OFF THE CARPET: Enough foreplay

Posted by · 9:59 am · January 19th, 2009

WALL-EWhat else is there to say?  Tomorrow we’ll have a new president and the last eight years will, hopefully, start to fade away.  In four days we’ll have a fresh slate of Oscar nominees and the last four months of awards speculation will suddenly be a distant memory.  The big wheel keeps on turning.

I don’t know what else can be added to the conversation at this point that hasn’t been mulled over a million times already.  I do know, as my final set of Oscar predictions will reflect, that this years seems to be given to the safe bet more than any other in recent memory.  But I also know the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is a difficult group of people to corner.  There are always surprises.

As I look over the landscape of the 2008-2009 season, I find myself seeking out those blind-side possibilities.  No one saw “City of God” coming four times over in 2003.  Hardly anyone expected Tommy Lee Jones to snatch a nomination last year after failing to pop up throughout the precursor season.  And certainly, no one banked on a “Dreamgirls” snub in 2006.

But these things happen.  I’ll lay out a set of my own left-field possibilities on Wednesday, since this year’s inauguration proceedings have kept the weekly Oscar column somewhat removed from the actual announcement (generally I write this the day before), but today I thought I’d end phase one with a few question marks I feel it necessary to punctuate.

Is “The Dark Knight” really in the open field?  From where we sit, it can be too easy to chalk it up as a locked-in contender, given the stellar guild showing so far.  But there are last minute additions to the race that may not have managed enough guild circulation to show up in the precursors.  Additionally, fans (dare I say fanboys) seem unwilling to acknowledge the obvious bias the Academy has toward films of this nature.  It’s not just the comic angle, but how many full-on summer blockbuster actioners have slipped into the big race?  From my vantage point, the Caped Crusader is still quite vulnerable and all of us, fan or not, would do well to understand that.

Kate Winslet and David Kross in The ReaderDid Clint Eastwood save enough gas in the tank to go the extra mile?  “Gran Torino” has slipped up as a genuine favorite among Academy members that respond to the wiley ole’ cat doing his thing at nearly 80 years old.  And a surprising number of critics have hopped on the bandwagon throughout the season, so what might have seemed a faint pulse a month ago might have been a possum trick as the film generated momentum when it counted.

Can BAFTA influence the race again?  It’s unquestionable that the cross-over membership helped “Atonement” slide into contention last year, and though “The Reader” might not command the same level of support, it is still that outside threat in a similar fashion.  The precursors have certainly kept it in the mix.

Is “WALL-E” still lurking about?  One might be quick to point to snubs by the PGA, DGA and WGA, but ineligibility in two of those races kept it out of the conversation, while a separate animated category likely held it at bay with the producers.  Then again, a similar option is on the table for Academy members.  The point is, we really don’t have a proper gauge on industry support for the film, so if anything is looking like a potential spoiler, this is probably it.

Did “The Wrestler” turn it on at the right time?  You can’t call this thing “an actors’ movie” anymore as the film has found support with the art directors, costume designers and makeup artists.  Some feel like a lone director berth is in the cards for Darren Aronofsky.  Certainly possible, but what about enough passion votes to get it into the big race?

Finally, can the actors push “Doubt” into the running?  That SAG ensemble nomination was likely expected but this film hasn’t gone away.  A concentrated effort from last year’s studio Oscar victor isn’t as intense as one might have expected, but all of Miramax’s eggs seem to be in one basket nonetheless (not a lot of steam being generated by the clearly critically loved “Happy-Go-Lucky,” oddly enough).  In many ways, it’s an easy film to sell, and an easy one to watch, which makes all the difference in a year like this.

Those are the big questions.  You know them, you’ve considered them.  It’s a game of back-and-forth at this point, but I’ve decided to take the high road.  Despite my hunches to the contrary, I don’t even feel comfortable predicting a lone director bid because “the five” have been so uniform.  Nothing seems worth going out on a limb for.  It would be an exercise in futility to get creative at this point, so I’m personally willing to let the Academy show me it has the balls to think for itself again, or, perhaps, that it doesn’t.

