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!
Best 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.
Best 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.
Best 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.
Best 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.
At 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).