With the Academy Awards only a week away, I thought I'd formulate my predictions for this year's winners. Most of the main categories seem fairly easy to predict this year, but you never can tell for sure. As usual, the further down this list goes, the more I'm just throwing out guesses. So, for better or worse, here are my picks. (* = prediction of winner)
Best Motion Picture
James Cameron and Jon Landau, Producers
"The Blind Side"
Gil Netter, Andrew A. Kosove, Broderick Johnson, Producers
Peter Jackson and Carolynne Cunningham, Producers
Finola Dwyer and Amanda Posey, Producers
*"The Hurt Locker"
Kathryn Bigelow, Mark Boal, Nicolas Chartier, Greg Shapiro, Producers
Lawrence Bender, Producer
"Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire"
Lee Daniels, Sarah Siegel-Magness and Gary Magness, Producers
"A Serious Man"
Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, Producers
Jonas Rivera, Producer
"Up in the Air"
Daniel Dubiecki, Ivan Reitman and Jason Reitman, Producers
Achievement in Directing
"Avatar" James Cameron
*"The Hurt Locker" Kathryn Bigelow
"Inglourious Basterds" Quentin Tarantino
"Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire" Lee Daniels
"Up in the Air" Jason Reitman
Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
*Jeff Bridges in "Crazy Heart"
George Clooney in "Up in the Air"
Colin Firth in "A Single Man"
Morgan Freeman in "Invictus"
Jeremy Renner in "The Hurt Locker"
Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role
Matt Damon in "Invictus"
Woody Harrelson in "The Messenger"
Christopher Plummer in "The Last Station"
Stanley Tucci in "The Lovely Bones"
*Christoph Waltz in "Inglourious Basterds"
Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role
*Sandra Bullock in "The Blind Side"
Helen Mirren in "The Last Station"
Carey Mulligan in "An Education"
Gabourey Sidibe in "Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire"
Meryl Streep in "Julie & Julia"
Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role
Penélope Cruz in "Nine"
Vera Farmiga in "Up in the Air"
Maggie Gyllenhaal in "Crazy Heart"
Anna Kendrick in "Up in the Air"
*Mo'Nique in "Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire"
"District 9" Written by Neill Blomkamp and Terri Tatchell
"An Education" Screenplay by Nick Hornby
"In the Loop" Screenplay by Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Armando Iannucci, Tony Roche
"Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire" Screenplay by Geoffrey Fletcher
*"Up in the Air" Screenplay by Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner
"The Hurt Locker" Written by Mark Boal
*"Inglourious Basterds" Written by Quentin Tarantino
"The Messenger" Written by Alessandro Camon & Oren Moverman
"A Serious Man" Written by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
"Up" Screenplay by Bob Peterson, Pete Docter
Story by Pete Docter, Bob Peterson, Tom McCarthy
Best Animated Feature Film
"Coraline" Henry Selick
"Fantastic Mr. Fox" Wes Anderson
"The Princess and the Frog" John Musker and Ron Clements
"The Secret of Kells" Tomm Moore
*"Up" Pete Docter
Achievement in Art Direction
*"Avatar" Art Direction: Rick Carter and Robert Stromberg
Set Decoration: Kim Sinclair
"The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus" Art Direction: Dave Warren and Anastasia Masaro
Set Decoration: Caroline Smith
"Nine" Art Direction: John Myhre
Set Decoration: Gordon Sim
"Sherlock Holmes" Art Direction: Sarah Greenwood
Set Decoration: Katie Spencer
"The Young Victoria" Art Direction: Patrice Vermette
Set Decoration: Maggie Gray
Achievement in Cinematography
*"Avatar" Mauro Fiore
"Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" Bruno Delbonnel
"The Hurt Locker" Barry Ackroyd
"Inglourious Basterds" Robert Richardson
"The White Ribbon" Christian Berger
Achievement in Costume Design
"Bright Star" (Apparition) Janet Patterson
"Coco before Chanel" Catherine Leterrier
"The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus" Monique Prudhomme
"Nine" Colleen Atwood
*"The Young Victoria" Sandy Powell
