Wow, what a rollercoaster ride this Oscar season has been. I've gone from being giddy with anticipation to bored out of my mind so many times this year, I can't even keep track. Right now, I'm sort of in the middle- disappointed, but excited for the ceremony on Sunday (especially with that rumored, batshit crazy musical sequence produced by Baz Luhrmann and including Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway, Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens, Amanda Seyfried and Dominic Cooper) even if it ends up being a complete trainwreck. In all honesty, I'm ready to move on from 2008's disappointing crop of nominees and get going with 2009 (which I started yesterday). So, in order to get going with that, here are my final Oscar predictions.
Will Win: Sadly, it seems that it is written that Slumdog Millionaire will pick up this award.
Should Win: Since it's the only nominee that didn't prove a meh response from me or made me throw my hands in the air in exasperation, I'm going to go with Milk. Not a perfect film, but there's no way I can poo-poo on the nomination (especially in comparison with these others nominees).
Will Win: It's going to be a nailbiter between Rourke and Penn, but I'm going with Mickey Rourke because he has the comeback factor and he's been on his best behavior on the awards circuit, providing heartfelt speeches at every main precursor he's won at (Penn would have a better chance but he just won and I don't his competition is weak enough to warrant a second win this year)
Should Win: Mickey Rourke, although both Richard Jenkins and Penn are worthy in their own right.
Will Win: I hate to jinx her, but it seems like the stars have finally aligned for Kate Winslet.
Should Win: As of this point, Anne Hathaway, without a doubt, but I still need to catch up with Melissa Leo.
Best Supporting Actor
Will Win: Even Helen Keller would have predicted Heath Ledger.
Should Win: Obviously, Heath Ledger, but I wouldn't mind Josh Brolin, Robert Downey, Jr. or Michael Shannon picking this up in a major upset. This is quite literally the best Best Supporting Actor line up in a decade, at least.
Best Supporting Actress
Will Win: I keep hearing these rumors about a Viola Davis win here, yet I don't quite buy it. Penélope Cruz looks like a stronger bet and the one performance a lot of people can get behind.
Should Win: Penélope Cruz is the crazy, eccentric soul of Vicky Cristina Barcelona. She deserves five Oscars for giving this strong of a performance in such a weak film.
Will Win: Danny Boyle has this in the bag.
Should Win: I guess Gus Van Sant although the direction is hardly the most interesting thing in Milk.
Best Original Screenplay
Will Win: My guess is that Milk has to win somewhere and this category seems the most likely since it isn't up against Slumdog Millionaire.
Should Win: In Bruges is the most original, intricate and fascinating piece of writing this year.
Best Adapted Screenplay
Will Win: Slumdog Millionaire, for dashing any hopes of dramatic tension and being so "uplifting"
Should Win: None of these screenplays are remotely deserving of any attention, so I'll go with the least bad: The Reader
Will Win: Look at the pretty colors of Slumdog Millionaire!
Should Win: The Dark Knight is the best of the nominees, but there were at least three other movies with more interesting camerawork.
Will Win: Are you as bored with this Slumdog Millionaire sweep as I am?
Should Win: The integration of archival footage into the narrative in Milk was absolutely seamless.
Best Art Direction
Will Win: How can they vote against the ornate-ness of The Duchess' sets?
Should Win: The Dark Knight appropriately Gothic and dark sets were much more interesting than last year's winner Sweeney Todd.
Best Costume Design
Will Win: The Duchess is exactly the type of movie this category loves to honor. Boy do they love their corsets and hoop skirts.
Should Win: Nicole Kidman is the perfect life-size Barbie and always brings out the best in Catherine Martin (see: Moulin Rouge!). Australia is another perfect collaboration.
Will Win: This just seems like the perfect award for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, no?
Should Win: The Dark Knight should win just for that inspired Joker makeup
Best Original Score
Will Win: Slumdog Millionaire seems unstoppable here and, for the record, this is the one win I can live with. The music is quite lively and energetic.
Should Win: But WALL-E actually had an original score and not "Jai Ho" and "Paper Planes" repeated a few times over and over again and is literally quite brilliant.
Best Original Song
Will Win: I really don't see a split happening here between the two Slumdog songs, so I'll go with the more popular one "Jai Ho"
Should Win: "Jai Ho", but the Pussycat Dolls version, not the original. That one is epic genius.
Will Win: Slumdog Millionaire
Should Win: WALL-E
Best Sound Editing
Will Win: Slumdog Millionaire
Should Win: WALL-E
Best Visual Effects
Will Win: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Should Win: I guess Benjamin Button, although I applaud The Dark Knight for not relying on a gimmick and delivering good, old-fashioned effects.
Best Animated Film
Will Win: WALL-E
Should Win: WALL-E, but I wouldn't be too upset with a Kung Fu Panda win.
Best Foreign Language Film
Will Win: Some think it's too obvious to win here since this category likes to throw surprises, but Waltz With Bashir seems like the Slumdog of this category at every award show.
Should Win: Haven't had the opportunity to see any of these nominees.
Best Documentary (Feature)
Will Win: Man on Wire is the critical darling of the documentary world
Should Win: Sadly, I haven't seen any of the nominees.
Best Documentary (Short)
Will Win: Smile Pinki is the perfect film for the Year of the Slumdog: a poor Indian slumchild with a cleft lip meets a social worker who gets her the surgery and is a "real world fairy tale" apparently told in a "vibrant style."
Should Win: N/A
Best Short (Animated)
Will Win: La Maison en petits cubes because they love picking random French stuff in this category
Should Win: I've only seen Presto, the short film that preceeded WALL-E, and that was quite worthy of this prize.
Best Short (Live Action)
Will Win: Spielzeugland is about the Holocaust. Game over.
Should Win: N/A