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Paul’s 2010 Oscar Picks: “Should Win” and “Will Win”

March 4, 2010

Here it is… the stunning conclusion to the KEEPING IT REEL list of Oscar “Should Wins” and “Will Wins”… I am locking my list in just in time for Oscar weekend!  Enjoy, everybody!


Best Picture

Will Win: “The Hurt Locker”

Should Win: “Inglourious Basterds”

Understand, I think the two films mentioned above are separated by razor thin margin.  While “The Hurt Locker” is phenomenal, I think like “Inglourious Basterds” has a little bit more of the total package: a fantastic cast, amazing performances, memorable dialogue, impeccable editing and cinematography, comedy, drama, violence… it’s got it all.  I also love the social commentary that Tarantino subtly brings toward the end of this film.  Like Lieutenant Aldo Raine says at the conclusion of the film, I think Tarantino finally made his masterpiece.


Actor in a Leading Role

Should & Will Win: Jeff Bridges — “Crazy Heart”

Lots of people are saying that if Bridges wins this Oscar, it is more of a “body of work” award than for his performance in “Crazy Heart” alone.  I disagree.  I think this role fits Bridges just right and I bought every minute of the performance.


Actor in a Supporting Role

Should & Will Win: Christoph Waltz — “Inglourious Basterds”

David said it in his prediction… this one is definitely a lock.  From the first scene of the film, it’s easy to tell that Waltz will end up stealing every scene he is in.  We’ve all seen the angry Nazi commander role played in many different films, but Waltz throws a huge wrench in the stereotypes and his interpretation of Hans Landa fits perfectly into Tarantino’s style.


Actress in a Leading Role

Will Win: Sandra Bullock — “The Blind Side”

Should Win: Carey Mulligan – “An Education”

It seems like this is Sandra Bullock’s, but I really like Carey Mulligan in “An Education”.  Her performance is Audrey Hepburn-esque (that’s not an original thought, I know) and contains that timeless adorable magnetism that keeps us going back to the movies.  Mulligan transforms from young little schoolgirl who doesn’t know what she wants to an adult with her own experiences and opinions.


Actress in a Supporting Role

Should & Will Win: Mo’Nique — “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire”

Mo’Nique is a definite winner for her performance as the neglectful and abusive monster of a mother in “Precious”.  Most stand-up comedians, when on stage, are putting on a complete act, so when the transition to film occurs, I’m never surprised as some of these comedians shoot to the top.


Animated Feature Film

Should & Will Win: “Up” — Pete Docter

What an amazing film.  Animated or not, “Up” succeeds on all levels.


Art Direction

Should and Will Win: “Avatar” — Rick Carter, Robert Stromberg, and Kim Sinclair

“Avatar” will more than likely hold onto every Oscar for anything visual or technical.  That’s not a risky bet.



Will Win: “Avatar” — Mauro Fiore

Should Win: “Inglourious Basterds” — Robert Richardson

Like I’ve said in two previous comments, “Inglourious Basterds” has the look, and it put together impeccably, but “Avatar” is probably going to secure anything that has to do with film visuals.  Sad, but true.


Costume Design

Should & Will Win: “The Young Victoria” – Sandy Powell

When it comes to the costume awards, it is usually always the “period piece” that wins the award.  There is an attention to historical accuracy and detail that films outside of this category do not have to take into account.



Should & Will Win: “The Hurt Locker” Kathryn Bigelow

From what I gather, there has NEVER been a director that has won the top honor at the Directors’ Guild of America awards that has not gone on to win the Oscar for “Best Director”.  If the award were to go to another, it would be a complete shock.  It will be fun to see the first ever female winner take the cake this year.


Documentary (Feature)

Should & Will Win: “The Cove” – Louie Psihoyos

“The Cove” is a great film that supports a noble cause.  The final scene is moving and will stick with you long after it’s over.  I hope “The Cove” wins, just to hear a great acceptance speech that helps the filmmakers get their message out to a broader audience.


