For the last couple months, we’ve been keeping you abreast of the Oscar race by letting you know the top contenders in the race for the coveted five (and in one case, ten) nominations.
Well, now that mystery has been solved as the wonderful Anne Hathaway clued us in as to who will be competing for the most coveted of all statuettes (and managed to keep her decorum despite the egregious Bride Wars snub).
That means it’s time for the Oscar Power Rankings to shift. Instead of ranking the Oscar hopefuls in order of their chances to be nominated, it’s now all about winning.
With that, here is the first edition of this year’s Who Will Win Oscar Power Rankings…
Ever since this movie trickled onto the release schedule in the later part of the year, Bridges was a lock for this award. He’s won the SAG, Golden Globe and Critics Choice along with a slew of critics honors, but most importantly he has the sentimentality of never having won going for him.
If anybody his going to pull the major upset in this category, it’ll be Renner who could ride the overwhelming buzz surrounding this film to an Oscar. But he’d have to get a huge boost to pass Bridges.
3 – George Clooney in Up In The Air
In any other year, Clooney would be a lock to take down his second Oscar, and if Bridges had one in the past, Clooney would have taken the trophy this year. It’s just too hard for him to overcome the de facto career win for Bridges.
Playing Nelson Mandela is always going to help any actor, but he’s an also-ran at this point.
Colin Firth did an exceptional job this year of earning the, “He’s definitely going to get nominated, but there’s no way he can win” slot. Good show, old boy.
It looks like this is going to happen as Bullock is riding high after pulling off the same trifecta as Bridges. This almost works as a career win for her as well, despite the fact that this is her first nomination. The movie’s surprise nomination for Best Picture really firms up her campaign.
2 – Gabourey Sibide in Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire
There’s a good chance that voters will rediscover this film and fawn over Sibide like they were earlier in the season. This performance has all the high-wire scenes that usually win an Oscar.
She’s gone from It Girl to “Star of the Upcoming ‘Wall Street’ remake”. Her campaign just ran out of gas, but with all the love being showered on her early in the year, a reignition isn’t out of the question.
Because Streep gets nominated every year, she makes it almost impossible to win. She’ll have to really outdo herself (something that may be beyond her capabilities) to ever make a real run at winning again.
She snuck into the last slot (it was pretty much up for grabs) and the nomination is her win.
Best Supporting Actor
It’s hard to be much more of a lock than Waltz. He’s simply won everything this Oscar season.
2 – Christopher Plummer in The Last Station
This is Plummer’s first nomination, so he’s got the de facto Lifetime Achievement Award thing in his corner. That’s the only real chance anybody has of upsetting Waltz.
He’s not going to win, but he did get a lot of love this Oscar season. Gotta count for something, right?
It’s just nice to see Stanley Tucci finally get an acting nomination. Too bad he’s got no shot at winning.
5 – Matt Damon in Invictus
It’s about time Damon got nominated again – this is his first since Good Will Hunting – but this guy is going to have to do a lot more to win. Or make a movie in a year without Waltz.
Best Supporting Actress
1 – Monique in Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire
The only thing that could derail Monique is if she starts looking ungrateful, like she did earlier in the year. It doesn’t seem like that’s going to happen, so she’s basically a lock.
Nobody is going to beat Monique this year, but I’ll always give the person with the Weinsteins managing their campaign the best shot.
3 – Anna Kendrick in Up in the Air
The nomination is the win for Kendrick, she’s going to split votes with Farmiga and is too far behind Monique.
4 – Maggie Gyllenhaal in Crazy Heart
The big acting surprise of the morning will get an initial boost from being a shocker, but quickly fade into the background.
5 – Vera Farmiga in Up in the Air
When you’re the lesser of the two in a movie vote split, you’ve got no chance.
Best Original Screenplay
1 – Inglorious Basterds by Quentin Tarantino
Don’t let the lack of a WGA nomination fool you, voters looking to honor this movie as a whole will most likely turn to the screenplay, allowing QT an avalanche of votes.
