Editor’s Picks: The 2010 Oscars Promise Surprises and Upsets


Published: March 4, 2010

Best Picture 
Who Should Win: “The Hurt Locker”
Who Will Win: “Avatar”
Who’s Missing Out: “Inglourious Basterds”

“The Hurt Locker” and “Inglorious Basterds” were two of the best movies of the year. However, both of these films have more of a chance in the Director category (where they pull their strength). Plus, it is the Academy and they tend to disappoint with the Best Picture category, so it will most likely go to “Avatar.”


Best Actor in a Leading Role
Who Should Win: Jeff Bridges
Who WIll Win: George Clooney
Who’s Missing Out: Jeremy Renner

These awards tend to go to those who carry the most hype behind their performances. Jeremy Renner (“The Hurt Locker”) gave a powerfully memorable and grippingly intense show as a bomb squad sergeant in Iraq, and Jeff Bridges (“Crazy Heart”) has already won the Golden Globe and SAG awards for his work as the burnt-out country musician Bad Blake; however, Clooney’s name is a novelty among voters and his performance (in “Up In The Air”) is not too shabby either.


Best Actress in a Leading Role
Who Should Win: Gabourey Sidibe
Who Will Win: Sandra Bullock
Who’s Missing Out: Carey Mulligan

It is so unfortunate to see such a great performance like that of Carey Mulligan (“An Education”) to appear to have gone almost unnoticed against more deserving competition—Gabourey Sidibe (“Precious”), who gave a screen-stealing performance in a film that was already stealing the attention of audiences by last year’s New York Film Festival. As for the winner, audiences have pegged Bullock (“The Blind Side”) with a “this is her year” campaign and the Academy will most likely vote in her favor.


Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Who Should Win: Maggie Gyllenhaal
Who Will Win: Mo’Nique
Who’s Missing Out: Vera Farmiga and Anna Kendrick

Oh, the curse of the feature nominated twice in the same category. Farmiga and Kendrick gave rare performances able to steal some of George Clooney’s light in “Up In The Air;” however it’s difficult to pick one over the other. Gyllenhaal (“Crazy Heart”) gave one of her best performances to date, but she has not attracted the amount of attention that Mo’Nique (“Precious”) has gathered to give her the most support for receiving the award.


Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Who Should Win: Christoph Waltz
Who Will Win: Christoph Waltz
Who’s Missing Out: Christoph Waltz (if he doesn’t win)

Christoph Waltz gave the most memorable performance of the year as the sadistic and oddly charming Nazi psychopath in “Inglourious Basterds.” You can’t help but hate his cruelty, yet absolutely love his childish humor. Waltz’s performance has catapulted him to the status of such great villainous performances as Heath Ledger in “The Dark Knight” and Anthony Hopkins in “Silence of the Lambs.”


Best Animated Feature
Who Should Win: “Up”
Who Will Win: “Up”
Who’s Missing Out: “Fantastic Mr. Fox”

Face it: anytime Pixar is in the best animated feature category, they win, even if they are up against such astoundingly creative works as “Fantastic Mr. Fox.” They have this secret recipe to capture audiences and they continue to deliver magic. They had audiences crying within the first five minutes of “Up” and smiling when they left the theatre, and for that they deserve the award.


Best Director 
Who Should Win: Quentin Tarantino
Who Will Win: Kathryn Bigelow
Who’s Missing Out: Quentin Tarantino

Tarantino has created his best work to date (sorry to the cult of “Pulp Fiction”) with “Inglourious Basterds;” he has channeled everything effective about his past movies and has improved all of the weak items to present himself as one of the most noticeable and memorable auteurs of not just this year, but this generation. However, it would be a travesty not to give Bigelow the award. “The Hurt Locker” is definitely the best picture of the year, a title most commonly and passively awarded in the Best Director category.