Sally Hawkins in Happy-Go-LuckyWith that in mind, I thought it worth showcasing some of our contributors’ risky picks.  Like John, for instance, hanging his hat on an Eastwood nod as lone director (for “Gran Torino”) and a relatively surprising call for Eddie Marsan in the supporting actor category.  Or Guy, who shares that hunch on Marsan and thinks Mike Leigh will be the odd director out for “Happy-Go-Lucky” (in addition to a courageous bet on “Gomorrah” for an adapted screenplay nomination.)

Gerard is playing it safe for the most part, but he seems to think critical kudos will make all the difference in nabbing Sally Hawkins a lead actress nomination.  Ditto Brian on that front, though he’s the only one on our staff sticking his neck out for a “WALL-E” Best Picture nod.

But me, I’m getting old.  The more things change, the more they stay the same.  I’ll stick my neck out, but only when it counts, and I don’t see it counting for much this season.

Sue me.

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→ 47 Comments Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Filed in: Off the Carpet

47 responses so far

  • 1 1-19-2009 at 10:17 am

    Douglas said...


    -“The Wrestler”
    -“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
    -“Gran Torino”
    -“Slumdog Millionaire”

    Dark Horse – “The Reader”


    -Danny Boyle for “Slumdog Millionaire”
    -David Fincher for “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
    -Ron Howard for “Frost/Nixon”
    -Clint Eastwood for “Gran Torino”
    -David Afronosky for “The Wrestler”

    Dark Horse – Stephen Daldry for “The Reader”


    -Clint Eastwood for “Gran Torino”
    -Frank Langella for “Frost/Nixon”
    -Sean Penn for “Milk”
    -Brad Pitt for “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
    -Mickey Rourke for “The Wrestler”

    Dark Horse – Richard Jenkins for “The Visitor”


    -Merryl Streep for “Doubt”
    -Kristen Scott Thomas for “I’ve Loved You for So Long”
    -Kate Winslet for “Revolutionary Road”
    -Anne Hathaway for “Rachel Getting Married”
    -Sally Hawkins for “Happy-Go-Lucky”

    Dark Horse – Angelina Jolie for “Changeling”


    -Robert Downey Jr. for “Tropic Thunder”
    -Philip Seymour Hoffman for “Doubt”
    -Heath Ledger for “The Dark Knight”
    -Josh Brolin for “Milk”
    -Michael Shannon for “Revolutionary Road”

    Dark Horse – Dev Patel for “Slumdog Millionaire”


    -Amy Adams for “Doubt”
    -Viola Davis for “Doubt”
    -Penelope Cruz for “Vicky Christina Barcelona”
    -Marisa Tomei for “The Wrestler”
    -Kate Winslet for “The Reader”

    Dark Horse – Taraji P. Henson for “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”

  • 2 1-19-2009 at 10:20 am

    JAB said...

    I don’t see Richard Jenkins or Melissa Leo making it.

  • 3 1-19-2009 at 10:26 am

    N8 said...

    Aw, but where’s your sense of adventure! ;)

    You’re not alone. I’m banking on the concensus five for picture and director, but only because I hope to be wrong. If on the morning of the nominations we see the same five films in those two categories, then having predicted them correctly will be the only consolation I’ll have. I’ll still knock on wood for WALL-E to get in, but that would be asking too much. All in all, it’s been a pretty boring season.

  • 4 1-19-2009 at 10:26 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    I was with Brian on the “WALL-E” train until I realized the five-film match-up between the Guilds was unprecedented. So I caved in. Sigh. I so desperately want to be wrong.

    That “Gomorrah” prediction is only because the adapted screenplay category so often replaces a supposed safe bet with a cooler left-field contender, and I couldn’t find anything else to fit the bill. I was all ready to go with “Let the Right One In” until I saw it’s not on AMPAS’ list of eligible films. No idea why.

