Here are my final predictions for the 2010 Academy Awards. There may be surprises in the categories I mention in this article, but the other categories are certain. My logic behind the choices are written in the articles above. Here is a list of the films that are going to win and the ones that should win:
Probably going to win: "Avatar"
Who should win: "Up in the air" --- this film was the best post-recession film, it attacked capitalism but still lived in it, and it explored themes like young naiveness and solitude in an almost perfect manner. The movie is also funny and the best part its that it is serious when it needs to be. The twist in the end is outstanding, and why this film was so overlooked, I don't know.
Going to win: Jeff Bridges for "Crazy Heart"
Who should win: Colin Firth for "A single man" ---- Yes Bridges has been nominated four times before and his Oscar is overdue, but Firth was spectacular in this movie. His sublime acting as a homosexual English teacher was pitch perfect, and although the film was not the best (the ending made no sense), his acting made the film worthwhile. That being said, Bridges was also mind-blowingly good, but Firth showed off even greater acting chops, and moved us along with him.
Probably going to win: Sandra Bullock for "The blind side"
Who should win: Meryl Streep for "Julie and Julia" ----- It's Meryl Streep. If you are recognizing Bridges for his career think about these roles: "The deer hunter", "Kramer vs. Kramer", "Sophie's choice", "The devil wears Prada", "Out of Africa", "Adaptation" and "Angels in America". Now compare her to Sandra Bullock: "The proposal", "All about Steve", "The lake house", "Two weeks notice"... ok ok... I'm naming the worst. She also acted in "Speed" and "Crash". Anyway, you can't compare the two, but Streep should win the Oscar for a better role than this film, and she seems to be landing that role soon.
Best Supporting Actor
Going to win: Christoph Waltz for "Inglourious Basterds"
Who should win: Christoph Waltz for "Inglourious Basterds" ---- Epic role. Epic director. Epic movie. He was charismatic and simply joyful all the time. No one deserves it more than him.
Best supporting Actress
Going to win: Mo'nique for "Precious: based on the novel Push by Sapphire"
Who should win: Mo'nique for "Precious". ----- She was a human monster that still had some humanity in her. She could have easily shown her as over the top, but the balance between evil and merciful was perfect.
Who should win: James Cameron for "Avatar" ---- Bigelow's film was incredible and her use of editing and performance was admirable. But did you see "Avatar"? To construct a world like that is amazing, and Cameron proved to be king of the world one more time. Bigelow deserves it though, but Cameron does as well, for different reasons obviously. One showed hell on earth, the other showed beauty in Pandora. How can you really decide who is better?
Best Original Screenplay
Probably going to win: Quentin Tarantino for "Inglourious Basterds"
Who should win: Quentin Tarantino for "Inglourious Basterds" ---- His ending has been the most talked about finale since "Titanic". He decided to do the impossible and mess around with history. And the result was a near-perfect film. "The hurt locker" also has a good script, but the tension that "Basterds" creates in each scene is splendid.
Best Adapted Screenplay
Going to win: Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner for "Up in the air"
Who should win: Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner for "Up in the air" ---- The dialogue is crisp, the scenes play out flawlessly, and the twists in the end make everyone wonder about what money can really do. The actors have said that the character's were easy to play, and this is because they are so well written. Their lives are on the script, and so rich in detail it is enviable to any screenwriter out there.
Best Animated feature
Going to win: "Up"
Who should win: "Up" ---- Heart-warming, comforting, sad, action-packed, beautiful graphics and a perfect story line. Most movies just try and have one of the above, "Up" did it all. Great film, great characters, and an instant classic.
Best Foreign language film
Probably going to win: "A prophet"
Who should win: "A prophet" --- Works on every level imaginable, it has a great story with amazing characters and a cinema-verite style that is used to perfection. Also, the film can be read in a million ways, and it doesn't even need an ambiguous ending like Haneke's "The white ribbon" which is it's main competitor. The film is simply great, and a blast to watch.
