Final Oscar Predictions

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Best Picture: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Best Actor: Mickey Rourke (The Wrestler)
Best Actress: Melissa Leo (Frozen River)
Best Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger (The Dark Knight)
Best Supporting Actress: Amy Adams (Doubt)
Best Director: David Fincher (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button)
Best Original Screenplay: Martin McDonagh (In Bruges)
Best Adapted Screenplay: Eli Roth (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button)
Best Cinamatography: Anthony Dod Mantle (Slumdog Millionaire)
Best Art Direction: Donald Graham Burt / Victor J. Zolfo (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button)
Best Costume Design: Michael O’Connor (The Duchess)
Best Sound: Tom Myers / Michael Semanick / Ben Burtt (WALL-E)
Best Editing: Chris Dickens (Slumdog Millionaire)
Best Sound Editing: Ben Burtt / Matthew Wood (WALL-E)
Best Visual Effects: Eric Barba / Steve Preeg / Burt Dalton / Craig Barron (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button)
Best Makeup: Greg Cannom (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button)
Best Song: Peter Gabriel’s “Down to Earth” (WALL-E)
Best Music: Alexandre Desplat (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button)
Best Animated Short Film: La Maison en Petits Cubes
Best Live Action Short Film: The Pig
Best Short Documentary: The Conscience of Nhem En
Best Documentary: Man on Wire
Best Foreign Film: Waltz with Bashir
Best Animated Film: WALL-E

There you have it. Some pretty risky predictions there; it’s a mixture of personal opinion and what others have said. Guessing on the foreign films and short documentaries has become an annual tradition for me. 🙂

If I find a laptop, I will be updating during the ceremony via Twitter. Feel free to follow me and tweet your thoughts.

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Not Interested in The Oscars?

If you’re not interested in the Oscars (Broadcasting live this Sunday night…), pop The Visitor into your DVD player. Richard Jenkins turns in a marvelous performance in the lead role. Honestly, if it wasn’t for Mickey Rourke my Oscar ballot would have a check mark next to Richard Jenkins.

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Hopefully I’ll have my official Oscar ballot ready to post over the weekend (After I watch The Reader and Changeling, that is)

Academy Awards Predictions: Part 2

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Best Art Direction
Donald Graham Burt / Victor J. Zolfo (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button)
*Revolutionary Road might give Button a fight, but wow, what a gorgeous film.

Best Cinematography
Anthony Dod Mantle (Slumdog Millionaire)
*This is a  hard one to call. I loved Button and TDK, but the chaos of Slumdog blew me away. From early on in the film I was expecting to have a Bourne-style headache, but it was surprisingly smooth.

Best Film Editing
Chris Dickens (Slumdog Millionaire)
*The editing and the cinematography blended together so well; you couldn’t have one without the other.

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Best Costume Design
Michael O’Connor (The Duchess)
*Period pieces winning the award three times in a row? Probably. I wouldn’t mind seeing Revolutionary Road sneak in for the award.

Best Make-Up
Greg Cannom (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button)
*This is a toss-up between Button and TDK (*cough*Joker*cough*) Both are very deserving.

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Best Original Score
Alexandre Desplat (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button)
*Slumdog and WALL-E also have a pretty good shot at this. Desplat’s score was a great compantion for the film, from atmosphere to period.

Best Original Song
“Down to Earth” (Peter Gabriel) (WALL-E)
*Personally I would choose “O Saya” from Slumdog Millionaire, but I’m thinking there will be a Slumdog split vote on this one.

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Best Sound Mixing
Ben Burtt / Matthew Wood (WALL-E)

Best Sounding Editing
Ben Burtt / Matthew Wood (WALL-E)
*Hand down in my book. The sound was incredible in this film.

Best Visual Effects
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
*If this doesn’t win, I will be sorely disappointed. It needed some more work, but it was spectacular throughout.

Academy Awards Predictions: Part 1

The following are my tentative predictions for the 2009 Academy Awards.

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Best Picture
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
*I’m being pretty risky with my picks this year, with the Slumdog train constantly picking up momentum, but this was such an incredible film. And winning would help make up for Zodiac not receiving one nomination last year.

Best Director
David Fincher (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button)
*Even if Slumdog manages to take best picture over Button, Fincher still deserves the best director award. (Did I mention that Zodiac didn’t receive on enomination last year?)

Best Screenplay (Adapted)
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (Eric Roth)
*From what I’ve heard (Planning on reading the short story soon), Roth’s adaptation took the story to a whole nother level. It definitely has it’s Forrest Gump influences, but it’s still a great story.

