Gauntlet Oscar picks: always right

By Ben Rowe

Best Actress in a Supporting Role

BR: Vera Faminga, Up in the Air

It’s going to go to Faminga. Both Nine and Crazy Heart were terrible movies, and there’s two solid choices from Up in the Air. I’d like to hope that the woman who melts George Clooney’s character’s twisted heart gets the statue.

RP: Mo’Nique, Precious

Another straightforward choice. Mo’Nique has won most of the early awards, so she wins this, too.

Best Actress in a Leading Role

BR: Meryl Streep, Julie & Julia

The woman has more Oscar (nominations) than a hot dog eating competition. And who didn’t like Julie & Julia, honestly?

RP: Meryl Streep, Julie & Julia

As cliche as it is to predict Meryl Streep will win an Oscar, I have a much harder time believing that the woman that got out-acted by a fucking bus in Speed will win one. Score one for Streep.

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

BR: Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds

The best parts of Tarantino’s over-the-top Second World War fantasy were the scenes with SS Colonel Hans Landa, played by Christoph Waltz. An actor with the power to make you cheer for Nazis deserves a naked gold man as recognition.

RP: Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds

Waltz has already won a ton of awards for, quite honestly, the best performance I’ve seen all year.

Best Actor in a Leading Role

BR: Colin Firth, A Single Man

Colin Firth largely carries Tom Ford’s directorial debut single-handedly.

RP: Jeff Bridges, Crazy Heart

This is pretty simple. Bridges won most of the precursor awards, including the Screen Actors Guild. He’s also an older guy that’s well-respected in Hollywood for his awesome performances, notably as The Dude in The Big Lebowski. Best Animated Feature

BR: Up

While all the other nominations get mad kudos for embracing older animation techniques (2D, stop-motion, etc) Up was the only one with a crotchety old man we could all root for; oh, and there’s this thing where Pixar has never lost an Oscar when nominated.

RP: Up

Up was far-and-away the best animated film last year. It wins in a walk.

Best Direction

BR: Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker

The Hurt Locker was a fantastic flick from an all too rare female director. Tarantino is more like a cinematic DJ than a director these days and Cameron really doesn’t need the encouragement.

RP: Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker

Best Director is based on the old-school “pick one” ballot this year. The upside of this is that Kathryn Bigelow, who’s dominated the precursor awards, will probably get the big award. Best Picture

BR: Inglourious Basterds

The battle is between The Hurt Locker and Avatar. But the blue people movie is shallow, outside of its pretty colours, and Hurt Locker is more manipulative than a Hallmark card. Basterds, meanwhile, had comedy, action, suspense, great dialogue, memorable characters and is also the only Best Picture nominated movie I can recall that makes you feel sympathy for Nazis. Take that, Schindler’s List!

RP: Avatar

On one hand, The Hurt Locker deserves to win. On the other hand, Avatar made a hojillion dollars. The Academy’s new preferential balloting system means that the film that shows up the most on ballots wins, so it seems likely that Avatar gets the undeserved win.

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