When it comes to announcing the Oscar nominees, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences continues to cling to is Old World ways. They race through the lists at 5:30 a.m. PST, in order to get live coverage on the morning talk shows.
That’s just stupid.
As I’ve suggested before, the Academy should turn the nomination announcements into a one-hour special, to air on E! or some other cable channel. Build up excitement by showing clips and interviewing possible nominees. Have some cameras on set or in the homes of some contenders, to catch their reactions. If they can do it with the Heisman Trophy every year, why not the Oscars?
In any case, I just took Doc Brown’s DeLorean out for a spin to next Tuesday, and I’m back with the nominees in the major categories. Ready?
The Hurt Locker
A Serious Man
Up in the Air
Just missing: The Hangover, The Messenger, It’s Complicated, District 9
Jeff Bridges, Crazy Heart
George Clooney, Up in the Air
Colin Firth, A Single Man
Morgan Freeman, Invictus
Jeremy Renner, The Hurt Locker
Runner-up: Viggo Mortensen, The Road
Sandra Bullock, The Blind Side
Helen Mirren, The Last Station
Carey Mulligan, An Education
Gabourey Sidibe, Precious
Meryl Streep, Julie & Julia
Just missing: Emily Blunt, The Young Victoria
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Matt Damon, Invictus
Woody Harrelson, The Messenger
Christopher Plummer, The Last Station
Stanley Tucci, The Lovely Bones
Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds
Close but no cigar: Alfred Molina, An Education; Stanley Tucci, Julie & Julia
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Vera Farmiga, Up in the Air
Anna Kendrick, Up in the Air
Julianne Moore, A Single Man
Penelope Cruz, Nine
Just missing: Samantha Morton, The Messenger; Diane Kruger, Inglourious Basterds
This seems like an incredibly predictable year, even if you don’t have a time-traveling DeLorean. Bridges, Bullock, Mo’Nique and Waltz are the odds-on favorites in the acting categories. The tightest race is for Best Picture, with Avatar and The Hurt Locker just ahead of Up in the Air.
As for the nominees: if I don’t get at least 27 or 28 out of 30 correct, I’ll be thrilled, because that means there are going to be some big surprises next Tuesday.