The best and the brightest choose the best and the brightest

"Precious," left, "Funny People," "Moon" and "A Serious Man"


Emily Blunt, actress, "The Young Victoria"
"Mo'Nique has to win it for 'Precious.' She's off-the-charts good. She went to a different place with that role. I don't know where she went because it wasn't acting. She went somewhere else. I was speechless after it. I (also) want Meryl Streep to be recognized for 'Julie & Julia.' She was awesome. She should get it just for the joy she brought people. My cheeks were aching because I was laughing so hard during that movie."

Mark Boal, screenwriter-producer, "The Hurt Locker"
"I liked the writing and performances in 'Funny People.' Adam Sandler was completely convincing in an intelligently constructed character. I felt a great sense of humanism and empathy shining through his performance. He was cynical and sharply funny, yet sincere and warm, often in the same breath. I found that contradiction moving and utterly sad."

Jeff Bridges, actor, "Crazy Heart"
"I would love to see the Coen brothers recognized for 'A Serious Man.' That was a wonderful film. It had a lot of spin to it. I got a kick out Fred Melamed, who played Sy Ableman, the man stealing the wife. Also, Christoph Waltz in 'Inglourious Basterds.' His performance was real and interesting. For both those two things to happen together is sort of the object of whole the game. He was cast to create tension and did that very well."

Anna Kendrick, actress, "Up in the Air"
" 'Fish Tank.' From the opening frame, you're completely captivated and completely drawn into this world and this story. I loved the attention to detail. You could tell it was directed by a female director (Andrea Arnold) because all the things about the women in it felt so real, from the way they walk and speak to each other, right down to the way that your hair gets a bend in it if you've had it in a pony tail too long. It was incredible."

Sarah Siegel-Magness, producer, "Precious"
"I'd love to see Emily Blunt recognized for 'The Young Victoria.' She takes on the role of an idealized queen and somehow makes it accessible to an audience. We are transported into a world of cold and sometimes emotionless aristocracy but leave the film understanding that the queen was full of life and was not at all a puppet of her surroundings. Emily is visually captivating and sincere throughout."

Helen Mirren, actress, "The Last Station"
" 'The Hurt Locker' was an amazing film and an amazing piece of filmmaking. I would love to see Kathryn Bigelow nominated. Far too few women get nominated anyways, but that's not why: It was an amazing visceral and exciting piece of pure filmmaking."

Jason Reitman, writer-director-producer, "Up in the Air"
" 'District 9' is a game-changer movie. It elevates the genre in structure and style. (And) I'd love to see Tom Ford get a directing nomination for 'A Single Man.' It was an exquisite film with complete tonal control."

Jonas Rivera, producer, "Up"
" 'The Hurt Locker' was fantastic. I had a brother-in-law who was in Iraq. There was something that was so vivid and real and beautiful about that film. In this business, we all see thousands of movies, but when you see yourself sitting on the edge of your seat, hooked by the very tricks that we all employ, you've got to tip your hat to that. The performances were amazing, but I've got to think the director really drove that one home. It was handled almost delicately, but didn't veer from the brutality."

Jeremy Renner, actor, "The Hurt Locker"
"Sam Rockwell in 'Moon.' He was tremendous. Sam is a good buddy of mine, so it makes me a harder critic. He has to completely carry the movie because it's pretty much just him and a computer. And he's playing a clone of himself. It's a technical challenge and an acting feat in itself. It takes a really skilled, smart actor to pull that off and be captivating at the same time."

Quentin Tarantino, writer-director-producer, "Inglourious Basterds"
"Jackie Earle Haley blew me away in 'Watchmen.' Besides Christoph Waltz in my own movie, he's the other supporting male performance I saw this year which was awesome."

T Bone Burnett, composer-producer, "Crazy Heart"
" 'A Serious Man' was one of the Coen brothers' best movies. I know it's somewhat controversial and not everyone loves it, but I think it's an incredible piece of work. They sometimes get taken to task for being heartless, but I thought this movie had all of the strange detachment and elipticism the Coens have in their movies, yet there was some personal vulnerability in there that I appreciated. I'm biased (Burnett frequently collaborates with the filmmaking duo), but I think they're the best filmmakers we have right now."

Todd Phillips, director-producer, "The Hangover"
"Tobey Maguire in 'Brothers' was a beautifully rendered performance. He did a beautiful job in a difficult movie. That's a film I hope people pay attention to, because it's a tough one."
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