In what seems like the longest Oscars season ever, we are now in the final stretch, with the gold statuettes handed out from midday Monday March 8,Sydney time (Channel 9, blessthem, is screening them live). And while the precursors have rendered some categories forgone conclusions, it has been one of the most exciting seasons in memory, especially given two major categories - Best Actress and Best Picture – still seem undecided. So here then are my final predictions for this year's Oscars, naming who I think will win and who might cause an upset.
Best Supporting Actress:
Winner: Mo'Nique - Precious: A virtual lock all season, the comedienne turned dramatic actress should be victorious.
Upset: I think an upset is highly unlikely so I'm going to pick a dark horse and say surprise nominee Maggie Gyllenhaal (Crazy Heart).
Best Supporting Actor:
Winner: Christoph Waltz – Inglourious Basterds: Again, another contender who has won everything in the lead-up. Definitely the most deserving.
Upset: Again, highly unlikely but if it happens I think the Academy will go with veteran Christopher Plummer (The Last Station), who is nominated for the first time.
Winner: Jeff Bridges – Crazy Heart: As much a career award as for his excellent performance, Bridges will be the overwhelming favourite, in every way, to win this.
Upset: If there were no Bridges, which could easily have been the case had Crazy Heart gone direct to DVD as planned, then Colin Firth (A Single Man) would most likely have won for his career-best performance.
Winner: It will either be Meryl Streep (god willing) for Julie & Julia or Sandra Bullock (god forbid) for The Blind Side.
Upset: Carey Mulligan – An Education. I've been championing Mulligan since I first saw this film back in July. Perhaps a split in votes between Streep and Bullock could see Mulligan through.
Winner: UP. Pixar win almost every year and as this is also up for Best Pic, how could that not be the case this year?
Upset: Fantastic Mr Fox or Disney's The Princess and Frog (but I love all three!).
Foreign Language Film:
Winner: Either The White Ribbon (Germany) or Un Prophete (France).
Upset: El Secreto de Sus Ojos (Argentina).
Winner: It will either be The Hurt Locker or Inglourious Basterds.
Winner: Up In The Air.
Upset: An Education (penned by author Nick Hornby).
Winner: Kathryn Bigelow – The Hurt Locker: Statement or not – the first woman to win this award – Bigelow deserves it.
Upset: James Cameron – Avatar: It would be a shame if Bigelow was trumped by her ex, mostly because her film is far superior.
Winner: It will be either The Hurt Locker or Avatar. I hope art trumps commerce and The Hurt Locker wins.
Upset: 10 nominees means a preferential voting system, so Academy members have to number them 1 through 10. This could result in an upset, in which case I tip Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds.