Early winner predictions, part 2: Yours and mine

Posted by · 1:42 pm · November 28th, 2008

Well, Kris was brave enough to stick his neck out and venture some winner predictions, so I thought I’d follow up on that — with the strict caveat that, while nobody knows anything, I frequently know even less.

So my own predictions are after the cut. I don’t think them informed enough to place on a main page, but in the interests of diversity (and maximum egg-on-face potential), there they are. I was interested to see that, judging from the impressive response to Kris’ initial post, you readers and I are of a like mind in several areas. I specifically waited until after I’d drawn up my own foolhardy picks before looking at yours, and was surprised by some of the parallels that emerged.

So let’s take a look at how you voted, shall we? I see some enterprising commenter on Kris’ post has already collated the data and drawn up percentages, and short of drawings up bar graphs and pie charts, I wouldn’t want to compete with that kind of specificity. (Seriously, I wouldn’t.) But even without getting mathematical, some trends are clear.

In the top category, I expected to be in a significant minority picking “Milk,” but you have it breathing hotly down “Benjamin Button’s” neck as the frontrunner, with 11 and 13 votes respectively. A mere two of you side with Kris in picking “Slumdog Millionaire,” which, obtuse creature that I am, makes it the smarter choice in my mind. And yet, thrilled as I would be to see Team Boyle onstage come Oscar night, I can’t quite go there. Right now, “Milk” ticks too many boxes: dazzling reviews, emotionally charged, politically relevant, a more accessible effort from a long-revered filmmaker. It makes almost too much sense to me.

Things are less tight in Best Director, where David Fincher enjoys over half your votes, with Danny Boyle and Gus van Sant (my choice) neck-and-neck for second place.

We match once more in the top acting categories, with Sean Penn narrowly ahead of Leonardo DiCaprio (whose degree of support surprises me, I must admit), 12 votes to ten. Only three of you are buying the Clint Eastwood hype, fewer than are backing Mickey Rourke, though one wonders how things might shift as “Gran Torino” becomes a more familiar commodity.

Your Best Actress pick is less fiercely contested, with Kate Winslet (“Revolutionary Road”) comfortably leading the pack, with Cate Blanchett and Meryl Streep in distant (and tied) pursuit. I’m with you there, for now, but I must admit I’m wavering, as Winslet’s two-pronged campaign continues to raise questions in my mind.

Only two of you are ballsy enough to stand up against the Heath Ledger juggernaut in Best Supporting Actor, both plumping for Michael Shannon. I’m not so courageous. I finally veer from the pack in the Best Supporting Actress category — Penelope Cruz enjoys the most reader support, but I share Kris’ inkling that Viola Davis is going to nab this one.

I could go on, but the more I wade through the races, the more I begin to overthink my own picks. I’m happy to be entirely alone in four whole categories. Every prediction list needs its quirks. I part ways with Kris in a majority of categories, which either means he’s wrong, I’m wrong (far more likely) or, well, we’re all wrong. However it pans out, you’ll be able to ruthlessly jeer at least one of us come February (or maybe even on nomination morning.) And that’s always fun. So think of this as my deferred Thanksgiving present to you:

Best Picture: “Milk”
Best Director: Gus van Sant, “Milk”
Best Actor: Sean Penn, “Milk”
Best Actress: Kate Winslet, “Revolutionary Road”
Best Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger, “The Dark Knight”
Best Supporting Actress: Viola Davis, “Doubt”
Best Adapted Screenplay: “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
Best Original Screenplay: “Milk”
Best Art Direction: “Australia”
Best Cinematography: “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
Best Costume Design: “Australia”
Best Film Editing: “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
Best Makeup: “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
Best Music – Original Score: “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
Best Music – Original Song: “Slumdog Millionaire”
Best Sound Editing: “The Dark Knight”
Best Sound Mixing: “The Dark Knight”
Best Visual Effects: “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
Best Animated Feature Film: “WALL-E”
Best Documentary Feature: “Blessed is the Match: The Life and Death of Hannah Senesh”
Best Foreign Language Film: “Everlasting Moments”




→ 20 Comments Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Filed in: Daily

20 responses so far

  • 1 11-28-2008 at 2:23 pm

    mB said...

    Interesting picks!
    Though I have to wonder: has it ever occurred (and I’m no Oscar historian by any means, just curious) that the Best Pic film is NOT (as in your predictions) does not lead the pack with most wins? Certainly recent memory at least has BP tying with other films but still having most wins.

  • 2 11-28-2008 at 2:24 pm

    Speaking English said...

