Either my predictions have either gotten scary good, or the Washington, D.C. Film Critics Association and I are psychologically linked, because my predictions line up almost perfectly with theirs. The list broke down like this:
Best Picture - Up in the Air
Best Actor - George Clooney, Up in the Air
Best Actress - Carey Mulligan, An Education
Best Supporting Actor - Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds
Best Supporting Actress - Mo’Nique, Precious
Best Director - Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker
Best Screenplay, Adapted - Up in the Air
Best Screenplay, Original - Inglourious Basterds
Best Breakthrough Performance - Gabourey Sidibe, Precious
Best Ensemble - The Hurt Locker
Best Animated Film - Up
My predictions vary very little from this list. I think Precious will take Best Adapted Screenplay, and I think the Best Original Screenplay will probably be The Hurt Locker's, but past that, every other pick matches up.
In addition to the regular categories, the DCFCA chose Gabourey Sidibe as Best Breakthrough Performance, adding another sorta-victory to her list. Just in case anyone thought this means she's gonna come from behind to win, let me just say this: if Carey Mulligan wasn't winning Best Actress outright, she'd be winning the Breakthrough awards. Sidibe is second-choice to voters in that regard. Also: Locker is a fantastic film, but Best Ensemble? Not exactly. This belongs to something like Precious, Inglourious Basterds, Nine, or The Last Station.
To remind y'all what I'm betting on, as follows are my updated predictions, adding Best Animated Feature, which will be the last addition for a while.
Up in the Air
The Hurt Locker
A Serious Man
The Last Station
I moved Invictus up considering all the good press it's getting. Thinking about it, I wouldn't count out The Lovely Bones, considering the ten-wide field, but I still don't think it's going to scrape the nod.
Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker
Clint Eastwood, Invictus
Rob Marshall, Nine
Jason Reitman, Up in the Air
Lee Daniels, Precious
All the same for the moment. Bigelow's win was fun. I like when she wins. Why? Because she deserves it.
George Clooney, Up in the Air
Jeff Bridges, Crazy Heart
Colin Firth, A Single Man
Morgan Freeman, Invictus
Jeremy Renner, The Hurt Locker
Clooney might not win when it comes to the bigger contests because his character is so similar to himself as a person, but Bridges and Firth are losing traction. Freeman's performance is a very Freeman performance, so he might win just for that, but I don't think he's a real contender. Poor Renner. He doesn't stand a chance.
Carey Mulligan, An Education
Gabourey Sidibe, Precious
Meryl Streep, Julie & Julia
Helen Mirren, The Last Station
Sandra Bullock, The Blind Side
I honestly think Bullock is kind of a lock for this. Her performance was phenomenal, and as I've already stated, she's having a fantastic year, and is likely to clean up along with Beyonce, Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga, the casts of Glee, Mad Men, and The Hangover when Entertainer of the Year lists start coming out. I'm this close to moving her past Mirren; I only haven't because, well, she's Helen Mirren. And she's Sandra Bullock. There's an implied order.
Best Supporting Actor
Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds
Alfred Molina, An Education
Stanley Tucci, Julie & Julia
Matt Damon, Invictus
Alec Baldwin, It's Complicated
I've suddenly lost a lot of confidence in Baldwin. I'm starting to think that I was wrong to remove Christopher Plummer, but I'm sticking to my guns until Baldwin's movie opens and I see more reviews.
Best Supporting Actress
Anna Kendrick, Up in the Air
Julianne Moore, A Single Man
Penelope Cruz, Nine
Mariah Carey, Precious
I'll probably be going back on forth on Carey and Vera Farmiga for a while. Still, its Mo'Nique's Oscar anyway, though Kendrick will pick up a few prizes along the way, maybe even Moore.
Best Original Screenplay
Mark Boal, The Hurt Locker
Quentin Tarantino, Inglourious Basterds
Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber, (500) Days of Summer
Joel and Ethan Coen, A Serious Man
Bob Peterson, Up
Tarantino blasts up the list because of his win. No one else moves off or on...yet.
Best Adapted Screenplay
Damien Paul, Precious
Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner, Up in the Air
Nick Hornby, An Education
Nora Ephron, Julie & Julia
Anthony Peckham, Invictus
I'm now fully confident in this list, which I usually have the right to be. This was the only category I was 5/5 in last year.
Best Animated Feature
The Fantastic Mr. Fox
The Princess and the Frog
Best Animated Feature is kind of a ghetto category. Not "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp"-type ghetto, more WWII Poland-style ghetto. It's where all the different kind of movies go to fight it out because they are blasted out of the big race. Still, this is the first year where I can legitimately take this category seriously. All five movies here are some of the best-reviewed of the year, though I might have Ponyo too high and The Princess and the Frog and Coraline too low, but I'll adjust as I go. Still, don't believe the hype: Up isn't going to lose this, even if it's nominated for Best Picture. Pixar's reputation with the Academy is simply too stellar. 25 Oscar nominations in one decade gets you in pretty good standing with the voters.
Not a lot changed this week, but next week, after the reviews for The Lovely Bones, Invictus, Nine, It's Complicated, and The Princess and the Frog really start pouring in, I'll be able to make more adjustments. In the meantime, feel free to rant and rave in the comments.