Sunday, January 25, 2009

Monkey making random picks - The Oscars

It's Oscar time again, an this years nominations are filled with surprises. So I'll look at the more improtant nominees and make my picks (guesses really) on is going to win big at the Oscars this year.

Let's start small.

Best Foreign Language Film

Revanche (Austria)
The Class (France)
The Baader Meinhof Complex (Germany)
Departures (Japan)
Waltz with Bashir (Israel)

Who will win: It's a close one, to be honest. The Class won big at Cannes, Waltz with Bashir and The Baader Meinhof Complex are have had incredibly positive reviews this year. However, I am going to have to go with Waltz with Bashir, it's crazy animation, and it's story will most likely win over the votes. If not, then it would be The Class. Then again, the Foriegn Language Film category normally screws it up because of uninformed voters.

Who got snubbed: Gommorah, the crime drama from Italy, also recieved unanimous praise from critics and did very well at the film festivals.

Best Animated Feature

Kung Fu Panda


Who will win: No question needed. It's going to be WALL-E.

Who got snubbed: I don't know really. Probably Waltz with Bashir.

Best Adapted Screenplay

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button - Eric Roth and Robin Swicord
Frost/Nixon - Peter Morgan
The Reader - David Hare
Slumdog Millionaire - Simon Beaufoy
Doubt - John Patrick Shanley

Who will win: Slumdog Millionaire. Simon Beaufoy excellent adaptation of the novel Q & A is a shoe-in to win.

Upset: Benjamin Button. I'll get back to you on that one.

Who got snubbed: Can't tell really.

Best Original Screenplay

WALL-E - Andrew Stanton, Jim Reardon and Pete Docter
Happy-Go-Lucky - Mike Leigh
Frozen River - Courtney Hunt
In Bruges - Martin McDonagh
Milk - Dustin Lance Black

Who will win: Milk. Can't deny the fact that Milk is one of the year's best pics, not only that it has an excellent screenplay.
Upset: It's a long shot, but possibly WALL-E. An script that managed to pull of one of the most interestinf films out there with minimal dialogue.

Who got snubbed: The Wrestler. The who can't deny the brilliantly original true story from Robert D. Siegel? It's a strange thing to leave out this film, but these nominees are quite fine.

Best Supporting Actress

This isn't France, Penelope...
Amy Adams - Doubt
Penelope Cruz - Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Viola Davis - Doubt
Taraji P. Henson - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Marisa Tomei - The Wrestler

Who will win: It's a very close one, with each and every one of these fine actresses has a chance to grab the Oscar gold. However, I am going to have to go with Penelope Cruz, the only reasoning being that she won the Golden Globe.

Best Supporting Actor

Josh Brolin - Milk
Robert Downey, Jr. - Tropic Thunder
Phillip Seymour Hoffman - Doubt
Heath Ledger - The Dark Knight
Michael Shannon - Revolutionary Road

Who will win: Heath Ledger. Duh. Sure he was excellent, but the voters will not turn down the chance to honor him. Ledger's Joker also became a cultural phenomenon this year, so you can't ignore that either.

Upset: PSYCHE.

Who got snubbed: James Franco for Pineapple Express and Milk. He is the the soul of the former, and received praise for the latter. And the "New James Dean" hype doesn't hurt. Also, Madhur Mittal in Slumdog Millionaire for his portrayal as the corrupted brother Salim.

Best Actress

Anne Hathaway - Rachael Getting Married
Angelina Jolie - Changeling
Melissa Leo - Frozen River
Meryl Streep - Doubt
Kate Winslet - The Reader

Who will win: Once again, it's too close to call. This is the tightest of the nominees we'll see this year. However, this will come down to three actresses: Anne Hathaway, Meryl Streep, and Kate Winslet. Expect one of the three to win.

Upset: Melissa Leo for her acclaimed turn in Frozen River. It's one thing that the film was a very indie film, but thanks to the petitioning of the critics she got in. If somehow she wins, expect some clueless presenter to flub her name as "Marissa".

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

Who will win: It's going to be a battle between Penn and Rourke. Rourke won the Golden Globe, but this is the Oscars, and Milk has the Best Picture nomination. Milk got snubbed in a lot of categories at the Globes this year, and nominations play a part in a film's Oscar bid. Sean Penn may just upset the film about the underdog. But all analysis aside, I see Sean Penn winning this one.
Upset: Brad Pitt for the Curious Case. Voters can be stupid sometimes, and this maybe a case of voters confusing special effects and makeup for acting chops. This isn't Pitt in Fight Club or Seven, but rather a Pitt doing a backwards Gump.

Best Director

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

Who will win: Danny Boyle. There's no denying that Slumdog is an excellently directed film.
Upset: David Fincher. Sure, he's a directing talent, but Button isn't his best film obviously. And special effects aren't always a good thing. Once again, the voters are easy to fool.

Best Picture

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

The Reader

Slumdog Millionaire

Who will win: Slumdog Millionaire. There's no denying it. Everything is falling into it's place. Kind of like the film itself.

Upset: Milk or Button. Two films may just pull the upset. One of them is a biopic, Best Picture territory. Button uses effects and has drawn comparisons to another Best Picture winning film, Forrest Gump. Also, there has been an intense media hype surrounding Button. Button, however, does not have the critical praise to back it up compared to other films. It's score on Metacritic is currently a 69/100. u2 3d got better reviews dammit.

Who got snubbed: Many. I'm just too lazy to list them.

Tune in February 22, on ABC, to see who will be triumphant. Now I am returning to my state of hibernation.

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