  • 5 1-19-2009 at 10:32 am

    Average Joe said...

    Oh wow, John, Danny Boyle snubbed for best director? That’s definitely the ballsiest prediction I’ve seen. I don’t think ANYBODY is expecting that. I don’t think many even predict him not to win the category.

  • 6 1-19-2009 at 10:32 am

    William said...

    Best Actress:
    Anne Hathaway
    Sally Hawkins
    Meryl Streep
    Michelle Williams
    Kate Winslet

    Best Supporting Actress:
    Amy Adams
    Viola Davis
    Penelope Cruz
    Rosemarie Dewitt
    Kate Winslet

  • 7 1-19-2009 at 10:37 am

    Peter said...

    Did I read that right or did John not put Danny Boyle on his list? Gutsy.

  • 8 1-19-2009 at 10:45 am

    Gustavo Silva said...

    Couldn’t the biggest surprise be one of the other 4 safe bets being replaced by another movie? I mean, if we all assume TDK is the weakest, it ain’t all that big of a surprise anymore.

  • 9 1-19-2009 at 10:49 am

    Jonathan Spuij said...

    Dammit, I just can’t wait anymore. Let it be known wether TDK is in or not. That’s the only thing I really care about right now.

  • 10 1-19-2009 at 10:51 am

    Jamie said...

    Very surprised that Marisa Tomei did not make your list of nominees. I can see why you would feel confident about Amy Adams, but Taraji P. Henson?

  • 11 1-19-2009 at 10:52 am

    Douglas said...

    I have to say, Kristen Scott Thomas gave one of the most wholesome and passionate performances I have ever seen.
    Surely the Academy cannot deny her a nomination.
    I agree with what John Foote said in his column “Best Actress: a tough call” – this performance will be remembered for years to come even if she is not nominated.
    If she is left off the list the only other deserving actress is Merryl. I agree that Kate Winslet is overdue for an Oscar but why couldn’t they have given it 4 years ago for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind when she actually deserved it?
    How long has it been since Merryl won?
    27 years.
    She has had to sit through 9 other nominations between her win in 1982 and now.
    And people think Kate Winslet is overdue!
    Kate has her whole career ahead of her.

  • 12 1-19-2009 at 10:56 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    I totally agree about Kristin Scott Thomas, Douglas — I’d love to see her make the cut. Sadly, I think she needed critics’ awards on her side, and Sally Hawkins (equally deserving, I think) kind of stole her thunder. But who knows?

  • 13 1-19-2009 at 11:28 am

    Kyle said...

    Does anyone else think that Milk might get snubbed? The buzz kinda died on the vine in the past month…

  • 14 1-19-2009 at 11:33 am

    Jake said...

    Why not place “The Dark Knight” on the Art Direction list?

  • 15 1-19-2009 at 11:39 am

    Anthony said...

    Interesting thoughts, Kris.

    Though I do have to disagree with your comment about the Batman-backers being supremely confident. I know I’m getting more and more certain it’s not going to score either a Director or Picture nomination. Quite frankly, every one I know is almost resigned to the eventual snubs. It seems we just didn’t have enough gas to get this sucker over the hump.

    It’s sad that the film of the decade (don’t take that to mean best film of the decade, please) won’t even get acknowledged by the Academy, let alone win, but that’s how AMPAS wants to play it.

    My Final Five Prediction:
    Slumdog Millionaire
    The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
    The Reader

  • 16 1-19-2009 at 11:52 am

    Jilda said...


    You’re talking like the nominations are already out. The Dark Knight can still be nominated. Getting nominated at the Guilds proves there is some support. I hope people are not completely doubting it’s chances ONLY because of the BAFTA.

  • 17 1-19-2009 at 11:53 am

    Joel said...

    Jake: Nolan filmed Dark Knight almost entirely in actual locations. I think the interrogation that was pretty much the only scene filmed in a studio.

