Jeff Bridges for best actor? Gabourey Sibide for best actress? Avatar, best film?
Over the past week or two, with the announcements of the Golden Globe nominations, the Independent Spirit Award candidates and the year-end best lists from the National Board of Review (whoever they are), the AFI and key critics organizations (New York’s, Los Angeles’, Kalamazoo, Michigan’s), the contenders for the 2010 Oscars are beginning to take shape.
Even though Crazy Heart won’t open here until some time in the new decade, Bridges’ performance as Bad Blake, an over-the-hill, alcoholic country music star, has deservedly put the four-time Oscar-nominee at the top of the list for a best actor prize. (It’s a beautifully crafted turn, and Bridges does his own singing -- of tunes written by T-Bone Burnett.) The plus-size newcomer Sibide is building momentum for a best actress slot for her starring role in Lee Daniels’ Precious. And James Cameron’s epic sci-fi gorilla Avatar could bring Titanic’s King of the World back on the Academy Awards ceremony stage for another best director Oscar. Other titles, and names, to look for: The Hurt Locker, Up In the Air, Up, Fantastic Mr.Fox, George Clooney, Meryl Streep (again), Morgan Freeman (Invictus), Emily Blunt (The Young Victoria) and Carey Mulligan (An Education).
Nominations for the 82nd Academy Awards will be announced on Tuesday, February 2. The ceremony is Sunday, March 7.