Saturday, November 22, 2008

Oscar Prediction Revisions

I'm cheating a bit on my Oscar color key. You know the one (green = lock, yellow = good bet, etc...) You'll see yellowish green for two films. Slumdog Millionaire and Milk might not be "locks" in the truest sense --after all, the precursor voting bodies haven't begun to weigh in and no top ten lists (thankfully) have landed in November but they feel like Locks To Be. The other three spots look contestable.

I have been a firm believer for months now that The Dark Knight would be there and as the holiday contenders emerge, all working similar Big Stars + Big Pedigree + Big Bait Message/Genre + Holiday Ticket movie angle I still have faith that voters will look back to its Movie of the Year status. The big bad Bat movie's Oscar campaign seems quiet right now but that's probably wise given the overhype of the summer and fall. I'm assuming it's a breather. There's still time to reemerge machine guns firing once the precursors and top ten lists begin their march towards Oscar. At the very least the movie stands out: as do Milk with the immediacy of its message and Slumdog just because it's, well, a true one-off.

But Oscar has five spots. 1,2,3 ...4?5?

That leaves two spots wide open and any combo of the six most Oscarable December releases seems plausible: Doubt, Revolutionary Road, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Frost/Nixon, The Reader and The Wrestler. What say you Oscar watchers?

Updated Oscar Pages: Best Picture, Director, Screenplay, Actor, Actress , Supporting Actor,Supporting Actress and Visual , Costume and Sound pages...


Hayden said...

This is one of the more confusing years we've had in recent history, isn't it?

Anonymous said...

So you don't think Australia stands a chance?

Yaseen Ali said...

Hee. Your Clint Eastwood notes are pretty damn funny.

I agree with the Winslet vote-splitting (for the win, that is). I see Julianne Moore '03 all over again.

Joanne said...

It's interesting you have Australia for editing when a lot even those who liked the film have commented that editing was a problem. B is not bad for Australia though I know you were hoping for an A. I'm seeing it on Wed. My expectations a little lower because of your views but that's probably a good thing.

Anonymous said...

The Actress cathegory isn't as decided as you're thinking.

Head to and you'll have a surprise.

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised Australia is so low, especially after Rachel Getting Married. Surely if the audiences fall for it, it will be right back in.

I'm glad you gave it a B, I thought it would be lower (but I know you were hoping for an A). I can't wait to hear your thoughts on it, especially what went wrong. I've been following this movie all year and it's been a disappoint week for me (especially when I think about Baz). I so badly wanted this to be the epic of the decade.

Dean said...

No belief that the Academy will eat up Gran Torino and Clint for director/actor?

mrripley said...

i think jolie will get in over hathaway as ithink she will lose the comedy globe to hawkins streep wins lead winslet wins support simple,i also feel eastwood gets in over langella,dicaprio wins the same night as kate too hard to resist i have said this all yr and i now an firm.

Anonymous said...

The most influential member of the Academy has chimed in on Australia and praised the movie to the heavens...

...that would be Lady O

Anonymous said...

seems best actress just got v intereseting with cate blanchett being tipped for glory over at incontention.

Anonymous said...

no way Jolie gets in after it broke in the NY Times how she is controling the media

Anonymous said...

From the early reaction Benjamin Buttons looks like a lock. I would also not discount the Reader and the Clint movie.

Anonymous said...

not quite sold on blanchett yet. i'll wait in see before moving her up the ranks


joanne -- the tech pages aren't updated yet so that's my views from a month ago.

anon -- you have to remember when you're reading me or when you're reading kris @ incontention or when you're reading david poland or whomever that it's just one person's opinion -- as i say on my best picture page the pre-release buzz on BENJAMIN BUTTON has been totally schizo. One week it's the next winner. The next week it's a disaster. And that's been going on for at least a couple of months now.

so Kris walks out of the screening thinking Cate Blanchett is going to win best actress... the last person i talked to who had seen it (Karina Longworth at Spout) said that nobody was really special in it -- that it wasn't an actor's movie.

who know.

but i love Fincher so I hope for the best.

Anonymous said...

lets wait until we here from the Trades and the NY/LA Times before heralding CCOBB

Anonymous said...

i used to really like tapley but the last couple years or so it feels like he's gone off the deep end. nat, on the other hand is the best blogger in the biz, bar none

Hayden said...

