Oscar Update: ‘Hurt Locker’ and Streep Rise in the Latest Predictions

Well folks, the year is winding down, we are knee deep in the holiday season and I’m looking forward to taking it easy for a few days, but not before I deliver one more update to my Oscar predictions.

For those of you that keep an eye on my “The Contenders” section you probably already noticed I updated all six of the categories on December 18, so much of what I am about to cover you already know, but I made a couple of changes since then. A couple of changes, in fact, resulted in two new front-runners. I am sure many of you already know what one of them is (if not both), so let’s get to that one first…

BEST ACTRESS (get the full chart here)

Yup, I can’t ignore it any longer. Meryl Streep has moved into the top spot, dashing An Education breakout star Carey Mulligan’s hopes for an early Oscar at the age of 24. However, she shouldn’t be too worried considering she has proven to be an immense talent and is likely to continue delivering powerhouse performances for many years to come.

I know it is hardly important, once the winner is announced, where the runners-up are ranked, but I can’t help but be curious about the Academy’s temperature when it comes to Gabourey Sidibe for Precious. Right now I still have her ranked in the #3 slot, but should she be lower? I can’t find it in me to move Sandra Bullock or Helen Mirren above her. If you’ve seen any of Sidibe’s press appearances and then match that up with the performance she delivers on screen you already know this is one hell of an actress and a performance that deserves to be in the middle of the conversation.

Speaking of Sidibe, there is now a brew-ha-ha going on inside the African-American Film Critics Association, as critics of the AAFCA co-founder Gil Robertson IV claim he manipulated the final Best Actress tally and awarded Nicole Beharie of American Violet the award to please the producers of the film, even though Sidibe clearly won by looking at the ballots. You can get the full report on that one at Showbiz 411.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS (get the full chart here)

Keeping in step with the Precious theme we will move to Best Supporting Actress where it’s pretty much a done deal for Mo’Nique who starred as the mother from hell opposite Sidibe. However, Tom O’Neil at Gold Derby keeps stirring the pot as he reprints an email from a member of the New York Film Critics Circle saying, “Mo’Nique will NOT turn up to accept her award from the New York Film Critics Circle, which seems to lend credence to the story that she wants to be paid to show up for these things.”

This is being interpreted as a sign that Mo’Nique is only interested in being paid for appearances and doesn’t care about winning awards. It’s also assumed to be weighing negatively on her chances of winning an Oscar, but I love Steve Pond’s comment on the matter at The Wrap where he summarizes the situation and ends it with a fantastic point:

[Many] members of the Academy won’t mind if she snubs every other awards show and critics group in existence. In fact, that Academy would love it if she refused to attend all the others. They know she’ll be at the Oscar show – let’s face it, pride and Oprah won’t let her miss that one. And if that’s the only show she attends, it’ll just make the Oscars seem that more special, and reinforce that it’s the only awards show that really counts.

Is she “ruining her Oscar hopes?” Hell, if this is the worst she can do, I think she might be improving them.

Couldn’t have said it better, and on top of that, I appreciate the fact she’s basically saying “let the performance speak for itself.” The idea an actor, actress, director, producer, etc. needs to make appearances and shill for their film in order to win awards is a sad fact of the industry. If a movie or performance is great then deem it so and move on, campaigning should not be part of the program… That’s what Oscar bloggers and readers/commenters such as me and you are here for. We’ll do the campaigning for them and I for one am all for Mo’Nique taking home the Oscar gold on March 7, 2010.


Marvel and DC