Ok. You’re filling out your Oscar pool today. Here’s my picks with some explanation to help you with yours:
Best Picture: Slumdog Millionaire
It has the magic touch this year. A deserving winner though at least.
Actor: Mickey Rourke
It’s between him and Sean Penn, but Mickey had the better performance and absolutely made that film.
Actor in a Supporting Role: Heath Ledger
It’s a sure thing.
Actress: Kate Winslet
Meryl Streep had the best performance, but Winslet will win because of her performance in Revolutionary Road as well
Actress in a Supporting Role: Penelope Cruz
A last minute zeitgeist consensus
Animated Film: Wall-E
The other sure thing
Art Direction: Curious Case of Benjamin Button
A tough call between that and The Dark Knight, but the technical was the only decent thing about Benjamin Button and the film did look great
Cinematography: The Dark Knight
This will win because of its IMAX innovations
Direction: Danny Boyle
Slumdog is still on fire. He deserves the win as well
Documentary: Man on Wire
A stunning film – suspenseful and entertaining. Dark horse would be Werner Herzog’s “Encounters at the End of the World” or maybe the Katrina film "Trouble the Water"
Documentary Short: The Conscience of Nhem En
My research shows this film about the Khmer Rouge is the best of the bunch. It’s also the first name on the list for voters who choose at random
Film Editing: Slumdog Millionaire
The pacing and energy of the film was helped by the great editing
Foreign Language Film: Waltz With Bashir
It’s a great film, and the Jewish subject matter always helps. The Palme D’Or winner, “The Class” is a decent second choice.
Makeup: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Some of the best makeup work ever. This is a sure thing as well
Music (Score): Slumdog Millionaire
Such a distinct mix of western and Indian rhythms, beats the old standard orchestral sounds from the other nominees
Music (Song): “Down to Earth” Wall-E
Since the other two nominees are from Slumdog they will split the voters. Peter Gabriel will take this one
Short film (animated): La Maison en Petit Cubes
Pixar’s “Presto” would seem the natural winner because it played along with “Wall-E” in theatres. But Pixar has LOST its last four Best Animated Short Oscars. Try “La Maison en Petits Cubes”. My research shows this is a stunning film. You can watch full versions of the nominees yourself HERE:
Short film (live action): Spielzeugland (Toyland)
This Holocaust themed film should take it. Roddy Doyle’s “New Boy” is a close second.
Sound editing: The Dark Knight
Voters give the technical awards to the blockbusters
Sound mixing: The Dark Knight
Same as above
Visual Effects: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Aging Brad Pitt was amazing work
Writing (Adapted Screenplay): Slumdog Millionaire
It’ll be part of the Slumdog sweep, but “Doubt” is my dark horse fave here.
Writing (Original Screenplay): Milk
A tough call here, but the voters need to find a place to give this film an Award, and this should be it.