Predicting the Oscars: Look for Bridges, Streep
By JULIE HINDS
Detroit Free Press
Until the envelopes are opened, you never really know who’ll win at the Oscars.
Surprises such as “Brokeback Mountain” losing to “Crash” in 2006 and Marisa Tomei taking home the golden guy for “My Cousin Vinny” in 1992 are examples of what keeps the show so fascinating. Still, it’s fun to make predictions, such as these for some of the major contests of this year’s Oscars.
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”). Will win: Jeff Bridges. Although George Clooney’s charm was the wind beneath the wings of “Up in the Air,” lovable veteran Bridges is expected to finally get an Oscar for his understated acting.
Best actress: Sandra Bullock (“The Blind Side”), Helen Mirren (“The Last Station”), Carey Mulligan (“An Education”), Gabourey Sidibe (“Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire”), Meryl Streep (“Julie & Julia”). Will win: Meryl Streep. It’s a close race between her and fan favorite Bullock, who just had her best box-office year ever. But Streep’s performance as Julia Child was as rich and satisfying as a perfect meal. Look for her to nab her first win since the 1980s.
Best supporting actor: Matt Damon (“Invictus”), Woody Harrelson (“The Messenger”), Christopher Plummer (“The Last Station”), Stanley Tucci (“The Lovely Bones”), Christoph Waltz (“Inglourious Basterds”). Will win: Christoph Waltz. A veteran Austrian actor who’s become an overnight star, he has heaps of prizes already for his vivid portrayal of a Nazi officer in Quentin Tarantino’s rewrite of World War II. The consensus is he’s almost guaranteed a win.
Best supporting actress: Penelope Cruz (“Nine”), Vera Farmiga (“Up in the Air”), Maggie Gyllenhaal (“Crazy Heart”), Anna Kendrick (“Up in the Air”), Mo’Nique (“Precious: Based on the Novel ’Push’ by Sapphire”). Will win: Mo’Nique. Her fierce, unflinching portrayal of an abusive mother was a breakout performance for the comedy star. She’s another nominee who’s considered a sure thing to take home a statuette.
Best picture: “Avatar,” “The Blind Side,” “District 9,” “An Education,” “The Hurt Locker,” “Inglourious Basterds,” “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire,” “A Serious Man,” “Up,” “Up in the Air.” Will win: “Avatar.” This one isn’t easy. “The Hurt Locker,” the small-budget, wrenching drama about a bomb-defusing squad, seems like the current frontrunner. Still, Oscar voters may reward “Avatar” for its blockbuster box office by making it the first science-fiction movie to win top honors.
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