And the Oscar goes to…
Pulitzer prize winning film critic Roger Ebert says he can’t remember a year when it was easier to pick the Oscars.
Iraq war drama “The Hurt Locker”, which has picked up key awards in the run-up to the world’s most prestigious movie awards, is the favourite to bag the Best Picture trophy, with all-time box-office king “Avatar” the other contender.
The best actor award is expected to go to Jeff Bridges for his role as a country singer in “Crazy Hearts” but Morgan Freeman could prove the dark horse with his portrayal of Nelson Mandela in “Invictus”.
The best actress trophy is a toss-up between double Oscar winner Meryl Streep for her role as a chef in “Julie & Julia” and favourite Sandra Bullock for “The Blind Side”, in which she helps a homeless boy become football star.
Austrian actor Christoph Waltz’s performance as a Nazi officer in the World War Two fantasy “Inglourious Basterds” could earn him the trophy for best supporting role while in the women’s category, comedian Mo’Nique is the frontrunner for her role as an abusive mother in “Precious: Based on the novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire”, a movie about an abused, obese teen.
Notable among the best film nominees is animated movie “Up”, which is the only movie ever nominated for both best film and best animated film.
But the main duel of the night will be between former couple Kathryn Bigelow and James Cameron, whose respective films “The Hurt Locker” and “Avatar” have nine nominations each, including for best director and best film.
Independent film “Locker” is not a commercial success but has won awards from key guilds of producers, directors and writers, many of whom are among the Academy’s Oscar voters. At the same time, the massive box-office success and technical excellence of “Avatar” cannot be ignored.
If Bigelow wins for best director as expected, she will be the first woman to achieve the honour.
Who do you think will come out on top on Hollywood’s most starry night?