Combustible Celluloid
 

The 82nd Academy Awards

Gold Standard

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

MARCH 8, 2010: I missed eight categories out of 24, so that's not too bad. Better than some years for me. I was very pleased, however, that my bad guesses were in favor of The Hurt Locker. This was the first time in Oscar history that more awards went to the great, small film rather than the big, stupid, audience-pleaser. Not to mention that Kathryn Bigelow made history last night, and it couldn't have happened to a nicer lady. Unfortunately, the awfulness of the foreign film category continues as they ignored Michael Haneke's best film and awarded an Argentinian film I have not yet seen. But it was directed by Juan Jose Campanella, who was previously nominated for Son of the Bride; Argentina has so many great filmmakers, and this guy is arguably the most boing. (Nevertheless, I'll need to see the film before I pass judgment.) Overall, I was happier with this lot of Oscars than I have been in years.

Here's the breakdown of the winners:
6 Oscars: The Hurt Locker
3 Oscars: Avatar
2 Oscars: Crazy Heart, Precious, Up
1 Oscar: The Blind Side, The Cove, Inglourious Basterds, The Secret in Their Eyes, Star Trek, The Young Victoria
The shorts: Logorama, Music by Prudence, The New Tenants

FEBRUARY 2, 2010: Not too many surprises here this year. The Academy made good on their new list of ten best picture nominees, and they managed to use the space for four excellent films, five mediocre ones and one bad one. I was happy to see some of my favorites, like The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus and Bright Star in there with a couple of token nominations, and for the most part only Avatar came away with too many. Editing? James Horner's awful score? Oh well.

As for the actors, Colin Firth, Jeremy Renner, Sandra Bullock, Carey Mulligan, Gabourey Sidibe, Stanley Tucci, Christoph Waltz, Vera Farmiga, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Anna Kendrick, Mo'Nique and -- believe it or not -- Christopher Plummer -- have their first nominations this year. Jeff Bridges has his fifth nomination, and Woody Harrelson has his second nomination. Neither have ever won. Of the previous Oscar winners, George Clooney has his third acting nomination (plus two more for writing and directing) Morgan Freeman has his fifth nomination, Helen Mirren has her fourth nomination, Meryl Streep has her sixteenth nomination, Matt Damon has his second acting nomination (plus one win for writing) and Penelope Cruz has her third nomination.

Here's the breakdown of nominations:
9 nominations: The Hurt Locker, Avatar
8 nominations: Inglourious Basterds
6 nominations: Precious, Up in the Air
5 nominations: Up
4 nominations: District 9, Nine, Star Trek
3 nominations: An Education, Crazy Heart, The Young Victoria, The Princess and the Frog
2 nominations: The Blind Side, A Serious Man, Invictus, The Last Station, The Messenger, The White Ribbon, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, Sherlock Holmes, Fantastic Mr. Fox
1 nomination: A Single Man, Julie & Julia, The Lovely Bones, In the Loop, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Bright Star, Coco Before Chanel, Il Divo, Paris 36, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Coraline, The Secret of Kells, A Prophet, Burma VJ, The Cove; Food, Inc.; The Most Dangerous Man in America

Watch this space for upcoming predictions, personal choices, and lists of overlooked films.

