Thursday, 22 January 2009

My Oscar Predictions

This is being posted the morning of the nominations, excuse the late post.

EDITING
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Frost / Nixon
Milk
The Reader
Slumdog Millionaire

I’m just being bitter here. As you probably know editing usually in some way reflects the Best Picture race and my BP top 5 is the same as my editing list. I guess I’m fool hardy to ignore THE DARK KNIGHT, but I didn’t ignore it for hating sake, I really think the editing in these three films were great. I don’t think a case needs to be made for THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON, and as much as I don’t want SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE to win, I will admit that the editing was one of the best things about the film. MILK and FROST / NIXON both had really good, understated editing and THE READER had fine editing, especially in the court scenes. THE DARK KNIGHT is something of a critical darling though, so even if it is shafted in the Best Picture race, I expect it to show up here. Then there’s REVOLUTIONARY ROAD, my second fave film of the year. It also had good editing, I could see it easily replacing FROST / NIXON in the top 5, but I have to be honest on what the AMPAS will do, and I can’t see them nominating it here. They didn’t even nominate ATONEMENT, which got a best picture nod. Don’t count on AUSTRALIA, or even DEFIANCE. It’s possible.

COSTUME DESIGN
Australia
Changeling
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Duchess
Revolutionary Road

I think that THE DUCHESS and THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON are locked. One of the main plotlines of THE DUCHESS were the costumes, so they will most likely honour it, and BENJAMIN BUTTON could just sweep everything, so count it in. I hope AUSTRALIA gets a nod, and I have a feeling it will – I mean this is the woman who won for those luscious costumes in MOULIN ROUGE! REVOLUTIONARY ROAD deserves a nomination for the subtle but beautiful pieces and I really digged the clothes in CHANGELING, although it was a little lacking in colour variety. A film I would definitely not mind seeing here is THE OTHER BOLEYN. Sandy Dennis has been honoured for her costumes in SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE and her costumes for THE OTHER BOLEYN GIRL were superb, but this movie… did anyone even see it? THE READER could also be a possible spoiler here, I think.

ART DIRECTION
Australia
Changeling
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Duchess
Revolutionary Road

I feel confident with this top 5, but I guess THE DARK KNIGHT could easily sneak in with a nomination. I won’t mind, but I could see it happening. THE READER is another film that could warrant a nomination, I wouldn’t mine seeing it nominated here. I guess BENJAMIN BUTTON is the least likely to be snubbed here, and I don’t think they’ll snub CHANGELING. I’m not sure about the other three though… And maybe if AMPAS feels like a like honouring (another) summer flick INDIANA JONES could always sneak in. maybe

MAKEUP
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
The Reader

To be honest, I have no idea what will happen here. But I like these three films here. I was tempted to put THE WRESTLER over THE READER, but hmmm… I don’t know. we’ll see.

CINEMATOGRAPHY
Australia
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
Revolutionary Road
Slumdog Millionaire

I like to think of this category as the REAL editing category that AMPAS is too wimpish to honour for editing, so they decide to give it out for cinematography. Each of these five I won’t mind seeing nominated. THE READER is deserving too, and could end up here… I think CHANGELING would be a good contender, but the review…even DEFIANCE.


VISUAL EFFECTS
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Iron Man
The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor

For spoilers, THE DARK KNIGHT – I don’t think it was a visual epic, but hey… what do I know, AUSTRALIA – very beautiful to look at, what’s more visual than that? HELLBOY III: THE GOLDEN ARMY – if CLICK got an Oscar nod…

SCORE
Changeling
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
Slumdog Millionaire
WALL – E

Oh god this is tough, this is not my personal top 5. I’d like to see AUSTRALIA there, I loved the score. REVOLUTIONARY ROAD and THE READER were both gloriously composed, and THE DUCHESS had a good score too. CHANGELING is there, because it’s Eastwood… need I say more? I LOVED the score by Alexandre Desplat, THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON, and THE DARK KNIGHT, SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE and WALL – E are all kind of safe to me… Maybe Oscar will surprise me (cross fingers).

SCREENPLAY – ORIGINAL
Happy – Go – Lucky
Milk
Rachel Getting Married
Vicky Cristina Barcelona
WALL – E

I think this is a good lineup. Although RACHEL GETTING MARRIED and WALL – E were snubbed from the WGA I think they’ll be nominated. I want VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA to win. It completely deserves it, but then again I wanted MATCH POINT to win. Maybe I’m just biased towards Woody. MILK will probably end up winning here. I don’t think the screenplay was THAT good, but it does deserve to be nominated. WALL-E and HAPPY – GO – LUCKY may get in. I’m a bit meh about these. RACHEL GETTING MARRIED got snubbed at the WGA, but I think it deserves a nod, enough though it was a bit generic. THE VISITOR should probably not be ignored, but remember I’m thinking the film will be snubbed completely. If Jenkins get in though… I guess. BURN AFTER READING would be an interesting inclusion. , and I feel that CHANGELING would be a good inclusion. Even if you didn’t like the film, the screenplay was good. Don’t forget THE WRESTLER and GRAN TORINO.

