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  1. #1
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    Outguess Coop: The 82nd Annual Academy Awards (2009)

    Okay, so the Academy Awards are coming up next Sunday, March 7th-- here's your chance to secure bragging rights for the next 12 months. I've seen most of the films this year, although I didn't catch up with any of the shorts like I usually do. For the major categories, I've broken it down Ebert-style into who I would give the award to, who I think the Academy will give the award to, and who I would've liked to see nominated in a perfect world. Feel free to add your own picks or just quibble with mine...

    Actress in a Supporting Role
    Nominees:
    • Pen้lope Cruz for Nine
    • Vera Farmiga for Up in the Air
    • Maggie Gyllenhaal for Crazy Heart
    • Anna Kendrick for Up in the Air
    • Mo'Nique for Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire
    Which of the nominees I've seen: All of them.
    Should win: This race, like most of the acting categories, has been sewn up for months. Mo'Nique gives a riveting performance and surprises by plumbing depths that she previously hasn't shown, plus she has several of the kind of memorable monologues that are the Oscars' bread and butter. Out of the other nominees, I personally admired Vera Farmiga's performance in Up in the Air, which managed to be tough, weary, sensual, and real. The only puzzler here is Pen้lope Cruz-- always reliable, she acquitted herself as best she could in the godawful Nine, but only Marion Cotilliard managed to transcend the material in that stinker. It makes me wonder if the voters have even seen the film.
    Will win: It's Mo'Nique's world.
    Should have been nominated: Inglorious Basterds' fine ladies didn't make it to the red carpet this year, but was there a more satisfying moment this year than Melanie Laurent's face rising up out of the smoke in that film's climactic scene? Oh well.

    Actor in a Supporting Role
    Nominees:
    • Matt Damon for Invictus
    • Woody Harrelson for The Messenger
    • Christopher Plummer for The Last Station
    • Stanley Tucci for The Lovely Bones
    • Christoph Waltz for Inglourious Basterds
    Which of the nominees I've seen: All of them.
    Should win: Again, there's hardly suspense here. Christoph Waltz became an instant star when Basterds premiered at Cannes and has been the frontrunner ever since. Woody Harrelson gets a perfectly tailored and memorable role in The Messenger, and Stanley Tucci got to play both the sweetest (Julie & Julia) and creepiest (the nominated Lovely Bones) men on celluloid this year, but this is all Waltz. His crisp and craven Nazi Colonel Hans Landa, like Javier Bardem's Anton Chigurh from two years ago, is destined to become one of the cinema's most indelible villains.
    Will win: Christoph in a Waltz (sorry, I couldn't resist).
    Should have been nominated: Peter Capaldi got some great lines to wrap his brogue around in the razor-sharp satire In the Loop and didn't waste the opportunity. His "ministerial enforcer" Malcolm Tucker was cruel, profane, and riotously funny. Of course, I'm not sure if they could've found a clip that would've passed muster with the FCC had he gotten a nomination.

    Actor in a Leading Role
    Nominees:
    • Jeff Bridges for Crazy Heart
    • George Clooney for Up in the Air
    • Colin Firth for A Single Man
    • Morgan Freeman for Invictus
    • Jeremy Renner for The Hurt Locker
    Which of the nominees I've seen: All of them.
    Should win: It's hard to argue with the sure winner, Jeff Bridges, who gives a valedictory performance that goes straight for the audience's heart. Still, Colin Firth quietly turned in a nervy performance of shockingly subte gravity. He's unlikely to win, but if I was giving the awards, he'd have some hardware by the end of the night.
    Will win: Jeff Bridges, no doubt.
    Should have been nominated: I beat the drum for Bronson, earlier this year, and I'll do it again here. Tom Hardy gives a brazen, fearless, physical performance that could have come from few other actors. And if he had pulled off a stunner and gotten a win as well as a nomination, I'd have loved to see him give an acceptance speech in character.

