Oscars Special: Our Predictions



SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE

small-uk-flag.jpg Just one day before the Oscars ceremony takes place, a look at this year’s Hollywood picks shows one of the dullest havest in a long time. Everything points at a “Slumdog Millionaire” sweep, with the mediocre “Benjamin Button’s” hopes being relegated to a couple of technical statuettes. “Milk” will probably get the award reserved to the “rare and critical acclaimed” slot, the Best original script one. If the forecast is accurate, the significant changes announced for the show, masterminded by Bill Condon (Dreamgirls) and presented by Hugh Jackman, promise to be more interested than the awards themselves. Even when many categories still have room for surprise and general consensus is that whoever wins, will do it by a narrow margin. After the jump our predictions.

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN-The Wrestler (Original song snubbed In the nominations)

Performance by an actor in a leading role
WILL WIN: Sean Penn “Milk” Despite being a gay role and the fact that he already got an Oscar, Sean Penn is considered the best actor of his generation and the Academy was heavily criticized as anti-gay after the “Brokeback Mountain” snub.
SPOILER: Mickey Rourke “The Wrestler”. He’s the other favorite and the big comeback story of the year. But his excessive personality and the rawness of the role may put the most conservative members of the Academy off. Frank Langella could be a greater surprise if the main votes are divided between the former two. Jenkins and Pitt are the dark horses.
SHOULD WIN: Both Penn and Rourke’s performances are fantastic. Our favorite is currently Penn’s astonishing impersonation of the first openly gay politician, but after a few months that may revert to Rourke’s incredibly moving and physical role.

Performance by an actor in a supporting role
WILL AND SHOULD WIN: Heath Ledger “The Dark Knight”. Even if the Academy has never been keen on posthumous acting awards, Ledger is due and he created the most iconic role of the year in the second biggest grossing film of all times.
SPOILER: Josh Brolin “Milk”. He’s had a fantastic year with notorious roles such as Bush in Oliver Stone “W” and stands out in a thoroughly magnificent cast, as Harvey Milk’s killer. But it would be a very long shot. Robert Downey Jr. is another overdue one, and with a big comeback attached too. But “Tropic Thunder’s” actor taking the method to extremes, may not be the role who will earn him the coveted award.


DOUBT

Performance by an actress in a leading role
WILL WIN: Kate Winslet “The Reader” is the big favorite, long time overdue -6 nominations at her back-, the machinations of the Westein factory to push this role as supporting actress, not to collide with her other one in “Revolutionary Road” may have put some people off, and the fact that some people want to read a justification for the holocaust in the source novel works against her. “The Reader” got a lot of detractors, but she is great on it.
SPOILER; Meryl Streep “Doubt”: the only ageing female actress that still on top of her game. She just can’t do wrong. Won twice, but the last one in 1982; “Doubt” is an actor’s film. Other voices claim that the close competition between her and Winslet will open the way for Melissa Leo to sneak in and get the reward.
SHOULD WIN: We haven’t seen “Frozen River” in the UK yet, but looks like it could be the best performance of the year. Bar this, our vote would go to Meryl

Performance by an actress in a supporting role
WILL WIN: Penelope Cruz “Vicky Cristina Barcelona”; Big Star, great role, Woody Allen back to form film with no other chances for the Academy to reward him, she’s been ahead of the race since the start.
SPOILERS: This is one of the most unpredictable races this year. The whole cast of “Doubt” was awarded as best ensemble by the actor’s guild. Viola Davis, despite her short role, gives a heartbreaking performance and is tipped to be the surprise winner of the night; but Amy Adams is a rising star and also shines in the same movie. Marisa Tomei got a lot of love for “The Wrestler” but she has already won once and Taraji P. Hinson is seen as the soul of “Benjamin Button”, which has had very mixed reactions.
SHOULD WIN: Pe (Penelope Cruz’s chosen Spanish short name)

Best animated feature film of the year
WILL AND SHOULD WIN: Wall-E. The Academy received a huge amount of criticism for not included the Pixar masterpiece among this year’s contenders for best Film. The Animated ghetto could be his only reward, although its got a big chance in all six categories its got a nomination for.


THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON

Achievement in art direction
WILL WIN: The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button epic qualities are highlighted by its excellent art direction.
SPOILER: The Dark Knight will come close. Changeling is a longer shot, but the Academy may not want to leave an Eastwood film go empty handed, in a year when they have snubbed his two offerings.

Achievement in cinematography
WILL WIN: Slumdog Millionaire for its astonishing visual portrait of Today’s India.
SPOILER: The classic epic values of Benjamin Button and the spectacular image of The Dark Knight are strong contenders.
SHOULD WIN: The Dark Knight

Achievement in costume design

WILL WIN; The Duchess because period dramas are the Academy’s safe choice.
SPOILER: Benjamin Button multi-decade looks and outfits.
SHOULD WIN: The Duchess for the elaborated effort, although the simple 70’s outlook of San Francisco’s early gay community is also noteworthy.