  • 18 1-19-2009 at 11:58 am

    Anthony said...


    The writing is on the wall. Sure it got DGA,PGA and WGA nods, but the SAG, BAFTA and Golden Globe snubs really hurt it.

    It had become my opinion that it needed a lot of precursor attention to keep the momentum moving. At the end of the day, I don’t think it got enough. The critics wasted all their bullets on WALL-E (which may still prove fruitless), and the late in the game surge by The Reader seems to have been successful.

    I’m extremely confident in The Dark Knight’s snub. I’d say Wall-E, The Reader, and Frost/Nixon all have better chances to be nominated.

    I’d be elated if it got a nomination. The momentum is just going in a different direction, after what looked like a “locked-in” sort of Guild run a couple weeks ago.

  • 19 1-19-2009 at 12:00 pm

    Dan R said...

    Take it to the bank:

    Wall E will not be nominated for Best Picture

    Frost/Nixon’s odds of being nominated are low

    The Reader is gaining steam which is unfortunate

    Gran Torino could slip into the 5 possibly.

    Milk is not a solid lock like some think it is

    The Dark Knight is either going to make it into the 5 solidly or its going to just miss.

    The Wrestler has no shot at a Best Picture nomination.

  • 20 1-19-2009 at 12:07 pm

    Guy Lodge said...

    “The Dark Knight is either going to make it into the 5 solidly or its going to just miss.”

    Uh, how do you take that to the bank? Take a stand ;)

  • 21 1-19-2009 at 12:22 pm

    Ivan said...

    The Dark Knight
    The Reader
    Slumdog Millionaire

    Danny Boyle/ Slumdog Millionaire
    Stephen Daldry/ The Reader
    David Fincher/ Curious Case of Benjamin Button
    Ron Howard/ Frost/Nixon
    Christopher Nolan/ The Dark Knight

    Clint Eastwood/ Gran Torino
    Frank Langella / Frost/Nixon
    Dev Patel/ Slumdog Millionaire
    Sean Penn/ Milk
    Mickey Rourke/ The Wrestler

    Anne Hathaway/ Rachel Getting Married
    Sally Hawkins/ Happy-Go-Lucky
    Melissa Leo/ Frozen River
    Meryl Streep/ Doubt
    Kate Winslet/ The Reader

    Josh Brolin/ Milk
    Robert Downey Jr./ Tropic Thunder
    Ralph Fiennes/ The Reader
    Philip Seymour Hoffman/ Doubt
    Heath Ledger/ The Dark Knight

    Penelope Cruz/ Vicky Cristina Barcelona
    Viola Davis/ Doubt
    Rosemarie DeWitt/Rachel Getting Married
    Taraji P. Henson/ Benjamin Button
    Marisa Tomei/ The Wrestler

    Gran Torino
    In Bruges
    Rachel Getting Married
    Vicky Cristina Barcelona

    The Reader
    Revolutionary Road
    Slumdog Millionaire

    The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
    The Dark Knight
    The Reader
    Revolutionary Road
    Slumdog Millionaire

    The Dark Knight
    Frost/ Nixon
    The Reader
    Slumdog Millionaire

    The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
    The Dark Knight
    The Reader
    Slumdog Millionaire

  • 22 1-19-2009 at 12:58 pm

    Josh said...

    Ivan, Dev Patel for LEADING actor? Bold prediction. By the way, I too have In Bruges slipping in for an Original Screenplay nod.

  • 23 1-19-2009 at 1:24 pm

    Fig said...

