My Oscar Picks

Every year around Oscar time I make a rally to see the Oscar nods. Partly it’s my way of feeling involved on Oscar night until I get my invitation to go to the live event. Partly it’s because I want to see the “best” movies.

Of the nominated bests, so far I’ve managed to see – in this order:

Wall-E
Dark Knight
Tropic Thunder
Rachel Getting Married
Slumdog Millionaire
The Visitor
Revolutionary Road
The Wrestler
Frost Nixon
Milk
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Overall the themes have been depressing. Truthfully I’m sad I haven’t seen Happy Go Lucky, nominated for Best Original Screenplay. It seems uplifting; almost like last year’s Juno. Recently I noted that this is the category in which I stand the biggest chance of scoring an Oscar nod. (Yes we all have dreams. I was told to dream big – and even Chris Bohjalian, my friend on Facebook, agreed I should.)

Here are my picks for some of the major categories. I have a dollar riding on these picks!

BEST ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
Sean Penn – Milk
I had a hard time with this one. I thought Mickey Rourke was amazing, but overall I truly think Sean Penn is a better actor. Either that, or Mickey was so good he made me believe it wasn’t as far of a stretch. I also thought it was lame that Mickey wanted to do Wrestlemania for a stint.

BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Heath Ledger – The Dark Knight
I truly feel that Robert Downey Jr. should get this. I thought he was amazing in Tropic Thunder, but with Vegas odds clearly stacked against me, I didn’t want to risk the dollar.

BEST ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE
Kate Winslet – The Reader
I love Kate, pure and simple. The first movie I ever went to see as an adult all by myself was Little Children. She was so worth it. I haven’t seen the Reader yet but she was unbelievable in Revolutionary Road. In fact she was so good that when I originally posted the nominations on my blog, I mistyped and assumed she was nominated for Revolutionary Road.

BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Penelope Cruz – Vicky Cristina Barcelona
This is part of the dollar deal. I picked her based on odds and because I hadn’t seen any of the other nominees other than Marisa Tomei, who I think has a sick body – but didn’t blow me away on the acting front. Likewise, Taraji Henson, who I didn’t see until tonight (after I gave in my ballot) didn’t seem to earn a win. She was, however, AMAZING in Hustle and Flow.

BEST DIRECTOR
Danny Boyle – Slumdog Millionaire
Honestly I picked this because of all the hype. I thought Slumdog was great – but not the most amazing movie I’ve ever seen. In fact I was surprised not to see Revolutionary Road nominated; I felt like that movie was extremely poignant, memorable and real. It was our fears, secrets, hopes, dreams and disappointments on the silver screen.

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Milk
I thought Milk was a timely film. In a year where our country embraced hope and humanity with the induction of a new President, this film’s message seemed metaphoric for me. Harvey Milk started a movement that changed perceptions. I think that’s relevant now more than ever (sorry to overuse the phrase).

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Simon Beaufoy – Slumdog Millionaire
The hype made me do it. And the Peer pressure. And the Oscar Dollar Pool.

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
Wall-E
Depressing, but realistic – seems like the trend.

BEST MOTION PICTURE OF THE YEAR
Slumdog Millionaire
It was a toss up with Milk for this one; I mostly filled in the Slumdog bubble because the this guy used statistics to figure out the answer. It said Slumdog had a 99% chance of winning. Those ’em some good odds.

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