SONG
The Wrestler
Gran Torino
Cadillac Records
Bolt
Slumdog Millionaire

I’m throwing SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE a bone here. I didn’t like the song, since my Indian phase back in the day I’m through with Hindi music, and AMPAS will probably honour it. It wasn’t bad, so… no big deal. I think CADILLAC RECORDS deserves the nod, the song was good, hate Beyonce if you will… but it was a good song. GRAN TORINO… grrr. Damn Eastwood! BOLT, oh please let this not happen. I DO NOT want Miley Cyrus at my awards. I have to see her at all the music ones, not at the Oscars too! And moving on… THE WRESTLER is in… point blank. I won’t mind seeing THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA or FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL sneak in, just no HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL.



PICTURE
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Frost / Nixon
Milk
The Reader
Slumdog Millionaire

I almost cheated. I couldn’t narrow it down to five. Actually I could, I just chucked THE DARK KNIGHT, but then I could be wrong. My gut is telling me that this movie is not headed for a BP nod, but that could just be my heart hoping… or indigestion. I don’t hate the movie, and I won’t go into a tirade on why it shouldn’t be here. I just hope it’s not. THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON and SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE are basically locked, and then there’s MILK which they probably won’t ignore, I mean I like this movie, but I don’t understand how people are saying THE CURIOUS CASE and CHANGELING … are begging for Oscars, when this film is all but sitting up it’s hind legs and whimpering. I mean, I like the movie, but you know it’s Oscar bait! FROST / NIXON I think is the better of the two play adaptations. I enjoyed DOUBT more, but I think FROST / NIXON actually deserves to be nominated… more than doubt, but not more than say… REVOLUTIONARY ROAD. I am hoping and praying that THE READER ends up with a nod. Of course, I want REVOLUTIONARY ROAD here so badly, but I’ve given up hope. Like with SWEENEY TODD, and before that THE CONSTANT GARDENER and PRIDE & PREJUDICE I have to come to grips with the fact that it won’t end up there (tear). THE READER is an unpleasant film, but it’s a great film… and Stephen Daldry is a great director. Never say never, there’s always a chance that GRAN TARINO or WALL – E could end up being nominated, but then… nah! We’ll see, I don’t want to put all eggs in… you get the point. I could always hope for CHANGELING… right!

DIRECTOR
Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire
Stephen Daldry, The Reader
David Fincher, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Christopher Nolan, The Dark Knight
Gus Van Sant, Milk

I suppose by now you’ve figured out that I’m backing THE READER. I’m still hoping for a REVOLUTIONARY upset, but hmmm… I don’t think. Anyways, I think that Nolan will be honoured here to make up for the Best Picture snub and he will push Howard out of the way… I think. Fincher, Van Sant and Boyle are probably locked. Eastwood could get in, but if he does I’d rather it be for CHANGELING than GRAN TORINO. I mean, I like CHANGELING. I really do. I don’t want to count out Woody Allen either, AMPAS is always tough to predict. I’m still praying for Sam Mendes… oh god let AMPAS love REVOLUTIONARY ROAD.

SOUND EDITING
Australia
Changeling
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
Iron Man

I don’t why, but I feel that CHANGELING and AUSTRALIA could score here. Maybe I’m over thinking the equation… the other three films seem like likely nods. I suppose DEFIANCE could sneak in here, maybe THE WRESTLER. Oh, then there’s WALL – E, which is actually my alternate pick. Maybe I should replace CHANGELING with it. I’ll hold out. I hope it doesn’t cost me.


SOUND MIXING
Australia
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
Slumdog Millionaire
WALL – E

Okay alternates are DEFIANCE – very likely, IRON MAN – possible, QUANTUM OF SOLACE – maybe. I’m holding out for AUSTRALIA here, since it deserves a nod here… I think. What do I know? I think the love for SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE could carry over to here, or maybe that’s just the score… I don’t know… maybe.