    Actress in a Leading Role
    Nominees:
    • Sandra Bullock for The Blind Side
    • Helen Mirren for The Last Station
    • Carey Mulligan for An Education
    • Gabourey Sidibe for Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire
    • Meryl Streep for Julie & Julia
    Which of the nominees I've seen: All of them.
    Should win: This is probably the only acting category that is close to competitive. Sandra Bullock is the populist favorite, but the smart money never counts out Meryl Streep. I personally found Bullock's performance to be awfully grating, but I suppose it was effective. Streep, for her part, utterly stole her film with a performance that seemed almost effortless. Mulligan and Sidibe are also both being deservedly recognized for star-making turns, and Helen Mirren devoured her role in the best way (as always). A very solid category, but I personally think that Streep was the best.
    Will win: I'm going to gamble and say Meryl Streep. She was just too good.
    Should have been nominated: Tilda Swinton was a fearless tour de force in the little-seen Julia (no, not the cooking movie). She gave a high-wire performance as a vulgar alcoholic caught up in a extortion scheme that spirals out of control. The several scenes in which you can see her calculating which ever-more-insane decision to make next are something to behold.

    Animated Feature Film
    Nominees:
    • Coraline Henry Selick
    • Fantastic Mr. Fox Wes Anderson
    • The Princess and the Frog John Musker and Ron Clements
    • The Secret of Kells Tomm Moore
    • Up Pete Docter
    Which of the nominees I've seen: All but The Princess & the Frog.
    Should win: This was an incredibly strong year for animated films, from the poignancy of Up to the inventive wonder of Coraline to the clever whimsy of Fantastic Mr. Fox to the stunning 2D compositions in The Secret of Kells, let alone several films that weren't even nominated. Up had more heart, but I don't think I saw anything quite as complex and beautiful as Kells. The visual design, evocative of moving stained glass, was awe-inducing.
    Will win: Only one of these films crossed over and was also nominated in the Best Picture category... so it's gotta be Up.
    Should have been nominated: Hayao Miyazaki delivered another classic with Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea, a loose retelling of Disney's version of The Little Mermaid. It was blissfully perfect and my favorite animated film this year hands down.

    Foreign Language Film
    Nominees:
    • Ajami Israel
    • El Secreto de Sus Ojos Argentina
    • The Milk of Sorrow Peru
    • Un Proph่te France
    • The White Ribbon Germany
    Which of the nominees I've seen: Only The White Ribbon and El Secreto de Sus Ojos.
    Should win: Out of the two films I had a chance to see, there's no contest. El Secreto de Sus Ojos was an inventive thriller that started as a police procedural and evolved into something more meditative, but The White Ribbon was a masterful work of suspense and dread. I've also heard nothing but brilliant buzz about Un Proph่te.
    Will win: The White Ribbon is surely the early favorite, but this is a category in which the voters are required to see every nominated film, and if Un Proph่te is as good as I've heard, I'm willing to risk a guess on it.
    Should have been nominated: I've never understood the needlessly complicated rules that govern this category, and I'm told it wasn't even eligible, but Claire Denis' 35 Shots of Rum was absolutely great, a deliberately uncoiling story of love, family, time, and change. If films like that can't get recognized, something needs to change.

    Documentary (Feature)
    Nominees:
    • Burma VJ Anders ุstergaard and Lise Lense-M๘ller
    • The Cove Nominees to be determined
    • Food, Inc. Robert Kenner and Elise Pearlstein
    • The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers Judith Ehrlich and Rick Goldsmith
    • Which Way Home Rebecca Cammisa
    Which of the nominees I've seen: Only The Cove.
    Should win: Okay, I'm not really qualified to make an educated guess here, but The Cove was many things: an activist doc, a suspenseful reality thriller, and an intriguing character stud-- and all of them successfully.
    Will win: The Cove, I think.
    Should have been nominated: I've been dying to see Agnes Varda's The Beaches of Agnes and was surprised to see it passed over for a nomination, but that's cheating a little. Out of the films I've seen, I'd have to say Anvil!: The Story of Anvil, a heartwarming underdog story that's won over everyone I know who's seen it.

    Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
    Nominees:
    • District 9 Written by Neill Blomkamp and Terri Tatchell
    • An Education Screenplay by Nick Hornby
    • In the Loop Screenplay by Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Armando Iannucci, Tony Roche
    • Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire Screenplay by Geoffrey Fletcher
    • Up in the Air Screenplay by Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner
    Which of the nominees I've seen: All of them.
    Should win: In the Loop is dense and wicked, a tightly plotted satire filled with memorable dialogue that manages to accumulate a surprising gravity by the time it ends. It's exemplary.
    Will win: Up in the Air is timely, and actually has a moving story to go along with its high concept. Add to that the fact that it was an early critical favorite that now looks unlikely to prevail in any other category, and I'd be surprised to see this award go to a different film.
    Should have been nominated: Stephen Soderbergh's The Informant! managed to take a book that was already highly regarded as an unusual thriller that rose out of a story of corn-byproduct price-fixing and add to it a dimension of black comedy. Matt Damon should've gotten an acting nod and so should have the excellent script.

