Oscar Predictions Part 1: Basterds Will Take Home Original Screenplay

By: Nathan Swank

I love the Oscars.  I don’t think there are many people who can really say that.  Every year I hear criticism about it being too long and boring or not caring about any of the movies nominated.  Well, I love the entire thing through in through, the whole kit and caboodle.  It’s never too long for me (I wish it could be longer), I laugh at all the host’s lame jokes, and I always see nearly every movie with a nomination (because I’m a nerd).  Seriously it’s like another Super Bowl for me except I actually have a few teams with a shot at winning every year.  With that said, the Academy did do something that I’m not completely sure I agree with, and that is bump the Best Picture nominations from 5 to 10.  Now I know they want to boost the shows ratings and maybe honor a few films that are deserving and never get a shot (last year’s WALL-E and THE DARK KNIGHT).  OK I understand some of that but aren’t you hurting the integrity of the award if you’re just picking them to please people?  Isn’t that pretty much what the PEOPLE’S CHOICE or MTV Awards are all about?  Nonetheless, I was a little excited thinking a few of my favorite films will now get a shot at some of those open spots (DISTRICT 9).  But my excitement changed to disappointment at the apparent sacrifice of allowing films that are nowhere near deserving (THE BLIND SIDE).  After seeing THE BLIND SIDE recently it made me appreciate PRECIOUS: BASED ON THE NOVEL ‘PUSH’ BY SAPPHIRE” far more.  I hope that all of you who are rooting for the sweet, corny flawless characters in THE BLIND SIDE check out the raw, heart wrenching flawed characters in PRECIOUS.  But I digress and my love for the Oscars continues on.

Inglourious Basterds

If you read my top 10 list you will have a good idea what I think was snubbed or who I will be rooting for, but I am going to get a little more specific with each of these categories.  For the record, I will be rooting mainly for INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS along with DISTRICT 9 but completely respect AVATAR winning.  I think 10 years from now those are the three films nominated that will be remembered.

I begin my predictions with all the smaller categories.

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

THE HURT LOCKER, INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS, THE MESSENGER, A SERIOUS MAN, UP

INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS- There is no denying this was by far and away the most well written script, as is most Tarantino films.  I just hope it doesn’t lose out to the momentum of THE HURT LOCKER, which while a great film with an insight to an endlessly dangerous job, the story itself and character development was lacking.

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

DISTRICT 9, AN EDUCATION, IN THE LOOP, PRECIOUS:  BASED ON THE NOVEL ‘PUSH’ BY SAPPHIRE, UP IN THE AIR

UP IN THE AIR- An excellent script and probably the only chance this film has at an award, but I will be rooting for DISTRICT 9 which probably won’t win any.

ANIMATED

CORALINE, FANTASTIC MR. FOX, THE PRINCESS AND THE FOG, THE SECRET OF KELLS, UP

UP- I really enjoyed CORALINE and thought FANTASTIC MR FOX was great, but when you’re up against a Pixar film, you just don’t stand a chance.

EDITING

AVATAR, DISTRICT 9, THE HURT LOCKER, INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS, PRECIOUS: BASED ON THE NOVEL ‘PUSH’ BY SAPPHIRE

THE HURT LOCKER- This is one category where THE HURT LOCKER did achieve greatness.

CINEMATOGRAPHY

AVATAR, HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE, THE HURT LOCKER, INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS, THE WHITE RIBBON

THE HURT LOCKER- AVATAR could win but may be too computer generated to pull off this award. I hope I’m wrong and IGLOURIOUS BASTERDS wins.

SCORE

AVATAR, FANTASTIC MR. FOX, THE HURT LOCKER, SHERLOCK HOLMES, UP

UP- I love the music from FANTASTIC MR. FOX but mostly the non-original stuff.

ART DIRECTION

AVATAR, THE IMAGINARIUM OF DOCTOR PARNASSUS, NINE, SHERLOCK HOLMES, THE YOUNG VICTORIA

AVATAR- Odd, eccentric films like THE IMAGINARIUM OF DOCTOR PARNASUS often win but that mostly happens when Tim Burton is at the helm.  AVATAR was breathtaking beauty that no one can deny.

COSTUME

BRIGHT STAR, COCO BEFORE CHANEL, THE IMAGINARIUM OF DOCTOR PARNASUS, NINE, THE YOUNG VICTORIA

YOUNG VICTORIA- The Victorian time period always wins when it comes to costuming.

MAKEUP

IL DIVO, STAR TREK, THE YOUNG VICTORIA

STAR TREK- It’s the only nominee with interesting unusual makeup and one of my favorite films of the year.

VISUAL EFFECTS

AVATAR, DISTRICT 9, STAR TREK

AVATAR- DISTRICT 9 was so seemless in its achievement that I never once thought I was watching special effects, but actual Aliens interacting with humans.  Unfortunately it came out the same year AVATAR invented new technology advancing the way films will be seen forever.

SOUND EDITING

AVATAR, THE HURT LOCKER, INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS, STAR TREK, UP

AVATAR- STAR TREK and THE HURT LOCKER were good but AVATAR will dominate all categories technically.

SOUND MIXING

AVATAR, THE HURT LOCKER, INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS, STAR TREK, TRANSFORMERS:  REVENGE OF THE FALLEN

AVATAR- See above

SONG

“Almost There” from THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG, “Down In New Orleans” from THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG, “Loin De Paname” from PARIS 36, “Take It All” from NINE, “The Weary Kind (Theme from Crazy Heart)” from CRAZY HEART

“The Weary Kind” from CRAZY HEART- I also really enjoyed “Almost There” from THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG but it will ultimately loose out because everyone wants to announce the writer T-Bone as the winner.

FOREIGN

AJAMI, EL SECRETO DE SUS OJOS, THE MILK OF SORROW, UN PROPHETE, THE WHITE RIBBON

THE WHITE RIBBON- I saw the previews and it looked pretty magnificent.  Plus, it’s the only foreign film with two nominations.

DOCUMENTARY

BURMA VJ, THE COVE, FOOD, INC, THE MOST DANGEROUS MAN IN AMERICA:  DANIEL ELLSBERG AND THE PENTAGON PAPERS, WHICH WAY HOME

THE COVE- The crew goes to great lengths with advance technology to capture evidence of some horrific treatment to dolphins in a Cove in Japan.  We owe them at least an award for endangering themselves to bring us this shocking animal abuse and danger to human health.

DOCUMENTARY SHORT

CHINA’S UNNATURAL DISASTER:  THE TEARS OF SICHUAN PROVINCE, THE LAST CAMPAIGN OF GOVERNOR BOOTH GARDNER, THE LAST TRUCK:  CLOSING OF A GM PLANT, MUSIC BY PRUDENCE, RABBIT A LA BERLIN

CHINA’S UNNATURAL DISASTER: THE TEARS OF SICHUAN PROVINCE- The next 3 categories are basically decided by me reading their synopsis.  RABBIT A LA BERLIN sounded interesting but CUDTTOSP seems to be more relevant with all the terrible natural disasters our world continues to face.

ANIMATED SHORT

FRENCH ROAST, GRANNY O’GRIMM’S SLEEPING BEAUTY, THE LADY AND THE REAPER (LA DAMA Y LA MUERTE), LOGORAMA, A MATTER OF LOAF AND DEATH

A MATTER OF LOAF AND DEATH- Wallace and Gromit rule all and have a history of doing so during award ceremonies.

LIVE ACTION SHORT

THE DOOR, INSTEAD OF ABRACADABRA, KAVI, MIRACLE FISH, THE NEW TENANTS

KAVI- The story sounds a little like the beginning of SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE when the leads were children and it won Best Picture…so why not?

Check back tomorrow for the rest of the predictions, including Best Picture and Best Director

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