Before I get into everything I do want to give people a quick background of my Oscar expertise. I love the Oscars and I love predicting who wins. I've done fairly well at it in recent years (including 21 out of 24 in 2005 Oscars), so I figure I would spread the love and help some people win Oscar pools. This is technically my eighth year predicting the Oscars for the public (I started doing this on my old public access show way back in the day). I really hope this is a good year as last year was a lot of fun.
So without further ado, welcome to the 2008 Oscars....
Note: * means I've seen the film.
1. *Slumdog Millionaire
2. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
5. Revolutionary Road
Slumdog sits on top for a couple reasons. Being so early in the award season, it's the only film to win the top prize (Best Film at NBR). The film is universally liked and it seems to be in a great position to land at least a nomination. The question will be whether it can hold off Button and Milk to name a few. I see those being the two strongest contenders right now. After next week's LA and NY film critics announce their winners, we should have a much clearer picture. Honestly, I just don't see Slumdog being named Best Picture on February 22nd, but I've been wrong before.
I am extremely excited for both Button and Milk. The whole premise of Button is intriguing and this could be Fincher's chance to finally have some Oscar glory. Its success at the big critic awards will be essential to knock it to the top spot. Though, it feels like it is at least a safe bet for a nomination. As for Milk, I absolutely loved this film and thought is was superior to Slumdog. It's based on a true story and Sean Penn was amazing. This film was set 30 years ago, but is so revelant today especially in California with the recent passing of prop 8. A nomination may be secure, but it's hard not to look back to 2005 with Brokeback. Will homophobia in the Academy stop this film from taking the top prize?
Frost/Nixon seems to be that film that gets nominated every year, people realize it's good, but it fails to have a passionate following. It just feels like a safe bet right now. I've even heard some people say it's Howard's best. I'm going to try to see it next week, so I'll have a better opinion on it shortly. As for Revolutionary, I picked it over The Dark Knight for the final spot. Until I hear that this film is not as good as I think it is, I have to continue to believe in it. The problem I have with The Dark Knight is that I don't know how older members of the Academy will support it. When it comes down to the end of the day, it's still a comic book film. Granted, the best comic book film ever, but only time will tell if that helps or hurts the film's quest for a nomination.
1. David Fincher, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
2. *Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire
3. *Gus Van Sant, Milk
4. Ron Howard, Frost/Nixon
5. *Christopher Nolan, The Dark Knight
I think David Fincher is going to win this award regardless if Button wins Best Picture. I think people want to reward him for an outstanding career. Boyle and Van Sant should be safe for a nomination. Both films are very solid and emotional pieces that will be on most people's top 10 lists. If support for either film continues to grow, there's a slight chance I could see either one of them take this. Ron Howard won this award back in 2001 and there's no lying that the Academy likes him. I just think they will probably spread the love. Expect a nomination, but that will probably be as far as it goes. I'm going with Nolan on the last spot. Why? I think they will acknowledge an action packed film.
1. *Sean Penn, Milk
2. Frank Langella, Frost/Nixon
3. Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler
4. Leonardo DiCaprio, Revolutionary Road
5. Clint Eastwood, Gran Torino
I was blown away by Sean Penn and would be shocked if doesn't win this. A nomination I would say is an easy lock for him. He really brought Harvey Milk to life and Penn's work continues to amaze me. Langhella is playing Richard Nixon and I would be surprised if he isn't in the big picture. People have been talking about his performance since last year, so I would find it shocking if he wasn't here. The Wrestler is a film I'm personally excited for and I'm very interested to see how Rourke portrays a professional wrestler. I'm a big wrestling fan, so I'm going to be hard on his performance, but I'm hearing good things and the trailer looks great. I'm going with Leo and Clint to round out the nominations. Both actors are big favorites of the Academy and I think they are safe picks right now. Though, if other people emerge, they could be on the outside looking in. I'm particularly curious how Brad Pitt or Josh Brolin will do in this race.
1. Kate Winslet, Revolutionary Road
2. Cate Blanchett, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
3. Meryl Streep, Doubt
4. *Anne Hathaway, Rachel Getting Married
5. Kristin Scott Thomas, I've Loved You So Long
This is definitely one of the more interesting categories this year. Right now there is really no frontrunner. Kate Winslet is on pace to become one of Oscar's biggest losers and she may be finally due. It's hard not to root for her this year. The only problem is whether Revolutionary Road is the real deal or not. Cate Blanchett is just one of the best actresses around. Every year, she's in an Oscar race and this year is no different. She's been getting great reviews for her performance and seems to be in good shape for another nomination. Meryl Streep is one of the great actresses of all time. Could she rack up yet another nomination? Looks like it, but I'm not too crazy about this film. Anne Hathaway gave a great performance in Rachel. Though, it feels like the nomination will be her award this year. This last spot, I was having some difficulty choosing. Could be Angelina Jolie, but I'm going with Kristin Scott Thomas. Could also be Melissa Leo in Frozen River or Sally Hawkins in Happy-Go-Lucky. There's a lot of options. There's a good chance this pick could change in the coming weeks.
1. *Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight
2. *Josh Brolin, Milk
3. *Dev Patel, Slumdog Millionaire
4. Philip Seymour Hoffman, Doubt
5. Michael Shannon, Revolutionary Road
Could Heath Ledger end up pulling this off? A lot of people are hoping so, but it's not going to be easy. Next week it will be very interesting to see if LA or NY critics give him this award. The NBR already chose Josh Brolin, but the NBR is also a horrible Oscar indicator. For now, Ledger stays at top, but if things start to not go his way, it's possible someone like Josh Brolin could win this. Brolin had another solid year and his portrayal of Dan White was great. Dev Patel could also really make some noise in this race especially if Slumdog is universally loved as some say. Plus, you would think that Slumdog needs at least one acting nomination. Hoffman and Shannon round of this category, but both films are question marks. If either falters I would not hestitate to include someone like James Franco from Milk in this race for example.
1. *Penelope Cruz, Vicky Cristina Barcelona
2. Viola Davis, Doubt
3. Taraji P. Henson, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
4. Kate Winslet, The Reader
5. Marisa Tomei, The Wrestler
Penelope won the NBR, but this race should be close. She is well liked and maybe it's her time especially if no one steps up. Viola Davis probably has the best chance to win an Oscar for Doubt. Again, this film has received some mixed reviews and that could hurt her chances. Taraji P. Henson has been making some noise and should be in good shape, but she is relatively unknown. There is a chance Winslet could be a double nominee this year. The Reader's release date was pushed to December, so Winslet could enter this race. For the final spot, I'm going with Marisa Tomei. Her work opposite Mickey Rourke could be enough to have her slip into the final spot.
Complete Oscar Predictions
Best Picture: Slumdog Millionaire
Best Director: David Fincher, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Best Actor: Sean Penn, Milk
Best Actress: Kate Winslet, Revolutionary Road
Best Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight
Best Supporting Actress: Penelope Cruz, Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Best Original Screenplay: Milk
Best Adapted Screenplay: Slumdog Millionaire
Best Animated Feature: Wall-E
Best Art Direction: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Best Cinematography: Australia
Best Costume Design: The Duchess
Best Documentary - Feature: Man on Wire
Best Documentary - Short Subject: N/A
Best Film Editing: Slumdog Millionaire
Best Foreign Language Film: Gomorrah
Best Makeup: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Best Original Score: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Best Original Song: "The Wrestler", The Wrestler
Best Short - Animated: N/A
Best Short - Live Action: N/A
Best Sound Editing: The Dark Knight
Best Sound Mixing: Wall-E
Best Visual Effects: Iron Man