ACTOR
Leonardo DiCaprio, Revolutionary Road
Frank Langella, Frost / Nixon
Sean Penn, Milk
Brad Pitt, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler

Knowing how AMPAS operate I don’t think they’re going to ignore Leonardo DiCaprio’s performance. I liked Jenkins in THE VISITOR but I’m very reticent in praising it as Oscar worthy… but he’s due and knowing AMPAS… I don’t know, this is one of the toughest Best Actor races to analyse in a while. Obviously Penn, Rourke and Langella are locked. I’d would be shocked, but not unhappy, if they don’t get nominated. Call me a hater, but I’m not rooting for any of them… okay maybe Langella. He was arguably the Best Actor of the year. Then there’s Pitt… would they snub him? It’s possible. I hope not though. Then there’s Clint Eastwood… he didn’t show up at any major precursor, but he won the Critics Circle and he is Clint Eastwood (remember LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA). And don’t forget that Tommy Lee Jones got nominated with almost no precursor support… prepare yourself for anything.



ACTRESS
Anne Hathaway, Rachel Getting Married
Angelina Jolie, Changeling
Kristin Scott Thomas, I’ve Loved You So Long
Meryl Streep, Doubt
Kate Winslet, Revolutionary Road

I suppose this is more my personal projections, than what I honestly feel will happen, but I do believe that there will be some ‘surprise’ nominations on Thursday. I strongly feel that this could be the line-up. If I had my way I would replace Hathaway (who I felt was underwhelming) and replace her with the luminous Blanchett. I doubt this will happen, but it would be a nice surprise, scratch that – a amazing surprise. The locks for this category for me are Streep and Winslet. Streep gets in because she’s Streep and they love her; and Winslet because she deserves it. Next in line of probability is Jolie, of course they could alaways pull A MIGHTY HEART and snub her, but I doubt. I suppose some would insert Sally Hawkins, but this is another performance I didn’t warm up to, and she didn’t get nods from the SAG or BAFTA, being the best comedy performance of the year is long off from being the best performance of the year. I am hoping and praying that Kristin Scott Thomas makes it in. She didn’t get nominated at the BFCA or the SAG and that worries me, and this is a foreign language film, so… I don’t know. This was a wonderful performance and incredibly deserving a nomination, I wouldn’t even mind if she wins. Hathaway has turned up everywhere, and everyone is jumping on the band wagon to promote her as a ‘serious’ actress, so I guess she’s a shoo – in. Oh, well.


SUPPORTING ACTOR
Josh Brolin, Milk
Philip Seymour Hoffman, Doubt
Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight
Robert Downey Jr., Tropic Thunder
Dev Patel, Slumdog Millionaire

Okay, let me just say that Dev Patel does not deserve this nomination. I really believe that any young actor could have pulled this off. I mean, it’s not because his performance wasn’t ‘showy’ but, seriously, this was NOT the best of the year. Anyways, I have to come to grips with the fact that he’ll probably be headed to the Oscars. Ah well. Okay just above him is Josh Brolin, another performance I’m a bit iffy about. I’d rather see James Franco or Emile Hirsch, but Brolin has momentum. Downey Jr and Ledger I don’t think will be snubbed, and Hoffman who is my favourite of the five deserves his nod. He’s headed for his third nomination. This is my least favourite category because so many good actors got shafted this year. Ralph Fiennes could always end up being nominated for THE READER or THE DUCHESS (he got a nod from the FPA), I hope he does… but I won’t hold my breath. And then there’s Brad Pitt in BURN AFTER READING, the best thing in the movie. I’d love him to get a nod. That would be cool. The best performance of the year, for me, in this category was Jason Butler Harner from CHANGELING. A little part of me still hopes he’ll get nominated, but as Peter O’Toole said, when pigs fly! As with the other categories I'd love to see REVOLUTIONARY ROAD turn up, but Michael Shannon got shafted at the precursors. Damn it !


SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Penelope Cruz, Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Viola Davis, Doubt
Marisa Tomei, The Wrestler
Taraji P. Henson, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Kate Winslet, The Reader

Like the Actress race I suppose this is a projection of my hopes, but I am more confident with these predictions. It’s actually the SAG lineup save for Adams (who I replace with Tomei). I found each of these women deserving of a nod. It would be nice if Elsa Z, the woman from I’ve Loved You So Long made it in, but that’s impossible at this time. In terms of most likely I suppose the top three is locked – Davis, Winslet and Cruz. I would be shocked if any of them is snubbed. Although, to be honest I would rather see Adams there than Davis. I know everyone is raving about Davis, but I really don’t know where the whole – best performance of the year caption is coming from. I think Adams gave a better performance in a more difficult role. But, I guess it’s apples and oranges. I have my own private love affair with Taraji, so I’m rooting for her to get nominated, and I think she will be. Tomei is a two time nominee and I knowing how AMPAS loves to give ‘pair’ nominations they may nominate her to level up with the nod for Rourke. It would be interesting if Rosemarie DeWitt (the best thing in RACHEL GETTING MARRIED) or Debra Winger turn up, although I’m not sure who I’d want them to knock out… don’t count out Adams just yet though.

