Wednesday, January 21, 2009

UPDATED: 2009 Oscar Nominee Predictions

Holy crap, Batman! I guess I should have gone with my gut! I've been saying this since The Dark Knight opened: there's no way it could be nominated for Best Picture. I think all those Batman fanatics were definitely overrating this film. I love it, I really do, but I never quite thought it could actually be nominated for the industry's top honor, not that it doesn't deserve it. It just wouldn't make sense. Although after it started showing such support with the guilds it seemed as if it's fate was sealed as the first comic book movie to be nomiated for the top prize. As it turns out, never underestimate the power of a Holocaust drama with the Academy! Lesson learned: when it comes to Nazis vs Superheroes always go with the NAZIS!

Other surprises include Melissa Leo edging out Sally Hawkins in the Best Actress race. And speaking of which I TOLD YOU PEOPLE! The Academy got something right and actually nominated Kate Winslet for LEAD in The Reader. And that is great news for Amy Adams who filled out Winslet's vacant Supporting Actress slot. Richard Jenkins bumbed out Clint Eastwood, I guess the academy didn't feel like spreading the Clint love this time around. And Michael Shannon who had such a great scene stealing role in Revolutionary Road edged out Supporting Actor hopeful Dev Patel. I think the Academy didn't know what to do with Dev. Some probably thought he was a lead and some probably thought he was supporting. Oh well.

Benjamin Button leads with 13 noms but with 10 nominations, will Slumdog Millionaire become best picture of the year when the winners are announced on February 22nd live on ABC? Only time will tell...

From Wednesday:

Wow, it seems like only yesterday that I predicted Atonement wouldn’t get nominated for Best Picture and it DID. I still don’t understand how Into the Wild only managed two nominations, but I digress. If you honestly ask me what five films will be nominated for best picture, I’m not sure I could say five films with ABSOLUTE confidence. Although I’m pretty sure it’ll most likely be The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Slumdog Millionaire, Frost/Nixon, Milk and The Dark Knight. All five have been nominated by the PGA, DGA and WGA. Only The Dark Knight failed to receive strong support from SAG, but are you really surprised? While Heath Ledger is practically guaranteed a posthumous Oscar, that film is hardly known for its strong acting ensemble.

Which begs the question? Can The Dark Knight, which is not only a summer blockbuster comic book film but a SEQUEL really manage a nomination for Best Motion Picture of the Year? Well the bigger question is whether films like The Reader, Gran Torino, Doubt or even WALL-E could replace it. I doubt it.
The best part of this year is that no category has five absolute locks. There are about 6 possible nominees in each category and it will be interesting to see which ones get the door closed on them come Thursday morning.
Will Kate Winslet, Oscar’s youngest/most nominated loser get two nominations this year? I stand by the fact that her performance in The Reader is a leading role. But she’s probably going to be nominated for that in the Supporting Actress race. She’ll also be nominated for Lead Actress in Revolutionary Road, a film which seemed like perfect Oscar bait nearly a year ago, but overall support for it has seriously been waning unfortunately. Yet again, that’s what happened with Atonement last year. It didn’t’ get any pre-Oscar love and yet it still managed a nomination. So don’t count it out!
Besides there has to be some big surprise this year right? Remember when Tommy Lee Jones was nominated for Best Actor last year? No one saw that coming. Remember when Dreamgirls, the Best Picture frontrunner, wasn’t even nominated? No one saw that coming. Remember when City of God was nominated for four Oscars, including Best Director, a few years back, no one saw that coming. And Remember when Salma Hayek announced Canada's Water as a Foreign Language Film nominee? Who even knew there were people in Canada that spoke a foreign language? Prepare for a shock, ‘cause it’s gonna happen.
And now without further ado, here are my predictions for the 81st Academy Award nominations:
Best Picture
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
Slumdog Millionaire
Alternate: WALL-E
David Fincher The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Christopher Nolan The Dark Knight
Ron Howard Frost/Nixon
Gus Van Sant Milk
Danny Boyle Slumdog Millionaire
Alternate: Clint Eastwood, Gran Torino
Clint Eastwood Gran Torino
Frank Langella Frost/Nixon
Sean Penn Milk
Brad Pitt The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Mickey Rourke The Wrestler
Alternate: Richard Jenkins, The Visitor
Anne Hathaway Rachel Getting Married
Sally Hawkins Happy-Go-Lucky
Angelina Jolie Changeling
Meryl Streep Doubt
Kate Winslet Revolutionary Road
Alternate: Melissa Leo, Frozen River
Supporting Actor
Josh Brolin Milk
Robert Downey, Jr. Tropic Thunder
Philip Seymour Hoffman Doubt
Heath Ledger The Dark Knight
Dev Patel Slumdog Millionaire
Alternate: Michael Shannon, Revolutionary Road
Supporting Actress
Penelope Cruz Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Viola Davis Doubt
Taraji P. Henson The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Marisa Tomei The Wrestler
Kate Winslet The Reader
Alternate: Amy Adams, Doubt
Original Screenplay
The Wrestler
Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Alternate: Rachel Getting Married
Adapted Screenplay
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Reader
Slumdog Millionaire
Alternate: The Dark Knight

The Dark Knight
Slumdog Millionaire
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Quantum of Solace

The Dark Knight
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Fall
Revolutionary Road
Slumdog Millionaire
Alternate: The Reader

Costume Design
The Duchess
Sex & the City
Revolutionary Road
The Other Boleyn Girl

Art Direction
The Duchess
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Slumdog Millionaire

Original Score
The Dark Knight
Slumdog Millionaire
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Revolutionary Road

Original Song
The Wrestler, The Wrestler
Jai Ho, Slumdog Millionaire
Down to Earth, WALL-E
Gran Torino, Gran Torino
I Thought I Lost You, Bolt

Sound Mixing
Quantum of Solace
The Dark Knight
Slumdog Millionaire

Sound Effects Editing
Iron Man
The Dark Knight
Quantum of Solace
Indiana Jones & the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Visual Effects
Iron Man
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Mummy Tomb of the Dragon Emperor

The Reader
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Hellboy II: The Golden Army

Animated Feature
Waltz with Bashir
Kung Fu Panda

Foreign Language Film
Waltz With Bashir
The Class
The Necessities of Life
The Baader Meinhof Complex
Everlasting Moments

Documentary Feature
Man on Wire
Standard Operating Procedure
Trouble the Water
Encounters at the End of the World


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