2009 Oscars- Who will win?

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This year’s Oscar telecast will feature a new host (Hugh Jackman), a new format (cozier, shorter) and, almost certainly, a bunch of new winners.

None of the favorites for the five biggest individual awards on Feb. 22 has ever won an Oscar: Mickey Rourke (actor), Kate Winslet (actress), Heath Ledger (supporting actor), Penelope Cruz (supporting actress) and Danny Boyle (director). Winslet has been nominated six times, as many as the other four combined.

One other historical note: If Ledger wins, he’ll become only the second actor to win a posthumous Oscar. The first was Peter Finch, for 1976’s “Network.”

Here are my fearless, though not necessarily accurate, predictions:

Best Picture

Nominees: ” The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” “Frost/Nixon,” “Milk,” “The Reader,” “Slumdog Millionaire.

“Slumdog Millionaire,” which almost went straight to DVD before being rescued by Fox Searchlight Pictures, is the odds-on favorite after winning most of the pre-Oscar awards. But don’t discount “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” which has the epic quality that Hollywood loves, not to mention Brat Pitt aging backward.

Should Win: “Slumdog Millionaire.”

Will Win: “Slumdog Millionaire.”

 Best Actor

Nominees: Rourke (” The Wrestler”), Sean Penn (“Milk”), Frank Langella (“Frost/Nixon”), Brad Pitt (“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”), Richard Jenkins (” The Visitor”).

A two-man race between Rourke and Penn. While both give terrific performances, Rourke’s personal comeback story will make the difference. Though they won’t win, it’s heartening to see two great veterans, Langella and Jenkins, recognized for their always impressive work. As for Pitt, his makeup man deserves as much credit as he does.

Should Win: Rourke.

Will Win: Rourke.

Best Actress

Nominees: Winslet (“The Reader”), Meryl Streep (” Doubt”), Anne Hathaway (” Rachel Getting Married”), Melissa Leo (” Frozen River”), Angelina Jolie (“Changeling”).

Winslet is favored to break her 0-for-5 streak at the Oscars, but I’m picking Hathaway in an upset for her type- busting role as a recovering drug addict. Some Academy members may have a hard time voting for Winslet because her character is a somewhat sympathetic former concentration-camp guard. Leo gives the best, though least-seen, performance as a blue-collar mom who gets involved in immigrant smuggling at the U.S.-Canadian border.

Should Win: Leo.

Will Win: Hathaway.

 Best Supporting Actor

Nominees: Ledger (“The Dark Knight”), Josh Brolin (“Milk”), Michael Shannon (“Revolutionary Road”), Philip Seymour Hoffman (“Doubt”), Robert Downey Jr. (“Tropic Thunder”).

Ledger, who died in January from an accidental drug overdose, is a mortal lock to win for his wacky portrayal of the Joker in the latest Batman caper. This isn’t just a sympathy vote, either, since Ledger stole the movie. Shannon is also deserving for his razor-sharp, quasi-comic performance as a mentally ill savant in the otherwise glum “Revolutionary Road.”

Should Win: Ledger.

Will Win: Ledger.

 Best Supporting Actress

Nominees: Cruz (“Vicky Cristina Barcelona”), Viola Davis (“Doubt”), Marisa Tomei (“The Wrestler”), Taraji P. Henson (“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”), Amy Adams (“Doubt”).

Cruz, nominated for best actress two years ago in “Volver,” is the latest in a long line of women to get Oscar nominations for a Woody Allen film. Davis gives the most memorable performance as the mother of a Catholic-school student who may have been sexually abused by a priest, but she’s got very little screen time and will probably split “Doubt” votes with Adams. My vote goes to Tomei as the gold-hearted stripper who falls for Rourke’s broken-down wrestler.

Should Win: Tomei.

Will Win: Cruz.

 Best Director

Nominees: Boyle (“Slumdog Millionaire”),David Fincher (“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”), Ron Howard (“Frost/Nixon”), Gus Van Sant (“Milk”), Stephen Daldry (“The Reader”).

Best picture and best director usually go hand in hand, and this year will be no exception. Boyle pulls off an amazing balancing act in “Slumdog,” mixing comedy and tragedy in a story about a teenage Mumbai orphan who becomes a quiz-show millionaire. “Benjamin Button” is also very much a director’s film, so Fincher shapes up as the main competition.

Should Win: Boyle.

Will Win: Boyle.

 

Source: Bloomberg

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~ by tallhorsewines on February 19, 2009.

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