Sunday, February 22, 2009

Now, Who's Going To Win?

UPDATE: Wow, that was as bad as I thought it was going to be. Not the show, which I didn't watch--I was too busy drawing with The Flower--but my guesses. I didn't really see the Slumdog sweep; I thought there'd be more Milk. I'm almost totally indifferent, but I'm glad that Danny Boyle got an award. I think he's good and has been overlooked.

So, I hit: Picture, Actor, Actress and Supporting Actor. I missed Supporting Actress and Director. I got both original and adapted screenplay, and best animated feature, but missed both documentary and animated short. I totally botched the tech awards, missing Cinematography, Art Direction, Costumes--and Costumes should've been a gimme, with the historical epic Duchess up there. But honestly, who saw that? Anyone at all?

I hit editing and missed makeup, because I put Button's makeup in the SFX category, though it won both. So...11 out of 21. I'm going to give myself extra props for hitting some of the obscure ones.

Of course, the instant Slumdog won for sound, I knew it was going to grab the big awards (Picture and Director). The way the voting works is that the tech guys pick the nominees, but everyone votes for the winner, and a lot of the Academy doesn't understand the distinction between "sound" and "sound editing", or "sound" and "gee, I liked this movie and it sounded pretty good."

But congrats to the winner. Condolences to the losers. I hope Jenkins and Langella and the other really great ones who missed get another shot at it. I'm sure Penn, Winslet and Cruz will have plenty of opportunities in the future. (Penn has five noms and two wins, Winslet has six noms and one win: Do you ever get the idea the Academy just keeps nominating the same people until they win?)

(Original guesses below.)
Usually, I'm pretty good at picking Oscar winners. But I have no good sense of who's going to do what this year. So here are my WAGs:

Best Picture: Slumdog Millionaire. Socially relevant, but not overly so.

Actor: Sean Penn. He'd be my penultimate choice, behind Langella, Jenkins and Rourke. Normally I'd say Rourke, but I kind of think this Oscars is going to be a battle between wanting to reward Milk and more sensibly promoting movies that have a chance to make money. (There's a real basis for this, by the way: A lot of voters are businessfolk voting their pocketbooks.

Actress: Kate Winslet. Is anyone else running? Nah, it's a good field, as always. I'd probably pick Hathaway myself: She's the Jenkins of this class, who did a fine, subtle job in a little movie. But she has lots of chances in her future.

Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger. If he were alive, they'd give it to Downey, Jr.--they owe him for Chaplin--or Brolin.

Supporting Actress: Viola Davis. With Henson, the only black person on the roster. I'm not saying that's why she's going to win, I'm just observing. But seriously, Tomei's not getting another one after My Cousin Vinnie, Adams and Cruz are in Oscar-bait movies every year, and Davis' part speaks to how horrible life was for black people.

Gus Van Sant: Best Director. Yeah. I'm guessing they'll split the picture/director award this year, though I suppose they could give best picture to Milk and best director to Boyle. But I don't think so.

Original Screenplay: Milk or Wall-E. I'm guessing Milk.

Adapted Screenplay: Slumdog Millionaire.

Cinematography: Dark Knight. Another WAG: They're going to honor the biggest movie since The Phantom Menace with technical awards. Maybe not this one, but....

Editing: Slumdog Millionaire. Eh. The editing in this movie was truly excellent and important to the film. Ha! Just another WAG.

Art Direction: Benjamin Button. Their sop to the movie that would otherwise be shut out.

Costumes: Benjamin Button. Their other sop.

Makeup: Dark Knight.

Music: Thomas Newman for WALL-E. No, wait, Danny Elfman for Milk. I think Newman probably should win, and he has the most noms, but Elfman defined the movie score of the '90s and never got so much as a nomination for Batman (1989) or Edward Scissorhands! They owe him some recognition.

Song: WALL-E. Well, yeah, the English Language pop song sung by Peter Gabriel, or some Hindi something or other?

Sound: Dark Knight

Sound Edit: Dark Knight

Visual FX: Benjamin Button. For make Cate Blanchett look 20 years younger, and like a different woman.

Animated: WALL-E.

Documentary: Betrayal. I'm guessing. This is all about how America acted badly so...

Animated Short: Presto. Maybe not, but it should be: It's one of the greatest cartoons made in the past 50 years.

Well, my usual live co-blogger/chat partner (Kelly) is absent tonight, so I probably won't even watch the show. Enjoy!

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