This is a repost of an original entry made on the 22nd of January, the day the nominees were announced. I predicted who/what I thought would win in each category, and I still stand by them, a month later. So, place your bets!
Let's just get right to it. Who/what I think will win each main category is in BOLD, along with my comments.
"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"
"Slumdog Millionaire" (Finally saw it. Over-rated!! Yet, given its above competition, I think it's its award to lose... unfortunately)
Richard Jenkins, "The Visitor"
Frank Langella, "Frost/Nixon"
Sean Penn, "Milk"
Brad Pitt, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"
Mickey Rourke, "The Wrestler" (He won it at the Golden Globes; so, I think the Academy will give it to him as well... everybody loves a "comeback" story. Although, I'll keep my eye on Richard Jenkins above. He's the sleeper/spoiler in all this. "The Visitor" didn't get nods in any other categories.)
Anne Hathaway, "Rachel Getting Married"
Angelina Jolie, "Changeling"
Melissa Leo, "Frozen River"
Meryl Streep, "Doubt"
Kate Winslet, "The Reader" (She won 2 at the Globes - Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress - which she shouldn't have. So, I think this is her year. Anne Hathaway is also in my sights.)
Josh Brolin, "Milk"
Robert Downey Jr., "Tropic Thunder"
Philip Seymour Hoffman, "Doubt"
Heath Ledger, "The Dark Knight" (Next to "comeback" stories, the Academy loves sentimentality. Don't get me wrong - Ledger put on a good show; but I'm not so sure he's included in the conversation if he was still alive. We'll never know, will we? BTW, Robert Downey Jr in "Tropic Thunder?" Are you fucking kidding me? Was Eddie Murphy ever nominated for his "multi-facial" turn in films like "The Nutty Professor?")
Michael Shannon, "Revolutionary Road"
Amy Adams, "Doubt"
Penelope Cruz, "Vicky Cristina Barcelona"
Viola Davis, "Doubt" (This is the toughest category, I think, because all the performances are worthwhile. But, I'm going with Viola. She didn't win the Globes, thanks to Kate Winslet; and with Winslet not nominated in this category, this time around, I think it's Viola's... or maybe it's just my heart talking.)
Taraji P. Henson, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"
Marisa Tomei, "The Wrestler"
David Fincher, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"
Ron Howard, "Frost/Nixon"
Gus Van Sant, "Milk"
Stephen Daldry, "The Reader"
Danny Boyle, "Slumdog Millionaire" (I'd love to see Gus Van Sant walk away with the award, but, more often than not, the director of the winner in the Best Picture category wins the Best Director award. So, the Irish-Englishman wins.)
"The Baader Meinhof Complex," Germany
"The Class," France
"Waltz With Bashir," Israel (I haven't seen all of these, so I'm going with the one I've heard most about from American critics, as I'm guessing that's likely how the judges will vote.)
Eric Roth and Robin Swicord, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"
John Patrick Shanley, "Doubt"
Peter Morgan, "Frost/Nixon" (I'm going to go out on a limb on this one and NOT give it to the expected winner, "Slumdog Millionaire." I think "Frost/Nixon" will win something, and this might be it.)
David Hare, "The Reader"
Simon Beaufoy, "Slumdog Millionaire"
Courtney Hunt, "Frozen River" (A coup for indie cinema! I haven't even seen the film; but the buzz since last year's Sundance Grand Prize win has been near-deafening. I'll see it eventually. Also, I'm wondering why "Milk" is nominated in this category. The screenplay is based on the life of a real person; I thought "Original Screenplay" meant it had to be pure fiction, from the imagination of the writer, and not based on something or someone or some event that already was.)
Mike Leigh, "Happy-Go-Lucky"
Martin McDonagh, "In Bruges"
Dustin Lance Black, "Milk"
Andrew Stanton, Jim Reardon and Pete Docter, "WALL-E"
Any surprises? Clint Eastwood and "Gran Torino" got completely shut out, as I believe he should have been. I like the man, but this, his last effort, was inexcusable, given the talent involved.
Also, "The Dark Knight" got no love in the Best Picure category, and neither did Christopher Nolan for Best Director, despite all the fanboy and girl chants. Many will be disappointed.
That's it for me!!!! How about you?