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…

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Oscar: Short Film (Live)

I’ve now seen all of the nominations for the short live-action films, so here goes.

BOLD = Predictions
ITALICS = Personal Picks

At Night
Il Supplente (The Substitute
Le Mozart des Pickpockets (The Mozart of Pickpockets)
Tanghi Argentini
The Tonto Woman

—–

The Rest of the Awards 

I haven’t seen these, so here’s nothing:

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
No End in Sight
Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience
Sicko
Taxi to the Dark Side
War/Dance

DOCUMENTARY SHORT
Freeheld
La Corona (The Crown)
Salim Baba
Sari’s Mother

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Beaufort
The Counterfeiters
Katyn
Mongol
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Oscar Predictions

Having just seen Michael Clayton last night, I thought I’d post my updated Oscar Predictions.

BOLD = Predictions
ITALICS = Personal Picks

BEST MOTION PICTURE OF THE YEAR
Atonement
Juno
Michael Clayton
No Country for Old Men
There Will Be Blood

ACHIEVEMENT IN DIRECTING
Julian Schnabel – The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Jason Reitman – Juno
Tony Gilroy – Michael Clayton
Joel Coen and Ethan Coen – No Country for Old Men
Paul Thomas Anderson – There Will Be Blood

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
George Clooney – Michael Clayton
Daniel Day-Lewis – There Will Be Blood
Johnny Depp – Sweeney Todd The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Tommy Lee Jones – In the Valley of Elah
Viggo Mortensen – Eastern Promises

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE
Cate Blanchett – Elizabeth: The Golden Age
Julie Christie – Away From Her
Marion Cotillard – La Vie en Rose
Laura Linney – The Savages
Ellen Page – Juno

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Casey Affleck – The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
Javier Bardem – No Country for Old Men
Philip Seymour Hoffman – Charlie Wilson’s War
Hal Holbrook – Into the Wild
Tom Wilkinson – Michael Clayton

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Cate Blanchett – I’m Not There
Ruby Dee – American Gangster
Saoirse Ronan – Atonement
Amy Ryan – Gone Baby Gone
Tilda Swinton – Michael Clayton

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Christopher Hampton – Atonement
Sarah Polley – Away From Her
Ronald Harwood – The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Joel Coen & Ethan Coen – No Country for Old Men
Paul Thomas Anderson – There Will Be Blood

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Diablo Cody – Juno
Nancy Oliver – Lars and the Real Girl
Tony Gilroy – Michael Clayton
Brad Bird – Ratatouille
Tamara Jenkins – The Savages

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM OF THE YEAR
Persepolis
Ratatouille
Surf’s Up

ACHIEVEMENT IN ART DIRECTION
American Gangster
Art Direction: Arthur Max; Set Decoration: Beth A. Rubino
Atonement
Art Direction: Sarah Greenwood; Set Decoration: Katie Spencer
The Golden Compass
Art Direction: Dennis Gassner; Set Decoration: Anna Pinnock
Sweeney Todd The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Art Direction: Dante Ferretti; Set Decoration: Francesca Lo Schiavo
There Will Be Blood
Art Direction: Jack Fisk; Set Decoration: Jim Erickson

ACHIEVEMENT IN CINEMATOGRAPHY
Roger Deakins – The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
Seamus McGarvey – Atonement
Janusz Kaminski – The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Roger Deakins – No Country for Old Men
Robert Elswit – There Will Be Blood

ACHIEVEMENT IN COSTUME DESIGN
Albert Wolsky – Across the Universe
Jacqueline Durran – Atonement
Alexandra Byrne – Elizabeth: The Golden Age
Marit Allen – La Vie en Rose
Colleen Atwood – Sweeney Todd The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

ACHIEVEMENT IN FILM EDITING
Christopher Rouse – The Bourne Ultimatum
Juliette Welfling – The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Jay Cassidy – Into the Wild
Roderick Jaynes – No Country for Old Men
Dylan Tichenor – There Will Be Blood

ACHIEVEMENT IN MAKEUP
Didier Lavergne and Jan Archibald – La Vie en Rose
Rick Baker and Kazuhiro Tsuji – Norbit
Ve Neill and Martin Samuel – Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End

ACHIEVEMENT IN MUSIC WRITTEN FOR MOTION PICTURES (ORIGINAL SCORE)
Dario Marianelli – Atonement
Alberto Iglesias – The Kite Runner
James Newton Howard – Michael Clayton
Michael Giacchino – Ratatouille
Marco Beltrami – 3:10 to Yuma

ACHIEVEMENT IN MUSIC WRITTEN FOR MOTION PICTURES (ORIGINAL SONG)
“Falling Slowly” – Once
Music and Lyric by Glen Hansard and: Marketa Irglova
“Happy Working Song” – Enchanted
Music by Alan Menken; Lyric by Stephen Schwartz
”Raise It Up” – August Rush
Nominees to be determined “So Close” – Enchanted
Music by Alan Menken; Lyric by Stephen Schwartz
“That’s How You Know” – Enchanted
Music by Alan Menken; Lyric by Stephen Schwartz

ACHIEVEMENT IN SOUND MIXING
Scott Millan, David Parker and Kirk Francis – The Bourne Ultimatum
Skip Lievsay, Craig Berkey, Greg Orloff and Peter Kurland – No Country for Old Men
Randy Thom, Michael Semanick and Doc Kane – Ratatouille
Paul Massey, David Giammarco and Jim Stuebe – 3:10 to Yuma
Kevin O’Connell, Greg P. Russell and Peter J. Devlin – Transformers

ACHIEVEMENT IN SOUND EDITING
Karen Baker Landers and Per Hallberg – The Bourne Ultimatum
Skip Lievsay – No Country for Old Men
Randy Thom and Michael Silvers – Ratatouille
Matthew Wood – There Will Be Blood
Ethan Van der Ryn and Mike Hopkins Transformers

ACHIEVEMENT IN VISUAL EFFECTS
Michael Fink, Bill Westenhofer, Ben Morris and Trevor Wood – The Golden Compass
John Knoll, Hal Hickel, Charles Gibson and John Frazier – Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End
Scott Farrar, Scott Benza, Russell Earl and John Frazier – Transformers