February 3, 2009

My Oscar picks

Filed under: oscars — writebrainit @ 11:37 am

I have now gotten to see the majority of major options for the Oscars, I always like to show my hopes and thoughts on them. Here goes.

Performance by an actor in a leading role

  • Richard Jenkins in “The Visitor” (Overture Films)
  • Frank Langella in “Frost/Nixon” (Universal)
  • Sean Penn in “Milk” (Focus Features)
  • Brad Pitt in “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Paramount and Warner Bros.)
  • Mickey Rourke in “The Wrestler” (Fox Searchlight)

I actually did not see The Visitor, so I am uncertain here. I honestly am not sure why Mickey Rourke is up for an Oscar here – it’s a good movie, but I don’t think that either of them deserve Oscar nominations – I would have thought Daniel Craig for Defiance here instead of Mickey. I actually am hoping for Sean Penn on this one, but also wouldn’t be surprised if any of the rest of them won in this category. Mickey would disappoint me, but not surprise me.

Performance by an actor in a supporting role

  • Josh Brolin in “Milk” (Focus Features)
  • Robert Downey Jr.in “Tropic Thunder” (DreamWorks, Distributed by DreamWorks/Paramount)
  • Philip Seymour Hoffmanin “Doubt” (Miramax)
  • Heath Ledger in “The Dark Knight” (Warner Bros.)
  • Michael Shannonin “Revolutionary Road” (DreamWorks, Distributed by Paramount Vantage)

This is the one that I really wouldn’t be surprised for any of them. While I think Heath did great as the Joker – I fear his win would have more to do with being a kind gesture for his life. Even though I did not really enjoy Revolutionary Road – Michael Shannon is excellent in his role, so it would not surprise me. But nor would any of the other actors in this category. If I had to choose – I am going to choose Michael Shannon.

Performance by an actress in a leading role

  • Anne Hathaway in “Rachel Getting Married” (Sony Pictures Classics)
  • Angelina Jolie in “Changeling” (Universal)
  • Melissa Leo in “Frozen River” (Sony Pictures Classics)
  • Meryl Streepin “Doubt” (Miramax)
  • Kate Winsletin “The Reader” (The Weinstein Company)

This happens to be another close call. I have not seen Rachel Getting Married, so I am going to judge on the ones I have seen. Frozen River is not one of my favorite movies, but Melissa Leo is excellent in the role. Angelina is phenomenal in hers, and part of me hopes she wins, but I am not sure she will – it surprises me that this movie earned so few nominations. Meryl is fantastic, but I actually found her role in Mamma Mia more appropriate for the Oscar nod this year, and have to admit disappointment that it wasn’t recognized. My choice here is going to Kate Winslet in The Reader.

  • Performance by an actress in a supporting role
  • Amy Adamsin “Doubt” (Miramax)
  • Penélope Cruzin “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” (The Weinstein Company)
  • Viola Davisin “Doubt” (Miramax)
  • Taraji P. Henson in “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Paramount and Warner Bros.)
  • Marisa Tomei in “The Wrestler” (Fox Searchlight)

Again I have to admit I have not seen one of the movies (I really thought I had done well). I have not seen Vicky Cristina Barcelona, but I am hoping to before the actual Oscars). I think Marisa did a good job in the movie, but again I disagree that this is even an Oscar worthy performance. I think the other actresses were excellent in their roles, but I am really pulling for Amy Adams in this one.

Best animated feature film of the year

  • Bolt” (Walt Disney), Chris Williams and Byron Howard
  • Kung Fu Panda” (DreamWorks Animation, Distributed by Paramount), John Stevenson and Mark Osborne
  • WALL-E” (Walt Disney), Andrew Stanton

How did Kung Fu Panda make it? I am torn between Bolt and Wall-E, both are excellent Disney films. I thought that Wall-E went on a little too long though, so for that reason I am throwing out my hope for Bolt, but if I chose what is actually going to win – it will be Wall-E.

