2010 Oscar Predictions – Pt. 1

Oh, it’s the scary time of the year when my reputation (and normally a ten dollar Starbucks card) get put on the line. I have yet to lose the Oscar pool at our Academy Awards party and I don’t intend to this year either.

That being said, this whole Olympic thing has really put a wrench in it, by the way, is Evan Lysacek hot? I can’t tell? Normally we would be able to track if anyone was building buzz or not, but this year is very different. All of the precursors (save the British Academy Awards) were given way back in January, and the Oscars are pushed into March. Therefore, there has been an entirely quiet month (February) with little-to-no traction in any of the races. I think this could help some films and hurt others. I suppose we will see. I will come back in here next week with the other half of my predictions, but I thought I would start by looking at some of the categories that give people all sorts of trouble on their ballots. These are the categories where pools are normally won or lost. Therefore, here’s the first half of my stab at it:

Best Animated Feature

Fantastic Mr. Fox
The Princess and the Frog
The Secret of Kells

This is sort of a no-brainer. “Up” will probably win this thing with 65% of the vote or more. I mean, it is nominated for Best Picture. The only thing that could have stopped it would have been “Fox” which was superb, but never got the traction of “Up.”

Best Art Direction

The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus
Sherlock Holmes
The Young Victoria

This is one of those categories where “Nine” actually deserves its acclaim. The sets on it were gorgeous. In fact, all of these are deserving. The race will probably come down to “Avatar” and “The Young Victoria.” I would say that “Avatar” is the favorite and the safest bet. That being said, it has yet to be seen how the academy responds to the claims that every frame in the whole damn movie was made on a computer. We shall see…

Best Costume Design

Bright Star
Coco before Chanel
The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus
The Young Victoria

This should come down to “Nine” and “The Young Victoria.” I expect “Victoria” to win based on the strength of its period piece costumes within the academy (they love period pieces) and its recent BAFTA win. However, “Nine” had amazing costume work and “Chicago” did well in this category.

Best Documentary

Burma VJ
The Cove
Food Inc.
The Most Dangerous Man in America
Which Way Home

I think this is a two-horse race between “Food Inc” and “The Cove.” I expect “The Cove” to come out as the victor.

Best Foreign Language Film

The Milk of Sorrow-Peru
A Prophet-France
The Secret in their Eyes-Argentina
The White Ribbon-Germany

“Ribbon” did well at Cannes last year and would be the obvious favorite here. However, if there is one
“most conservative” group within the academy, it would be the foreign language film panel. They are the people who prefer a simple, straight-forward story with simple, straight-forward storytelling. I expect a surprise win for “The Secret in their Eyes.”

Best Original Score

Fantastic Mr. Fox
The Hurt Locker
Sherlock Holmes

I was shocked to see “The Informant” and “A Single Man” left off this list. They were two of my favorite scores of the year and were defiantly better than “Titanic-Redux-Avatar.” However, the work on “Holmes” and “Fox” are great, and “The Hurt Locker” is my favorite score here. In the end, I expect “Up” to win this.

Best Original Song

Almost There-The Princess and the Frog
Down in New Orleans-The Princess and the Frog
Loin de Paname-Paris 36
Take it All-Nine
The Weary Kind-Crazy Heart

“Crazy Heart’s” The Weary Kind will be in a landslide. Its writer, Ryan Bingham, could become huge after this and its co-writer, T Bone Burnett, is a superstar with the Grammys and will finally win an Oscar after his huge success with “O Brother, Where Art Thou.”

Best Visual Effects

District 9
Star Trek

“9” and “Trek” will cancel each other out. It really doesn’t matter, though. Avatar” wins this with about 80% of the vote.

Film Editing

District 9
The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds

I love the editing in “Precious” and “Inglourious Basterds” and am so pleased that they were rewarded over flashier edited films. However, I expect “The Hurt Locker” to roll this one based on its gorgeous editing and pure simplicity. I could also see a somewhat surprise win in Cinematography for “Locker.” But alas…

Stay tuned for next week’s predictions, and of course, all the big ones.

Wayne Bell is a regular contributor for the Fayetteville Flyer. He moved to Fayetteville in 2003 for his Masters Degree and you can almost always catch him at Little Bread Co. or Hammontree’s. For more of Wayne’s contributions, visit his author page.