Sacred & Profane – Art, Beauty & stuff that doesn't suck

"Life has been your art. You have set yourself to music. Your days are your poetry" -Oscar Wilde

Oscar Predictions February 22, 2009

the_wrestler_mickey_rourkeActor in a Leading Role

Who Will Win: Mickey RourkeThe Wrestler

Who Should Win: Mickey RourkeThe Wrestler

Both Sean Penn and Rourke have achieved something memorable with their performances and are both deserving. 3 of the last 4 Oscars awarded in this category were from biopics, which smiles on Penn’. He also won the SAG award, is highly respected by his voting peers as has been evident with his 4 previous nominations and 1 win…The “art imitating life” qualities are too powerfully paralleled in Rourke’s portrayal of a washed up, broken wrestler who is seeking redemption and forgiveness. Rourke has burned a lot of bridges in Hollywood that Director Darren Aranofsky has given him the opportunity to rebuild. Hopefully he is a more successful bridge builder than his on screen counterpart.

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the-dark-knight-heathActor in a Supporting Role

Who Will Win: Heath Ledger Dark Knight

Who Should Win: Heath LedgerDark Knight

I’m sure many will write this off as a “legacy” award considering Ledger’s tragic passing early last year but that isn’t the case here. Big budget blockbusters typically earn a lot of profit but few awards outside of the technical categories. This will be the exception and rightfully so. He created a very unique character in the Joker and stole the show. Ledger was one of our finest developing young actors and hopefully this award will be the source of some solace to his family and fans.

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the-reader-kate-winsletActress in a Leading Role

Who Will Win: Kate Winslet The Reader

Who Should Win: Kate WinsletThe Reader

This is as close to a lock as you’re likely to find. Kate in my estimation is the most admirable actress of her generation and with a 0-6 record at the Oscar’s is long overdue. She has cleaned up at every awards ceremony this year and I expect the same tonight.

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penelope-cruz-vicky-cristina-barcelonaActress in a Supporting Role

Who Will Win: Penélope Cruz – Vicki Cristina Barcelona

Who Should Win: Taraji P. Henson – The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Don’t get me wrong, I love Penélope and she was excellent in a very challenging role when. My hesitation is that her role, though central to the story, didn’t call for enough screen time to justify her winning over the other well deserving nominees. Woody Allen’s actresses also do well at the Oscar’s and her 2006 loss for Volver is still fresh in the voters minds. Taraji P. Henson displayed an abnormally broad range of talent in her role as Brad Pitt’s surrogate mother in Benjamin Button. I think she is deserving but I don’t know if there has been enough buzz for her or the film. Amy Adams could also factor in here somewhere for her role as a naïve nun in Doubt.

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Best Director

Who Will Win: Danny BoyleSlumdog Millionaire

Who Should Win: Danny BoyleSlumdog Millionaire

Stephen Daldry will be a very close 2nd here for The Reader (if not a surprise winner) but Danny Boyle’s delicate and graceful work in Slumdog without the safety net of a recognizable or experienced cast, seems unstoppable.

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Cinematography

Will Win: Slumdog Millionaire

Should Win: Slumdog Millionaire

I could make a legitimate case for Benjamin Button or The Dark Knight, and then I’m reminded of the haunting, unforgettable visuals of Mumbai and the train scene in Slumdog Millionaire. The rich color that was used amidst the dreary slums was used to great effect as a symbol of hope. Beautiful.

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manonwireDocumentary Feature

Will Win: Man on Wire

Who Should Win: ???

I haven’t seen enough of these to be fair about who should win, but Man on Wire was as engaging a documentary as I have seen in years. It is a retelling of the realization of French performance artist Phillipe Petit’s dream of walking across the World Trade Center on a tight rope. The doc benefitted from a wealth of original video from the 70’s and extremely animated interviews from the crew that helped make it happen. It was so suspenseful and well crafted that I forgot it was a documentary.

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slumdog_millionaireBest Picture

Will Win: Slumdog Millionaire

Who Should Win: Slumdog Millionaire

Benjamin Button lead all films with 13 nominations but I think it’s destined to be this years Babel. Both are films that peaked too early. Slumdog is the clear favorite and came out of nowhere. I think history and the Academy will remember Slumdog as 2008’s most memorable film.

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Foreign Language Film

Will Win: Waltz with Bashir

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the_reader2Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

Will Win: The Reader


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milk-2008-movieWriting (Original Screenplay)

Will Win: Milk

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Musical Score

Will Win: James Newton Howard for “Defiance”

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