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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Looking Ahead to the 2009 Oscars

Well, we are now officially in the 2009 year of film. It's crazy to think that this decade is almost over. Let's hope 2009 ends the decade with a bang. Below I compiled a list of some of the bigger films coming out this year. I'm sure that I missed a couple.

I have even listed my top 5 anticipated films of the year and my first Best Picture predictions. I'm going to hold off predicting other categories for a little. It's too much of a crapshoot and I have to do a little more research on some of the films.

Top 5 I'm Looking Forward to the Most
1. Taking Woodstock
Ang Lee's newest film is about the Woodstock festival set in 1969. This film will actually be released on roughly the 40th anniversary of the legendary concert (arguably the greatest of all time). I actually have a copy of this script and it should be a great film. The Oscar potential should also be interesting to watch. For now I don't see it getting serious consideration, but at this point in the game who the hell knows. I can't release too much details because I don't want to get in trouble, but watch out for an acid trip scene with a well known actor. People will barely recognize him. I know this from my previous employment at a management company.

2. Avatar
This is James Cameron's first film in 12 years (yes, Titanic was his last). This script and project have been highly protected. It was going around town as Project 88. I can't wait to see it partially because I have some history with it. When I was an intern three years ago I saw the cover to this script. The company I was at was possibly getting involved in the project. The script was shredded and very few people actually saw it. Oddly enough, I bumped into Cameron in the elevator the same day. Anyway, this film should do well with some technical awards for sure. Not sure where it stands on Best Picture, but it's something to look out for. Finally, watch out for Sam Worthington (also in Terminator: Salvation), who I got to know a little when I was at the management company. You heard it here first, he's going to be a huge star by the end of 2009.

3. Public Enemies
Michael Mann's newest film comes out this summer and it strikes me as being a huge hit this year. Johnny Depp, Christian Bale, and Marion Cotillard lead an all star cast. I have faith tha this film is going to be awesome and should do well at the Oscars (I think). Honestly, what guy doesn't love gangster movies?

4. Nine
Rob Marshall's newest film is another musical (he directed Chicago) starring Daniel Day-Lewis. I can't believe DDL is doing another film so quickly. I also can't believe he's going to sing. This is another huge cast with Cotillard, Cruz, Kidman, Hudson, Dench, and Loren all joining DDL. That a hell of a cast of females. I'm not a huge fan of musicals, but this is one that I'm actually dying to see.

5. Shutter Island
Scorsese is back and he's back doing another film in Boston. This is actually based on a book by Dennis Lehane (wrote Mystic River). Am I the only one who thinks it's funny that Marty is doing all these films in Boston? I don't have a problem with it, I just think it's kinda funny. Leo is back with Marty again. Also, another film with a strong cast (Ruffalo, Kingsley, Mortimer, Williams, Haley) and it's hard not to think this is a film that could be a serious Oscar contender.

Best Picture Predictions
1. Public Enemies
2. The Human Factor
3. Shutter Island
4. Nine
5. The Lovely Bones

I'm giving the top spot to Michael Mann's film, but I also picked Revolutionary Road last year (Haha). Nobody really knows anything at this point. It's all speculation. The Human Factor seems like it going to be in the hunt. Anytime Clint directs a film, you have to take him serious. This time he's doing a Nelson Mandela biopic that could win Morgan Freeman his second Oscar of the decade.

I also look to Scorsese and Marshall's two films, Shutter Island and Nine. Both have had recent Oscar success with Best Pictures (The Departed and Chicago). I love the casts for both films and you also have to like their chances to make some noise in the acting categories.

I'm going with The Lovely Bones in the final spot. Peter Jackson is back and this is a film based off a very popular book. That could be either good or bad. I mean look at the Da Vinci Code. Part of me just has faith in Jackson. He's one of the best around.

Other films I think could be here are (in alphabetical order) Amelia, Avatar, Cheri, Sherlock Holmes, and Taking Woodstock.

Below I have posted a list most of the major films coming out this year. Please let me know if I missed something. I will add it to the list. I have a special feature (non Oscar related) going on in March (details coming soon), but in April I'm going to actually predict the top six categories (Picture, Director, Acting) just for fun. We'll see how I do predicting roughly nine months from nominations.

In alphabetical order:

Alfred Hitchcock & the Making of Psycho
Away We Go
The Boat That Rocked
Broken Embraces
An Education
Green Zone
The Human Factor
The Hurt Locker
The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus
The Informant
Inglorious Basterds
Julie and Julia
Killing Pablo
The Lovely Bones
Love Ranch
Public Enemies
The Road
A Serious Man
Sherlock Holmes
Shutter Island
The Soloist
Taking Woodstock
The Tempest
Terminator: Salvation
Tree of Life
Up in the Air
Whatever Works

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