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since 1997 | by maryann johanson

Oscar predictions: it’ll be a ‘Slumdog’ sweep… kinda

UPDATED: Winners are indicated with ♦s.

I made informed guesses in 21 of the 24 categories; of those, I guessed 12 correctly. Which is only slightly better than chance.


Here’s an at-a-glance look at my picks for Sunday night’s Academy Awards — projected winners are Xed. Keep in mind: this isn’t a list of whom I think should win Oscars but whom I think will win. (I’ll post my own personal best-ofs soon.)

I haven’t made predictions in categories for which I have not seen enough of the nominated films to make a reasonable guess.

As always, take these predictions with a grain of salt. No one really understands how the Academy thinks.

(See the Academy’s site for your further Oscar needs.)
Performance by an actor in a leading role
[   ] Richard Jenkins in The Visitor
[   ] Frank Langella in Frost/Nixon
[   ] Sean Penn in Milk
[   ] Brad Pitt in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
[ × ] Mickey Rourke in The Wrestler

Performance by an actor in a supporting role
[   ] Josh Brolin in Milk
[   ] Robert Downey Jr. in Tropic Thunder
[   ] Philip Seymour Hoffman in Doubt
[ × ] Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight
[   ] Michael Shannon in Revolutionary Road

Performance by an actress in a leading role
[   ] Anne Hathaway in Rachel Getting Married
[   ] Angelina Jolie in Changeling
[   ] Melissa Leo in Frozen River
[   ] Meryl Streep in Doubt
[ × ] Kate Winslet in The Reader

Performance by an actress in a supporting role
[   ] Amy Adams in Doubt
[   ] Penélope Cruz in Vicky Cristina Barcelona
[ × ] Viola Davis in Doubt
[   ] Taraji P. Henson in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
[   ] Marisa Tomei in The Wrestler

Best animated feature film of the year
[   ] Bolt
[   ] Kung Fu Panda
[ × ] Wall-E

Achievement in art direction
[   ] Changeling, Art Direction: James J. Murakami, Set Decoration: Gary Fettis
[   ] The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Art Direction: Donald Graham Burt, Set Decoration: Victor J. Zolfo ♦
[   ] The Dark Knight, Art Direction: Nathan Crowley, Set Decoration: Peter Lando
[ × ] The Duchess, Art Direction: Michael Carlin, Set Decoration: Rebecca Alleway
[   ] Revolutionary Road, Art Direction: Kristi Zea, Set Decoration: Debra Schutt

Achievement in cinematography
[   ] Changeling, Tom Stern
[   ] The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Claudio Miranda
[   ] The Dark Knight, Wally Pfister
[   ] The Reader, Chris Menges and Roger Deakins
[ × ] Slumdog Millionaire, Anthony Dod Mantle ♦

Achievement in costume design
[   ] Australia, Catherine Martin
[   ] The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Jacqueline West
[ × ] The Duchess, Michael O’Connor ♦
[   ] Milk, Danny Glicker
[   ] Revolutionary Road, Albert Wolsky

Achievement in directing
[   ] The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, David Fincher
[   ] Frost/Nixon, Ron Howard
[   ] Milk, Gus Van Sant
[   ] The Reader, Stephen Daldry
[ × ] Slumdog Millionaire, Danny Boyle ♦

Best documentary feature
[   ] The Betrayal (Nerakhoon)
[   ] Encounters at the End of the World
[   ] The Garden
[   ] Man on Wire
[ × ] Trouble the Water

Best documentary short subject
[   ] “The Conscience of Nhem En”
[   ] “The Final Inch”
[   ] “Smile Pinki” ♦
[   ] “The Witness – From the Balcony of Room 306”

Achievement in film editing
[   ] The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall
[   ] The Dark Knight, Lee Smith
[   ] Frost/Nixon, Mike Hill and Dan Hanley
[   ] Milk, Elliot Graham
[ × ] Slumdog Millionaire, Chris Dickens ♦

Best foreign language film of the year
[   ] The Baader Meinhof Complex
[   ] The Class
[   ] Departures
[   ] Revanche
[ × ] Waltz with Bashir

