Anyway, here are my predictions for the major awards:
- Best Picture: Slumdog Millionaire. I've seen 4 of the 5 nominated films this year (not bad!), and Slumdog certainly seems to have all the momentum going into the ceremony. The only thing that could upset this is the backlash that's been happening since it started picking up smaller awards, but I don't see that changing the outcome. What's more, I think that of the nominees, it's also the best film. I suppose there's an outside chance for Milk or The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, but I don't think either will take it home. Milk may take one of the other major categories and Button will take all the technical awards and none of the majors.
- Best Director: Danny Boyle for Slumdog Millionaire. Traditionally, the best director winner tracks with the best picture (as evidenced by the fact that the nominated movies are the same for both categories). Of course, they do split from time to time, and that is certainly possible here - the likely candidate being David Fincher (though again, I think Button, which has the most nominations, will take more of the technical awards). There's probably also an outside chance for Gus Van Sant.
- Best Actress: Kate Winslet for The Reader. Put simply, Winslet is due. This is her 6th nomination and she has no wins, and the academy will want to reward her. Of course, you can't count out Meryl Streep, but she's at least won a couple Oscars before. Anne Hathaway has garnered lots of praise as well, and the academy does like to champion young actresses, but she's still more of a dark horse in this race. Of course, I'm embarrassed to say that I have not seen any of the nominarted films in this category... but I still think I got it right!
- Best Actor: Mickey Rourke for The Wrestler. This is probably the most interesting race of the night, as the other obvious choice is Sean Penn for Milk, and I think there's a really good chance the academy will give it to Penn as a reward to Milk because they're primarily Californians and they messed up Prop 8. So for that and other political reasons, there's a chance for Penn. The dark horse is probably Frank Langella, but this is really a two horse race.
- Best Supporting Actress: Penéope Cruz for Vicky Christina Barcelona. Honestly, this is a shot in the dark. The award could easily go to 3 of the other nominees. The only one I'm counting out is Amy Adams... I would say that Viola Davis has screen time working against her (apparently only one scene... but on the other hand, it's supposedly a spectacular scene in which she upstages Meryl Streep). Tomei has a chance, but she also already has an Oscar in this category. Tarajj Henson has an ourside chance because she could get Benjamin Button sympathy votes. I've only seen 2 of the 4 nominated films, but somehow I don't think seeing the other two would really help in this category.
- Best Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger for The Dark Knight. Duh.
- Best Original Screenplay: Milk. I suppose there's also an off chance that In Bruges will win, and maybe even WALL-E (though I imagine it would be tough to vote for a film with so little dialogue), but in this post-prop-8 California, I'm betting on Milk. I've only seen 3 of the 5 nominated.
- Best Adapted Screenplay: Slumdog Millionaire. Because it's going to be Slumdog's night. I suppose it's possible that Benjamin Button will win, and a couple of other nominees have a chance, but really, this is going to Slumdog.
- Editing: Slumdog Millionaire. The very structure of the story makes strong editing necessary. I suppose there's an outside chance that The Dark Knight will take this home, but I'm doubting that.
- Cinematography: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. The academy apparently likes this movie a lot, so I'm betting that this is how they'll reward it. But if it truly is Slumdog's night, that's got a good chance too.
- Visual Effects: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Again, because the academy probably wants to reward Button for something and they're not going to do it with any of the major awards. I do think that The Dark Knight has a chance at this one too, but it's also going to take one of the major awards (despite being snubbed in the Best Picture category).
- Musical Score: Slumdog Millionaire. Because I said so.
- Best Song: Slumdog Millionaire "Jai Ho". There are only two movies nominated here. Why do they do this? There are always at least 2 songs nominated from one movie in this category (for the past two years, there were 3 songs for one movie). Anwyay, I don't think that Slumdog will split its votes, giving WALL-E the win. Why? Because everyone loves the closing credits dance sequence at the end of Slumdog.
- Makeup: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. I'm betting this is a lock. I'd give it to Hellboy II though.
- Best Animated Film: WALL-E. Is there any doubt?
- Best Documentary: Man on Wire. I'd love to see a speech from Werner Herzog, but I doubt he'll get the award. Katrina doc Trouble the Water is the dark horse, and I'd say it has a pretty good chance too.
- Best Foreign Language Film: The Class. I suppose this could easily to go Waltz With Bashir, given it's take on Israel at war, but I'm still betting on the French with this category.
Update 7:58 pm: I doubt I'll be up to watching the red carpet crap, but in the mean time here are a few pre-Oscar links for your enjoyment:
- Alex's Picks - Well this is boring, he has the same picks as me, except for the two categories he wussed out on and didn't pick.
