The 82nd Academy Awards

Scott Viau

Scott Viau’s Picks

Best Picture:

Should win: The superfluous nominees make picking a single film that should win this category doubly hard. From aliens (both on Earth and Pandora) to Nazihunting Jews, each film brings a bit of itself in a way that makes them all worthy, except maybe “The Blind Side.” I’m hoping “The Hurt Locker” takes this.

Will win: I’m sad to say it, but it’s more than likely that “Avatar” will win, which is a shame since ground breaking special effects do not make a film the best of the year nor should they be used in place of plot. Unfortunately, this might be a year when the box office is a good predictor of what film will win.

Best Actor:

Should win: I’d really like to see Jeremy Renner win. His portrayal of a not-quite-there bomb specialist in “The Hurt Locker” was powerful in its simplicity and moving in its desperation to get his next bomb-defusing fix.

Will win: Although I haven’t seen “Crazy Heart,” I’m sure Jeff Bridges is very good in it. With the Golden Globe and SAG award already under his belt, the odds of Bridges walking away empty-handed are slim to none. I suppose he deserves it.

Best Actress:

Should win: The person who deserves this award the most hands down is Gabourey Sidibe (“Precious). Her performance is a true tour-de-force and warrants every single award she’s been nominated for. It’s a shame she hasn’t been winning anything. Sidibe is able to convey both desperation and hope so effortlessly that you’ll assume she really is the main character and not acting at all.

Will win: This is a tough one. It’s between Sandra Bullock (“The Blind Side”) and Meryl Streep (“Julie and Julia”) and it could go either way. Streep already has two Oscars, but the Academy adores her and they may feel it’s time to honor her with another. Bullock, on the other hand, is proving she’s capable of meatier roles (kind of) and voters may want to recognize her work. Because Bullock has already picked up a Golden Globe and SAG award for her performance, I’m going to have to go with her.

Best Supporting Actor:

Should win: There’s really no doubt that Christoph Waltz (“Inglourious Basterds”) was the best supporting actor of the year. If he doesn’t walk away with the gold, it’ll be the biggest upset since Julia Roberts won for “Erin Brockovich” over Ellen Burstyn and her brilliant performance in “Requiem for a Dream.” I’m still pissed about that one.

Will win: If there’s one sure bet this year, it’s that Waltz will walk away with the gold. It’s even more assured than Heath Ledger’s posthumous Oscar last year.

Best Supporting Actress:

Should win: As much as I would love Maggie Gyllenhaal (“Crazy Heart”) to win, this is just not her year. Mo’Nique blew me away with her portrayal of a physically and emotionally abusive mom and the hell she puts her daughter through.

Will win: Next to Waltz for “Basterds,” Mo’Nique (“Precious”) is the second best bet one can make. I’ll be shocked if she doesn’t pick up this award, not only because she’s been winning everything else, but because her performance is really that good. The Mo’Nique you might recognize from insipid and bland comedies is completely gone. All that’s that left is a woman who’s just a pure monster, and one you can’t take your eyes off of, no matter how much you may want to.

Best Director:

Should win: It’s actually slightly appalling that it’s 2010 and we still haven’t had a woman win best director. Directing is apparently a man’s profession, though  it shouldn’t be. There are several women directors in Hollywood who have never received the recognition they deserve. Hopefully, Kathryn Bigelow (“The Hurt Locker”) will break this losing streak and prove that a woman can be behind the camera and not just in front of it.

Will win: I’m really hoping this isn’t the case, but I’m expecting the award to go to James Cameron (“Avatar”). The sad thing is that he actually may deserve it this time. After all, he did practically create his own special effects for a movie that’s been over a decade in the making.

Best animated film:

Should win: I absolutely loved “Up,” but I also loved Wes Anderson’s “Fantastic Mr. Fox.” Since both films are going head-to-head (and are really the only two out of the bunch that have a chance at winning), I’m going to have to go with “Fox.” “Up” is a brilliant and heartbreaking film, and maybe even the better one, but I want Wes Anderson to receive the recognition he deserves.

Will win: I don’t see how “Up” can have a Best Picture nomination in addition to this one and not win this award. It’s practically a guarantee. If I were an animation filmmaker not working at Pixar, I’d be incredibly angry knowing that each year it’s about 99.9 percent sure that I have no chance at winning since the hitmaking studio is just so damn good. It’s almost unfair.

Brett Hilbrandt’s Picks

Best Picture:

Should win: This was an odd year for movies. Usually there is one movie that is obviously going to win like “No Country for Old Men” or “Slumdog Millionaire.” I would say “The Hurt Locker” should win, but it has some stiff competition from “Avatar.” My vote for movie of the year goes to “Inglourious Basterds,” but that is most likely not going to happen. If an underdog is going to win this year, “Precious” and “Up in the Air” have a small shot, while “Up” and “The Blind Side” should not have been nominated.