Nominees Jeff's Take & Results
Best Picture
  • Avatar
  • The Blind Side
  • District 9
  • An Education
  • The Hurt Locker
  • Inglourious Basterds
  • Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire
  • A Serious Man
  • Up
  • Up in the Air
  • The Winner: The Hurt Locker
    My Prediction: Avatar
    My Vote: The Hurt Locker
    Unfairly Overlooked: Bright Star
    Best Actor
  • Jeff Bridges, Crazy Heart
  • George Clooney, Up in the Air
  • Colin Firth, A Single Man
  • Morgan Freeman, Invictus
  • Jeremy Renner, The Hurt Locker
  • The Winner: Jeff Bridges
    My Prediction: Jeff Bridges
    My Vote: Jeremy Renner
    Unfairly Overlooked: Nicolas Cage, Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans; Matt Damon, The Informant!
    Best Actress
  • Sandra Bullock, The Blind Side
  • Helen Mirren, The Last Station
  • Carey Mulligan, An Education
  • Gabourey Sidibe, Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire
  • Meryl Streep, Julie & Julia
  • The Winner: Sandra Bullock
    My Prediction: Sandra Bullock
    My Vote: Meryl Streep
    Unfairly Overlooked: Abbie Cornish, Bright Star
    Best Supporting Actor
  • Matt Damon, Invictus
  • Woody Harrelson, The Messenger
  • Christopher Plummer, The Last Station
  • Stanley Tucci, The Lovely Bones
  • Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds
  • The Winner: Christoph Waltz
    My Prediction: Christoph Waltz
    My Vote: Christoph Waltz
    Unfairly Overlooked: Christian McKay, Me and Orson Welles
    Best Supporting Actress
  • Penelope Cruz, Nine
  • Vera Farmiga, Up in the Air
  • Maggie Gyllenhaal, Crazy Heart
  • Anna Kendrick, Up in the Air
  • Mo'Nique, Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire
  • The Winner: Mo'Nique
    My Prediction: Mo'Nique
    My Vote: Penelope Cruz
    Unfairly Overlooked: Samantha Morton, The Messenger
    Best Director
  • Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker
  • James Cameron, Avatar
  • Lee Daniels, Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire
  • Jason Reitman, Up in the Air
  • Quentin Tarantino, Inglourious Basterds
  • The Winner: Kathryn Bigelow
    My Prediction: Kathryn Bigelow
    My Vote: Kathryn Bigelow
    Unfairly Overlooked: Jane Campion, Bright Star; John Woo, Red Cliff; Sam Raimi, Drag Me to Hell
    Original Screenplay
  • Mark Boal, The Hurt Locker
  • Quentin Tarantino, Inglourious Basterds
  • Alessandro Camon, Oren Moverman, The Messenger
  • Joel Coen, Ethan Coen, A Serious Man
  • Bob Peterson, Pete Docter, Thomas McCarthy, Up
  • The Winner: The Hurt Locker
    My Prediction: The Hurt Locker
    My Vote: Inglourious Basterds
    Unfairly Overlooked: Greg Mottola, Adventureland
    Adapted Screenplay
  • Neill Blomkamp, Terri Tatchell, District 9
  • Nick Hornby, An Education
  • Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Armando Iannucci, Tony Roche, In the Loop
  • Geoffrey Fletcher, Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire
  • Jason Reitman, Sheldon Turner, Up in the Air
  • The Winner: Precious
    My Prediction: Up in the Air
    My Vote: In the Loop
    Unfairly Overlooked: Wes Anderson & Noah Baumbach, Fantastic Mr. Fox; Henry Selick, Coraline
    Cinematography
  • Mauro Fiore, Avatar
  • Christian Berger, The White Ribbon
  • Bruno Delbonnel, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
  • Barry Ackroyd, The Hurt Locker
  • Robert Richardson, Inglourious Basterds
  • The Winner: Avatar
    My Prediction: Avatar
    My Vote: The White Ribbon
    Unfairly Overlooked: Christopher Doyle, The Limits of Control; Lance Acord, Where the Wild Things Are; Roger Deakins, A Serious Man
    Film Editing
  • Avatar
  • District 9
  • The Hurt Locker
  • Inglourious Basterds
  • Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire
  • The Winner: The Hurt Locker
    My Prediction: The Hurt Locker
    My Vote: The Hurt Locker
    Unfairly Overlooked: A Serious Man
    Art Direction
  • Avatar
  • The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
