Saturday, March 6, 2010
And the Oscar (blindly) goes to... (2010 edition)
I rarely do award predictions on my blog because usually, I haven't seen enough of the nominated films to write a credible entry. But consider this a birthday treat to myself. It's not every year that the Oscars ceremony lands on your birthday, right?
The only nominated films I've seen are Avatar, Inglorious Basterds, Julie & Julia, and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. So that makes me a piss-poor predictor. Anyway...
The bolded types indicate my official predictions.
I want to throw a tantrum when I hear people talk about how Avatar will win Best Picture simply because it has earned a crapload of money. Avatar is simply not worthy of all the ridiculous amount of critical acclaim it has received. It's a fairly well-made film that has deservingly dominated the technical categories, but it is hardly a original, memorable film. Far from Best Picture material.
The only other Best Picture nominee I've seen--Inglorious Basterds--is an astoundingly entertaining spectacle. Since I've never reviewed Inglorious Basterds, I would just like to say how I thoroughly enjoyed Quentin Tarantino's wild, alternate WWII vision, but it simply did not blow me away. Great performances, crackling script, beautifully shot, glorious soundtrack...but I didn't feel that deep, personal connection that I usually feel for truly great films. Perhaps I'm just suffering from being purely underwhelmed by a film that has been loved by almost every other person I've spoken to, but hey, that's a legitimate excuse.
I'd whole-heartedly rather have Inglorious Basterds win the Best Picture win at the end of the day over Avatar. But I have a disgusting feeling that Avatar will take away the top prize. While I haven't seen The Hurt Locker, it currently stands as the only other serious competition Avatar has in the Best Picture race.
Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker) seems like the likely Academy choice for Best Director. Again, I haven't seen the film, but I have a feeling that Bigelow is partially being awarded because she's a woman with the ability to direct like a man, or at least, the ability to direct a testosterone-fueled one-two punch. And is it kind of ridiculous that Bigelow is being praised as one of the greatest female directors of all-time when The Hurt Locker is probably the only film that she has gotten any serious recognition for? Correct me if I'm wrong about any of the above.
Jeff Bridges (The Crazy Heart) will win because he's a Hollywood veteran, has multiple previous nominations (his first nomination was for 1971's The Last Picture Show), is beloved by his fellow actors, and seems to have delivered a legitimately great performance.
I will preface my prediction for the Best Actress race for bluntly voicing my confusion about the supposed wonders of Meryl Streep's performance in Julie & Julia. And this is coming from a fan who thought her performance in Doubt triumphs Kate Winslet's in The Reader. Streep's performance as Julia Child is certainly an adorable performance. Streep humanizes Child, yet she doesn't quite capture the nuances of the woman behind the French cuisine. I may easily be wrong since Streep has won numerous awards and garned plenty of praise for her performance.
Though Julie & Julia is a pleasant film. Well worth the rental. A film made by women, for women, and doesn't have romance as a primary focus. That's rare.
If Sandra Bullock (The Blind Side) wins, which seems rather likely, I can already imagine people complaining how unworthy her win is for years to come, simply because she has been typecast for years in bubblegum romantic comedy roles and perhaps because of the predictable quality of the film she was nominated for. But I'm sick of predicting with the norm--I want to see Gabourey Sibide (Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire) pull an Adrien Brody (The Pianist).
Christoph Waltz (Inglorious Basterds) is a lock for Best Supporting Actor. And it really is a devilishly charming, magnetic performance. This category seems to have quite a villain streak--I mean, Javier Bardem (No Country For Old Men) and Heath Ledger (The Dark Knight)? Just sayin'.
Mo'Nique (Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire) is the name most spotlighted out of the Best Supporting Actress category, so I'm guessing she'll take the gold as well. Though I can totally imagine Vera Farmiga (Up in the Air) pulling a Tilda Swinton (Michael Clayton) and no one really having a problem with it. (While I should see Michael Clayton, I do love, love, love Cate Blanchett in I'm Not There. That's just a stunning performance, man.)
Let's cross our fingers and hope that the telecast won't feel like a terrible mess.
All nominations can be found at IMDb.