Oscar Predictions 2010

Christoph Waltz in Inglourious BasterdsThe Academy Awards are next Saturday, March 7, and here are FilmJabber’s Oscar predictions. The expansion from five to ten nominations for the coveted prize really hasn’t done much to make things more competitive, as it appears that it’s going to be a battle between Kathryn Bigelow and her former husband James Cameron for a variety of awards. Up in the Air may play spoiler, but the race is clearly between The Hurt Locker and Avatar.

Last weekend, more than two months after its release, Avatar earned $16 million. The Hurt Locker, which was released last summer, earned less than $13 million in its entire domestic run. It’s the classic story of David vs. Goliath, and it’s not at all clear who will win. The Hurt Locker is the best Iraq war movie ever made, features some extremely intense action sequences and delivers a strong character study. Avatar lacks an award-winning screenplay – typically a requisite for a Best Picture winner – but still has a lot going for it:  technically, it’s a breakthrough film, it’s extremely engaging, it has an environmental/anti-war message, is directed by James Cameron and has also made more money than any other film in history – and yes, box office dollars matter. A lot more people have seen Avatar, too.

I expect a win split between Best Picture and Best Director, with one award going to Avatar and the other to The Hurt Locker. Right now, I’d say The Hurt Locker is the underdog and that may just enable it to walk away with Best Picture, but Avatar is, slightly sadly, the film to be. Still, I am nearly 50/50 of that viewpoint. It will likely shift back and forth over the next week (indeed, when I first posted this article, I was leaning toward The Hurt Locker).

Here are my Oscar predictions for the 2010 Academy Awards:

  • Best Picture: Avatar
    The Hurt Locker
    could just as easily win, but I think voters will lean toward the beast that is Avatar
  • Best Director: Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker)
    If Avatar ends up winning Best Picture, Kathryn Bigelow will likely win Best Director; but regardless, I feel the awards will be split among the two films/directors. As one commenter below pointed out, the Academy will feel good about awarding Best Director to a woman – the first time it has done so.
  • Best Actor: Jeff Bridges (Crazy Heart)
    George Clooney and the other contenders are great, but Crazy Heart has gotten the biggest boost of late and Bridges’ performance is a little more appealing to Oscar voters.
  • Best Actress: Sandra Bullock (The Blind Side)
    Due to a lack of serious competition (Meryl Streep in Julie & Julia, really?) and a long career that has never seen much in the away of awards recognition, Sandra Bullock should win this one easily.
  • Best Actor in a Supporting Role: Christoph Waltz (Inglourious Basterds)
    If the Jew Hunter doesn’t win, this will be one of the biggest shockers of the night.
  • Best Actress in a Supporting Role: Mo’Nique (Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire)
    The only thing going against the singer-turned-actress is that Precious has lost a lot of its Oscar steam over the last several months, but her performance is so riveting and disturbing it’s hard to imagine any of the other nominated women standing a chance.
  • Best Original Screenplay: Mark Boal (The Hurt Locker)
    Here’s another category where The Hurt Locker will be rewarded in anticipation of Avatar taking bigger awards.
  • Best Adapted Screenplay: Jason Retiman and Sheldon Turner (Up in the Air)
    The winner of this category will have “Up” in the title. A dark horse win could be granted to the animated film Up, but I expect voters to be more traditional and select the “third Best Picture candidate” with at least some recognition.
  • Best Animated Picture: Up
    Pixar will once again dominate. While the movie has some serious competition (The Fantastic Mr. Fox), Up was a critical and box office hit and a movie some felt should have been nominated for Best Picture.

Those are my Oscar predictions for most of the major awards. To view a full list of predictions as well as my personal picks (for instance, Mr. Tarantino gets more love from me than he’ll get from voters), go to the 2010 Academy Awards page).

By the way, you can check out a list of other websites’ Oscar predictions at Voucher Codes. If FilmJabber has the most correct predictions, we’ll win $400 in Amazon gift certificates. Wish us luck! (VoucherCodes.co.uk brings together the best voucher codes, 2-for-1 restaurant vouchers, printable vouchers, deals and sales for hundreds of leading online stores to help save you more money.)

By Erik Samdahl
Related categories: Awards & Oscars
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  • alberto

    Bad forecast dude… sorry but it’s true.

