Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Oscar Predictions: August 2008

I haven't updated my original predictions on here since March. Yikes! A lot has changed since then so let's get started.

Best Picture
Australia
Changeling
Frost/Nixon
Milk
Revolutionary Road

Changeling
probably has the most buzz right now (probably because it's the only one people have had the chance to see, even if it was only at Cannes), but just wait until the release of Luhrmann's Australia and hopefully that will be the film everyone will be talking about. Frost/Nixon and Milk are the obligatory biopic nominees (although Milk actually looks to like a fascinating film) and Revolutionary Road will have the undeniable PR power from the reteaming of Titanic lovebirds DiCaprio and Winslet.

Best Actor

Benicio Del Toro, Che
Leonardo DiCaprio, Revolutionary Road (or Body of Lies)
Frank Langella, Frost/Nixon
Viggo Mortensen, The Road
Sean Penn, Milk

I'm already slightly bored with this category and am hoping for some new and unlikely contenders to emerge in the next couple of months. Del Toro has the Cannes win in his corner, but who knows if his film will even get released this year. Langella and Penn are the biopic subjects in two films I think will make the Top 5, so they're in as of right now. DiCaprio, just like in 2006, could go either way with his two films being released this year: will Oscar rather see him suffering in an unhappy marriage or looking for an Al Qadea leader in Jordan? Mortensen has a powerful Cormac McCarthy novel in his corner (I've only heard amazing things about the book...maybe I should pick it up soon) so that's enough for me at this early stage.

Best Actress

Anne Hathaway, Rachel Getting Married
Nicole Kidman, Australia
Julianne Moore, Blindness
Meryl Streep, Doubt
Kate Winslet, Revolutionary Road

I still haven't given up on Moore yet, no matter how unlikely her nomination is seeming at this point. Maybe she (and the film) gain some more buzz once it is released in September. Kidman, Streep and Winslet almost seem too perfect at this point, but until I find some other more likely contenders, they're staying in. Hathaway sneaks after the amazingness that was the first trailer for Rachel Getting Married. Will she get the attention she should have gotten three years ago for Brokeback Mountain?

Best Supporting Actor

Josh Brolin, Milk
Robert Downey, Jr., The Soloist
Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight
Michael Sheen, Frost/Nixon
Kodi Smit-McPhee, The Road

At this point, Ledger is crushing the competition, so I'm curious to see if his buzz will last all the way until January or if it was subside as we move farther and farther away from The Dark Knight's dominance over our lives. Downey has gotten great reviews for both Iron Man and Tropic Thunder so I suspect that Oscar will top-off his spectacular comeback year with a nomination for his baitiest project, The Soloist. The film sounds completely shitty and almost designed solely for awards consdieration, but I doubt at this point that Oscar will go with both a Ben Stiller comedy and a comic book movie in its lineup. Brolin and Sheen still seem like good choices at this point so I'll stick with them. Oscar isn't as fond of male child actors as they are of females (I can only think of Jackie Cooper, Justin Henry and Haley Joel Osment getting nominations at such a young age, correct me if I'm wrong) so I'm a bit nervous for Smit-McPhee, but getting a nomination seems feasible at this point.

Best Supporting Actress

Penelope Cruz, Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Viola Davis, Doubt
Taraji P. Henson, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Samantha Morton, Synecdoche, New York
Ashley Tisdale, High School Musical 3: Senior Year

My craziest category as of right now. Cruz's film has just opened and she's been getting tons of press for her performance. Oscar has shown that they already love her so that's one less hurdle to overcome. Davis apparently has the "big" supporting role in Doubt; if the film is any good and she gets good press, add her name to the shortlist. I figure one of the multitude of supporting women in Synecdoche, New York has to get a nom and I'm just guessing Samantha Morton at this point. She can be fun when she wants to be, right? I don't know anything about Henson's role in Benjamin Button, but I think she's fabulous and if the film's big she could go all the way. I know it may seem like wishful thinking but wouldn't it be a wonderful world to live in if La Tisdale got an Oscar nomination for HSM3? Stupider (and sillier) films have been nominated and in the second one La Tisdale was so in tune with her character that she became the sole focal point of the movie.

Best Director

Clint Eastwood, Changeling
David Fincher, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Spike Lee, Miracle at St. Anna
Baz Luhrmann, Australia
Gus Van Sant, Milk

Eastwood, Luhrmann and Van Sant are carry overs from the Best Picture race and I'm guessing there will be two "lone director" spots this year. Fincher hasn't been embraced by Oscar yet, but I think this year will be his year. Speaking of never being embraced by Oscar, Lee, 20+ years into his career, hasn't received a single Best Director nomination. Hopefully Oscar will right this wrong and give him a nom for his WWII drama (a favorite subgenre of Oscar) Miracle at St. Anna.

Best Original Screenplay

Woody Allen, Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Charlie Kaufman, Synecdoche, New York
Baz Luhrmann, Stuart Beattie, Australia
J. Michael Straczytnski, Changeling
Stanley Weiser, W.

