Time to have a little guess again at which films could be nominated for Oscars in a couple of months time, just entirely based on hype and vague attempts to understand the predictable nature of the Academy. So, for debate and conjecture’s stake, enjoy these predictions for the Oscar nominations in 2010, post jump.
The Hurt Locker, Invictus, Nine, Inglourious Basterds, An Education, Precious, Up in the Air, Up, A Serious Man, The Road
Possibles: Where the Wild Things Are, The White Ribbon, The Lovely Bones, The Last Station, A Simple Man
Ten spots to take but, as always, more deserving movies than there are spaces. The Hurt Locker, Invictus and Up in the Air appear pretty solid picks right now, as does Precious. Nine will have to wait for reviews and buzz, but it looks a likely contender given the dazzle on display both visually and in the acting department. Up should get a nod, though the likelihood that even ten films for Best Picture will not have space for animation doesn’t seem out of the realms of possibility. An Education is riding a wave of critical praise, primarily owing to the acting and writing, which could secure a spot in the top ten. The Road will also have to wait for buzz, but A Serious Man and Inglourious Basterds would seem to have enough critical and blog buzz, along with the Coens’ academy love, to make them contenders. Where the Wild Things Are seems unlikely, but any love for Jonze’s direction could boost the film into this category. The White Ribbon is probably not big enough, and too obtuse, to win out, while The Last Station and A Simple Man are probably too small, though look out for both in acting categories. The Lovely Bones is the major wildcard at the moment, with the trailer suggesting it’s qualities may be more actor-powered than anything else.
Rob Marshall for Nine, Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker, Pete Docter for Up, Quentin Tarantino for Inglourious Basterds, Jason Reitman for Up in the Air
Possibles: Peter Jackson for The Lovely Bones, Joel & Ethan Coen for A Serious Man, Lone Scherfig for An Education, Lee Daniels for Precious, James Cameron for Avatar
Rob Marshall has previous form, though the latter lack of love for Chicago since its Picture win might not help him. Bigelow must be a shoe-in by now, while Reitman can probably expect a nod given the criticism from some quarters for his prior nod for Juno and the progression shown in his latest. Docter for Up is a wild card pick, dependent, like the film, on the top categories showing some acceptance for animated films. Tarantino is another wild card pick, though the likely nominations for script and supporting acting categories could help his film achieve in the upper echelons. Jackson for Lovely Bones depends on the buzz for that film, though Lee Daniels would seem most likely to break into the top-five given the supersize buzz for his film. The Coens and Scherfig will have to hope the judges loved their films enough to nominate in multiple categories, though the Coens are most likely of the two. Cameron? The trailer makes it look very unlikely, though you never know.
Jeremy Renner for The Hurt Locker, Jeff Bridges for Crazy Heart, Colin Firth for A Single Man, Michael Stuhlbarg for A Serious Man, George Clooney for Up in the Air
Possibles: Daniel Day-Lewis for Nine, Morgan Freeman for Invictus, Viggo Mortensen for The Road, Hal Holbrook for That Evening Sun, Ben Whishaw for Bright Star, Sam Rockwell for Moon
For me, Renner is not only a nominee but a winner. But that’s me talking, not my academy prediction alter-ego. Renner is a possible, but it’s more likely that Bridges will get some love for his career achievements. The film is The Wrestler-goes-country so, given The Wrestler’s round snubbery last year, Bridges is in good stead to benefit from the guilt. Firth has been getting amazing notices for the A Single Man, so don’t count that one out. Stuhlbarg will rely on the film getting love but he is excellent. Clooney will get in if the movie does, but he’ll lose out to Day-Lewis, Freeman or Mortensen otherwise. Don’t be surprised if Holbrook gets the wild-card nod over Stuhlbarg, same goes for Whishaw.
Carey Mulligan for An Education, Meryl Streep for Julie & Julia, Abbie Cornish for Bright Star, Gabe Sidibe for Precious, Saorise Ronan for The Lovely Bones
Possibles: Marion Cotillard for Nine, Helen Mirren for The Last Station, Maggie Gyllenhaal for Crazy Heart, Sandra Bullock for The Blind Side
Mulligan is the definite frontrunner, especially given the unusually praiseworthy notices for the film as a whole. Sidibe is also a definite and possible winner, Cornish the same, though she will need the film to pick up some good notices in the run-up to the show. Streep is to compete with Mirren and, to a lesser extent, Cotillard as a past winner. Streep is though, likely, the best of the three and will probably get the nod for elevating a deeply average film. Gyllenhaal could get in but there is probably too much attention on Bridges. Bullock, from nowhere, could sneak in at the last owing to the amazing success of what looked, from the trailer, like a steaming pile.