Achievement in art direction

  • Changeling” (Universal), Art Direction: James J. Murakami, Set Decoration: Gary Fettis
  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Paramount and Warner Bros.), Art Direction: Donald Graham Burt, Set Decoration: Victor J. Zolfo
  • The Dark Knight” (Warner Bros.), Art Direction: Nathan Crowley, Set Decoration: Peter Lando
  • The Duchess” (Paramount Vantage, Pathé and BBC Films), Art Direction: Michael Carlin, Set Decoration: Rebecca Alleway
  • Revolutionary Road” (DreamWorks, Distributed by Paramount Vantage), Art Direction: Kristi Zea, Set Decoration: Debra Schutt

I think this will go ‘hands-down’ to The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

Achievement in cinematography

  • Changeling” (Universal), Tom Stern
  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Paramount and Warner Bros.), Claudio Miranda
  • The Dark Knight” (Warner Bros.), Wally Pfister
  • The Reader” (The Weinstein Company), Chris Menges and Roger Deakins
  • Slumdog Millionaire” (Fox Searchlight), Anthony Dod Mantle

This is a tough one – actually all of them are well done here. I am really hoping for Dark Knight, but I actually think it’s going to Slumdog Millionaire.

Achievement in costume design

  • Australia” (20th Century Fox), Catherine Martin
  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Paramount and Warner Bros.), Jacqueline West
  • The Duchess” (Paramount Vantage, Pathé and BBC Films), Michael O’Connor
  • Milk” (Focus Features), Danny Glicker
  • Revolutionary Road”  (DreamWorks, Distributed by Paramount Vantage), Albert Wolsky

I have not yet seen Australia, but really think (and hope that this one goes to The Duchess. But I fear this one will go to Ben Button – though all of them could win, and I would be alright.

Achievement in directing

  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Paramount and Warner Bros.), David Fincher
  • Frost/Nixon” (Universal), Ron Howard
  • Milk” (Focus Features), Gus Van Sant
  • The Reader” (The Weinstein Company), Stephen Daldry
  • Slumdog Millionaire” (Fox Searchlight), Danny Boyle

This one is going to be between Slumdog Millionaire and Benjamin Button – I actually am thinking that Slumdog is the more deserving of the two.

Achievement in film editing

  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Paramount and Warner Bros.), Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall
  • The Dark Knight” (Warner Bros.), Lee Smith
  • Frost/Nixon” (Universal), Mike Hill and Dan Hanley
  • Milk” (Focus Features), Elliot Graham
  • Slumdog Millionaire” (Fox Searchlight), Chris Dickens

Again – I think this is going to be close between many of these films – I think the main two contenders are going to be Slumdog and Ben Button – I am giving my vote to Slumdog.

Achievement in makeup

  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Paramount and Warner Bros.), Greg Cannom
  • The Dark Knight” (Warner Bros.), John Caglione, Jr. and Conor O’Sullivan
  • Hellboy II: The Golden Army” (Universal), Mike Elizalde and Thom Floutz

This one is all Benjamin Button.

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original score)

  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Paramount and Warner Bros.), Alexandre Desplat
  • Defiance” (Paramount Vantage), James Newton Howard
  • Milk” (Focus Features), Danny Elfman
  • Slumdog Millionaire” (Fox Searchlight), A.R. Rahman
  • WALL-E” (Walt Disney), Thomas Newman

I am really pulling for Defiance on this one because I truly believe this film deserved more recognition than it obtained. However, I actually think it is going to be Slumdog, once again.

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song)

  • Down to Earth” from “WALL-E” (Walt Disney), Music by Peter Gabriel and Thomas Newman, Lyric by Peter Gabriel
  • Jai Ho” from “Slumdog Millionaire” (Fox Searchlight), Music by A.R. Rahman, Lyric by Gulzar
  • O Saya” from “Slumdog Millionaire” (Fox Searchlight), Music and Lyric by A.R. Rahman and Maya Arulpragasam 

Jai Ho – all the way – that was a really nice surprise at the end of the movie and I am hoping working on learning the dance, lol.                  

