20 February 2009
  my oscar predictions

i've been reading everyone's oscar predictions this week as they've been posted on the blogs, and i don't think i can remember a year in which everyone seems to agree as much as they do this year. there are really only a couple races that people are still debating. and my predictions will pretty much follow suit. here they are.

supporting actor:
will win. . . heath ledger (not that he doesn't deserve it)
should win. . . for me, this is the weakest of the four acting races. there are a lot of good performances, but nothing that stands out as heads above the rest. that being said, i think i will go with the flow and endorse ledger for the win. still, i did have to think long and hard about whether or not to pick him or brad pitt in burn after reading. that comes in a close second for me.
my five. . . heath ledger, michael shannon, brad pitt (burn after reading), ralph fiennes (the reader) and david gulpilil (australia)

supporting actress:
will win. . . this is the one race this year on which i am going to venture out on a limb. remember last year when tilda swinton won for michael clayton? it seemed that the movie was nominated for so much and they needed to give it something. that's why i don't think penelope cruz will win this one. i have a feeling it will go to one of the actresses from doubt or benjamin button. i am going to predict taraji p. henson winning this, since i think that the academy will want to give button something. it isn't my favorite performance of the year, but henson is a fine actress, and i'm happy for her.
should win. . . of all the nominated actresses in the category, i would vote for amy adams. but the person who should win the category is debra winger, from rachel getting married. i went back and forth between her and rosemarie dewitt, but it's winger's much smaller but much eminently devastating performance that stood out for me.
my five. . . debra winger, amy adams, viola davis, rosemarie dewitt (rachel getting married), kathy bates (revolutionary road)

best actor:
will win. . . mickey rourke, probably. it's obviously between him and sean penn, but seeing as how penn just won a couple years ago for mystic river, i think the voters will go for rourke. how much am i not looking forward to hearing his loopy acceptance speech. hopefully he won't use the word "fag" too much.
should win. . . frankly, rourke is playing himself. and penn is fine, but this isn't even in the same league as his best performances. unfortunately, none of the top three male performances of the year are even nominated in this category. the academy really dropped the ball on this one. it is REALLY close for me, but i am going to pick clint eastwood in gran torino as my favorite actor of the year. leonardo dicaprio and philip seymour hoffman are close on his heels though.
my five. . . clint eastwood, sean penn, richard jenkins, leonardo dicaprio (revolutionary road) and philip seymour hoffman (doubt)

best actress:
will win. . . please dear God it has to be kate winslet. there are lots of grumblings out there of an upset (melissa leo maybe?) but i just don't think it's going to happen. winslet gave two of the best performances of the year (in any category) and i expect her to win here for the lesser of the two.
should win. . . winslet, but for revolutionary road. if i had to pick a single performance as the best of the year (a la marion cotillard last year) it would be this one. i wonder if the reason that she got nominated for the reader and not this other movie is just because of the order in which the ballots were counted. my feeling is that if you added up all of the votes, winslet would have placed first AND second, and maybe she would have ultimately come out on top for rev road. honestly, i haven't heard a single person saying that her performance in the reader was the better of the two.
my five. . . kate winslet (revolutionary road), kate winslet (the reader), meryl streep, angelina jolie and cate blanchett (curious case of benjamin button)

will win. . . danny boyle. there really isn't any other possibility here. honestly, it is really time for him to finally get this recognition, and everyone is ready to give it to him. even if there was some cataclysm and slumdog missed out elsewhere, boyle will nevertheless win this.
should win. . . danny boyle, no contest. not only did i love this movie, but the direction is fucking fantastic in and of itself. it is interestingly cast, shot beautifully, and the narration is pieced together so creatively. i can't wait to see what he does next.
my five. . . danny boyle, clint eastwood (gran torino), jonathan demme (rachel getting married), sam mendes (revolutionary road) and baz luhrman (australia)

