November 6, 2009 | Blog
Post- Blog’s “Big 5” Oscars Power Rankings: The Beginnings
article by matt klimerman
Every few weeks from here on out, we here at Post- blog will be compiling power rankings for the most likely films/people to be nominated (and win) each of the 6 major categories at the Oscars (Best Picture, Director, Lead Actor/Actress, Supporting Actor/Actress).
The two biggest changes with this year’s oscars are the expansion of not only the number of nominees for best picture (10), but also the number of hosts (2). So with no further ado, here it is: the Post- Blog Oscars power rankings: The Beginnings.
1. Precious: At this point, we think Precious is the film to beat; a backing from Oprah and Tyler Perry, a tear-jerking controversial story, and an unknown actress waiting to break out onto the scene makes this one a surefire contender and likely winner.
2. Up in the Air: Jason Reitman’s last movie Juno is still being quoted almost two years after its release. With Up in the Air being hailed as his best work yet, and Clooney’s performance being described as nothing short of legendary, we see big things for this one.
3. An Education: Carey Mulligan should give this one at least the nomination. Small films with early releases like this one normally don’t bring home the gold, but Mulligan’s performance just might make this the little picture that won.
4. Hurt Locker: The only thing keeping the Hurt Locker from the top of the list is its early summer release date. Everything else about this movie was stellar, but will it be able to maintain its spectacular hype?
5. Nine: Marshall’s last musical Chicago won best picture back in 2002, so why shouldn’t this one? With possibly the best cast in recent history, Nine certainly is a contender. But Daniel Day Lewis as a musical leading man? We’ll believe it when I see it.
6. Up: It can be argued that the only reason the Academy expanded the best picture field to ten nominees was so an animated film could be nominated. Up was one of the best-reviewed movies of the year and we bet we’ll see it get nominated. The problem is it has its own (animated) category to win.
7. A Serious Man: The Coen brother’s latest film is being hailed as one of their best. Can they do it again after taking home the big prize just two years ago? Given the relatively small release of the film, and somewhat confusing subject matter, we think they’ll be happy with the nomination.
8. The Lovely Bones: Peter Jackson hasn’t made a bad movie in almost a decade, which makes the anticipation for Lovely Bones all the more exciting. Lovely Bones has it all: a great cast, gritty story, and acclaimed director. But all this hype means that it must be perfect to succeed, and assuming it is, expect to see it start creeping up the list as it gets closer to its release date.
9. Invictus: Not much was known about Invictus until the trailer came out last week. What we did know however equaled HUGE Oscar potential: Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandela, Matt Damon as rugby player who unites a country, and directed by Clint Eastwood –need we say more?
10. Inglourious Basterds: Quentin Tarantino’s summer epic got rave reviews and was viewed as one of the (if not the) best of the summer. Is it what the academy is looking for though? With the expansion of the category to 10 pictures it is entirely possible. We’ll have to see.
Dark Horse- Avatar: James Cameron’s last movie is the most successful movie of all time and won the most Oscars by any movie ever. Chances are this one will be pretty good, but the academy tends not to go for films like this though, and those weird blue things aren’t helping its cause.
1. Morgan Freeman- Invictus: Morgan Freeman + Nelson Mandela + Biopic= lock for nomination, and frontrunner for win. Only Clooney can stand in his path.
2. George Clooney- Up in the Air: Said to be the best performance of his career Clooney has a real shot at winning. We all know how the academy loves Clooney and they will most likely love this.
3. Jeremy Renner- Hurt Locker: Got phenomenal reviews for his summer performance as a bomb diffuser in Iraq. Only question is, will people remember?
4. Colin Firth- A Single Man: Firth is supposed to be great in this small, yet highly critically acclaimed, British film. The academy tends to drool over non-gay actors playing gay people (see Brokeback Mountain).
5. Daniel Day- Lewis- Nine: When Daniel Day Lewis decides to do a movie, it’s usually a pretty damn good one. His last performance brought him Oscar gold, but can he sing and dance as well as he can search for oil?
Dark Horse– Max Records- Where the Wild Things Are: Records got great reviews for his turn as “Max,” but is this film really Oscar friendly enough? While we’ll admit this is a long shot, the academy does love rewarding young actors with surprise nominations.
1. Gabourey Sidibe- Precious: We think Precious will be HUGE, and freshman actress Gabourey Sidibe is likely to be the talk of the town once the film comes out. The academy loves a good underdog story, and this underdog could be the one.
2. Carey Mulligan- An Education: At this point, its pretty much a dead heat between Mulligan and Sidibe. With possibly the best reviews of the year, Mulligan only needs a few precursors to be a lock for a win.
3. Meryl Streep- Julia and Julia: Meryl Streep is the queen of the Oscars, and if she is in a film with even decent reviews, odds are that she will be nominated.
4. Judy Dench- Nine: Gary Marshall’s Nine is a showcase for some of the greatest actresses in Hollywood, with Dench at the helm. The academy loves rewarding veterans and this might be Dench’s time.
5. Saoirse Ronan- The Lovely Bones: Shes only 15 but is already a previous nominee for her role in Atonement. If The Lovely Bones does well, she’ll probably be nominated.
Dark Horse- Penelope Cruz- Broken Embraces: The defending Best Supporting Actress might be a surprise nominee. Cruz and Almodovar have worked incredibly well together in the past.
1. Christoph Waltz- Inglorious Basterds: The academy tends to reserve supporting categories to reward actors from less blatantly Oscar friendly films. Waltz’s “Colonel Kurtz” was possibly the greatest single character of the year, and we think that any trilingual actor deserves a win.
2. Matt Damon- Invictus: If Invictus is well received (critic-wise and box office-wise), Damon will likely rise to front-runner status. Too little is known about the film at this point to be sure though.
3. Stanley Tucci- The Lovely Bones: The academy is wild for villains and Tucci plays a child rapist and murderer. Villain? We tend to think so.
4. Alfred Molina- An Education: Mulligan’s performance alone may be able to rope in some of her costars.
5. Christopher Plummer- The Last Station: The Last Station has been getting great reviews, and Plummer is a true veteran. Will the film have a wide enough release, though.
Dark Horse- Richard Kind- A Serious Man: Most likely the 6th man in this category, his nomination depends on what competitors fall out of the race as we approach February.
1. Mo’Nique- Precious: The academy has a recent history of rewarding unexpected actors and breakout stars (see: Jennifer Hudson). We think this category is hers to loose.
2. Marion Cotillard- Nine: 2007’s best actress winner is back and is getting rave reviews. Her success in this category all depends on whether Nine can deliver or not.
3. Vera Farmiga- Up in the Air: Farmiga has been getting great reviews in her role alongside Clooney. She has been overlooked in the past, and it might be her turn to shine.
4. Susan Sarandon- The Lovely Bones: Sarandon plays the tormented grandmother in Peter Jackson’s latest. If Lovely Bones is big, look for lots of acting nominations.
5. Julianne Moore- A Single Man: A single man has the potential to be this year’s big acting vehicle, but it needs some precursor love to be considered a strong competitor though.
Dark Horse- Anna Kendrick- Up in the Air: Her performance has been cited as one of the of the strongest aspects of the movie, but she is relatively unknown and will face a vote split with costar Vera Farmiga.