    My Oscar Nomination Predictions 2008

    Best Picture:
    • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
    • The Dark Knight
    • Milk
    • Slumdog Millionaire
    • WALL-E

    Runners Up:
    • Frost/Nixon
    • Revolutionary Road
    • The Wrestler

    Best Director:
    • Darren Aronofsky – The Wrestler
    • Danny Boyle – Slumdog Millionaire
    • David Fincher – The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
    • Christopher Nolan – The Dark Knight
    • Gus Van Sant – Milk

    Runners Up:
    • Ron Howard – Frost/Nixon
    • Mike Leigh – Happy-Go-Lucky
    • Sam Mendes – Revolutionary Road

    Best Actor:
    • Leonardo DiCaprio – Revolutionary Road
    • Richard Jenkins – The Visitor
    • Frank Langella – Frost/Nixon
    • Sean Penn – Milk
    • Mickey Rourke – The Wrestler

    Runners Up:
    • Brad Pitt – The Curious Case…
    • Clint Eastwood – Gran Torino
    • Colin Farrell – In Bruges

    Best Actress:
    • Anne Hathaway – Rachel Getting Married
    • Sally Hawkins – Happy-Go-Lucky
    • Kristin Scott-Thomas – I’ve Loved You So Long
    • Meryl Streep – Doubt
    • Kate Winslet – Revolutionary Road

    Runners Up:
    • Angelina Jolie – Changeling
    • Melissa Leo – Frozen River
    • Cate Blanchett – The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

    Best Supporting Actor:
    • Josh Brolin – Milk
    • Robert Downey Jr. – Tropic Thunder
    • Phillip Seymour Hoffman – Doubt
    • Heath Ledger – The Dark Knight
    • Eddie Marsan – Happy-Go-Lucky

    Runners Up:
    • James Franco – Milk
    • Michael Shannon – Revolutionary Road
    • Emile Hirsh – Milk

    Best Supporting Actress:
    • Penelope Cruz – Vicky Cristina Barcelona
    • Viola Davis – Doubt
    • Rosemarie DeWitt – Rachel Getting Married
    • Marisa Tomei – The Wrestler
    • Kate Winslet – The Reader

    Runners Up:
    • Amy Adams – Doubt
    • Taraji P Henson – The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
    • Kathy Bates – Revolutionary Road

    Best Adapted Screenplay:
    • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
    • The Dark Knight
    • Doubt
    • Frost/Nixon
    • Slumdog Millionaire

    Runners Up:
    • Revolutionary Road
    • The Reader
    • Iron Man

    Best Original Screenplay:
    • Milk
    • Rachel Getting Married
    • Vicky Cristina Barcelona
    • The Visitor
    • WALL-E

    Runners Up:
    • The Wrestler
    • In Bruges
    • Burn After Reading

    Best Animated Feature:
    • Bolt
    • WALL-E
    • Waltz with Bashir

    Runners Up:
    • Kung Fu Panda
    • Tale of Desperaux

    Best Foreign Language Film
    • The Class
    • Der Baader Meinhof Komplex
    • Everlasting Moment
    • Three Monkeys
    • Waltz with Bashir

    Runners Up:
    • The Necessities of Life
    • Revanche

  • 24 1-19-2009 at 2:25 pm

    JM said... had The Reader getting in their predictions a bunch of places, which I think may be a bit much, but it was an interesting read.

    I think Frost/Nixon is still going to miss out in possibly all three: Pic, Screenplay, Director…just won’t believe it ’til it happens though.

  • 25 1-19-2009 at 2:28 pm

    JC said...

    Of those three, there’s no way in hell that Frost/Nixon will miss out on Screenplay. Now, the other two, a small possibility.

  • 26 1-19-2009 at 2:38 pm

    JM said...


    Agreed, I think screenplay is the best bet for Frost. I feel like The Reader has it’s best shot in Adapted Screenplay still…and I don’t know who falls out.

    I’d say Dark Knight is vunerable. Maybe Frost…

  • 27 1-19-2009 at 2:41 pm

    JM said...

    Hey…maybe even Doubt will miss out in Adapted. Eric Roth, the Nolan, Marber for Frost, Hare for The Reader, and Slumdog’s Writer all have a history with Oscar. Perhaps that’s asking for too much, but I’d like to see Doubt miss out here..

