Blackwolf @ the Oscars 2010: Peeking into the Crystal Ball.....
PICTURE: Avatar. Why? Because the Na'vi have a rabid fanbase all their own; and it's not wise to ignore the fanboys. They won't rest until this one joins Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King as the only major fantasy film to be honored as Best Picture. Anything less than that, and I guarantee you the Na'vi nation will want the head of Oscar, know what I mean?
ACTOR: Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandela in Invictus. Why? Because despite his present status as the world's smoothest narrator, Morg will never escape his Electric Company past, no matter how much he wants to. I see Easy Reader's fans getting their fondest wish.
ACTRESS: Gabourey Sidibe as Precious in Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire. Why? One learns to follow the route of BET's 106 & Park.
SUPPORTING ACTOR: Christoph Waltz as Colonel Hans Landa in Inglourious Basterds. Why? Because they were talking about wanting the bad guy to get an Oscar; plus, Quentin Tarantino (for me, anyway!) is as eeeeeevil as they come!
SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Mo'Nique as Mary in Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire. Why? Again, the 106 & Park factor comes into play.
DIRECTOR: James Cameron, Avatar. Why? Because he's the King of the World, dammit, and to those who would dare dispute it: Toad time for you, pal!
ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: Mark Boal, The Hurt Locker. Why? Because the story is real, dirty, gutty and bloody. Perfect for those Barbarians who regularly read this Diary of Magecraft.
SCREENPLAY ADAPTATION: Geoffrey Fletcher, Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire. Why? Because it's violent, tragic, hopeless, and obscene. Also, the psychocase history thing falls into play here; you who are overly obsessed Jerry Springer fans will especially love the rabid emotional conflicts.
CINEMATOGRAPHY: Bruno Delbonnel, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Why? Because I still miss Dumbledore, and I don't like how Oscar treated the Heyday Films team the last time Hogwarts did the Academy Awards.
ART DIRECTION/SET DECORATION: Rick Carter, Robert Stromberg and Kim Sinclair, Avatar. Why? Blue rules, baby!
FILM EDITING: Joe Klotz, Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire. Why? He's got a terrific editing style that suggests to me he's got a future as an American Cinema Editors' Eddie Award nominee!
COSTUME DESIGN: Sandy Powell, The Young Victoria. Why? Your Dragonmaster loves Royals, as you know, and a great Throne Room scene when put on film is nothing without a great costume designer to make it magic! Sandy's marvelous gown makes you wanna kneel before Her Majesty!
MAKEUP: Barney Burman, Mindy Hall, Joel Harlow, Star Trek. Why? Because the Enterprise crew needs some respect; after 40 years of beaming wherever, you'd think the Romulans, Klingons, etc. would want to trash a few Earth things. (This is also why Dragon*Con Atlanta hosts the Miss Klingon Empire Pageant.)
VISUAL EFFECTS: Joe Letteri, Stephen Rosenbaum, Richard Baneham and Andy Jones, Avatar. Why? Again, blue rules!
PRODUCTION SOUND/RE-RECORDING: Christopher Boyes, Gary Summers, Andy Nelson and Tony Johnson, Avatar. Why? Even blue has to have its own, distinctive sound.
SOUND EFFECTS EDITING: Christopher Boyes and Gwendolyn Yates Whittle, Avatar. Why? You need but listen, my dears; then you can figure it out.
ORIGINAL SCORE: Michael Giacchino, Up. Why? Adventure is out there, of course --- and "Ellie's Theme," as transcribed for solo piano, will haunt you forever.
ORIGINAL SONG: "Almost There" from The Princess and the Frog, Music and Lyrics by Randy Newman. Why? Because Oscar nominating Randy Newman every time I tune in is getting old.
ANIMATED FEATURE: The Secret of Kells, Tomm Moore and Nora Twomey, directors. Why? Because this is the underdog that surprised even Oscar; and, as we all know, everyone loves an underdog! Big hugs, then to those at GKids.tv for possessing the balls to take this little Irish gem on!
FOREIGN-LANGUAGE FILM: From Germany: The White Ribbon, Michael Haneke, writer-director. Why? Deutscher cinema matters. 'Nuff said.
DOCUMENTARY FEATURE: The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers, Judith Ehrlich and Rick Goldsmith, writer-directors. Why? Because Nixon and Watergate still haunt us, my dears, and frankly, they're not interested in doing quality documentaries on the History Channel anymore.
DOCUMENTARY SHORT: The Last Truck: The Closing of a GM Plant, Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert, writer-directors. Why? Because a lot of us haven't really learned the lessons of Roger & Me; and besides, HBO Documentaries always get the Oscar in their specific category.
LIVE-ACTION SHORT: Miracle Fish, Luke Doolan, writer-director. Why? No one's done a kid-sized Twilight Zone since Nick's Are You Afraid of the Dark?; it's about time someone brought this particular genre back!
ANIMATED SHORT: Wallace & Gromit in "A Matter of Loaf and Death," Nick Park, creator-director. Why? Because it's been a while since Aardman Animations' flagship characters last visited the Oscars; on their last such visit, The Curse of the Were-Rabbit nabbed Best Animated Feature for our favorite Defenders of Cheese. It's a thrill seeing the lads back in their old turf, ready to thrill the hearts of cheese-lovers across the cosmos!
Well, there you go, Mortals: the Mage has spoken. And now all that remains is to leave all in the hands of the Hidden Ones, as dear Thor used to call them; we shall know, I think, if my guesses proved true by the dawn of Monday morn. Be aware, though, that I shall indeed make an attempt to view the telecast as best I can, despite the fact that I cannot guarantee a successful conclusion to the encounter. There's only so much adventure that one Wizard can properly take; I hope, of course, that my efforts pay off, in which case I can only say, as I always do: Pray, stay ye tun'd!