Christoph Waltz in Inglourious Basterds

State of the Oscar Run (updated 3/8/10): Saw all but 2 films. Which Way Home eluded me completely. Ajami I couldn’t find with English subtitles, and I don’t speak Hebrew. Squeezed in Un Prophete and El Secreto de Sus Ojos before the Oscars. All told, I saw 32 full-length films and 10 short films in 34 days.

We’re nearly there, folks. The 2009 Academy Awards will be given out tonight starting at 5:00 PM Pacific time. The world holds its breath: Will Peggy see the last two movies on her Oscar Run list?

Okay, no one cares about that. They really just want to know, after seeing all these movies, who I’d predict to win and who really deserves it. That’s why I watch all these movies, really – so you won’t have to. You’re welcome.

NOTE: This list is now updated with actual winners starred (*). I made 17 predictions, got 12 right, and 4 wrong. (I gave myself a half point each for Documentary and Costume Design as for each I was split between two films.)

Best Picture

My pick: Avatar
My prediction: Avatar

Check my reasoning here. Up in the Air was a close second. (Winner: The Hurt Locker*)

Best Director

My pick: James Cameron, Avatar
My prediction: James Cameron, Avatar

Check my reasoning here. Kathryn Bigelow* (The Hurt Locker) might be an upset win, in more ways than one – she’s Cameron’s ex-wife.

Best Actress

My pick: Helen Mirren, The Last Station
My prediction: Sandra Bullock*, The Blind Side

…which would be ironic, given All About Steve.

Best Supporting Actress

My pick: Anna Kendrick, Up in the Air
My prediction: Mo’Nique*, Precious

Very tempted to pick Maggie Gyllenhaal for Crazy Heart, but I think Anna squeaked past. And no, that pick was not Twilight-influenced.

Best Actor

My pick: Colin Firth, A Single Man
My prediction: Jeff Bridges*, Crazy Heart

Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker) might pull off an upset win.

Best Supporting Actor

My pick: Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds
My prediction: Christoph Waltz*, Inglourious Basterds

I so wanted this to be Stanley Tucci, but no one wins with a movie like The Lovely Bones - including the audience.

Best Original Screenplay

My pick: The Hurt Locker
My prediction: The Hurt Locker*

I actually liked The Messenger better, but I think that was because of the performances, not the screenplay.

Best Adapted Screenplay

My pick: Up in the Air
My prediction: Up in the Air

(Winner: Precious*)

Best Foreign Language Film

My pick: El Secreto de Sus Ojos*
My prediction: Un Prophete

Ojos had the most incredible single-take tracking shot I’ve seen all year, and the best story. Prophete, however, had the distribution. Who knows? Last year, that didn’t matter to Oscar.

Best Art Direction

My pick: Avatar
My prediction: Avatar*

However, I really liked The Young Victoria for this, and thought Bright Star should also have been nominated in this category.

Best Costume Design

My pick: Bright Star
My prediction: Either Coco Before Chanel or The Young Victoria*

Clothes were more of a character in itself in Bright Star, even more so than in Coco Before Chanel, oddly enough.

Best Makeup

My pick: Star Trek
My prediction: Star Trek*

Three words: Zachary Quinto’s eyebrows. But bravo to Il Divo for the nomination.

Best Animated Feature

My pick: Up
My prediction: Up*

But damn, if The Princess and the Frog wasn’t a great return to classic animation for Disney!

Best Documentary Feature

My pick: The Cove*
My prediction: Food, Inc.

Actually, they tied for both pick and prediction in my mind.

Best Cinematography

My pick: Avatar
My prediction: Avatar*

The White Ribbon was deservedly nominated here, and was also the most painful movie to watch – that counts.

Best Original Song

My pick: “The Weary Kind” from Crazy Heart
My prediction: “The Weary Kind” from Crazy Heart*

But Marion Cotillard singing “Take It All” was the best part of the otherwise-awful Nine.

Best Visual Effects

My pick: Avatar
My prediction: Avatar*

Check my reasoning here.

Note that I am leaving off categories where I have no opinion: Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, Best Film Editing. I’m also skipping Best Original Score because that would take more independent listening than I have time for.

What are your picks and predictions?