Saturday, March 6, 2010

The Oscars: What Will Happen and What I Want...

Tomorrow night, the 82nd annual Academy Awards will be handed out. Of course, there will be the requisite sleep-inducing montages, the tearful acceptance speech and a handful of appalling wardrobe choices.

But for someone who loves the movies—and movie awards—as much as I do, I always get excited for the Oscars. However, almost every year I find myself hoping that everyone I think should win emerges victorious, although that never happens. (Not that I am the ultimate movie judge or anything, but heck, I can hope, can't I?)

So, in preparation for the big night tomorrow, here is a list of the big categories along with who I think will win (and if, different, who I think should).

Best Picture
The Blind Side
District 9
An Education
The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
A Serious Man
Up in the Air

Who Will Win: Despite the fact that The Hurt Locker has won most of the critics' awards, I think the recent backlash against the film and its producer—as well as the sheer spectacle of Avatar will give James Cameron his second Best Picture Oscar.

Who Should Win: Tough question. For me, Avatar was the best production of the year. But other than A Single Man, which was woefully unnominated for the top award, The Hurt Locker was the other film that I loved the most. So I won't be disappointed with either.

Best Actor
Jeff Bridges, Crazy Heart
George Clooney, Up in the Air
Colin Firth, A Single Man
Morgan Freeman, Invictus
Jeremy Renner, The Hurt Locker

Who Will Win: Jeff Bridges. No question. Really great performance, plus this is his fifth nomination in nearly 40 years. And he's gotten tremendous adulation at every awards show. As far as career Oscars go, this one isn't disappointing.

Who Should Win: Colin Firth. Fantastically moving performance as a man struggling with life in the wake of his long-time partner's death. He's never been better. Colin won the British equivalent of the Oscar, so at least he's gotten an award...

Best Actress
Sandra Bullock, The Blind Side
Helen Mirren, The Last Station
Carey Mulligan, An Education
Gabourey Sidibe, Precious
Meryl Streep, Julie and Julia

Who Will Win: Sandra Bullock. And as much as I love her, I'm unhappy. This was a very good performance. But not Oscar-worthy. I think she knows it, too.

Who Should Win: I'd love to see Meryl Streep win. Although this is her 16th nomination, she hasn't won since 1982. But my favorite performance of the year was Carey Mulligan's. I hope this propels her to stardom.

Best Supporting Actor
Matt Damon, Invictus
Woody Harrelson, The Messenger
Christopher Plummer, The Last Station
Stanley Tucci, The Lovely Bones
Christoph Walz, Inglourious Basterds

Who Will Win: Christoph Walz. No question. The man has won nearly 50 awards this season. And he has the big Weinstein brothers' machine behind him. But honestly, the only category more sewn up is Best Supporting Actress.

Who Should Win: Christoph Walz. Although I didn't see The Messenger, and I heard Woody Harrelson's performance was fantastic. But Walz's performance as a deadly but immensely charming Nazi colonel is breathtaking.

Best Supporting Actress
Penelope Cruz, Nine
Vera Farmiga, Up in the Air
Maggie Gyllenhaal, Crazy Heart
Anna Kendrick, Up in the Air
Mo'Nique, Precious

Who Will Win: Maggie Gyllenhaal. Gotcha, didn't I? While no award is a complete lock, this one is nearly a lock for Mo'Nique. She was phenomenal, the Oscars love the amazing performance from a non-actress, and she's given some fantastic acceptance speeches.

Who Should Win: Mo'Nique. And that's not taking anything away from Anna Kendrick or Vera Farmiga, either of whom could win in another year.

Best Director
Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker
James Cameron, Avatar
Lee Daniels, Precious
Jason Reitman, Up in the Air
Quentin Tarantino, Inglourious Basterds

Who Will Win: History will be made tomorrow night, when Kathryn Bigelow becomes the first woman to win Best Director. As someone put it, "she made the ultimate guy's movie." Plus, no matter how she spins it, I'm sure it will be satisfying to beat her ex-husband, James Cameron, no?

Who Should Win: Kathryn Bigelow. Although the sheer brilliance of James Cameron's work was amazing, it was mostly technological.

Will I be right? We'll see...

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