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Oscar predictions update: 'Avatar' battles 'Hurt Locker' and 'Up in the Air' for best picture

December 11, 2009 |  3:31 pm
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Now that Oscarologists have seen James Cameron's "Avatar" — the last major kudos contender of derby season — how do they size up the race for best picture? Here are the latest predix of these leading pundits: Edward Douglas (Comingsoon.net), Marshall Fine (Star Magazine, HollywoodAndFine), Lou Lumenick (New York Post), Michael Musto (Village Voice), Jeffrey Wells (Hollywood-Elsewhere) and me. See additional batches of new predix from experts here and here.

BEST PICTURE Douglas Fine Lumenick Musto O'Neil Wells
"Up in the Air"

2

1

1

1

 4

1

"Hurt Locker"

1

3

4

3

2

"Precious"

3

2

 3

3

2

10

"Avatar"

4

8

7

2

5

3

"Inglourious Basterds"

8

7

4

6

1

7

"Invictus"

6

 

2

8

6

 
"Nine"

5

 

10

 

10

5

"An Education"

7

   

5

 

6

"Up"  

5

6

7

 
"A Serious Man"

10

4

   

 8

 
"The Messenger"  

9

 

9

7

 
'The Blind Side"    

8

   

4

"Lovely Bones"

9

       

8

"A Single Man"  

10

 

 

 

 
"It's Complicated"      

10

 9

9

"In the Loop"  

6

       
"Julie & Julia"    

9

     
"The Road"  

10

       

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Photo: A scene from "Avatar." Credit: 20th Century Fox

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Comments

Now that we know that Avatar is going to get great reviews, I think it becomes the front runner. One of the things Oscar has always recognized -- like it or not -- is big, splashy, expensive epics that makes lots of money. This really comes from a perspective that movies began as audience spectacles -- DW Griffith, Cecil B. DeMille -- and that one of the things movies should do is be larger than life, dazzle and thrill their audiences.

Every four or five years, Oscar chooses one of these films as Best Picture: see Titanic, Lord of the Rings. For several years now, Oscar has chosen other types of films -- edgy, contemporary stories. So we had Crash, The Departed, No Country for Old Men and Slumdog Millionaire. It's time for one of the big splashy epics to win, and this year it will be Avatar. (I'm not saying I agree with this -- it's just my theory about what will happen.)

Also, Up in the Air is not actually the kind of film that wins Oscars. The last small, dialogue-and-character focused film that won BP was American Beauty. Oscar rarely annoints this kind of film as BP. It will have to be content with a screenplay award and perhaps an acting award.

Tom O'neil:

You've been very supportive Tom. My thanks. But, the Jews are playing "GOD" cheap. That's the same mistake they made 2000 years ago. Only a fool makes the same mistake twice!!

Bob

Tom O'Neil votes INGLORIOUS BASTERDS as his FIRST choice as a potential best picture nominee? Ahead of UP IN THE AIR? THE HURT LOCKER?

Let me educate. (Maybe I should take over as the predictor on this site). UP IN THE AIR and THE HURT LOCKER are definite nominees. INGLORIOUS BASTERDS not so much. If the nominee list had been kept to five, BASTERDS probably would not even make it into that top five. Anyone who really watches the Oscars would know this.

By the way, UP IN THE AIR will take best picture and Streep (way long overdue) best actress. I am pulling for Colin Firth for best actor but it is between him and Clooney.


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