  • 28 1-19-2009 at 3:28 pm

    jake said...

    I don’t see how they can assure a nomination for Kate Winslet and not notice the powerhouse performance of Leonardo Dicaprio — who simply gives the best performance of the year (he should be nominated for the “if you hate me so much scene and there are several scenes just like it. When are they going to give Leo his due? He deserves it this time. He has been an instrumental part of two best picture winners, two best picture nominees, been nominated three times. Sean penn doesn’t need another oscar, clint certainly doesn’t need another nomination. Bottom line however, his performance is so award worthy and superb that I can’t believe that it is gonna be overlooked.

  • 29 1-19-2009 at 3:35 pm

    sam said...

    I think that Milk is actually the one that will be missing from the nominations except for Sean Penn. If prop 8 can pass in California, and brokeback mountain was not loved by the academy, I don’t think that Milk will have a strong showing in the nominations.

  • 30 1-19-2009 at 5:37 pm

    McGuff said...

    Have we really all talked ourselves into the Downey Jr. nomination like it’s a shoo-in. I admit I haven’t read every prediction in this thread, but among the contributors to this site, Kurt Lazarus is a consensus Oscar pick. Now don’t get me wrong — I liked the movie and performance more than most I know … it’s just that I have never really seen this actually happening.

    It sure seems like six weeks ago, we were still telling ourselves that AMPAS just couldn’t warm up to Tropic Thunder … what has changed? Did the precursors really change our minds that much? Perhaps I’m wrong, but I’m not going with Downey Jr. in the Supporting Actor category.

    My five: Ledger, Brolin, Hoffman, Patel, and Shannon.

  • 31 1-19-2009 at 6:20 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    What has changed? A SAG nomination is a pretty damn good indication.

  • 32 1-19-2009 at 6:35 pm

    McGuff said...

    Still, I think the distinction in the two voting branches — SAG and AMPAS, I mean — is significant enough where a performance like Downey’s matters. I think AMPAS has that nose-upturned exclusivity mentality when it comes to its awards that SAG does not, and that’s the very thing that would work against Downey.

    But yeah, enough foreplay indeed…

  • 33 1-19-2009 at 6:37 pm

    Average Joe said...

    Not only SAG, but BAFTA, the globes, and BFCA noms as well. It would be a HUGE surprise if Downey Jr. missed out. I wonder who the most vulnerable of the supporting actors is? Hoffman? But then again, he got the same precursor noms too. Supporting actor seems pretty locked.

    Guy, I really hope you’re right about Norah Jones being nommed for “The Story.” My dream noms would include that song and “Little Person.”

  • 34 1-19-2009 at 8:50 pm

    jp said...

    Curious Case of Benjamin Button
    The Dark Knight
    Slumdog Millionaire

    Danny Boyle
    Stephen Daldry
    David Fincher
    Christopher Nolan
    Gus Van Sant
    (alt. Ron Howard, Darren Aronofsky)

    Clint Eastwood
    Richard Jenkins
    Frank Langella
    Sean Penn
    Mickey Rourke
    (alt. Pitt, Dicaprio)

    Cate Blanchett
    Anne Hathaway
    Melissa Leo
    Meryl Streep
    Kate Winslet
    (alt. Hawkins, KST, Jolie)

    Josh Brolin
    Robert Downey Jr.
    Philip Seymour Hoffman
    Heath Ledger
    Michael Shannon
    (alt. Patel)

    Penelope Cruz
    Viola Davis
    Rosemarie Dewitt
    Taraji P Henson
    Kate Winslet
    (alt. Tomei, Adams)

    Happy Go Lucky
    In Bruges
    Rachel Getting Married
    Vicky Christina Barcelona
    (alt. Synecdoche or the Visitor or WALL E)

    The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
    The Reader
    Slumdog Millionaire
    (alt. Revolutionary Road)

  • 35 1-20-2009 at 12:54 am

    Scott Ward said...


