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April 26-28

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Rotundo’s Oscarology: 2010 Edition

So last year at this time, I did a whole series of posts (starting here) on the crop of Academy Award nominees, and my take on Oscar prediction theory.  This year, I’ve had nowhere near the time.  But tonight is Oscar night, and before guests start arriving here at fabulous Chez Rotundo, I thought I’d fearlessly present my picks, with commentary, as applicable.

Here we go:

Best Picture
This year’s top prize goes to The Hurt Locker.  The media have pegged Avatar as a real contender, citing the expanded slate of Best Picture nominees (ten instead of five) and the recent pseudo-scandal involving some ill-considered emails sent by one of The Hurt Locker’s producers.  Genre fans are hoping Avatar will snap the Academy’s long-running snub of SF, as Return of the King did for fantasy.  Nope, I’m not buying it.  The Hurt Locker has already won top honors from the Directors Guild and the Producers Guild.  I can’t see any of those voters changing their minds.  And did you notice how Avatar didn’t get a nomination for its script, nor for any of its actors?  While everyone loves its boffo box office, Avatar ain’t taking home the big one.

Best Director
Kathryn Bigelow, for The Hurt Locker.  See above.

Best Actor
Jeff Bridges, for Crazy Heart.  Actors make up the largest single bloc of Oscar voters, and the SAG award went to Bridges.

Best Actress
Sandra Bullock, for The Blind Side.  See Best Actor.

Best Supporting Actor
Christoph Woltz, for Inglourius Basterds.  See Best Actor.  Woltz has this one in the bag.

Best Supporting Actress
Mo’Nique, for Precious.  Did I mention the SAG awards already?  Yeah, I think I did.  Another easy pick.

Best Original Screenplay
My hardest category to pick.  The WGA Original Screenplay award went to The Hurt Locker.  But Inglourious Basterds is a strong contender here.  And you know, now that I think about it, Basterds was my first instinct, and I always regret overthinking this stuff.  I’m making up my mind as I type this:  I’m going with Inglourious Basterds

Best Adapted Screenplay
Up in the Air.  WGA award winner.

Best Animated Feature
Up.  The only animated film also nominated for Best Picture.  Never pick against Pixar.

Best Editing
The Hurt Locker.  ACE award + Best Picture front-runner = Editing Oscar win.

Best Art Direction
Avatar.  Even though most of its production design was done by computer, it still won the Art Directors Guild award.

Best Cinematography
Avatar.  Though the ASC award went to the black and white The White Ribbon (and Hollywood loves black and white–see Schindler’s List), the dazzling and groundbreaking 3-D work on Avatar should carry the day here.

Best Costume Design
The Young Victoria.  Period pieces always win.  Especially Victorian period pieces.

Best Makeup
It’s looking like Star Trek here, although I wouldn’t be surprised to see Il Divo take it.

Best Original Score
Um . . . Up, I guess.  The Hurt Locker‘s score wasn’t overly memorable.

Best Original Song
"The Weary Kind," from Crazy Heart.  If Nine hadn’t faded from sight so early in the running, I might have picked "Take It All."  But ’twas not to be.

Best Sound Mixing
The Hurt Locker.  Loud movie, Best Picture front-runner, and winner of the CAS award.

Best Sound Editing
Avatar.  Also a loud movie, and nearly every sound you hear in it is an effect.

Best Visual Effects
Avatar.  Duh.

Best Foreign Language Film
The buzz seems to favor The White Ribbon, but this category is notoriously unpredictable.

Best Documentary
I’m going with The Cove.  Best guess.

Best Documentary Short
Music by Prudence.  Total guess.

Best Live Action Short Film
Kavi.  Again, best guess.  The Door might take it, too.

Best Animated Short Film
A Matter of Loaf and Death.  Wallace and Gromit have not lost in this category to date.

Any questions?

Enjoy the show.

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