I will admit, though, the Blanchett love makes me really happy. So far, I'm doing so well with my Actress Psychic ballot. I had Winslet, Streep, Hathaway, Jolie, and Blanchett down. Give or take Hawkins, who I'm now predicting in Blanchett's place, it's a pretty solid lineup.

I'm so happy I went for Hathaway instead of Knightley or Blunt, and Jolie instead of Kidman or Moore.

Anonymous said...

Nat, why is Australia so low?

Anonymous said...

It feels like people are so quick to declare Australia dead before it even opens and Rev. Road and CCOBB as the second coming

Anonymous said...

Nat, where is Ralph Fiennes on your list? I am sure he will have a shot with the Reader. Why did you leave him out?


i've been a holdout on Rev Road forever (it's never made my Best Picture predictions)

but people do seem really excited about it so maybe I'm wrong.

as for AUSTRALIA ... maybe i'm being too negative but I figure if me, a Baz Luhrmann maniac (he's never made a picture that didn't make my top ten list in its year) wasn't in love with it why would the Academy be?

I really will write about AUSTRALIA soon but i'm in a weird place with it right now. I need time to process. Plus, though nobody respects embargos, I usually do. Partially because I'm slow ;)

Hayden said...

Ralph Fiennes NEVER has a shot. See The Constant Gardener (my win) and The End of the Affair (my win).


anon -- i had heard that Fiennes was going supporting.

who knows. i'm so over THE READER and it's stupid categorizations. grrrr

Anonymous said...

Nat. Congrats to you on giving all the CCOBB fanboys the red meat they needed against Australia! Blast you man!

Anonymous said...

Australia seems like a real crowd pleaser, and from the reviews IMDB people are making (plus Oprah), it sounds like it will be an audience winner. We know how far that went with Titanic (who only had a 74 average on metacritic).

I know the reviewers aren't in love with it (though it's certainly receiving positive reviews), and most bloggers didn't like it at all (besides O'Neil who seems to love it), but it seems it should still be higher.

I'm sorry you weren't in love with it, it's a real shame. So will Australia make your top 10 this year? I really want to know your thoughts! It's so upsetting that it's not sitting right with you. Mostly people have complained about the editing (the threads not meshing together correctly).. is that your problem as well?

(Glad you kept Jackman in the top 10.. his emotion in the trailer seems so great, yet no one is talking about him.)

Anonymous said...

i remember vividly an interview on Larry King with Julianne Moore and Nicole Kidman where they spoke about how the critics don't even give a film the chance to "breath" That's how I feel when it comes to Australia

JA said...

Lord knows I don't pay as much attention to what's going on with the awards-speak as you do Nat, but do you really think that Slumdog Millionaire has that much of a chance? I was terribly underwhelmed by it. And I feel like the word I've seen on it has been... well it's been positive but not it's making me die from wonderfulness glowing. But then again I am not paying as much attention as you. I do love Danny Boyle but this one just ain't doing it for me.

Anonymous said...

it seems Nat was too and gave it a B as well as EW

Anonymous said...

if slumdog wins it will be the worst best pic since...

well, crash

Anonymous said...

imdb is full of "fanboys" & "fangirls". You can't take half of what is said there seriously. Probably half the ones saying they've seen it really haven't seen it.

How long is a movie supposed to "breath" before a critic/reviewer is allowed to give their opinion?

Anonymous said...

idk? ask julianne.

Casey F said...

tapley has some excelent things to say about ben button.

Anonymous said...

"Ralph Fiennes NEVER has a shot."

Why is that?

Julianne Moore was nominated for End of the Affair. Rachel Weiss was nominated for the Constant Gardner.

It's like they hate him because he is beautiful.

Casey F said...

sasha stone loved it too

Anonymous said...

Best Picture:
Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Slumdog Millionaire
Gran Torino

Best Actress:
Cate Blanchett
Sally Hawkins
Angelina Jolie
Nicole Kidman
and either: Michelle Williams or Emma Thompson

Anonymous said...

those predics look good to me

Anonymous said...

YES! Sasha Stone also loves Ben Button and says nice things about Pitt, Blanchett and Henson.


Anonymous said...

"Cate Blanchett
Sally Hawkins
Angelina Jolie
Nicole Kidman
and either: Michelle Williams or Emma Thompson"

Hell no?

