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Previewing the Oscars 2010

The red carpet for the 82nd Academy Awards is unrolled outside the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles on Wednesday, March 3, 2010. The Academy Awards will be held Sunday. (AP)

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Sunday night is Oscar night, and this year it’s Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin hosting — and a David and Goliath match-up center stage.

“The Hurt Locker,” set in the Iraq war, cost a pittance to make. “Avatar,” set on a distant moon, cost a quarter-billion. “Hurt Locker” would be the lowest-grossing Best Picture ever. “Avatar,” at $2 billion, the highest. Maybe neither will win. With ten nominees up for Best Picture this year, and a new voting system, it’s a tough night to predict.

Hollywood took on some big themes this year. From war in “Avatar,” “Hurt Locker,” and “Inglourious Basterds,” to quite different takes on African-American struggle in “The Blind Side” and “Precious.” Unemployment with George Clooney in “Up in the Air.”

And of course the wildcards: Jewish suburban life in “A Serious Man,” Pixar’s old-man adventure flick “Up.” English girl comes of age in “An Education,” and aliens in Johannesburg in “District 9.”

We’ve got Streep and Bullock, Bridges and Clooney, Mo’nique and Gyllenhaal.

This hour, On Point: We’re looking back on a year in film, from Navi to beef bourguignon, and handicapping the Oscars.


Joining us from Philadelphia is Carrie Rickey, film critic for The Philadelphia Inquirer.

And with us in our studio is Wesley Morris, a film critic for The Boston Globe.

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  • jeffe

    I don’t care myself. I have not seen most of these films.
    The Hurt Locker was OK it had it’s moments, but it was no Stalingrad, still the best war/antiwar movie ever made.

  • MJ

    How can UP get best animated picture and best picture?

  • BillH

    “How can UP get best animated picture and best picture?”

    Easily, people such as myself think that it was best picture so we also think that it was the best animated film. This is not at all different than ten years ago when Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon was nominated for both best foreign language picture and best picture. (It won the first but lost to Gladiator for best picture.)

  • jeffe

    Up was brilliant, won of the best movies I have seen in a long while. I loved how Carl Fredricksen looked liked James Whitmore and even sounded like him.
    I know it was Ed Asner but…

    Whitmore was a great character actor from the 40′s through the 00′s.

    And what more can one say about Doug. Brilliant.

  • Marc

    Rather than offering opinions about what folks thought about the nominated pictures, I hope the show offers more analysis of how the Academy tends to make decisions when comparing very different types of work. Part of the challenge here is that the nominated best pictures make very different contributions.

  • Todd

    Hollywood, what a waste.

  • http://none Andrea Cohen Kiener

    A Serious Man is not about self-hating Jews! It barely has anything to do with Judaism. I know this flies in the face of it. A Serious Man is about the most oft repeated line in the movie: “What’s Going On?” It’s a movie about trying to answer that question ni a frame that is way way too small.

  • Sam E.

    While it’s tempting to be one of the ‘cool kids’ and go on about how the oscars are a waste of time it would be wrong to do so at least this year they by and far got it right with the noms and while HL wouldn’t be my pick it’s hard to argue against.

  • Bush’s fault

    Tell me again why this is important.

  • graysony

    Oscars? really? Tom, please be better than this.

  • Steve V

    Much ado about nothing!!

  • Sam E.

    Eh, I have to give your guests a bad grade. As anyone with a cursory knowledge of the oscars should know the films that would have got nominated had there been five were most likely the five films nominated for directing. The categories usually match up and no film has ever won picture that wasn’t nominated for directing.

    Also, what’s with not talking about Up in the Air at all?

  • Alex

    “Hollywood, what a waste.”

    Bill Maher has made an observation that Hollywood’s product is one of the few American-made things the rest of the world still buys. Waste, you say? What else do we make that makes billions abroad, besides war and war-related goods? Well, movies, of course.

  • http://bruceguindon.com bruce guindon

    I just saw the Hurt Locker and in my opinion it was one of the worst movies I’ve seen in a long time. The script was really choppy sometimes I was not sure where I was in relationship to the overall story line. My wife and I looked at each other in disbelief when it won best Picture, another Marty moment at the Academy

  • justanother

    Kathryn Bigelow’s speech last time “The women and men wear uniforms, there are there for us, we are there for them”.

    No, Kathryn, those military women and men are NOT there for me! How can I support something I’m against from the beginning. Whenever people say, “I’m against the war, but I support the troops”, tell me what the h*** does that mean??

    Military guys are not trained to fight for ethics, justice & peace. They are trained to “OBEY” whenever the country needs them. So when our Congress voted for these offensive wars, so they follows.

    Kathryn fell short on the truth of war, fell into another rhetoric again, just like any other people speak in front of media camera, except Michael Moore.

  • justanother

    I’m usually not a big fan of fantasy and animated movie, but man of man, Avatar is an exception! Academy really snubbed “Avatar”. Here’s what I copied off of a comment from IMDB website posted for the movie of “Hurt Locker”, really says what I wanted to say after last time’s Oscar –

    “What was the competition ? Avatar ! A painstakingly thought out detailed and perfect movie, which provokes all kinds of soul stirring thoughts from audiences of all ages who see it. The message of the movie ? THAT WAR IS UNCESSARY AND SHOULD BE THE LAST RESORT !! How long did it take to make the movie ? 10 years. Photography innovations that’s still ahead of our time has been INVENTED to make this movie. The ART of direction that’s needed to make this movie, the intelligence and vision required (which only a few of us can comprehend), has been disgraced and stamped on by the Oscar committee !!! Disgrace !!”

  • Alex

    I thought Up and Hurt Locker were excellent . . And that only the second half of Avatar was brilliant even though the script was lame . . Monique was fantastic!

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