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Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Scarecrow's Oscar Picks

Well, it's that time of year again!  I do so love my movies, and the Oscar nominations have been announced!  In just one month, we will be celebrating the best in film for the previous year!

Now, ever since I first discovered the Internet and blogging, I've taken a minute to blog my Oscar picks.  But see, the thing is, I do things a little differently.  Over the next month, you're going to be seeing all kinds of picks for Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, and so on.  I don't bother picking those categories.  I only pick the categories that I care about!  

So, the first category that I care about, Best Visual Effects:

  • Avatar

  • District 9

  • Star Trek

My Pick:  Do you even have to ask?  Avatar was 12 years in the making, 5 years of that was spent developing a new kind of movie camera to film this thing.  Everyone agrees that it's the most seamless blend of live-action and CGI ever captured.  Avatar, no contest.

Next up, Best Original Song.  The nominees are:

  • "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.

My Pick:  Ooo, tough call this year.  Disney animated films dominated this category back in 1990s, so it's easy to fall back on nostalgia and pick one of the two from The Princess and the Frog.  But I see that the song from Crazy Heart won the Golden Globe in this category, and the Golden Globes are always seen as a good indicator.  But you know what?  The Princess and the Frog is the only film on this list that I've actually seen, and I'm guessing the Academy voters are in the same boat.  I put my money on "Down in New Orleans." 

We now have Best Animated Film.  The nominees are:

  • Coraline

  • Fantastic Mr. Fox

  • The Princess and the Frog

  • The Secret of Kells

  • Up

My Pick:  Wow, looking at this list of nominations, I can't help but think there were a lot of great animated films this year.  The dark horse in this category is The Secret of Kells , which I gather is a little French animated film that got a very limited release in the USA.  I really have a soft-spot for Coraline as well, that was a remarkable film.  That being said, though, there is one film on this list that was beloved by audiences and critics and has already scooped up an armload of awards.  The winner will be Up, easy money. 

And lastly, I do one token mainstream category that's going to be analyzed to death.  The big one, Best Motion Picture:

  • Avatar

  • The Blind Side

  • District 9

  • An Education

  • The Hurt Locker

  • Inglourious Basterds

  • Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire

  • A Serious Man

  • Up

  • Up in the Air

My Pick:  As you can see, the Academy is trying something new this year.  They've expanded the Best Picture category to 10 films, to include more mainstream films, and thus more films that the average moviegoer has actually seen.  That being said, there's really two films right now that have been dominating all the awards shows running up to the Oscars:  Avatar and The Hurt Locker.  One is a science-fiction epic about a battle on another world that has just become the #1 film of all time, the other is an intimate drama about an Army bomb disposal expert in Iraq.  It really is a battle of style vs. substance.  That being said, since the whole expanded category is all about reaching out to mainstream films, something tells me that the fruits of that labour will be Avatar taking the Best Picture statue. 

The big show is on TV on March 7.  Your hosts this year are Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin.

For all the nominations, check out the official Oscar website

This post was originally posted at my work blog, which you can read at 94.1 the River.

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