No matter how many you love, there can only be one. Welcome, to Oscar Watch.
They’re coming. You can’t stop it. The highs, the lows, the unnecessary competition. On Boxing Day, the Academy will have nomination ballots mailed to them, and on January 22nd, the five contenders in each category will be announced. So with less than a month to go, I thought I’d weigh in with my predictions. And I’ve got to say, I’m feeling pretty confidant so far.
Slumdog Millionaire entered the race as the underdog, but after 11 (!) Best Picture awards from various critics groups, it’s now the one to beat. Buzz for Benjamin Button is dying, while WALL-E and The Dark Knight continue to pick up steam. And part of me is praying that people fall in love with The Wrestler enough to push it into the top 5.
Danny Boyle juggles a lot in Slumdog, including innovative camerawork and a prickly storyline. He’s also a great director who is yet to be recognised by the academy (although the same can be said about Fincher, Van Sant, Aronofsky and Nolan!)
Langella is great, and Penn is the favourite, but Rourke’s performance connects with the audience on a whole other level. It’s a once in a lifetime portrayal of a broken man, and it could only come from the former 80′s idol.
Sadly, I’m yet to see most of these films so I’m placing a blind bet. But come on – it’s Meryl. Deep down I’m praying Sally Hawkins gets to walk to the podium for her performance as the endlessly chipper Poppy in Happy Go Lucky.
Best Supporting Actor:
It’s pretty much been Heath’s award since the first trailer arrived, but no other category has so many talented performers competing for a place. Robert Downey Jr has become a genuine threat (which makes me endlessly happy). However, if the stars don’t align and Heath misses out, it could honestly go to any other contender.
Best Supporting Actress:
Possibly the most boring category, this years nominees are pertty much set (in fact, my predictions are pretty much sticking to the Golden Globes party line). Penelope steals VCB with a fiery performance, and she’s won virtually all the precursors. This race is over.
Best Original Screenplay:
Still in the Running: Happy Go Lucky
God I hope WALL-E can pick up more than just Best Animated Feature (which it already has in the bank). Academy favourites Woody Allen and The Coen Brothers are likely to get noms for Vicky Cristina and Burn After Reading. However, newcomers Dustin Lance Black and Robert Siegal are posing a threat for their respective films (Milk and The Wrestler).
Best Adapted Screenplay:
Still in the Running: Revolutionary Road
Frost/Nixon screenwriter Peter Morgan adapted his own play into an electrifying film (John Patrick Shanley did the same with Doubt). Benjamin Button and Revolutionary Road take on some heady literature, but The Dark Knight tackled different aspects from famous Batman comics The Long Halloween and The Killing Joke, to create a surprising, and incredibly satisfying beast. This one will be to the wire.
Let us know what you think – Will any movie make a sweep? Is The Dark Knight a legitimate threat? Could Heath possibly lose?