Thursday, February 18, 2010

Oscar Charts, Round 3

Very little movement, but significant movement nonetheless.

We are at a moment where the only categories that can move, oddly enough, are the two big ones: Best Picture and Best Director. Most others are locked down...foregone conclusions in a very boring Oscar season. And really, most Oscar seasons are boring, with only a couple of categories left up in the air. But for those categories to be the two big ones...that's enough to inject some life in this race.

This week's charts...

1. The Hurt Locker
2. Avatar
3. Up in the Air
4. Inglourious Basterds
5. Precious: Based on the novel Push by Sapphire
6. Up
7. An Education
8. The Blind Side
District 9
A Serious Man

Note: It seems, at this point, that Summit is going to hold firm on their decision to withhold The Hurt Locker from theatrical re-release, the one move that I feel would successfully lock in the "upset" win. Getting the very cinematic film back into theaters where it can make some money, gain some more widespread love, and be seen on a big screen by Academy members...that's a win waiting to happen. But they may want to avoid the head-to-head theatrical competition with Avatar, and the film will still play potently on an HD flat screen.

Since Summit isn't forcing the issue, the story is formed by the current, visible developments. And by that measuring stick, The Hurt Locker has all the momentum. The film is coming off two major guild wins, and is the odds-on favorite to take another one, the WGA, this weekend. Meanwhile, Avatar's biggest advantage -- its box-office -- has been diminished ever-so-slightly, as it dropped from the top of the weekend box-office during the first weekend after the Oscar nominations announcement, and dropped even further the following weekend. And more people will be seeing The Hurt Locker on DVDs and Blu-Rays they receive in Netflix envelopes, especially if they are in a snowed-in part of the country.

For now, advantage Hurt Locker.

The rest of the major categories after the jump...

1. Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker
2. James Cameron, Avatar
3. Jason Reitman, Up in the Air
4. Quentin Tarantino, Inglourious Basterds
5. Lee Daniels, Precious
Note: Still trending Bigelow, and that whole "first female winner in history" wave is starting to pick up major steam.

1. Sandra Bullock, The Blind Side
2. Meryl Streep, Julie & Julia
3. Carey Mulligan, An Education
4. Gabourey Sidibe, Precious
5. Helen Mirren, The Last Station

Note: Bullock on top. She is still making the interview rounds, tossing footballs with Letterman...doing the job. Streep seems to have ceded this one.

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

Note: Bridges. Over. Crazy Heart's up-tick in weekend box-office can only help more. Clooney isn't doing press...he knows it's all over. Firth and Renner are just happy to be there. And Freeman...please.

1. Mo'Nique, Precious
2. Vera Farmiga, Up in the Air
3. Anna Kendrick, Up in the Air
4. Maggie Gyllenhaal, Crazy Heart
5. Penelope Cruz, Nine
Note: Ha!

1. Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds
2. Woody Harrelson, The Messenger
3. Christopher Plummer, The Last Station
4. Stanley Tucci, The Lovely Bones
5. Matt Damon, Invictus

Note: Waltz...duh.

1. Mark Boal, The Hurt Locker
2. Quentin Tarantino, Inglourious Basterds
3. Pete Docter, Bob Peterson, Tom McCarthy, Up
4. Alessandro Camon & Oren Moverman, The Messenger
5. Joel Coen & Ethan Coen, A Serious Man

Note: We will continue to track the percentages on this one. I still have to give the 51% edge to Boal's Hurt Locker script, over Tarantino's Basterds screenplay, which still sits as a 49% underdog. The WGA hands out its awards this Saturday, and that will be the next major indicator, though it is not an Oscar guarantee no matter who comes away with the prize.

1. Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner, Up in the Air
2. Geoffrey Fletcher, Precious
3. Neill Blomkamp and Terri Tatchell, District 9
4. Nick Hornby, An Education
5. Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Armando Iannucci, Tony Roche, In the Loop

Note: All about Up in the Air, which would still be a major player for Best Picture if Avatar had never happened. As it stands, this is the only major award the film has a chance to win...and it will win it.

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