My Oscar Picks

Though nominations haven’t even been announced, I think the following actors are going to win Oscars come February 22, 2009. This is not based on counting how many nominations/wins they’ve racked up from other organizations; I’m going strictly by my opinions of their performances and feel confident about my choices. If you’re participating in an Oscar pool, feel free to steal my predictions. When you win, just send me 10% of your winnings!

pennBest Actor: Sean Penn for Milk. This is Penn as we’ve rarely seen him—smiling, vulnerable, in love, inspiring—instead of angry, grim or high. He brings Harvey Milk vividly to life and makes us feel the loss of the real man all over again. 

2008_revolutionary_road_0131Best Actress:  Kate Winslet for Revolutionary Road. I’ve liked some of her other performances better—Clementine in Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind, Sarah in Little Children—but this year has been light on female contenders so I think Winslet will finally get her little golden man for this harrowing performance.

2008_milk_010Best Supporting Actor:  Josh Brolin for Milk. The film’s cast is very, very strong but, besides Penn’s, Brolin’s performance as Dan White is the one that stayed with me long after I saw the movie. It’s a beautifully nuanced portrayal of a man in conflict with himself and the changing world around him.

2008_vicky_christina_barcelona_001Best Supporting Actress – Penelope Cruz for Vicky Christina Barcelona. She is on fire in this film. She’s passionate, electric, crazy, and just uninhibited. When she’s on screen, you can’t watch anyone else. Considering the other actors include Javier Bardem and Scarlett Johansson, that’s saying a lot. 

I’m not going to pick Best Picture because I’m not passionate about any of the contenders. There are some good films but none made me say, “Wow, I LOVE that movie!” I remember back in 1981, my favorite movie was Raiders of the Lost Ark but Chariots of Fire won. Chariots was respectable, but it didn’t blow my mind like Raiders did. In 1995, I admired the production values and talent involved with Braveheart, but I was rooting for Babe on Oscar night.

2008_in_bruges_011At least Raiders and Babe were nominated for Best Picture. My favorite film this year, with probably no chances for any Oscar nominations (though I was thrilled it received 3 major Golden Globes noms), is In Bruges, a film starring Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson and Ralph Fiennes that I saw back in January and has long been out on DVD. This movie is well-acted, brilliantly written, suspenseful, hilarious, twisted and most important (to me), it was damn entertaining. 

What are your favorite films this year that you think have about as much chance of being nominated as Oprah has of being poor? Leave me a comment below.

Here’s hoping you’ve enjoyed yourselves at the movies this year and will have many good reasons to go to the theater next year.

COMING SOON: An evening with the director (Edward Zwick) and cast of Defiance (Daniel Craig, Liev Schreiber, Jamie Bell, Alexa Davalos), and the stars of Revolutionary Road (oh, you know who they are).

9 responses to “My Oscar Picks

  1. Great post! I agree with basically all of your picks, though I’m a bit doubtful about Kate Winslet for Lead Actress… not that she doesn’t deserve it, but it’s going to be steep competition with Meryl Streep, Sally Hawkins, Melissa Leo, and Anne Hathaway.

    One of my favorite films of the year which, imo, has almost a 0% chance of being nominated for Best Picture is WALL-E. Though it completely deserves to be in the discussion for Best Picture, simply because it’s an animated feature it won’t be acknowledged.

    That being said, I applaud your boldness in picking your Oscar winners well before the nominations have even been announced. You’ve nailed the front-runners, though a lot can change from now until February.

  2. How can you not pick a best pic? My top 5 are:
    Slumdog Millionaire
    Nothing But The Truth
    Revolutionary Road

  3. I liked Penn and he will probably take it for Milk, but you have to admit he was pretty open and loving in I AM SAM

  4. From what I hear, Winslet will win, but not for Revolutionary Road, it will be for The Reader.

  5. I don’t care who wins best pic, as long as Australia and freakin’ Benjamin Buttons don’t get noms.

    BTW: I do agree with your predictions and they will win, but not a penny will you get.:-)

  6. Hi herculesrob,

    I agree Winslet is very tenuous for Best Actress; it’s not her strongest performance. But I’ve seen the others you mentioned (except Melissa Leo) and, while they’re decent, I don’t think they’ll win (Hawkins probably won’t even be nominated; I think Angelina Jolie will get the fifth spot). So, unless Leo causes an upset, I had to pick one and I think it’s Winslet’s time.

    I loved WALL-E, too. It has something most of the contenders don’t—a big heart.


  8. FFBUFF8,

    You and I have similar taste! I like all those movies you listed a lot—NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH really surprised me, especially that ending—but I don’t think they’re Best Picture quality.

    I love hearing about other people’s favorites—thanks for throwing in your vote for WALL-E, too, Shelley!

  9. Very interesting forecast!
    I totally agree with you on Sean Penn’s performance in “Milk”.
    As for me, I would love “Ive loved you so long” to get an award (best foreign film or best actress for Kristin Scott Thomas), it’s a very clever and sensitive movie and Scott Thomas is amazing in it.
    I would also be glad if some posthumous prize was awarded to late lamented Heath Ledger.
    Am I the only one to have been thrilled with the stifling atmosphere of “Blindness” (starring Julianne Moore, Mark Ruffalo and Gael Garcia Bernal)?!
    Oh, and one of my best surprises this year was the wonderful independent movie “The visitor” by Thomas MacCarthy with a great performance from Richard Jenkins (usually cast for supporting roles).

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