They’re handing out the Oscars Sunday night, which means it’s time for the Movie Man to make his picks. Here are his predictions for eight Academy Award categories.
They’re handing out the Oscars Sunday night, which means it’s time for the Movie Man to make his picks. Here are my predictions for eight Academy Award categories.
Some were easy (Best Supporting Actor), some were tough (Best Supporting Actress) and some were a complete toss-up (Best Actor).
And now, the envelopes please ...
Best Picture: It stars a cast no one’s heard of, takes place on the other side of the world and has a plot that relies on arcane bits of foreign culture, but “Slumdog Millionaire” is going to take the top prize because it powerfully connects with audiences. Other nominees have big stars and all-American storylines, but this Indian love story has an emotional effect that beats them all.
Best Actor: This all comes down to Sean Penn and Mickey Rourke. “Milk” nominee Penn already has an Oscar for “Mystic River,” along with a handful of nominations. Rourke, on the other hand, spent years destroying his career before making an amazing comeback in “The Wrestler,” a movie about an amazing comeback. I’m going with Rourke.
Best Actress: Kate Winslet has been nominated for five Oscars in previous years, and the only question this year was whether she’d get the nod for “The Reader” or “Revolutionary Road.” She took home Golden Globes for both films. With no “Revolutionary Road” nod to complicate things, she’s going to win Best Actress on Sunday night for her performance as an illiterate Nazi in “The Reader.”
Best Supporting Actor: If Winslet is a lock in her category, and she is, the late Heath Ledger is a titanium deadbolt with a chain attached. His portrayal of the Joker in “The Dark Knight” will earn him an Oscar, and it’s a genuine tragedy that he won’t be there to accept it.
Best Supporting Actress: Penélope Cruz has been nominated all over the globe for her work in “Vicky Christina Barcelona,” and she’s won plenty of those awards, too. Viola Davis, who has a single shattering scene in “Doubt” poses the only threat, but the buzz seems to be pointing in Cruz’s direction. Plus, her movie recently arrived on DVD, and that never hurts.
Best Director: Sometimes, the Best Picture and Best Director are split, but not this year. Danny Boyle’s distinctive, frenetic visual style gives “Slumdog Millionaire” beauty and urgency, and he’s going to get a gold statue to mark his achievement.
Best Original Screenplay: “In Bruges” walked a fine line between fish-out-of-water comedy and blood-soaked tragedy, and writer/director Martin McDonagh deserves an Oscar for maintaining that precarious balance. Neither the movie nor the actors were nominated, so a screenplay honor will have to do for this critically acclaimed film.
Best Original Song: Normally, you can hand the Best Original Song statue to whatever Disney movie happens to be nominated. But this year, I think “WALL-E” is going to lose to “Slumdog Millionaire.” After two-hours of tragedy and pain, “Slumdog” ends with “Jai Ho,” a rousing dance number that feels like sweet victory. I think the Academy is going to agree.
Contact Will Pfeifer at email@example.com or 815-987-1244. Read his Movie Man blog at blogs.e-rockford.com/movieman.