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Oscar Race Predictions: Ron Van Timmeren

This week we’ve asked Ron Van Timmeren, our Vice President of Programming, to share his picks for this year’s Oscars!


It’s hard to know this year if Avatar has sooooo much going for it that it just can’t be stopped (other than by Dear John at the boxoffice) from winning big at the Oscars – or if The Hurt Locker and Inglorious Basterds really have a shot. Expanding the Best Picture category to 10 nominees really didn’t make a difference in who is actually going to win (District 9? Please!), it only gave several titles a chance to make a couple extra bucks and forever claim they were one of the Best Pictures of 2009.

Normally I wait until the last minute to read all the tea leaves and predict who is going to win, but for this blog I want to give you who I want to win… and, ok, who might win instead.

Best Supporting Actor
Here’s the only “lead pipe cinch” in the major categories: Christoph Waltz in Inglorious Basterds. He has won virtually every other award that’s out there so far… no other actors need to prepare a speech.

Best Supporting Actress
Mo’Nique in Precious. Great role and she was great in it. Once again, she has won lots of post season awards and has the momentum.

Best Actor In A Leading Role
I loved Morgan Freeman in Invictus. He became Nelson Mandela and I forgot it was Morgan Freeman. Jeff Bridges is likely to win, but his role in Crazy Heart was too much like Jeff Bridges as a drunk, washed up country singer. Not a stretch.

Best Actress In A Leading Role
Meryl Streep in Julie & Julia. That movie was one of my Top 5 of the year and she was terrific… once again becoming another person and making me believe. But I would be fine if Sandra Bullock wins for the proverbial “body of work” and I believe the Oscar voters actually like her (remember Sally Field?).

Best Director
Quentin Tarantino for Inglorious Basterds. I always put the Best Director and Best Picture together (that’s normally how it works). I think Basterds was bigger than Tarantino (like Pulp Fiction was), but he gets my nod because I liked his movie the best (see below). I actually think Kathryn Bigelow will win.

Best Picture
Inglorious Basterds. This movie did all the things it needed to do to be best, in my mind. Interesting premise/story, smart script, fine acting, some comedy / some drama, well directed, good music, costumes, editing… in short, everything worked. Much of that formula works for The Hurt Locker too, which if you follow my “best director goes with best picture” premise, The Hurt Locker wins. Avatar is nominated for 9 Oscars… screenplay was not one of them. That disqualifies it, in my book, from being Best Picture – even though I loved it!

See ya at the movies!

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