First things first. Yes, I have seen Heath Ledger's Oscar nominated performance in Dark Knight. I thought it was amazing, as was the movie iteself. I'll write it up soon.
But the gauntlet has been thrown down and I have been challenged to give my opinion on who/what should win and who/what will win. I don't think I'm particularly good at things like that, but I have been reading Entertainment Weekly for....forever so I know what it looks like. Here goes:
The Nominees are: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (seen) , Frost/Nixon, Milk (gonna see Saturday), The Reader (seen), Slumdog Millionaire (seen)
Who should win: Unless seeing the other two movies changes my mind, I think Slumdog Millionaire should win. It's a great fairy tale, well-shot, heart-warming.
Who will win: Slumdog Millionaire. It also has a great, almost didn't get distributed insider story.
The Nominees are: Danny Boyle for Slumdog Millionaire (seen), Stephen Daldry for The Reader (seen), David Fincher for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (seen), Ron Howard for Frost/Nixon, Gus Van Sant for Milk (will see Saturday)
Who should win: Obviously, unless seeing the other movies changes my mind, I actually think that David Fincher should win for Button. I think he brought a singular vision and visual style along with an impecable eye for detail to a unique story. Didn't like the movie itself- too long, narrative dragged, didn't like the narrative framing- but I did like what I consider direction.
Who will win: Danny Boyle
The Nominees are: Richard Jenkins for The Visitor, Frank Langella for Frost/Nixon, Sean Penn for Milk (gonna see), Brad Pitt for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (seen), Mickey Rourke for The Wrestler
Who I think should win: I think that Penn or Langella should win, even though I didn't see those movies yet, because, even just in the commercials, one can see that they really try to embody these real people.
Who I think will win: Mickey Rourke. Hollywood loves a come-back
The Nominees are: Anne Hathaway for Rachel Getting Married, Angelina Jolie for Changeling (saw tonight), Melissa Leo for Frozen River, Meryl Streep for Doubt (seen), Kate Winslet for The Reader (seen)
Who I think should win: Either Meryl Streep who I think gave an excellent performance in Doubt or Anne Hathaway who I hear gave an excellent performance, which I really want to see.
Who I think will win: Kate Winslet, because everyone knows you get an Oscar when you are in a movie about the Holocaust.
Best Supporting Actor
The Nominees are: Josh Brolin for Milk (gonna see), Robert Downey Jr for Tropic Thunder (seen- oh crap forgot about seeing that movie, gotta review that too), Heath Ledger for The Dark Knight (seen), Michael Shannon for Revolutionary Road
Who I think should win: I kinda think Heath Ledger. Not sure how much of that is swayed by his death, but what the hell. He'll never get another chance.
Who I think will win: Heath Ledger.
Best Supporting Actress
The Nominees are: Amy Adams for Doubt (seen), Penelope Cruz for Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Viola Davis for Doubt (seen), Taraji P Henson for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (seen), Marisa Tomei for The Wrestler
Who I think should win: I personally really liked Viola Davis' performance. I hope she wins.
Who I think will win: I really don't know. Maybe Amy Adams???
Best Original Screenplay
The Nominees are: Dustin Lance Black for Milk (gonna see), Courtney Hunt for Frozen River, Mike Leigh for Happy-Go-Lucky, Martin McDonagh for In Bruges, Andrew Stanton and Jim Reardon for Wall-E (seen)
Who I think should win: Black for Milk. Maybe it's just because I know about the backstory of his writing of the script. He wanted to make a movie about Harvey Milk. There was already a book, The Mayor of Castro Street, about Milk's life and the rights to that book were already owned by a film studio, stuck in development hell. So he did the legwork, source materiel research, interviews, etc, to write the script.
Who I think will win: Black for Milk
Best Adapted Screenplay
The Nominees are: Simon Beaufoy for Slumdog Millionaire (see), David Hare for The Reader (seen), Peter Morgan for Frost/Nixon, Ever Roth and Robin Swicord for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (seen), John Patrick Shanley for Doubt (seen)
Who I think should win: Roth and Swicord for Benjamin Button. I saw that because, considering the short story that they had to work with and what they came up with from it, well, I think it's kinda amazing.
Who I think will win: Probably Slumdog Millionaire, just because I think that movie is going to sweep every category it is in.
And there you have it folks. My opinions on the biggest categories. We'll see how close I am come Sunday night.