Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Predictions for Oscars 2009 Nominations

"Predictions for Oscars 2009 Nominations"

2008 overall had fewer standout American films than a rich year like 2007 and thus did not offer quite as much diversity. As a result, the Oscars® may perhaps be a little easier to predict this time around compared to last year’s. Slumdog Millionaire seems to be the front runner right now for Best Picture and other major categories, perhaps because the Academy might be looking to honor a bit more of a crowd pleaser as opposed to more downbeat or even nihilistic films like the last two year’s Best Picture winners, The Departed and No Country for Old Men. The Dark Knight also seems to have gained just enough momentum from the DGA and PGA nods to secure nominations and become the first comic book movie nominated for Best Picture (and also Director for Christopher Nolan). And having the most popular film of the year as one of the nominees will probably help increase viewership of the ceremony telecast this year compared to recent years.

Another major player will likely be the Oscar-friendly The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, which will pick up numerous technical award nominations in addition to Picture and Director for David Fincher (although I think it really deserves only the technical nominations). Then, filling the politically themed movies in the Best Picture category will be Gus Van Sant's Milk and Ron Howard's Frost/Nixon and I am guessing that this year all of the directors of the movies nominated for Best Picture will be identically nominated as well.

The acting categories, however, will probably be more interesting to watch this year than Best Picture or Director. There will, of course, be well-known A-list stars like Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway and Kate Winslet (who will likely receive a double nod for Revolutionary Road and The Reader in the Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress categories, respectively). But there will also be several character actors competing in the lead roles, a couple of others who will make great comeback stories and, of course, a bittersweet one around a late accomplished actor.

The bittersweet one, of course, belongs to Heath Ledger who, at this point, seems to pretty much have a straight shot to winning Best Supporting Actor this year. As for the character actors, look for Richard Jenkins in The Visitor and Frank Langella in Frost/Nixon for nominations in the Best Actor category and Melissa Leo in Frozen River in the Best Actress category. Then there is Mickey Rourke in The Wrestler whom everybody seems to be rooting to complete his comeback in the Best Actor category and people should also look for Robert Downey Jr. to earn his first nomination in 16 years for his comedic turn critiquing and lampooning method acting in Tropic Thunder.

So, taking all of that into consideration, here is my complete list of predictions for the nominations in select categories as well as my personal preferences of who I predict will be left out but would like to see mentioned in each category. (Note: As much as I would like to, I am not making predictions for the Best Foreign Language Film and Documentary categories, as I feel I have sadly not seen enough of the films on the Academy Awards short list on either category.)

Best Picture:
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
Frost/Nixon
Milk
Slumdog Millionaire

Would like to see:
WALL·E
– It certainly may have a chance at getting a nod but I think the fact that there is the separate Animated Category will likely hinder this, which, considering the increasing quality of Pixar films, may instead be a solid argument to turn the Best Picture category to one strictly as Best Live Action Picture if they do not want to choose animated films.
The Wrestler

Best Director:
Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire
David Fincher, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Ron Howard, Frost/Nixon
Christopher Nolan, The Dark Knight
Gus Van Sant, Milk

Would like to see:
Darren Aronofsky, The Wrestler
Andrew Stanton, WALL·E – Yes, people should start recognizing that animated films are directed, too.

Best Actor in a Leading Role:
Frank Langella, Frost/Nixon
Richard Jenkins, The Visitor
Sean Penn, Milk
Brad Pitt, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler

Would like to see:
Leonardo DiCaprio, Revolutionary Road

Best Actress in a Leading Role:
Anne Hathaway, Rachel Getting Married
Angelina Jolie, Changeling
Melissa Leo, Frozen River
Meryl Streep, Doubt
Kate Winslet, Revolutionary Road

Would like to see:
Sally Hawkins, Happy-Go-Lucky
Kristin Scott-Thomas, I’ve Loved You So Long

Best Actor in a Supporting Role:
Josh Brolin, Milk
Robert Downey Jr., Tropic Thunder
Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Doubt
Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight
Dev Patel, Slumdog Millionaire

Would like to see:
Eddie Marsan, Happy-Go-Lucky

Best Actress in a Supporting Role:
Amy Adams, Doubt
Penelope Cruz, Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Viola Davis, Doubt
Marisa Tomei, The Wrestler
Kate Winslet, The Reader

Would like to see:
Rosemarie DeWitt, Rachel Getting Married

Best Original Screenplay:
Woody Allen, Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Dustin Lance Black, Milk
Tom McCarthy, The Visitor
Andrew Stanton, Pete Docter and Jim Reardon, WALL·E
Robert D. Siegel, The Wrestler

Would like to see:
Mike Leigh, Happy-Go-Lucky
Ari Folman, Waltz with Bashir

Best Adapted Screenplay:
Eric Roth and Robin Swicord, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
John Patrick Shanley, Doubt
Peter Morgan, Frost/Nixon
David Hare, The Reader
Simon Beaufoy, Slumdog Millionaire

Would like to see:
Christopher Nolan, Jonathan Nolan and David S. Goyer, The Dark Knight
John Ajvide Lindqvist, Let the Right One In

Best Animated Feature:
WALL·E
Waltz with Bashir
Kung Fu Panda

Best Film Editing:
Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Lee Smith, The Dark Knight
Daniel P. Hanley and Mike Hill, Frost/Nixon
Elliot Graham, Milk
Chris Dickens, Slumdog Millionaire

Would like to see:
Stephen Schaeffer, WALL·E

Best Cinematography:
Roger Deakins, Revolutionary Road
Anthony Dod Mantle, Slumdog Millionaire
Claudio Miranda, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Wally Pfister, The Dark Knight
Mandy Walker, Australia

Best Original Score:
Alexandre Desplat, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Danny Elfman, Milk
James Newton Howard & Hans Zimmer, The Dark Knight
Thomas Newman, WALL·E
A.R. Rahman, Slumdog Millionaire

Best Original Song:
Clint Eastwood, Jamie Cullum, Michael Stevens and Kyle Eastwood – “Gran Torino,” Gran Torino
Thomas Newman and Peter Gabriel –“Down to Earth,” WALL·E
Miley Cyrus – “I Thought I Lost You,” Bolt
A.R. Rahman and Gulzar – “Jai Ho,” Slumdog Millionaire
Bruce Springsteen – “The Wrestler,” The Wrestler

Best Costume Design:
Australia
Changeling
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Duchess
Revolutionary Road

Best Art Direction:
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Changeling
The Dark Knight
The Duchess
Revolutionary Road

Best Makeup:
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Hellboy II: The Golden Army
The Reader

Best Sound Mixing:
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
Iron Man
Slumdog Millionaire
WALL·E

Best Sound Editing:
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
Iron Man
Quantum of Solace
WALL·E

Best Visual Effects:
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
Iron Man

3 comments:

Eric said...

With masterpieces such as Toy Story and Wall-E, Pixar has definitely made a case for animated films being nominated for Best Picture.

I noticed that the Best Picture nominees were fully represented in the Best Director category too. Is that usually the case?

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