Oscar Picks 2009
I am a movie fan. Anyone who really knows me knows that for me the cinema is the best escape from day to day life. They also know that I got this from my grandfather who would pick me up in an ugly faded green Nash Rambler every week. We would stop by the local Thrifty Drug and pick up candy to sneak in (he had a trick jacket just for this with holes in the pockets so could load up the lining with goodies) and we would go to the movies. He was always careful to be sure we got our drinks and popcorn (which we did sometimes) telling me “this is where they make their money, so get something so they stay in business”. I learned then that the ticket price went right back to the studios, concessions went to the theaters. But even back then a 15¢ Hershey Bar was $.95 and that was outrageous (and this was before “movie sized” candy). We never really paid much attention to the Oscars other than it was cool to see if we had seen any of the ones that won awards. I was always amazed that with him we ALWAYS saw the best picture of the year. He would call that one and never got it wrong.
My sister was never into the movies as much as me and my grandfather, but apparently every year she goes away for an Oscar Weekend. She does the whole spa treatment and pampering and then goes to her hotel room and indulges in the Oscars. It’s as good an excuse as any for a get away, she certainly enjoys it.
Certainly in our house Oscar night was special. The whole family would get special dispensation from mom to stay up late and complain how slow they handed out the awards. How, “damn it, it’s 11:35 and they still haven’t handed out Best Picture?” would pass my fathers lips as he nodded off in the big chair every year. It was they only night of the year my mother would burn popcorn for us to munch on (thank god for copious amounts of melted margarine). It was not until I was in my teens that we would actually try to predict who would win what category and that sort of added a new edge to the show. It was all luck for most part, but it was fun. So in that light, here are my picks for the 2009 Oscars in order how they are presented on the Oscars Website (sorta):
Best Actor: Frank Langella Sean Penn (hardest pick all night)
Best Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger
Best Actress: Kate Winslet (she’s due)
Best Supporting Actress: Penelope Cruz
Best Director: Slumdog Millionaire (an unusual split from Best Actor / Picture)
Best Picture: Frost / Nixon (I went with what I thought was best...)
Best Animated Feature: WALL-E (better message than KFP)
Art Direction: Benjamin Button
Cinematography: Slumdog Millionaire (should be Button)
Costume Design: Austrailia Dutchess
Editing: The Dark Knight Slumdog, undeserved
Makeup: Benjamin Button (should The Dark Knight though)
Music/Song: Slumdog Millionaire
Score: Slumdog Millionaire
Sound Editing: The Dark Knight
Sound Mixing: Wanted Slumdog, this was just wrong
Visual Effects: Iron Man Benjamin Button
Adapted Screenplay: Doubt Slumdog
Original Screenplay: MILK (should be WALL-E)
I did not do all of them simply because I have not seen “best foreign film” or “animated short”.
I know my list looks very different from what a lot of the critics are saying, but I think that while this year had a lot of very good films there was no one stand out that everyone was going to say was “it”. No one film brought every element of film making to perfection in my opinion. Also, I do not think that just feeling good about a movie is a reason to call it a “best picture”. With all this in mind I have to remember who is voting on the nominees, it is the film industry and not the critics and the Academy often feels different from the critics who are usually full of hot air when it comes to understanding the movies they are watching. So my picks are from years of Academy Watching; I could be right, I could be wrong, but if I am right this is going to be an interesting year at the Oscars.