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The unofficial play-at-home Oscar buzzmeter ballot

March 03, 2010

BEST PICTURE

* "Avatar"

* "The Blind Side"

* "District 9"

* "An Education"

* "The Hurt Locker"

* "Inglourious Basterds"

* "Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire"

* "A Serious Man"

* "Up"

* "Up in the Air"

SPOTLIGHT: In a classic David-versus-Goliath fight, pitting more than $2-billion box office giant "Avatar" against "The Hurt Locker," a maverick indie that has reaped only $16 million worldwide. Possible spoiler: "Inglourious Basterds."

DIRECTOR

* 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"

SPOTLIGHT: A Hollywood drama come to life: "Titanic's" Oscar king returns with an even more successful film but his chief rival turns out to be his ex-wife.

LEAD ACTOR

* Jeff Bridges, "Crazy Heart"

* George Clooney, "Up in the Air"

* Colin Firth, "A Single Man"

* Morgan Freeman, "Invictus"

* Jeremy Renner, "The Hurt Locker"

SPOTLIGHT: Jeff Bridges is the front-runner because he won the Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award, he's an overdue veteran (four previous losses) and he plays drunk. Voters are suckers for sots. Watch out for dark horse Jeremy Renner, who could ride a "Hurt Locker" sweep.

LEAD ACTRESS

* 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"

SPOTLIGHT: It's a veteran diva smackdown. Streep may hold the record for most acting nominations (16), but she hasn't won in 28 years. Bullock's never even been nominated, despite starring in best picture "Crash."

SUPPORTING ACTOR

* Matt Damon, "Invictus"

* Woody Harrelson, "The Messenger"

* Christopher Plummer, "The Last Station"

* Stanley Tucci, "The Lovely Bones"

* Christoph Waltz, "Inglourious Basterds"

SPOTLIGHT: Christoph Waltz is a lock. What else is there to say?

SUPPORTING ACTRESS

* 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"

SPOTLIGHT: When upsets occur, they usually happen in the supporting categories, but this one seems like Mo'Nique has it all wrapped up.

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

* Mark Boal, "The Hurt Locker"

* Quentin Tarantino, "Inglourious Basterds"

* Alessandro Camon and Oren Moverman, "The Messenger"

* Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, "A Serious Man"

* Bob Peterson and Pete Docter; story by Pete Docter, Bob Peterson, Tom McCarthy, "Up"

SPOTLIGHT: Quentin Tarantino is the favorite -- unless "The Hurt Locker" awards juggernaut is unstoppable.

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

* Neill Blomkamp and Terri Tatchell, "District 9"

* Nick Hornby, "An Education"

* Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Armando Iannucci, Tony Roche, "In the Loop"

* Geoffrey Fletcher, "Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire"

* Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner, "Up in the Air"

SPOTLIGHT: "Up in the Air" is the front-runner after having already nabbed script laurels from the Golden Globes, Critics Choice, Los Angeles Film Critics Assn. and others. But watch out for that eerie "District 9" and recent BAFTA winner "An Education."

ANIMATED FEATURE

* "Coraline"

* "Fantastic Mr. Fox"

* "The Princess and the Frog"

* "The Secret of Kells"

* "Up"

ART DIRECTION

* "Avatar," Rick Carter and Robert Stromberg

* "The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus," Dave Warren and Anastasia Masaro

* "Nine," John Myhre

* "Sherlock Holmes," Sarah Greenwood

* "The Young Victoria," Patrice Vermette

CINEMATOGRAPHY

* "Avatar," Mauro Fiore

* "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," Bruno Delbonnel

* "The Hurt Locker," Barry Ackroyd

* "Inglourious Basterds," Robert Richardson

* "The White Ribbon," Christian Berger

COSTUME DESIGN

* "Bright Star," Janet Patterson

* "Coco Before Chanel," Catherine Leterrier

* "The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus," Monique Prudhomme

* "Nine," Colleen Atwood

* "The Young Victoria," Sandy Powell

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

* "Burma VJ"

* "The Cove"

* "Food, Inc."

* "The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers"

* "Which Way Home"

DOCUMENTARY SHORT

* "China's Unnatural Disaster: The Tears of Sichuan Province"

* "The Last Campaign of Governor Booth Gardner"

* "The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant"

* "Music by Prudence"

* "Rabbit à la Berlin"

FILM EDITING

* "Avatar," Stephen Rivkin, John Refoua and James Cameron

* "District 9," Julian Clarke

* "The Hurt Locker," Bob Murawski and Chris Innis

* "Inglourious Basterds," Sally Menke

* "Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire," Joe Klotz

FOREIGN-LANGUAGE FILM

* "Ajami" (Israel)

* "El Secreto de Sus Ojos" (Argentina)

* "The Milk of Sorrow" (Peru)

* "The Prophet" (France)

* "The White Ribbon" (Germany)

MAKEUP

* "Il Divo," Aldo Signoretti and Vittorio Sodano

* "Star Trek," Barney Burman, Mindy Hall and Joel Harlow

* "The Young Victoria," Jon Henry Gordon and Jenny Shircore

MUSIC (ORIGINAL SCORE)

* "Avatar," James Horner

* "Fantastic Mr. Fox," Alexandre Desplat

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