- Best Director
Backup Pick : Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker. War dramas traditionally do well and this is one of the best about the Iraq war thus far. The intensity and tension is kept up through the entire film. The director never goes into criticism of the war but always remains focused on the people who are fighting.
Most deserving (My pick): Quentin Tarantino for Inglourious Basterds. Directing a movie with so much storylines and characters can be daunting but by now we're used to Tarantino pulling it off. I think there should be some recognition for a director who never fails to disappoint and blends (critically) good cinema with popular acclaim.
- Best Adapted Screenplay
Backup Pick : District 9 -Neill Blomkamp and Terri Tatchel from the short film Alive in Joburg by Neill Blomkamp. A completely original take on extraterrestrials, showing them to be worse off and not better. Also a not so subtle dig at the apartheid era and xenophobia. Blomkamp and Tatchel take the world of the short film and build on the concepts to make District 9.
Most deserving (My pick): In the Loop-Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Armando Iannucci, Tony Roche from the miniseries The Thick of It by Armando Iannucci. A long shot but if you've seen the miniseries then this is the movie you want to win. One of the few good comedies of the year and a great take on international politics.
- Best Original Screenplay
Backup Pick : Inglourious Basterds- Quentin Tarantino. A men on a mission film partly like The Dirty Dozen and partly like The Good,The Bad and The Ugly. Tarantino develops an alternative timeline WWII film and creates an epic fueled by the violence of war.
Most deserving (My pick): As much as I'd like to go for Up, the Coen Brothers have written the script for a movie unlike any other I can remember seeing. That has to give the edge because the others at least have a history to fall back on.