TOP OSCAR PREDICTIONS
Since I seem to have seen all except "Doubt" and "Changeling", I might give it a shot this year.
Best Picture: Either "Slumdog" or "Frost/Nixon" I would think that Slumdog might be chosen for the "experience"; the whole explosion of colours and sounds and words. But Frost/Nixon is a meticulously crafted film with fine technical details. Surely one of the best made movies I have seen in recent times. Milk also stands a good chance.
Best Director: Gus van Sant for "Milk" and Ron Howard for "Frost/Nixon" would be close competitors in my opinion. Either one of them getting it would be perfectly satisfactory. Although he did a fine job, I don't think Danny Boyle deserves it.
Best Actor: Until last week, my bets were on either Frank Langella for playing a weary but still combative Nixon in "Frost/Nixon" or Sean Penn who inhabits a gay character like a spirit in "Milk". And then last week I saw "The Wrestler" and I changed my mind. Mickey Rourke physically occupies the screen every moment, and his riveting portrayal of a gritty, broken-down, aging, fundamentally decent wrestler is absolutely phenomenal, on an entirely different plane. I would personally put all my bets on Rourke, although I won't be surprised if Penn gets it since he is definitely a worthy second. And please, please, don't give it to Brad Pitt. Otherwise the Oscars would have decidedly become a snake-pit of political lobbying and mediocre assessment. (Haven't they already?)
Best Actress: Can't really comment because I haven't seen "Doubt" and "Changeling". Kate Winslet was excellent in "The Reader" although I don't know if she was Oscar-worthy. On the other hand, except for Meryl Streep, Winslet also does not seem to have much competition this year and therefore stands a good chance of getting it.
Best Supporting Actor: Easy for me. The tormented Josh Brolin in "Milk" was outstanding and I think he should get it. But the late Heath Ledger would have definitely trumped him. Robert Downey and Michael Shannon are inspired second choices, but second nonetheless.
Best Supporting Actress: Can't really comment. I hear Viola Davis in "Doubt" was very good.
Best Animated Film: W.A.L.L.E. No more said, although "Bolt" is also a very good flim.
Best Score: Let's finally satisfy that desperate Indian craving to be recognised...
Best Cinematography: "Slumdog" would be a good choice for its juxtaposition of gritty and exotic images.