I'm horrible about going out to the movies. I don't have a car, and I'm constantly locked inside writing. The past few years, I've been Oscar illiterate in that I haven't managed to see any of the competing films. This year isn't really all that different, but I do feel like I have a firm grasp on the nominees. With only about seven hours until the awards I'm going to unleash my predictions for the 2009 Oscars. Here we go!
Best Picture- Slumdog Millionaire. People can't stop talking about this movie, and unlike it's competitors it actually pulled in near unanimous positive reviews. Benjamin Button and the Reader certainly can't make that claim- This was one of the reasons I had my fingers crossed for Dark Knight as a nominee but no such luck.
Best Directing- Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire. This is a difficult category to predict with or without having seen the films. It's something you would expect would mirror best picture but only occasionally does. This is Boyle's first directing nod, and he's certainly not a slouch. Slumdog's taking of the big prize could mean a lock for Boyle. Fincher is someone else to watch- it's also his first nod for director.
Best Actor- Sean Penn, Milk. I say this in sadness and ignorance- I think it's a shame that Rourke probably won't get recognized for the Wrestler because from what I understand he is probably the most deserving candidate. Penn is an oscar magnet and [let's face it] gay roles are still the new mentally challenged roles- hopefully that culminates with Milk. I love that these films are being made, but the emphasis on how "challenging" they are needs to go away. Challenge comes from complexity of character, not sexuality.
Best Actress- Meryl Streep, Doubt. To be honest, I actually have no idea about this category. Streep's performance is the one I've heard the most about and for that I'm leaning toward it. I also heard some buzz about Jolie in Changeling.
Best Supporting Actor- Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight. Is it really that shocking? Once the nominations were made it was apparent who would win. Ledger will bring in a sympathy vote that will push him over the top if he didn't have the win already. The academy will want to praise Ledger this time, if for nothing else than because they didn't give him the award when he was nominated for Brokeback Mountain.
PS: I actually saw Dark Knight! Whoo!
Best Supporting Actress- Penelope Cruz, Vicky Christina Barcelona. For whatever reason, Cruz has got a lot of attention for her role in this film. This category is also well known for not following the beaten path of the best picture noms. If you had told me a year ago I'd be predicting Cruz for any award I'd have called you crazy.
Animated Film- Wall-E. Bolt was a cute and self-awarely (?) formulaic ("I've seen this a hundred times!") but it's not taking home any prizes. Kung Fu Panda was... something. I couldn't make it all the way through. Wall-E on the other hand was oscar-gold Pixar, and on top of that dealt with pressing contemporary issues. What does the Academy love more than pressing contemporary issues? Cute robots dealing with pressing contemporary issues!
Best Adapted Screenplay- Slumdog Millionaire. If anything does follow suit at the Oscars, it's that the screenplay of the best picture winner is also a winner. In this case it just happens to be adapted.
Best Original Screenplay- Milk. At this point I might as well throw scraps of paper in the air and catch one. This is a tough category to guess at but because of Milk's other praise I'm sticking with it. Although In Bruges looked amazing- Of all the movies I haven't seen it's damn near the top of the list of "to watch".
There are my Oscar picks for 2009. We'll see how well I actually do. Maybe next year I'll actually get out and watch a few of these. Now I need to get back to writing (eep!).