Hollywood's biggest night is just days away, and the question on everyone's lips in Tinseltown is, "How the hell are we going to get through the night with ten Best Picture nominations!? That's right, ladies and gents, in case you've forgotten, when it came to Best Picture nomination, this year the Academy instituted the emergency "Dark Knight rule."
The Dark Knight rule went into effect after the biggest blockbuster of 2008, which was also a damn good movie with great performances, was shut out of Best Picture Oscar contention. The Academy went into a tailspin and decided to try and sneak in some box office favorites this year by expanding the nominees for Best Picture to ten.
Would Avatar really have been nominated if there hadn't been ten slots? Probably. But Up, An Education, District 9 and The Blind Side? Not in a million years.
Having said that, even with ten slots, the Academy skipped over the very worthy "Star Trek." But that's over and done. Now it's time to deal with the nominees we do have.
So without further ado, here are my 2010 Academy Award "Should Win/Will Win" picks.
Best Supporting Actress
Should Win: Mo'Nique - Precious
Will Win: Mo'Nique - Precious
People, just like last year, when you could take it to the bank that Heath Ledger was getting a posthumous award for his role as the Joker in The Dark Knight, this year it's a lock that Mo'Nique will snag the Oscar for her role as a malignant cancer of a mother in Precious.
Put money on it. All your money. Now. Really.
Best Supporting Actor
Should Win: Stanley Tucci - The Lovely Bones
Will Win: Christoph Waltz - Inglourious Basterds
These days, I've got a soft spot for Stanley Tucci, who was so sweet and sexy in Julie and Julia, but that's only one reason I'd like to see him win this one. The other reason is that he's a stunning portrait of evil as the killer in The Lovely Bones.
However, Christoph Waltz as the malevolent Nazi in Inglourious Basterds has taken every major award this season, and I don't see the Academy bucking that trend.
Should Win: Gabourey Sidibe - Precious
Will Win: Meryl Streep - Julie and Julia
As much as I would love to see Gabourey Sidibe's Hollywood Cinderella story capped off with an Oscar win, I'm betting the Academy is going to remember why they've loved Meryl Streep all these years and give the golden guy to her.
Should Win: Jeff Bridges - Crazy Heart
Will Win: Jeff Bridges - Crazy Heart
He's the offspring of a Hollywood dynasty -- son of Lloyd, brother of Beau -- and he's done solid, underrated work in Hollywood for years. Colin Firth may have an outside chance at this one, since the film A Single Man is all Colin, all the time. And he's quite good.
But the Brit will have to make way for the Yank.
Should Win: Kathryn Bigelow - The Hurt Locker
Will Win: Kathryn Bigelow - The Hurt Locker
This goes beyond Hollywood adding a woman to the extremely sparse selection of Oscar-nominated woman directors -- Bigelow's only the fourth -- because Bigelow does an excellent job telling this story of a bomb disposal unit in Iraq.
Like Precious, this film plays like a documentary and that's what makes it so intense.
If I thought Precious would win Best Picture, I'd pick director Lee Daniels for this one, but since I don't think that's going to happen, here we are.
Should Win: The Hurt Locker
Will Win: The Hurt Locker
Speaking of Best Picture, The Hurt Locker is it.
Yes, Avatar is an incredible visual achievement. Yes, it cost more than a gazillion dollars to make. And yes, James Cameron worked on it for ten thousand years. The problem is, it's just not enough of a well-rounded film. The plot is pathetically thin, and once you get past the groundbreaking filmmaking, there's not much else to recommend it.
The Hurt Locker is a powerful glimpse at the horrifyingly fickle nature of war and well worth the title of Best Picture.
Pass the popcorn!
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Megan Smith is the BlogHer Contributing Editor covering Television/Online Video. Her other blogs are Megan's Minute, quirky commentary around the clock and Meg's Rad Review. She'll be right here on BlogHer, using Chatter to talk movies the night of the Academy Awards, so plan to join in the fun.
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