The promo-machine that is The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is telling us it will be Brad Pitt. Which is fine. It was a great film. I don't think he was the best part of that film at all though but maybe his body of work to date is enough to warrant the guy a crack at the podium for once. The feel good pick is Mickey Rourke cuz Hollywood loves a comeback of such stellar proportions like his. Sean Penn in Milk is probably the best pick in terms of the craft. He's a force of nature and he's brilliant in that film and it's the best thing Gus van Sant has ever done in my opinion. I'll be happiest if it's Mickey Rourke, or Sean Penn and or Brad Pitt in that order.
Best Supporting Actor
This category will go to Heath Ledger hands down, even if he didn't happen to die last year. He was outstanding in Dark Knight and even Robert Downey Jr can't take that away from him, despite being the funniest movie character of the year, hands down. The other actors in this category should not even bother getting out of the pajamas.
This category will probably go to Kate Winslet but it should go to Anne Hathaway. Let's all appreciate the magnitude of me saying that. As a rule, I really hate Anne Hathaway. That said, she was so good in Rachel Getting Married it was staggering. That film is likely the best of the year for me and I think it's a shame it's not on the Best Picture list. That movie has a bathroom scene that makes me wish I had a sister, a wedding scene that made me openly cry and want to have a wedding do-over and has quite possibly the most awkward wedding toast I've ever heard. It is such an honest portrayal of a damaged family that I left that film feeling physically uncomfortable. This role is likely the best thing she will ever do and if she wins I will be thrilled despite the terrible speech she will likely give. Meryl Streep? Sure she can win and it will be fine but it will be boring.
Best Supporting Actress
Again, Benjamin Button is claiming this award for Taraji P Henson and that's fine. The supporting cast was, for me, the best part of that film. I'd be happier if it was Marisa Tomei or Amy Adams even though I haven't seen those films. I just like them so much. The only person who shouldn't win it is Penelope Cruz. Her role in Vicky Christina Barcelona is nowhere near intriguing enough for me to think she deserves this over any of the others.
At the risk of repeating myself, I say that the marketing machine behind Benjamin Button is hard for any of the other films to compete against so I think the majority of the voters will pick it. Artistically though, this should go to Slumdog Millionaire in my opinion. This film moved me and made me love love story movies again, the same way it did when I saw Amelie for the first time. These are the kind of love story movies that are my favourite. And the fact that when this film played at the Toronto Film Festival in September it didn't even have a distributor and now look at it??? Seriously this tips the David and Goliath scales for me for sure. I loved, loved that movie and I'm always happy when the underdog wins against the big boys.
On a sidenote, I'm also really happy that despite all the hoopla about it, Happy Go Lucky managed to squeak into this race with only one nomination for Best Original Screenplay which is completely fine with me. It was a well-written film for sure, it was just everything else about it that was completely wrong. I did say this year that if Sally Hawkins won Best Actress for this movie, which everyone was saying she would, I would boycott the Oscars forever. Thankfully it seems a lot of people felt the same. I think the screenplay category should go to In Bruges myself cuz that movie cracked me up like nobody's business but it will probably go to Milk.
I think that's it. I'm not getting into all the other categories cuz my fingers are starting to hurt and I need a nap.