More Like:
Hathaway or Hawkins

Anonymous said...

I am sad to hear about Australia...
you didn't love Kidman in it then?
How was her performance?
I was looking forward to it.
Also Benjamin Button is being touted as the frontrunner
many people say Blanchett and Taraji P. Henson are in.

Anonymous said...

Well, Sasha has Cate, Brad and Taraji as frontrunners in her categories.

Kris also says that Taraji is the heart of the film and could find herself getting a Supporting Actress nod.

Taraji was the one I was unsure of in the Supporting actress race.

I usually disagree with you Nat and agree with Sasha more ( except for that overrated Juno). So I'm thinking I may like Rev. Road.

Anonymous said...

Nat is much more diplomatic than Sasha!

Nat 4ever!


just as a reminder anonymous people --please type a name / nickname / handle anything... it gets so confusing without.


Anonymous said...

I love Blanchett as much as the next fangirl but I'm really thinking that AMPAS may have overdosed on her and will probably overlook her performance as a result. I mean, it would be her 4th nom in 3 (consecutive, no less) years and that's too much for even a a fan like me to speculate on.

That said, I'm really hoping that Taraji P Henson gets some buzz for this, especially since Supp. Actress looks so iffy. Still, for her to get the single nomination out of the CCoBB acting cohort (which is only my wish, rather than a prediction), it would mean that she would have to be knockout good, above and beyond the talents of her more A-list co-stars. So, I guess we wait.

D said...

Can anyone explain to me why James Franco is getting more buzz for "Milk" than Emile Hirsch? They were both good, but Hirsch is the "Milk" performance that's really sticking with me after Penn. Fantastic work.

James Hansen said...

Crossing my fingers for WRESTLER (incredible film...where's the buzz? is it still too far off, or is the marketing from Searchlight going into Slumdog?) and BENJAMIN BUTTON. It's international trailer just blew my face off...with greatness. Wow. DOUBT will get acting noms. RR looks like it has all the making for Oscar, but, other than Awards Daily, I haven't heard such amazing things about it. If FROST/NIXON makes it, I'll just try and remember I like Arrested's the only thing that has saved Ron Howard for me. His films...not so much. FORST/NIXON looks like an acting showcase...I don't understand Best Pic buzz and hope it doesn't pan out.

James Hansen said...

Oh, also, I'm with JA on Slumdog and continue to think its not such a lock. I like Boyle a lot too and was underwhelmed by about 80% of it (the end credits sequence is easily the best scene in the film.) Maybe if Oscar voters feel an urge to be international they'll bite on it, but I really don't see the reasoning behind a push for SLUMDOG but nothing for THE WRESTLER which is infinitely better. A lot of people like SLUMDOG a lot more than me though, so who knows...

Kurtis O said...

I've seen Frost/Nixon and, while it was quite good, I certainly wouldn't call it Best Pic material. Slumdog, on the other hand, feels destined for a spot; it's the obligatory crowd-pleaser, for sure. The Wrestler's trailer has bumped it up to one of my most anticipated and, if it's as good as it looks, I'd love to see it sneak Million Dollar Mickey.

Bernardo said...

Nat! Frances McDormand is going Lead for Burn after Reading. This will probably mean Golden Globe nomination!

Anonymous said...

Well, I think instead of listening to what the bloggers say : Person A loved this one, but person B didn't.

I say we wait til official reviews come in to see the Oscar potential. Only listen to the bloggers you like for your own personal take on the films.

I haven't seen Slumdog Millionaire or Milk yet, but along with The Dark Knight those are the three that I believe are definitely getting in. And I'm usually right about these things. I remember early on last year when I said Juno would get in and people were like I don't think so, it's not that good. But you can't think in terms of what you like, you have to remember who is in the Academy and what type of buzz the films are getting.

All three have great reviews so far and Slumdog and The Dark Knight are two of the highest ( Milk doesn't have that many reviews yet).

As for the other two spots I don't know yet.


Anonymous said...

hi nate,

i noticed that you gave the palme d'or winner "entre les murs" an A-.

so do you think it'll beat gomorra and waltz with bashir to win best foreign oscar?

Douglas Racso said...

i will wildly predict The Dark Knight will win hahaha still a very widely loved film and the feeling holds up to now so I am thinking that it has more shot of winning now than before.

