Slumdog Millionaire The Curious Case of Benjamin Button Milk Frost/Nixon The Wrestler
At this point, itâs looking like Slumdog is the frontrunner. If you havenât seen this movie yet, go see it now. Itâs fantastic, itâs filled with hope, and itâs just solid filmmaking front to back. At this point, though, things are subject to change. Unfortunately, there is a sort of buzz upon which these films feed in relation to and leading up to Oscar voting. The runner-ups for this category are, in my opinion, The Dark Knight, Doubt, Revolutionary Road, and Rachel Getting Married.
The Best Actor category is going to be a battle between Sean Penn for Milk and Mickey Rourkeâs performance in Aronofskyâs The Wrestler. I love Darren Aronofsky (The Fountain is a personal favorite of mine) and would love to see The Wrestler pick up a few awards. Rourke certainly deserves Best Actor though. As good as Sean Penn was, Mickey just killed it. Another possibility is Frank Langella, who will certainly receive a nomination for his turn as President Nixon. He might gain some strength in the coming weeks.
Best Actress is a tough category to call, although at this point the nominations (again, in order of certainty) look like:
Meryl Streep in Doubt Anne Hathaway in Rachel Getting Married Kate Winslet in Revolutionary Road Angelina Jolie in Changeling.
Now, I wouldnât be surprised if Jolie didnât end up getting a nomination, although I would personally like to see her get one. The fourth and fifth slots in this category will be interesting to see but ultimately futile because it will be between Close, Hathaway, and Streep. I could see Kristin Scott Thomas getting a nomination for her powerhouse turn in Il y a longtemps que je tâaime and I think Sally Hawkings has a good chance for Happy-Go-Lucky. Otherwise, there is Cate Blanchett in Benjamin Button and (maybe, just maybe) Michelle Williams for Wendy and Lucy. A man can hope.
Best Supporting Actor is virtually unpredictable. I wouldnât even call Heath Ledger a lock for the win â Philip Seymour Hoffman is just lurking in the background, hungry for another Oscar. The Golden Globes nominations for this category were really screwy. Tom Cruise will not get a nomination for Tropic Thunder, but I might (just might!) see Robert Downey, Jr. get one. He was beyond hysterical in the movie and I think he deserves at least a nomination. James Franco should get one for Milk, but he might get overlooked for Brolinâs okay (I didnât think it was that great) supporting role in the same flick. This is the category to watch, because I have NO idea where the Academy will go with this.
Supporting Actress is a bit easier to predict. Here are the nominations as I think they will turn out (again, in order of most certain to least):
Penelope Cruz for Vicky Cristina Barcelona Viola Davis for Doubt Marisa Tomei for The Wrestler Kate Winslet for The Reader Rosemary DeWitt for Rachel Getting Married
Now, itâs entirely possible that DeWitt will fade in votersâ minds. I think Debra Winger deserves second place for her performance in Rachel Getting Married (I thought Cruz was just perfect in VCB and should win) but she will more likely than not get overlooked. Davis and Tomei are very strong competition for the prize, however â Cruz is no longer the shoo-in. Other performances to watch include Amy Adams in Doubt and Taraji P. Henson in Benjamin Button.
Best Director seems pretty clearly to be between Danny Boyle, David Fincher, Ron Howard, and Gus Van Sant. I would absolutely love to see Aronofsky get the fifth nomination, but it will probably be Eastwood or Christopher Nolan (who rightfully deserves the nomination, donât get me wrong).
Well, that about sums up the big 6. Stay tuned for more speculation and buzz. Iâll be posting reaction blogs for the Indie Spirits, the Golden Globes, the Directors Guild, and the Oscars â so keep reading!