Best Screenplay (Original)
In Bruges (Martin McDonagh)
*There’s a lot of good competition this year, so it’s a hard call to make. Relative newcomer McDonagh wrote a mighty fine script. The underdog award goes to him.

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Best Actor
Mickey Rourke (The Wrestler)
*Just watch The Wrestler, already.

Best Actress
Kate Winslet (The Reader)
*I admit that I haven’t seen The Reader yet, but I plan doing so before the ceremony. Anne Hathaway and Meryl Streep also have a decent chance here as well.

Best Supporting Actor
Heath Ledger (The Dark Knight)
*Especially in a year where there isn’t much competition in the supporting actor award (Why is Josh Brolin in there?), this is a lock.

Best Supporting Actress
Penélope Cruz (Vicky Cristina Barcelona)
*Again, haven’t seen it, but it should be coming in via NetFlix today. I wouldn’t mind seeing Amy Adams or Marisa Tomei taking the award, either.

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Best Animated Feature
WALL-E
*Grade A work from Pixar, from start to finish.

Best Documentary Feature
Man on Wire
*Totally took my breath away; kicking myself that I didn’t see this in the theater when I had the chance. It is nice to see Herzog nominated as well, though it’s not one of his best films. I still have to see the other three nominations.

Best Foreign Language Feature
Waltz With Bashir
*I’m picking this solely on the buzz. I haven’t seen any of the films in this category yet.

I’ll continue with the technical awards at a later date…

81st Academy Awards Nominations

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These are the nominations for the 81st Academy Awards…

Supporting Actress
Amy Adams (Doubt)
Viola Davis (Doubt)
Penelope Cruz (Vicki Christina Barcelona)
Taraji P. Henson (Slumdog Millionaire)
Marisa Tomei (The Wrestler)

Supporting Actor
Josh Brolin (Milk)
Robert Downey, Jr. (Tropic Thunder)
Philip Seymour Hoffman (Doubt)
Heath Ledger (The Dark Knight)
Michael Shannon (Revolutionary Road)

Best Actress
Anne Hathaway (Rachel Getting Married)
Angelina Jolie (The Changeling)
Melissa Leo (Frozen River)
Meryl Streep (Doubt)
Kate Winslet (The Reader)

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)

Best Director
David Fincher (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button)
Ron Howard (Frost/Nixon)
Gus Van Sant (Milk)
Stephen Daldry (The Reader)
Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire)

Best Original Screenplay
Frozen River
Happy-Go-Lucky
In Bruge
Milk
Wall-E

Best Adapted Screenplay
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Doubt
Frost/Nixon
The Reader
Slumdog Millionaire

Best Foreign Film
The Badder-Meinhof Complex
The Class
Departures
Revanche
Waltz With Bashir

Best Animated Feature
Bolt
Kung Fu Panda
Wall-E

Best Picture
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Frost/Nixon
Milk
The Reader
Slumdog Millionaire

Best Documentary
The Betrayal
Encounters at the End of the World
The Garden
Man on Wire

Best Art Direction
Changeling
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
The Duchess
Revolutionary Road

Best Cinematography
Changeling
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
The Reader
Slumdog Millionaire

Best Film Editing
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
Frost/Nixon
Milk
Slumdog Millionaire

Best Costume Design
Australia
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Duchess
Milk
Revolutionary Road

Best Makeup
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
Hellboy II: The Golden Army

Best Original Score
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Defiance
Milk
Slumdog Millionaire
WALL-E

Best Original Song
“Down to Earth” (Wall-E)
“Jaiho” (Slumdog Millionaire)
“O Saya” (Slumdog Millionaire)

Best Sound Mixing
WALL-E
The Dark Knight
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Wanted
Slumdog Millionaire

Best Sound Editing
WALL-E
Iron Man
The Dark Knight
Wanted
Slumdog Millionaire

Best Visual Effects
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
Iron Man

Best Documentary Short Subject
The Conscience of Nhem En
The Final Inch
Smile Pinki
The Witness From the Balcony of Room 306

Best Animated Short Film
La Maison en Petits Cubes
Lavatory Lovestory
Oktapodi
Presto
This Way Up

Best Live Action Short Film
Auf der Strecke (On the Line)
Manon on the Asphalt
New Boy
The Pig
Spielzeugland (Toyland)

Thoughts? (I’ll pretty this up as I go along)

2008 Oscar-Bait

Well, it’s been a good year at the movies so far. There are only a few films that I’m interested in seeing this Summer (Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Pineapple Express, and Tropic Thunder)

My Top 5 for 2008 So Far:

1. The Dark Knight
2. Wall-E
3. American Teen
4. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
5. Iron Man

That said, I’m really looking forward to Oscar season this year. I have a feeling that the Academy Awards are going to be insane with competition. Last year was good, but this will probably be better. This afternoon I hunted down the upcoming films for the rest of the year.

