This past weekend the race for 2010 Oscar got just a bit more debatable, with some surprise winners walking away from both the Producers Guild Awards (PGA) and the Screen Actors Guild Awards (SAG).
James Cameron walked away happy from The 2010 Golden Globe Awards,with Avatar taking the top trophies for Best Director and Best Dramatic Picture, leading everybody to think that the Oscars would follow suit. With the Best Picture category now open to ten nominees, variety and uncertainty were suppossed to be this year's theme.
However, in the months leading up to the biggest award in Hollywood, only a handful of films seem to be popping up as the top contenders.
The names we keep hearing again and again are as follows (listed by name with the director in parenthesis).
- Avatar (James Cameron)
- The Hurt Locker (Kathryn Bigelow)
- Inglourious Basterds (Quentin Tarantino)
- Precious (Lee Daniels)
- Up In The Air (Jason Reitman)
If you want to see these five directors breaking bread and talking shop, go HERE.
Of course, there are other films that are being thrown out there as possible Best Picture contenders, including A Single Man (Tom Ford), A Serious Man (The Coen Bros.), Pixar's Up (Pete Docter & Bob Peterson), Crazy Heart (Scott Cooper) and The Road (John Hillcoat), to name a few. And while those are all films worthy of consideration (I've seen most of them), the five listed in the bullet points are clearly the lead horses at this point in time.
Here's how things ended up at the PGA Awards this past weekend. Hilighted in red are the films which have direct bearing on the Oscar race for Best Picture:
PGA AWARD WINNERS
BEST PICTURE: The Hurt Locker
BEST DOCUMENTARY: The Cove
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE: Up
STANLEY KRAMER AWARD: Precious: Based on the Novel “Push” by Sapphire
BEST TV COMEDY: 30 Rock
BEST TV DRAMA: Mad Men
BEST TV LONG FORM: Grey Gardens
BEST NON-FICTION TV: 60 Minutes
BEST LIVE ENTERTAINMENT AND COMPETITION: The Colbert Report
DAVID O. SELZNICK AWARD: John Lasseter
VANGUARD AWARD: Joss Whedon
MILESTONE AWARD: Amy Pascal and Michael Lynton
Now for the list of the SAG Award winners - again, those films to keep an eye on for the Oscars are highlighted in red:
SAG AWARD WINNERS
Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion PictureINGLOURIOUS BASTERDS (The Weinstein Company/Universal Pictures)
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role in a Motion PictureSANDRA BULLOCK / Leigh Anne Tuohy - THE BLIND SIDE (Warner Bros)
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role in a Motion PictureJEFF BRIDGES / Bad Blake - CRAZY HEART (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion PictureMO’NIQUE / Mary - PRECIOUS: BASED ON THE NOVEL ‘PUSH’ BY SAPPHIRE (Lionsgate)
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion PictureCHRISTOPH WALTZ / Col. Hans Landa - INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS (Weinstein/Universal)
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series for TelevisionMICHAEL C. HALL / Dexter Morgan - DEXTER (Showtime)
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series for TelevisionJULIANNA MARGULIES / Alicia Florrick - THE GOOD WIFE (CBS)
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series for TelevisionMAD MEN (AMC)
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series for TelevisionTINA FEY / Liz Lemon - 30 ROCK (NBC)
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series for TelevisionALEC BALDWIN / Jack Donaghy - 30 ROCK (NBC)
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series for TelevisionGLEE (FOX)
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or MiniseriesKEVIN BACON / Lt. Col. Michael R. Strobl - TAKING CHANCE (HBO)
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or MiniseriesDREW BARRYMORE / Little Edie - GREY GARDENS (HBO)
Outstanding Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion PictureSTAR TREK (Paramount Pictures)
Outstanding Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Television Series24 (FOX)
If you're wondering why I'm highlighting things like leading and supporting actors and actresses, it's because by now you should know that those categories often effect the ones we truly care about - Best Director and Best Picture.
You Lucky Basterds...
However, the thing we really want to focus on is which films have been earning the top awards. Avatar took the Globe; The Hurt Locker conquered the PGA and Inglourious Basterds was victorious at the SAG awards. I find this worthy of mention because those are the same films that have had the most Oscar buzz (by my count) around these Internets.
Many vocal inhabitants of the Blogosphere have been saying for months that Basterds should take the top spot, while an equal number of fans and cynics have been united in the opinion that Avatar will sweep the Oscars due to its record-breaking earnings and technical innovations. Self proclaimed movie lovers (like myself) have been steadily chanting for The Hurt Locker to be the dark horse that rides away with the top Oscar, as the movie is both exquisitely crafted, well-acted and is probably the best war movie to come out in decades.
The Hurt Locker
With a different top contender winning at each of these award shows, the race for the Oscar has definitely gotten a bit more uncertain. Should keep things nice and interesting as the day approaches.
Like for the 2010 Oscar Nominations on February 2nd; the show will air on March 7th.