"And for a small fee and a certain amount of ass-licking, you too can have this nifty little gold statuette..."
So, it's that time again; when the great, the good and the god-awful come together for a truly overly-hyped five hours of self-appreciation. Tonight is Oscar Night!
Of course, some genuinely amazingly talented people are occasionally nominated, as is the case, this year; but let's be honest with ourselves, only a few of those actually ever recieve their dues. In my opinion, the ratio of talent and accolade was only most accurately matched last year, and that was only due to the Writers' Strike.
This year, I'm pretty certain it'll be business as usual, and in typical hype spirit, I have compiled my own list of predictions. Enjoy...
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
In an ideal world, something like Milk would win , but then it isn't Brokeback Mountain, so people probably won't give a shit when it doesn't. Yes, the gay dies at the end (spoiler), but he's mourned by others, who hope for a better future. I doubt that would do for the academy. I reckon Benjamin Button will win, what with it being a lesson in American History; or maybe even the second outsider, Slumdog Millionaire, for being a good film. It is set in India, though...
David Fincher - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Ron Howard - Frost/Nixon
Gus Van Sant - Milk
Stephen Daldry - The Reader
Danny Boyle - Slumdog Millionaire
For similar reasons, mentioned above, Fincher will probably get it, although it would be nice to see an English director praised for good work. Van Sant is too fringe, unfortunately; and he's gay. It's bad enough the film is about the gays, but the director should be straight just to reassure the public (yes, I'm looking at you, Ang Lee).
Brad Pitt - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Frank Langella - Frost/Nixon
Sean Penn - Milk
Richard Jenkins - The Visitor
Mickey Rourke - The Wrestler
Rumours are circulating that Rourke will snatch it from the preened and pristine hands of Brad Pitt, though the likelyhood is questionable. Penn has a history of being an "outsider", but he was very good. I would love to see Langella get it, too, since he's been good for decades - interestingly, it would also make him the second winner to have been placed alongside future winner Michael Sheen (Sheen played a scarily good Tony Blair opposite Helen Mirren's ERII in The Queen and appeared in Frost/Nixon as the former of the two titular roles).
Kate Winslet - The Reader
Anne Hathaway - Rachel Getting Married
Angelina Jolie - Changeling
Melissa Leo - Frozen River
Meryl Streep - Doubt
Oh, Kate Kate Kate: this is your chance! How many times has this fantastic actress been ignored, or even snubbed (I'm not counting Titanic)? All fingers point to her winning, and it would be so nice to walk down an english street and see that statue sitting on the mantelpiece...
Best Supporting Actor
Josh Brolin - Milk
Robert Downey Jr - Tropic Thunder
Philip Seymour Hoffman - Doubt
Heath Ledger - The Dark Night
Michael Shannon - Revolutionary Road
Well, this is pretty much a given. The others might as well only turn up to clap and cry over the "huge loss to the film inustry" blah blah blah. Incidentally, why was Downey Jr. in blackface? WHY?!
Best Supporting Actress
Taraji P. Henson - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Penélope Cruz - Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Amy Adams - Doubt
Viola Davis - Doubt
Marisa Tomei - The Wrestler
Again, there is consensus on all sides that either Henson or Cruz will win. My money's on the latter, despite the fairly ordinary role, film, and - it has to be said - acting. She's better in Spanish.
Soon enough, we'll find out how right I am/was.
Until next year...