Okay, so these are the categories that people (other than losers like me) actually want to see handed out every year. So, without further delay, here are what I think will win the 8 major Oscar categories.
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
Will Win: I’m torn here. I think that if Rourke wins actor, than Milk probably wins this. But if Penn wins actor, than Wall-E wins this one. Since I went with Rourke, I should probably guess Milk, but I’m not going to. Put your money on Wall-E
Should Win: Wall-E. One of the very best screenplays of the year, and it did it all with little dialogue. None of the other nominees comes close to this one.
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button - Eric Roth, Robin Swicord
Doubt - John Patrick Shanley
Frost/Nixon - Peter Morgan
The Reader - David Hare
Slumdog Millionaire - Simon Beaufoy
Will Win: Slumdog Millionaire. Another boring category.
Should Win: Doubt. Some argue that it’s simply a cut and paste job for Shanley’s own play, but look at these five movies and tell me if ANY of them have better writing than Doubt. I don’t think so.
Amy Adams, Doubt
Penelope Cruz, Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Viola Davis, Doubt
Taraji P. Henson, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Marisa Tomei, The Wrestler
Will Win: With the frontrunner in Winslet moved to lead, this has become a difficult category to call. But all things being equal, Penelope Cruz seems to me to be the frontrunner, as the Doubt ladies will split the vote, Tomei already has an Oscar and Henson just isn’t in the same league. The category with the biggest possibility of an upset on Oscar night.
Should Win: Viola Davis. I love Tomei almost as much, but I think it takes real skill to be able to change an entire movie in just one short scene – and to act circles around Meryl Streep at the top of her game no less as well. Davis is a tremendous actress and has been for years, and it’s about damn time people recognized that
Josh Brolin, Milk
Robert Downey Jr., Tropic Thunder
Philip Seymour Hoffman, Doubt
Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight
Michael Shannon, Revolutionary Road
Will Win: Heath Ledger. He’s been the frontrunner all year, and nothing has really changed.
Should Win: Ledger’s is undeniably the performance for 2008 that is going to be most well remembered – and with good reason. He stands head and shoulders above a strong crowd.
Anne Hathaway, Rachel Getting Married
Angelina Jolie, Changeling
Melissa Leo, Frozen River
Meryl Streep, Doubt
Kate Winslet, The Reader
Will Win: Unless they decide to give Meryl her third Oscar (and they might), Kate Winslet will finally receive the Oscar she deserved years ago.
Should Win: If we’re talking purely based on the performances they were nominated for, than either Hathaway or Streep would get my vote. But Winslet did deliver the best performance by an actress this year – but it was in Revolutionary Road. Part of me wants Kate to win the Oscar, because as our best actress, she deserves one. But part of me hopes they wait until she delivers another truly great performance for her to win, so I’m torn.
Richard Jenkins, The Visitor
Frank Langella, Frost/Nixon
Sean Penn, Milk
Brad Pitt, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler
Will Win: It’s a two horse race, between Sean Penn and Mickey Rourke, unless (like in 2002), they split the vote and Langella, Pitt or Jenkins is able to upset (and I doubt they will). My head is telling me Penn, my gut is telling me Rourke, so I’m split. But I’ll go out on a limb and pick Rourke.
Should Win: Mickey Rourke’s performance was the best of the year in any category, and he should walk away with this prize hands down, no matter how good the other nominees are.
Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire
Stephen Daldry, The Reader
David Fincher, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Ron Howard, Frost/Nixon
Gus Van Sant, Milk
Will Win: Danny Boyle is so far out front here it doesn’t really matter. Like the picture, he has won everything he possibly could for this movie, so the Oscar is inevitable.
Should Win: David Fincher. Yes, Gus Van Sant is WAY overdue for some Oscar love, but so is Fincher. No one had a more difficult film to make this year than he did. He found a way to make a movie that could have been sentimental hogwash into a quietly moving film. He’s the best of the nominees.
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Will Win: Slumdog Millionaire is pretty much unstoppable at this point. It has won every major precursor, and while when the nominees came out, I thought there may be a chance for an upset, it just isn’t happening this year.
Should Win: Out of the nominees, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is my favorite. It is the most intelligent, best made movie of the nominees. My second choice would be Milk, as it is almost as good.