    Writing (Original Screenplay)
    Nominees:
    • The Hurt Locker Written by Mark Boal
    • Inglourious Basterds Written by Quentin Tarantino
    • The Messenger Written by Alessandro Camon & Oren Moverman
    • A Serious Man Written by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
    • Up Screenplay by Bob Peterson, Pete Docter, Story by Pete Docter, Bob Peterson, Tom McCarthy
    Which of the nominees I've seen: All of them.
    Should win: Boy, it's hard to pick against Inglorious Basterds here. Certainly it's got some of the best scenes of the year, and peerless dialogue. That said, the pacing is a bit lumpen and it's easy to forget that between those classic scenes, the script often seemed to lose its way. My preference is for the Coen Brothers' underrated A Serious Man, which didn't waste a word in building to an unexpectedly effective climax.
    Will win: If The Hurt Locker picks up this award, then it's lights-out in the Best Picture race. I think Inglorious Basterds will probably keep things interesting, though.
    Should have been nominated: Again, I think that 35 Shots of Rum was near-perfect storytelling, but if we're sticking to English-language films, how about Lynn Shelton's ingenious but unfortunately titled Humpday? She coaxes great performances out of unknown actors, but it's easy when they're working from a script that nails the uneasy dynamic between two male friends whose lives are inexorably growing apart.

    Directing
    Nominees:
    • Avatar James Cameron
    • The Hurt Locker Kathryn Bigelow
    • Inglourious Basterds Quentin Tarantino
    • Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire Lee Daniels
    • Up in the Air Jason Reitman
    Which of the nominees I've seen: All of them.
    Should win: The Hurt Locker's script has come under fire (pun partially intended) recently for the questionable authenticity of its characters, but that shouldn't diminish Kathryn Bigelow's achievement in creating one of the most pulse-poundingly suspensful movies in recent memory. Sequence after sequence ratchets up the intensity with great effectiveness. She's the clear winner here.
    Will win: It's widely expected that Kathryn Bigelow will get the nod regardless of which film wins the Best Picture race.
    Should have been nominated: Critics were divided on its talky script, but there's no question that Spike Jonze created a world in Where the Wild Things Are that perfectly captures the emotional gamut of its 8-year-old protagonist-- his boundless energy, wonder, anger, and petulance. And stylistically the film is superb, full of intricacy and immediacy.

    Best Picture
    Nominees:
    • Avatar James Cameron and Jon Landau, Producers
    • The Blind Side Nominees to be determined
    • District 9 Peter Jackson and Carolynne Cunningham, Producers
    • An Education Finola Dwyer and Amanda Posey, Producers
    • The Hurt Locker Nominees to be determined
    • Inglourious Basterds Lawrence Bender, Producer
    • Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire Lee Daniels, Sarah Siegel-Magness and Gary Magness, Producers
    • A Serious Man Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, Producers
    • Up Jonas Rivera, Producer
    • Up in the Air Daniel Dubiecki, Ivan Reitman and Jason Reitman, Producers
    Which of the nominees I've seen: All of them.
    Should win: Anything but The Blind Side...? Seriously, though, I admire a good share of these films. Up continues Pixar's reign as the only consistent American animation studio, the Coen Brothers produced perhaps the film that they've been destined to make for their whole careers with A Serious Man, and District 9 proved that a sci-fi action flick can have a social agenda without beating the audience over the head with it. But for me, it's The Hurt Locker.
    Will win: A week ago, I might've said The Hurt Locker, but I think the momentum's swung back to Avatar. It'll be a close race, but the chance to coronate the film that's already the biggest box-office draw of all time will be too much to pass up.
    Should have been nominated: A Single Man, Where the Wild Things Are, Public Enemies, The White Ribbon, The Informant!, 35 Shots of Rum, Still Walking, Sugar, any of the hundreds of films that had to be more enjoyable than The Blind Side...

