These are my predictions for the Academy Awards 2010, as Entertainment Editor for WCCO Radio I see over 120 films a year. this was a very good year at the movies, congratulations to all the nominees. These predictions may explain my lack of success at cards and horse races but, here we go.

Actor in a Leading Role

At first I thought George Clooney had the edge on this one but as the award season rolled on I thought Jeff Bridges moved ahead and, after seeing “Crazy Heart”, I have to say it’s Jeff Bridges Turn to take the Oscar.

Jeff Bridges in “Crazy Heart”

George Clooney in “Up in the Air”

Colin Firth in “A Single Man”

Morgan Freeman in “Invictus”

Jeremy Renner in “The Hurt Locker”

Actor in a Supporting Role

This is a total lock for Christoph Waltz. He was phenomenal as the SS Colonel, Hans Landa. I must say all the others in this category were Oscar worthy this year, but it’s a “waltz” for Waltz.

Matt Damon in “Invictus”

Woody Harrelson in “The Messenger”

Christopher Plummer in “The Last Station”

Stanley Tucci in “The Lovely Bones”

Christoph Waltz in “Inglourious Basterds”

Actress in a Leading Role

Early in the year my favorite here was Gabourey Sidibe , then Meryl Streep’s turn as Julia Child was so nuanced, I thought, nope it’s time for Meryl to collect number 3, then Sandra Bullock started winning every award and is now the front runner. I’m going out on a limb and predict a win for for my close personal friend (at least in my eyes) Meryl.

Sandra Bullock in “The Blind Side”

Helen Mirren in “The Last Station”

Carey Mulligan in “An Education”

Gabourey Sidibe in “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire”

Meryl Streep in “Julie & Julia”

Actress in a Supporting Role

This is another easy pick; Monique had one of the most powerful performances of the year in “Precious” and will easily win here.

Penélope Cruz in “Nine”

Vera Farmiga in “Up in the Air”

Maggie Gyllenhaal in “Crazy Heart”

Anna Kendrick in “Up in the Air”

Mo’Nique in “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire”


A battle of the former spouses here, James Cameron and Kathryn Bigelow were married between 1989 and 1991, and amicably divorced. I think Kathryn will become the first woman to win Best Director.

Avatar” James Cameron

The Hurt Locker” Kathryn Bigelow

Inglourious Basterds” Quentin Tarantino

Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” Lee Daniels

Up in the AirJason Reitman

Best Picture

“Avatar” is the most successful film of all time, but I think that James Cameron will have to be satisfied with that and the Oscar goes to “The Hurt Locker”.

Avatar” James Cameron and Jon Landau, Producers

The Blind Side” Gil Netter, Andrew A. Kosove and Broderick Johnson, Producers

District 9” Peter Jackson and Carolynne Cunningham, Producers

An Education” Finola Dwyer and Amanda Posey, Producers

The Hurt Locker” Kathryn Bigelow, Mark Boal, Nicolas Chartier and Greg Shapiro, Producers

Inglourious Basterds” Lawrence Bender, Producer

Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” Lee Daniels, Sarah Siegel-Magness and Gary Magness, Producers

A Serious Man” Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, Producers

Up” Jonas Rivera, Producer

Up in the Air” Daniel Dubiecki, Ivan Reitman and Jason Reitman, Producers

Writing (Original Screenplay)

This is a battle between “The Hurt Locker” and the Twin Cities own Coen Brothers “A Serious Man”, with the darkhorse beinganother Minnesotan, Bloomington’s Pete Doctor for “Up”. I’m going to give this one to the Coen Brothers, not only for the complex, funny, multilayered script, but for the wisdom to create the character “Detective #1”, undoubtedly the only time I willappear in an Oscar Best Picture nominated film, thank you boys.

The Hurt Locker” Written by Mark Boal

Inglourious Basterds” Written by Quentin Tarantino

The Messenger” Written by Alessandro Camon & Oren Moverman

A Serious Man” Written by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen

Up” Screenplay by Bob Peterson, Pete Docter, Story by Pete Docter, Bob Peterson, Tom McCarthy

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

I would love to see “In the Loop” get this one. It’s a very funny acid tongued look at the back stabbing world of politics, but this will go to “Up in the Air”.

District 9” Written by Neill Blomkamp and Terri Tatchell

An Education” Screenplay by Nick Hornby

In the Loop” Screenplay by Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Armando Iannucci, Tony Roche

Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” Screenplay by Geoffrey Fletcher

Up in the Air” Screenplay by Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner

Animated Feature Film

Local boy Pete Doctor worked wonders with “Up”. The 4 minute segment detailing the romance between the Balloon Salesman and his wife was one of the most emotional uses of cinema that I can remember. “Up” takes the prize.

Coraline” Henry Selick

Fantastic Mr. Fox” Wes Anderson

The Princess and the Frog” John Musker and Ron Clements

The Secret of Kells” Tomm Moore

Up” Pete Docter

Art Direction

Avatar blew my mind, unquestionably the best in art direction, in 2D or 3D.

Avatar” Art Direction: Rick Carter and Robert Stromberg; Set Decoration: Kim Sinclair

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus” Art Direction: Dave Warren and Anastasia Masaro; Set Decoration: Caroline Smith

Nine” Art Direction: John Myhre; Set Decoration: Gordon Sim

Sherlock Holmes” Art Direction: Sarah Greenwood; Set Decoration: Katie Spencer

The Young Victoria” Art Direction: Patrice Vermette; Set Decoration: Maggie Gray


It’s a battle between “Avatar” and “The Hurt Locker” with “The White Ribbon” ( shot in black and white) as a strong contender, but I think Hollywood will stick with “Avatar”.

Avatar” Mauro Fiore

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” Bruno Delbonnel

The Hurt Locker” Barry Ackroyd

Inglourious Basterds” Robert Richardson

The White Ribbon” Christian Berger

Costume Design

I’m going to go with the local connection. Bill Pohlad’s new company, Apparition, distributed “Bright Star” and though “Nine” and “Coco Before Chanel” had all the glitz, I’ll pick “Bright Star”.

Bright Star” Janet Patterson

Coco before Chanel” Catherine Leterrier

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus” Monique Prudhomme

Nine” Colleen Atwood

The Young Victoria” Sandy Powell

Documentary (Feature)

This is another chance for Bill Pohlad, his company distributed “Food Inc”, and I think it will take the prize, even though the film put me off fried chicken for a few weeks.

Burma VJ” Anders Østergaard and Lise Lense-Møller

The Cove” Louie Psihoyos and Fisher Stevens

Food, Inc.” Robert Kenner and Elise Pearlstein

The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers” Judith Ehrlich and Rick Goldsmith

Which Way Home” Rebecca Cammisa

Documentary (Short Subject)

I have no idea, what’s your guess?

China’s Unnatural Disaster: The Tears of Sichuan Province” Jon Alpert and Matthew O’Neill

The Last Campaign of Governor Booth Gardner” Daniel Junge and Henry Ansbacher

The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant” Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert

Music by Prudence” Roger Ross Williams and Elinor Burkett

Rabbit à la Berlin” Bartek Konopka and Anna Wydra

Film Editing

Let’s go with the local guy, Stephen Rivkin, St. Louis Park, wins for “Avatar”.

Avatar” Stephen Rivkin, John Refoua and James Cameron

District 9” Julian Clarke

The Hurt Locker” Bob Murawski and Chris Innis

Inglourious Basterds” Sally Menke

Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” Joe Klotz

Foreign Language Film

“White Ribbon” was a big winner all year long starting with the grand prize at The Cannes Film Festival. It’s a powerful metaphor for the unsettling calm before the storm that became World War I, I predict it will take the Oscar.

Ajami” Israel

The Milk of Sorrow (La Teta Asustada)” Peru

A Prophet (Un Prophète)” France

The Secret in Their Eyes (El Secreto de Sus Ojos)” Argentina

The White Ribbon (Das Weisse Band)” Germany


“Star Trek” deserved more than a best makeup nomination, like a best picture nomination would’ve been nice, so let’s throw it a bone here.

Il Divo” Aldo Signoretti and Vittorio Sodano

Star Trek” Barney Burman, Mindy Hall and Joel Harlow

The Young Victoria” Jon Henry Gordon and Jenny Shircore

Music (Original Score)

Another win for “Avatar” here, the academy loves them some James Horner.

Avatar” James Horner

Fantastic Mr. Fox” Alexandre Desplat

The Hurt Locker” Marco Beltrami and Buck Sanders

Sherlock Holmes” Hans Zimmer

Up” Michael Giacchino

Music (Original Song)

“The Weary Kind” is certainly the most commercial option here, and though the Oscar voters sometimes surprise us ( “It’s Hard Out Here For a Pimp”anyone?), I think Ryan Bingham and T Bone Burnett will be happy.

Almost There” from “The Princess and the Frog” Music and Lyric by Randy Newman

Down in New Orleans” from “The Princess and the Frog” Music and Lyric by Randy Newman

Loin de Paname” from “Paris 36” Music by Reinhardt Wagner Lyric by Frank Thomas

Take It All” from “Nine” Music and Lyric by Maury Yeston

The Weary Kind (Theme from Crazy Heart)” from “Crazy Heart” Music and Lyric by Ryan Bingham and T Bone Burnett

Short Film (Animated)

I hope to see this collection before the Oscars, but until then this is another category where I have no idea. Beuller? Anyone?

?“French Roast” Fabrice O. Joubert

Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty” Nicky Phelan and Darragh O’Connell

The Lady and the Reaper (La Dama y la Muerte)” Javier Recio Gracia

Logorama” Nicolas Schmerkin

A Matter of Loaf and Death” Nick Park

Short Film (Live Action)

Ditto. No idea.

The Door” Juanita Wilson and James Flynn

Instead of Abracadabra” Patrik Eklund and Mathias Fjellström

Kavi” Gregg Helvey

Miracle Fish” Luke Doolan and Drew Bailey

The New Tenants” Joachim Back and Tivi Magnusson

Sound Editing

Here’s another technical award for “Avatar”.

Avatar” Christopher Boyes and Gwendolyn Yates Whittle

The Hurt Locker” Paul N.J. Ottosson

Inglourious Basterds” Wylie Stateman

Star Trek” Mark Stoeckinger and Alan Rankin

Up” Michael Silvers and Tom Myers

Sound Mixing

It’s another Oscar for “Avatar”.

Avatar” Christopher Boyes, Gary Summers, Andy Nelson and Tony Johnson

The Hurt Locker” Paul N.J. Ottosson and Ray Beckett

Inglourious Basterds” Michael Minkler, Tony Lamberti and Mark Ulano

Star Trek” Anna Behlmer, Andy Nelson and Peter J. Devlin

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers and Geoffrey Patterson

Visual Effects

It’s one more for “Avatar”

Avatar” Joe Letteri, Stephen Rosenbaum, Richard Baneham and Andrew R. Jones

District 9” Dan Kaufman, Peter Muyzers, Robert Habros and Matt Aitken

Star Trek” Roger Guyett, Russell Earl, Paul Kavanagh and Burt Dalton

The Oscars will be broadcast on March 7th. I hope you’ll follow all of my Oscar commentary on “The Morning News with Dave Lee” every weekday morning on WCCO-AM, and on the web at WCCORADIO.COM/morningnews. Follow my tweets at or

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