original screenplay:
will win. . . sooo sooo unfortunately, dustin lance black's screenplay for milk will win here. this is a travesty. milk really could have been a fine movie if it had been written better, but as is i think this is just a remarkably bad piece of writing. it is so predictable, so cliched, so un-interesting and so passionless. basically black took bits and pieces from all of these other biopics and in a weekend pieced them together into this boring boring boring film about a really interesting person. if milk hadn't been saved by fine acting it would have been a total wash. in short. i HATE this screenplay.
should win. . . of the nominated five, i would pick courtney hunt's screeplay for frozen river. not only is it a great, well written work, but i am always happy to see women nominated in the major categories, since they so rarely get there. however, the best screenplay award should really go to another women, jenny lumet, for her fascinating script for rachel getting married.
my five. . . jenny lumet, thomas mccarthy (the visitor), clint eastwood (gran torino), baz luhrman (australia) and joel & ethan coen (burn after reading)

adapted screenplay:
will win. . . simon beaufoy is probably going to win here for his screenplay for slumdog, but something tells me that it isn't a landslide. for me, of all the parts of this movie it is probably the screenplay that is most fallible, although it is still fantastic. if the movie is going to be beaten anywhere, it might be here. and i have a feeling they could reward david hare for the reader, if anything is bound to sneak in. they might want to reward the reader somewhere, and it could definitely be here.
should win. . . i pick beaufoy's screenplay, but, like i said, it isn't a landslide for me. there are definitely some great adapted screenplays out there this year. i would probably choose as a very close runner up justin haythe's script for revolutionary road. the two films couldn't be any more different and each is fantastically written in its own way
my five. . . simon beaufoy, john patrick shanley (doubt), david hare, justin haythe and howard rodman (savage grace)

will win. . . slumdog. i realize the bloggers are just trying to make things interesting, but no- there will not be a benjamin button upset. no- there will not be a reader upset. no- mickey rourke will not get drunk and burn the place down before they give out the final award (hopefully). everyone loves this movie. everyone is voting for it. it's slumdog all the way.
should win. . . SLUMDOG *yea*
my five. . . slumdog millionaire, revolutionary road, burn after reading, gran torino and rachel getting married

other categories:
cinematography. . . slumdog could very will win in every category in which it's nominated. it will probably win here as well. my pic would be the amazing camera work in australia, with roger deakins work for revolutionary road coming in a close second.
editing. . . this is one of the places that i think slumdog is really breaking new ground. it is so fascinating how the editors pieced this work together, going back and forward through time and really making the scenes fit together like this beautiful jigsaw puzzle. slumdog will and should win here.
song. . . it would really be a shame if the slumdog songs cancelled eachother out and the lame peter gabriel song from wall-e won instead. that seems to happen like every year. i am predicting slumdog's jai ho will win, and it deserves it, but the best song of the year unfortunately didn't get a nomination. that would be bruce springsteen's "the wrestler." i would put jaime cullum's "gran torino" in the number two spot.
score. . . a.r. rahman's score from slumdog is really fun and creative and there is no doubt it's winning this one (are we sensing a pattern here?) for me though it's the score to revolutionary road that really blew the others out of the pack and got totally SCREWED out of a nomination (like pretty much everything from rev road). like the score to atonement last year, i love the way the music in this movie really works to tell the story. this is unbelievable work. the film wouldn't be the same without it.
makeup. . . i'm not sure, but i sort of think that the makeup for benjamin button and the reader was a little bit overdone. it wasn't my fave. i guess if i had to pick a favorite, i might choose the dark knight for this one, but button will win in the end i think.
art direction. . . people are generally predicting that benjamin button will win the art direction award this year, but for me there is absolutely nothing transcendent about this movie, and this category is no different. i am going to go out on a limb and pick revolutionary road to win this one. no doubt it deserves it.
costumes. . . i haven't seen the duchess, but that seems to be the film that is favored to win for best costume, with benjamin button nipping at its heels. i would pick australia as my favorite. like atonement's green dress last year, nicole kidman's red dress in the ball scene in this movie is definitely the single best outfit of the year (so gorgeous). freida pinto's yellow number with the scarf in slumdog was pretty hot too though.
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