OSCAR PREDICTION CHARTS — December 8, 2008

NUTSHELL: Absolutely nothing changed on the tech charts this week, so I was tempted to run the same “Nutshell” copy as last week. However, this gives me a chance to throw some thoughts out there on a race that has me curious, and namely, on of that race’s contenders: “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” for Best Cinematography. The AMPAS lensing branch has shown a bias against films shot digitally for a number of years. Most recently, the guild — the ASC — found room for “Collateral” and Apocalypto,” each of them shot digitally, while the Academy turned a blind eye. The coldness of the technology has already popped up in one prominent review of the film, but might Claudio Miranda’s contemporaries form a similar opinion?

Column: “Finding a happy place”

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ART DIRECTION
1 “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
Donald Graham Burt; Victor J. Zolfo
2 “Australia”
Catherine Martin
3 “Revolutionary Road”
Kristi Zea; Debra Schutt
4 “The Duchess”
Michael Carlin
5 “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull”
Guy Dyas; Larry Dias, Alyssa Winter
6 “Defiance”
Dan Weil; Véronique Melery
7 “Valkyrie”
Lily Kilvert, Patrick Lumb, Tom Meyer; Bernhard Henrich
8 “Changeling”
James J. Murakami; Gary Fettis
9 “Hellboy II: The Golden Army”
Stephen Scott; Elli Griff
10 “The Fall”
Ged Clarke; Riccardo Pugliese, Cynthia Sleiter

CINEMATOGRAPHY
1 “The Dark Knight”
Wally Pfister
2 “Australia”
Mandy Walker
3 “Revolutionary Road”
Roger Deakins
4 “Defiance”
Eduardo Serra
5 “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
Claudio Miranda
6 “Milk”
Harris Savides
7 “Valkyrie”
Newton Thomas Siegel
8 “Blindness”
César Charlone
9 “Changeling”
Tom Stern
9 “The Reader”
Chris Menges, Roger Deakins

COSTUME DESIGN
1 “Revolutionary Road”
Albert Wolsky
2 “The Duchess”
Michael O’Connor
3 “The Other Boleyn Girl”
Sandy Powell
4 “The Fall”
Eiko Ishioka
5 “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
Jacqueline West
6 “Changeling”
Deborah Hopper
7 “Australia”
Catherine Martin
8 “Defiance”
Jenny Beaven
9 “Leatherheads”
Louise Frogley
10 “Brideshead Revisited”
Eimer Ni Mhaoldomhnaigh

FILM EDITING
1 “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
Kirk Baxter, Angus Wall
2 “Slumdog Millionaire”
Chris Dickens
3 “Defiance”
Steven Rosenblum
4 “Milk”
Elliot Graham, Gus Van Sant
5 “The Dark Knight”
Lee Smith
6 “Frost/Nixon”
Daniel P. Hanley, Mike Hill
7 “Australia”
Dody Dorn, Michael McCusker
8 “Revolutionary Road”
Tariq Anwar
9 “Quantum of Solace”
Matt Chesse, Richard Pearson
10 “Iron Man”
Dan Lebental

MAKEUP
1 “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
2 “Synecdoche, New York”
3 “The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian”
4 “Tropic Thunder”
5 “Hellboy II: The Golden Army”
6 “W.”
7 “The Dark Knight”
8 “Frost/Nixon”
9 “The Reader”
10 “Australia”

MUSIC (ORIGINAL SCORE)
1 “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
Alexandre Desplat
2 “WALL-E”
Thomas Newman
3 “Revolutionary Road”
Thomas Newman
4 “Defiance”
James Newton Howard
5 “Australia”
David Hirschfelder
6 “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull”
John Williams
7 “Milk”
Danny Eflman
8 “The Reader”
Nico Muhly
9 “Doubt”
Howard Shore
10 “The Happening”
James Newton Howard

MUSIC (ORIGINAL SONG)
1 “Down to Earth” from “WALL-E”
Peter Gabriel
2 “The Wrestler” from “The Wrestler”
Bruce Springsteen
3 “I Want It All” from “High School Musical 3: Senior Year”
Cast of “High School Musical 3: Senior Year”
4 “Gran Torino” from “Gran Torino”
Clint Eastwood, Jamie Callum
5 “Jaiho” from “Slumdog Millionaire”
AR Rahmen
6 “I Thought I Lost You” from “Bolt”
Miley Cyrus
7 “Rock Me Sexy Jesus” from “Hamlet 2”
Phoebe Strole
8 “All Dressed Up in Love” from “Sex and the City”
Jennifer Hudson
9 “Another Way to Die” from “Quantum of Solace”
Alicia Keys, Jack White
10 “Little Person” from “Synecdoche, New York”
Jon Brion

SOUND EDITING
1 “Wall-E”
2 “The Dark Knight”
3 “Iron Man”
4 “Defiance”
5 “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull”
6 “Valkyrie”
7 “Body of Lies”
8 “Quantum of Solace”
9 “Hancock”
10 “The Day the Earth Stood Still”

SOUND MIXING
1 “Wall-E”
2 “Defiance”
3 “Australia”
4 “The Dark Knight”
5 “Iron Man”
6 “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
7 “Valkyrie”
8 “Body of Lies”
9 “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull”
10 “Cloverfield”

VISUAL EFFECTS
1 “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
2 “Iron Man”
3 “The Day the Earth Stood Still”
4 “The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian”
5 “Hellboy II: The Golden Army”
6 “Hancock”
7 “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull”
8 “The Incredible Hulk”
9 “Speed Racer”
10 “The Spiderwick Chronicles”