Forgive me, Sully Baseball fans... I need to do another Oscar post.
I just watched The Blind Side. It was a sweet, flawed, well intentioned movie that should have been a made for TV movie, but is harmless. Seeing that film means I have seen all 10 Best Picture nominees before the ceremony this weekend... thus keeping my insane Oscar obsession alive.
Of course they have changed the number of Best Picture nominees from 5 to 10 this year, partly as a response to popular films like The Dark Knight and WALL-E being snubbed last year.
And it seems like one of the popular things to do in cyberspace is write about what a lousy idea 10 nominees is.
I disagree. Not to be a contrarian, but I think 10 Best Picture nominations has turned out to be a fantastic idea.
This isn't like expanding the baseball playoffs or the NCAA tournament to allow lesser teams a shot to win it all. The Oscars are subjective and the widened Best Picture race has allowed for nominees that reflect the different tastes of viewers and have a better chance to have a film to root for.
Do you like big mongo blockbusters?
Well then you have Avatar and Up to root for.
Do you like critically acclaimed films that may have eluded blockbuster status?
Then cheer on The Hurt Locker.
Are you turned on by showcases for acclaimed directors?
The Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds and the Coen Brothers' A Serious Man are for you.
Do you like big movie stars carrying a film?
Then I bet you loved George Clooney in Up in the Air or Sandra Bullock in The Blind Side.
Do you like movies where new comers steal the film?
I suspect you loved An Education or Precious (which was evidently based on the Novel Push by Sapphire.)
How about if you love films revolving around shrimp looking creatures trapped in South Africa?
It's safe to say that District 9 is probably the best film revolving around shrimp looking creatures trapped in South Africa.
I think the change is a great one... and still doesn't prevent controversy. (My favorite film of 2009 was the unnominated In the Loop... but who is keeping track?)
The Oscar show is this weekend and it is one of the highlights of my year... and I think I am the only person on the planet who never gets bored by the show and doesn't mind how long it is.
And this year will be interesting with an ex husband and wife tandem competing for the big prize... and I think that neither James Cameron nor Kathryn Bigelow are walking away empty handed.
I think The Hurt Locker is going to win Director and Screenplay but Avatar will win picture... similar to how Traffic won Director and Screenplay in 2001 but Gladiator won the big Kahuna.
Jeff Bridges (who should have won for The Fisher King... a film where he wasn't even nominated for) is getting his long overdue Oscar. And I am picking with my gut when I say Meryl Streep will upset Sandra Bullock.
For what it is worth, here are my picks:
BEST PICTURE - Avatar
BEST DIRECTOR - Kathryn Bigelow - The Hurt Locker
BEST ACTOR - Jeff Bridges - Crazy Heart
BEST ACTRESS - Meryl Streep - Julie and Julia
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR - Christoph Waltz - Inglourious Basterds
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS - Mo'Nique - Precious
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY - The Hurt Locker (Mark Boal)
BEST SCREENPLAY ADAPTATION - Up in the Air (Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner)
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE - Up
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM - The White Ribbon
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY - The Hurt Locker
BEST EDITING - The Hurt Locker
BEST ART DIRECTION - Nine
BEST COSTUME DESIGN - Nine
BEST MAKE UP - Star Trek
BEST MUSIC SCORE - Avatar
BEST SONG - "The Weary Kind" Crazy Heart
BEST SOUND MIXING - The Hurt Locker
BEST SOUND EFFECTS EDITING - Avatar
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE - Food Inc
BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT - China's Unnatural Disaster
BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT - Kavi
BEST ANIMATED SHORT - French Roast
BEST VISUAL EFFECTS - Avatar