UPDATE: I'm switching Supporting Actress from Penelope Cruz to Viola Davis.
It's that time again. With the Academy Awards telecast airing this Sunday, it's time for me to do my final predictions. Let's hope I do better than I did with the Golden Globes.
Will Win: Slumdog Millionaire
Should Win: Slumdog Millionaire or Milk
Should Have Been Nominated: The Dark Knight, Wall-E
Shouldn't Have Been Nominated: Benjamin Button, The Reader
It would be one of the biggest upsets in recent history if anything but Slumdog won, and I can't see anything besides possibly Milk having the power to do so. Benjamin Button's considered the biggest spoiler, but it gets very little love, and I suppose The Reader is still a possibility. But this is a category you can feel comfortable betting on.
Will Win: Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler
Should Win: Mickey Rourke or Sean Penn, Milk
Should Have Been Nominated: Leonardo DiCaprio, Revolutionary Road
Shouldn't Have Been Nominated: Brad Pitt, Benjamin Button
This is a really tight race that could go either way. Sean Penn perhaps gives a better performance, but he's won before and Mickey Rourke's got the kind of personal story voters like. That's why I'm betting on Rourke.
Will Win: Kate Winslet, The Reader
Should Win: Anne Hathaway, Rachel Getting Married
Should Have Been Nominated: Kate Winslet, Revolutionary Road
Shouldn't Have Been Nominated: Angelina Jolie, Changeling
The Reader may be Kate Winslet's weaker performance in 2008, but it's still Oscar-level work and she's still long overdue for a win. Anne Hathaway's still got plenty of nominations left in her, so the biggest competitor is Meryl Streep. Since Doubt is hardly Streep's best work, this should be an easy win for Winslet. Unless Melissa Leo creeps in as a dark horse...
Best Supporting Actor
Will Win: Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight
Should Win: Heath Ledger
Should Have Been Nominated: Dev Patel, Slumdog Millionaire
Shouldn't Have Been Nominated: All deserved it
The biggest no-brainer of the night.
Best Supporting Actress
Will Win: Viola Davis, Doubt
Should Win: Marisa Tomei, The Wrestler
Should Have Been Nominated: Rosemarie Dewitt, Rachel Getting Married
Shouldn't Have Been Nominated: Amy Adams, Doubt
The least predictable race of the night. Penelope Cruz is the frontrunner, so my gut says she's bound to lose.. But who can beat her? My bet is Viola Davis, who makes the most of her limited screen time. But I'm also kind of feeling a surprise upset by Taraji P. Henson, and I wouldn't count out Marisa Tomei either.
Will Win: Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire
Should Win: Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire
Should Have Been Nominated: Christopher Nolan, The Dark Knight
Shouldn't Have Been Nominated: Stephen Daldry, The Reader
There's a slight chance voters may reward David Fincher to make up for Benjamin Button's loss in best picture, but I doubt it. This is about as much of a given as Slumdog for best picture.
Best Original Screenplay
Will Win: Milk
Should Win: Milk
Should Have Been Nominated: Rachel Getting Married
Shouldn't Have Been Nominated: In Bruges
This one's a tight race between Milk and Wall-E, but I think enough people will mark down Wall-E for its lack of dialogue to give Milk the win. Though there's always a chance of an In Bruges sneak attack.
Best Adapted Screenplay
Will Win: Slumdog Millionaire
Should Win: Slumdog Millionaire
Should Have Been Nominated: The Dark Knight
Shouldn't Have Been Nominated: Benjamin Button
Another category Slumdog should easily carry. Some attention has been given to Benjamin Button's terrible script, but I think the most likely upset is Frost/Nixon. Still not gonna happen.
Now the Rest:
Foreign Film - The Class
Waltz with Bashir is the frontrunner, but as an animated documentary, it's way too weird for the stuck-in-the-past Academy.
Documentary - Man on Wire
It's won just about every award it's been up for. Have voters even seen the other films?
Animated Film - Wall-E
The second biggest no-brainer of the night.
Cinematography - Slumdog Millionaire
Benjamin Button is certainly beautiful, but Slumdog's camerawork is way more innovative.
Visual Effects - The Dark Knight
This could easily go to Benjamin Button, but I think voters want to make sure Dark Knight gets something.
Art Direction - Benjamin Button
Voters will leap at the opportunity to give Benjamin Button one of the 13 awards it's up for.
Costume Design - The Duchess
It always goes to the period piece.
Film Editing - Slumdog Millionaire
It usually goes to the film whose editing is most noticeable.
Makeup - Benjamin Button
The award Benjamin Button most deserves.
Score - Slumdog Millionaire
....Though if they go the traditional route, that's all Benjamin Button.
Song - "Down to Earth," Wall-E
The two Slumdog songs should split the vote, letting Peter Gabriel's deserving song win.
Sound Editing and Mixing - The Dark Knight
These categories are made for the blockbusters.
Short Film (Animated) - Presto
If Wall-E was a lesser Pixar film, Presto would have totally overshadowed it.
Short Film (Live Action) - Spielzeugland (Toyland)
I heard it was about the Holocaust. Oscar voters love the Holocaust.
Documentary Short - The Witness - From the Balcony of Room 306
It's about the MLK assassination.