    The rest of these are beyond my area of expertise, so I'll stick to predictions without breaking them down:

    Art Direction
    Nominees:
    • Avatar Art Direction: Rick Carter and Robert Stromberg; Set Decoration: Kim Sinclair
    • The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus Art Direction: Dave Warren and Anastasia Masaro; Set Decoration: Caroline Smith
    • Nine Art Direction: John Myhre; Set Decoration: Gordon Sim
    • Sherlock Holmes Art Direction: Sarah Greenwood; Set Decoration: Katie Spencer
    • The Young Victoria Art Direction: Patrice Vermette; Set Decoration: Maggie Gray
    Prediction: Avatar

    Costume Design
    Nominees:
    • Bright Star Janet Patterson
    • Coco before Chanel Catherine Leterrier
    • The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus Monique Prudhomme
    • Nine Colleen Atwood
    • The Young Victoria Sandy Powell
    Prediction: Coco Before Chanel

    Makeup
    Nominees:
    • Il Divo Aldo Signoretti and Vittorio Sodano
    • Star Trek Barney Burman, Mindy Hall and Joel Harlow
    • The Young Victoria Jon Henry Gordon and Jenny Shircore
    Prediction: Star Trek

    Cinematography
    Nominees:
    • Avatar Mauro Fiore
    • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Bruno Delbonnel
    • The Hurt Locker Barry Ackroyd
    • Inglourious Basterds Robert Richardson
    • The White Ribbon Christian Berger
    Prediction: The White Ribbon

    Film Editing
    Nominees:
    • Avatar Stephen Rivkin, John Refoua and James Cameron
    • District 9 Julian Clarke
    • The Hurt Locker Bob Murawski and Chris Innis
    • Inglourious Basterds Sally Menke
    • Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire Joe Klotz
    Prediction: The Hurt Locker

    Visual Effects
    Nominees:
    • Avatar Joe Letteri, Stephen Rosenbaum, Richard Baneham and Andrew R. Jones
    • District 9 Dan Kaufman, Peter Muyzers, Robert Habros and Matt Aitken
    • Star Trek Roger Guyett, Russell Earl, Paul Kavanagh and Burt Dalton
    Prediction: Avatar

    Sound Editing
    Nominees:
    • Avatar Christopher Boyes and Gwendolyn Yates Whittle
    • The Hurt Locker Paul N.J. Ottosson
    • Inglourious Basterds Wylie Stateman
    • Star Trek Mark Stoeckinger and Alan Rankin
    • Up Michael Silvers and Tom Myers
    Prediction: Avatar

    Sound Mixing
    Nominees:
    • Avatar Christopher Boyes, Gary Summers, Andy Nelson and Tony Johnson
    • The Hurt Locker Paul N.J. Ottosson and Ray Beckett
    • Inglourious Basterds Michael Minkler, Tony Lamberti and Mark Ulano
    • Star Trek Anna Behlmer, Andy Nelson and Peter J. Devlin
    • Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers and Geoffrey Patterson
    Prediction: Avatar

    Music (Original Score)
    Nominees:
    • Avatar James Horner
    • Fantastic Mr. Fox Alexandre Desplat
    • The Hurt Locker Marco Beltrami and Buck Sanders
    • Sherlock Holmes Hans Zimmer
    • Up Michael Giacchino
    Prediction: Up

    Music (Original Song)
    Nominees:
    • Almost There from [/i]The Princess and the Frog[/i] Music and Lyric by Randy Newman
    • Down in New Orleans from [/i]The Princess and the Frog[/i] Music and Lyric by Randy Newman
    • Loin de Paname from [/i]Paris 36[/i] Music by Reinhardt Wagner Lyric by Frank Thomas
    • Take It All from [/i]Nine[/i] Music and Lyric by Maury Yeston
    • The Weary Kind (Theme from Crazy Heart) from [/i]Crazy Heart[/i] Music and Lyric by Ryan Bingham and T Bone Burnett
    Prediction: "The Weary Kind"

    Short Film (Animated)
    Nominees:
    • French Roast Fabrice O. Joubert
    • Granny O'Grimm's Sleeping Beauty Nicky Phelan and Darragh O'Connell
    • The Lady and the Reaper (La Dama y la Muerte) Javier Recio Gracia
    • Logorama Nicolas Schmerkin
    • A Matter of Loaf and Death Nick Park
    Prediction: The Lady & the Reaper

    Short Film (Live Action)
    Nominees:
    • The Door Juanita Wilson and James Flynn
    • Instead of Abracadabra Patrik Eklund and Mathias Fjellstr๖m
    • Kavi Gregg Helvey
    • Miracle Fish Luke Doolan and Drew Bailey
    • The New Tenants Joachim Back and Tivi Magnusson
    Prediction: Instead of Abracadabra