Though if Shannon, Bates, Winslet and diCaprio gets in, expect Revolutionary Road to be big. but then again a streetcar named desire...

Australia could get nominated a-la.. well Moulin Rouge.

Benjamin Button... I think it will be big. could even topple Milk.

as for Slumdog. I just don't get it.

I am rooting for Wall-E heheheh

mrripley said...

my noms as of today



scott thomas

downey jnr


mrripley said...

can't see rr getting 4 act noms so bates is out,why no even rachel wood love she looks good in the trailer and shares rourkes best scene.

mrripley said...

sasha stone over at awardsdaily says blanchett is in also.

new rule never underestimate cate blanchett.

vinci said...

Oh. come on. Kirstin Scott Thomas is a lock at this point ...

vinci said...

Oh. come on. Kirstin Scott Thomas is a lock at this point ...

Anonymous said...

I say...

Benjamin Button
Dark Knight
Revolutionary Road
Slumdog Millionaire

mrripley said...

we are all estimating we all thought jennifer jason leigh was a lock and look what happened,depends on critics,reviews,audience approval & timing.

Y el Goya es para... said...

Consider THE READER, cause it will be nominated.

Anonymous said...

A cinematic experience like Australia will be nominated, trust me. And also, Nat, following you since 3 years ago, it's the first time I write here, because I can't wait more to know your thought on Australia. I'm a true beliver Lurhmann fan, and having seen the movie, I can't say just enormous positives adjectives to this film, it's a great cinematic experience, a future cult movie that has Lurhmann sing in every fotogram of it. And yes, one of the best Kidmans performances in years, she is in top form, (alla Moulin Rouge) this time. I can't belive you didn't follow in love with this film, such a true artistic vision.

And I will repeat it, Australia will be nominated, it's the film of the year, everybody is talking about this film. If you look closely to the reviws you will see that Australia has the same patron of Moulin and Romeo, very bad reviews and very good ones. This is a classic. Trust me.

Anonymous said...

Why is Australia and Kidman so low?
The movie will be an epic and I don´t see why it should be rated so low. I also think that Nicole Kidman should be (at least) nominated for an Oscar. From what I have read, she is amazing in the movie.

Best Picture:
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Revolutionary Road
The Reader

Best Actress:
Nicole Kidman (!)
Meryl Streep
Kate Winslet
Kirsten Scott Thomas
Sally Hawkins

Best Actor
Leonardo DiCaprio
Sean Penn
Dustin Hoffman
Hugh Jackman
Mickey Rourke

Best Supp. Actress:
Kate Winslet
Penelope Cruz
Tilda Swinton
Viola Davis
Kathy Bates

Best Supp. Actor
Heath Ledger
James Franco
Liev Schreiber
Brandon Walters
Phillip Seymour Hoffman

Best Director
Baz Luhrmann (!)
Gus Van Sant
David Fincher
Sam Mendes
Stephen Daldry

Catherine said...

Anonymous, do you really think Milk will be overlooked in BP?

Anonymous said...

Catherein I wasn´t sure between TCCOBB and Milk and I know less about Milk than CCOBB (read the book)
But the movie really looks like a serious BP contender. Maybe instead of CCOBB.


dean it's not that i don't believe in Clint Eastwood's awards pull. It's that Gran Torino looks in no way Oscary... so best case scenario (for clint I mean) is that he gets an acting nod from it because they want to give him the acting Oscar.

other than that we'll just wait till people have seen it

y el goya have you seen the Reader? It SOUNDS like an Oscar nominee sure... but so do its competitors and the biggest trouble spot i see is that it's weinstein co & mgm... neither of which are great at campaigning.

vinci how can any of the best actresses (beyond streep & winslet who are winning raves and are also default nominee types) be "locks" when there are five of them for three spots (Jolie, Scott Thomas, Hathaway, Hawkins, Blanchett)?

