Mike here. Time to cough up some Oscar picks. I usually do ok when picking, but the last two years, which are on the archives here, not so good. That's what I get for going out on a limb on occasion. I thought I had more time to come up with these, like by Sunday night/Monday morning. But it turns out they are announced on Thursday, Jan. 22 at about 8:30AM EST. Oops, gotta hurry up now.
Note that I use the Hollywood Stock Exchange (HSX.com) as my guide, with the occasional longshot tossed in. I break the possible movies down into Probables, Possibles, Maybes, and Longshots, followed by my picks. I'm not saying I have expertise, I'm just a semi-educated amateur who has fun with this. Here we go with the major categories:
Best Screenplay Adaptation:
Probables: Slumdog Millionaire, Benjamin Button, Frost/Nixon, The Dark Knight, Doubt
Maybes: Revolutionary Road, The Reader
Longshots: Gomorrah (had an Oscar qualifying release in L.A. Comes out in NYC @ IFC Film Center on Feb 13. I will bring this film up again in the future.), Defiance, The Duchess, The Last Mistress, Tell No One
My picks: Benjamin Button, Doubt, Frost/Nixon, Revolutionary Road, Slumdog. I wish there was room for Dark Knight, but it will probably be thought of as only a triumph of look, acting and direction. But HELLO, first there usually is a script . . .
Best Original Screenplay:
Probables: Milk, The Wrestler, Vicky Christina Barcelona
Possibles: Burn After Reading, Wall-E, The Visitor, Rachel Getting Married
Maybes: Happy Go Lucky, Synedoche New York, Gran Torino, Changeling
Longshots: A Christmas Tale, I've Loved You So Long, In Bruges, The Wackness, Seven Pounds (Contractual obligation to Will Smith by Sony to attempt to get this some nominations perhaps? Despite it having no shot? I don't know for sure, however . . . )
My picks: Happy Go Lucky, Milk, Vicky Christina, The Visitor, The Wrestler. Mike Leigh tends to get nominated for Director and/or Screenplay quite a bit since Secrets And Lies, no matter what the Writer's Guild says. I believe it will happen again.
Best Supporting Actress:
Probables: Kate Winslet- The Reader, Marisa Tomei- The Wrestler, Penelope Cruz- Vicky Christina Barcelona, Taraji P. Henson- Benjamin Button, Viola Davis- Doubt, Amy Adams- Doubt
Maybe: Rosemarie DeWitt- Rachel Getting Married
Longshots: Frida Pinto- Slumdog Millionaire, Evan Rachel Wood- The Wrestler, Hiam Abbas- The Visitor, Debra Winger- Rachel Getting Married, Kathy Bates- Revolutionary Road, Rosario Dawson- Seven Pounds, Vera Farmiga- Nothing But The Truth (Received an L.A. release. This film will be mentioned quite a bit, not necessarily because it's good.)
My picks: Adams, Cruz, Davis, Henson, Winslet. I hope DeWitt gets in over say, Adams or Henson. Rosemary deserves just as many accolades for Rachel Getting Married as Anne Hathaway. And does anybody really like The Reader, or is this just another spinach film going down our throats. And by spinach film, I mean it's the kind of film that almost says "Watch us, it's good for you. Never mind the taste, it's good for your SOUL!".
Best Supporting Actor:
Probables: Heath Ledger- The Dark Knight, Phillip Seymour Hoffman- Doubt, Josh Brolin- Milk, Robert Downey Jr.- Tropic Thunder
Possibles: James Franco- Milk, Dev Patel- Slumdog Millionaire
Maybes: Michael Shannon- Revolutionary Road, Michael Sheen- Frost/Nixon
Longshots: Eddie Marsan- Happy-Go-Lucky, Ralph Fiennes- The Reader, Brad Pitt- Burn After Reading, Bill Irwin- Rachel Getting Married, Brendan Gleason- In Bruges, Haaz Sleiman- The Visitor, Jeffery Wright- W, Alan Alda- Nothing But The Truth, Kevin Bacon- Frost/Nixon
My picks: Brolin, Downey, Hoffman, Ledger, Patel. I thought Hoffman and Patel had lead roles, but what do I know. I would love to be wrong, and have Marsan from Happy-Go-Lucky get picked, but that's not happening. Franco in Milk was ok, but I felt he was the weak link in an otherwise very good cast.
