Just as I did with this year’s Golden Globes, I will be offering my live-blogging this year’s Academy Awards. I will mock as fast as I can update my posts. I’ve already made my picks known and now we’ll see if they pan out. It’s possible that I’m underestimating Avatar‘s momentum in the technical categories, but I usually get 75% of my picks right so I’m hoping that trend continues, so I’m hoping to meet or beat that average. Also, here’s what I’m chancing for the short categories: Logorama (Animated Short), Instead of Abracadabra (Live-Action Short) and China’s Unnatural Disaster: The Tears of Sichuan Province (Documentary Short).
After the jump you’ll find my commentary. My latest update will be at the top. Just keep refreshing this page to see my latest comments on all-things 82nd Academy Awards ceremony. I hope you enjoy tracking my mood swings based on winners and losers (although Oscar Goddess Sasha Stone wisely reminds us all that the trick is not minding), and mockery of the night’s events.
Sunday, March 7th will be the 82nd Academy Awards and it promises to be a fairly unspectacular one as far as horse-races go. Three of the four acting categories are locked, the fourth is almost locked, and the only real competition is in the David vs. Goliath story of Kathryn Bigelow’s war action/drama The Hurt Locker vs. the spectacle of James Cameron’s Avatar. Thankfully, that’s your Best Picture race and that’s where you’ll find the drama (not in the lame pre-constructed narrative that Bigelow and Cameron were briefly married over twenty years ago).
Hit the jump to check out my predictions and preferences for the winners in the categories of “Best Picture”, “Best Director”, “Best Actor”, “Best Actress”, “Best Supporting Actor”, and “Best Supporting Actress”. I’ve also included a cheat-sheet at the end for all the other categories so if you don’t know who to put on your Oscar ballot at your party, put down my predictions and you’ll improve your odds.
Adam Shankman’s movies may be terrible (Cheaper by the Dozen 2, Bedtime Stories), but I have to give him and Oscar co-producer Bill Mechanic credit for attempting to make a bold choice for the host of this year’s Academy Awards. The two originally wanted to go with the man of offensive character, Sacha Baron Cohen.
In an interview on NPR’s “Fresh Air” [via Risky Biz Blog], Shankman wanted to shake up the show with the unconventional choice. Because the Academy shot down the idea immediately, I guess we’ll never know if Cohen would have played himself, his various characters (Borat, Ali G., Bruno), or a mixture of both throughout the show.
Instead, this year’s show will be co-hosted by Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin. I wish they were getting their material from the writers of 30 Rock since the episode where they co-starred, “Gavin Volure”, was terrific. Sadly, my bet is we’ll be getting a vanilla ceremony and it will be unforgettable save for any award upsets that may happen during the night.
Despite opening up the Best Picture race from five nominations to ten, this morning’s announcement of the 2010 Oscar nominations hardly had any surprises. When the biggest shocker comes from the widely-unseen The Secret of Kells being nominated for Best Animated Feature, then the prediction system worked as it should. That’s not to say that there’s nothing to be happy or disappointed about. It’s just that with no surprises, that happiness or disappointment has probably been felt well in advance. Personally, I’m jazzed that District 9 picked up a Best Picture nomination and I’m really bummed that Peter Capaldi wasn’t nominated for Best Supporting Actor for In the Loop.
But the race between Avatar and The Hurt Locker remains close. Each film picked up nine nominations and so there’s no clear favorite to win the award. Right now, Hurt Locker would seem to have a slight edge with its victories from both the Producers Guild and the Directors Guild. But Avatar‘s box office numbers contribute to its status as does the mainstream acclaim for the film.
Hit the jump to check out the full list of nominees. The winners will be announced at the 82nd Academy Awards on Sunday, March 7th at 8pm EST on ABC.
It looks like the news division of ABC, the station which will broadcast the 82nd Annual Academy Awards, may have jumped the gun on revealing the nominations, which aren’t supposed to be announced for another eight and a half hours. Vulture discovered that if you type “Oscar” into the ABCNews.com search engine, results for “2010 Oscar Nominations” pop up. It’s just individual photos so we don’t know the full lists of nominees, but there are a few somewhat-unexpected choices (i.e. films other than Avatar and The Hurt Locker): It’s Complicated for Best Picture, Vera Farmiga for Best Actress for Up in the Air, and Matt Damon for Best Supporting Actor for Invictus.
Of course, it’s possible that the news division is just prepping images and copy for the films and actors they believe will get nominated. But those nominations I mentioned above are not locks. In fact, if you check out AwardsDaily.com (which is the online bible for awards season), you’ll see that Farmiga has a good chance at a nod in the best supporting category, but she’s nowhere near Best Actress; and according to AD.com, It’s Complicated has less of a shot than The Hangover at a Best Picture nom. Then again, The Hangover is part of the “2010 Oscar Nominations” photoset, but the caption doesn’t specify for what.
I guess we’ll find out if ABCNews.com dropped the ball in a big way when the Oscar nominations are announced at 8:30am EST (I’ll be up early and cheering/bitching about the nominees).
It seemed all sewn up that Avatar was going to win the Producers Guild of America award for Best Picture and waltz its way to the top prize at the Academy Awards. However, the PGA actually chose the better picture and awarded The Hurt Locker with the “Darryl F. Zanuck Producer of the Year Award in Theatrical Motion Pictures.” Avatar appeared to have the edge because the PGA usually respects the combo of populist support with moderate critical acclaim. The Hurt Locker had far more critical support, but it looked like Avatar‘s insane box office total would overshadow Kathryn Bigelow’s superior film.
Instead, this year’s Oscars is back to being a horse-race between the two films and the ceremony needs all the competitive categories it can get. Avatar will most likely win every technical category, and Jeff Bridges, Christoph Waltz, and Mo’Nique, who all won at last night’s SAG awards, should be writing their acceptance speeches if they haven’t already. The only acting category where there’s still drama is between Meryl Streep for Julie & Julia and Sandra Bullock for The Blind Side, with Bullock taking the lead after her SAG win last night. But now with the big prize back up for grabs, it will be interesting to see if the Academy sides with the populist support of Avatar or the near-universal critical acclaim for The Hurt Locker. I still think Avatar will win (with Bigelow winning Best Director), but I don’t have the certainty I did last night and that makes me so damn happy.
The nominations for the 82nd Academy Awards will be announced on February 2nd. Hit the jump for the full list of winners from tonight’s PGA Awards.
Apparently it takes two hosts to rival Hugh Jackman’s performance from last year’s Oscar ceremony. Jackman said he wasn’t interested in hosting two years straight and the “Tropic Thunder” duo of Ben Stiller and Robert Downey Jr. also turned down the offer, Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin have stepped up and will attempt to make the four-hour ceremony bearable for those watching at home.
While last year’s Oscars were surprisingly good under Bill Condon’s (“Dreamgirls”) direction, I have far less faith in Adam Shankman (“Bedtime Stories”) to come anywhere close to the bar Condon set. I think given the right material, Baldwin and Martin have the comic talent to help usher along the night. However, Baldwin’s unrivaled work on “30 Rock” is half-due to the show’s amazing writing staff and as for Martin, well…he not only starred in the “Pink Panther” remakes, he wrote them. Of course, Martin hosted the show back in 2003 and has worked with Shankman in the past, starring in both “Bringing Down the House” and “Cheaper by the Dozen 2″. If at this point I haven’t whittled away all hope you had for this year’s ceremony, then you have a surprising abundance of optimism.