22 January 2009

Oscar Predictions 2009

With the announcement of the Oscar nominations released this morning, I decided I might as well give my predictions another go. The images are all taken from oscar.com. I might change these as things develop and other awards are given out. So far they are mostly gut feelings mixed with cynicism.

Actor in a Leading Role:
SEAN PENN












I haven't seen The Wrestler, but apparently Mickey Rourke is a very possible candidate as well -- he has the washed-up-actor-making-a-comeback-in-a-sentimental-film going for him. But whatever, Penn moved me this year and I think he may have moved Academy voters as well.


Actor in a Supporting Role:
HEATH LEDGER












It would be breaking some rules: giving a posthumous Oscar; giving a comic book character an Oscar. But I think there is enough sentiment and hype behind Ledger to break those rules and set a new precedent.


Actress in a Leading Role:
KATE WINSLET












I haven't seen The Reader but can kind of guess what kind of performance Winslet gives in it -- some unflattering close-ups of tears and emotionally-torn anguish. I don't know, it's just a gut feeling. If it were up to me I'd give it to Hathaway or Leo though.


Actress in a Supporting Role:
PENELOPE CRUZ












I have no clue for this category. I thought Ms. Davis might get it at first, based on some strange gut feeling, but I will go with my own pick, which is Cruz. She might have a chance after all.


Animated Feature Film:
WALL-E












Duh.


Best Art Direction:
DONALD GRAHAM BURT; VICTOR J. ZOLFO - THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON












This is mostly a guess (as most of the technical categories are), but I was very impressed with the production design of this film. It is especially notable since they go through various different locations and time periods within the film, each pretty as can be.


Cinematography:
ANTHONY DOD MANTLE - SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE












Another tough choice, but the bright colors and excessive amount of trick shots make this the most immediate choice I think.


Costume Design:
MICHAEL O'CONNER - THE DUCHESS












Don't the English costume period dramas always get this award? I dunno. Who cares.


Directing:
DANNY BOYLE - SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE












I guess I should have waited 'til the DGA made their pick, but I have a feeling it will be Danny. These guys are riding an incredible (and overblown) wave of hype. My personal pick? Gus Van Sant.


Documentary Feature:
MAN ON WIRE












I have only seen this and Herzog's film. I liked them both very much, but it's a hard category to predict. Will the voters feel the optimism of a new president and go with this inspirational film? Or, do they still feel the wounds of Bush's term and pick Katrina and Trouble the Water? Who knows.


Film Editing:
CHRIS DICKENS - SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE












I honestly have no idea. Let's just say Slumdog will sweep.


Foreign Language Film:
WALTZ WITH BASHIR












This is mostly a guess, but it seems topical enough. Right?


Music (Score & Song):
SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE












I think Slumdog's going to get both of these. They will at least get best song for "Jai Ho."


Best Picture:
SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE












Unfortunately. I was skeptical of its chances at first, but now it nearly seems inevitable. It's "exotic," topical, sentimental, and an underdog. My second guess would be Benjamin Button. My personal pick is Milk.


Writing (Adapted Screenplay):
SIMON BEAUFOY - SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE












Oh, God, I don't know. Will Slumdog really sweep this bad? I just hope I'm wrong (unless there's money on the line).


Writing (Original Screenplay):
DUSTIN LANCE BLACK - MILK












I'm happy to see Happy-Go-Lucky, Frozen River, In Bruges, and WALL-E on the ballot (where's Woody??), but I get the feeling that Milk might get it in the end. I would love Frozen River to get it.

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