Now that we’re less than 24 hours away from the Oscar nominations announcement, I thought I’d resurrect perhaps my favorite post from last year, where I tried to imagine what the biggest surprises of the nominations might be. (A few of them, like The Reader bumping out The Dark Knight for Best Picture, or Kate Winslet landing in Best Actress instead of Best Supporting Actress for that film, actually ended up happening.) This year contains many sure things — The Hurt Locker, Avatar, Up in the Air, Inglourious Basterds, and Precious will claim half of the Best Picture slots, for instance — but there’s also a lot that’s up for grabs. So here are 10 possible shockers we may be talking about tomorrow.
1. With the exception of An Education, the other five Best Picture slots all go to $100-million-plus grossers: some combination of Up, District 9, Star Trek, The Blind Side, and The Hangover.
2. Though Precious scores a Best Picture nod, director Lee Daniels is overlooked, in favor of District 9‘s Neill Blomkamp.
3. Avatar‘s Zoe Saldana muscles into Best Actress over The Last Station‘s Helen Mirren, becoming the first actor ever to earn a nomination for a motion-capture or voice performance.
4. The Hurt Locker‘s Anthony Mackie scores a supporting-actor nomination after being ignored by the Broadcast Critics, Golden Globes, and SAG.
5. Stanley Tucci earns his first career nomination…but for Julie & Julia instead of The Lovely Bones.
6. Inglourious Basterds standouts Diane Kruger and Mélanie Laurent both make it into the supporting actress race over Julianne Moore and Samantha Morton.
7. Invictus gets completely shut out of the nominations.
8. Ed Helms’ Hangover ditty “Stu’s Song” steals a Best Song nomination away from Nine.
9. Jeff Bridges’ momentum buoys Crazy Heart into the Best Supporting Actress (Maggie Gyllenhaal) and/or Best Adapted Screenplay (Scott Cooper) categories.
10. The Hurt Locker ties Avatar for the most nominations, with 9 each.
Can you see any of these taking place tomorrow? What surprises are you hoping for? Follow me on Twitter (@davekarger) for Oscar news and updates for the rest of the season.
Image credit: Frank Masi