- Nate Silver's Statistical Predictions - The big shock is his prediction that Taraji P. Henson will win best supporting actress. However, I think the issue with that is that his statistical model was screwed up by the fact that Kate Winslet's performance in The Reader was considered a supporting role by everyone but the Oscars.
- Karina Longworth is tweeting the Oscars. You can follow her there or at the Spout blog.
- Speaking of Spout, their latest episode of Filmcouch contains an amusing rundown of predictions.
- CHUD has some Live Coverage as well.
- Kaedrin regular Spencer will also be commenting at her livejournal blog!
Update 8:08 pm: In an attempt to avoid this red carpet nonsense, I'm going to do some speculating. There are two supposedly odd things about this year's ceremony. The first is that Hugh Jackman is hosting, which marks the first occasion that a non-comedian is hosting. By all accounts, he's not going to be doing much comedy either. Here's to hoping that he doesn't do a bunch of song-and-dance numbers. It would totally ruin the joy I have that only 3 songs were nominated this year (and thus my suffering at their live performances will be minimized - also, I kinda liked that Slumdog closing song and they'll probably do something fun with that). I suppose I should start drinking now.
The other thing that's supposed to be surprising is that the presenters for each award are being kept a secret. OMG! That's so exciting! Seriously, how is that going to be fun? Who the heck cares? Unless they go completely crazy and allow random nutjobs to take the stage and improvise or something. And presenting the award for Best Actor, please welcome Hulk Hogan and Carl Weathers! Do they qualify as nutjobs? Probably not, but they were the most random people that came to mind.
Update 8:19 pm: Dammit, the ceremony hasn't even started yet and they're showing montages already. This one is about accountants. ACCOUNTANTS!
Update 8:22 pm: I'm usually driven to drink by Oscar music performances, but I might have to start so that I can endure this red carpet junk. By the way, Meryl Streep's daughter is gorgeous.
Update 8:26 pm: Beer of the night, Ommegang Rare Vos, drunk ironically out of a Hennepin glass.
Update 8:30 pm: Are they ushering Hugh Jackman onstage with Lawrence of Arabia music?
Update 8:33 pm: Ah, he's doing comedy. That Australian line was funny. So was the New Zealand one. Crap, despite budgetary limitations, he's doing a musical number. Shit.
Update 8:36 pm: So Jackman is talented and the Anne Hathaway thing was cute, but I'm still hoping this is the last musical number. Please. It's almost certainly not though.
Update 8:37 pm: I hope Jackman has an uncontrollable giggle-fit. It might happen. He apparently hasn't seen The Reader, just like everyone else.
Update 8:39 pm: And he ended with a Wolverine plug. You stay classy, Hugh Jackman.
Update 8:45 pm: First official montage! OMG the presenters are such a surprise, I'm so glad I tuned in for this shocking development. Past Supporting Actress winners are giving away the award. Shocking! In other news, someone at CHUD wonders "So will Mickey Rourke's dog be on this year's death montage or the next one?" They apparently aren't showing clips for the nominees, but instead talking about the performances. Much more exciting! Christ, are they trying to ruin the show?
Update 8:46 pm: Oh wow is this announcing of the nominees thing boring and stupid. And a half hour later, they announce that the Oscar goes to Penelope Cruz. I'm 1 for 1. Accents are funny. It's sad, but I kinda wish someone would faint on stage. Or at least fall down. She's gorgeous and she's giving us her life story. Great. Is she drunk? She's speaking spanish now, and probably cursing at us.
Update 8:58 pm: Steve Marin and Tina Fey are mildly funny. Ok, they're funny. How is Happy Go Lucky nominated - they improvised most of that right? Not that improvisation isn't impressive, it's just not good screenwriting. In Bruges should probably win this... if it weren't for that ending. And Milk wins original screenplay and I'm 2 for 2. Score. Oh good, he's going to tell off Hollywood for prop 8. Wait for it, wait for it, and crap, FAIL.
Update 9:00 pm: And adapted screenplay goes to Slumdog Millionaire and I'm 3 for 3. I'm guessing this is the first of many for Slumdog. They don't seem to be ushering people off the stage anymore. Interesting. I guess we'll be here until 3 am or so.
Update 9:04 pm: Hehehe, Jack Black made a funny. BTW, Pixar is a pretty good bet for Best Animated Film. Ahhhh, WALL-E is cheating. Did they just show Space Chimps? Was that nominated? What's going on here? Oh, I get it, montage #2.
Update 9:07 pm: And WALL-E wins and I'm 4 for 4. Pixar is a "cinematic haven" eh? Why do they give awards for the short films? I mean, I'm sure they're great and it's nice to honor the people who spent a lot of time and effort creating them, but no one has seen them...
