Since my flippant first predictions, certain things have come to pass. Avatar has gone from a possible winner to the film to beat, The Lovely Bones has faded, and The Hurt Locker has gained quite a bit of momentum, going from possible nomination to the film everyone wants to win (but probably won't), so lets see how things are figuring about now.
BEST PICTURE: Avatar The Hurt Locker Invictus An Education Up In The Air Up Inglourious Basterds Precious District 9 A Serious Man
Ten nominations makes predicting less skillful, and more listing the obvious. I'm taking a chance on District 9 and that the bad word Nine has got of late will put it out of competition. It may get in there anyway.
BEST DIRECTOR: James Cameron, Avatar Jason Retiman, Up In The Air Katherine Bigelow, The Hurt Locker Lee Daniels, Precious Neill Blomkamp, District 9
Blomkamp is a gamble, but I'm thinking the BAFTA nomination brings him a bit more into the game. Otherwise the usual suspects.
BEST ACTOR: Jeff Bridges, Crazy Heart Colin Firth, A Single Man George Clooney, Up In The Air Morgan Freeman, Invictus Jeremy Renner, The Hurt Locker
Bridges' Oscar to lose really, and Renner still isn't a certainty although he really should be. Could get edged out by Day-Lewis, on name more then what he actually did this year.
BEST ACTRESS: Meryl Streep, Julie and Julia Sandra Bullock, The Blind Side Carey Mulligan, An Education Gabby Sidibe, Precious Helen Mirren, The Last Station
I hope Streep doesn't win, but then again I hope Bullock doesn't win either. I guess I'm rooting for Mulligan. But of these she is least likely Mirren aside.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds Woody Harrelson, The Messenger Stanley Tucci, The Lovely Bones Matt Damon, Invictus Anthony Mackie, The Hurt Locker
Waltz. All the way here. He stands out noticeably, and is a slightly larger then life villain, a requisite for this category of late. Mackie perhaps is a Statement of hope maybe, but I refuse to be cynical.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: M'onique, Precious Anna Kendrick, Up In The Air Vera Farmiga, Up In The Air Julianne Moore, A Single Man Penelope Cruz, Nine
M'onique has the buzz, but Up in the air owns 40% of the category. So Farmiga or Kendrick could pull a shock.
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: 500 Days of Summer A Serious Man Inglourious Basterds The Hurt Locker Up
I'm Thinking Tarantino, but this could be the way Oscar rewards The Hurt Locker, given that it clearly wants to give Avatar all the serious shit.
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: District 9 Up In The Air An Education Precious Crazy Heart
Up In The Air. End of. Way to give Reitman an Oscar without giving him an Oscar.
There's been years where every Oscar nomination is awesome and years where they are all cack. This is a year toward the back-end of the spectrum, or maybe Avatar is blinding my objectivity. Could be.