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Predicting the Oscar Nominations

Written by: Kit Bowen, Special to CC2K

ImageI believe I've pinpointed my picks for the Academy Award nominations fairly accurately. I think this may be the easiest time I've ever had in figuring out who and what will be nominated, even WITH the 10 Best Picture nods. For some reason, it's all very clear – and I'm sure I'm not the only Oscar watcher who feels that way. So, without further ado, here's what I predict:


Best Actor

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

The why: The top four are a lock, leaving that fifth spot slightly open. I say slightly, because with the run The Hurt Locker has been having, it'd be a crime not to nominate Renner.


Best Actress

Sandra Bullock, The Blind Side 
Helen Mirren, The Last Station 
Carey Mulligan, An Education 
Gabourey Sidibe, Precious 
Meryl Streep, Julie & Julia 

The why: I can't think of any surprises in this category. None whatsoever.

Best Supporting Actor

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

The why: Again, a nearly rock solid list. Although, one of the bloggers on [link:]  picked Christian McKay, the Orson Welles in Me and Orson Welles, as the fifth slot holder. Hmmm, haven't heard much on this guy, but the BFCA, Chicago Film Critics and BAFTAs all nominated him. Not the SAGs or Golden Globes, though, so I'm confident with my Christopher Plummer choice.

Best Supporting Actress

Vera Farmiga, Up in the Air 
Anna Kendrick, Up in the Air
Diane Kruger, Inglourious Basterds 
Mo'nique, Precious
Julianne Moore, A Single Man

The why: Now that Nine and Penelope Cruz are most likely out of the race, that gives SAG nominee Diane Kruger the upper hand. I'll laugh, though, if Cruz sneaks in anyway. The supporting categories usually throw in a surprise on me.

Best Director

Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker

James Cameron, Avatar

Clint Eastwood, Invictus

Jason Ritter, Up in the Air

Quentin Tarantino, Inglourious Basterds

The why: They are nominating 10 Best Pics, but of course we still have to narrow down the directors to just five. Bigelow, Cameron, Taratino and Ritter are all in like flint, leaving, again, the fifth slot. Pete Docter could easily make the cut for Up, as could Lee Daniels for Precious and Lone Scherfig for An Education. But my feeling is they'll go with Eastwood because, well, he's Clint Eastwood: Academy Awards darling.

Best Original Screenplay

Mark Boal, The Hurt Locker

Joel and Ethan Coen, A Serious Man

Pete Docter and Bob Peterson, Up

Scott Neustatder and Michael H. Weber, (500) Days of Summer

Quentin Tarantino Inglourious Basterds

The why: There weren't as many quality original screenplays as they were adapted this year. In fact, the only other screenplay that might take a spot would be Nancy Meyers' It's Complicated. I'm thinking (500) Days of Summer has the edge.

Best Adapted Screenplay

Wes Anderson and Noah Baumbach, Fantastic Mr. Fox

Geoffrey Fletcher, Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire

Tom Ford, A Single Man

Nick Hornby, An Education

Jason Ritter and Sheldon Turner, Up in the Air

The why: Like I said, there are more great scripts to choose from in this category. Precious, An Education and Up in the Air are shoo-ins, but the other two spots are up for grabs. I also considered Neill Blomkamp and Terri Tatchell's District 9, Nora Ephron's Julie & Julia and heck, even Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman's Star Trek (it could happen, you never know). I finally settled on Fantastic Mr. Fox, because it really is very clever, and A Single Man, for its poignancy. 

Best Animated Feature

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs


Fantastic Mr. Fox

The Princess and the Frog


The why: I've said it before, it was a banner year for animated films, but these five were definitely the best. 

Best Picture

An Education


District 9

The Hangover

The Hurt Locker

Inglourious Basterds




Up in the Air

The why: And last, but not least, the all-important and expanded Best Picture list. According to The Envelope blogger Pete Hammond, choosing 10 nominees has been a daunting task for the Academy voters, but how hard can it be? I've vacillated a bit with my list, but I've now included what might be a surprise entry The Hangover, because it won the Golden Globe – and District 9, which I've always supported. Others that might sneak in: The Messenger, A Serious Man, A Single Man, The Last Station, It's Complicated or yes, perhaps even Star Trek. Let's see how many I get right.

Kit Bowen is an entertainment journalist and movie critic. She was formerly the Managing Editor for and currently blogs for her site