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Saturday, January 17, 2009

Oscar prognostication

Okay, I'm going to try my hand at this Oscar nomination prediction game. On the 22nd, you can laugh at how wrong I was. By the way, these are my predictions, NOT my personal preferences. If I had been going by preference, there's no way "best" and "Benjamin Button" would appear in the same sentence, except to say something like "Best movie for insomnia." And I'm just going to cover the major categories, so no Live Action Short Film.

Best Picture:
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
Slumdog Millionaire

Despite its universal (and totally deserved) acclaim, WALL-E will have to be happy with its Best Animated Oscar. I still haven't seen that Batman movie, but I'm not naive enough to believe it won't get a nod. Plus, it has to be better than that Ben Button movie. Of the five listed, I think that Frost/Nixon's spot is the most tenuous. Of the four I've seen, Slumdog Millionaire is my favorite, with Frost/Nixon and Milk close behind.

Best Actor:
Clint Eastwood, Gran Torino
Frank Langella, Frost/Nixon
Sean Penn, Milk
Brad Pitt, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler

I really, really, really want Richard Jenkins to get a nod for his superlative work in The Visitor, but I see this category as too deep this year for that to happen, especially with a late charge from Oscar fave Clint. I'd love to see Michael Sheen be recognized in place of Langella, but that ain't gonna happen either. Heck, Langella might end up getting bumped by Leo DiCaprio. If you could see me through the computer screen, you'd see my eyes rolling at the thought of the Brad Pitt nomination.

Best Actress:
Anne Hathaway, Rachel Getting Married
Sally Hawkins, Happy-Go-Lucky
Melissa Leo, Frozen River
Meryl Streep, Doubt
Kate Winslet, Revolutionary Road

This is the category I've been weakest at predicting in past years. I'm calling a surprise nomination for Melissa Leo, but she will probably be bumped either by Angelina Jolie (for Changeling) or Kristin Scott Thomas (for I've Loved You for So Long) or even maybe Oscar fave Cate Blanchett (for Ben Button). Still, I have to root for those ex-Homicide cast members. People who know me IRL are aware of my Kate Winslet hate, but I think the Globe win sealed her nomination. Hawkins will get the Mike-Leigh-rocks-at-directing-women nod (see also Brenda Blethyn, Marianne Jean Baptiste and Imelda Staunton).

Best Supporting Actor:
Josh Brolin, Milk
Robert Downey Jr., Tropic Thunder
Philip Seymour Hoffman, Doubt
Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight
Dev Patel, Slumdog Millionaire

Heath Ledger will win the Oscar for this category, so I think it will be more interesting to see who is nominated rather than who wins. Can Dev Patel ride the Slumdog love wave to a nomination? Will Downey Jr. get nominated for a rather vulgar--but very, very funny--comedy? Which Milk cast member will get the nod? (Personally, I'd pick Franco, but I'm leaning towards Brolin as far as the Academy's pick.) I'm a big fan of PSH, but he was the weak link in Doubt.
Possible spoilers? I keep hearing about Michael Shannon's performance in Revolutionary Road, but save Kate's work, that film seems to have slipped off a lot of radars. Ralph Fiennes might be nominated for The Reader.

Best Supporting Actress
Penelope Cruz, Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Viola Davis, Doubt
Taraji P. Henson, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Marisa Tomei, The Wrestler
Kate Winslet, The Reader

Rebecca Hall should be there instead of Cruz, IMHO. I don't think both Doubt supporting actresses will get in, and usually, I root for hard-working character actresses like Viola Davis to get recognized for their work, but I'm annoyed by Oscar "cameo" nominations. Amy Adams was impressive in a much more substantial role. Still, I'm calling it for Davis. Oh, yeah, there's Kate again. *smirk* Henson's performance was my personal highlight of Ben Button.

Best Director
Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire
David Fincher, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Opie, Frost/Nixon
Gus Van Sant, Milk
Christopher Nolan, The Dark Knight

Yeah, I know, Best Picture = Best Director, and Oscar rarely matches five-for-five, but that' my prediction and I'm sticking with it!


Blogger Yum-Yum said...

How are you gonna watch an award show hosted by Hugh Jackman that features Kate Winslet nominated in multiple categories? ;)

Out of all the films you listed, the only one I've seen Happy-Go-Lucky. Damn, that's weak. No wait, I saw Tropic Thunder. So, go Sally and Robert!

I saw a bit of The Dark Knight while browsing HMV the other day. And I must say, it looked pretty cool. But then again, the scene I watched involved Heath Ledger dressed as a female nurse, so...

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is close to three hours long and was Ben Lyons' #1 movie of 2008. Pass.

I think I might go see Milk. You know, see at least one of the BP nominations. (That is of course if it gets nominated.)

Hmm, "IRL" means "in real life." I did not know that.

9:23 PM  
Blogger Karim Amir said...

Yeah, I'll still watch it. I got through Kate's double win at the Globes.

Happy-Go-Lucky was here in town the week we were in the Caribbean. Just my luck. I'd love to see Robert Downey Jr. win, but that Oscar is Ledger's.

Ben Lyons' #1 was Ben Button? Well, I just talked with my mom, and she gushed about it ("Wonderful, just wonderful!"). And then there's that co-worker of mine who told me, "You guys are harsh!" when I said dissent and I were bored. So what do we know?

Honestly, if you are going to see a potential nominee, I'd recommend Slumdog. (I'd actually be very interested to see what you think.)

Actually, you don't know me IRL, and you probably know of my Winslet hate.

8:08 PM  
Blogger Yum-Yum said...

I knew you hated Eternal Sunshine and Kate's performance with, oh, let's say, the passion of many sun-like objects. But I had no idea you hated her. Anyway, I guess you were rooting for the iceberg. ;)

Oh, and tell dissent I appreciated the fact that he put Repo! The Genetic Opera at the top of this week's DVD thread.

Speaking of threads, aren't you voting in the TV theme contest anymore? I'll admit, my interest has waned somewhat recently.

12:27 AM  

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