Will win: “The Hurt Locker” will win this category, because it was a unique look at war that has not been shown before. It may not be as popular as the juggernaut that is “Avatar,” but “The Hurt Locker” is a smart movie that does very little wrong.

Best Actor:

Should win: I have not seen “Crazy Heart” because it was not available in any theaters here, but from what I’ve heard, Jeff Bridges is going to win. My vote goes to Jeremy Renner for playing a pretty convincing madman. George Clooney is never completely out of the race, especially since “Up in the Air” is one of his best films.

Will win: Jeff Bridges is awesome, so I do not doubt that his performance in “Crazy Heart” is great. While I will always think of The Dude from “The Big Lebowski” every time I see him, I do realize that he is a superb actor with
numerous great roles.

Best Actress:

Should win: It looks like my nightmares have finally come true: Sandra Bullock may win an Academy Award. After hours and hours of painful films, she finally struck gold, even though there are no bombs on a bus in “The Blind Side.” Gabourey Sidibe is supposed to be great in “Precious,” and Meryl Streep is always a good contender to steal Bullock’s dream.

Will win: Sandra Bullock finally sold her soul to the devil, and it appears the deal worked. People loved “The Blind Side” because it was a full-hearted feel good movie, and Bullock will end up winning because of this.

Best Supporting Actor:

Should win: I can safely say Christoph Waltz should win this award hands down. His role as The Jew Hunter in “Inglourious Basterds” was just as impressive as Heath Ledger as The Joker, but that is just an opinion. No one on the list should win over Waltz, but if someone else takes it from him it could be Matt Damon or Woody Harrelson.

Will win: Christoph Waltz deserves this more than anyone. A no-name German actor steals every scene in the best film of the year, but that’s an understatement. His ability to rant was something that most actors could never even dream of. He is easily one of film’s greatest villains of all time.

Best Supporting Actress:

Should win: Both Anna Kendrick and Vera Farmiga have a good shot at winning. Both actresses did a great job in “Up in the Air,” but Mo’Nique should take home the trophy.

Will win: Mo’Nique has a good chance to win this. I can’t believe I just wrote that. Every time I see Mo’Nique I think of her famous sex scene in “Beerfest,” but then again Sean Penn’s career started off as a stoner who hits someone in the head with a coffee pot.

Best director:

Should win: This is a very hard category to guess the winner of because it really is a toss-up. Kathryn Bigelow came out of nowhere to make one of the most surprising films of the year with “The Hurt Locker.” While her ex-husband made the highest grossing film of all time with “Avatar,” it was a little too cheesy in my opinion to win. There is a small chance Tarantino (“Inglourious”) or Reitman (“Up in the Air”) could take home the trophy, but I don’t see that happening at all.

Will win: James Cameron deserves this Oscar for his insane vision that came to life. When it takes you over ten years of waiting to make sure the technology is ready for your film, then you are a man with a vision. Every aspect of this movie besides the cheesy dialogue is awesome, and while I do not believe it was the best film of the year, it was easily the most entertaining.

Best animated film:

Should win: I would pick “Fantastic Mr. Fox” immediately if I could choose the winner. While “Up” was a great movie, it lacked the creativity of Wes Anderson’s masterpiece. The winner is definitely going to be “Up” because every critic loved that movie; plus it is made by the almighty Pixar.

Will win: “Up” will win because it was a massive money making machine with a lot of heart. I really liked this movie, because it was pretty mature for a film about floating houses, and it was a very impressive 3-D film in the theaters.

OSCAR TRIVIA

Peter Finch and Heath Ledger are the only two actors who have won posthumous acting awards.

The Oscar statuette weighs 8.5 pounds

The Oscars were first given out in 1929 and the first film to win Best Picture went to “Wings.”

Tatum O’Neal is the youngest actress to win an Oscar. She was 10 at the time and won for her supporting role in “Paper Moon.”

If including honorary Oscars, Shirley Temple is then the youngest. She received one at age 5.

“Titanic” and “All About Eve” are currently tied for most nominations. Each film received 14.

The films with the most wins are “Return of the King,” “Titanic” and “Ben-Hur.” All three films won 11 Oscars.

Meryl Streep currently holds the record for most Oscar nominations for acting. Her most recent one brings her to 16, with two wins.

Katherine Hepburn has won the most Oscars for acting. She has four of them.

During his lifetime, Walt Disney was awarded a total of 26 Academy Awards. He was nominated 64 times.

Halle Berry became the first African-American woman to win Best Actress with “Monster’s Ball.”

Dorothy Dandridge was the first African-American to be nominated for an Academy Award.

Despite a few being nominated, no woman has ever won Best Director.

Although he was nominated five times for Best Director, Alfred Hitchcock has never won an Oscar, although he did receive the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award in 1968.

Information courtesy of Oscar.org and imdb.com