Monday, February 22, 2010

Avatar a shoo-in on Oscar night, but some surprises in store

by Milky Way Maid

I promised an Oscars column for the 2010 awards ceremony to be held in Los Angeles aka Tinseltown on March 7, 2010. Herewith are my predictions for the major categories. They are based on nominees' birthdates that I could locate. I was able to find dates of birth for all the acting and directing nominees, but few of the writers unless they were also directors. That means that I can only take a stab at the screenplay categories, so bear with me. I also located 4 of the 5 nominees' birthdates in the Best Animated Feature Film category. I also consulted online sources re who was favored in each category.

It is testimony to the fact that just being nominated is quite an honor. And as I counted up the contacts to each nominee's chart, it was rare to find few such contacts. Most had some good contacts, and there were few obvious signs of disappointment or loss. They all get to be in the spotlight, on the red carpet and on television (and broadcast to millions more around the world), and they all go to splendid post-awards parties. As far as I can see, few of them will cry any actual tears at not winning.

How did I approach this task? First, I looked at a chart for the probable start time for the awards ceremony, based on the time of last year's program. Place is obviously Los Angeles, or more specifically the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood and Highland Center. Then I checked the ephemeris for which aspects were exact that day. There are only a few but they are quite energetic and promise a good time for viewers.

First, Venus enters Aries early that morning and then trines retrograde Mars in Leo at 11:15 am PT. Mars will not go direct till March 10, by the way, and I have found in sports events that at times the best athlete does not win under a Mars retrograde. (Witness the upset in the Super Bowl this year, as the underdog New Orleans Saints easily put away the Indianapolis Colts.)

The Moon in Sagittarius squares the Sun in Pisces in the morning, too. Lastly, Mercury conjuncts Jupiter, ruler of show business and doing everything big, in Pisces at 5:45 pm PT. I am giving great weight to the Mercury contacts, because Mercury represents not only the fact that a winner's name makes the NEWS, but also the fact his name is ANNOUNCED by the presenter, and he has to make an acceptance SPEECH. Speeches may run long, tho, because Jupiter can go on and on and on and on.

One problem is that I have no idea when each category will be announced, so I cannot try to match up nominees' charts to the ascendants and midheavens. But, cie la vie, as they say. We march forward and do the best we can anyway.

First, let's take an easy one.

BEST PICTURE: Avatar is a shoo-in. Why do I say that? Referring back to the Mercury conjunction to Jupiter which is exact that evening, I note that both planets often signify words or names that begin with the letter A. Avatar fits, and it has been the biggest, most talked-about film all winter.

BEST DIRECTOR: James Cameron has quite a commanding lead in number of contacts between his birth chart and the Oscars chart. He has several planets at 23, 24, 25 and 28 degrees of signs, which will all be contacted by the transiting Moon in late Sagittarius. His Mercury is inconjunct the North Node, tho, which may mean an upset in some category that his film is nominated in. Yet his North Node is sextile the powerful Mercury-Jupiter conjunction.

And yet there is no knock-out punch in his chart. I look to the second-most-talked about nominee in the directing category, his ex-wife Kathryn Bigelow. She has the North Node sextile her Moon, Uranus square her Mercury (good for an upset), North Node square her Venus, Mars conjunct transiting Saturn (engaging her competitive fires even tho she could lose), Mercury trine her Uranus (also good for an upset but also likely giving a humorous buzz to her words), and Pluto sextiles her North Node. The topper for me, tho is that her Saturn is inconjunct the Mercury-Jupiter conjunction. The inconjunct is a funny aspect; it could mean she was fated to win this night, or it could weaken her hand. The midheaven of the awards show chart is inconjunct Pluto, and because transiting Pluto makes an aspect to her chart, I give her a good shot to win in this category. (I could be wrong of course.)

