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Updated Oscar Predictions

Updated Oscar Predictions

These should start coming less on a monthly and more on a weekly basis effectively pretty much immediately. Some commentary sprinkled thoughout, some saved from tomorrow’s indieWIRE back & forth between myself and Eugene.

BEST PICTURE
The Dark Knight
Frost/Nixon
Milk
Revolutionary Road
Slumdog Millionaire

Very Possible: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Wrestler
Less Possible: Australia, The Reader, Gran Torino
Dark Horses: Wall-E, Gomorrah
Winner?: No idea.

BEST DIRECTOR
Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire
David Fincher, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Sam Mendes, Revolutionary Road
Christopher Nolan, The Dark Knight
Gus Van Sant, Milk

Very Possible: Darren Aronofsky, Ron Howard
Less Possible: Baz Luhrmann, Clint Eastwood, Stephen Daldry
Dark Horses: Steve McQueen, Matteo Garrone
Winner?: I have a feeling this might be the first pic/director split since Ang Lee/Crash. Maybe Nolan benefits?

BEST ACTOR
Leonardo diCaprio, Revolutionary Road
Richard Jenkins, The Visitor
Frank Langella, Frost/Nixon
Sean Penn, Milk
Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler

Very Possible: Brad Pitt, Clint Eastwood
Less Possible: Dustin Hoffman, Josh Brolin
Dark Horse: Michael Fassbender
Winner?: Rourke? I’m guessing he’ll win most of the critic’s awards. I just question his likability in the Academy even if he deserves it. Langella or diCaprio, both overdue, can take advantage of Rourke resistance if they are as well received as people suggest. I can’t see Penn actually winning, but I could easily be very wrong. Jenkins should just happy if he gets a nod. Pitt and Eastwood are definitely in the race, and it was difficult leaving them off. I’m still guessing Rourke, but barely.

BEST ACTRESS
Anne Hathaway, Rachel Getting Married
Sally Hawkins, Happy-Go-Lucky
Meryl Streep, Doubt
Kristin Scott Thomas, I’ve Loved You So Long
Kate Winslet, Revolutionary Road

Very Possible: Cate Blanchett, Melissa Leo
Less Possible: Angelina Jolie, Nicole Kidman
Dark Horse: Michelle Williams
Winner? Probably not Streep, if the early, somewhat mixed reviews mean anything. It has to be quite the performance for Oscar #3 (though was As Good As It Gets really?). If Winslet is excellent, as she could very well be, its hers. The others, I just can’t see: Hawkins’ film is too small, even if its fantastic… I even worry she might not make the final five. Hathaway’s buzz has peaked.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Josh Brolin, Milk
Robert Downey Jr, Tropic Thunder
Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Doubt
Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight
Michael Shannon, Revolutionary Road

Very Possible: Dev Patel, Ralph Fiennes
Less Possible: Bill Irwin, Emile Hirsch, Jason Flemyng
Dark Horse: Eddie Marsan
Winner?: Heath Ledger. I cannot see it any other way. Its funny how the leading races’ are shaping up quite clearly in terms of who the 6 or 7 finalists are, but the winners are so murky. In the supporting races, the two winners are rather clear, but the other 4 nominees are murky.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Penelope Cruz, Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Viola Davis, Doubt
Rosemarie DeWitt, Rachel Getting Married
Marisa Tomei, The Wrestler
Kate Winslet, The Reader

Very Possible: Cate Blanchett, Taraji P. Henson, Amy Adams
Less Possible: Kathy Bates, Debra Winger, Hiam Abbas, Freida Pinto
Dark Horses: Elsa Zylberstein
Winner: Probably Cruz. Unless this ends up being Winslet’s category, which would be unfortunate since I’m guessing her placement here is a bit fraudulent, and Cruz is very deserving.

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Dustin Lance Black, Milk
Jenny Lumet, Rachel Getting Married
Woody Allen, Vicky Christina Barcelona
Tom McCarthy, The Visitor
Robert Seigel, The Wrestler

Very Possible: Mike Leigh, Andrew Stanton
Less Possible: Lurhmann & Co, Nick Shenk, The Coens
Dark Horse: Charlie Kaufman
Winner?: Tough. McCarthy and Stanton seem the like vulnerable nominees, and the other three very, very different screenplays seem to be the potential winners. I mean, there’s Woody Allen. But I dont feel like Vicky is a great enough film to warrant another Oscar. Jenny Lumet would be the first black female winner here, and her father is Hollywood royalty. They do like a good story to go with winners… But did Rachel peak too soon? And Lance Black may be the only way to reward Milk, and the script involved intense and well-executed research. He’s also openly gay, which might be – for once – a selling point. He’s my guess at this point.

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
John Patrick Shanley, Doubt
Peter Morgan, Frost/Nixon
Maurizio Braucci, Gomorrah
Justin Haythe, Revolutionary Road
Simon Beaufoy, Slumdog Millionaire

Very Possible: Eric Roth, David Hare
Less Possible: Francois Begaudeau
Dark Horse: Jonathan Nolan
Winner?: Braucci would make a great story, but Beaufoy seems like a frontrunner here, unless Revolutionary Road is fantastic. Adapt a book that great, and the film turns out that great, and you’re in good shape.

And, I’m quitting the special features:

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
Kung Fu Panda
WALL-E
Waltz With Bazhir

BEST FOREIGN FILM
The Class (France)
Everlasting Moments (Sweden)
Gomorrah (Italy)
The Mermaid (Russia)
Revanche (Austria)

BEST DOCUMENTARY
Man on Wire
Religulous
Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired
Trouble The Water
Up The Yangtze

BEST EDITING
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
Frost/Nixon
Milk
Revolutionary Road


BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Australia
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
Gomorrah
Revolutionary Road

BEST ART DIRECTION
Australia
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
Frost/Nixon
Revolutionary Road

BEST COSTUME DESIGN
Australia
Changeling
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Duchess
Revolutionary Road

BEST ORIGINAL SONG
“Down to Earth” (WALL-E – Peter Gabriel)
“Jai Ho” (Slumdog Millionaire – AR Rahmen)
“The Wrestler” (The Wrestler – Bruce Springsteen)

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
Australia
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Doubt
Revolutionary Road
WALL-E

BEST SOUND MIXING
Australia
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
Quantum of Solace
WALL-E

BEST SOUND EDITING
Australia
The Dark Knight
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Iron Man
WALL-E

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Iron Man

BEST MAKEUP
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Synecdoche, New York
Tropic Thunder

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