Day Sixty – Oscar Predictions: Technical Awards

1 03 2010

It’s a cliché to say “It’s an honor just to be nominated”. That’s usually reserved for those who aren’t voted as Best in their category, but for the technical awards, it holds true.

These awards are voted on by Academy members who don’t necessarily know what goes into good costume design or editing, where the nominations are voted on by their peers within the craft. That results in awards going to anyone who uses their craft in excess, making the artist’s influence on the piece very clear for the voter.

Here are my predictions:

Best Art Direction
Avatar
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
Nine
Sherlock Holmes
The Young Victoria

My guess is Imaginarium based in my theory that the most apparent will win. You could also make the case for Avatar and Nine in that respect, but the Imaginarium has so much going on in one single frame that laymen will believe that to be better work than something a little more sublte like The Informant!, which wasn’t nominated.

Best Cinematography
Avatar
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
The White Ribbon

Inglourious Basterds is a choice that I believe deserves to win and I predict that it will. Basterds had a glow to it that was reserved for the movies of Old Hollywood, when most of the films where shot on soundstages exclusively. For a film just as much about film as it was about the Second World War, cinematography becomes a part of the story telling.

Best Costume Design
Bright Star
Coco Before Chanel
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
Nine
The Young Victoria

This category follows the theory more than any other. I’m usually able to pick a winner without ever seeing the film. Basically, the film with the most frilly and/or Victorian dresses win. This is a hard year to pick, since the choices are similar in style, but Victoria is just as much a fashion show as it is a film.

Best Visual Effects
Avatar

District 9
Star Trek

Whoever uses the most CG wins this category. Based on that alone, it goes to Avatar, which deserves it. The quality of the environments in Pixar-level good. If it doesn’t win this category, than I wouldn’t expect Avatar to win Best Picture either, since the CG was the main selling point. I’m a little upset that District 9 won’t get it, because the way that the humans interacted with the prawns hasn’t been so spot on since Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

Best Editing
Avatar
District 9
The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
Precious

The most cuts wins. Action films tend to steal this category based on that and this year will be no different with The Hurt Locker. Avatar could surprise and collect another win here, but the film was a bit long to credit it for being able to cut stuff.

Best Makeup
Il Divo
Star Trek
The Young Victoria

The characters in Star Trek really packed on the make-up, as they always have in the series, and will likely be rewarded for doing so. The make-up was definitely the best of the series so far. Not as obvious as before and didn’t give everyone that vinyl look they have on the TV show.

Best Sound Editing
Avatar
The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
Star Trek
Up

Best Sound Mixing
Avatar
The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
Star Trek
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

I’m going to admit, I have no idea why I’m voting for what I voted for here. I don’t understand why these categories are on the big show at all, but they’re here and I’m forced to make a choice. I basically split them between the front runners, but really I have nothing to back it up outside of a blind guess.

Now with the technical awards out of the way, we can jump into the categories where I can make an educated prediction, having seen much of the pictures up for awards this year.

Tomorrow, the Short Category. I’ve already posted my reviews and threw a prediction in for the Animated category. I’m hoping to see the Live-Action shorts tonight and will post my prediction for those tomorrow, along with the Short Documentary, which I’ve only seen a couple of.

Agree or disagree? Feel free to comment.

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