    Documentary (Short Subject)
    Nominees:
    • China's Unnatural Disaster: The Tears of Sichuan Province Jon Alpert and Matthew O'Neill
    • The Last Campaign of Governor Booth Gardner Daniel Junge and Henry Ansbacher
    • The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert
    • Music by Prudence Roger Ross Williams and Elinor Burkett
    • Rabbit เ la Berlin Bartek Konopka and Anna Wydra
    Prediction: Rabbit เ la Berlin

    -Coop

  2. #2
    3LB
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    Wow, you are like, all over this one ain'cha?

    I'll check back with ya cuz I'll prolly pass on watching this one, like I've done for some time. I just don't watch that many movies any more.
    Repost this on your wall if you love Jesus.

  3. #3
    Close 'n Playฎ user Troy's Avatar
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    I'll play. In your (weird) order:

    Sup Actress: Monique
    Sup Actor: Waltz
    Actor: Bridges
    Actress: Bullock
    Anime: Up

    No FL or Doc.

    Adapted:Up in the Air
    Original: Inglorious Basterds
    Dir: Tarantino
    Film: Avaturd (Up in the Air is what should win)
    Ad: Avaturd
    Costume: Coco
    Make Up: Star Trek
    Cinematography: Avaturd
    Editing: Basturds
    FX: Avaturd
    Sound: Avaturd

    No Music, song or shorts.

  4. #4
    nightflier
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    I'll make this guess: IInglorious Basterds doesn't win anything - perhaps a sympathy award in the lesser categories, but I'm betting that the subject matter is too offensive for many in the academy. I also don't think Tarentino has a lot of friends there. Besides, there are too many other movies the academy is fawning over right now and they have to vote for their friends.

    I won't be watching anyhow (too much fanfare, silly musical acts, and advertising to make it worth the time - I'll just read the next morning's paper). I do sincerely hope someone makes a speech that will get beeped again, hopefully someone more eloquent that Moore. Who knows maybe the director from The Cove or Food, Inc?

  5. #5
    Kam
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    filet - o - fish Kam's Avatar
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    This year really seems like a tough race in quite a lot of categories. there's a few locks, but i think even down to best picture/director/script/cinemotography it's a close race, and unfortunately in some categories it's a close race for the wrong reasons. The sound category is tough and i think could be split between Hurt/Avatar or one of them could sweep editing/mixing. i went with the split.
    but... here's my best guesses as to the winners, we have a lot of the same predictions!

    Supporting Actress: Monique
    Supporting Actor: Waltz
    Best Acting: Jeff Bridges
    Best Actress:Sandra Bullock
    Animated Feature: Up
    Foreign Language: The White Ribbon (should go to Un Prophete)
    Documentary: The Cove
    Writing (Adapted): Up In The Air
    Writing (Original): Hurt Locker (should go to Basterds)
    Directing: Bigelow (should go to someone else. bad that a woman wins it for the first time for a movie that doesn't deserve it. kinda like denzel winning for training day when he should have won the year before for hurricane).
    Best Picture: Avatar
    Art Direction: Young Victoria
    Costume Design: Young Victoria
    Makeup: Star Trek
    Cinematography: The White Ribbon
    Film Editing: Hurt Locker
    Visual Effects: Avatar
    Sound Editing: Avatar
    Sound Mixing: The Hurt Locker
    Music (Original Score): Up
    Music (Original Song): Crazy Heart
    Short Film (Animated): A Matter of Loaf and Death (Logorama has a shot though)
    Short Film (Live Action): Kavi
    Documentary (Short Subject): China's Unnatural Disaster
    /create

  6. #6
    Oh where have ye gone RL?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Troy
    I'll play. In your (weird) order:

    Sup Actress: Monique
    Sup Actor: Waltz
    Actor: Bridges
    Actress: Bullock
    Anime: Up...
    Not sure about your last one, but nice job on the first four choices Troy. NAILED IT!!!

    So happy to see Jeff Bridges finally get his due. His first nomination was back in 1971 for...

    Edit: You too Kam.
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  7. #7
    Kam
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    Talking

    COUP: 12 correct!
    KAM: 15 correct!

    woohoo!!

    (not independantly verified, so someone check if i counted wrong)
    /create

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