PICTURE: The Hurt Locker
Even with the latest controversies- the rogue producer Nicholas Cartier's fall from grace. For the uninitiated, he is a producer of The Hurt Locker, who sent e-mails, allegedly to Academy members saying to vote for his movie, and not the $500 million blockbuster. This is a no-no for the Academy, as an out and out smear campaign is against the rules, and his ticket was taken away from him...he will still win an Oscar even if he's not allowed in the building. Also screenwriter Mark Boal was recently sued claiming the main character was based on a particular soldier. For all these recent struggles, I'm still going with it, because well it's the best. Not that matters with Oscars often, but it's still the likely frontrunner, with Avatar a close second.
DIRECTOR: Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker
Because it's history, and because it's time...I think everyone know that, and plus even if Avatar sneaks in for the top award, no one is blaming Bigelow for The Hurt Locker's recent nastiness.
ACTOR: Jeff Bridges, Crazy Heart
Because again it's time, however I concede a possible spoiler for Jeremy Renner-- if it happens, I called it.
ACTRESS: Sandra Bullock, The Blind Side
One of the only times I've ever really wanted to be wrong, but alas, I confess, that it's looking harder and harder to argue against her....please let me be wrong...my ego will not be hurt.
SUPPORTING ACTOR: Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds
No contest, as it should be...he'll be the third straight villain to win supporting actor-- Javier Bardem (for No Country For Old Men) and Heath Ledger (for The Dark Knight.)
SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Mo'Nique, Precious
She dominated the everything for her bravura performance, but supporting actress sometimes offers surprises against frontrunners: Juliette Binoche for The English Patient a prime example.
ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: Inglourious Basterds
The hardest major category to predict-- I think it's Basterds vs. The Hurt Locker, with a potential Up spoiler. If the recent controversies hurt Locker in any way I think it will happen here instead, plus Tarantino's been everywhere this season, and he's been popular.
ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: Up in the Air
The only award Up in the Air has a shot at, and it's the clear leader, but I'd love an In the Loop shocker-- probably only in my dreams.
ANIMATED FEATURE: Up
It's the clear favorite with a best picture nomination, but I still think Fantastic Mr. Fox might be a possible spoiler.
DOCUMENTARY: The Cove
FOREIGN FILM: El Secreto de sus Ojos
ART DIRECTION: Avatar
COSTUME DESIGN: The Young Victoria
FILM EDITING: The Hurt Locker
SONG: "The Weary Kind," Crazy Heart
SOUND EDITING: The Hurt Locker
MAKE-UP: Star Trek
VISUAL EFFECTS: Avatar