What should I be doing instead of this?
February 22nd, 2009 By Jason Gargano | Movies |

Oscar Predictions


I'm through bitching about how clueless the Academy is for overlooking my favorite films in favor of "geriatric coffeetable dogshit" (aka The Reader), as Christian Slater put it in True Romance. (To be fair, The Reader is slightly better than dogshit, mostly due to the presence of Kate Winslet.) Yes, I've finally accepted the Oscars for what it is: an industry wank-fest punctuated by a few moments of genuine spontaneity and/or emotion. Look for Slumdog Millionaire to clean up tonight despite not garnering a single acting nomination, which is almost unheard of for a Best Picture nominee. And look for an elaborately coiffed, sunglasses- and chain wallet-clad Mickey Rourke do something wonderfully eccentric while accepting the Best Actor Oscar. Oh, and one more thing that confirms The Reader's questionable nomination: Arnold Schwarzenegger has proclaimed it not only his favorite film of 2008 but also one of the best films of all time.

Best Picture
Should win: Milk
Will win: Slumdog Millionaire

Slumdog is pretty much a lock for Best Picture. None of the films on my top 10 list made the cut in this category, thus I’ve got Milk slightly ahead of Slumdog and Frost/Nixon in my “Should win” slot.

Best Director
Should win: Gus Van Sant, Milk
Will win: Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire

Boyle is almost certain to win for his deftly constructed, slightly overrated feel-good contraption, but I gotta give Van Sant props for his deft re-creation of the period and for having the vision to cast Penn in the lead role. Oh, and he directed another 2008 film, Paranoid Park, which was better than anything up for Best Picture.

Best Actress
Should win: Melissa Leo, Frozen River
Will win: Kate Winslet, The Reader

Since two of the year’s four best performances didn’t make the cut (Kristen Scott Thomas in I’ve Love You So Long and Sally Hawkins in Happy-Go-Lucky), I’ve got to go with Leo slightly edging out Winslet, who will be the likely winner.

Best Actor
Should win: Sean Penn, Milk
Will win: Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler

Can’t go wrong with either one of these guys, but Penn’s performance was slightly more impressive given the degree of difficulty. Rourke is likely to win for two reasons: Hollywood loves a comeback and Penn already has one Best Actor Oscar.

Best Supporting Actress
Should win: Penelope Cruz, Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Will win: Penelope Cruz, Vicky Cristina Barcelona

This is probably one of the more underwhelming categories this year — I can think of at least a dozen just as (or more) deserving nominees. Cruz is the likely choice, but don’t rule out Benjamin Button’s Taraji P. Henson.

Best Supporting Actor
Should win: Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight
Will win: Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight

Probably this year's most intriguing category given Ledger’s death, the resurrection of Robert Downey Jr. and the continued excellence of Philip Seymour Hoffman, who wasn't even nominated for his best 2008 performance (Synecdoche, New York). It was also cool to see Josh Brolin recognized for bringing grace to a tough role in Milk. I would be shocked if Ledger doesn’t win.

Best Animated Film
Should win: WALL-E
Will win: WALL-E

WALL-E is better than any of the Best Picture nominees.

Should win: Slumdog Millionaire
Will win: Slumdog Millionaire

Best Documentary
Should win: Man on Wire
Will win: Man on Wire

Film Editing
Should win: Slumdog Millionaire
Will win: Slumdog Millionaire

Best Foreign Language Film
Should win: The Class
Will win: Waltz with Bashir

Best Adapted Screenplay
Should win: Frost/Nixon
Will win: Milk

Best Original Screenplay
Should win: Frozen River
Will win: WALL-E

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