A brief look at the other nominees: Quentin Tarantino's Venus is conjunct Neptune, lending glamor but not honors. There are a few other aspects but they are off by a degree or so. Lee Daniels' chart has Saturn squaring his Sun, which is an obvious block. The Sun does square his Jupiter, and the North Node opposes his Venus and sextiles his Mars. Those are OK for benefiting from being in the spotlight that night. Jason Reitman has some nice contacts but he is nominated in the screenplay category; let's save that discussion for later.

BEST ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE: The heavy fave in this category is Jeff Bridges for his role in Crazy Heart. I see plenty of support for this win because of several contact: Saturn trines his Moon, Saturn has passed a trine to his Jupiter, the North Node trines his Saturn, and the exact transiting Venus-Mars trine is contacted by his natal Venus at 29 Capricorn. The best contact for giving an acceptance speech is that Mercury-Jupiter squares his Sun. I am sure that his speech will express his huge gratitude for recognition of his long career.

George Clooney has some great contacts to the Venus-Mars trine, but other contacts are off by a degree. Close but no cigar, but let me look at your beautiful eyes some more. Colin Firth has the North Node trine his Sun, Uranus trine the Moon, and Mercury-Jupiter sextile his Saturn. Morgan Freeman has Jupiter square his Sun, the North Node trine his Mercury, and Jupiter trine his Uranus, so if anyone could upset Bridges it just might be Freeman. Jeremy Renner has the Sun sextile his Sun, Venus trine Venus, and Venus and Mars almost trine his Jupiter. All very pleasant but nothing more, as he enjoys his nomination.

BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE: Christopher Waltz is heavily favored for his role in Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds. His Sun is inconjunct the Jupiter-Mercury conjunction, his Mercury is inconjunct Neptune, but his Jupiter is trine the North Node and his North Node is trine Venus and Mars making a grand trine -- nothing to sneeze at. And yet I look twice at Woody Harrelson's chart contacts: his Sun is trine Mars and Venus, his Mercury (speech) is trine Mercury-Jupiter, his Venus is inconjunct the North Node, Saturn trines his Jupiter, and his Pluto is conjunct the ascendant if I have the start time of the awards show correct. I can easily see him making a charming, aw-shucks acceptance speech.

BEST ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE: Sandra Bullock is supposed to be a shoo-in for this Oscar, but she has some strange contacts. Her Venus opposes the Moon, so one wonders if she is going to wear some strange gown or suit. Her Mars is trine Neptune, which lends sexy glamour. Venus squares her North Node, bestowing an accolade on her career. However, the Mercury-Jupiter oppose her natal Pluto, not lucky Jupiter or Venus or Sun or Moon. It is possible that her acceptance speech is over-the-top (Pluto). Or perhaps she is just so overwhelmed by this honor at this point in her career that she breaks down or screams or something. But Pluto is a strange contact in this context.

Does anyone else have a shot? Helen Mirren, who shares the July 26 birth day with Sandra, has Saturn trining her Mars, the Moon squaring her Jupiter, and the Sun trining her Saturn, all formidable transits. Carey Mulligan has the Moon square her Moon and a couple minor contacts. Gabourey Sidibe, nominated for her acting debut, has some intriguing contacts like Neptune trine her Venus (she makes a glamorous appearance), Neptune trines her North Node (this is only the beginning of her career, folks, so keep an eye on her), and Neptune also trines her Pluto (zowie, mass appeal, I'd say).

But the best shot to upset is from perpetual acting machine Meryl Streep. Her Sun-Uranus conjunction is squared by Venus on one side and Saturn (honors) on the other. The North Node trines her Moon, and opposes her Venus. Her Jupiter sextiles Venus and opposes Mars. Venus is inconjunct her Saturn. But best of all, her Neptune is inconjunct the Mercury-Jupiter conjunction. Hmm, does she even have a mantel long enough for all her Oscars?

BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE: Mo'nique is heavily favored to win this category for her role in Precious. However, I am not finding support in her chart for that. She only has a couple pleasant Moon contacts, plus others to transiting Pluto. Pluto could give her the control over her career that she seeks, if that is what her ambition is. But again, I see nothing contacting either natal or transiting Mercury where she would give an acceptance speech.

