Rex’s Oscar Nom Predictions

220px-academy_award_oscarLemonWade’s Rex Okpodu has decided on his predictions for this year’s Academy Award nominations, which will be announced tomorrow morning. In most cases, Rex has picked five candidates plus an alternate, except in Best Picture, where seven choices seemed warranted, and in Best Animated Feature, where three nominees will be selected. I tend to agree with Rex’s choices, though I worry “Milk” will be slighted.

Best Picture:

(1) The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (Paramount)
(2) Slumdog Millionaire (Fox Searchlight)
(3) Frost/Nixon (Universal)
(4) The Dark Knight (Warner Brothers)
(5) Milk (Focus Features)
(6) Doubt (Miramax)
(7) Gran Torino (Warner Brothers)

Gran Torino might get a place on the Academy’s big five. It has done great business and word is that it was discovered during the late stage of nomination voting. Whether that translates into a nomination remains to be seen. It is still a toss up whether the fifth nominee will be The Dark Knight or Doubt. The DK has the edge having been nominated by the PGA and DGA while Doubt had the SAG (indicating actors support).

Best Director:

(1) David Fincher (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button)
(2) Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire)
(3) Ron Howard (Frost/Nixon)
(4) Gus Van Sant (Milk)
(5) Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight)

(6)Clint Eastwood (Gran Torino)

The locks here are Fincher, Boyle, and Howard with the toss-ups Nolan and Van Sant. If the DGA was replicated, then Nolan and Van Sant are in. Oscar does have a tendency to drop one or two of the DGA nominees in favour of a wild card such as Eastwood. Also, DK could get a best picture nominee without Nolan up for his directing or vice versa.

Best Actor:

(1) Sean Penn (Milk)
(2) Mickey Rourke (The Wrestler)
(3) Frank Langella (Frost/Nixon)
(4) Richard Jenkins (The Visitor)
(5) Brad Pitt (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button)

(6) Clint Eastwood (Gran Torino)

Penn, Rourke, and Langella are locks. Jenkins and Pitt made the SAG list but Oscar might have other ideas and Eastwood’s stock is always on the rise.

Note: Dev Patel (Slumdog Millionaire) who is being touted for supporting despite being the lead, could end up here, like Keisha Castle Hughes did for Whale Rider in 2004.

Best Actress:

(1) Meryl Streep (Doubt)
(2) Kate Winslet (Revolutionary Road or The Reader)
(3) Anne Hathaway (Rachel Getting Married)
(4) Melissa Leo (Frozen River)
(5) Sally Hawkins (Happy-Go-Lucky)

(6) Angelina Jolie (Changeling)

The locks are Streep, Winslet, and Hathaway. Leo and Hawkins are unstable. I have put Jolie in alternate as I doubt the SAG list will be repeated here and Hawkins seems to have more momentum than Jolie. Contrary to recent discussions on Oscar blogs, by Academy rules Winslet cannot be nominated twice in the same category. She might get two noms, one for lead (Rev Road) and the other for supporting (The Reader) or just one (the lead for The Reader or Rev Road) though The Reader has more momentum than Rev Road.

Best Supporting Actor:

(1) Heath Ledger (The Dark Knight)
(2) Philip Seymour Hoffman (Doubt)
(3) Dev Patel (Slumdog Millionaire)
(4) Josh Brolin (Milk)
(5) Robert Downey Jr. (Tropic Thunder)

Alternate: (6) James Franco (Milk)

Ledger is a lock for a nomination and most likely the Oscar.
Hoffman is a lock for the nomination.
Dev Patel is a strong possibility here or in best actor (See notes on best actor.)
Robert Downey, Jr. (“Tropic Thunder”) got a SAG nomination and might make it here.

Best Supporting Actress:

(1) Kate Winslet (The Reader)
(2) Viola Davis (Doubt)
(3) Penelope Cruz (Vicky Cristina Barcelona)
(4) Marisa Tomei (The Wrestler)
(5) Taraji P. Henson (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button)

Alternate: (6) Debra Winger (Rachel Getting Married)

The locks are Davis and Cruz.
Winslet might get her wish and get nominated in this category but something might go wrong (since the nominations are a numbers game and involve preference voting).
It is doubtful that the Academy will replicate SAG in all the acting categories so there is bound to be a shock or two somewhere.

Best Adapted Screenplay:

(1) Eric Roth (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button)
(2) Simon Beaufoy (Slumdog Millionaire)
(3) Peter Morgan (Frost/Nixon)
(4) Christopher Nolan, Jonathan Nolan (The Dark Knight)
(5) John Patrick Shanley (Doubt)

These are the WGA nominees so they could all end up on Oscars list.

(6) Justin Haythe (Revolutionary Road)
(7) David Hare (The Reader)
(8) François Bégaudeau, Robin Campillo, Laurent Cantet (The Class)
(9) Maurizio Braucci, Ugo Chiti, Gianni Di Gregorio, Matteo Garrone,
Massimo Gaudiso, Roberto Saviano (Gomorrah)
(10) Mark Fergus & Hawk Ostby and Art Marcum & Matt Holloway (Iron Man)

Best Original Screenplay – five nominees from these:

(1) Andrew Stanton (WALL-E)
(2) Dustin Lance Black (Milk)
(3) Woody Allen (Vicky Cristina Barcelona)
(4) Robert D. Siegel (The Wrestler)
(5) Joel Coen & Ethan Coen, (Burn After Reading)

(6) Jenny Lumet (Rachel Getting Married) or
(7) Mike Leigh (Happy-Go-Lucky)
(8) Charlie Kaufman (Synechdoche New York)
(9) Martin Mcdonagh (In Bruges)
(10) Nick Shenk (Gran Torino)

Best Animated Feature — three will be chosen from the following:

“Waltz with Bashir”
“Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa”
“Kung Fu Panda”

Best Foreign Language Film:

Best Foreign Language Film – five nominees from these:

(1) Waltz with Bashir (Israel)
(2) The Class (France)
(3) The Baader Meinhof Complex (Germany)
(4) The Necessities of Life (Canada)
(5) Revanche (Austria)
(6) Departures (Japan)
(7) Tear This Heart Out (Mexico)
(8) Everlasting Moments(Sweden)
(9) 3 Monkeys (Turkey)

Waltz with Bashir (Israel) is a lock for this and for the best animated film category.

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