Thursday, February 19, 2009

Oscar Predictions

This weekend is the 81st annual Academy Awards. Just like last year I will be trying to live blog the event through So, be sure to come back here Sunday night for my live thoughts as the awards progress.

In the meantime, here is the way I'm leaning on the top 6 awards (the four acting awards, director, and best picture). Keep in mind, this isn't necessarily who I want to win, but who I think will win.

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

A lot of folks are starting to lean toward Sean Penn, but I think Mickey Rourke still has the edge. Many say this is one of the best performances they've ever seen, plus he's already won several awards...I'm picking Rourke.

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

This I think is the one major category where I'm changing my mind from my initial thoughts on the day the nominations were announced. Back then I was picking Anne Hathaway, but momentum has been gaining for both Meryl Streep and Kate Winslet. What's odd is that Winslet won a Golden Globe for her role in "The Reader" but in their supporting actress category. I think right now Winslet has the upper hand. She is my least for now.

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

With all due respect to the other actors in this category, this award was wrapped up on July 14th...when "The Dark Knight" slammed onto screens. A posthumous Oscar for Mr. Ledger it will be.

Best Supporting Actress:
-Amy Adams: Doubt
-Penelope Cruz: Vicky Cristina Barcelona
-Viola Davis: Doubt
-Taraji P. Henson: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
-Marisa Tomei: The Wrestler

There is no real obvious standout in this category, but we can employ some science to this. The two actresses from "Doubt" will cancel each other out and Benjamin Button just doesn't seem to have any buzz in the acting categories. So the battle is really between Cruz and Tomei. Tomei could have a few strikes against her as there is still the urban legend out there that Jack Palance read the wrong name when he announced she had won the Oscar for her performance in "My Cousin Vinny" years ago. Plus, supporting actresses in Woody Allen films (Diane Wiest, Mira Sorvino) have done well at Oscar time in the past. I'm picking Cruz, but Tomei could surprise.

Best Director & Best Picture

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

I list these two together only because for the first time in a looooong time, the directors of all five Best Picture nominees were nominated. So the two categories match. Plus, I think the two awards will remain linked when the envelopes are opened with Danny Boyle and Slumdog Millionaire taking the prize.

I could always change my mind before Sunday night, but join me here for the live blog on Sunday night to see how I did.

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