    Bigelow will win Best Director because besides of her excellent job and Best Pic win, a woman has never won. Then Hollywood wants to delete its sexist prestige… (Don’t you thikn USA is sexist? and now you have a chance to say you are not)…

    Best Supporting Actors are the most predictable awards. Then is not big deal to give the names you gave. Waltz has won everything as nobody has done for the same role. Starting in Cannes he will get a clean swept or acting Grand Slam next sunday. Mo’nique is certainly going to win, but there is a tinny chance for Maggie G. Do you remember when Marcia Gay Harden was ignored for all previous awards and became the surprissing Oscar winner?

    Oscar always brings surprises because they try no to be 100% predictables.

    Best Actrees of course Bullock won’t win!!! She is also nomineed to Worst Actress by her performance in another movie!!!! And the Academy will not take the risk of having an Academy Award Winner spoiling its reputation in other films. I think the award will go to Streep. Julie and Julia is far to be one of her best works but she is very respectful and because no strong competitors, the Academy could give it to her in order to honor her whole career.
    If Streep does not get it, Carey or Gabourney could be the surprise. This year Mirren is out of chances.

    Best Actor looks to be for Jeff B., but I still think Jeremy Renner could be the unexpected factor, speccially because he could be sponsored by The Hurt Locker win. If not, Colin Firth could be another black horse.

  • Hey Alberto, Good point on the Best Director gig – you’ve swayed me. But it sounds like you agree on many of the others. I still think Bullock will win, though I wouldn’t be surprised if Streep did; as good as she was in Julie & Julia, her performance just wasn’t as powerful as dozens of her other performances.

  • Alberto – what movie do you think will win Best Picture?

  • lucia

    No offence, and I actually mean no offence, but looking at the full list of your predicitions AND picks, it’s quite obvious that you prefer The Hurt Locker to Avatar. I honestly think both films are as good as one another, but your picks show what you\’d prefer to win, but I must commend you on your reality when it comes to predictions. The only I’d say Cameron will win Picture and Director would be because the Globes are usually a shadow of the Oscars, and Oscar voters may feel that since Cameron’s vision was a long time running (14 years!) that he deserves it. You have however missed out on a truly great film that is a front runner to win at least one award, District 9. But I guess a week from now, we’ll all find out.
    And Alberto, like you said the Academy try not to be 100% predictables so why wouldn’t Bullock be a small percentage of the predictable ones? And Streep was not Oscar worthy in Julie and Julia, she was good but not amazing, and if she was, why wasn’t Amy Adams nominated? Same thing last year when Amy Adams was snubbed even though here performance was brilliant in Doubt, also with Streep. Besides, last year Kate Winslet was the favourite, and she won? Whose to say, the person who everyone says is going to win won’t win? And honestly I’d love the Academy to shock us all and give the directing oscar to Taratino, he desperately wants one, so why not oblige him?

  • Hey Lucia,

    Yes, on my full list, “my picks” represent who I’d like to win, whereas “my predictions” indicate who I expect to win.

    Just note that the Golden Globes are actually not a good indicator of who will win Oscars; there are other award shows that are much more in line with Oscar voters.

    District 9 was good, but I don’t see it winning any awards at the Oscars.


  • wind

    My Oscars 2010 Prediction

    ‘Avatar’ — A foregone conclusion if ever there was one.

    or ‘District 9’- Julian Clarke
    The arrival of an enormous disabled spaceship over Johannesburg, South Africa, has led to the establishment of a refugee camp on the city’s outskirts for the ship’s starving, stranded aliens.

  • Jeff

    Avatar Just Cannot Win the Oscar. Read more here – http://www.tomedes.com/2010-Oscar-winner.php

  • While preparations for the 82nd Academy Awards Gala went on last hundred meters, the race between main favorite movies became more animated than ever other day, when “The Hurt Locker” movie producer tried to bar way to victory of “Avatar”.

  • Jim

    Jeff – is that link a joke? It certainly reads like one. Particular its suggestion that a Sci-Fi film have aliens use a human language.

  • Jim, I just read that article as well. I don’t get the language bit either – why would an alien race speak a human language? (not to mention that if he had chosen an existing language, the racism charges against the movie would have skyrocketed)