Oscar Nominations Post-Mortem: How Did We Do?

On Friday, we here at FilmBuffOnline handicapped the Oscar race as we saw it. As we all know, the nominations have just been released. How did we do?  Well, let’s find out. And the nominees are…

Actor in a Leading Role

  • Jeff Bridges in Crazy Heart
  • George Clooney in Up in the Air
  • Colin Firth in A Single Man
  • Morgan Freeman in Invictus
  • Jeremy Renner in The Hurt Locker

Number of Nominations We “Called”: 5 out of 5.

Commentary: It wasn’t too hard to get 100% correct when four of the five were gimmies. Morgan Freeman played a real-life inspirational hero, and most years that will be enough to get you the nod.

Actor in a Supporting Role

  • Matt Damon in Invictus
  • Woody Harrelson in The Messenger
  • Christopher Plummer in The Last Station
  • Stanley Tucci in The Lovely Bones
  • Christoph Waltz in Inglourious Basterds

Number of Nominations We “Called”: 5 out of 5.

Commentary: Again, with a perfect record, if you count picking Plummer as an outside shot as a prediction. Of course, the “playing a real-life person” factor and the “legend at in the winter of his career” factor was enough to give Christopher Plummer his first Oscar nomination. Conventional wisdom says this statue is Christoph Waltz’s to lose, but I’m getting a feeling that Plummer could spoil, especially if he gets the “here’s a statue for lifetime achievement ” sympathy vote.

Actress in a Leading Role

  • Sandra Bullock in The Blind Side
  • Helen Mirren in The Last Station
  • Carey Mulligan in An Education
  • Gabourey Sidibe in Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire
  • Meryl Streep in Julie & Julia

Number of Nominations We “Called”: 5 of 5.

Commentary: Another clean sweep! This is our best year ever! Up into this category at least!

And I totally don’t believe this story about Sandra Bullock not expecting a phone call telling her she was nominated. She’s the favorite to win the whole thing! Pretending to be humble only works if, well, you need to be.

Actress in a Supporting Role

  • Penélope Cruz in Nine
  • Vera Farmiga in Up in the Air
  • Maggie Gyllenhaal in Crazy Heart
  • Anna Kendrick in Up in the Air
  • Mo’Nique in Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire

Number of Nominations We “Called”: 4 of 5.

Commentary: The first surprise of the nominations, as Maggie Gyllenhall gets the honor of losing to Mo’Nique on Oscar night. So left fied was this that I picked Mariah Carey over her as a possible candidate. Crazy Heart seemed to be a Jeff Bridges vehicle all along, but I guess the Academy thought Gyllenhaal was worth a nod.

Directing

  • Avatar – James Cameron
  • The Hurt Locker– Kathryn Bigelow
  • Inglourious Basterds– Quentin Tarantino
  • Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire – Lee Daniels
  • Up in the Air– Jason Reitman

Number of Nominations We “Called”: 5 of 5.

Commentary: Again, a very predictable category. And , since there are 10 nominees for Best Picture, all five of the director’s films are nominated for Best Picture, avoiding the reoccurring controversy of one of a director being snubbed. Of course, to look at it another way, now there are five directors being snubbed.

Best Picture

  • Avatar – James Cameron and Jon Landau, Producers
  • The Blind Side – Nominees to be determined
  • District 9– Peter Jackson and Carolynne Cunningham, Producers
  • An Education– Finola Dwyer and Amanda Posey, Producers
  • The Hurt Locker – Nominees to be determined
  • Inglourious Basterds – Lawrence Bender, Producer
  • Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire– Lee Daniels, Sarah Siegel-Magness and Gary Magness, Producers
  • A Serious Man– Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, Producers
  • Up – Jonas Rivera, Producer
  • Up in the Air– Daniel Dubiecki, Ivan Reitman and Jason Reitman, Producers

Number of Nominations We “Called”: 10 of 10.

Commentary: 100% correct, even if we thought that The Blind Side, District 9, and A Serious Man were long shots. I’m happy that the Academy gave a nod to the genre flick District 9. I’m very happy that Up got a nods. There would have been a rant if it wasn’t in the list. I think it deserved a spot even if there were only five spaces.

The Blind Side is listed by many as a surprise, but, really, there was enough Oscar buzz around it that I included it as having a chance on my list. What is surprising is that such a poorly received film got a nomination. The film received a 70% positive rating at the movie review aggregatesite, Rotten Tomatoes. That did qualify it as “Fresh,” or recommended, by the site, but was only 11 percentage points away from being classified “Rotten,” or not recommended. Of all the possible candidates I listed on Friday, only Nine scored lower (and abysmal 37% positive rating). All the other films listed scored at least five percentage points higher.

This is indicative of the axiom, the more things change, the more they stay the same. The field was extended to 10 films to put to rest the controversy about good films not getting nominated. But a good number of critically acclaimed films didn’t make the cut, but the treacly, feel-good, factually inaccurate film did. If they keep this up, maybe the Academy should expand the nominees to 20.

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About William Gatevackes 1931 Articles
William is cursed with the shared love of comic books and of films. Luckily, this is a great time for him to be alive. His writing has been featured on Broken Frontier.com, PopMatters.com and in Comics Foundry magazine.

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Rich Drees
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I know it is a mistake to think that the Academy votes (and nominates) as a monolith, but the inclusion of BLIND SIDE just feels like the Academy is just pandering to the public to get them to watch. I see this as one of those rare years where Best Director and Best Picture will NOT go hand in hand. Bigelow will get for directing and AVATAR will get picture, more for the sake of its technical achievement, not because it is an overall great picture. Nice to see DISTRICT 9 get a nod over STAR TREK. Both films are… Read more »