Jeff said...

agree about Streep and Winslet being default nominees, but they aren't being "raved". Every review I read called them good at most great.
Streep is receiving some negative press(one reviewer called her the movie biggest fault!)Winslet is receiving good reviews but not enough raves for a win.
Scott Thomas and probably Hawkins are the most raved actress hopefuls.
I wish for a Streep and Winslet snub but I know it's imposible at this time.I love them both but I hate"default" nominees,specially in strong years.
I am looking forward to Blanchett in Benjamin Button she is getting outstanding reviews.
I also want to see Kidman, she'll probably get snubed but she is my favorite actress and I want to see her performance(I have heard great comments)


Milk is going to get nominated.

mrripley said...

and blanchett nat is she getting in, i don't think actress is as locked as we all feel.


mrripley... let's wait until we've hear consensus (we need more than just Sasha and Kris --- particularly since this movie has had such extremely pendulum swinging buzz for the past month)

I'm not saying she "won't" but it's worth remembering that 2 or 3 opinions is not consensus. Remember when 3 major Oscar writers who saw Family Stone early declared Diane Keaton a winner? She didn't even end up close to the nominee shortlist.

You need more than a few people. We'll see.

Catherine said...

And even if Blanchett is amazing in the film, there has to be some element of BlanchettFatigue amongst the voters, right? I say this as a big fan, btw.

mucia said...

I'm sorry Nat, but i think you're overestimating rachel getting married. I know you love this film but it didn't make enough of an impression IMO. I just don't hear people talking about it in the industry.

And I don't think Hathaway's in. It's too much of an ensemble and she'll be forgotten.

I think Jolie takes the five spot. It's more of an Acadel-friendly performance.

Streep, Winslet and Scott-Thomas are locked at this point. Hawkins gets in thanks to Ebert.

mucia said...

sorry i mean hathaway in this particular film will be forgotten comes february. I think it was released a tad too early.

That being said, she deserves the nom

hanimal said...

hi nate,

i noticed that you gave the palme d'or winner "entre les murs" an A-.

so do you think it'll beat gomorra and waltz with bashir to win best foreign oscar?

Anonymous said...

Nate, I'm really happy you think Kaye will be nominated in both categories. I'm also reaaly confident about her in the leading category but I'm not as sure as I'd like to in the supporting. Although it would be weird not be nominated in a role like this but this Henson lady is a strong threat I think. Though I consider her a stronger threat than no4 and no5 in your predix so maybe Henson will take the place of one of them. Anyway, good job (for your hard work I mean, not only because you made me happy).


Anonymous said...

I have seen Australia...just 2 days ago and i can tell u is a great of the greateest films of all time. is risky and different in every way...people only mention that the movie is not good mainly because the way baz uses art in the film but i can assure u that is best looking film out there.

Anonymous said...

"Slumdog Millionaire" number 1? No, no, no. This one is "The Dark Knight"'s to lose. It might be extremely ballsy to say b/c the Academy's never done this before, but that's the story of the year. They'll want a crowdpleaser after years of ratings slippage due to their arthouse bent in BP, plus making history in the process (first superhero film nominated and winning best picture), and it'll be a great bookend for Heath Ledger's Oscar win (they're gonna do it for the press and sentiment, plus for it being extremely deserved).

So "Australia" bombed? No "Rachel Getting Married" in the top five? "Frost/Nixon" should be higher, especially in this election season. "Gran Torino" in #15? Clint could "M$B" that all the way to the top five. I think that "Revolutionary Road" could oust "Benjamin Button" if the latter is too "weird" and people are too fixated on the Kate/Leo reunion and propel that to BP territory.

Leo's number 1? What? This is going to be a maddening Oscar season.

Lead actress is a catfight! Killer. Hopefully Angelina can still make it in after her horrible snub last year for "A Mighty Heart", but it'll be tough. Meryl vs. Kate will be difficult for anyone to overcome in that field.

Can the biopic jabs please end? Just b/c there are many of us who like and enjoy biopics and want to see them recognized for Oscars, it doesn't mean that all there is behind that love is "OMG X IS REALLY THAT PERSON! I'M SO EASILY WOWED!" Stop pegging people so simply, b/c it's condescending and insulting.

When did Michael Shannon become a sure thing for a nomination? I completely missed that happening. I haven't read the book, so is his role prime Oscar-bait? At some point they're going to demote Michael Sheen to supporting for "Frost/Nixon", and they'll want to make it up to him for "The Queen" snubbage. Then there's Bill Irwin, who should be the top five for his devastating performance in "Rachel Getting Married". They could go for Dev Patel as the acting representative in "Slumdog Millionaire" (which should be plausible for a foreign entity "slumming" in supporting (HA!) as the lead), since he's being campaigned there. I don't think that James Franco will have the juice to make it in -- the buzz is on James Brolin and Emile Hirsch (and catch him after the snub for "Into the Wild"). Hopefully Robert Downey, Jr. will be nowhere near this category for freakin' "Tropic Thunder." PSH is in for "Doubt" easily I think.

