Wednesday, January 21, 2009

My 2009 Oscar Predictions

Every year I feebly attempt to predict the Oscar nominations, and I do a decent job for the most part. With that being said, I'm not too confident with this years picks, mostly because I still haven't seen a lot of the buzz-worthy films compared to years past. But tradition is tradition, so here goes:

Best Picture
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Reader
Slumdog Millionaire

NOTES: It was really tough to put together the final five for this year's Best Picture. I went back and forth between having The Dark Knight on the list, but I couldn't make myself do it. I don't think TDK was one of the five best movies this year. The final battle was between The Reader and Doubt, and Holocaust movies tend to be preferred by the Academy. Then again, WALL-E could surprise us all and do what only Beauty and the Beast has done before, and I'd be on board with that.

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

NOTES: I feel pretty good about this category. I could possibly see Nolan being snubbed in favor of Darren Aronofsky (The Wrestler), but I do feel that Knight will have some praise even if it doesn't get a Best Pic nod. Eastwood could also end up being a major player with Gran Torino, which I'd be OK with since Torino was way better than Million Dollar Baby in my opinion.

Best Actor in a Leading Role
Clint Eastwood, Gran Torino
Frank Langella, Frost/Nixon
Sean Penn, Milk
Brad Pitt, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Micky Rourke, The Wrestler *WINNER*

NOTES: I was really close to having Leonardo DiCaprio (Revolutionary Road) on my final five list, and then I switched him our for Richard Jenkins (The Visitor). I went back and forth, and finally took them both out for Clint Eastwood. The Academy loves Dirty Harry, and since this may be his final on-screen work they might honor him with a nom.

Best Actress in a Leading Role
Anne Hathaway, Rachel Getting Married
Sally Hawkins, Happy-Go-Lucky
Angelina Jolie, Changeling
Meryl Streep, Doubt
Kate Winslet, Revolutionary Road *WINNER*

NOTES: The Actress categories have always been my weakness, so I'm never expect to do well. I'm pretty sure Jolie, Streep, and Winslet are locks, so I'm hoping to go 3 out of 5 which isn't too bad.

Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Josh Brolin, Milk
Robert Downey, Jr., Tropic Thunder
Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Doubt
Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight *WINNER*
Dev Patel, Slumdog Millionaire

NOTES: I struggled to put Brolin in over Franco since they were both great in Milk, but I don't see both of them getting in. Personally, I'd like to see Franco get the nom, but Brolin's character was more tragic which may give him the edge. I also put Dev Patel in at the last minute because I think the world is in love with Slumdog, and he's been getting a lot of other nominations so he may sneak in. In the end it doesn't matter because Ledger is pretty much guaranteed to win.

Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Amy Adams, Doubt
Penelope Cruz, Vicky Christina Barcelona
Viola Davis, Doubt
Marisa Tomei, The Wrestler
Kate Winslet, The Reader *WINNER*

NOTES: I actually feel pretty confident with these picks. The only hiccup maybe Tomei being left out for Taraji P. Henson (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button).

Best Original Screenplay
Burn After Reading
The Visitor
The Wrestler

NOTES: This is usually my strongest category, but I'm not too confident this year mostly because there were a lot of good screenplays. I could see WALL-E being snubbed, but that wouldn't make sense to me since it was better than Ratatouille which got a nom in this category. There's not a clear cut favorite like last year's Juno, so it could be an interesting year for the writers.

Best Adapted Screenplay
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
Slumdog Millionaire

NOTES: I'm pretty confident with these five, but I could see Doubt being swapped out for The Reader or maybe Revolutionary Road (albeit less likely). Slumdog is the heavy favorite in this category.

Best Animated Feature
Waltz with Bashir
Kung-Fu Panda

NOTES: The Animated category is no longer just for kiddie fare thanks to last year's Persepolis getting the nod. I think Waltz with Bashir could do the same this year, but it's going to be hard to beat WALL-E.

So, there you have it. We'll see how well I did in a few hours. I can't wait!

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