The 82nd Academy Awards: If I had been a voter

As I mentioned last time out, this series has officially returned. Yes, once again I’m going to be taking a look back at a recent (or now recent-ish) Oscar lineup and explaining what my vote would have been in each of the big eight categories we all follow so intently each season. I previously mentioned that potentially I could do this once a week with previous Academy Award ceremonies, and while I’m going to be attempting to do just that, time will still tell if it’s something that gets stuck with or not. Again, if nothing else, this continues to give you an interesting look into my cinematic tastes. Over the course of the year you can sort of get a feel for what my current favorites are, but now we can look to the past a bit more.

Alright then, here goes nothing folks…behold my picks for this particular ceremony:

Best Picture – Up in the Air

The nominees here were A Serious Man, An Education, Avatar, The Blind Side, District 9, The Hurt Locker, Inglourious Basterds, Precious, and Up. The main snub here, in my book at least, was (500) Days of Summer, and I nearly went with the actual winner in The Hurt Locker, but Up in the Air was my #1 film of this year, so that made it pretty academic in the end.

Best Director – Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker

A history making and diverse category this time out, the field consisted of Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker, James Cameron for Avatar, Lee Daniels for Precious, Jason Reitman for Up in the Air, and Quentin Tarantino for Inglourious Basterds. I believe Marc Webb was snubbed for (500) Days of Summer and really wish that Reitman had come closer to winning, but when you come right down to it, I can’t argue with Bigelow. The first woman to ever win Best Director gets my vote here as well.

Best Actor – George Clooney for Up in the Air

Here the nominees were Jeff Bridges for Crazy Heart, George Clooney for Up in the Air, Colin Firth for A Single Man, Morgan Freeman for Invictus, and Jeremy Renner for The Hurt Locker. The Academy missed the boat on nominating Sam Rockwell for Moon, but aside from him, I’d have to go for Clooney.

Best Actress – Carey Mulligan for An Education

The big snub to me here was Zooey Deschanel for (500) Days of Summer. The actual nominees in a somewhat weak category were Sandra Bullock for The Blind Side, Helen Mirren for The Last Station, Carey Mulligan for An Education, Gabourey Sidibe for Precious, and Meryl Streep for Julie & Julia. Deschanel would have had my vote, but without her, I go for Mulligan’s striking performance.

Best Supporting Actor – Christoph Waltz for Inglourious Basterds

The nominees for this category were Matt Damon for Invictus, Woody Harrelson for The Messenger, Christopher Plummer for The Last Station, Stanley Tucci for The Lovely Bones, and Christoph Waltz for Inglourious Basterds. Anthony Mackie was a snub for The Hurt Locker, but the ultimate winner here would be my pick too. There really was no question in my mind that Waltz would take this one, and rightly so, I might add.

Best Supporting Actress – Vera Farmiga for Up in the Air

Though this was a statue that belonged to Mo’Nique almost from the word go, I see it a bit differently, including wishing that Melanie Laurant had gotten nominated for Inglourious Basterds. The group here was Mo’Nique for Precious, Penelope Cruz for Nine, Vera Farmiga for Up in the Air, Maggie Gyllenhaal for Crazy Heart, and Anna Kendrick for Up in the Air. I was torn between the Up in the Air ladies, but I opted to go for Farmiga.

Best Adapted Screenplay – Up in the Air (Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner)

The nominees here were An Education, District 9, In The Loop, Precious, and Up in the Air. The big snub here was Where the Wild Things Are, though the best script overall for me still was Up in the Air, regardless of the controversy over credit for Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner that may have emerged at the time. They deserve the win, and get it from me.

Best Original Screenplay – Inglourious Basterds (Quentin Tarantino)

Again, (500) Days of Summer was snubbed, so I was left with the nominated group of A Serious Man, The Hurt Locker, Inglourious Basterds, The Messenger, and Up. Of that group, I went back and forth between the actual winner (The Hurt Locker) and what I ultimately chose (Inglourious Basterds). It was nearly a coin flip, but Quentin Tarantino just beats Mark Boal for my prize.

Stay tuned, there will once again be another one of these in the next couple of weeks, so be excited!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He contributes to several other film-related websites and is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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