The following table provides predictions for the four main categories for the 2009 Academy Awards. The nominees are presented in order of expected probability to win, with the probabilities (in percentages) given in the final column. Eventual winners shown in bold.
|Picture||The Hurt Locker||78||The Hurt Locker and Avatar both score high for receiving nine overall nominations each, but the Producer's Guild win for The Hurt Locker usually carries more weight than the Golden Globe win for Avatar, giving the former the edge. The other three films with accompanying Best Director nominations fill out the rest of the top five: Inglourious Basterds (with eight overall nominations), Precious (six overall nominations), and Up in the Air (six overall nominations). The remaining five films are real long shots. Overall, this category seems the hardest to call of the four major races this year.|
|Up in the Air||2|
|The Blind Side||<1|
|A Serious Man||<1|
|Director||Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker||94||First-time nominee, Kathryn Bigelow, benefits from her Director's Guild win, giving her a big advantage over previous nominees, James Cameron, Quentin Tarantino, and Jason Reitman. The other first-time nominee, Lee Daniels, also has little chance of winning this year. All the nominees are nominated for films with Best Picture nominations, and each has between six and nine overall nominations, so the Director's Guild factor is the main differentiator this year. Thus this category seems to be the least competitive of the four major races this year.|
|Quentin Tarantino for Inglourious Basterds||3|
|James Cameron for Avatar||2|
|Jason Reitman for Up in the Air||1|
|Lee Daniels for Precious||1|
|Actor in a Leading Role||Jeff Bridges in Crazy Heart||90||Jeff Bridges scores big for his Screen Actors Guild and Golden Globe wins and, to a lesser extent, for his previous Lead Actor nomination for 1984's Starman. Jeremy Renner and George Clooney benefit from having been nominated in movies that have also been nominated for Best Picture, with George Clooney also getting a small boost for his previous Lead Actor nomination for 2007's Michael Clayton. Morgan Freeman benefits slightly from two previous Lead Actor nominations (for 1989's Driving Miss Daisy and 1994's The Shawshank Redemption), but is probably unlikely to win this year, as is Colin Firth.|
|Jeremy Renner in The Hurt Locker||5|
|George Clooney in Up in the Air||3|
|Morgan Freeman in Invictus||1|
|Colin Firth in A Single Man||1|
|Actress in a Leading Role||Sandra Bullock in The Blind Side||90||Sandra Bullock scores big for Golden Globe (drama) and Screen Actors Guild awards, and also for being nominated in a movie that has also been nominated for Best Picture. Gabourey Sidibe and Carey Mulligan also benefit from having been nominated in movies that have been nominated for Best Picture. Meryl Streep benefits from her Golden Globe (musical or comedy) award, but her previous Lead Actress win for 1982's Sophie's Choice reduces her chance of winning again this year, as does Helen Mirren's previous Lead Actress win for 2006's The Queen.|
|Gabourey Sidibe in Precious||4|
|Carey Mulligan in An Education||3|
|Meryl Streep in Julie & Julia||2|
|Helen Mirren in The Last Station||1|
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Last updated: February 4, 2011
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© 2011, Iain Pardoe