Update 9:10 pm: Accents are funny. Sank you. Domo oregato, mr roboto! Ha! Nice work, Japanese guy!
Update 9:18 pm: Ah production design, one of the awards I "forgot" to pick. Oscar goes to Ben Button, which will clean up on the technical awards and get nothing in the major awards. Ah, and they usher the nerds off the stage with music. Interesting.
Update 9:20 pm: I bet these presentations would go quicker if they didn't announce the nominees twice. And The Dutchess wins costume design. Shocking - a period drama wins costume design. That's never happened before, right?
Update 9:22 pm: Wouldn't it be great if someone won an award and took the opportunity to scream Bobba Booey, Bobba Booey or something?
Update 9:24 pm: Makeup goes to Ben Button and I'm 5 for 5. Score. Jeeze, this guy is talking fast. Brad Pitt looks bemused.
Update 9:25 pm: OMG, a vampire, run!
Update 9:28 pm: Montage #3. What's the over/under this year? I'll put it at 12. I think Montages are a blatant attempt to make the Oscars somewhat relevant by showing clips from movies people actually saw.
Update 9:32 pm: Natalie Portman and Joaquin Phoenix... er, I mean Ben Stiller. Hehehe. Funny. Oh crap, is he going to rap. Please, no. Please. Ok good, looks like we averted that disaster. Heheh, his name is Fister. Well, Cinematography goes to Slumdog Millionaire and I'm 5 for 6. Crap. And he thanked the Academy twice. Nice.
Update 9:40 pm: Sci-tech thingymajigs? Jessica Beal is incredibly gorgeous, but her dress stinks. Whoa, that was like a 1 minute segment between commercials. Strange.
Update 9:41 pm: Is this the Judd Apatow short film? Aka, a Montage! Number 4. Wait a sec, why wasn't James Franco nominated for best supporting actor? I didn't like the movie much, but he was fantastic. Oh nice, he's watching his own gay kiss. Ok, for a montage, that was pretty cool.
Update 9:48 pm: The Janusz Kaminski bit is great. Of course, he's presenting the short film award, so bleh.
Update 9:49 pm: A once in a lifetime live performance? I smell musical number. Perhaps the Slumdog one. I'm grabbing my third beer.
Update 9:52 pm: CHUDcom: "George Romero is presenting Supporting Actor." Oh man, that's so cruelly funny.
Update 9:53 pm: Shit, I was right: musical number. This is a once in a lifetime live performance because no one will ever want to see anything like this ever again.
Update 9:55 pm: No Lady Marmalade performance should ever happen without Christina Aguilera's whore costume.
Update 9:57 pm: Another CHUD comment: "I never thought I would be nostalgic for interpretive dance:"
Update 10.06 pm: Montage #5! Former Best Supporting Actors take the stage (no George Romero though). I didn't think that Josh Brolin was very good in Milk, but what do I know. And the Supporting Actor Oscar goes to Heath Ledger. I'm 6 for 7. The Ledger family takes the stage in Heath's stead and cut to the crowd, where everyone is pretending to cry (moreso than Heath's family, even).
Update 10.16 pm: I'd love to see Herzog win just to see what he'd say, but he won't win. Wow, Maher really hates religion, huh? And the documentary Oscar goes to Man on Wire, and I'm 7 for 8. Score. Hey, Felipe! He should be walking on a high wire! And a great speech from him too! Nice.
Update 10.18 pm: I'm not even going to comment on the documentary short subject award. Crap, I just commented on it. Anyway, I'm glad that this year's documentaries aren't ALL about Iraq like last year.
Update 10.22 pm: Great Jimmy Kimmel commercial with Tom Cruise. Oh boy, Montage #6, featuring movies that people saw.
Update 10.26 pm: Will Smith made a funny. And the visual effects oscar goes to Ben Button and I'm 8 for 9. Ironically, for a segment about action movies, the award goes to the non-action-movie. Heh.
Update 10.29 pm: Sound editing, an award no one cares about, goes to The Dark Knight. Good, I'm glad TDK is taking home something other than just supporting actor. Oh boy, Sound Mixing award. I'm getting another beer.
Update 10.33 pm: Editing goes to Slumdog Millionaire and I'm 9 for 10. Slumdog is unstoppable.
Update 10.41 pm: Eddie Murphy is still alive?
Update 10.45 pm: Jerry Lewis wins some sort of humanitarian award. Good on him, I guess. Let's hope he does a prat fall or something. The Oscars need something.
Update 10.46 pm: I guess they were saving all the good awards for last.
Update 10.49 pm: Chud: "Jerry Lewis let everybody down by not being racist, sexist or homophobic. He's not representing his generation well."