My Top 11 Must-Sees:



The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Directed By: David Fincher
Starring: Brad Pitt / Cate Blanchett / Tilda Swinton

Zodiac was royally shafted at the Academy Awards this year. I thought it should have been nominated for picture, adapted screenplay, supporting actor (Robert Downey Jr) and visual effects. It probably wouldn’t have won any, but it should have had some recognition.

That said, I think Benjamin Button is going to get Fincher back in the game.


(Apple Trailers)

Burn After Reading
Directed By: Ethan Coen / Joel Coen
Starring: Brad Pitt / George Clooney / John Malkovich / Tilda Swinton / Frances McDormand

After the amazing No Country for Old Men last year, it looks like the Coens are back in action with a dark screwball comedy (their forte) with a great ensemble cast. It will be nice to see Frances McDormand in a Coen film again.


(Apple Trailers)

Revolutionary Road
Directed By: Sam Mendes
Starring: Leondardo DiCaprio / Kate Winslet / Kathy Bates

Looks like a Titanic cast reunion. Add in the director of American Beauty and Road to Perdition and you have an awesome combination.

The Soloist
Directed By: Joe Wright
Starring: Robert Downey Jr. / Jamie Foxx / Catharine Keener

Robert Downey Jr. has been in an insane number of films the last few years. That’s all.

Australia
Directed By: Baz Luhrmann
Starring: Hugh Jackman / Nicole Kidman / David Wenham

Quite simply, this looks epic, and I do not want to miss seeing it on the silver screen. It may end up being the next Lawrence of Arabia for all we know. And you can’t go wrong with Hugh Jacman.


(Apple Trailers)

Appaloosa
Directed By: Ed Harris
Starring: Viggo Mortensen / Renée Zellweger / Jeremy Irons / Ed Harris

As long as it’s better than Hidalgo. Solid cast, and the amazing Ed Harris.

Lakeview Terrace
Directed By: Neil LaBute
Starring: Patrick Wilson / Kerry Washington / Samuel L. Jackson

What can I say? The preview sold me. This looks to be quite the tense film.


(Apple Trailers)

Body of Lies
Directed By: Ridley Scott
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio / Russell Crowe

Since 2002, DiCaprio hasn’t disappionted me once as an actor. He just keeps plugging away. With 8 films in the next two years, he’s going to be a busy man. And to top it off, the preview reminded me a little bit of Michael Mann’s Heat, which is never a bad thing.

Doubt
Directed By: John Patrick Shanley
Starring: Meryl Streep / Philip Seymour Hoffman / Amy Adams

I’ve heard really good things about the Shanley’s play, which this is based on. And what a great cast.

The Reader
Directed By: Stephen Daldry
Starring: Kate Winslet / Ralph Fiennes

Defiance
Directed By: Edward Zwick
Starring: Daniel Craig / Liev Schreiber / Jamie Bell

You can’t go wrong with Edward Zwick.

What films are you looking forward to the most?

Oscars: Final Tally

All said, I got 14 predictions right this year. More on that in a future post.

Highlights (In no particular order)

  • Jon Stewart (or was it Cate Blanchett?) was once again great as the host. Some Stewart quotes:
  • “Too often, the Academy ignores movies…that aren’t good.” (Referring to Norbit)
  • “Thank God for teen pregnancy”
  • “Tonight, welcome to the make up sex” (About the writer’s strike)
  • “Oscar is 80 this year, which makes him automatically the front runner for the Republic nomination”
  • Playing Wii Tennis on stage
  • The early montages: Binoculars & Periscopes / Waking from a bad dream. Priceless.
  • Jonah Hill and Seth Rogan as Halle Berry and Dame Judi Dench
  • Once winning best song
  • Markéta Irglová being let back on stage after being cut off for her acceptance speech. Good form!
  •  Marion Cotillard winning best actress award! Not my prediction, but I was SO happy for her. What an amazing performance
  • Daniel Plainview kneeling before the Queen after winning the award for best actor. Awesome.
  • How can Tom Hanks look old?
  • Robert Boyle’s speech
  • The Coens on stage.
  • Daniel Day-Lewis: “This sprang like a golden sapling out of the mad beautiful head of Paul Thomas Anderson”