29 Jan


Following is my forecast for Tuesday morning’s announcement of the 2009 Academy Award nominees, listed in the order in which I believe they are likeliest to be nominated:


  • 1. “The Hurt Locker”
  • 2. “Avatar”
  • 3. “Up in the Air”
  • 4. “Inglourious Basterds”
  • 5. “Precious”
  • 6. “An Education”
  • 7. “Up”
  • 8. “Invictus”
  • 9. “District 9”
  • 10. “The Blind Side”
  • Alternate “A Serious Man”
  • Potential Surprise “The Hangover”
  • Shoulda Been a Contender “500 Days of Summer”


  • 1. Kathryn Bigelow (“The Hurt Locker”)
  • 2. James Cameron (“Avatar”)
  • 3. Quentin Tarantino (“Inglourious Basterds”)
  • 4. Jason Reitman (“Up in the Air”)
  • 5. Lee Daniels (“Precious”)
  • Alternate Neill Blomkamp (“District 9”)
  • Potential Surprise Clint Eastwood (“Invictus”)
  • Shoulda Been a Contender Oren Moverman (“The Messenger”)


  • 1. Jeff Bridges (“Crazy Heart”)
  • 2. George Clooney (“Up in the Air”)
  • 3. Colin Firth (“A Single Man”)
  • 4. Morgan Freeman (“Invictus”)
  • 5. Jeremy Renner (“The Hurt Locker”)
  • Alternate Viggo Mortensen (“The Road”)
  • Potential Surprise Tobey Maguire (“Brothers”)
  • Shoulda Been a Contender Nicolas Cage (“Bad Lieutenant”)


  • 1. Meryl Streep (“Julie & Julia”)
  • 2. Sandra Bullock (“The Blind Side”)
  • 3. Carey Mulligan (“An Education”)
  • 4. Helen Mirren (“The Last Station”)
  • 5. Gabby Sidibe (“Precious”)
  • Alternate Emily Blunt (“The Young Victoria”)
  • Potential Surprise Abbie Cornish (“Bright Star”)
  • Shoulda Been a Contender Zooey Deschanel (“500 Days of Summer”)


  • 1. Christoph Waltz (“Inglourious Basterds”)
  • 2. Woody Harrelson (“The Messenger”)
  • 3. Christopher Plummer (“The Last Station”)
  • 4. Matt Damon (“Invictus”)
  • 5. Anthony Mackie (“The Hurt Locker”)
  • Alternate Stanley Tucci (“The Lovely Bones”)
  • Potential Surprise Alfred Molina (“An Education”)
  • Shoulda Been a Contender Peter Sarsgaard (“An Education”)


  • 1. Mo’Nique (“Precious”)
  • 2. Anna Kendrick (“Up in the Air”)
  • 3. Vera Farmiga (“Up in the Air”)
  • 4. Julianne Moore (“A Single Man”)
  • 5. Samantha Morton (“The Messenger”)
  • Alternate Maggie Gyllenhaal (“Crazy Heart”)
  • Potential Surprise Diane Kruger (“Inglourious Basterds”)
  • Shoulda Been a Contender Marion Cotillard (“Nine”)


  • 1. Jason Reitman, Sheldon Turner (“Up in the Air”)
  • 2. Geoffrey Fletcher (“Precious”)
  • 3. Nick Hornby (“An Education”)
  • 4. Tom Ford (“A Single Man”)
  • 5. Scott Cooper (“Crazy Heart”)
  • Alternate Nora Ephron (“Julie & Julia”)
  • Potential Surprise Neill Blomkamp, Terri Tatchell (“District 9”)
  • Shoulda Been a Contender Joe Penhall (“The Road”)


  • 1. Mark Boal (“The Hurt Locker”)
  • 2. Quentin Tarantino (“Inglourious Basterds”)
  • 3. Pete Docter, Bob Peterson (“Up”)
  • 4. Scott Neustadter, Michael H. Weber (“500 Days of Summer”)
  • 5. Ethan Coen, Joel Coen (“A Serious Man”)
  • Alternate Jon Lucas, Scott Moore (“The Hangover”)
  • Potential Surprise James Cameron (“Avatar”)
  • Shoulda Been a Contender Robert D. Siegel (“Big Fan”)


  • 1. “Up”
  • 2. “Fantastic Mr. Fox”
  • 3. “Coraline”
  • 4. “The Princess and the Frog”
  • 5. “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs”
  • Alternate “Ponyo”
  • Potential Surprise “Mary and Max”
  • Shoulda Been a Contender “9”


