Let's face it: It's going to be a showdown between Avatar and The Hurt Locker. Kathryn Bigelow's already won the Director's Guild Award, which basically means if she doesn't win best director at the Oscars, hell will freeze over.
I'm afraid the Academy will pull another Crash / Brokeback Mountain on us and give Best Picture to Cameron and Best Director to Bigelow.
Full disclosure: I have not seen The Hurt Locker because I was broke as hell over the summer and I've tried to reserve it on DVD but it's impossible to get. So basically I'll be downloading it on iTunes for like ten million dollars because I support women filmmakers. It is near to impossible to get a film made as a female director (sorry, it's just the truth, it's an ugly world) and I would love to see Kathryn Bigelow win.
Also, yes, I concede that the technology in Avatar is mind-blowing or whatever, but the writing is shit and everyone knows it.
“The Blind Side”
“The Hurt Locker”
“Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire”
“A Serious Man”
“Up in the Air”
“Avatar” — James Cameron
“The Hurt Locker” — Kathryn Bigelow
“Inglourious Basterds” — Quentin Tarantino
“Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” — Lee Daniels
“Up in the Air” — Jason Reitman
Actor in a Leading Role
Jeff Bridges in “Crazy Heart”
George Clooney in “Up in the Air”
Colin Firth in “A Single Man”
Morgan Freeman in “Invictus”
Jeremy Renner in “The Hurt Locker”
Jeff Bridges is like the pretend un-sung hero of Hollywood. Which is bullshit, because everyone worships him for being "The Dude" from The Big Lebowski. That said, he hasn't really won any major accolades (although god knows he's been nominated ten thousand times) until Crazy Heart, so I think he'll get the golden statue.
Actress in a Leading Role
Sandra Bullock in “The Blind Side”
Helen Mirren in “The Last Station”
Carey Mulligan in “An Education”
Gabourey Sidibe in “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire”
Meryl Streep in “Julie & Julia”
I don't think the academy will give another statue to Meryl. Also there's been so much hype surrounding Sandra Bullock never winning anything and her heartfelt speeches at the Critics' and The Golden Globes make her kind of a darling for the win.
Actor in a Supporting Role
Matt Damon in “Invictus”
Woody Harrelson in “The Messenger”
Christopher Plummer in “The Last Station”
Stanley Tucci in “The Lovely Bones”
Christoph Waltz in “Inglourious Basterds”
Christoph Waltz was fantastic in this film and basically stole show from everyone. This is a no-brainer.
Actress in a Supporting Role
Penélope Cruz in “Nine”
Vera Farmiga in “Up in the Air”
Maggie Gyllenhaal in “Crazy Heart”
Anna Kendrick in “Up in the Air”
Mo’Nique in “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire”
Also a no-brainer. I don't think Mo'Nique has any competition whatsoever.
Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
“District 9” — Written by Neill Blomkamp and Terri Tatchell
“An Education” — Screenplay by Nick Hornby
“In the Loop” — Screenplay by Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Armando Iannucci, Tony Roche
“Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” — Screenplay by Geoffrey Fletcher
“Up in the Air” — Screenplay by Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner
Everyone loves this stupid movie, and I don't know why. The fact that it's been nominated for major awards makes it sort of competitive in the Best Picture category, but the Cameron/Bigelow head-to-head is just better. As amends, I think the academy will give best writing to Reitman.
Writing (Original Screenplay)
“The Hurt Locker” — Written by Mark Boal
“Inglourious Basterds” — Written by Quentin Tarantino
“The Messenger” — Written by Alessandro Camon & Oren Moverman
“A Serious Man” — Written by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
“Up” — Screenplay by Bob Peterson, Pete Docter, Story by Pete Docter, Bob Peterson, Tom McCarthy
Obviously. No contest.
Animated Feature Film
“Fantastic Mr. Fox”
“The Princess and the Frog”
“The Secret of Kells”
Duh! Everyone loves Pixar like it's crack-cocaine. Coraline really should win, but it won't.