SCREENPLAY – ADAPTED
Doubt
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Frost / Nixon
The Reader
Slumdog Millionaire

Okay, I need to level with the fact that AMPAS might through THE DARK KNIGHT a nod for BP, but what were the WGA thinking when they nominated it for best screenplay – over REVOLUTIONARY ROAD and THE READER. That was a WTF moment for me. I mean, seriously! Anyways, I expect to see the two plays there. The better screenplay was from FROST / NIXON, but I think DOUBT was a better ‘story’ with a real denouement so to speak… SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE and THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON are assured of nods here… I think… And then there’s THE READER. This got a screenplay nod from FPA which seemed to assure it a nod for me, but then it was snubbed from the WGA. That was a shock for me. It deserves the nod, and it’s based on a critically acclaimed novel, which I thought AMPAS loves, but I don’t know. Maybe the WGA are an indicator of things to come. Once again I think that REVOLUTIONARY ROAD should be nominated probably over DOUBT, but I don’t know what AMPAS will say. It deserves the nod, though.

PICTURE
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Frost / Nixon
Milk
The Reader
Slumdog Millionaire

I almost cheated. I couldn’t narrow it down to five. Actually I could, I just chucked THE DARK KNIGHT, but then I could be wrong. My gut is telling me that this movie is not headed for a BP nod, but that could just be my heart hoping… or indigestion. I don’t hate the movie, and I won’t go into a tirade on why it shouldn’t be here. I just hope it’s not. THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON and SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE are basically locked, and then there’s MILK which they probably won’t ignore, I mean I like this movie, but I don’t understand how people are saying THE CURIOUS CASE and CHANGELING … are begging for Oscars, when this film is all but sitting up it’s hind legs and whimpering. I mean, I like the movie, but you know it’s Oscar bait! FROST / NIXON I think is the better of the two play adaptations. I enjoyed DOUBT more, but I think FROST / NIXON actually deserves to be nominated… more than doubt, but not more than say… REVOLUTIONARY ROAD. I am hoping and praying that THE READER ends up with a nod. Of course, I want REVOLUTIONARY ROAD here so badly, but I’ve given up hope. Like with SWEENEY TODD, and before that THE CONSTANT GARDENER and PRIDE & PREJUDICE I have to come to grips with the fact that it won’t end up there (tear). THE READER is an unpleasant film, but it’s a great film… and Stephen Daldry is a great director. Never say never, there’s always a chance that GRAN TARINO or WALL – E could end up being nominated, but then… nah! We’ll see, I don’t want to put all eggs in… you get the point. I could always hope for CHANGELING… right!

DIRECTOR
Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire
Stephen Daldry, The Reader
David Fincher, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Christopher Nolan, The Dark Knight
Gus Van Sant, Milk

I suppose by now you’ve figured out that I’m backing THE READER. I’m still hoping for a REVOLUTIONARY upset, but hmmm… I don’t think. Anyways, I think that Nolan will be honoured here to make up for the Best Picture snub and he will push Howard out of the way… I think. Fincher, Van Sant and Boyle are probably locked. Eastwood could get in, but if he does I’d rather it be for CHANGELING than GRAN TORINO. I mean, I like CHANGELING. I really do. I don’t want to count out Woody Allen either, AMPAS is always tough to predict. I’m still praying for Sam Mendes… oh god let AMPAS love REVOLUTIONARY ROAD.

SOUND EDITING
Australia
Changeling
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
Iron Man

I don’t why, but I feel that CHANGELING and AUSTRALIA could score here. Maybe I’m over thinking the equation… the other three films seem like likely nods. I suppose DEFIANCE could sneak in here, maybe THE WRESTLER. Oh, then there’s WALL – E, which is actually my alternate pick. Maybe I should replace CHANGELING with it. I’ll hold out. I hope it doesn’t cost me.


SOUND MIXING
Australia
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
Slumdog Millionaire
WALL – E

Okay alternates are DEFIANCE – very likely, IRON MAN – possible, QUANTUM OF SOLACE – maybe. I’m holding out for AUSTRALIA here, since it deserves a nod here… I think. What do I know? I think the love for SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE could carry over to here, or maybe that’s just the score… I don’t know… maybe.

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