OSCAR PREDICTION CHARTS — October 20, 2008

NUTSHELL: Despite the perennial “never bet against” him creed, I’m finally growing a pair and dropping John Williams out of the top five this week in the Best Original Score category. Sacrilege, I know, but the fact of the matter is the competition of original work is getting thick. Could gorgeous violin work in two of James Newton Howard’s scores penetrate this year? Oscar-winning soloist Joshua Bell is featured on the “Defiance” soundtrack and could lend the silky touch that brought he and John Corigliano an Oscar in 1999. Elsewhere, Bryan Singer’s “Valkyrie” pops up in a few places this week, particularly Newton Thomas Sigel in the cinematography category (one of my favorite lensers who’ll get his due sooner or later). The “tech giant” of the season increasingly appears to be “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.”

Column: “Holding back”

Sort charts by: Main Categories/Technical Categories

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

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

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

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

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

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

MUSIC (ORIGINAL SONG)
1 “Down to Earth” from “WALL-E”
Peter Gabriel
2 “Untitled Song” from “The Wrestler”
Bruce Springsteen
3 “All Dressed Up in Love” from “Sex and the City”
Jennifer Hudson
4 “Rock Me Sexy Jesus” from “Hamlet 2”
Phoebe Strole
5 “Last Chance” from “High School Musical 3: Senior Year”
Cast of “High School Musical 3: Senior Year”
6 “Another Way to Die” from “Quantum of Solace”
Alicia Keys, Jack White
7 “Jai Ho” from “Slumdog Millionaire”
AR Rahmen
8 “Dracula’s Lament” from “Forgetting Sarah Marshall”
Jason Segel
9 “Pineapple Express” from “Pineapple Express”
Huey Lewis and the News
10 “The Little Things” from “Wanted”
Danny Elfman

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 “Body of Lies”
7 “Quantum of Solace”
8 “Hancock”
9 “The Day the Earth Stood Still”
10 “Valkyrie” NEW

SOUND MIXING
1 “Wall-E”
2 “Defiance”
3 “Australia”
4 “The Dark Knight”
5 “Iron Man” up
6 “Body of Lies” down
7 “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull”
8 “The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian”
9 “Cloverfield”
10 “The Day the Earth Stood Still”

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”