    I like your predictions better than Kris’ (sorry!), but “The Dark Knight” double-whammy in the Sound categories that you so stubbornly cling onto doesn’t make a LICK of sense, not in a year that saw some of the greatest and most unique sound design in a long long time, WALL-E. Ben Burtt’s got the award in the bag, for many reasons.

    I also like your “Australia” predictions. I just saw this film today and I absolutely loved it… I am at a loss for words as to why the critics do not agree. Hopefully it will perform better at the Oscars.

  • 3 11-28-2008 at 2:38 pm

    Guy Lodge said...

    mB: There are several occasions where that has happened, most recently in the 2004 awards, where “The Aviator” won five awards, but “Million Dollar Baby” won four, including Best Picture.

    Other examples: In 1972, “Cabaret” won eight (including Best Director), while Best Picture winner “The Godfather” took only three. In 1977, “Star Wars” tooks six, while Best Pic winner “Annie Hall” took four… and so on.

  • 4 11-28-2008 at 3:02 pm

    Guy Lodge said...

    Speaking English: I have to side with Kris on the sound awards. Time and again, the Academy has shown in this category that the quality of the craft is not as important to them as the film containing it — largely because I think a lot of voters have very little grasp of what sound design entails.

    I agree “WALL-E” deserves it more in this category, but I just think “The Dark Knight” will have more heft. I’m not certain, however.

  • 5 11-28-2008 at 3:11 pm

    Kip Mooney said...

    Best Picture: “Slumdog Millionaire”
    Best Director: Gus van Sant, “Milk”
    Best Actor: Clint Eastwood, “Gran Torino”
    Best Actress: Kate Winslet, “Revolutionary Road”
    Best Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger, “The Dark Knight”
    Best Supporting Actress: Viola Davis, “Doubt”
    Best Adapted Screenplay: “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
    Best Original Screenplay: “Milk”
    Best Art Direction: “Australia”
    Best Cinematography: “Australia”
    Best Costume Design: “Australia”
    Best Film Editing: “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
    Best Makeup: “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
    Best Music – Original Score: “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
    Best Music – Original Song: “The Wrestler”
    Best Sound Editing: “WALL-E”
    Best Sound Mixing: “WALL-E”
    Best Visual Effects: “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
    Best Animated Feature Film: “WALL-E”
    Best Documentary Feature: “Man on Wire”
    Best Foreign Language Film: “Gomorrah”

  • 6 11-28-2008 at 3:17 pm

    Ronn said...

    Who could argue with anything at this point, especially having yet to see some majors like Revolutionary Road, Milk, Gran Torino and Benjamin Button but I have to tell you how happy I am to see that you listed “Australia” for Art Direction and Costume Design. In fact, I posted on Kris’ “Australia” Review thread that I was actually shocked it wasn’t being considered for a possible nomination in those categories. I thought the film was visually stunning, I love the epic swooping look and shots. It’s a funny film but for whatever reason as each day passes i still find myself thinking about it… I guess I have to say I really like the film despite some obvious holes and things I hated in the hokie first act.

    I also happen to be in the “Slumdog Millionaire” camp for Best Picture at this point… I thought it was great and reminded me a lot of one of my all-time favorite foreign films, “City of God.” Clint Eastwood is beloved by the Academy and Mickey Rourke is just the story they and person to also pose a major threat I believe. Good stuff… gotta love it!

  • 7 11-28-2008 at 7:43 pm

    Jeff Dresback said...

    Best Picture: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
    Best Actor: Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler
    Best Actress: Cate Blanchett, The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button
    Best Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight
    Best Supporting Actress: Kate Winslet, The Reader
    Best Director: David Fincher, The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button
    Best Original Screenplay: Mike Leigh, Happy-Go-Lucky
    Best Adapted Screenplay: Eric Roth, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
    Best Editing: Lee Smith, The Dark Knight
    Best Cinematography: Roger Deakins, Revolutionary Road
    Best Art Direction: Donald Graham Burt, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
    Best Costume Design: Jacqueline West, The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button
    Best Music Score: Thomas Newman, Revolutionary Road
    Best Sound: The Dark Knight
    Best Sound FX Editing: The Dark Knight
    Best Visual FX: The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button
    Best Make Up: The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button
    Best Original Song: “The Wrestler” Bruce Springsteen
    Best Documentary: Trouble The Water
    Best Animated Feature: Wall.E
    Best Foreign Film: Waltz With Bashir

  • 8 11-28-2008 at 7:48 pm

    slappyJones said...

    No way Penn beats Rourke for best actor oscar. Wait to the Wrestler is actually released then the hype for him will really begin in earnest.

  • 9 11-28-2008 at 9:39 pm

    Just Me said...

