So after weeks of watching a lot of wonderful films, I can now sit down and make my best educated guess. By Sunday I will have watched exactly half of the 50 nominated films, not too shabby for the first year. The 25 films I’ve seen cover 83 of the 112 nominations or 74%.
Besides watching the films I also consulted some online resources:
- Awards Daily has a “big bad chart“
- Awards Pick, a site that hosts Oscar pools, has a blog that has offered discussions on some of the smaller categories like Best Live Action Short and Best Score
- Hollywood Stock Exchange is a website where people can buy and sell fictional shares and futures of celebrities and films. They are known as solid predictors of Oscar winners
- IMDB has a great Road To The Oscars section that has all the charts you need on how a film has done this awards season
You also have to consider other factors, such as previous awards history, and body of work (you think it doesn’t matter but you never know). Now here are my picks for Oscar Gold in 2009:
- Best Picture: Slumdog Millionaire – It’s the clear favorite and I don’t see anybody beating it however The Curious Case of Benjamin Button has the makings of your stereotypical Best Pictures and could upset everyone… including me.
- Best Leading Actor: Sean Penn – It’s a toss up between him and Mickey Rourke; Mickey and Sean both had great performances but my logic is that perhaps the political nature of Milk will ring with the Academy members whom I assume live on the west coast.
- Best Leading Actress: Kate Winslet -Why her and not Meryl Streep? Well Streep and Winslet are both highly nominated actresses but Streep has already won two Oscars. This maybe time for Winslet to finally get her due. Winslet may also get the body of work bump since she’s been in two Oscar contenders and might get recognized for that. Plus Time magazine can’t be wrong.
- Best Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger – In my opinion his performance was the best of all the candidates. His death doesn’t earn him the reward; but it will forever cast a shadow of doubt, one that shouldn’t be there because if he was alive today, I truly think he still wins the award.
- Best Supporting Actress: Penélope Cruz – Usually when there’s an upset it happens in the supporting categories. However Ledger is a virtual lock, but is Cruz? She’s the strong favorite but I can see Marisa Tomei winning the award as well.
- Best Director: Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire)- This award usually goes hand-in-hand with best picture.
- Best Original Screenplay: Wall-E – It was really more of a process of elimination here, with it coming down to Wall-E and Milk. I think the Academy gives Wall-E some love after being snubbed for Best Picture.
- Best Adapted Screenplay: Slumdog Millionaire – It wont the WGA award and I just see it being a Slumdog kind of night. I can easily eliminate the two screenplays adapted from plays- I don’t think they were anything special as an adaptation.
- Best Cinematography: Slumdog Millionaire – I’m thinking people like the epic photos of India than the epic-ness of America through the years in Benjamin Button.
- Best Editing: Slumdog Millionaire – The ACE Eddie was bestowed to Slumdog last weekend which gives everyone the freedom to continue to throw Oscars at the film. I actually did like the editing of Slumdog and only Milk had anything special beyond the usual affair.
- Best Art Direction: Curious Case of Benjamin Button – Here’s hoping Benjamin Button wins something on Sunday, the differing locals and time periods gives the film lots of space to play in.
- Best Costume Design: The Duchess – Always go with the period film, if they can pull it off nicely it’s going to be a shoe-in. Also the older, more elegant period the better.
- Best Make-Up: Curious Case of Benjamin Button – Making Brad Pitt and others look old is tough. It’s not too hard to make the Joker look crazy in The Dark Knight but well they give the award to Hellboy II for the efforts to make-up Ron Perlman? Maybe.
- Best Original Score: Slumdog Millionaire – Aw man I am certainly calling a big night for Slumdog….
- Best Original Song: “Jai Ho” (Slumdog Millionaire) – Yup I am…
- Best Sound: The Dark Knight – Give it to the action movie
- Best Sound Editing: The Dark Knight
- Best Visual Effects: Curious Case of Benjamin Button – If you knew what they had to do to make Brad Pitt look years younger you’d be impressed too.
- Best Animated Feature: Wall-E – See tomorrow’s post for more
- Best Foreign Language Feature: Waltz With Bashir – Great story and a fresh animated look will make it stand above the rest.
- Best Feature Documentary: Man on Wire – My office has a copy but Dan took it home, luckily it’s also on Netflix.
- Best Short Documentary: The Witness from the Balcony of Room 306 – The topic is very timely with a new African American president.
- Best Short Animation: Presto – Pixar is winning big this year.
- Best Short Live Action: New Boy – The only won I saw this year.
Well now that my picks are in, time to root for Oscar! I’d love to hear what you think is going to win big this year!