The Oscars are tomorrow! So here are my Oscar picks for 2009. Sadly I missed the Shorts again this year, but I’ll do my best with my predictions. Feel free to post your own here, and we’ll see who does well on Sunday!
This is the first year in ages that I’ve been able to see all 5 nominees in the biggest category! (Saw Frost/Nixon today – stay tuned for a recap. No, it won’t win.) As I mentioned in an earlier post, I feel like all the nominees come up a bit short. My heart wishes Milk could win, but Slumdog Millionaire is a sure bet, and is a delightful film regardless.
I really enjoyed Richard Jenkins’ performance, but let’s be honest – the nomination was his award. Frank Langella was really very good as Richard Nixon – but is the man he played too reviled to be celebrated with this honor? So I’m pulling for Sean Penn, who completely inhabited his role as Harvey Milk.
I’m at a real disadvantage here, having only seen 2 nominees – Angelina Jolie and Kate Winslet. That being said, I’m very biased in thinking that Winslet is way overdue for a win, and The Reader was an amazing performance worthy of the honor. If Meryl Streep ekes out a victory, I fully expect she’ll withdraw her name from competition in the future.
Best Supporting Actor
Two words – Heath Ledger. (I think this will be the first time in my memory a posthumous award will be given in the last couple of decades. True/false Oscar historians?)
Best Supporting Actress
Of the big categories, this is where I’m the most far behind. I’ve only seen Taraji P. Henson, who was very good. But I’m going to put my money on Penelope Cruz, who I think is going to get the “You so should have won for Volver last year” award. (Keep your eye on Viola Davis, who is a serious contender as well.)
Gus Van Sant deserves an award, but everywhere you look you hear “Danny Boyle‘s Slumdog Millionaire.” His name has become inexorably linked to the movie, so he’s going to win.
Best Documentary Feature
I’ve only seen one in this category, but it was very, very good. C’mon Man on Wire!
Best Documentary Short Subject
No idea – I’ll go with The Final Inch, because it’s co-produced by Google, and they own everything now.
Best Animated Feature
Wall•E all the way. This is the consolation prize, considering it totally should have won for Best Picture.
Best Foreign Language Film
All of the talk is around France’s The Class. I saw the preview and didn’t quite get the appeal, but maybe I need to just go see the whole thing. I won’t be surprised if Waltzing With Bashir wins instead, however.
Believe it or not, I think this could be one of the most competitive categories this year. Will it go to the mind-boggling effects of The Dark Knight? The rich international land and seascapes of Benjamin Button? I’m going to go with the shockingly brutal camerawork done by Anthony Dod Mantle for Slumdog Millionaire.
Best Original Screenplay
I expect to lose on this one, but I have to follow my heart and go with Wall•E.
Best Adapted Screenplay
A real horse race this year, I could see any of the nominees walking away with this award. I think Doubt is least likely, as the adaptation to screen has been the film’s biggest criticism. But why fight the steamroller? I’ll say Slumdog Millionaire wins this one, too.
Best Visual Effects
No way this isn’t going to The Dark Knight. Outside of Ledger’s win, it’s going to clean up the tech categories.
Best Animated Short
I’ll stick with the only one I saw, which was very clever and funny – Pixar’s Presto.
Best Live Action Short
I’m so sad I didn’t get a chance to see any of these this year. I have a friend named Manon, so I’ll cast my vote for Manon on the Asphalt.
Best Art Direction
I think The Curious Case of Benjamin Button has a real chance at is this one – it was full of well-designed sets that ranged everywhere from Russia to Louisiana, and in a wide variety of time periods.
Best Costume Design
I’ll go with tradition and say the showy historical drama wins – The Duchess.
Best Film Editing
This often goes to the Best Picture winner, and I think it’s especially appropriate this year considering Slumdog Millionaire jumps between a variety of time periods and locations to tell its story.
Best Sound Mixing
Big explosions – The Dark Knight.
Best Sound Editing
See above – The Dark Knight.
Best Original Score
This is a tough one – I think I’m going to go with Thomas Newman’s score for Wall•E which was the substitute for dialogue for half the film.
Best Original Song
The Slumdog songs should cancel each other out, meaning Peter Gabriel and Thomas Newman win for the nice ending credits song from Wall•E, “Down to Earth.”
Heath Ledger looks awfully creepy throughout The Dark Knight, but it’s got to go to the achievements put forth in aging Taraji P. Henson and Cate Blanchett while un-aging Brad Pitt in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Congratulations, Greg Cannom!
So how about you folks? How do your picks stack up?
Now let’s enjoy Hugh Jackman shaking his moneymaker!