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Welcome back for day three of predicting the Oscar winners with Oscar Eye, in which I hopefully make good enough picks so that I don't embarrass myself in my own Oscar pool this weekend. I'll be up against some tough competition, so it's gonna be tricky.
Today, the second-to-last day of predictions, we deal with a lot of films that would have made it in for Best Picture if this were a just world, my favorite nominee of them all, and an argument over black and white vs. color cinematography. Stay with me, we're almost to the big prizes!
TODAY: Documentary Feature, Animated Feature, Foreign Language Film, Cinematography, Original Screenplay, Adapted Screenplay.
FRIDAY: Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, Actor, Actress, Director, Picture.
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
El Secretro de sus Ojo, Argentina
The Milk of Sorrow, Peru
Un Prophete, France
The White Ribbon, Germany
This category is notorious for surprises-- all you have to do is look back to last year's win for Departures to know that it's almost unusual for the obvious choice to triumph here. So while there are two heavyweights here that have been widely praised and discussed by critics-- The White Ribbon and Un Prophete-- many argue that a more traditional tearjerker like El Secreto de sus Ojo could jump in there. But I think The White Ribbon will win thanks to an under-discussed edge-- it is obliquely about the Holocaust, and the Holocaust movie always wins. It's also a masterpiece by a long-loved auteur, but primarily, it's kind of about the Holocaust.
And the winner is: The White Ribbon
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
Fantastic Mr. Fox
Princess and the Frog
The Secrets of Kells
There's a lot of wild speculation going on about this category, that because Up is also nominated for Best Picture, people will ignore it and go for Fantastic Mr. Fox or Coraline instead. I say that's nonsense-- everyone knows Up won't win Best Picture, and everyone knows that Pixar dominates this category year after year. A surprise would be great in this category, but I don't think this is the year.
And the winner is: Up
The Cove, Nominees to be determined
Food, Inc., Robert Kenner and Elise Pearlstein
The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers, Judith Ehrlich and Rick Goldsmith
Which Way Home, Rebecca Cammisa
I see the most potential for an upset in this category, with The Cove having picked up a lot of precursors and buzz, but Food Inc. and even Which Way Home making great cases for spoiler potential. While The Cove is an emotional gut punch, it's not a perfect movie, and a lot of people may have avoided watching it at all. Food Inc. seems best poised to jump in instead.
And the winner is: Food Inc.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Bruno Delbonnel
The Hurt Locker, Barry Ackroyd
Inglourious Basterds, Robert Richardson
The White Ribbon, Christian Berger
I am so stumped by this category it hurts. The most beautiful film of last year, Bright Star, isn't even nominated, and the most technically innovative of the bunch, Avatar, relies so heavily on digital effects that it's hard to know if the Academy will go for it. Then there's the kinetic energy of The Hurt Locker, the moody landscapes of Harry Potter, and the sharp, memorable imagery of Inglourious Basterds. Because it feels like such a toss-up, I'm going with my heart rather than my head here and going for the Basterds... because that shot of Shoshanna in the window before the movie premiere gets me every time.
And the winner is: Robert Richardson, Inglourious Basterds
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Quentino Tarantino, Inglourious Basterds
Alessandro Camon & Oren Moverman, The Messenger
Joel & Ethan Coen, A Serious Man
Peter Docter, Bob Peterson, Tom McCarthy, Up
And here's the other category that feels like it could go anywhere. Conventional wisdom says it's between Boal and Tarantino, and it's virtually impossible to pick between then-- Tarantino is a beloved industry stalwart, but Boal is part of the season's biggest awards steamroller. Boal may have the logical edge over Tarantino, but I think there's more love for the Basterds out there than it may seem. Tarantino by a hair.
And the winner is: Quentin Tarantino, Inglourious Basterds
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Nick Hornby, An Education
Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Armando Iannucci & Tony Roche, In The Loop
Geoffrey Fletcher, Precious
Jason Reitman & Sheldon Turner, Up in the Air
I would like to say we live in a magical world in which there's a chance that In the Loop will win this category, but of course, we do not. The smart money is on Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner, who have been sweeping the precursors and have the odd duty of representing a film that felt like a sure-thing Best Picture winner for a brief period. A lot of people really like Up in the Air, and this is the best place to reward it.
And the winner is: Jason Reitman & Sheldon Turner, Up in the Air