by Pa Rock
I am heading out for a drive across the desert tomorrow afternoon to meet up with my Sis, Gail, who will be visiting her son, Reed Smith, in Las Vegas. Reed has been working in Vegas for about a year now, and I am suitably ashamed that I haven't been up to see him yet.
Considering that I will be out of town for the next couple of evenings, I thought that it would be expedient if I made my oh-so-prescient Oscar predictions tonight. Who knows, I might even back them up with a few bucks while I am in Lost Wages, Nevada!
I have seen three of the five or six most talked about movies this year, and I have also done enough reading on the subject to know who the favorites are. I agree with some of those favorites, but not all.
Best Supporting Actress: The two favorites appear to be Taraji P. Henson of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Penelope Cruz of Vicki Christina Barcelona. I've not had the pleasure of seeing either of those, but I will eventually rent Vickie Christina Barcelona or watch it on cable because Woody Allen is a genius and everything that he puts together is golden. The other three nominees are Amy Adams and Viola Davis in Doubt, and Marisa Tomei in The Wrestler.
And the Oscar will go to: Viola Davis.
Best Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger seems to be everyone's favorite in this category, and the recently dead Mr. Ledger won the Golden Globe and BAFTA for this same performance. I saw The Dark Knight, and although I didn't especially care for the movie, I regarded Ledger's performance as amazing - he played a very compelling and chilling version of The Joker. Josh Brolin was also exceptional as Dan White, the killer of San Franscisco's Mayor George Moscone and gay City Supervisor Harvey Milk in the movie Milk. He played the deeply troubled White as...well...deeply troubled. Phillip Seymour Hoffman was also very formidable as the Catholic priest who had to face down Meryl Streep,in Doubt - not an easy task for anyone! I didn't see Robert Downey, Jr.'s portrayal of a white method actor playing a black soldier in Tropic Thunder, but I have heard raves about it from different quarters, and I have never seen him in any film that I didn't enjoy. The fifth nominee was Michael Shannon of Revolutionary Road - another film that I missed and have heard very little about.
And the Oscar will go to: Heath Ledger
Best Actress: Kate Winslet (The Reader) appears to be a strong favorite in this category, followed by Meryl Streep (Doubt), Anne Hathaway (Rachel Getting Married), and Melissa Leo (Frozen River). I haven't seen Angelina Jolie (Changeling) on anybody's list of likely winners. I have personally seen The Reader and Doubt.
And the Oscar will go to: Kate Winslet
Best Actor: This is the toughest category for me to choose from, because I have only seen one of the nominees in the role for which he was nominated: Sean Penn in Milk. Mickey Rourke (The Wrestler) is clearly the odds-on favorite having won the Golden Globe and BAFTA for the same role. He is being commonly referred to as the "comeback kid." Rourke's star has risen so high that he even made the national news earlier this week when his little dog, Loki, died. The other three nominees are Richard Jenkins (The Visitor), Frank Langella (Frost/Nixon), and Brad Pitt (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button).
And the Oscar will go to: Sean Penn
Best Director: The favorite is Danny Boyle for Slumdog Millionaire. He has already won the Golden Globe and BAFTA for Best Director. The other nominees are Stephen Daldry (The Reader), David Fincher (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button), Ron Howard (Frost/Nixon), and Gus Van Sant (Milk).
And the Oscar will go to: Danny Boyle
Best Movie: The five best movie nominees are the same as in the preceding category. Again, the favorite is Slumdog Millionaire, a tale of poverty and hope in modern India. I have seen Slumdog, The Reader, and Milk - and any of those three would be worthy of the honor of being named Best Picture of the Year at the Academy Awards.
And the Oscar will go to: The Reader
Those are my best guesses based on a limited amount of first-hand knowledge and a whole lot of personal bias. If you have some strong opinion on the subject, send in your selections as a reply to this post - and we'll compare notes and "smarts" on Monday! (That is, if I manage to make it out of Vegas with the clothes on my back and my car title!)