Best Adapted Screenplay

William Monahan, Steve Zaillian, Body of Lies
Peter Morgan, Frost/Nixon
Joe Penhall, The Road
Eric Roth, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
John Patrick Shanley, Doubt

5 comments:

Marcy said...

I still think The Curious Case of Benjamin Button has major Best Picture potential. Frost/Nixon seems like the type of movie to dominate the acting categories, not BP.

I'd say DiCaprio for Revolutionary Road all the way. Body of Lies doesn't look like anything new. Russell Crowe has more of a chance for a nom for Body of Lies than DiCaprio does, judging from the trailer.

I was never fond of Hathaway (not even in Brokeback Mountain) but she impressed me in the Rachel Getting Married trailer. But so did Sally Hawkins in Happy-Go-Lucky--perhaps even a little more.

Ashley Tisdale, High School Musical 3: Senior Year

We can wish, right? :)

So good predictions, overall. I enjoy nothing more than a list of Oscar predictions...

Slayton said...

You had me at 'Ashley'.

I think that 'Synecdoche' is dead in the water as far as awards go. My Supporting Actress lineup at the moment would be Adams/Bates/Cruz/Davis/Henson with either Miranda Richardson or Vera Farmiga as standbys.

Anonymous said...

my predictions:

Picture:
*Changeling
*The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
*The Dark Knight;)
*Milk
*The Road
Alt: Revolutionary Road (Response for Test Screeners)
I hope not: The Soloist

Directing
*Clint Eastwood
*David Fincher
*Christopher Nolan
*Gus Van Sant
*John Hillcoat
Alt: Sam Mendes
I hope not: Ron Howard (But I saw the trailer...)

Lead Actor:
*Leonardo DiCaprio
*Frank Langhella
*Viggo Mortensen
*Sean Penn
*Brad Pitt
Alt: Liam Neeson
I hope not: Tom Cruise

Lead Actress:
*Sally Hawkins/Anne Hathaway
*Anjelina Jolie
*Sophie Okonedo
*meryl Streep
*Kate Winslet
Alt: Melissa Leo / Julianne Moore
I hope not: Keira Knightley (Please not an Oscar Nomination to her for another "Atonement")

Supporting Actor:
*Milk's guy (Villian, lover or young promise)
*Robert Downey Jr. (Thropic Thunder instead The Soloist would be awesome;))
*Heath Ledger
*michael Sheen
*Koby Smit-McPhee
Alt: Liev Schreiber/Gael Garcia Bernal
I hope not: Tom Cruise (He's the worst part for Tropic Thunder)

Supporting Actress:
*Penelope Cruz
*Viola Davis
*Taraji P. Henson
*Amy Ryan
*Frances McDormand/Debra Winger
Alt: Misty Upham
I hope not: I know you kill me but... Ashley Tisdale

Anonymous said...

my predictions:

Picture:
*Changeling
*The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
*The Dark Knight;)
*Milk
*The Road
Alt: Revolutionary Road (Response for Test Screeners)
I hope not: The Soloist

Directing
*Clint Eastwood
*David Fincher
*Christopher Nolan
*Gus Van Sant
*John Hillcoat
Alt: Sam Mendes
I hope not: Ron Howard (But I saw the trailer...)

Lead Actor:
*Leonardo DiCaprio
*Frank Langhella
*Viggo Mortensen
*Sean Penn
*Brad Pitt
Alt: Liam Neeson
I hope not: Tom Cruise

Lead Actress:
*Sally Hawkins/Anne Hathaway
*Anjelina Jolie
*Sophie Okonedo
*meryl Streep
*Kate Winslet
Alt: Melissa Leo / Julianne Moore
I hope not: Keira Knightley (Please not an Oscar Nomination to her for another "Atonement")

Supporting Actor:
*Milk's guy (Villian, lover or young promise)
*Robert Downey Jr. (Thropic Thunder instead The Soloist would be awesome;))
*Heath Ledger
*michael Sheen
*Koby Smit-McPhee
Alt: Liev Schreiber/Gael Garcia Bernal
I hope not: Tom Cruise (He's the worst part for Tropic Thunder)

Supporting Actress:
*Penelope Cruz
*Viola Davis
*Taraji P. Henson
*Amy Ryan
*Frances McDormand/Debra Winger
Alt: Misty Upham
I hope not: I know you kill me but... Ashley Tisdale

Dame James Henry said...

Marcy: I don't know but something about Ron Howard + the stage pedigree of Frost/Nixon will win over more of the conservative Oscar voters than Fincher's (probable) mindfuck of a movie. But who the hell knows? I never would have guessed in a million years they would go for There Will Be Blood.

In 2006, everyone thought DiCaprio was in for The Departed because Blood Diamond also didn't look like anything new. And we all know the travesty that happened there.

Slayton: You're probably right that Synecdoche won't get any awards, but I'm holding out since 3 of Kaufman's past films earned acting nominations. And your lineup sounds pretty great too (Richardson is also in my standbys at number 6).

Anon: How can you hope against La Tisdale? For shame. Other than that, your predictions are looking quite good as well. And I'm also hoping Knightley won't get another nomination for The Duchess. I'm so bored with all of her costume performances. She needs to do a modern film right now and not another doomed romance.