Here's my Oscars vote: Avatar's gonna rock it!
Tay Yek Keak gives his take on the biggest categories for this year's Oscars and the smackdown to watch in each one. -myp
By Tay Yek Keak
NUMBERS-WISE, the fight for the Oscars is over two films - Avatar and The Hurt Locker.
Both have garnered nine nominations each - including the two big ones, Best Picture and Best Director.
The Hurt Locker is also up for Best Actor (Jeremy Renner as a bomb-disposal squad member), and the two flicks are also facing off in the Best Cinematography, Editing, Original Score, Sound and Sound Editing categories.
In an ironic twist, Avatar director James Cameron will be going up against his former wife, The Hurt Locker's helmer, Kathryn Bigelow. What a delicious race.
My guess is that Cameron, with his "feminine" eco-movie, will win big for Best Picture. But Bigelow, with her explosive "male" war flick, will take home Best Director in a historic move.
There are other great films to be feted - Precious, District 9, Up, Up In The Air, Inglourious Basterds, and so on. Here's my take on the biggest categories and the smackdown to watch in each one.
Here's my Oscars vote:
The contenders: The Explosive War Drama v Glossy Hi-Tech Marvel, aka The Hurt Locker v Avatar The fight: The Hurt Locker was hauled out of its box-office doldrums to go mano-a-mano against colossal Avatar for one main reason: to stop the billion-dollar juggernaut.
An intense film about a bomb disposal squad in Iraq, The Hurt Locker is infused with the tension, spot-on acting and human drama which a fancy flick about phony, blue-skinned folk cannot possibly match.
But, in every big-bang theory, it is about how big the bang is. Avatar is too huge for any backlash.
Locker, with its strong, sympathetic portrayal of American soldiers, cannot blow up Avatar, a bleeding heart eco flick about bad invaders.
The contenders: Grizzled Country Boy v Smooth Ladies' Man, aka Jeff Bridges (Crazy Heart) v George Clooney (Up In The Air) The fight: Pretty boy George, who plays an airline employee, is someone we know well.
But here's who Bridges is: He's been nominated only four times previously; he comes from an illustrious acting family; he played the bad guy in Iron Man and, oh, he really does sing country music.
So, playing a washed-up country singer in Crazy Heart means he's playing himself. Even in the darkest moments of Crazy Heart, that spirit comes through. He's nabbed the Golden Globe for this category. An Oscar is next.
Winner: Jeff Bridges
The contenders: Titanic Guy v Former Wife, aka James Cameron (Avatar) v Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker)
The fight: It's like Brad Pitt versus Jennifer Aniston in this ex-againstex race. Cameron is a genius tech freak but a lousy storyteller. His former missus would kick his butt with her sharper, cleverer tales, as seen in Blue Steel, Near Dark, and Point Break. Note: No woman has ever won Best Director. And it's about time.
Winner: Kathryn Bigelow
The contenders: Miss Congeniality v Ms Oscar, aka Sandra Bullock (The Blind Side) v Meryl Streep (Julie & Julia)
The fight: Bullock must be pinching herself. As a feisty mum taking a large black youth into her home, she delivers one line with ominous, single-minded aplomb: "Mess with my son, you mess with me."
Bullock doesn't blow you away like Kate Winslet does. And technically speaking, Streep deserves the trophy for her caricature of a caricature, chef Julia Child, but she's already been Ms Oscar twice.
Winner: Sandra Bullock
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
The contenders: Urbane Nazi Soldier v Grim American Soldier, aka Christoph Waltz (Inglourious Basterds) v Woody Harrelson (The Messenger) The fight: If Waltz doesn't win, it'll be the most shocking defeat for the Nazis since World War II.
The Austrian actor's portrayal of pompously amoral Nazi officer Hans Landa was all anyone who'd watched the movie came away talking about.
Harrelson's casualty-notification officer in The Messenger has been put up as resistance to Waltz's relentless waltz. This time, however, the Americans will surely lose the war.
Winner: Christoph Waltz
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
The contenders: Mean, Abusive Mum v Keen Airline Cost-cutter, aka Mo'Nique (Precious) v Anna Kendrick (Up In The Air)
The fight: Tough, merciless inner-city black drama Precious sees Mo'Nique as a cruel mum who makes you really glad she ain't your real mother.
That's how convincing the comedienne is. Kendrick, playing an ambitious young airline employee who fires other people, is a standout in her film. Problem is, she's no Mo'Nique.
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