I am calling an upset win by Penelope Cruz for her role in Nine. Her Moon is conjunct Mars and trine Venus, her Mercury square Mars, her Venus squares the Moon, her Mars opposes Pluto, Saturn squares her Venus, but most importantly Jupiter is conjunct transiting Mercury-Jupiter. She may give a very loquacious speech, possibly with some of it in a foreign language (Spanish).

Vera Farmiga has very few contacts, altho her Pluto is contacted by transiting Saturn. That accounts for the nomination, which is quite an honor (Saturn) by itself. Maggie Gyllenhaal has her North Node inconjunct the Mercury-Jupiter conjunction. This could play into an upset, too, but there are no other major contacts besides Pluto opposite her Jupiter. Anna Kendrick has only a couple semi-sextiles. Her Neptune squares Venus, however, so I expect her to make a very glamorous appearance.

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: The odds makers are split between Mark Boal for The Hurt Locker, and Quentin Tarantino for Inglourious Basterds. Tarantino's Mercury is opposed by Saturn, however, and his Venus is conjunct mute Neptune. Also his Uranus is only semi-sextile Saturn, altho his North Node trines Uranus. So I do not see him making any speeches even tho the performers or technical crew in his film may take home an honor. So that leaves Mr. Boal by default, the only nominee in this category for which I could not find a date of birth.
The Coen brothers have mixed contacts. Ethan's Mercury is opposite the Mercury-Jupiter conjunction, and the North Node trines them, so he might make a speech indeed. Joel's Uranus is trine Uranus so he might be very funny. Pete Docter is also nominated in Animated Feature. His Moon is probably conjunct the Sun, his Mercury trine the Moon, his Jupiter almost opposite Mercury-Jupiter and Uranus opposite Uranus. If he makes a speech tonight, he will surely remember to thank the women (Moon) in his life.

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: Jason Reitman is heavily favored to win this award for his film Up in the Air, which he also directed. His Mercury contacts are a little off, so either he will not make a speech or his remarks will seem awkward. His Uranus does trine the Mercury-Jupiter conjunction, tho, so he could make a very, very humorous speech. Perhaps he loses one award but wins a later one, and makes a joke about the earlier loss. The only other nominee for which I found a date of birth was Nick Hornby, nominated for An Education. His sun is sextile Neptune, so he will seem glamorous and cool. His Mercury is sextile the Sun, and the Moon squares his Jupiter; Neptune squares his Mars, a loss aspect.

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM: Pete Docter is heavily favored to win this award for his film Up. His Moon is probably conjunct the Sun, his Mercury trine the Moon, his Jupiter almost opposite Mercury-Jupiter and Uranus opposite Uranus. If he makes a speech tonight, he will surely remember to thank the women (Moon) in his life.
Anyone else? Tomm Moore has an excellent shot to win for his film The Secret of Kells. The Sun is sextile Sun, Mars conjunct Pluto, his Uranus trine Mercury-Jupiter (funny speech), and his North Node square competitive Mars in Leo. Wes Anderson, nominated for Fantastic Mr Fox, has Mercury-Jupiter sextile his Sun, Pluto sextile his Moon, Venus and Mars sextile his Mercury while Saturn (honor) trines his Mercury (writing or humor), and Neptune inconjunct Jupiter. Henry Selick is nominated for Coraline; Mars sextiles his Moon, the North Node is conjunct his Venus, Mercury sextiles his Jupiter and the South Node is conjunct his Uranus (upsets, surprises). Anything can happen in this category.

So there you have it: Avatar, James Cameron directly or indirectly winning for Avatar, possibly his ex winning for Best Director, Jeff Bridges for Best Actor, Bullock or Streep in Best Actress, Woody Harrelson for Best Supporting Actor, and Penelope Cruz for Best Supporting Actress. Screenplay awards: probably Jason Reitman and Mark Boal.

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