Tonight is the Academy Awards, highlighting the best of film from 2009.  The evening will be spent in a different venue than what I’ve done before: the Ambler Theater, a restored theater in Ambler, PA.  Three screens will be showing the Oscars in high definition.  I hope that this will be fun.

Along the way, I’ll be checking the winners against my predictions below, to see how good I am.  If anyone wants to engage in this game as well, by all means, leave a comment with your picks.  Split them with a “will win” and “should win” where applicable.  If you don’t know a particular category, just guess (for some, your guess is as good as mine, though I have the upper hand in seeing just about every movie nominated this year).

So, without further ado, my predictions:

Best Picture nominees

Avatar, The Blind Side, District 9, An Education, The Hurt Locker, Inglorious Basterds, Precious: Based on the Novel “Push” by Sapphire, A Serious Man, Up, Up in the Air

Prediction: The Hurt Locker (will win, should win)

Best Director nominees

James Cameron (Avatar), Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker), Quentin Tarantino (Inglorious Basterds), Lee Daniels (Precious), Jason Reitman (Up in the Air)

Prediction: Kathryn Bigelow (will win, should win)

Best Actor nominees

Jeff Bridges (Crazy Heart), George Clooney (Up in the Air), Colin Firth (A Single Man), Morgan Freeman (Invictus), Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker)

Prediction: Jeff Bridges (will win, should win)

Best Actress nominees

Sandra Bullock (The Blind Side), Helen Mirren (The Last Station), Carey Mulligan (An Education), Gabourey Sidibe (Precious), Meryl Streep (Julie and Julia)

Prediction: Sandra Bullock (will win), Carey Mulligan (should win)

Best Supporting Actor nominees

Matt Damon (Invictus), Woody Harrelson (The Messenger), Christopher Plummer (The Last Station), Stanley Tucci (The Lovely Bones), Christoph Waltz (Inglorious Basterds)

Prediction: Christoph Waltz (will win), Woody Harrelson (should win)

Best Supporting Actress nominees

Penelope Cruz (Nine), Vera Farmiga (Up in the Air), Maggie Gyllenhaal (Crazy Heart), Anna Kendrick (Up in the Air), Mo’Nique (Precious)

Prediction: Mo’Nique (will win, should win)

Best Original Screenplay nominees

The Hurt Locker, Inglorious Basterds, The Messenger, A Serious Man, Up

Prediction: The Hurt Locker (will win, should win)

Best Adapted Screenplay nominees

District 9, An Education, In the Loop, Precious, Up in the Air

Prediction: Up in the Air (will win, should win)

Best Animated Feature nominees

Coraline, Fantastic Mr. Fox, The Princess and the Frog, The Secret of Kells, Up

Prediction: Up (will win, should win)

Best Foreign Language nominees

Ajami, The Milk of Sorrow (La Teta Asustada), A Prophet (Un Prophete), The Secret in Their Eyes (El Secreto de Sus Ojos), The White Ribbon (Das Weisse Band)

Prediction: The White Ribbon (will win)

And, the rest of the nominees and predictions.

Editing: The Hurt Locker (will, should)

Cinematography: The Hurt Locker (will), The White Ribbon (should)

Art Direction: Avatar (will, should)

Costume Design: The Young Victoria (will, should)

Makeup: Star Trek (will), The Young Victoria (should)

Visual Effects: Avatar (will, should)

Sound: Avatar (will), The Hurt Locker (should)

Sound Editing: Avatar (will), The Hurt Locker (should)

Original Score: Up (will, should)

Original Song: The Weary Kind (Crazy Heart) (will, should)

Documentary Feature: The Cove (will)

Animated Short: A Matter of Loaf and Death (will), French Roast (should)

Live Action Short: Kavi (will), Miracle Fish (should)

No prediction for Documentary short.