And the nominees are…

ideas_oscars_001pThe 81st Annual Academy Awards are Sunday night. Here is a look at a decent year. I’m going to kick it off with smaller stuff I know something about.

Best Achievement in Visual Effects

This has always been one of my favorite categories, because I am so amazed by special effects. This category is hard to peg for me. Last year, I thought Transformers was a lock (arguably the best special effects I’ve ever seen), but The Golden Compass took the golden statue. I really like The Curious Case of Benjamin Button here (if you haven’t seen, you better, cause it is going to win a handful of awards). The Brad Pitt aging of old man head on child-sized body is magnificent and unlike anything I’ve seen. The Dark Knight was good but nothing extraordinary from years past (this one gets the best explosions for sure). Why is Iron Man even on this list?

Sound and Sound Editing

Both these went to The Bourne Ultimatum last year. Don’t really care much about this one. Look for Slumdog Millionaire and/or The Dark Knight to pick up these little technical achievements.

Original Song

Where the freak is Springstreen’s “The Wrestler.” It was easily the best song I’ve heard in a movie theaters in years. It captures the soul of the movie so perfectly it should be illegal. Instead we get two Slumdog nominations, and unless some miracle will likely win with a 67% chance. So, so weak. None of these songs are extraordinary.

Original Score

Another seemingly weak cast. I expect Button to take the crown on this one, but expect Slumdog to give it a run for its money.

Makeup

This is laughable. I don’t even know why they bothered nominating Hellboy and The Dark Knight (well, The Joker did look awesome…). Button has some of the most impressive makeup I’ve seen in its ability to age Pitt and Cate Blanchett. Amazing stuff here.

Editing

This is the toughest call I’ve had to make. Knight, Frost/Nixon and Slumdog are all terrifically strung together. I still think Button stands out the most as far as editing (thought I would not be surprised to see another Slumdog win).

Cinematography

My favorite category. My favorite cinematography = Slumdog Millionaire. The shots of the kids running through the streets to escape the police and thugs is reason enough to hand Anthony Dod Mantle (28 Days Later, Last King of Scotland). The man is good and he deserves a win.

Screenplays

Slumdog pulls another victory with its amazing adapted novel interpretation. It really is a fantastic movie. As for written directly for screen, the only contestant I’ve seen is In Bruges, but I hear Frozen River is good.

Directing

Definitely has to go to Danny Boyle (yet another for Slumdog). He has done some awesome stuff in the past, and this is is masterpiece. I would also like to see David Fincher (Button) get some recognition, as this is his masterpiece as well.

Acting

Heath Ledger is an easy win for supporting actor. I would like to see Penelope Cruz grab an oscar for Vicky Christina Barcelona, but I don’t think she will. In lead actress, Anne Hathaway is good, but I think that freakin Kate Winslet is going to win for The Reader. Three-way tie for lead actor – Mickey Rourke, Frank Langella and Richard Jenkins. Of course I would throw my money in Rourke’s direction as The Wrestler, but how can you not love Jenkins in The Visitor (go rent it now!) or respect Langella as Tricky Dick in Frost/Nixon

Best Picture

While Slumdog won Golden Globe best pic and was my favorite movie of the year, Button is just too amazingly good to pass up for best picture (I noticed some flaws in Slumdog that should discount it as a main contender). Ya, I do want Slumdog to win, but Button is the premier production of the year. It is too beautiful in everything to not take home the ship.

Slumdog takes away the most wins with its 10 nominations, while Button with its 13 nominations takes home the grand prize.

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~ by tpodge on February 22, 2009.

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