People Tell Me I Look Like Han Solo.
Friday, February 20, 2009
  Blogging the Oscars: Part 1
So this weekend is the Oscars, and despite the fact that I haven't seen a great many of the nominated movies (I have a problem with going to see movies I'm otherwise not terribly interested in just because they were nominated for awards), I have a movie blog, and so I feel like I should write about them, as the Oscars are the Super Bowl of movies (much in the same way the Super Bowl is the Oscars of football). So here we are.

I'm going to do this as a two-part special: Today I'll go through the list of the big nominees and predict the winners, and then we'll see how well I did in Part 2 on Monday, my Live Oscar Blog Spectacular. I'm watching the Oscars on Sunday night (as are a great many of you, I'm sure), and I'll be writing down my thoughts in real time. So heads-up, Monday's post will probably be long and rambling (as well as wonderfully entertaining!). So without further ado, my Oscar predictions:

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Reader
Slumdog Millionaire

My pick: Slumdog Millionaire. It's the movie with the most "momentum" going into the show (a bizarre concept considering the fact that this isn't a sporting event; these are ostensibly decided by a group of film experts choosing the movie they thought was best, but this is apparently what the Oscars have come to). Also, I haven't seen any of these movies, so I can't say if it's deserved or not. But I have a feeling, as the other nominated movies seem to either be more showcases for actors (Milk, Frost/Nixon) or technical craftsmanship (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button). So Slumdog it is.

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

My pick: Gus Van Sant. My first instinct was to go with David Fincher (the filmmaker I like the best among the nominees, followed closely by Danny Boyle), but I can't recall one genuinely effusive review for Benjamin Button (it has a 71% freshness rating on RottenTomatoes, kind of low considering it has more nominations than any other movie) so I think its boatload of nominations is the ultimately going to be its award, unless the Academy decides they want to give Brad Pitt an Oscar for being so handsome. But ultimately Van Sant is a talented director who people in the business seem to think deserves an award, and Milk seems like the perfect opportunity to give him his props.

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

My pick: Mickey Rourke. Sean Penn's already got Oscars, and the having the Mickey Rourke Restoration Project culminate in an Oscar for a genuinely amazing performance is just too great a story to pass up. Unless Rourke's...odd behaviour has already burned through his newfound Hollywood goodwill (he flirted with an appearance at WrestleMania, of all things), this is his to lose.

Anne Hathaway (Rachel Getting Married)
Angelina Jolie (Changeling)
Melissa Leo (Frozen River)
Meryl Streep (Doubt)
Kate Winslet (The Reader)

My pick: Kate Winslet. She's been nominated a couple of times already, and if she doesn't win again, she'll become the Martin Scorcese of British actresses. Meryl Streep is the safe choice, and while Anne Hathaway is one of the hottest young actresses out there and she's apparently brilliant in Rachel Getting Married, she's young enough to have plenty more opportunities ahead of her.

Josh Brolin (Milk)
Robert Downey Jr. (Tropic Thunder)
Philip Seymour Hoffman (Doubt)
Heath Ledger (The Dark Knight)
Michael Shannon (Revolutionary Road)

My pick: Heath Ledger. If he doesn't win this award I'll dance a jig. And record it and upload it onto this blog. If it wasn't for him though (his winning is such a foregone conclusion that there are already news stories about what will happen "if" he wins on Sunday). So root for Robert Downey Jr. not just because he's amazing in Tropic Thunder, but because you may get to see me humiliate myself.

Amy Adams (Doubt)
Penelope Cruz (Vicky Cristina Barcelona)
Viola Davis (Doubt)
Taraji P. Henson (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button)
Marisa Tomei (The Wrestler)

My pick: Marisa Tomei. She's the thing that amazed me the most about The Wrestler. I assumed Rourke would be incredible and that the movie itself would be great, and I was right on both counts, but Tomei was the factor that knocked me on my proverbial ass. That she's already won an Oscar for best supporting actress (amid tons of controversy no less) could work against her, but the only other real threat is Penelope Cruz, who's wonderful in Vicky Cristina Barcelona (my full review of that movie's coming soon), but given that the theme of last year's Oscars was "foreigners sweep main categories," I suspect an American actress will win this time around.

So there you have it, my Oscar predictions. Come back Monday to marvel at my attempts to sit through an entire Oscar telecast for the first time in many years. I know if Hellboy 2: The Golden Army wins for best makeup, that'll probably make my night.

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I think it would be way funny to watch you dance a jig ... so .... dare I wish Heath doesn't win? That's almost evil, isn't it?
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