    Slumdog Millionaire
    The Dark Knight
    The Wrestler
    The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

  • 36 1-20-2009 at 1:49 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    McGuff: I was a little sceptical about Downey’s nomination until he got the BAFTA nod — it’s a performance (and film) really not up their alley, so the fact that he made it shows the breadth of his support.

    I still don’t think he’s a lock like some do, though. The Academy so often tosses out a favourite in this category, and the fact that the winner in his supporting category is inevitable might lead voters to go their own way with some of the nominees, but I ultimately doubt it.

    Average Joe: I must admit the Jones song isn’t a favourite of mine (I’m not a Jones fan at all, really), but I think it might be to the music voters’ taste. They’ve thrown up so many surprises in this category in recent years, I’m surprised most of the predictions I’m reading are playing so safe. But then, maybe they know something I don’t.

  • 37 1-20-2009 at 5:37 am

    Sawyer said...

    The closer it gets to nomination day, the more I have a feeling that The Reader will surprise on nomination day. I think it’s the True #6 right now, not Wall-E or Gran Torino. Daldry is a former nominee himself, and will be in the top 7 at least for Best Director. Kate Winslet is going to win the Best Supporting Actress Oscar. I’m very close to bumping The Dark Knight or (gasp) The Curious Case of Benjamin Button for The Reader in my predicted 5.

  • 38 1-20-2009 at 5:42 am

    Sawyer said...

    So give me..

    Benjamin Button
    The Reader
    Slumdog Millionaire

    Van Sant



    Supp Actor:
    Downey Jr.

    Supp Actress:

  • 39 1-20-2009 at 11:28 am

    mosboyrbi said...


    I’m just wondering if an animated film is actually eligible for an art direction nomination. Since, in my opinion, the production design on Wall-E, both on- and off-Earth, is just stunning and jaw-droppingly beautiful.

    Add to that, the flick got a nomination from ADG (which, admittedly, has always been much more friendly to animated flicks than AMPAS).

    Now, as much as I adored the designs on Revo Road, Changeling, Milk, or Indy 4 on different levels (I whole-heartedly in love with Ben Button’s production designs), and I do think all the talents involved deserve nominations (like Guy Dias, who’s got Elizabeth, X2, Brothers Grimm, The Cell under his name and NOT A SINGLE nom!), I just can’t help but thinking that the designs on Wall-E are more out of this world and has that kind of youthful imagination-unleashed aura.

    Furthermore, the buzz on Wall-E is just *huge* this time of year. And, while I’m backing on TDK to get the popular BP slot (I’m a Batman-backer), I can’t help but wondering if Wall-E somehow can pop out in other unprecedented, unexpected, yet wholly cheer-inducing categories. What do you guys say?

  • 40 1-20-2009 at 7:59 pm

    Troy said...

    I’ll take a stab and guess that Colin Farrell will get nominated.

  • 41 1-21-2009 at 8:00 am

    mnh said...

    I am shocked that so few people are predicting surprises, although there seems to be a late bloom for the Reader. I predict the following:
    Slumdog Millionaire
    Dark Knight
    Benjamin Button
    WALL-E (to snub Frost/Nixon)

    Gus van Sant
    Christopher Nolan
    David Fincher
    Danny Boyle
    Darren Aronofsky (as there is always one mismatch here, and he seems to be the auteur of the year)

    Mickey Rourke
    Sean Penn
    Frank Langella
    Clint Eastwood
    Richard Jenkins (instead of Brad Pitt, is it really possible that that many people picked him as their number 1?)