  • Nine
  • Sherlock Holmes
  • The Young Victoria
  • The Winner: Avatar
    My Prediction: Avatar
    My Vote: The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
    Unfairly Overlooked: Red Cliff
    Costume
  • Bright Star
  • Coco Before Chanel
  • The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
  • Nine
  • The Young Victoria
  • The Winner: The Young Victoria
    My Prediction: The Young Victoria
    My Vote: The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
    Unfairly Overlooked: Red Cliff
    Makeup
  • Il Divo
  • Star Trek
  • The Young Victoria
  • The Winner: Star Trek
    My Prediction: Star Trek
    My Vote: Star Trek
    Unfairly Overlooked: The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
    Original Score
  • James Horner, Avatar
  • Alexandre Desplat, Fantastic Mr. Fox
  • Marco Beltrami, Buck Sanders, The Hurt Locker
  • Hans Zimmer, Sherlock Holmes
  • Michael Giacchino, Up
  • The Winner: Up
    My Prediction: Sherlock Holmes
    My Vote: Fantastic Mr. Fox
    Unfairly Overlooked: Marvin Hamlisch, The Informant!
    Original Song
  • "The Weary Kind" from Crazy Heart, T-Bone Burnett, Ryan Bingham
  • "Loin de Paname" from Paris 36, Reinhardt Wagner, Frank Thomas
  • "Take It All" from Nine, Maury Yeston
  • "Down in New Orleans" from The Princess and the Frog, Randy Newman
  • "Almost There" from The Princess and the Frog, Randy Newman
  • The Winner: The Weary Kind"
    My Prediction: "The Weary Kind"
    My Vote: none
    Unfairly Overlooked: "All Is Love" from Where the Wild Things Are, Karen O. and the Kids
    Sound Mixing
  • Avatar
  • The Hurt Locker
  • Inglourious Basterds
  • Star Trek
  • Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
  • The Winner: The Hurt Locker
    My Prediction: Avatar
    My Vote: The Hurt Locker
    Unfairly Overlooked: Red Cliff, Zombieland
    Sound Editing
  • Avatar
  • The Hurt Locker
  • Inglourious Basterds
  • Star Trek
  • Up
  • The Winner: The Hurt Locker
    My Prediction: Avatar
    My Vote: The Hurt Locker
    Unfairly Overlooked: Red Cliff, Zombieland
    Visual Effects
  • Avatar
  • District 9
  • Star Trek
  • The Winner: Avatar
    My Prediction: Avatar
    My Vote: Avatar
    Unfairly Overlooked:
    Animated Feature Film
  • Coraline
  • Fantastic Mr. Fox
  • The Princess and the Frog
  • The Secret of Kells
  • Up
  • The Winner: Up
    My Prediction: Up
    My Vote: Coraline
    Unfairly Overlooked: Ponyo, $9.99, Sita Sings the Blues
    Foreign Language Film
  • Ajami (Israel)
  • The Milk of Sorrow (Peru)
  • A Prophet (France)
  • The Secret in Their Eyes (Argentina)
  • The White Ribbon (Germany)
  • The Winner: The Secret in Their Eyes
    My Prediction: The White Ribbon
    My Vote: The White Ribbon
    Unfairly Overlooked: 35 Shots of Rum, Police, Adjective, Summer Hours, The Beaches of Agnes
    Documentary Feature
  • Burma VJ
  • The Cove
  • Food, Inc.
  • The Most Dangerous Man in America
  • Which Way Home
  • The Winner: The Cove
    My Prediction: Food, Inc.
    My Vote: Food, Inc.
    Unfairly Overlooked: The Beaches of Agnes, Anvil: The Story of Anvil
    Documentary Short
  • China's Unnatural Disaster: The Tears of Sichuan Province
  • The Last Campaign of Governor Booth Gardner
  • The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant
  • Music by Prudence
  • Rabbit à la Berlin
  • The Winner: Music by Prudence
    My Prediction: n/a
    My Vote: n/a
    Unfairly Overlooked:
    Animated Short
  • French Roast
  • Granny O'Grimm's Sleeping Beauty
  • The Lady and the Reaper
  • Logorama
  • Wallace and Gromit in 'A Matter of Loaf and Death'
  • The Winner: Logorama
    My Prediction: Logorama
    My Vote: The Lady and the Reaper
    Unfairly Overlooked:
    Live Action Short
  • The Door
  • Instead of Abracadabra
  • Kavi
  • Miracle Fish
  • The New Tenants
  • The Winner: The New Tenants
    My Prediction: The Door
    My Vote: Instead of Abracadabra
    Unfairly Overlooked:

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