Wednesday, February 18, 2009

'08 Oscar Predictions

The Oscars are this Sunday, February 22, and despite the lack of a Dark Knight best picture nomination (yes, I continue to beat that dead horse), I will be watching.  Hugh Jackman hosts, and the red carpet pre-show is being cut down significantly to add an element of surprise to the show.  Who will present?  What will they be wearing?  More importantly, who will win?  If you have an Oscar pool at work or with friends, feel free to crib from my predictions.  I usually get about 18 of 24 right.  Let's see how we do this year:

Picture: Slumdog Millionaire.  Final Answer: D.  It is Written.

Actor: Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler.  Rourke's biggest competitor is Sean Penn for Milk, but Rourke's personal story is too compelling and Penn just won five years ago for Mystic River.

Actress: Kate Winslet, The Reader.  The Academy is clearly fond of Winslet's performance since they bumped her nomination up from supporting to lead, and gave The Reader an (undeserved) best picture slot.

Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight.  No contest.

Supporting Actress: Viola Davis, Doubt.  The frontrunner is Penelope Cruz, and though Woody Allen flicks often produce Oscar winners, upsets usually happen in this category, and I'm thinking more Academy members saw Doubt than Vicky Cristina Barcelona.

Director: Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire.  This category generally matches up with Best Picture, but Boyle is a talented guy and certainly deserves it.  Where's Chris Nolan in this category?

Original Screenplay: Dustin Lance Black, Milk.  Milk's gotta win something - this is it.

Adapted Screenplay: Simon Beaufoy, Slumdog Millionaire.  Tricky adaptation, but nails it.

Foreign Language Film: Waltz with Bashir.  I guess The Class could win, but the timely subject matter of Waltz with Bashir may prove too irresistible.  

Animated Feature: Wall-E.  It almost got a Best Picture nomination - this is its consolation prize.

Animated Short: Presto.  Pixar again - and it was shown before Wall-E in theaters.

Documentary Feature: Man on Wire.  The best reviewed one and the only one people have probably heard of.

Documentary Short: The Witness - From the Balcony of Room 306.  It's about Martin Luther King, Jr. and in an Obama election year, that's good enough for a win.

Cinematography: Slumdog Millionaire.  Benjamin Button and The Dark Knight were awesome and more deserving, but the Slumdog love train is just going to roll over them.

Art Direction: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.  Button was technically brilliant and beautiful - you don't get 13 nominations without actually winning a couple (unless you're The Color Purple, that is).

Live Action Short: Spielzeugland (Toyland).  It's about the Holocaust.  'Nuff said.

Visual Effects: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.  That little old man Brad Pitt was pretty nifty.

Costume Design: The Duchess.  I think Australia had the more buzzed-about outfits, but that didn't work for Keira Knightley's green Atonement dress last year, which lost to Elizabeth: The Golden Age's extravagant period garb.  Expect the same to happen this year.

Film Editing: Slumdog Millionaire.  Totally deserved.  The movie was all over the place - jumping back and forth and all around, yet still coherent.

Sound Mixing: Wall-E.  Sound mixing is the putting together or creation of sounds for a movie.  The robot voices and sound effects are astonishing in Wall-E.

Sound Editing: The Dark Knight.  Sound editing, on the other hand, is the weaving together of all the sound elements and levels.  Usually goes to an action movie.  

Original Score: Slumdog Millionaire.  A.R. Rahman's score was electric, and well worth purchasing on iTunes.

Original Song: "Jai Ho," Slumdog Millionaire.  The dance over the end credits seals the deal for this one.

Make-Up: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.  Even though The Joker make-up was pretty great, Benjamin Button relies entirely on its make-up for all of its dramatic heft.

Projected Oscar Tallies:

Slumdog Millionaire - 7
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button - 3
The Dark Knight - 2
Wall-E - 2
Milk - 1
Doubt - 1
The Reader - 1
The Wrestler - 1
The Duchess - 1
Frost/Nixon - 0



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