films were very moving. However, the Academy is usually biased against science fiction movies. Which makes it highly doubtful for "District 9" to win. Even though "Avatar" also falls into that category, the reality is that since it's the highest grossing movie of all time, and the Academy wouldn't want to repeat the same mistake last year, when they shunned out 2008's most financially successful film, "The Dark Knight." That's basically the key difference there. Which is really kind of sad, as "District 9" played on a lot of key themes about racism and prejudice. Depicting humanity in a very cold light, as it shows how harshly humans treated the aliens that were stranded here. Stripping away their rights and treating them like animals, as the human race savagely abuses their culture out of sheer prejudice. Sure, "Avatar" does the same thing, but it doesn't portray the same themes quite as thought provokingly as "District 9" does.
Then we finally get to "The Blindside." Now, don't get me wrong, I loved that movie just as much as the next person. However, anyone who says this has a chance to win, is seriously out of their mind. Just because a film is based off a real life story doesn't mean an automatic Oscar. For if that were the case, "Invictus" would've been a shoe in to be nominated in this category. Or other such films like "The Hurricane", "Gridiron Gang" and "Remember the Titans" would've won an Oscar automatically during their respected years. Which is hence why I say, "The Blindside", doesn't stand much of a chance. Even if "Avatar" didn't even exist, the "The Blindside" still wouldn't win over "Precious" or "Up In The Air." As the story content of "The Blindside" is nowhere near as powerful or as potent as those other two films.
Up In The Air
A Serious Man
The Hurt Locker
Brothers: "Brothers" was by far one of the best movies of last year. Not only featuring great performances, especially from Tobey Maguire. It also had a solid story line as well. Like "The Hurt Locker", it was set in the modern day war on terrorism. Where it not only shows the affects that war can have on a person, but how the post traumatic stress syndrome can affect the soldier's mind, and personal life. It's a bit of a shame as I truly felt it deserved a nomination for not only "Best Picture", but "Best Adapted Screen Play" as well.
Tobey Maguire: Speaking of "Brothers" that leads me to my next Oscar Snub, Tobey Maguire. Very much deserving the nomination for "Best Actor", as this was possibly his best performance since "The Cider House Rules." Unlike his previous films where he typically plays an average everyman or underdog, he really shows off his versatility as an actor in "Brothers." Not only is he able to capture the great family man and tough as nails boyscout persona, at the beginning of the movie, he's also able to convey the disturbed and psychotic side of his character's persona, as the aftermath of the war deteriorates his mind.
The Messenger: Out of all the war movies that came out last year, "The Messenger" was by far the best one. Unlike "The Hurt Locker" where it only dealt with the harsh realities of the current war in Iraq, "The Messenger" dealt with it on a more personal level. Allowing for viewers to see just how tragic war can be for the families and loved ones, of the soldiers. Which is sad to see it was snubbed this year for "Best Picture."
Ben Foster: Although his performance wasn't as potent as his co-star Woody Harrelson, Ben Foster still gives a command performance as the conflicted Staff Sergeant William Montgomery. Giving the viewer a sense of empathy for a soldier, who is assigned the daunting task of informing loved ones of their loss, while dealing with his own inner demons as well. Truly a command performance to say the least, that should have garnered a "Best Actor" nomination.
Samantha Morton: While we're still on the subject of "The Messenger", let's certainly not forget about Samantha Morton, who should have gotten a "Best Supporting Actress" nomination for her role. Portraying the role of the recently widowed mother, that's still unsure how to handle her husband's death. As it doesn't quite register with her as he was rarely ever with her, due to the war, as it creates a lot of internal conflict with her moving forward.
Star Trek: Although I'm sure I'll get a lot of flak for this pick, "Star Trek" was by far one of the best origin movies ever conceived. Proving that you don't need to make an origin story dark and brooding, to make it work. Just create a good story that recaptures what made "Star Trek" one of the best science fiction shows/movie series ever made. J.J. Abrams masters that to a "T." As he not only he not only recaptures the essence of the original series, he reinvents it for a whole new generation. That's why I truly believe "Star Trek" should have at least gotten a "Best Picture" nomination.
Moon: This was probably one of the most captivating movies of last year. The story follows a would be astronaut, who has an encounter towards the end of his three year stint on the moon. Stranded there alone along with his computer, GERTY, as he sends back parcels that could relieve the Earth's energy problems. However, the story goes much deeper than that, as it shows how the main protagonist's struggles with issues of isolation. A very powerful film to say the least. Which is why it's sad it wasn't nominated for "Best Adapted Screen Play" and "Best Picture."
Sam Rockwell: Sam Rockwell gives a command performance as an isolated astronaut, on the moon. Struggling to keep his sanity, as the cold isolation of space starts to get him. Each day seeming like an eternity. Truly one the best performances of last year; that went unnoticed by the Academy for "Best Actor."
Neil Blomkamp: Sadly, Neil was snubbed out for the "Best Director" category this year, in favor of the more commercially popular directed film, "Avatar." Not to take anything away from James Cameron, as he did do an excellent job making "Avatar" exceed the hype. However, that still doesn't diminish how utterly cliche ridden it was, and some of the poor dialogue. Which is why it's sad that Neil Blomkamp, who not only directed a great and powerfully driven film, "District 9", but he wasn't even given a fair shake when the Academy announced it's nominations for "Best Director."
Sharlto Copley: Copley was another snub for the "Best Actor" role, as I thought his performance as Wikus, a man that undermines the aliens, in "District 9." However, soon finds the shoe on the other foot, when he soon finds out just how it's like to be persecuted by his own kind when he slowly turns into an alien himself. Truly a powerful performance as it never should have been ignored by the Academy.
Ponyo: Then there's new animated epic by Hayao Miyazaki, that was sadly robbed for a nomination for "Best Animated Feature." Although I can understand how "The Secret of Kells", "Coraline", "Up", and "Fantastic Mr. Fox" got nominated. However, as much as I loved "Princess and the Frog", it didn't deserve to be nominated over "Ponyo." Not by a long shot. Don't get me wrong, I loved both films just as equally as they both had their strengths. However, "Ponyo" told a much deeper story along with some strong underlining themes about love, and sacrifices one makes for it. Although it wasn't anywhere near as financially successful as "Princess and the Frog", it offered so much more in substance.
Fantastic Mr. Fox: This movie was definitely without a doubt snubbed out of the nomination for not only "Best Adapted Screenplay" but it was also left out the "Best Picture" nod. Don't me wrong, I understand the Academy wanted to nominate an animated movie for "Best Picture" with "Up", but why not use the best animated film out there if that's the case? "Fantastic Mr. Fox" had a much better story line that was not only original, but it could have easily beaten out any film's script from last year. Plus, the visuals in that movie were unmatched any animated film ever created.
Matt Damon: Although he was nominated for his supporting role, in "Invictus." However, he should have gotten nominated for his part in "The Informant." This was probably one of the funniest comedies I've seen last year, and Matt does a great job portraying the bumbling impulsive idiotic lying CEO perfectly. He was definitely worthy of a nomination for "Best Actor" for that movie.