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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