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Athens, Ohio, United States
"Art and love are the same thing. It's the process of seeing yourself in things that are not you."

Friday, February 20, 2009

The Time of Reckoning Has Come....

Back in the Dark Ages when I did not have a blog, I dearly wish I had.

And there were only two reasons I knew I must have one. The first was to publish my HUUUUGE Major League Baseball Preview so everyone could see how smart I was at predicting baseball results. And the second reason was to publish my Oscar predictions.

Now that day has come.

Yes, I will be watching the Oscars, despite my prior pledge not to. I am not happy, but I am watching it because I HAVE to. The Oscars are my Super Bowl. As a matter of fact, I would rather have had NBC aired last year's Oscar ceremonies instead of this year's Super Bowl (freaking Steelers). The show is just such an integral part of my year that I don't know how to live without it. I am pathetic, but this is simply my lot in life and I must accept it. The Oscars try to infuriate me enough to run away and I keep on coming back for more.  

So with that in mind, here are my Oscar predictions. I will analyze the 8 "main" races and simply post my predictions for the rest. For the 8 main races, winners are in bold while who I think should win are in italics.

This is the big one, folks, if I don't do well on this, I will retire from blogging.

Wish me luck!

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Slumdog Millionaire
The Reader
I have seen 4 of these films. I have not and will not see The Reader (I refuse to support any film that stole The Dark Knight's rightful nomination). I absolutely loathed The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and I like but didn't love Milk. So for me that personally leaves Slumdog and Frost/Nixon. I loved, repeat, loved  both of these films. For a little while I thought I like Frost/Nixon a little bit better but then I saw Slumdog again and now I know that it is one of the Top 5 movies of the year and is easily the best of these 5. I do feel kind of salty though. About two months ago, before I saw Slumdog for the first time (and when Benjamin Button was the Oscar front-runner) I told my family that it was going to steal the Oscar away from Benji Button. Back then, that was quite a prediction. Now, Slumdog Millionaire is the obvious choice to win. If it doesn't, it will probably be the biggest upset since Shakespeare in Love beat Saving Private Ryan more than a decade ago.

Gus Van Sant - Milk
Stephen Daldry - The Reader
Danny Boyle - Slumdog Millionaire
David Fincher - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Ron Howard - Frost/Nixon
Again, another no-brainer. Not only does the winner of Best Picture usually take Best Director as well, but Slumdog Millionaire has its Director's fingerprints all over it. Danny Boyle constantly has the camera in motion on this flick and that gives Oscar voters something very tangible to point to and say "this is a well-directed movie." And they are right for thinking so. I would like to take this opportunity to point out as well though that Ron Howard Directed the hell out of Frost/Nixon. Frost/Nixon absolutely rocks and Ron Howard can take as much credit as anybody for that.

Frank Langella - Frost/Nixon
Sean Penn - Milk
Richard Jenkins - The Visitor
Brad Pitt - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Mickey Rourke - The Wrestler
This really comes down to Sean Penn, Mickey Rourke and no one else. Ultimately, I think the Academy will go with Penn as he is the safer choice. I like both performances a lot but it is extremely hard to figure out which is better because the roles are so different. Penn takes a publicly known figure and imbues him with a charismatic humanity while Rourke creates an authentic character from the ground up. Both performances are great but I am going to have to go with Rourke because he is literally the only person on Planet Earth who could have played his character. Imagine Adrien Brody or Johnny Depp as Harvey Milk. Doesn't sound too implausible, does it? Now try to imagine anyone else who could have played Randy "The Ram" Robinson in The Wrestler. Having trouble? That's because Mickey Rourke was the only one who could.

Angelina Jolie - Changeling
Meryl Streep - Doubt
Kate Winslet - The Reader
Melissa Leo - Frozen River
Anne Hathaway - Rachel Getting Married
I just realized I haven't seen any of these films. So...Winslet will win because the Academy loves her. Hathaway should win because I think she's pretty.

Josh Brolin - Tropic Thunder
Phillip Seymour Hoffman - Doubt
Heath Ledger - The Dark Knight
Robert Downey Jr. - Tropic Thunder
Michael Shannon - Revolutionary Road
May God have mercy on any man who wins this award not named Heath Ledger. I love Ledger's performance, you love Ledger's performance, the Academy loves Ledger's performance. Heath was electric as the Joker and when you factor in the fact that this is the last opportunity the Academy has to honor him, he may be a unanimous winner. Heath should win, he will win and when he does we will all have to make peace with the fact that the creativity community has lost of its most talented members forever. What a shame.

Marisa Tomei - The Wrestler
Viola Davis - Doubt
Amy Adams - Doubt
Penelope Cruz - Vicky Christina Barcelona
Taraji P. Henson - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
I looooooved Marisa Tomei in The Wrestler. That was an excellent film and would have been just as good if Mickey Rourke and Marisa Tomei were literally the only two actors in the film and played every part. Most people seem to be gravitating towards Penelope Cruz, but if the Academy doesn't choose her in '06 for Volver than I don't think they choose her this year as well, especially considering she is Vicky Christina Barcelona's sole nomination. Viola Davis received some extremely early Awards buzz then cooled off and she will shock the world when the Academy remembers that buzz and chooses her. 

Frozen River
In Bruges
I would love for Wall-E to rise up from the Best Animated Film ghetto to win Best Original Screenplay. Wall-E is such a beautiful film and had such a strong screenplay that the first 30 minutes didn't have any dialogue and was still entertaining. Milk is the clear winner though, not only because it is the only Best Picture nominee in this category but because there was a long history of unsatisfactory Milk screenplays before unknown-Dustin Lance Black stepped to the plate and wrote a script worthy of shooting. I didn't think the script was that great but I admire Dustin Lance Black's story and respect the fact that it was a difficult screenplay to nail down. I can live with Milk but Wall-E would be better.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Slumdog Millionaire
The Reader
I could actually see Harvey Weinstein's campaigning paying off with a Best Adapted Screenplay win for The Reader, but I am banking on the fact that this is going to be Slumdog's night. Slumdog Millionaire is racking up preliminary and Guild awards at an unprecedented pace and the Best Adapted Screenplay rightfully belongs to it. I agree with the choice. Simon Beaufoy crafted a crazy-entertaining and creative screenplay that Danny Boyle turned into a wonderful movie.

DOCUMENTARY - Trouble the Water
EDITING - Slumdog Millionaire
ART DIRECTION - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
MAKE-UP - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
SCORE - Slumdog Millionaire
SONG - Down to Earth - Wall-E
VISUAL EFFECTS - The Dark Knight
SOUND - The Dark Knight
SOUND MIXING - Slumdog Millionaire

Slumdog Millionaire - 6
The Dark Knight -4
Milk - 3
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button - 2
Wall-E - 2

Please, Internet Gods, I do not ask for much...just let me be the King of Oscar Predictions this year. 


Katie said...

If I was in charge Slumdog would win them ALL.
Even the ones that it wouldnt make any sense for it to with.
That is all.

Easies said...

You said that no one commented on this, so here it is... I'm sorry that there is no point to this comment, but at least I read your predictions. Let's see if any of them are accurate (but I can't say if I agree with them or not because I haven't actually seen any of those movies).