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Oscar Predictions!

February 21, 2009

Tomorrow’s the big day! The Gay Superbowl! Or, if you’re straight and don’t like football, the Superbowl! Or, if you’re not gay and like football, you can just call it the Oscar’s/Academy Awards/Hollywood’s Hottest Night/whatever.

Every year, Oscar nominations are completely predictable and mildly deplorable. This year, in particularly, is a giant pile of underwhelmingness. So much so that I am comfortable making up words about its boring and depressing nature.

There are a few movies this year that are nominated that I am happy for (yes, Slumdog Millionaire is that good, and yes, I am going to have to start watching Skins because I want Dev Patel’s babies), but overall, I’m so over it. Benjamin Button? 13 nominations? I’ll give you the special effects, cinematography, etc, but acting? Brad Pitt was a blank slate. Taraji P. Henson was a stereotype. And she was much, much better when she performed at the Oscars a few years ago.

Too bad we don’t have that to look forward to tomorrow night.

I also, unfortunately, have yet to see a few contenders that I really wanted to see: Frost/Nixon, Revolutionary Road, Rachel Getting Married, Vicky Christina Barcelona.

And I would be remiss if I didn’t just come out and say that The Reader was not. a. good. movie. Not that reviews mean anything, but you would expect a Best Picture nominee to do better than 61% at Rotten Tomatoes. Consensus Line: Despite Kate Winslet’s superb portrayal, The Reader suggests an emotionally distant, Oscar-baiting historical drama.

And it worked!

My roommate and I were tossing around the idea of an underwhelming Oscar dinner to make while we watch the Oscars (we usually go all out with these things), and we thought about boiling some hot dogs, eating Spaghetti-Os, pork and beans or just going to Burger King. Though I found a decent recipe for pecan crusted chicken which I think I’ll be making instead. Chicken fingers. Other finger foods. The Gay Superbowl, indeed.

Bias and personal opinion aside, here are my predictions for the main categories for tomorrow night (nobody wants my thoughts on sound mixing or short films that I haven’t seen). You, too, can play along at home with this handy dandy party sheet that I found via the interweb.

Best Original Screenplay:
Frozen
Happy-Go-Lucky
In Bruges
Milk
WALL-E

I love, love, love In Bruges. Martin McDonagh is insane and brilliant, and I haven’t seen anything of his that I haven’t liked while simultaneously being horrified by. However, I’m going to go ahead and say that this will go to Milk, because the Academy will feel bad about not giving it’s serious message enough airtime. But, please let me be wrong and let it go to In Bruges!

Best Adapted Screenplay:
Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Doubt
Frost/Nixon
The Reader
Slumdog Millionaire

From what I understand, Doubt had very little change from the stage play, so I’ll knock it off the list there. I’m pretty sure this will just start the ball rolling on Slumdog Millionaire’s night. It’ll win.

Best Visual Effects
Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
Iron Man

I’ll take the Dark Knight rappelling off a building anyday, but this will go to Benjamin Button. Blah.

Best Documentary:
The Betrayal
Encounters at the End of the World
The Garden
Man on Wire
Trouble the Water

Man on Wire. All the way. If you haven’t seen it, go now. It’s an inspiration.

Best Animated Film:
Bolt
Kung Fu Panda
WALL-E

There’s no way WALL-E doesn’t win this. And it’s a travesty that this couldn’t be nominated for Best Picture. Tell me the Reader is better than this. You’re lying.

Best Director:
David Fincher, Benjamin Button
Ron Howard, Frost/Nixon
Gus Van Sant, Milk
Stephen Daldry, The Reader
Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire

Danny Boyle made time jumps and gaps seamless and effective. He showed the grit without ever making it the main event — there wasn’t any excessive panning. It was never jumpy. It worked. I’m so good at talking about these things, aren’t I? Whatever. This isn’t college.

Best Supporting Actress
Amy Adams, Doubt
Penelope Cruz, Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Viola Davis, Doubt
Taraji P. Henson, Benjamin Button
Marisa Tomei, The Wrestler

All of the talk last year was about Viola Davis, and I think she deserves it for her ten minutes of awesome. However, since then, Kate Winslet has pretty much swept through with Revolutionary Road, so I have no idea anymore. Viola Davis’s scene is so raw and realistic, I hope she wins. I’ll keep her down.

Best Actress:
Anne Hathaway, Rachel Getting Married
Angelina Jolie, Changeling
Melissa Leo, Frozen River
Meryl Streep, Doubt
Kate Winslet, The Reader

I don’t like The Reader, as I’ve said like 27 times already, but I do LOVE Kate Winslet, and I hope she finally gets her Oscar. It’s hers to lose. Take that, Anne Hathaway!

Best Supporting Actor:
Josh Brolin, Milk
Robert Downey Jr., Tropic Thunder
Philip Seymour Hoffman, Doubt
Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight
Michael Shannon, Revolutionary Road

Poor Josh Brolin. He was excellent in Milk. And though I haven’t seen it, I hear Michael Shannon made Revolutionary Road. Philip Seymour Hoffman was phenomenal. I fell asleep during Tropic Thunder. I really don’t know what else to say, we all know this is going to Heath Ledger for his chilling portrayal of the Joker.

Best Actor:
Richard Jenkins, The Visitor
Frank Langella, Frost/Nixon
Sean Penn, Milk
Brad Pitt, Benjamin Button
Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler

The politics of the Oscars dictate that they love a comeback and hate giving people Oscars too soon after the previous one (Tom Hanks excluded). This is between Sean Penn and Mickey Rourke. Mickey Rourke has the edge. And the plastic surgery.

Best Picture:
Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Frost/Nixon
Milk
The Reader
Slumdog Millionaire

Slumdog Millionaire. Obvs. Unless there’s a Shakespeare in Love to Slumdog’s Saving Private Ryan. But really, if you ask me, Slumdog is more of a Shakespeare in Love anyways. I was so angry that year. I woke up my dad to tell him. Hooray, Slumdog!

So there’s my picks. They’re so clearly thought out. Eh. I’ll be too busy focusing on dresses and fly-aways (thanks, HD) to really care. Here’s hoping for better movies next year.

And for something completely different, the Washington Post has a fascinating series of articles about Chandra Levy’s murder, particularly relevant now that it seems her murderer is about to be arrested.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. February 22, 2009 10:43 am

    watch skins!
    YOU WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.

  2. February 22, 2009 10:44 pm

    Skins is SOOOO good. Even when it was bad it was good.

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