Early this morning, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced this year's Oscar® nominations. Leading the pack were "Avatar" and "The Hurt Locker," with nine nominations each. I think it's already safe to say the Best Picture winner will be one of those two films. You can read more about the nominations here and see a complete list of nominees here.
Yesterday, I made my predictions for the "big six" categories, and I'm happy to say I did fairly well, correctly predicting 32 of 35 nominees, only making mistakes in the Best Picture and Best Supporting Actress categories. By comparison, I only got 23 of 30 correct last year. Here's a list of nominees in those categories.
BEST PICTURE (8 of 10 correct)
"The Blind Side"
"The Hurt Locker"
"Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire"
"A Serious Man"
"Up in the Air"
BEST ACTRESS (5 of 5 correct)
Sandra Bullock - "The Blind Side"
Helen Mirren - "The Last Station"
Carey Mulligan - "An Education"
Gabourey Sidibe - "Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire"
Meryl Streep - "Julie & Julia"
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR (5 of 5 correct)
Matt Damon - "Invictus"
Woody Harrelson - "The Messenger"
Christopher Plummer - "The Last Station"
Stanley Tucci - "The Lovely Bones"
Christoph Waltz - "Inglourious Basterds"
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS (4 of 5 correct)
Penelope Cruz - "Nine"
Vera Farmiga - "Up in the Air"
Maggie Gyllenhaal - "Crazy Heart"
Anna Kendrick - "Up in the Air"
Mo'Nique - "Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire"
BEST DIRECTOR (5 of 5 correct)
Kathryn Bigelow - "The Hurt Locker"
James Cameron - "Avatar"
Lee Daniels - "Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire"
Jason Reitman - "Up in the Air"
Quentin Tarantino - "Inglourious Basterds"
So who are the favorites out of the gate? My early picks are "The Hurt Locker" (Best Picture), Jeff Bridges (Best Actor), Sandra Bullock (Best Actress), Christoph Waltz (Best Supporting Actor), Mo'Nique (Best Supporting Actress) and James Cameron (Best Director). Over at Intrade, a provider of "trading, information and prediction market services," the site's users disagree with me in two categories: "Avatar" is their Best Picture front-runner by a small margin, while Kathryn Bigelow has the edge for Best Director. By this evening there should be plenty of updated gambling odds available to provide more prognostications.
The Academy Awards will be handed out March 7 at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood.