Friday, November 28, 2008

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year...La La La

So here we are. It's that time of year again, although you wouldn't think it, would you? This year's Oscar race is frankly as flat as a pancake, and it'll take a lot of these unproven December releases to come up trumps to make this year's competition as juicy as last years. But still: a race is a race is a race, and it's time I made some official predictions.

I'll start by saying that Slumdog Millionaire looks like a frontrunner at this stage. It's got raves, positivity, a wonderful poster. Is is too Field of Dreams? Time will tell, but for now it's nailed on for the nomination. As is Milk, which could prove to be one of the few buzzed about films of the year that actually gets universal praise -- if early word on the other contenders is to be believed, anyway. The Dark Knight made gazillions, and feels like a pulpy Michael Mann film rather than a comic book movie, so I wouldn't put it far behind.

As for the rest, we'll see. Nothing save that batman film and Wall-E made any impact before Autumn and it's pretty much guesswork as to the other two BP slots. I'm going for Benjamin Button because it's gimmicky, has a good cast, a good director, and there's something about the trailer that's kinda Forrest Gump about it. With a hint of Golden Compass. I know, it's weird. Edward Zwick's mediocre late-year released Blood Diamond stole in to grab multiple nominations in a fairly weak 2006, and so what will his Defiance achieve in an even weaker 2008? I say it might just make a lasting impression with its New Year's audacity.

But there are other contenders; Aronofsky's The Wrestler seems incredibly heavy but no doubt popular, Revolutionary Road seems depressing but high-brow, and Doubt's trailer wails "take me seriously" with the force of a pissy banshee. Wall-E is the film I really want to triumph, and it could just become the second Animated Feature ever to be nominated in this category. Wouldn't that be lovely?

Other observations.... Eastwood's gonna get nominated somewhere. Sally Hawkins is seriously on the brink of being ousted by the star power of Anne Hathaway, unless Jolie's performance is too much for them, but I doubt it. Robert Downey Jnr. had a major year, and so a nomination for Tropic Thunder in a very weak category seems entirely plausible. Totally regretting not seeing that at the cinema now, by the way. Oh, and it's looking increasingly like Best Actor will be the most exciting race (Rourke, Penn, Di Caprio or Langella?) and Supporting Actress will be the most boring (surely Viola Davis is gonna grab that?).

Predictions follow in full. *** = lock ** = likely * = need to keep campaigning


*The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
**The Dark Knight
***Slumdog Millionaire

Alternative: Wall-E


*Darren Aronofsky - The Wrestler
***Danny Boyle - Slumdog Millionaire
*Clint Eastwood - Gran Torino/Changeling
**Christopher Nolan - The Dark Knight
***Gus Van Sant - Milk

Alternative: David Fincher - The Curious Case...


**Leonardo Di Caprio - Revolutionary Road
*Daniel Craig - Defiance
**Frank Langella - Frost/Nixon
***Sean Penn - Milk
***Mickey Rourke - The Wrestler

Alternative: Clint Eastwood - Gran Torino


*Sally Hawkins - Happy-Go-Lucky
*Angelina Jolie - Changeling
*Kristin Scott-Thomas - I've Loved You So Long
***Meryl Streep - Doubt
***Kate Winslet - Revolutionary Road

Alternative: Anne Hathaway - Rachel Getting Married


*Josh Brolin - Milk
*Robert Downey Jnr. - Tropic Thunder
**Philip Seymour Hoffman - Doubt
***Heath Ledger - The Dark Knight
***Michael Shannon - Revolutionary Road

Alternative: Liev Schreiber - Defiance


***Penelope Cruz - Vicky Cristina Barcelona
***Viola Davis - Doubt
*Marisa Tomei - The Wrestler
*Kate Winslet - The Reader
*Elsa Zylberstein - I've Loved You So Long

Alternative: Taraji P. Henson - The Curious Case...


ModFab said...

"Doubt's trailer wails "take me seriously" with the force of a pissy banshee."

Arguably, the best quote from any critic, anywhere, all year long. Brilliant, my friend!

Cal said...

Hehee. Thanks Gabriel. I hope its wailing is justified!