Sunday, February 22, 2009

Oscars 2009

As an indication of how focused I've been on my schoolwork, I totally forgot that tonight is the Oscars. So a-predictin' I will go (*=prediction):

Best Motion Picture of the Year
  1. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008): Ceán Chaffin, Kathleen Kennedy, Frank Marshall
  2. Frost/Nixon (2008): Brian Grazer, Ron Howard, Eric Fellner
  3. Milk (2008/I): Bruce Cohen, Dan Jinks
  4. The Reader (2008): Anthony Minghella, Sydney Pollack, Donna Gigliotti, Redmond Morris
  5. * Slumdog Millionaire (2008): Christian Colson
This is a very weak year for best pictures; yugh. Considering the disaster of the world economy, and because it's rags-to-riches with an ethnic twist, I suspect it will be Slumdog.

Best Actor
  1. Richard Jenkins for The Visitor (2007/I)
  2. Frank Langella for Frost/Nixon (2008)
  3. Sean Penn for Milk (2008/I)
  4. Brad Pitt for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)
  5. * Mickey Rourke for The Wrestler (2008)
Hollywood types are suckers for comebacks; Rourke.

Best Actress
  1. *Anne Hathaway for Rachel Getting Married (2008)
  2. Angelina Jolie for Changeling (2008)
  3. Melissa Leo for Frozen River (2008)
  4. Meryl Streep for Doubt (2008/I)
  5. Kate Winslet for The Reader (2008)
The pattern over the past few years is to reward pretty ingenues who take serious, challenging roles with Best Actress (cf. Halle Berry, Nicole Kidman, Charlize Theron) so I think this is Hathaway's.

Best Supporting Actor
  1. Josh Brolin for Milk (2008/I)
  2. Robert Downey Jr. for Tropic Thunder (2008)
  3. Philip Seymour Hoffman for Doubt (2008/I)
  4. * Heath Ledger for The Dark Knight (2008)
  5. Michael Shannon for Revolutionary Road (2008)
The supporting categories are generally rough. Considering how "Dark Knight" was snubbed for the main Oscars (as well it should have, it sucked) I can see Ledger getting the award, especially because he died for the role (if the psychics are to be believed). If he hadn't died, then I'd say that Brolin would have a clear shot (since he has been turning in great work over the past few years); or Downey, following the Rourke/comeback-kid rule above. Hoffman is still the best actor of the bunch, so him losing this will fulfill the Kaufmann Rule.

Best Supporting Actress
I'm really in the dark here. I can't see Tomei getting it twice; and I think that Davis and Henson were awarded by being nominated. Adams fits the rewarding-the-ingenue rule of Best Actress except that she's such a big enough star to get that push. Usually, when in doubt, I'd go with whoever one SAG except, and this is funny, Winslet won best supporting for SAG for a role that is considered full actress for the Academy. Har de har har. Well, then I'll go with my original thought: Cruz. I think she's been doing great work and the other candidates may have split voting.

Best Director
  1. *Danny Boyle for Slumdog Millionaire (2008)
  2. Stephen Daldry for The Reader (2008)
  3. David Fincher for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)
  4. Ron Howard for Frost/Nixon (2008)
  5. Gus Van Sant for Milk (2008/I)
Two good rules of thumb for Best Director is that the Best Picture usually carries with it Best Director (only if it's a strong contendor, there's been some upsets), and like with acting, the Director's Guild Award can also be an indicator. In both cases, this year, Boyle (for Slumdog) looks most likely. He also has some edgy, critically acclaimed films in his past (Trainspotting), so that can help.

Best Original Screenplay
  1. Frozen River (2008): Courtney Hunt
  2. Happy-Go-Lucky (2008): Mike Leigh
  3. In Bruges (2008): Martin McDonagh
  4. Milk (2008/I): Dustin Lance Black
  5. *WALL·E (2008): Andrew Stanton, Pete Docter, Jim Reardon
I hope Wall-E gets it. It was marvellous. If it doesn't then I suppose Milk.

Best Adapted Screenplay
  1. *The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008): Eric Roth, Robin Swicord
  2. Doubt (2008/I): John Patrick Shanley
  3. Frost/Nixon (2008): Peter Morgan
  4. The Reader (2008): David Hare
  5. Slumdog Millionaire (2008): Simon Beaufoy
Were "Slumdog" super-duper strong, I'd say it would win this too; but it doesn't seem so overwhelming a favorite. My suspicion, is that Benjamin Button, considering it's overall nominee total, will win a whole mess of the art awards (Cinematography, Editing, etc - with the sci-fi stuff going to Dark Knight).

No comments: