Joel

The Cutting Room Floor

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The 2009 Oscar Predictions!!!
Joel
damngoodphil
Okay, here goes:

BEST PICTURE
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Frost/Nixon
Milk
The Reader
Slumdog Millionaire

We can nix THE READER and FROST/NIXON. BUTTON wouldn't be bad, but it won't beat SLUMDOG or MILK. SLUMDOG has been getting more and more buzz lately, but somehow, I just don't think the Academy will award it here. It'll get almost everything else, but I think MILK has this one in the bag.

SHOULD WIN: Slumdog Millionaire
WILL WIN: Milk

BEST DIRECTOR
Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire
David Fincher, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Ron Howard, Frost/Nixon
Stephen Daldry, The Reader
Gus Van Sant, Milk

We can automatically rule out Howard and Daldry (who nominated those guys, anyway?). Fincher would be nice, but doesn't seem likely to beat out Van Sant or Boyle. If Boyle wins, he'll certainly be getting it for his best film, but Van Sant could very easily steal it. Fortunately, they both deserve it. I must note: how Chris Nolan (THE DARK KNIGHT) and Clint Eastwood (CHANGELING) were not nominated here is beyond me.

SHOULD WIN: Danny Boyle or Gus Van Sant
WILL WIN: Danny Boyle

BEST ACTOR
Richard Jenkins, The Visitor
Frank Langella, Frost/Nixon
Sean Penn, Milk
Brad Pitt, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler

Jenkins' nomination is welcome, but he doesn't have a chance against the others. Pitt and Langella both put forth strong performances, but neither have the buzz of Rourke's or Penn's. I'd love for Rourke to get it (and he does deserve it), but we all know how much the Academy looooves Sean Penn (though Penn's performance isn't bad either).

SHOULD WIN: Mickey Rourke
WILL WIN: Sean Penn

BEST ACTRESS
Anne Hathaway, Rachel Getting Married
Angelina Jolie, Changeling
Melissa Leo, Frozen River
Meryl Streep, Doubt
Kate Winslet, The Reader

Kate is going to win. I just really wish it was for any other movie she's done but this one. ANY one.

SHOULD AND WILL WIN: Kate Winslet

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

Shannon was good, but doesn't have a shot against his competition; Downey Jr. was amusing, but he's not even in the same league as the others in this case. As good as Brolin and Hoffman were, neither of them can touch the performance we all knew was going to take it home this year.

SHOULD AND WILL WIN: Heath Ledger

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Amy Adams, Doubt
Penélope Cruz, Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Viola Davis, Doubt
Taraji P. Henson, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Marisa Tomei, The Wrestler

Tomei would be nice, but she won't get it; Davis and Henson both had strong performances, but not Oscar worthy. I hope with every fiber of my being that Cruz DOES NOT win, but the Academy has some kind of fascination with her and I can totally see them snubbing Adams. Boo!

SHOULD WIN: Amy Adams
WILL WIN: Penélope Cruz

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Frozen River, Courtney Hunt
Happy-Go-Lucky, Mike Leigh
In Bruges, Martin McDonagh
Milk, Dustin Lance Black
WALL-E, Andrew Stanton, Jim Reardon, Pete Docter

Wall-E would be nice, the the Academy would never award such a choice. MILK certainly wouldn't be unexpected, but the other nominees have more writing buzz and with all the attention that IN BRUGES has gotten recently, it seems like a lock. Still, Happy Go-Lucky would be nice.

SHOULD WIN: Happy Go-Lucky
WILL WIN: In Bruges

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Eric Roth
Doubt, John Patrick Shanley
Frost/Nixon, Peter Morgan
The Reader, David Hare
Slumdog Millionaire, Simon Beaufoy

We can nix DOUBT and THE READER (hopefully). FROST/NIXON is good, but doesn't have the clout of BUTTON or SLUMDOG. I would love to see either of these two win, but SLUMDOG seems likely to sweep this one.

SHOULD WIN: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button OR Slumdog Millionaire
WILL WIN: Slumdog Millionaire

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
Bolt
Kung Fu Panda
WALL-E

Is this even a contest? Please, Academy: do the right thing.

SHOULD AND WILL WIN: Wall-E.

BEST ART DIRECTION
Changeling
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
The Duchess
Revolutionary Road

Really tough. THE DARK KNIGHT probably doesn't have a shot against its competition. THE DUCHESS pretty much already has a lock for costume design, but ROAD and CHANGELING are so similar that it's likely they'll split the vote. A pity, especially considering that CHANGELING'S already been snubbed on so many deserved nominations.