Documentary (Short Subject)

Should & Will Win: “Rabbit à la Berlin” – Bartek Konopka and Anna Wyndra

It’s hard to pick these smaller awards because the voting criteria is so different than those for the “big awards”, but this one is my favorite.


Film Editing

Should & Will Win: “The Hurt Locker” — Bob Murawski and Chris Innis

“The Hurt Locker” builds a great deal of suspense with its editing, and brought a nice documentary style that made the story much more real.  The only other film I could mention in the same breath with “The Hurt Locker” in this category is “Inglourious Basterds” as far as a possible win.


Foreign Language Film

Will Win: “The White Ribbon” — Germany

Should Win: “Un Prophète” — France

Not that “The White Ribbon” wasn’t good, or doesn’t deserve the win, but “Un Prophète” is so well done and struck a chord with me.  It was shot in three languages (four, if you include the English soundtrack), and tells an amazing epic story that brings us through some very intense years for the lead character.  “Un Prophète” succeeds on all levels.



Should Win: “Star Trek” — Barney Burman, Mindy Hall and Joel Harlow

Will Win: “The Young Victoria” — Jon Henry Gordon and Jenny Shircore

“Star Trek” is awesome, but again, the “period piece” always wins this type of award.


Music (Original Score)

Should & Will Win: “Up” Michael Giacchino

Giacchino is seriously one of the best film composers living right now.  I remember first taking note of Giacchino’s majesty for his work in the hit TV show, “Lost”.  For “Up”, he creates an amazing main theme that reprises throughout the film, but takes on so many different meanings without changing a thing.  I am really looking forward to hearing years of memorable music from Giacchino.


Music (Original Song)

Should & Will Win: “The Weary Kind (Theme from Crazy Heart)” from “Crazy Heart” Music and Lyric by Ryan Bingham and T Bone Burnett

I remember seeing the trailer for this film quite a while ago and scrambling to find my phone so I could “Shazam” this song.  Burnett delivers a great set of songs for “Crazy Heart”, as he has so many times before.


Short Film (Animated)

Will & Should Win: “Logorama” – Nicolas Schmerkin

This is a fantastic and memorable short film by Nicolas Schmerkin.  Watch this one on YouTube!


Short Film (Live Action)

Should & Will Win: “The New Tenants” – Joachim Back and Tivi Magnusson

Again, with the sketchiness of the voting process in these smaller categories, all you can do is pick your favorite or close your eyes and point at one.


Sound Editing

Will Win: “Avatar” — Christopher Boyes and Gwendolyn Yates Whittle

Should Win: “The Hurt Locker” — Paul N.J. Ottosson

I hope against hope that “The Hurt Locker” will win this one, but many times the epic film snags the Oscar for sound-related awards, and “Avatar” is definitely this year’s epic.


Sound Mixing

Will Win: “Avatar” — Christopher Boyes, Gary Summers, Andy Nelson and Tony Johnson

Should Win: “The Hurt Locker” — Paul N.J. Ottosson and Ray Beckett

See above.


Visual Effects

Will & Should Win: “Avatar” — Joe Letteri, Stephen Rosenbaum, Richard Baneham and Andrew R. Jones

“Cameron developed his own new technology… “Avatar” is going to change movies forever…” blah, blah, blah.


Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

Will & Should Win: “Up in the Air” Screenplay by Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner

“Up in the Air” has already won awards for this at other shows, and will continue the streak on Oscar Sunday.  The dialogue is all this film has to lean on, and Reitman and Turner deliver.


Writing (Original Screenplay)

Should & Will Win: “Inglourious Basterds” Written by Quentin Tarantino

I hate to see the Coens and Tarantino pinned against each other, because both bring such originality and strength of character to their screenplays.  That said, I think “Inglourious Basterds” is one of Tarantino’s best ever, and “A Serious Man” was simply another good piece of their vast portfolio.


That concludes this year’s KEEPING IT REEL Oscar prognostication week!  Hopefully you feel prepared to take in the entire ceremony with some background.  Good luck if you’re competing in Oscar pools this year!

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