Thursday, May 7, 2009

"One Category at a Time" - Best Picture

This is what it comes down to. I had a harder time deciding on five likely nominees this year than I did last year, but here they are:

There’s always at least one nominee that seems like the sort of movie that would have won Best Picture a decade or so ago. Like ‘em or not, the Reader’s, Frost/Nixon’s, and Atonement’s are here to stay. They resonate with the Academy’s soft, overly-traditionalist geezers, and this year there’s an abundance of such baity films. I’m gonna go with the biopic of Amelia Airhart. It’s got a well-liked multi-Oscar-winner at its centre in Hilary Swank, and plenty of pretty period sets and costumes for the old folks to “Ooo” and “Ahh” over.

An Education:
Every year there’s a movie that comes out of nowhere to steal a nomination. This past year it actually won. The fact that most of us already know about An Education probably disqualifies it for this slot, but it’s the best guess I can muster. Apparently rich with strong performances and plenty of wit, this has potential to be the year’s underdog.

Untitled Nelson Mandela Project:
I have faith that a more interesting title will be found by the time the film is released, but based on the people involved, the worst title in the world wouldn’t damage this movie’s Oscar attractiveness. Academy golden boy Clint Eastwood directs and produces, Morgan Freeman stars as Nelson Mandela and also produces, it’s got an inspirational-sports-movie edge and historical/political relevance.

I expect this picture to compete a la Chicago; a dark period musical drama with a star-studded cast. Seriously, you may as well give the Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Ensemble to Nine right now; Daniel Day-Lewis, Marion Cotillard, Sophia Loren, Penelope Cruz, Judi Dench, Nicole Kidman, all of them Oscar winners. With lots of opportunities for craft nominations as well, this could be an across-the-board contender.

Public Enemies:
The trailer sold me. This is now one of my most anticipated film of the year. As much as I admire Michael Mann as a filmmaker, I’ve never been truly captured by one of his movies, but this looks like an exciting and interesting portrait of the infamous John Dillinger and his notorious exploits during the 20’s and 30’s. I have my fingers crossed that this is gonna be good, and maybe even earn a load of Academy attention.

A comprehensive for-the-record list of my advance predictions will follow shortly. I've actually changed my mind about some of them already, but I'll save those for my first official predix update.


Aaron said...

i agree with these. not bad. but i can't see how you'd not include the lovely bones in any of your seven major categories except for rachel weisz. i've read the book and the script and its top notch. i think it should be in director and picture at least.

Aaron said...

i just don't see an education, and i think you touched on it well when you said it's one nobody's talking about when ironically everyone's talking about it for that reason, getting in. and i don't see amelia getting in except for swank and some tech noms. there are too many biopics and in my opinion, it's at the bottom of them.

The Oscar Nazi said...

I'm interested to see how "The Lovely Bones" is received, but I worry it may be hindered by its slight fantasy edge. But look closer, and you'll see I do have it down for Adapted Screenplay as well, in addition to Supporting Actress.

As for "An Education" and "Amelia", consider them place-holders for the REAL contenders until they reveal themselves. I haven't a clue who said contenders will be, but I had to predict five titles and these two were just wild guesses.

Aaron said...

oh i forgot about adapted screenplay. yeah i guess i understand them being placeholders. i've looked on other prediction websites, like the, and most of them have an education in their best pic saying it's one that not many people are talking about, when in actually they are. i just don't see it having the strength to pull into the race here. its more possible for it to get nominated instead of amelia, but the only way i see it getting there is if the academy refuses to nominate public enemies for the sole fact that it's a blockbuster film. and even in that case i see avatar getting it's place. plus for director even if they don't nominate lovely bones for pic, but if it is still good, i think they'd give scherfig's spot to jackson just cause he's a name.
here's what i see for best pic:
Mandela (of course)
Nine (Has to be)
Public Enemies (If not) Avatar
The Lovely Bones
Shutter Island (If not academy material) The Road (If the academy doesn't think it's TOO dark for them)