Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Probably My One and Only Oscar Prediction Post This Year

For whatever reason, I find myself checking out of the 2008 movie season, and that includes the Oscar race. Don't get me wrong, I'll still be following it closely as ever, but I doubt you'll see me posting about it much, if at all.

However, because of my pathological need to be on the record with predictions and such, I figure I'll toss some quick thoughts up. Particularly in light of today's Independent Spirit Awards nominations.

Oscarwise, 2008 is reminding me of two years: 1996 and 2002. In '96, all the big studio Oscar bait stuff underwhelmed (kind of like we're seeing with the reaction to stuff like Australia and Benjamin Button); in '02, all the big Oscar fare was held until December (again, much like this year). The Oscar lineups those years ended up being wildly different from each other: 1996 was indie heavy with a few head-scratcher noms from mainstream movies thrown in to taste. Meanwhile, 2002 nominated pretty much every film and performance (most of them from year-end releases) that had been predicted all year with very few surprises.

2008 could easily shake out along either of those lines, and a lot of that volatility will probably show up in the supporting categories. The lead categories seem more solidified at the moment:

Best Actor
Leonardo DiCaprio - Revolutionary Road
Frank Langella - Frost/Nixon
Sean Penn - Milk
Mickey Rourke - The Wrestler

That fifth slot is probably a toss up between Clint Eastwood (Gran Torino) and Richard Jenkins (The Visitor). If things take a 2002 bent, maybe Brad Pitt for Benjamin Button. If it's more 1996 style, maybe Colin Farrell for In Bruges (hey, I can dream).

Best Actress
Sally Hawkins - Happy Go Lucky
Meryl Streep - Doubt
Kristin Scott Thomas - I've Loved You So Long
Kate Winslet - Revolutionary Road

The fifth slot here could be Anne Hathaway's for Rachel Getting Married, though, again, a 2002 template would suggest Angelina Jolie for Changeling, while Melissa Leo for Frozen River would be more 1996-ish.

The supporting categories are where it really looks wide open right now. I can dream up a few scenarios depending on the tenor the awards season takes.

Best Supporting Actress
If it's like 2002:
Kathy Bates - Revolutionary Road
Penelope Cruz - Vicky Christina Barcelona
Viola Davis - Doubt
Taraji P. Henson - Benjamin Button
Kate Winslet - The Reader

If it's like 1996:
Penelope Cruz - Vicky Christina Barcelona
Viola Davis - Doubt
Rosemarie DeWitt - Rachel Getting Married
Beyonce Knowles - Cadillac Records
Emma Thompson - Brideshead Revisited

My actual predictions:
Penelope Cruz
Viola Davis
Rosemarie DeWitt
Debra Winger - Rachel Getting Married
Kate Winslet

Best Supporting Actor
If it's like 2002:
Josh Brolin - Milk
Ralph Feinnes - The Reader
Phillip Seymour Hoffman - Doubt
Heath Ledger - The Dark Knight
Michael Shannon - Revolutionary Road

If it's like 1996:
Robert Downey Jr. - Tropic Thunder
Ralph Feinnes - The Duchess (or In Bruges)
James Franco - Milk
Emile Hirsch - Milk
Heath Ledger - The Dark Knight

My actual predictions:
James Franco
Phillip Seymour Hoffman
Heath Ledger
Dev Patel - Slumdog Millionaire
Michael Shannon

As for Best Picture? Eh. Slumdog, Button, Milk, The Dark Knight and a wild card of your choosing. Probably not Twilight.


Jeff Hansen said...

No obsessive Oscar posting before, during and after the season? How the hell am I going to look smart to my friends if I don't learn from you?

AppyLove said...

I like the way you presented this. I feel smarter and more inclined to go see some of these movies as a result. I was intrigued by the 96/02 comparisons, so I'm off to do a little research. Thanks.