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Friday, January 23, 2009
Ladies and Gentleman...Oscar!
A few days ago the Oscar nominations were announced and I thought I would share my picks for this year. Unfortunately I haven't seen all of the movies up for awards this year (I plan to see a few more) so my picks are based only on the films I have seen and what I have heard about the ones I have not.
* This means I have not seen this film
Best Motion Picture of the Year:
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008): Ceán Chaffin, Kathleen Kennedy, Frank Marshall *Frost/Nixon (2008): Brian Grazer, Ron Howard, Eric Fellner Milk (2008): Bruce Cohen, Dan Jinks *The Reader (2008): Nominees to be determined Slumdog Millionaire (2008): Christian Colson
I think it will be between Milk and Slumdog. I hope that Milk wins but based on how well it did at the Golden Globes, I think that Slumdog will win.
Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role:
*Richard Jenkins for The Visitor (2007) *Frank Langella for Frost/Nixon (2008) Sean Penn for Milk (2008) Brad Pitt for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008) Mickey Rourke for The Wrestler (2008)
I think it will be a close call between Sean Penn and Mickey Rourke but I think Rourke will go home with the gold. Almost anyone who has seen the film will agree that he deserves it.
Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role:
*Anne Hathaway for Rachel Getting Married (2008) *Angelina Jolie for Changeling (2008) *Melissa Leo for Frozen River (2008) *Meryl Streep for Doubt (2008/I) *Kate Winslet for The Reader (2008)
I have not seen any of these films yet this year but I think it will be between Kate Winslet and Meryl Streep. My decision for this one is based on previous roles and the Golden Globes. Meryl Streep has been around for a while and has won a lot of awards and she usually turns out solid work. Kate Winslet also has many good performances under her belt and considering her sweep at the Golden Globes, I think she might take the win.
Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role:
Josh Brolin for Milk (2008) Robert Downey Jr. for Tropic Thunder (2008) *Philip Seymour Hoffman for Doubt (2008/I) Heath Ledger for The Dark Knight (2008) Michael Shannon for Revolutionary Road (2008)
First I must say how funny it is that Robert Downy Junior is nominated. He is an awesome actor, he seems like a cool guy, he's making a huge comeback right now and his role in Tropic Thunder was hilarious. However, I don't think his character had enough power to go up against such names as Josh Brolin, Heath Ledger and Phil Hoffman. I think the award will probably go to either Ledger or Brolin. They both turned out a very good work this year and I think everyone knew it but you also can't count Phil Hoffman out of the running considering all the great work he's done. I recently saw Revolutionary Road and I didn't even realize who Michael Shannon was in the film but I mentioned to my friend that the actor who played John should be nominated. He was absolutely fantastic! He was possibly one of the best characters in the film but I think regardless of how good he was, I'm not sure he had enough screen time to win in a category with such talented actors.
Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role:
*Amy Adams for Doubt (2008/I) *Penélope Cruz for Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008) *Viola Davis for Doubt (2008/I) Taraji P. Henson for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008) Marisa Tomei for The Wrestler (2008)
I don't really have much of an opinion on this category. I think that both Marisa Tomei and Taraji P. Henson did good jobs but I have heard great things about Amy Adams and Penelope Cruz
Best Achievement in Directing:
Danny Boyle for Slumdog Millionaire (2008) *Stephen Daldry for The Reader (2008) David Fincher for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008) *Ron Howard for Frost/Nixon (2008) Gus Van Sant for Milk (2008)
Now this is a seriously good list of directors. All of them have turned out a lot of good work over the course of their careers and these films are nothing to scoff at. I love Danny Boyle, especially his early work, and I think he did a great job and he may win it. However, I am very partial to David Fincher considering he is one of my favorite directors. He may have a good shot but unfortunately, I don't think he'll be sharing a ride home with oscar. Gus Van Sant did an excellent job on MILK, and I don't mean to offend him or his work when I say this, but I think the film could have survived with another director unlike a film like Slumdog. Ron Howard also has other great work under his belt so he may be a contender. I haven't heard much about Daldry's work but I hear the film is fantastic.
Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen:
*Frozen River (2008): Courtney Hunt *Happy-Go-Lucky (2008): Mike Leigh *In Bruges (2008): Martin McDonagh Milk (2008): Dustin Lance Black WALL·E (2008): Andrew Stanton, Pete Docter, Jim Reardon
I hear Happy-Go-Lucky is great and very funny and after the Golden Globes, I think In Bruges could be a serious contender. I haven't heard anything about Frozen River so I can't say much about it but I think MILK had a great screenplay and that it played a huge part in the quality of the film. WALL·E was great and I loved the movie but I don't really think it will win this award.
Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published:
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008): Eric Roth, Robin Swicord *Doubt (2008/I): John Patrick Shanley *Frost/Nixon (2008): Peter Morgan *The Reader (2008): David Hare Slumdog Millionaire (2008): Simon Beaufoy
I loved both of the movies that I did see in this category but I wasn't in love with their screenplays. Benjamin Button was nice and heart warming and inspirational but a little cheesy, however don't count Eric Roth out considering he was nominated for Munich and The Insider and won for Forrest Gump. Even though I haven't seen it, I predict this one going to Doubt. I just have a feeling. I must say though that I'm a little disappointed that Revolutionary Road wasn't nominated.
Best Achievement in Cinematography:
*Changeling (2008): Tom Stern The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008): Claudio Miranda The Dark Knight (2008): Wally Pfister *The Reader (2008): Roger Deakins, Chris Menges Slumdog Millionaire (2008): Anthony Dod Mantle
Slumdog Millionaire. Hands down.
Best Achievement in Editing:
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008): Angus Wall, Kirk Baxter The Dark Knight (2008): Lee Smith *Frost/Nixon (2008): Daniel P. Hanley, Mike Hill Milk (2008): Elliot Graham Slumdog Millionaire (2008): Chris Dickens
Again, I have to give it to Slumdog but don't count Benjamin Button or MILK out.
Best Achievement in Costume Design:
*Australia (2008): Catherine Martin The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008): Jacqueline West *The Duchess (2008): Michael O'Connor Milk (2008): Danny Glicker Revolutionary Road (2008): Albert Wolsky
I really liked the costumes in Revolutionary Road because I really like the styles from that era but I think the Duchess will win just because it's a victorian piece.
Best Achievement in Makeup:
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008): Greg Cannom The Dark Knight (2008): John Caglione Jr., Conor O'Sullivan Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008): Mike Elizalde, Thomas Floutz
Benjamin Button had great make up and I thought Brad Pitt looked amazing but most of what looked like incredible make up was actually special effects, so I don't think it will win. The Joker looked awesome in The Dark Knight and so did Two Face but I don't think those two characters are enough to win. I give the win to Hellboy II because as always, Guillermo del Toro showed the world some of the most incredible creatures ever thought up and this team brought them to life, so I say Hellboy all the way.
Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song:
Slumdog Millionaire (2008): A.R. Rahman, Gulzar("Jai Ho") Slumdog Millionaire (2008): A.R. Rahman, Maya Arulpragasam("O Saya") WALL·E (2008): Peter Gabriel, Thomas Newman("Down to Earth")
I wish the Boss was nominated for The Wrestler because then he would win another award for the song but since I have to choose from these three, I give it to one of the Slumdog songs. People loved the music in the film and I don't blame them, I just liked the Peter Gabriel song better.
Best Achievement in Visual Effects:
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008): Eric Barba, Steve Preeg, Burt Dalton, Craig Barron The Dark Knight (2008): Nick Davis, Chris Corbould, Timothy Webber, Paul J. Franklin Iron Man (2008): John Nelson, Ben Snow, Daniel Sudick, Shane Mahan
Even if you hated Benjamin Button, I'm betting you loved the special effects. They were fantastic! I was amazed at how great they were and I really hope it wins.
Best Animated Feature Film of the Year:
*Bolt (2008): Chris Williams, Byron Howard Kung Fu Panda (2008): John Stevenson, Mark Osborne WALL·E (2008): Andrew Stanton
I will be very surprised if WALL·E doesn't win. They were planning on giving it a Best Picture Nomination for Christ's sake!
So those are my predictions and I hope I am right. If I see any more of the nominated films before the Oscars, which I plan on doing, I will update my prediction if necessary.