Probables: Sally Hawkins- Happy-Go-Lucky, Anne Hathaway- Rachel Getting Married, Kate Winslet- Revolutionary Road, Meryl Streep- Doubt, Angelina Jolie- Changeling
Possibles: Cate Blanchett- Benjamin Button, Melissa Leo- Frozen River
Maybe: Kirsten Scott Thomas- I've Loved You So Long
Longshots: Rebbeca Hall- Vicky Christina Barcelona, Michelle Williams- Wendy and Lucy, Keira Knightly- The Duchess, Kate Beckingsale- Nothing But The Truth, Nicole Kidman- Australia
My picks: Hathaway, Hawkins, Jolie, Streep, Winslet. I'm stepping away from the SAG nominees, and going with Kate over Melissa Leo for Frozen River. I made my mistake picking Jolie for A Mighty Heart last year, but I'll try it again. But don't be surprised if Scott Thomas gets in instead Angelina or Kate.
Probables: Sean Penn- Milk, Mickey Rourke- The Wrestler, Frank Langella- Frost/Nixon, Clint Eastwood- Gran Torino, Brad Pitt- Benjamin Button
Possibles: Richard Jenkins- The Visitor
Maybe: Leonardo DiCaprio- Revolutionary Road
Longshots: Javier Bardem- Vicky Christina Barcelona, Benicio Del Toro- Che, Dustin Hoffman- Last Chance Harvey, Josh Brolin- W, Colin Farrel- In Bruges, Will Smith- Seven Pounds, Daniel Craig- Defiance
My picks: Eastwood, Langella, Penn, Pitt, Rourke. I wish there was room for Jenkins and his understated work in The Visitor, but the Clint-Gran Torino train will not be stopped.
Probables: Danny Boyle- Slumdog Millionaire, David Fincher- Benjamin Button, Christopher Nolan- The Dark Knight, Gus Van Sant- Milk
Possibles: Ron Howard- Frost/Nixon, Clint Eastwood- Gran Torino
Maybes: Darren Aronofsky- The Wrestler, Jonathan Demme- Rachel Getting Married
Longshots: Mike Leigh- Happy-Go-Lucky, Clint Eastwood- Changeling, Sam Mendes- Revoultionary Road, Woody Allen- Vicky Christina Barcelona, John Patrick Shanley- Doubt, Ed Zwick- Defiance, Stephan Daldry- The Reader, Steven Soderburgh- Che, Andrew Stanton-
My picks: Boyle, Fincher, Leigh, Nolan, Van Sant. I'm going with Leigh as a dark horse pick over Ron Howard. Leigh has been nominated before without getting something from the DGA, and I'll take my chances that it will happen here again.
Probables: Slumdog Millionaire, Benjamin Button, Milk, The Dark Knight
Maybes: The Wrestler, Gran Torino, Doubt
Longshots: Revolutionary Road, The Reader, Rachel Getting Married, Defiance, Happy-Go-Lucky, Wall-E, Changeling
My picks: Benjamin Button, Dark Knight, Frost/Nixon, Milk, Slumdog. My instincts tell me Gran Torino has a chance over Frost/Nixon, but I lack the guts in this category. I'll just copy what the Producers Guild picked. I hate the idea that Wall-E won't get the chance to pull a Beauty and the Beast and get in the top 5.
There you go. Don't bet on any of these. Later.
P.S.: In the last post, I mentioned that I hated to miss both Advise and Consent and Mr. Smith Goes To Washington this coming Saturday, but I recommended the films to you. I didn't say WHERE they were playing. Both are playing at MOMA, for one admission. There, omission corrected.