Monday, January 19, 2009

My FINAL 2008 Academy Award Predictions

Slumdog Millionaire – the only true 100% lock for a nomination. Mark my words, without any doubt or qualifiers, this is your Best Picture winner.
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button – seemingly safe, it's been in for all the guilds, it’s well liked, and now a $100+ million grosser, but it's losing momentum, and no one’s particularly passionate about it.
The Dark Knight – WGA, DGA and PGA noms are strong indicators, but snubs by SAG, BAFTA and HFPA are worrisome.
Milk –Has arguably the least momentum of the five, and—somewhat inexplicably to me—no passionate champions, with many deeming it unremarkable and a standard biography. I once thought this would swoop in for the win, but now, the nomination doesn't even seem assured, if likely.
WALL-E – the real wild card of the Best Picture race; was ineligible for the DGA and WGA, so its lack of placement there means nothing. In the negative column, Disney hasn’t been trying very hard to boost its chances/visibility, and the ‘Animated Feature’ category guarantees the film will already get some recognition, so that might be enough for many voters. Still, it’s the one film besides “Slumdog” that people seem to genuinely love and could earn many crucial #1 votes on ballots.

Very feasible possibilities:
Frost/Nixon – I’m probably underestimating it (it’s been nominated by every guild), and it’ll likely get the middle-of-the-road “Michael Clayton”/”Seabiscuit”/”Ray” slot. But I just have an odd feeling about “WALL-E” and I feel like the liked-but-not-loved “Frost/Nixon” will be the one to get the boot for the beloved little bot

Gran Torino
– It’s a genuinely awful, schmaltzy, overacted, horribly written piece-of-shit, but it’s beloved by critics, audiences and (I hear) academy members, and I’ve learned to never underestimate the gay crushes that older, heterosexual males have on Clint

Doubt – Much love floating around, but I just don’t see it

The Wrestler – As much as I love it, I never thought this had a chance at a Best Picture nod – it’s too dark, depressing, gritty, small – but it’s gotten strong support from a large number of the guilds. It’s still very unlikely, but stranger things have happened

Revolutionary Road – should be a frontrunner in a just world, but voters seemingly got vibes of entitlement from its Oscar pedigree, and a number of them have admitted off-the-record that it was too gloomy/”depressing” for their tastes

David Fincher, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
Gus Van Sant, “Milk”
Christopher Nolan, “The Dark Knight”
DannyBoyle, “Slumdog Millionaire”
Ron Howard, “Frost/Nixon”

I can’t figure out who, but I think one of the above (could be anyone except Boyle) will get bumped out in favor of Woody Allen (“Vicky Cristina Barcelona”), Darren Arronofsky (“The Wrestler”) or Jonathan Demme (“Rachel Getting Married”)

Clint Eastwood, “Gran Torino”
Richard Jenkins, “The Visitor”
Frank Langella, “Frost/Nixon”
Sean Penn, “Milk”
Mickey Rourke, “The Wrestler”

Very feasible possibilities:
- Josh Brolin, “W.”
- Brad Pitt, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
- Leonardo DiCaprio, “Revolutionary Road”

Anne Hathaway, “Rachel Getting Married”
Sally Hawkins, “Happy-Go-Lucky”
Melissa Leo, “Frozen River”
Meryl Streep, “Doubt”
Kate Winslet, “Revolutionary Road”

Very feasible possibilities:
- Kristen Scott-Thomas, “I’ve Loved You So Long”
- Angelina Jolie, “Changeling”
- Cate Blanchett, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”

Josh Brolin, “Milk”
Robert Downey, Jr., “Tropic Thunder”
Philip Seymour Hoffman, “Doubt”
Heath Ledger, “The Dark Knight”
Dev Patel, “Slumdog Millionaire”

Very feasible possibilities:
- Michael Shannon, “Revolutionary Road”
- James Franco, “Milk”
- Eddie Marsan, “Happy-Go-Lucky”

Amy Adams, “Doubt”
Penelope Cruz, “Vicky Cristina Barcelona”
Viola Davis, “Doubt”
Marisa Tomei, “The Wrestler”
Kate Winslet, “The Reader”

Very feasible possibilities:
- Rosemarie Dewitt, “Rachel Getting Married”
- Debra Winger, “Rachel Getting Married”
- Taraji P. Henson, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
- Freida Pinto, “Slumdog Millionaire”

“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
“The Dark Knight”
“Slumdog Millionaire”

Very feasible possibilities:
- “The Reader”
- “Revolutionary Road”
- “The Class”

“Rachel Getting Married”
“Vicky Cristina Barcelona”
“The Wrestler”

Very feasible possibilities:
- “The Visitor”
- “Gran Torino”
- “Happy-Go-Lucky”