2 – The Hurt Locker by Mark Boal
Voters are more likely to go for Picture and Director when considering The Hurt Locker, leaving the screenplay waiting in the lurch.
3 – The Messenger by Alesandro Camon & Oren Moverman
The surprise inclusion of this screenplay underscores how popular this movie is with a select few. It doesn’t look like that few will be enough to carry it to a win, however.
4 – Up by Pete Docter
The continued success of Pixar in this category shows that they are well-liked by the writers, but they’ll need more than just the scribes to move up this list.
The Coens get nominated here every year, and won so recently that voters will probably just let them wait until their next shot. Which is certain to come soon.
Best Adapted Screenplay
1 – Up in the Air by Jason Reitman
This one is almost as much of a lock as Christoph Waltz. Especially since it seems like the only category the Academy will have a chance to honor this well-liked film.
2 – District 9 by Neill Blomkamp and Terri Tatchell
The buzz is only going to get bigger as people begin to reexamine this movie for the apartheid metaphor it is rather than the neat trick everyone thought it to be when it first came out. That will certainly help the screenplay, but not enough to overcome Air.
3 – An Eductation by Nick Hornby
This one has been very popular since its release. But it’s merely charming, not enough to make a real impression on voters. At least that’s what they’ll think.
4 – Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire by Geoffrey Fletcher
Voters are going to flock to the acting categories for this one, and most likely ignore the screenplay altogether. It has no shot at Up In The Air.
5 – In The Loop by Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Armando Iannucci, and Tony Roche
Let us all rejoice that this foul British treat got nominated. Unfortunately, that’s all it’ll be able to celebrate.
1 – James Cameron for Avatar
They’ve got to give this movie something big, and this seems like the place to do it. As Cameron took complete ownership of this movie, expect the Academy to award his totality of vision and control.
2 – Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker
A very close second, especially hot off a DGA win. But I expect the Academy to divide their votes between picture and director, favoring her film rather than her direction of it.
3 – Quentin Tarantino for Inglorious Basterds
Tarantino’s only hope is for a truly heroic campaigning effort from the Weinsteins. But even they can’t overcome the two at the top.
4 – Lee Daniels for Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire
He’s been the fortunate recipient of glowing praise from Monique at every awards show. That’s bound to make voters give him a second look. Which is merely enough to keep him out of the basement.
5 – Jason Reitman for Up in the Air
The Academy never awards directors for quiet films like this. Especially when there’s tense war scenes and blue people ahead of it.
It’s looking like a vote split between picture and director, and Locker has the edge for the big prize. The PGA and DGA (which is usually more indicative of Best Picture than Director, as odd as that seems) sweep puts it firmly in front. For now.
2 – Avatar
There’s a chance Avatar may pass Titanic on the day the nominees are announced. Kind of bodes well for its chances, doesn’t it?
3 – Inglorious Basterds
Before Avatar asserted itself and Hurt Locker won everything, this looked like it was going to be a surprise winner. It still could be – Remember, The Weinsteins guided Shakespeare in Love effortlessly past Saving Private Ryan.
4 – The Blind Side
The bigtime shocker of the morning actually has a real shot at upsetting the big dogs for Best Picture. It has the buzz, the box office, and a surefire winner for Best Actress. Vorters will give this great consideration.
5 – Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire
Never count out the Oprah factor.
6 – District 9
Of all the recipients of the “Second Five” slots, this is the only one with a chance to win. If only because it’s just so odd that it will cause people to take notice.
7 – Up in the Air
The reviews were there, but this never really got any traction. It’s screenplay and done for this movie.
8 – An Education
This is only in because there are ten slots to fill. No chance.
9 – A Serious Man
10 – Up
When the Academy can simply give it a different award for Best Picture, why would they give it the big prize?
Who do you think is going to take home the Oscar?