Best motion picture of the year

  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Paramount and Warner Bros.), A Kennedy/Marshall Production, Kathleen Kennedy, Frank Marshall and Ceán Chaffin, Producers
  • Frost/Nixon” (Universal), A Universal Pictures, Imagine Entertainment and Working Title Production, Brian Grazer, Ron Howard and Eric Fellner, Producers
  • Milk” (Focus Features), A Groundswell and Jinks/Cohen Company Production, Dan Jinks and Bruce Cohen, Producers
  • The Reader” (The Weinstein Company), A Mirage Enterprises and Neunte Babelsberg Film GmbH Production, Anthony Minghella, Sydney Pollack, Donna Gigliotti and Redmond Morris, Producers
  • Slumdog Millionaire” (Fox Searchlight), A Celador Films Production, Christian Colson, Producer

Honestly, for my own personal reasons, I want Milk to win. It’s well done, it presents a part of history that many don’t know, and the acting and movie is excellent. The Reader would be a close second – though any of them would be deserving wins. I actually question Slumdog winning, just because I wonder – how do they not have any of the actor/actress nominations. Isn’t it a curious situation to be up for so many, but no best actress or actor. I actually would question if that makes this movie a true Oscar worthy movie? Or were the actors passed over for more popular choices?

Achievement in sound editing

  • The Dark Knight” (Warner Bros.), Richard King
  • Iron Man” (Paramount and Marvel Entertainment), Frank Eulner and Christopher Boyes
  • Slumdog Millionaire” (Fox Searchlight), Glenn Freemantle and Tom Sayers
  • WALL-E” (Walt Disney), Ben Burtt and Matthew Wood
  • Wanted” (Universal), Wylie Stateman

I would give this to Iron Man, but am secretly hoping Wanted wins it. I am not even sure that I agree that Dark Knight deserves to be in these sound ones, whatever ridiculous thing they did to Christian Bale’s voice when he was in the costume nearly ruined the movie and made Batman sound a little odd.

Achievement in sound mixing

  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Paramount and Warner Bros.), David Parker, Michael Semanick, Ren Klyce and Mark Weingarten
  • The Dark Knight” (Warner Bros.), Lora Hirschberg, Gary Rizzo and Ed Novick
  • Slumdog Millionaire” (Fox Searchlight), Ian Tapp, Richard Pryke and Resul Pookutty
  • WALL-E” (Walt Disney), Tom Myers, Michael Semanick and Ben Burtt
  • Wanted” (Universal), Chris Jenkins, Frank A. Montaño and Petr Forejt

See previous choices – same here.

Achievement in visual effects

  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Paramount and Warner Bros.), Eric Barba, Steve Preeg, Burt Dalton and Craig Barron
  • The Dark Knight” (Warner Bros.), Nick Davis, Chris Corbould, Tim Webber and Paul Franklin
  • Iron Man” (Paramount and Marvel Entertainment), John Nelson, Ben Snow, Dan Sudick and Shane Mahan

I think this is one that will go to Benjamin Button.

Adapted screenplay

  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Paramount and Warner Bros.), Screenplay by Eric Roth, Screen story by Eric Roth and Robin Swicord
  • Doubt” (Miramax), Written by John Patrick Shanley
  • Frost/Nixon” (Universal), Screenplay by Peter Morgan
  • The Reader” (The Weinstein Company), Screenplay by David Hare
  • Slumdog Millionaire” (Fox Searchlight), Screenplay by Simon Beaufoy

I am not sure on this one – overall these are all Oscar-worthy in my eyes. I always find it amazing when someone can take a short story like The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and make such a long script about it, so it has an extra kudos for me. However, I think this is going to Slumdog Millionaire – just the ways they interweave the different story lines and make flashbacks work, gives this movie the extra nod that makes it the most deserving.

Original screenplay

  • Frozen River” (Sony Pictures Classics), Written by Courtney Hunt
  • Happy-Go-Lucky” (Miramax), Written by Mike Leigh
  • In Bruges” (Focus Features), Written by Martin McDonagh
  • Milk” (Focus Features), Written by Dustin Lance Black
  • WALL-E” (Walt Disney), Screenplay by Andrew Stanton, Jim Reardon, Original story by Andrew Stanton, Pete Docter

Unfortunately I have not seen Happy Go Lucky (though I really want to) and In Bruges. Wall-E and Frozen River are good movies – but my choice here is going to Milk.

I can hardly wait for the actual Oscars. February 22nd.


1 Comment »

  1. WALL-E deserves to win (it was better than the others) and will win, period.

    Comment by Matt — February 3, 2009 @ 2:24 pm | Reply

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