Update 10.54 pm: Ah, the Musical Score award. Is it me, or do they all sound the same? Must be the way they flow from one nominee to the other. Wait, why are they announcing the nominees again? They keep doing this. Stop it. The winner is Slumdog Millionaire, and I'm 10 for 11.
Update 10.57 pm: Oh damn, are they going to do the entire song? For all three nominees? Gah! Chud: "Danny Boyle rebelled against his created. Danny Boyle evolved. And he has a plan." Hehehe.
Update 11:02 pm: I'm always hard on the best song nominees, but I have to admit, I miss Antonio Banderas. And the Falling Slowly song from Once last year was great. This year, not so much. Winner goes to Jai Ho from Slumdog Millionaire, and I'm 11 for 12. I'm doing well... but what that really means is that this year's awards are really boring. And man, this guy is awful. I hate him. Stop it. I now dislike Jai Ho.
Update 11:03 pm: Have you ever seen Scanners? I think the best we can hope for in the remainder of the ceremony is that Danny Boyle's head will explode when he wins Best Picture/Director.
Update 11:04 pm: Or zombies. This show could use some zombies. Fast ones, like from Boyle's 28 Days Later. And I don't even like zombies that much.
Update 11:07 pm: Will Liam Neeson be nominated next year for Taken? Somehow I doubt it, but he will certainly be nominated for Best Hero/Badass in the 2009 Kaedrin Movie Awards. Best foreign picture goes to Departures? Oooooookaaaaaay. It's an upset! Finally! In a category where no one cares. I'm 11 for 13. Oh awesome, Engrish, I love it. This guy has a great delivery.
Update 11:11 pm: Yay dead people!
Update 11:12 pm: Oh God why is Queen Latifah singing? She's soiling the memory of the dead.
Update 11:14 pm: This has been bothering me for the whole show: Why can't they put these montages in full screen? Gah.
Update 11:15 pm: Soylent Green is people!
Update 11:18 pm: Wow, no speech from the Academy chairman guy. Outstanding! OOooo, Best Director award! Make sure that camera is on Boyle's head so that we can see it explode. From multiple angles. It'll probably happen even if he doesn't win.
Update 11:20 pm: Heh, you can so totally tell that Fincher knows he's not going to win. And Boyle wins. And he does a tigger dance. Not quite an exploding head, but good enough. Hmm, he thanked a rival studio. Classy. And he's apologizing for leaving someone off the credits. Also classy. He even thanked people who didn't help him make the film!
Update 11:23 pm: Chud: "jesus, Danny's head... i think the Predator has a new trophy to get" Hehehehe. Nice.
Update 11:26 pm: Wait, there's only three remaining awards right? This show is somewhat on schedule. Oh, best actress montage (#8, I think). Why isn't Meryl Streep up there? Oh, right, she was nominated. Like every year. I think Anne Hathaway is going to cry, even though she's not going to win.
Update 11:28 pm: Hmmm, Kate Winslet looks like she'll cry too. Wow, look at Angelina Jolie's ring. She's going to vaporise the winner with a laser beam eminating from that ring. Oscar goes to Kate Winslet, and I'm 13 for 15. Winslet is hyperventilating. She might very well pass out. She sounds like she just finished running a marathon. A decent speech though, and I'm happy she's finally gotten an Oscar. I suppose I should actually watch that movie.
Update 11:41 pm: No Roberto Benigni in the actor montage? Did I miss him? And this is one of the only awards I think is still a bit of a mystery. Hehe, De Niro is great. The Oscar goes to... Bruce Campbell for Evil Dead II! Or not. Of course, of course Mickey Rourke is wearing sunglasses. The real winner is Sean Penn. I guess Hollywood doesn't hate gay people afterall.
Update 11:44 pm: Yay gay people. Yay Obama. Yay Rourke. I'm 13 for 16.
Update 11:51 pm: Montage #9? Or is it 10? I don't remember. And best picture goes to Slumdog Millionaire. Not a surprise and not entirely undeserved (at least, among the other nominees, it's definitely not). By the way, I'm obligated to mention that The Dark Knight should have at least been nominated here. What the hell.
Update 11:55 pm: And a montage to end the show? We ended up just a bit below my over/under of 12. Overall, this show was not great. Probably one of the worst. But I'm biased against song and dance numbers, so take that with a grain of salt, I guess. I can't wait to see Pulic Enemies. 2009 is looking like a pretty good year for movies. At least, better than 2008, which isn't exactly saying much. So I ended up 14 for 17, which is around 82%, my highest percentage evar. Yay me.
Update 12:00 am: Why is it that whenever Captain Mal Reynolds shows up in another show, I want to watche it, even if I know it will stink? Anwyay, have a good night folks, I'm packing it in. It's been real.