Now that the Grammys are finis, it’s time to look to the film world: Tomorrow morning, the Oscar nominations come out. And it’s kinda a crap shoot.
Last year, the Academy announced that for the first time since the 1940s, they would allow 10 best picture nominees instead of the usual five. Problem was, in October, as I looked at the slate of upcoming releases, I could only see two — Avatar and Nine, after Scorsese’s Shutter Island was pushed to this month — that looked to have “Oscar-caliber” written on them. Now, things change when the films are actually released (Nine ended up being a dreadful misfire), but who needs 10 spots when it looked hard to fill five?
More about my predictions after the jump.
Which is not to say 2009 was a horrendous year at the movies; it was OK. But there seemed to be a lack of concensus about what looked Oscar-worthy.
And, as has often been the case, gay themed film are sadly underrepresented in those under serious consideration for the biggest prizes. C’est la vie.
Here, though, are the films to watch out for at tomorrow’s ceremony:
Avatar (picture, director, a slew of nods for its design, from visual effects — a lock to win — to sound editing)
The Hurt Locker (picture and director — especially after Kathryn Bigelow won the DGA prize — screenplay and actor for Jeremy Renner; Anthony Mackie might even slip in for supporting actor)
A Single Man (the best film of the year probably will not figure into picture and director, but really deserves actor Colin Firth and possibly screenplay, along with some craft nods)
Inglourious Basterds (Quentin Tarantino’s bombastic revisionist history of WWII will likely score picture, director and screenplay nods, plus look for Christoph Waltz the likely winner for supporting actor)
Precious (gay director Lee Daniels may actually score a nom for himself and the film, and stars Gabourey Sidibe and Mo’Nique are practically shoo-ins for actress and supporting actress … though it’s no tragedy if Sidibe is overlooked)
Crazy Heart (meet the eventual best actor winner, Jeff Bridges; the song is also a likely contender)
Up in the Air (this year’s critics’ darling — i.e., the George Clooney film — that will likely get noms for picture, director, actor, supporting actress, screenplay and editing, but wind up winning one, two max)
Up (a shoo-in for best animated feature, it may snag one of the extra best picture noms, as well as screenplay)
Nine (actress Marion Cottillard, supporting actress Penelope Cruz and hopefully nothing else except costuming)
Invictus (the ponderous, simple-minded sports-politics movie may score a nnom for actor Morgan Freeman or even Matt Damon, but it doesn’t deserve anything)