Going to win: "The cove"
Who should win: "A cove" --- Once in a while we get documentaries that are incredibly fun to watch and have a very deep message behind it. The message is obviously don't hunt whales, but this movie tries to understand why the Japanese hunt whales so much, and the answers range from money to a skewed sense of nationalism. "Food inc." shows the food system, and has a little ray of hope in the end, but the film loses its tracks by the second half. "A cove" was a smart film which was tense to watch, and should be viewed by everyone as it is both monstrous and fascinating, like a bad car wreck (the topic of the movie, not the movie itself).
Going to win: "Avatar"
Who should win: "Avatar" --- The shots were beautiful, everything was lit to perfection, and the movie by itself did not look like a video game, even if it could have easily be done that way. The world looked real, and felt real because of the amazing colors and shots. "A white ribbon", who won the ASC, also has a good cinematography, there are shots were the framing makes the scene worthwhile, but "Avatar" relied in 3D graphics which is an ordeal by itself.
Probably going to win: "The hurt locker"
Who should win: "The hurt locker" ---- the scenes are cut in such a way that the tension mounts to its peak and you can barely take it anymore. It was fantastic, and no other film compares to it in this category.
Best Art direction
Going to win: "Avatar"
Who should win: "Avatar" ---- If you have seen the film, you know why. If you are one of the 10 people in this world who hasn't seen it, then when you will you'll understand.
Best Sound editing
Probably going to win: "Avatar"
Who should win: "Inglourious Basterds" I suppose. "The hurt locker" was pretty good as well, the final word will come down to the experts who can figure out that better than anyone, but "Avatar" was a massive blockbuster, most people vote for the blockbuster.
Best sound mixing
Who is going to win: "The hurt locker"
Who should win: "The hurt locker" --- People have trouble differentiating between sound mixing and sound editing, and mixing is layering the sounds while editing is putting it all together. "The hurt locker" created an atmosphere of tension in every scene that could not have been done without the sound people behind it.
Going to win: "Star Trek"
Who should win: "Star Trek". ---- "Il divo" had great human makeup which is really hard to do but "Star trek" created monsters and aliens like no one business.
Best Original Score
Probably going to win: "Up"
Who should win: "Up". ---- The montage sequence people. Also, the action sequences were based on the music, it was fantastic. I wouldn't past it that "Avatar" wins though. "Avatar" will probably sweep the smaller categories though, and the headline on Monday will be: "Avatar" sweeps Academy awards.
Going to win: T-bone Burnett and Ryan Bingham for "The Weary Kind", music from "Crazy heart"
Who should win: "The weary kind" --- Youtube each song and you'll know why. Besides, "The princess and the frog" has some okay lyrics, but "The weary kind" not only fits in with the movie, but also with everyone who has ever felt lost and out of place. Great song.
Best Costume design
Probably going to win: "Coco before Chanel" or "The young Victoria" (I think there's a 50/50 chance, but I'm siding with Coco)
Who should win: "The imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus" --- The theme of the power of imagination was made great because of the costumes. "Coco before Chanel" was about costumes and portrayed them great, but they didn't have to create it out of nothing, they had the clothes already. This is probably the category that I am less certain about, so I wish I didn't have to predict it.
Best Visual effects
Going to win: "Avatar"
Who should win: "Avatar" --- I don't have to explain why. It will take years to create something similar.
Total Number of awards
"Avatar" = 5
"The hurt locker" = 3
"Inglourious Basterds" = 2
"Crazy Heart" = 2
"The blind side" = 1
"Up in the air" = 1
"Precious: based on the novel Push by Sapphire" = 1
"Star Trek" = 1
"Coco before Chanel" = 1
"The cove" = 1
"A prophet" = 1
The Academy awards will either prove me right or wrong on Sunday March 7th 8pmET/5pm PT on ABC.