    Kate Winslet (Rev. Road)
    Anne Hathaway
    Meryl Steep
    Sally Hawkins
    Melissa Leo (as everyone is sick of Brangelina and Changeling was so melodramatic)

    Supp. Actor
    Heath Ledger
    Robert Downey Jr
    Phillip Seymour Hoffman
    Josh Brolin
    Eddie Marsan (instead of Dev Patel, as the SAG never lines up here 100%)

    Supp. Actress
    Viola Davis
    Marisa Tomei
    Kate Winslet
    Penelope Cruz
    Rosemarie Dewitt (instead of Amy Adams, who will likely take the snub for Davis, and Dewitt has a lot of support–see her pulling a Marcia Gay Harden from 2000 sweeping in with little precursors and being a threat for the win)

  • 42 1-21-2009 at 3:22 pm

    John K said...

    Anyway, it seems like this is the predictions post, so it’s time to go on record, for future bragging rights:

    Pic: Slumdog, Milk, Frost/Nixon, Dark Knight, Wall-E

    Director: Boyle, Nolan, Van Sant, Howard, Aronofsky

    Actor: Rourke, Penn, Langella, Eastwood, Brolin

    Actress: Hathaway, Streep, Winslet, Hawkins, Leo

    S. Actor: Ledger, Downey Jr., Brolin, Hoffman, Franco

    S. Actress: Winslet, Cruz, Davis, Henson, Tomei

  • 43 1-21-2009 at 8:02 pm

    hepwa said...


    Dark Knight
    Slumdog Millionaire
    Vicky Christina Barcelona
    The Wrestler
    The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button

    I believe there will be a surprise snub of Anne Hathaway.

    Everyone I know who saw “The Wrestler” thought it was the ugliest film they’ve ever seen (and I agree — but I still liked it a lot).

    Amy Adams underperformed in “Doubt” and Meryl overperformed — Hoffman and Davis are both worthy (of nominations only).

    Best Supporting Actor was Gary Oldman in The Dark Knight, but it’ll never happen, even though Heath should be in the Best Actor category — he carried huge chunks of that film.

    Would love to see a Best Pic nom for Wall-E, but alas, it will not happen.

    I found Marisa Tomei’s performance in The Wrestler to be desperate for all the wrong reasons, but I’m pretty gay, so maybe I viewed it differently.

    I found Ron Howard’s direction of Frost/Nixon to be desperate for all the wrong reasons, but I’m pretty old, and I remember the play fondly.

    Penelope Cruz deserves an Oscar — for Volver — and, okay, for Vicky Christina Barcelona

  • 44 1-21-2009 at 8:22 pm

    Mad Professah said...

    Best Picture

    The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
    The Dark Knight
    Slumdog Millionaire

    Best Director

    Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire
    David Fincher, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
    Ron Howard, Frost/Nixon
    Christopher Nolan, The Dark Knight
    Gus Van Sant, Milk
    Best Actress

    Cate Blanchett, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
    Anne Hathaway, Rachel Getting Married
    Angelina Jolie, Changeling
    Meryl Streep, Doubt
    Kate Winslet, Revolutionary Road
    Best Actor

    Richard Jenkins, The Visitor
    Frank Langella, Frost/Nixon
    Sean Penn, Milk
    Brad Pitt, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
    Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler
    Best Supporting Actress

    Amy Adams, Doubt
    Penelope Cruz, Vicky Christina Barcelona
    Taraji P. Henson, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
    Marisa Tomei, The Wrestler
    Kate Winslet, The Reader
    Best Supporting Actor

    Josh Brolin, Milk
    Robert Downey, Jr., Tropic Thunder
    Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Doubt
    Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight
    Dev Patel, Slumdog Millionaire
    Best Original Screenplay

    Woody Allen, Vicky Cristina Barcelona
    Dustin Lance Black, Milk
    Jenny Lumet, Rachel Getting Married
    Tom McCarthy, The Visitor
    Robert Siegel, The Wrestler
    Best Adapted Screenplay

    Simon Beaufoy, Slumdog Millionaire
    Peter Morgan, Frost/Nixon
    Christopher Nolan and Jonathan Nolan, The Dark Knight
    Eric Roth, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
    John Patrick Shanley, Doubt