    Best Picture: Milk
    Best Actor: Clint Eastwood, Gran Torino
    Best Actress: Cate Blanchett, the Curious Case of Benjamin Button
    Best Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight
    Best Supporting Actress: Penelope Cruz, Vicky Cristina barcelona
    Best Director: Gus van Sant, Milk
    Best Original Screenplay: Milk
    Best Adapted Screenplay: Slumdog Millionaire

    I guess Brokeback Mountain´s scandalous snub is going to be a factor. So is Prop 8.

    Clint&Cate are very much loved by these people. Very conservative winners, imho.

    I think Penelope can still pull a win. Never understimate her PR people.

    The Heath Ledger thing is going to happen to matter what.

  • 10 11-28-2008 at 10:00 pm

    Zan said...

    Best Picture: “Milk”
    Best Actor: Mickey Rourke, “The Wrestler”
    Best Actress: Kate Winslet, “Revolutionary Road”
    Best Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger, “The Dark Knight”
    Best Supporting Actress: Marisa Tomei, “The Wrestler”
    Best Director: David Fincher, “The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button”
    Best Original Screenplay: Dustin Lance Black, “Milk”
    Best Adapted Screenplay: Eric Roth, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
    Best Editing: “The Dark Knight”
    Best Cinematography: “The Dark Knight”
    Best Art Direction: “Australia”
    Best Costume Design: “The Duchess”
    Best Music Score: “Doubt”
    Best Sound: “The Dark Knight”
    Best Sound FX Editing: “Iron Man”
    Best Visual FX: “The Day the Earth Stood Still”
    Best Make Up: “The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button”
    Best Original Song: “The Wrestler” Bruce Springsteen
    Best Documentary: “Man on Wire”
    Best Animated Feature: “Wall-E”
    Best Foreign Film: “Gomorrah”

  • 11 11-28-2008 at 10:04 pm

    N8 said...

    I have to side with SpeakingEnglish on this one. Even if most Academy members don’t understand what sound design really is, they’ll understand that sound played a bigger and more important role in WALL-E than in any other movie this year (or in the last few years for that matter). Burtt is a lock.

  • 12 11-28-2008 at 10:08 pm

    John K said...

    Just a stab at it:

    Best Picture: “Milk”
    Best Actor: Sean Penn, “Milk”
    Best Actress: Kate Winslet, “Revolutionary Road”
    Best Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger, “The Dark Knight”
    Best Supporting Actress: Taraji P. Henson, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
    Best Director: Danny Boyle, “Slumdog Millionaire”
    Best Original Screenplay: “Milk”
    Best Adapted Screenplay: “Slumdog Millionaire”

  • 13 11-28-2008 at 11:32 pm

    PJ said...

    Completely forgot about Slumdog Millionaire for Best Original Song. Were you referring to “O…Saya” or “Jai Ho”, Guy?

  • 14 11-28-2008 at 11:40 pm

    Aaron said...

    It would thrill me to death to see Marisa Tomei win for supporting actress….i LOVE her!

    …but I think it will go to Penelope Cruz…i think her buzz will last…

    Picture: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
    Director: David Fincher, Benjamin Button
    Actor: (toughy…) Leonardo DiCaprio, Revolutionary Road
    Actress: Cate Blanchett, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
    Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight
    Supporting Actress: Penelope Cruz, Vicky Cristina Barcelona
    Adapted Screenplay: Eric Roth, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
    Original Screenplay: Dustin Lance Black, Milk

  • 15 11-28-2008 at 11:42 pm

    Aaron said...

    …o I have a feeling Kate Winslet will be shut out again this year…I don’t have a good feeling about the double-dipping…even if she gets nominated twice I still think she will split her votes…same problem Julianne Moore had in 2002…

  • 16 11-29-2008 at 3:51 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    PJ: “Jai Ho.” (Though how awesome would it be to see MIA on stage?)

    Lately, the Best Song award seems to go to the quirkiest available option. And if “Slumdog”‘s campaign in the top categories doesn’t take flight, this would be a cute place to acknowledge it. Just a crazy hunch.

  • 17 11-29-2008 at 5:18 pm

    Kevin said...

    Best Picture- The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
    Best Director- David Fincher- The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
    Best Actor- Leonardo DiCaprio- Revolutionary Road (best performance I’ve seen all year)
    Best Actress- Meryl Streep- Doubt
    Best Supporting Actor- Heath Ledger- The Dark Knight
    Best Supporting Actress- Viola Davs- Doubt
    Best Original Screenplay- Milk
    Best Adapted Screenplay- Revolutionary Road

  • 18 11-30-2008 at 9:40 pm

    head_wizard said...

    Have to say I like the list and after seeing Milk I can defently agree on it winning. but I think Slumdog Millionaire will take adapted, the indie pick always seems to win screenplay