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It's official: 'Avatar' will rule the Oscars, experts say

January 20, 2010 |  4:09 pm

Avatar_news_Oscars

When we pooled Oscar experts in the past, many predicted that "Avatar" would win best picture, but now that's the verdict of the vast majority. Below is how these pundits rank their projected nominees according to their likelihood of winning: Scott Feinberg (AndTheWinnerIs), Pete Hammond (Notes on a Season, The Envelope), Peter Howell (Toronto Star), Steve Pond (The Odds, TheWrap), Nathaniel Rogers (Film Experience) and Peter Travers (Rolling Stone).

BEST PICTURE Travers Feinberg Hammond Howell Pond Rogers
"Avatar"

1

1

1

1

1

2

"District 9"

8

9

7

8

9

  

"An Education"

6

6

8

7

6

6

"The Hangover"

10

         
"Hurt Locker"

2

2

3

2

2

3

"Inglourious Basterds"

5

4

4

4

4

"Invictus"

 

8

9

9

8

7

"The Messenger"  

 10

 

 

  

 
"Nine"          

10

"Precious"

4

5

5

6

5

5

"A Serious Man"

    

 

10 

10

9

"Star Trek"

9

         
'This Is It'  

 

10

     
"Up"

7

7

6

5

7

8

"Up in the Air"

3

3

2

3

3

1

Photo: 20th Century Fox

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Comments

I will not disagree with the experts but I hope they are all wrong. I cannot believe that a stunning mediocrity like AVATAR will actually be considered the best picture of the year. This is a film that should not even be nominated as it is a truly inferior work, cliched, hackneyed, with a script that is puerile and unimaginative. If AVATAR wins the Academy will lose, as it should, any cache that it is honoring the best movie work of the year.

THE HURT LOCKER was the best film of this year. PERIOD.

Avatar is art in the fullest sense of the word, but it still lacks the essence of a good picture. It very well covers the areas of visuals, sound and music, direction, etc., but lacks good acting, and an original story. Avatar will receive nominations in Picture, Director, Editing, Cinematography, Sound Mixing, Sound Editing, Visual Effects, and Score. It may even score some attention in Art Direction and Song, but you won't see it in any acting categories, or any attention for its screenplay. Two key components that make films great. One may argue that Slumdog Millionaire, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, and even The Last Emperor didn't get any acting nominations, but who's to say they didn't come close? No one will say that about Avatar (with the possible exception of Zoe Salanda.) Avatar will very easily walk away with several statuettes, but the idea it will receive Best Picture seems a bit of a stretch.

I'd like to see Where the Wild Things Are receive more attention, but that seems more unlikely than not.

In my opinion, The Hurt Locker makes more sense as a Best Picture contender than Avatar. It's unarguably the best directed of the year, has great performances all around, is visually satisfying (this is due its great editing, and cinematography,) it has an amazing screenplay, and it has authentic sound design, but it does lack great music. There's no question that this is a film considerably less popular than Avatar, but it's also considerably better.

Another film that has potential to trounce Avatar, is that of QTs Inglourious Basterds. It's a period piece, it's story and dialogue are near flawless, it has the best ensemble of the year, it's a war film, and is loved by nearly all that basque in its awesomeness. It'll walk away with at least two statuettes (Original Screenplay, and Supporting Actor for Christoph Waltz.)

Suffice it to say, that like Mickey Rourke for The Wrestler, Brokeback Mountain, Ang Lee for Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, etc., Avatar may very well be overestimated for its potential to win Best Picture. It's a possibility, albeit a grim one, but a possibility nonetheless. I don't hate Avatar, but it would be a crime if it won the top award.

YOU ALL HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME -- do you really believe that Avatar is the best film of the year -- if you were all voting, would you vote for Avatar? Inglorious Basterds is the best most interesting, most entertaining film of the year and should win. I found Avatar to be just boring and great technically and has there ever been a movie to win best picture without getting a screenplay nod?

GO INGLORIOUS BASTERDS and give the long overdue Tarantino the oscar for director and picture -- something that Cameron ALREADY has.

It's art vs. commercialism....On one corner you have your Academy members who prefer to honor commercial, box office hits over artsie, indie films and on the other you have Academy members who prefer edgier, artsie, intelligent, thought-provoking films...which will prevail? I'd go with The Hurt Locker over Avatar. But my hunch also tells me that the Academy might steer away from the obvious choices and go with the likes of either Up, District 9, An Education or A Serious Man. An Avatar sweep would be a very boring Oscar telecast--why would anyone bother to watch...

"It's official: Avatar will rule the Oscars, experts say."

Um, yeah, sure. It'll pick up a boatload of technical awards, but the Academy isn't going to give Best Picture to a CGI film that's basically "Dances with Wolves meets Pocahontas."

@Jess: Seriously, they have clearly lost their collective mind.

Avatar maybe the front runner but I still think that Kathryn Bigelow should win Best Director for The Hurt Locker.

I doubt very much that a huge block of voters are willing to place Avatar first on a weighted ballot. With enough second and third votes Up in the Air, The Hurt Locker, and Inglourious Basterds still have a really good shot at the win.

Avatar, Sandra Bullock, and Meryl Streep for a barely mediocre film. WTF is the Academy smoking?

You are still predicting 'Inglourious Basterds', right?


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