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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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”