It’s that time of year again. In honor of the Oscars, I have produced my picks for the Academy Awards. I cannot make any predictions about short films, art direction, cinematography, costumes, and documentaries because I haven’t seen the short films and documentaries and I am not an expert on the other topics, nor do I pretend to be one.
First Pick: Slumdog Millionaire. It’s a juggernaut. In the possible chance it doesn’t win…
Second Pick: Milk. I’ve actually seen this film and thought it was absolutely fantastic. It is much more than a film about an important point in the gay rights movement. It tells the incredible story of what Harvey Milk did and gives a bit of a history lesson.
First Pick: Sean Penn in Milk. He owned the roll and made it his own. Penn is completely different from the individual he portrays and I can’t really formulate the words to tell you how wonderful of a job he did in the film. He also won the SAG Award for this role.
Second Pick: Frank Langella in Frost/Nixon. I’ve read very positive things about his performance. Haven’t seen it though.
First Pick: Kate Winslet in The Reader. She’s already won the Golden Globe and SAG Award for this role. However, she won those as Best Supporting Actress, but I think her chances are pretty good for this award.
Second Pick: Meryl Streep in Doubt. We are talking about Meryl Streep, but she also won the SAG Award for this role.
Best Supporting Actor
First Pick: Josh Brolin in Milk. Again, a fantastic job in this role. In some points, Brolin could make me sympathize for Dan White, Milk’s assassin, which really says something. I found his portrayal of the character to be very human and not over the top. Brolin also won at the NY Film Critics Circle for this role.
Second Pick: Michael Shannon in Revolutionary Road. Every review I’ve read of Revolutionary Road has praised his performance. Also, he plays a lunatic and I’d like to think that Shannon doesn’t go over the top with his performance as someone insane. I’ll have to see it to tell you.
Best Supporting Actress
First Pick: Viola Davis in Doubt. She’s not in the film very much, but I keep reading gushing praise about her performance in the film. I think that if someone’s not in the film very much and they’re receiving quite a bit of praise, that might be a good sign.
Second Pick: Taraji P. Henson in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Like Viola Davis, she’s getting quite a bit of buzz about her performance in this film.
First Pick: Danny Boyle for Slumdog Millionaire. He won the Golden Globe and SAG award for this. And, as I stated earlier, it’s a juggernaut.
Second Pick: Gus Van Sant for Milk. The film was brilliant and I think that Van Sant’s directing had quite a bit to do with it.
Best Adapted Screenplay
First Pick: Slumdog Millionaire. Same reasons as to why the other Slumdog nominees will win.
Second Pick: Frost/Nixon. I don’t know why, but that’s what my gut is telling me.
Best Original Screenplay
First Pick: In Bruges. I’m a bit biased since I really like Martin McDonagh’s plays, but this was apparently a very funny film. Also, it’s not nominated for anything else.
Second Pick: Happy-Go-Lucky. Again, it’s what my gut is telling me and it did win at the Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award.
Best Animated Feature
First Pick: Wall-E. It could have been nominated for Best Picture, which it would have deserved a nomination for. Granted, the Annie Award just snubbed it, but the film is phenomenal and isn’t just for kids.
Second Pick: There is no second pick. If Wall-E doesn’t win, I will be more shocked than when David Hyde Pierce beat out Raul Esparza for the Tony for Best Actor in a Musical. Some liquid will come out of my nose.
Achievement in Film Editing
First Pick: The Dark Night. Two words: Fight scenes.
Second Pick: Milk. In many parts of the film, the news clips seamlessly flowed into the film itself. That is rather talented.
Best Foreign Language Film
First Pick: Waltz with Bashir. Won the Golden Globe. Highly acclaimed.
Second Pick: The Class. It received the Palme D’Or at Cannes. Highly acclaimed.
Achievement in Makeup
First Pick: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. I think it would be criminal if Benjamin Button doesn’t win for Achievement in Makeup. Come on, they had to make Brad Pitt look really old.
Second Pick: Hellboy II: The Golden Army. There is some impressive make-up and prosthetics in that film.
Best Original Song
First Pick: “Down to Earth” from Wall-E. I like the song quite a bit.
Second Pick: Either “Jai Ho” or “O Saya” from Slumdog Millionaire. They’re from Slumdog Millionaire.
Achievement in Sound Editing
First Pick: The Dark Knight. Again, fight scenes. Usually films with fight scenes win awards like this.
Second Pick: Wall-E. Lots of voiceovers and fun noises for robots.
Achievement in Sound Mixing
First Pick: The Dark Knight. See above.
Second Pick: Wall-E. Again, see above.
Achievement in Visual Effects
First Pick: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. As I said with makeup, I feel as though it would be criminal because of the whole aging-backwards key plot point.
Second Pick: Iron Man. Massive robot fight scenes, reactor explosions, explosions, explosions.