Achievement in Film Editing
"Avatar" Stephen Rivkin, John Refoua and James Cameron
"District 9" Julian Clarke
*"The Hurt Locker" Bob Murawski and Chris Innis
"Inglourious Basterds" Sally Menke
"Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire" Joe Klotz
Best Foreign Language Film
An Inosan Production Israel
"El Secreto de Sus Ojos"
A Haddock Films Production Argentina
"The Milk of Sorrow"
A Wanda Visión/Oberon Cinematogràfica/Vela Production Peru
A Why Not/Page 114/Chic Films Production France
*"The White Ribbon"
An X Filme Creative Pool/Wega Film/Les Films du Losange/Lucky Red Production Germany
Achievement in Makeup
"Il Divo" Aldo Signoretti and Vittorio Sodano
*"Star Trek" Barney Burman, Mindy Hall and Joel Harlow
"The Young Victoria" Jon Henry Gordon and Jenny Shircore
Achievement for Best Original Score
"Avatar" James Horner
"Fantastic Mr. Fox" Alexandre Desplat
"The Hurt Locker" Marco Beltrami and Buck Sanders
"Sherlock Holmes" Hans Zimmer
*"Up" Michael Giacchino
Best Original Song
"Almost There" from "The Princess and the Frog" Music and Lyric by Randy Newman
"Down in New Orleans" from "The Princess and the Frog" Music and Lyric by Randy Newman
"Loin de Paname" from "Paris 36" Music by Reinhardt Wagner
Lyric by Frank Thomas
"Take It All" from "Nine" Music and Lyric by Maury Yeston
*"The Weary Kind (Theme from Crazy Heart)" from "Crazy Heart" Music and Lyric by Ryan Bingham and T Bone Burnett
Achievement in Sound Editing
*"Avatar" Christopher Boyes and Gwendolyn Yates Whittle
"The Hurt Locker" Paul N.J. Ottosson
"Inglourious Basterds" Wylie Stateman
"Star Trek" Mark Stoeckinger and Alan Rankin
"Up" Michael Silvers and Tom Myers
Achievement in Sound Mixing
*"Avatar" Christopher Boyes, Gary Summers, Andy Nelson and Tony Johnson
"The Hurt Locker" Paul N.J. Ottosson and Ray Beckett
"Inglourious Basterds" Michael Minkler, Tony Lamberti and Mark Ulano
"Star Trek" Anna Behlmer, Andy Nelson and Peter J. Devlin
"Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers and Geoffrey Patterson
Achievement in Visual Effects
*"Avatar" Joe Letteri, Stephen Rosenbaum, Richard Baneham and Andrew R. Jones
"District 9" Dan Kaufman, Peter Muyzers, Robert Habros and Matt Aitken
"Star Trek" Roger Guyett, Russell Earl, Paul Kavanagh and Burt Dalton
Best Documentary Feature
A Magic Hour Films Production Anders Østergaard and Lise Lense-Møller
An Oceanic Preservation Society Production Nominees to be determined
A Robert Kenner Films Production Robert Kenner and Elise Pearlstein
"The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers"
A Kovno Communications Production Judith Ehrlich and Rick Goldsmith
"Which Way Home"
A Mr. Mudd Production Rebecca Cammisa
Best Documentary Short Subject
"China's Unnatural Disaster: The Tears of Sichuan Province"
A Downtown Community Television Center Production Jon Alpert and Matthew O'Neill
"The Last Campaign of Governor Booth Gardner"
A Just Media Production Daniel Junge and Henry Ansbacher
*"The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant"
A Community Media Production Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert
"Music by Prudence"
An iThemba Production Roger Ross Williams and Elinor Burkett
"Rabbit à la Berlin"
An MS Films Production Bartek Konopka and Anna Wydra
Best Animated Short Film
A Pumpkin Factory/Bibo Films Production Fabrice O. Joubert
"Granny O'Grimm's Sleeping Beauty"
A Brown Bag Films Production Nicky Phelan and Darragh O'Connell
"The Lady and the Reaper (La Dama y la Muerte)"
A Kandor Graphics and Green Moon Production Javier Recio Gracia
"Logorama" (Autour de Minuit)
An Autour de Minuit Production Nicolas Schmerkin
*"A Matter of Loaf and Death"
An Aardman Animations Production Nick Park
Best Live Action Short Film
An Octagon Films Production Juanita Wilson and James Flynn
"Instead of Abracadabra"
A Directörn & Fabrikörn Production Patrik Eklund and Mathias Fjellström
A Gregg Helvey Production Gregg Helvey
A Druid Films Production Luke Doolan and Drew Bailey
*"The New Tenants"
A Park Pictures and M & M Production Joachim Back and Tivi Magnusson