  • 1. “A Prophet” (France)
  • 2. “The White Ribbon” (Germany)
  • 3. “The Secret in Their Eyes” (Argentina)
  • 4. “Ajami” (Israel)
  • 5. “Samson and Delilah” (Australia)
  • Alternate “The Milk of Sorrow” (Peru)
  • Potential Surprise “Winter in Wartime” (Netherlands)
  • Shoulda Been a Contender “The Maid” (Chile)


  • 1. “Food, Inc.”
  • 2. “The Cove”
  • 3. “Garbage Dreams”
  • 4. “Every Little Step”
  • 5. “Mugabe and the White African”
  • Alternate “Valentino”
  • Potential Surprise “The Beaches of Agnes”
  • Shoulda Been a Contender “Anvil! The Story of Anvil”

11 Responses

  1. Bernice 29. Jan, 2010 11:28 pm #

    Scott, the New Yorker had a one-word review of NINE: “nein.”
    I must say I agree. But that’s opinion for you.

  2. Rich 30. Jan, 2010 12:52 am #

    Scott, I thought Peter Sarsgaard was considered (and was in
    fact) a lead in An Education?

    And Maggie Gyllenhaal was being campaigned as lead for
    Crazy Heart?

  3. Leone 30. Jan, 2010 12:54 am #

    I am surprised you think there’s potential for Jeremy Renner and Anthony Mackie to get in. I just don’t feel that kind of actor love happening for THL. Why no Viggo?? And you have Stanley Tucci as an ALTERNATE? No way. He’s in.

  4. Leone 30. Jan, 2010 12:55 am #

    I agree on the blind side though, I totally think it’s getting in too.

  5. Editor 30. Jan, 2010 12:57 am #

    Hi Rich,
    Re Sarsgaard, we confirmed in October that they were pushing him in supporting, and screeners/campaign materials have listed him accordingly
    Re Gyllenhaal — and Marion Cotillard — it’s true that their studios have pushed them for lead, but I suspect that a substantial portion of the Academy may opt to disregard those recommendations, just as they did last year by pushing Kate Winslet’s perf in “The Reader” from supporting to lead. In this case, that will probably result in a split too great to overcome, which will therefore prevent either for actually getting nominated.
    Best, Scott

  6. Robert Hamer 30. Jan, 2010 1:56 am #

    10. “The Blind Side”
    Alternate “A Serious Man”

    Not since last year when you predicted The Reader would overtake The Dark Knight for a Best Picture nomination was your crystal ball so…depressing. And that moment of clairvoyance, uh, happened. So I’m hoping lightning doesn’t strike twice.

    Though I do hope you’re right about Mackie though. What a great performance.

    @ Leone: The problem is that The Lovely Bones was a near-total failure with critics and audiences, which could seriously hurt his chances.

  7. Anthony 30. Jan, 2010 11:28 am #

    To the individual who made the first comment: I suggest you read the Wall Street Journal rather than the New York Times.

    To Scott: Because of your excellent prediction record, I’ll be contacting my bookie.

    I’m disappointed that Penelope Cruz’s chances haved dimmed a bit. I thought her performance in Nine was magnificent and evidence of her versatility as an actress. I would be remiss if I did not also single out Marion Cotillard’s performance in Nine. At least her name appears on the list!

  8. Editor 30. Jan, 2010 3:16 pm #

    Hahaha thanks Anthony, I’m honored — and indemnified!

  9. Srsly 31. Jan, 2010 6:08 pm #

    Great that you’re predicting Mackie! It baffles me that he isn’t considered a lock for the nomination.

  10. Melanie 01. Feb, 2010 1:11 pm #

    Hi Scott
    Interesting and well thought out, as usual, though I hope you are not correct
    with a few! Invictus was enjoyable but too heavy handed for me – best overly
    sentimental picture maybe! That was also the problem with Brothers, as much as I
    usually love Jim Sheridan – so I found it impacted on Toby McGuire’s
    performance. But no Michael Stuhlbarg in your Best Actor category and the
    Serious Man movie just an alternate? I want you to get your usual high
    percentage of correct predictions but as far as this movie goes, I would
    not be too upset for a bit of in accuracy!.
    Enjoyed the posting very much and will wait and see what happens.

  11. Editor 01. Feb, 2010 2:27 pm #

    Hi Melanie!
    Thanks for checking it out. I personally agree 100% with you about “A Serious Man” deserving/”Invictus” not deserving to be among the final 10 — I just get the sense from talking to Academy members that many either didn’t get or were offended by “A Serious Man,” and that many who didn’t even see “Invictus” will vote for it out of deference to Clint Eastwood. It’s not fair or right, but I *think* that’s the way it’ll be. We’ll see!
    All my best,
    Following is a link to what *I* would have voted for if I had a ballot:

Leave a Reply