MILK

Achievement in directing
WILL WIN: Danny Boyle…with no big stars involved on it, its his vision and take on an original story what has elevated “Slumdog Millionaire” to be a huge success.
SPOILERS: None (David Fincher’s job is impeccable, but the movie is not that great;)
SHOULD WIN: Gus Van Saint makes an excellent biopic, tinted with documentary features, with a great deal of research to faithfully recreate the life and era of Harvey Milk; but Danny Boyle’s originality also deserves the accolade.

Best documentary feature
WILL WIN: Man On Wire. A commercial success and lot of critical acclaim, rare for a documentary, makes of this feature the favorite.
SPOILER; Both “Trouble With water” about the aftermath of the Katrina disaster and Werner Herzog’s “Encounters at the End of the world” are high profile ones, but the political issues in the former and the controversial personality of Herzog may come in their respective ways.
SHOULD WIN: We haven’t seen most of them, but Man On Wire won the Rober Award in the same category.

Best documentary short subject
WILL WIN: Anything can happen in the short and documentaries categories but “The Conscience Of Nhem Em” seems to be gaining more awareness than the rest. Will post a separate article with information and trailers on these categories, for you to have an educated guess in your polls at home.

Best animated short film
WILL WIN: Our money is in Pixar’s “Presto”, the most popular of them all, as it was released with “Wall-E” last summer.
SPOILER: The Spoiler could come from Japan, “La Maison En Petit Cubes” emotional punch has won many international accolades.

Best live action short film
WILL WIN: We couldn’t get much info about any of the nominated shorts, but the favorite seems to be “Spielzeugland (Toyland)”. “The Pig” and “Auf Der Strecke (On The Line)” have also collected several awards.

Best Achievement in film editing
WILL WIN: Slumdog Millionaire
SPOILER; The Dark Knight if the Academy feels guilty for not giving it a Best picture nod or Benjamin Button if they feel really conservative.
SHOULD WIN: The Dark Knight is our favorite.


THE CLASS (Laurent Cantet)

Best foreign language film of the year
WILL WIN: Waltz With Bashir is the big favorite, although its original mix of documentary, animation and war movie may prove too innovative for the Oscars.
SPOILER: Laurent Cantet French entry “The Class” won the Cannes Palm D’Or and is an international fave. Rumours are growing about Japan’s “Departures” could follow the Academy’s trend in this field of not having a clue.
SHOULD WIN: We haven’t seen it yet, but got high hopes for “The Class”

Achievement in makeup
WILL WIN: Benjamin Button for getting Brad Pitt believable from elderly to teen.
SPOILER: The Dark Knight for The Joker’s shocking image is unlikely, but…
SHOULD WIN: Benjamin Button.

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original score)
WILL WIN: A.H. RAHMAN bollywood-esque and exotic “Slumdog Millionaire”
SPOILER: Wall-E (Thomas Newman)
SHOULD WIN: Slumdog Millionaire

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song)
WILL WIN: “Jai Ho” from Slumdog Millionaire is the favorite.
SPOILERS: Both Peter Gabriel for his “Wall-E” entry and Slumdog Millionaire’s other nominated track with M.I.A. joining A.R. Rahman could surprise.
SHOULD WIN: We got a soft spot for M.I.A.

Achievement in sound editing
WILL WIN: Wall-E seems to be a favorite, although many voices claim this will go to Slumdog Millionaire too.
SPOILER; The Dark Knight
SHOULD WIN: Wall-E


PETER GABRIEL-Down To Earth (Wall-E)

Achievement in sound mixing
WILL WIN: Wall-E made an unforgettable first half an hour out of sounds, no dialogue.
SPOILER: The Dark Knight or the all-conquering power of Slumdog Millionaire.
SHOULD WIN: Wall-E

Achievement in visual effects
WILL AND SHOULD WIN: Benjamin Button’s spectacular reverse ageing.
SPOILER: The Dark Knight, impressive but less original.

Adapted screenplay
WILL WIN: SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE rags to riches tale.
SPOILER; David Hare is getting a lot of support for his controversial adaptation of “The Reader”
SHOULD WIN: Slumdog Millionaire.

Original screenplay
WILL WIN: MILK as this is traditionally the category reserved for critical favorites that don’t have a chance to get many other gongs.
SPOILERS: Wall-E is excellent and won many critical awards, so did “Happy-Go-Lucky” even when Mike Leigh is notoriously unconventional about the way he deals with his scripts.
SHOULD WIN: We would be happy with either Milk or Wall-E. The later probably would get our vote.

Best motion picture of the year
WILL WIN: Slumdog Millionaire.
SPOILER: Looks like a lock.
SHOULD WIN: Still undecided between the Millionaire and Milk, in a few more months one or the other will test the test of time better than its rival.

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