Thursday, March 4, 2010

Oscars 101: Take our quiz!

Think you know who’ll walk away with the bald brass guys this Sunday? Take our Oscars pop quiz and compare predictions with Jim Denny, film instructor at Cleveland State University and co-owner of the Web site Movie Posters Etc. (To give you a leg up, we’re only including the nominees that actually stand a chance.)

1. Best actor will go to:
a) Jeff Bridges in Crazy Heart
b) George Clooney in Up in the Air
c) Jeremy Renner in The Hurt Locker

2. Best actress will go to:
a) Sandra Bullock in The Blind Side
b) Gabourey Sidibe in Precious
c) Meryl Streep in Julie & Julia

3. Best supporting actress will go to:
a) Penelope Cruz in Nine
b) Maggie Gyllenhaal in Crazy Heart
c) Mo’Nique in Precious

4. Best director will go to:
a) James Cameron for Avatar
b) Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker
c) Quentin Tarantino for Inglourious Basterds

5. Best adapted screenplay will go to:
a) Precious
b) Up in the Air

6. Best achievement in visual effects will go to — OK, consider this a freebie.
a) Avatar

7. True or False: The Hurt Locker will tromp Avatar (and the other 8 nominees) for best picture.

Denny’s predictions:

1. a. Bridges has been snubbed four times, so he’ll likely get the Academy’s nod. “I’m not saying [Bridges] doesn’t deserve it this year,” Denny says. “He probably deserves it and they feel they owe him.”

2. a. “It seems the favorite is Sandra Bullock. But … anytime Meryl Streep is nominated, you know there’s a possibility she could win.”

3. c. “The Oscars love it when an actor [does] something beyond what they’re used to. Mo’Nique was doing very lowbrow comedy, and now all of a sudden she turns in a stunning performance. [That] makes her performance seem that much better.” Her win is “probably the biggest lock.”

4. b. “It’s important to always look at the history of the Oscars when looking at the upcoming Oscars,” says Denny. No woman has ever been named best director. Bigelow will likely be the first. “I think it’s going to be the year where they decide to right that wrong.”

5. b. “As much as I hate to say it, probably Up in the Air could win,” says Denny. “It’s not worthy of an Oscar nomination at all. It’s a 3-star movie, not a 4-star movie. Not a 3-and-a-half either.” But he thinks its contemporary theme will resonate with Academy voters. George Clooney’s character “terminates people for other companies. He comes in and he does the dirty work. And so it’s examining [an] aspect of life that a lot of Americans are going through right now.”

6. a. “Avatar’s going to win. Not a question. It is groundbreaking.” But those visual effects may hurt its chances at winning best picture. “All of a sudden, maybe actors see actors aren’t so important when you can animate them so wonderfully.” That could create a backlash. “Actors don’t want to be replaced.”

7. True. “Without a screenplay nomination,” says Denny, “[Avatar] probably will not win [best picture]; it’ll be The Hurt Locker.”


Neal said...

I see Dead Pixels.

Paulbyl said...

Good article. May I share my thoughts?
1a. Jeff Bridges.
2c. Meryl Streep, definitely.
3c. Mo’Nique, definitely.
4b. Kathryn Bigelow for the Hurt Locker. This movie left me riveted to the screen throughout – go see it. Best director will not go to Cameron. Avatar should win the cliché award; it robbed virtually every story line and theme from movies long gone by. Never seen a movie so predictable in my life.
5. toss-up
6. Avatar, definitely. This is Cameron’s expertise.
7. True. The Hurt Locker will hands-down blow away Avatar for best picture. You can sense the tension, fear and emotions, involved in explosives searching; and how those human elements can make such a dangerous and unsensational job so addictive. Avatar is too plastic.