Tuesday, 2 February 2010

My predictions for the 82nd Academy Award nominees are...

The nominees for the 82nd Academy Awards are due to be revealed today. I thought it would be worth jotting my predictions down here so I can refer to them at a later date, hopefully with regards to their accuracy.

As many readers may know, the Best Picture shortlist has been doubled from five films to ten. This makes my life a little easier as I’m bound to get one or two guesses correct now! I reckon we can expect to see the five features which were nominated for the same honour at last month’s Golden Globe awards, those being ‘Precious’, ‘Inglourious Basterds’, ‘The Hurt Locker’, ‘Up in the Air’ and, of course, the winner ‘Avatar’. They could be joined by the BAFTA best film nominee ‘An Education’, the highly-rated and commercially successful Vegas comedy ‘The Hangover’ and Pixar’s splendid ‘Up’. I don’t have too much confidence in the final two guesses, but I’m going to go with ‘The Blind Side’, a sentimental American football “you can live your dream!” movie, for which Sandra Bullock has been winning all the actress awards this year, and ‘It’s Complicated’ because it has Meryl Streep in it and also stars this year’s ceremonies co-hosts, Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin. There will be a lot of good will in the room, as they say.

In terms of Best Actress, I have already mentioned two obvious contenders: Meryl Streep for either ‘It’s Complicated’ or ‘Julie and Julia’ (at the Globes she was nominated for both) and Sandra Bullock. I expect to find Carey Mulligan on that list (or at least I hope to find her on it) for her dazzling turn in ‘An Education’. ‘Gabourey Sidibe’ may get a nod for her part as the abused and illiterate Precious in the film of the same name, whilst Julianne Moore is a possibility for her co-starring role in ‘A Single Man’.

Colin Firth is the hot favourite for Best Actor, with his portrayal of a homosexual University professor in Tom Ford’s upcoming film ‘A Single Man’. Jeff Bridges was a popular winner of the equivalent Globe last month, so he’ll surely be a contender for his role in ‘Crazy Heart’. To be honest, one of those two will win the award, so the remaining three are a formality: George Clooney (‘Up in the Air’), Tobey Maguire (‘Brothers’) and Morgan Freeman, perhaps a good outside bet for his portrayal of Nelson Mandela in Clint Eastwood’s ‘Invictus’. I would like to see ‘A Serious Man’ star Michael Stuhlbarg get a nomination, but that appears unlikely, though I’d be surprised if that film isn’t nominated for some minor awards (you know, little things like Editing, Sound and Writing!).

The supporting actor prizes will be won by Mo’Nique for ‘Precious’ and Christopher Waltz for ‘Inglourious Basterds’, without a shred of doubt in my mind. The two female leads of ‘Up in the Air’ (Vera Farmiga and Anna Kendrick - who would both be worthy winners in my opinion) may also be nominated in the supporting actress category, whilst Waltz is likely be competing against Matt Damon and Stanley Tucci (‘Invictus’ and The ‘Lovely Bones’ respectively). Best Director is being billed as a tussle between a former husband and wife: James Cameron and Kathryn Bigelow (‘Avatar’ and ‘The Hurt Locker’ respectively). That category may be fleshed out by the likes of Jason Reitman (‘Up in the Air’), Lee Daniels (‘Precious’) and, possibly, Tom Ford for ‘A Single Man’. You heard it here first!

I now lie in wait to see if my predictions are given any credence by the actual nominations later today. Please share your thoughts and predictions below.

I just thought I’d update this post in response to the Academy Award nominations having been announced now. Earlier I predicted the nominations and I am pleased to say I was (mostly) accurate. I predicted eight of the ten Best Picture nominees successfully. I was incorrect when I suggested ‘The Hangover’ (winner of Best Comedy or Musical at the Golden Globes) and ‘It’s Complicated’ might be included. However, I was happy to be wrong as two of my favourite films of last year were nominated instead: ‘District 9’ and ‘A Serious Man’. Whilst neither will end up winning the award (‘The Hurt Locker’ and ‘Avatar’ must be considered favourites, and both are nominated for nine awards overall) I am glad to see both making the list and earning themselves that honour. I was very pleased to find Carey Mulligan in the Best Actress category, as predicted. In fact, in that category I only got one guess wrong (Julianne Moore was not nominated, but Helen Mirren instead). It’s the same story with my picks for the actor category, with one wrong guess, in this case Tobey Maguire was not nominated and Jeremy Renner, of ‘The Hurt Locker’ was. A good mistake again. I guessed correctly with the nominations for both supporting categories, though I only guessed three names for each in that case. I was incorrect about Tom Ford being nominated for the director category for ‘A Single Man’, with Tarantino the preferred choice in the final shortlist.

Personally, I would have liked to have seen a foreign language film slipping into the Best Picture category now that the shortlist has been expanded. 'The White Ribbon' is certainly a better film than many that made the list. And whilst 'The Hangover' wouldn't have been my pick for Best Film, it would have been good to see comedy being acknowledged. However, it was pleasing to see an animated film successfully able to escape its sub-category this year, and 'Up' is deserving of the honour. All in all I'm pleased with the nominations. Whilst 'Avatar' will probably win the Best Picture and Best Director awards, I am really happy to find that six of my top ten films of 2009 (see the list in the right-hand margin of this blog) are nominated for awards, with three nominated for the main prize.


  1. Excellent and thoughtful walk through what you think the nominations may bring, how about a quick post of your choices for nominations?

  2. Presumably Up was nominated for both Best Animated Picture and Best Picture, if that can happen? That was a cracking film. It truly made me glad to be a human being capable of understanding stuff that foxes and lions can't.