Last minute Oscar predictions

Figured I should get some Oscar predictions out there, since the ceremony is, like, tonight. They’re going to be relatively terse, though – my computer died on Friday and my newly ordered one has not yet arrived, so I’m tapping this out on my iPhone. Which is not optimal for writing at length. So you can thank my old computer for saving you from my verbosity.

Predicted winners are denotes by an asterisk, since I don’t know if I can use HTML in the WordPress app. EDIT: Adding HTML from a computer. ;) Italics for my predictions, bold for actual winners.

BEST PICTURE
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Frost/Nixon
Milk
The Reader
Slumdog Millionaire

Slumdog has the momentum, and none of the others are going to catch it.

BEST DIRECTOR
David Fincher – The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Ron Howard – Frost/Nixon
Gus Van Sant – Milk
Danny Boyle – Slumdog Millionaire

Picture and director almost always go together, and Slumdog is so clearly Boyle’s film that there’s no question in my mind this year.

BEST ACTOR
Frank Langella – Frost/Nixon
Richard Jenkins – The Visitor
Sean Penn – Milk
Brad Pitt – The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Mickey Rourke – The Wrestler

Rourke is the obvious choice, with the personal comeback story and the Golden Globe (and an Independent Spirit Award earlier this week, I think), but I’ve seen a lot of support for Penn lately. This one could go either way.

BEST ACTRESS
Anne Hathaway – Rachel Getting Married
Angelina Jolie – Changeling
Melissa Leo – Frozen River
Meryl Streep – Doubt
Kate Winslet – The Reader

This is the most unpredictable category of the night as far as I’m concerned. I haven’t seen Changeling and highly doubt Angelina has a chance, but all the other four are worthy. Melissa Leo is probably out; Frozen River was released too early and is too small. But between Anne, Meryl, and Kate, it’s kind of a crap shoot. I’m going with Kate because she’s due (and deserves it for both The Reader and Revolutionary Road), and I think Anne’s buzz has peaked and fallen. And Meryl already has some, for better movies than Doubt.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Josh Brolin – Milk
Robert Downey Jr – Tropic Thunder
Philip Seymour Hoffman – Doubt
Heath Ledger – The Dark Knight
Michael Shannon – Revolutionary Road

The Academy likes to use Supporting Actor to throw a completely unsuspected win, but I will be very surprised if anyone other than Ledger wins.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Amy Adams – Doubt
Penelope Cruz – Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Viola Davis – Doubt
Taraji P Henson – The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Marisai Tomei – The Wrestler

Penelope should have this one in the bag, despite all these actresses being worthy. The only potential upset is probably Viola Davis, whose brief time onscreen was the most memorable part of Doubt.

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Frozen River
Happy-Go-Lucky
In Bruges
Milk
Wall-E

I don’t have a strong feeling about this one; I doubt In Bruges can pull off another upset after the Globes. I’ve heard Milk buzz in this category lately, so we’ll go with that.

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Doubt
Frost/Nixon
The Reader
Slumdog Millionaire

It is written. It may be cheesy at times, but it is written.

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
Bolt
Kung Fu Panda
Wall-E

There’s more support for Kung Fu Panda than I would’ve expected, but I’d be surprised (and a bit dismayed) if Wall-E loses.

BEST FOREIGN FILM
The Baader Meinhof Complex
The Class
Departures
Revanche
Waltz with Bashir

Waltz won the Globe and will likely win here. Wish I’d made time to see it. EDIT: I LOSE! I haven’t even heard of Departures.

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
The Betrayal
Encounters at the End of the World
The Garden
Man on Wire
Trouble the Water

Everything I’ve heard about Man on Wire rates it among the best films of the year, period, let alone documentaries. Only possible upset is the post-Katrina Trouble the Water.

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Changeling
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
The Reader
Slumdog Millionaire

Going with the likely Best Picture winner for Cinematography and Editing isn’t always safe, but it’s not a bad bet either. But either Benjamin Button or The Dark Knight could easily win as well.

BEST FILM EDITING
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
Frost/Nixon
Milk
Slumdog Millionaire

Ditto above, except that it’s extremely likely The Dark Knight will win instead. I’m just currently on a mini-vendetta against TDK’s editing style.

BEST ART DIRECTION
Changeling
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
The Duchess
Revolutionary Road

Damned if I’m not going to choose Revolutionary Road for something, and this seems the most likely – I really loved the spare design. Subtle, but felt so right.

BEST COSTUME DESIGN
Australia
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Duchess
Milk
Revolutionary Road

Costumes were one of the things I thought Benjamin Button did really well – not only did they use costumes from throughout the 20th century, but the costumes served in large part as narrative cues to the changing time periods. EDIT: Should’ve known to go with the only non-20th-century-set film nominated. Apparently the Academy doesn’t think anything within living memory counts in this category…

BEST MAKEUP
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
Hellboy II: The Golden Army

Could go to TDK just as easily, but I’m giving the edge to Button, since TDK was basically just the Joker.

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Defiance
Milk
Slumdog Millionaire
Wall-E

So much of Slumdog’s appeal is in the music, plus it’s a huge part of the film’s infusion from Bollywood cinema.

BEST SONG
“Down to Earth” – Wall-E
“Jai Ho” – Slumdog Millionaire
“O Saya” – Slumdog Millionaire

I don’t know which song from Slumdog will win, but one of them will.

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
Iron Man

This is a dead heat for me among all thee nominees. I have no idea what the Academy will do, but I’m betting they’ll honor TDK in some of these technical categories, since they shut it out of most of the major awards. EDIT: I originally chose Benjamin Button in this category, then changed my mind at the last second. Should’ve trusted my instincts.

BEST SOUND EDITING
The Dark Knight
Iron Man
Slumdog Millionaire
Wall-E
Wanted

Ditto above. They may give one of these to Iron Man as well, but I couldn’t guess which.

BEST SOUND MIXING
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
Slumdog Millionaire
Wall-E
Wanted

Ditto above.

BEST SHORT (ANIMATED)
La maison en petits cubes
Lavatory – Lovestory
Oktapodi
Presto
This Way Up

I usually have to pick shorts based on title, but this year I’ve actually seen the last two, and I feel like picking the charmingly morbid Sundance short This Way Up rather than Pixar’s Presto. Don’t know how it’ll go, though – my animator friend told me he didn’t get screeners of any of the shorts before he had to vote.

BEST SHORT (LIVE ACTION)
Auf der Strecke (On the Line)
Manon on the Asphalt
New Boy
The Pig
Spielzeugland (Toyland)

Titles again! Don’t love any of these titles, so let’s take long German words for the win! EDIT: As soon as I saw the clip for this and found out it was a Nazi-era film, I knew I was right. Nazis are GOLD at the Oscars, man.

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT
The Conscience of Nhem Ens
The Final Inch
Smile Pinki
The Witness from the Balcony of Room 306

Again, it’s all about the title. That one sounds mysterious, doesn’t it?

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Done! And still with an hour to spare. :)

POST-CEREMONY EDIT
I ended up with fifteen of twenty-four correct, and most of the ones I missed weren’t major awards. I’m content with that. And also, yay for Penelope and Kate! Irony – one of the actress presenters was Nicole Kidman, who I believe was originally cast in The Reader until she got pregnant and Kate stepped in. No offense to Nicole, who I love, but Kate is better – and probably still would’ve won the Oscar this year, just for Revolutionary Road instead.