Achievement in makeup
[ × ] The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Greg Cannom ♦
[   ] The Dark Knight, John Caglione, Jr. and Conor O’Sullivan
[   ] Hellboy II: The Golden Army, Mike Elizalde and Thom Floutz

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original score)
[   ] The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Alexandre Desplat
[   ] Defiance, James Newton Howard
[   ] Milk, Danny Elfman
[ × ] Slumdog Millionaire, A.R. Rahman ♦
[   ] Wall-E, Thomas Newman

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song)
[ × ] “Down to Earth” from Wall-E, Music by Peter Gabriel and Thomas Newman, Lyric by Peter Gabriel
[   ] “Jai Ho” from Slumdog Millionaire, Music by A.R. Rahman, Lyric by Gulzar ♦
[   ] “O Saya” from Slumdog Millionaire, Music and Lyric by A.R. Rahman and Maya Arulpragasam

Best motion picture of the year
[   ] The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
[   ] Frost/Nixon
[   ] Milk
[   ] The Reader
[ × ] Slumdog Millionaire

Best animated short film
[   ] “La Maison en Petits Cubes” ♦
[   ] “Lavatory – Lovestory”
[   ] “Oktapodi”
[   ] “Presto”
[   ] “This Way Up”

Best live action short film
[   ] “Auf der Strecke (On the Line)
[   ] “Manon on the Asphalt”
[   ] “New Boy”
[   ] “The Pig”
[   ] “Spielzeugland (Toyland)” ♦

Achievement in sound editing
[   ] The Dark Knight, Richard King ♦
[   ] Iron Man, Frank Eulner and Christopher Boyes
[ × ] Slumdog Millionaire, Glenn Freemantle and Tom Sayers
[   ] Wall-E, Ben Burtt and Matthew Wood
[   ] Wanted, Wylie Stateman

Achievement in sound mixing
[   ] The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, David Parker, Michael Semanick, Ren Klyce and Mark Weingarten
[   ] The Dark Knight, Lora Hirschberg, Gary Rizzo and Ed Novick
[ × ] Slumdog Millionaire, Ian Tapp, Richard Pryke and Resul Pookutty ♦
[   ] Wall-E, Tom Myers, Michael Semanick and Ben Burtt
[   ] Wanted, Chris Jenkins, Frank A. Montaño and Petr Forejt

Achievement in visual effects
[ × ] The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Eric Barba, Steve Preeg, Burt Dalton and Craig Barron ♦
[   ] The Dark Knight, Nick Davis, Chris Corbould, Tim Webber and Paul Franklin
[   ] Iron Man, John Nelson, Ben Snow, Dan Sudick and Shane Mahan

Adapted screenplay
[   ] The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Screenplay by Eric Roth, Screen story by Eric Roth and Robin Swicord
[   ] Doubt, Written by John Patrick Shanley
[ × ] Frost/Nixon, Screenplay by Peter Morgan
[   ] The Reader, Screenplay by David Hare
[   ] Slumdog Millionaire, Screenplay by Simon Beaufoy ♦

Original screenplay
[   ] Frozen River, Written by Courtney Hunt
[   ] Happy-Go-Lucky, Written by Mike Leigh
[ × ] In Bruges, Written by Martin McDonagh
[   ] Milk, Written by Dustin Lance Black ♦
[   ] Wall-E, Screenplay by Andrew Stanton, Jim Reardon, Original story by Andrew Stanton, Pete Docter



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  • PaulW

    Personally, I wager Wall-E gets Original Score (“Define Dancing” is as perfect a tune I’ve heard this year), that Iron Man will get Best Visual Effects, that Dark Knight could get both Sound Editing and Mixing… and I’m surprised you didn’t check off Presto (the Pixar Wabbit!) for Animated Short.
    Hellboy II should get the Makeup nod for all the incredibly detailed creature effects.
    And while I know you personally loved In Bruges for its wit, Happy-Go-Lucky or Milk would probably get the Best Original Screenplay.

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