On Hollywood’s largest stage, a man named Oscar reigns supreme.
Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin host the 82nd Academy Awards on Sunday, March 7 on ABC. This marks the first year that the Academy increased its Best Picture nominations to 10 films.
“Avatar,” which recently became the highest-grossing film of all-time, and “The Hurt Locker” led all nominations with nine, including Best Picture.
Here’s a recap of the major nominations and a prediction of the winners.
With 10 films nominated for the Academy’s top honor, it’s tougher than ever to distinguish the best movie.
I can’t see “Avatar” taking this award. Though visually captivating, the story was lazy and lacked originality. It’s difficult to give the Oscar to a film that didn’t earn nominations in the acting or writing fields.
I’ve been big on Kathryn Bigelow’s “The Hurt Locker” since the summer. Led by Best Actor nominee Jeremy Renner, “The Hurt Locker” immediately grabs the viewer with intense action sequences and has a different, more humanly feel to the war genre.
“Inglorious Bastards,” “Up,” and “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” are serious candidates, as well.
Prediction: “The Hurt Locker”
It took James Cameron nearly 15 years to finish “Avatar,” according to EntertainmentWeekly.com. In 1994, Cameron put together a rough draft of the script and, because of a lack of technology, waited more than a decade until movie-making technology caught up to his vision.
The waiting seemed to pay off for Cameron as “Avatar” grossed more than $2 billion worldwide. Again, the film was stunning on multiple levels and Cameron’s imaginative ways will be paid off again with an Oscar here.
Nominees like Bigelow, Lee Daniels (“Precious”) and Quentin Tarantino (“Inglorious Bastards”) drew the short straw after being paired with Cameron.
Prediction: James Cameron, “Avatar”
Early speculation has the Academy leaning heavily toward Jeff Bridges’ performance in “Crazy Heart.” Bridges already earned plenty of awards for his role including a Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Drama.
Bridges is near and dear to my heart thanks to his unforgettable role as The Dude in “The Big Lebowski.” Renner (“The Hurt Locker”) is a possibility and one should never count out George Clooney (“Up in the Air”).
Prediction: Jeff Bridges, “Crazy Heart”
Here are a few other award predictions:
Best Actress: Sandra Bullock, “The Blind Side”
Best Supporting Actor: Christopher Waltz, “Inglorious Bastards”
Best Supporting Actress: Penelope Cruz, “Nine”
Best Animated Feature Film: “Up”
Best Original Screenplay: Quentin Tarantino, “Inglorious Bastards”