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2010 Academy Award Predictions

Nominations for the 82nd Academy Awards officially came out today, with few surprises (except, perhaps, for The Blind Side's Best Picture nomination — what's with that?). Come Oscar night, these are the films to bet on.

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

Will win: Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner, Up in the Air
Should win: Wes Anderson, Fantastic Mr. Fox

foxI realize it wasn't nominated, but dammit, it should have been. The best of George Clooney's three movies this year, Fantastic Mr. Fox impressed me far more than I expected it to. Wes Anderson adapted the Roald Dahl book into a funny, intelligent film with exceptionally smart dialogue and strange, memorable characters. Even so, the Oscar will go to Up in the Air, Jason Reitman's good-but-not-great film that owes its success more to its performances than its screenplay. The real-life testimonies from men and women who have actually lost their jobs, for one thing, go on for too long, and they make Air's message obvious. That won't stop it from winning, though. Unfortunately, Fox also has zero chance of winning for Best Animated Feature, which will go to Up. Better luck next year, Wes.

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Will win: Quentin Tarantino, Inglorious Basterds
Should win: Quentin Tarantino, Inglorious Basterds

It's proven easy for the major awards to overlook Tarantino in the past. Even Jason Reitman, while accepting his Golden Globe for Best Screenplay last month, said he was “still waiting for them to say your name, Quentin.” And yes, Tarantino is self-indulgent and a little obnoxious, but he's also so fucking good—no one is more of a cinephile than he, and nobody's work reflects a pure joy to be making films the way his does. (In his world, the power of film is such that it can defeat the Nazis. How can you not love that?) The Best Original Screenplay award can almost be seen as a consolation prize for films that, while good or even great, don't have a chance at winning either of the top awards. (Past winners The Usual Suspects and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind are great examples.) It's also the one Academy Award Tarantino has already won—or shared, actually, with the now-incarcerated Roger Avary, for writing Pulp Fictionand it's his best, if only, shot this year.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Will win: Mo'Nique, Precious
Should win: Vera Farmiga, Up in the Air

MoniqueThough it's already a sure thing that Mo'Nique will win an Oscar for her performance in Precious, I can’t help but be drawn to Vera Farmiga’s turn as Alex Goran, the woman who somehow makes the hardened Ryan Bingham (George Clooney) want to change his plane-hopping, dream-crushing ways. The arc is not especially well-executed, but Farmiga's performance is. One gets the sense, watching Up in the Air, that there's more to Farmiga's character than she's letting on. She seems too good to be true and, it turns out, is — but that's all I'll say.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Will win: Christoph Waltz, Inglorious Basterds
Should win: Christoph Waltz, Inglorious Basterds

waltzA certainty. For the third year in a row, the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor will go to a first-time winner for portraying an unforgettable villain. (The previous two went to Heath Ledger for his turn as the Joker in The Dark Knight and Javier Bardem as Anton Chigurh in No Country for Old Men.) And, also for the third year in a row, the win will be completely deserved. Waltz's performance in Basterds is brilliant; without it, the film simply would not work as well as it does, and Waltz's work is getting the credit it deserves.

About Michael Nordine

  • heloise

    Good picks esp on the worst film IG which will win something. I called monique and bullock and I saw the films. They R shoe ins.

  • Glenn

    Well, this prediction is just dumb, because this is what’s going to turn out in the Oscars (I know it’s sounds moronic right now, but it’s going to be a lot of surprises [edited])

    Best Supporting Actress: Mo’nique (and why is Vera Farmiga even a “Should Win” when Anna Kendrick actually did way better than that bitch. Mo’nique just owned this year ok? Get it!

    Best Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz

    Best Actress: Meryl Streep (And there’s just not an option. Sorry but she’s taking the award [edited]!)

    Best Actor: George Clooney (He rules the Oscars people)

    Best Director: James Cameron (The only reason people are rooting for Bigelow is because she’s a dudette)

    Best Picture: Avatar (What do you expect [personal attack deleted]?)

    Best Adapted Screenplay: Up in the Air is who and should win. [personal attacks deleted]

  • samu

    how in the world can you even give your opinion if you haven’t watched 5 movies of the best Actress categories?

  • Alicia Diaz

    Sad… everyone so far in the show has a name… except “the cast of Precious”… no names. God in heaven hope that doesn’t happen again. It’s a crowd I know, but they do have names and it would take seconds to acknowledge them.