SHOULD WIN: Changeling
WILL WIN: The Duchess

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Changeling
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
The Reader
Slumdog Millionaire

Both THE READER and DARK KNIGHT are out. THE CHANGELING looks amazing, but doesn't have the picturesque look of BUTTON. I really think this is BB'S most deserved Oscar, but I have a feeling the Academy is going to leave this one to SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE.

SHOULD WIN: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
WILL WIN: Slumdog Millionaire

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

We can rule out MILK and AUSTRALIA; BUTTON and ROAD are great, but both have very similar designs, leading them to likely split the vote. Not that it matters though, because THE DUCHESS trumps them all.

SHOULD AND WILL WIN: The Duchess

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
The Betrayal (Nerakhoon)
Encounters at the End of the World
The Garden
Man on Wire
Trouble the Water

I've seen none of these, so I'm gonna take a guess based purely on synopsis. With that, I find it hard to believe any of the nominated could trump a film on KATRINA.

WILL WIN: Trouble the Water

BEST EDITING
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
Frost/Nixon
Milk
Slumdog Millionaire

Very tough. FROST/NIXON is good, but not on the caliber of the others. BUTTON works, but isn't quite as tight as the rest and THE DARK KNIGHT just doesn't beat the remaining two. It really boils down to MILK Vs. SLUMDOG and as well as both of them are cut, MILK lacks the building tension that SLUMDOG has (save for maybe near the end), largely thanks to the film's editing.

SHOULD AND WILL WIN: Slumdog Millionaire

BEST MAKEUP
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
Hellboy II: The Golden Army

So it's Button Vs. Joker Vs. Hellboy. All three films certainly have a chance here. Oscar politics would dictate BENJAMIN BUTTON to be the winner, but I have a feeling DARK KNIGHT and BB will split the vote, making HELLBOY victorious (and deservedly so).

SHOULD AND WILL WIN: Hellboy II: The Golden Army

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Alexandre Desplat
Defiance, James Newton Howard
Milk, Danny Elfman
Slumdog Millionaire, A.R. Rahman
WALL-E, Thomas Newman

The Academy will likely ignore Newman, Howard, and Elfman (as they always do, sadly). BUTTON has a wonderfully subtle and emotional score, but I have a sinking feeling the Academy is going to pull a "Santaolalla" and recognize SLUMDOG for perhaps the only award it doesn't deserve.

SHOULD WIN: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
WILL WIN: Slumdog Millionaire

BEST ORIGINAL SONG
''Down to Earth,'' WALL-E
''Jai Ho,'' Slumdog Millionaire
''O Saya,'' Slumdog Millionaire

SLUMDOG could very easily split the vote, shooing WALL-E in for the win. Still, I don't see how SLUMDOG doesn't have this one locked.

SHOULD AND WILL WIN: "Jai Ho," Slumdog Millionaire

BEST SOUND EDITING
The Dark Knight
Iron Man
Slumdog Millionaire
WALL-E
Wanted

The only one of these that even has a chance of taking WALL-E is IRON MAN, and even it falls short here.

SHOULD AND WILL WIN: Wall-E

BEST SOUND MIXING
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
Slumdog Millionaire
WALL-E
Wanted

SLUMDOG has a dark horse chance here, though once again, I find it hard to believe that any of these could have a chance against a movie that is built entirely upon sound.

SHOULD AND WILL WIN: Wall-E

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
Iron Man

IRON MAN may not be the best of the three (in fact, it isn't), but the other two films simply don't offer as much in the way of visual effects. THE DARK KNIGHT boasts only one major sequence (two, if you count the "Bat-Sonar"), while BUTTON'S success lies more in the makeup than in the CGI. I'd love for the Academy to award this on the merit of subtlety, but it ain't gonna happen.

SHOULD WIN: The Dark Knight or The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
WILL WIN: Iron Man

Stay Tuned...

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Kate is going to win. I just really wish it was for any other movie she's done but this one. ANY one.
Uuuggghhh, I disagree. Granted, I LOVE Kate Winslet, and while I didn't see The Reader (yet), if she was nominated for Revolutionary Road, I would've vomited.

I hope with every fiber of my being that Cruz DOES NOT win, but the Academy has some kind of fascination with her and I can totally see them snubbing Adams. Boo!
This win was not deserved. Period.

Last note, I would've liked it if In Bruges won.

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