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To get this totally out of my system and move on to a blog-identity crisis, I’m posting my year in advance just for fun Oscar predictions. Which, well it may seem silly, you usually end up getting a few right (last year, Im sure Day-Lewis, Christie, Blanchett, Clooney, Swinton, Bardem, etc were on a lot of these lists; “Juno” however, would be nowhere to be seen).

This year offers a ton of really promising upcoming films from a slew of directors, both recent winners and time-for-their-dues: Clint Eastwood‘s “The Changeling”; Ron Howard‘s “Frost/Nixon”; Sam Mendes‘ “Revolutionary Road”; Steven Soderbergh‘s “The Argentine”; Joel and Ethan Coen‘s “Burn After Reading”; Joe Wright‘s “The Soloist”; Stephen Daldry‘s “The Reader”; Ridley Scott‘s “Body of Lies”; Spike Lee‘s “Miracle at St. Anna”; Gus Van Sant‘s “Milk”: David Fincher‘s “Curious Case of Benjamin Button”; Fernando Meirelles‘ “Blindness.”; Baz Luhrman‘s “Australia.”

This is just a small list, excluding any out-of-nowheres for obvious reasons.

Personally, I’m thinking “Australia” is most-likely of them to be the bust, and that “Burn After Reading might be too comic for anything outside a screenplay or acting nod. A lot of the ones I seem to leaning toward are adapted from very well-renowned novels and I shouldn’t be so naive as to think great source material equals great film, but the pedigrees of “Blindness”; “Benjamin Button”; “The Reader” and “Revolutionary Road”. Some bigger question marks are play-to-screen adaptations, like “Frost/Nixon” (which Im thinking will get acting nods but not much else) and “Doubt” (which has an undeniably brilliant source material and a cast that includes Philip Seymour Hoffman, Meryl Streep and Amy Adams, but is directed by the unproven director – but Oscar winning screenwriter – John Patrick Shanley). Original screenplays like Charlie Kauffman‘s directorial debut “Synecdoche, New York” is even more questionable (in regard to Oscar, not my own anticipation) but its absolutely astounding group of cast members (Michelle Williams, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Emily Watson, Catherine Keener, Hope Davis, Diane Wiest, Samantha Morton) is really incredible.

I could go on endlessly speculating from nothing but pre-buzz and pedigree, and I won’t. But before I go on to list predictions (after the jump), take a look at the possible actress contenders:

Kate Winslet in TWO meating December releases; Cate Blanchett in a David Fincher movie; Laura Linney in a Richard Eyre movie, Julianne Moore in a really intense (even for her) role adapted from a breathtaking novel; Meryl Streep in “Doubt”…

Imagine a Winslet, Linney, Blanchett, Streep, Moore lineup? That would truly be as good as it gets for me. I’m not gonna go quite as far.. see my ridiculous predictions after the jump.

BEST PICTURE
The Changeling
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Miracle at St. Anna
The Reader
Revolutionary Road

(rup: Blindness; Milk)

BEST DIRECTOR
Clint Eastwood, The Changeling
David Fincher, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Fernando Meirelles, Blindness
Spike Lee, Miracle at St. Anna
Sam Mendes, Revolutionary Road

(Stephen Daldry, The Reader; Gus Van Sant, Milk)

BEST ACTOR
Leonardo diCaprio, Revolutionary Road or Body of Lies
Ralph Fiennes, The Reader
Frank Langella, Frost/Nixon
Sean Penn, Milk
Brad Pitt, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

(Benicio Del Toro, The Argentine or Guerilla; Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Synecdoche)

BEST ACTRESS
Cate Blanchett, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Sally Hawkins, Happy-Go-Lucky
Angelina Jolie, The Changeling
Julianne Moore, Blindness
Kate WInslet, Revolutionary Road or The Reader

(Meryl Streep, Doubt; Laura Linney, The Other Man)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Josh Brolin, Milk
Philip Seymour Hoffman, Doubt
Derek Luke, Miracle at St. Anna
John Malkovich, The Changeling or Burn After Reading
Michael Sheen, Frost/Nixon

(Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight; Mark Ruffalo, Blindness)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Kathy Bates, Revolutionary Road
Viola Davis, Doubt
Frances McDormand, Burn After Reading
Amy Ryan, The Changeling
Tilda Swinton, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button or Burn After Reading

(Amy Adams, Doubt; SOMEONE from Synecdoche)

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Burn After Reading
The Changeling
Happy-Go-Lucky
Synecdoche, New York
Vicky Christina Barcelona

(Wall-E; Milk)

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Blindness
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Miracle at St. Anna
The Reader
Revolutionary Road

(Frost/Nixon; Doubt)

And just for fun… Im going with a DiCaprio/Winslet/Malkovich/Ryan acting quartet for the winners.. best picture is just too much to even consider. But if a Spike Lee WWII epic goes over very well… I could see that happening.

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