22 February 2009

I Caved

OK, I give in. Here are my choices in each of the major categories of tonight's Academy Awards. This isn't necessarily how I think the actual Oscars will be awarded as it's hard enough for me to choose my favourites, let alone the favourites of the Academy. Besides, any such predictions would undoubtedly be confounded by all of the predictions I've been hearing from various critics (the Grauniad cunningly decided to confuse me by publishing a huge grid with the predictions from several critics and film writers, as well as their thoughts as to who/which films should win and should have been nominated).

This is, at least, easier than last year as Frozen River, Tropic Thunder and Rachel Getting Married are the only films nominated for the major awards that I haven't seen, which isn't bad going. I've already seen 25 films this year so perhaps next year's choice will be easier.
  • Best Picture -- Slumdog Millionaire [It taught me to spell "millionaire," for one thing]
  • Best Actor -- Sean Penn (Milk) [Despite the fact that I saw him moaning that he's 40 years old and hasn't done a thing about 17 times in the trailer before watching the movie and still enjoyed his performance.]
  • Best Actress -- Kate Winslet (The Reader) [I was wavering between Winslet and Meryl Streep for Doubt;I really wasn't sure, but I found Winslet's character more interesting, although the two were perhaps equally conflicted.]
  • Best Supporting Actor -- Heath Ledger (The Dark Knight) [Of course.]
  • Best Supporting Actress -- Penélope Cruz (Vicky Cristina Barcelona) [She absolutely stole the show (not that that's difficult when Scarlett Johansson is around), just as my interest was starting to wane. Her character was fabulously, passionately bonkers!]
  • Best Director -- David Fincher (Benjamin Button) [Maybe it's just because Fincher is such a dry, funny guy that I picked him over Danny Boyle or maybe I just liked his descriptions of the Benjamin Button body doubles looking like Smurfs. Or maybe I was amused by the fact that he refused to even look at the shortened, "aeroplane cut" of his 3h45 minute whopper because he didn't think it was possible to edit it further.]
  • Best Original Screenplay -- In Bruges [I saw this not knowing quite what to expect but really enjoyed the banter between Colin Farrell's and Brendan Gleeson's characters so much that even Ralph Fiennes in "geezer" mode didn't ruin this clever, complex and dark film.]
  • Best Adapted Screenplay -- Slumdog [I haven't read the book--nor have I read the books, plays and short stories on which the other nominated films are based--but I'm not really sure I need to; it's the kind of story where the rich, colourful contrasts are very well suited to the big screen.]

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