I'm rooting for Debra Winger so much this year. Just for the nomination, even if the win's a no-go. Penelope Cruz, awesome. If this is Kate's year somewhere, so be it, I adore her and want to see her win, but this category can be a smoker with Winger, Cruz, Davis, Winslet, and DeWitt/Henson/Adams.



ANONs if more of you don't start throwing up a "name" that we can respond to i'll have to get rid of the anonymous posting option.

it's just too confusing, conversation wise.


anon i get that i'm harsh with biopics and that people find that condescending so as an olive branch: i've removed the "OMG! ___ IS ___ " quip

...not that i don't think it applies. I would give it up if critics and audiences stopped reviewing performances & praising performances in exactly that way. But they still do.

I enjoy good biopics, too. You'll see Milk in my top ten list this year. I enjoyed The Aviator in its year, etcetera...

I just think there isn't one genre that's as oversaturated, except maybe the superhero film.

m. said...

i agree that blanchett is not a lock, yes recently she's been nominated for everything, but remember betwwen elizabeth and aviator there were 6 yrs of nothings despite lots of movies

but if ben button is the big oscar movie expect her to ride the wave, she can do no wrong and is always fantastic

nate get over your dislike of her and put her in as a contender

i see winslet, streep and kst as locks, hathaway, hawkins, jolie (ug awful) and cate fighting for the remaining 2 slots

E said...

It's a shame about Australia, but who knows. Also, it's unfortunate about Synecodche, a script nod is far off, but I just thought it can be looked at as brilliant or just too disjointed, but I think it's brilliant.

The Random Man said...

Yes – I too am hoping that 'The Dark Knight' gets some recognition. It was that rarest of things – a summer blockbuster that was actually a very good film (and not just a passable popcorn flick). I figure that Ledger is a lock for a supporting nom, but I am less certain that the film itself will get a nomination. there are other very good films that have opened more recently, and the academy does tend to have a short term memory. I'm hoping they remember TDK.

But then again, I haven’t yet seen all of 'the contenders' that have opened in the meantime, and so who knows - one of those films may take precedence in my preferences. Haven’t yet seen 'Rachel Getting Married' (though it’s still playing at my local art house), and I’m curious to see 'Australia' and 'Benjamin Button' – even with the mixed word of mouth those films have generated.

Sid said...

Van Sant, Boyle, Nolan, Aronofsky, Fincher seems too good to be true -- in the sense that all of them are long overdue for some Oscar recognition (although the case may be weaker for Boyle compared to the other four names).

My guess is that at least one nominee might not be new, but who could it be? My guess is Demme if the critics awards reward him in a big way (may or may not happen). Otherwise, it'll most likely be Mendes.

Yaseen Ali said...

Everyone eventually hits a dry spell with Oscar, even the perennial nominees (Meryl in the early 90s, as Nathaniel has pointed out before). Blanchett is definitely at the point of voter fatigue.

It's definitely conceivable that "Button" can get into the double digits for nominations without any for acting. See "Return of the King", "Master and Commander", "The Last Emperor", etc.

Sid said...

Correction to my previous post! I completely forgot about Van Sant's Good Will Hunting nom -- for some reason I was thinking he'd been snubbed.

Yaseen Ali said...

My bad - "The Last Emperor" had nine nods, but close enough.

Bing147 said...

I think you're underestimating Ralph Fiennes. Between Duchess/Reader/In Bruges, he's had 3 raved performances this year. He almost seems bound to win a critics award which will put him right in the thick of things in what is currently a wide open category outside of 2 or 3 people.

Best Picture:

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Reader
Revolutionary Road
Slumdog Millionaire

Alt: Australia

Best Director:

Danny Boyle-Slumdog Millionaire
Stephen Daldry-The Reader
David Fincher-The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Christopher Nolan-The Dark Knight
Gus Van Sant-Milk

Alt: Darren Aronofsky-The Wrestler

Best Actor:

Leonardo DiCaprio-Revolutionary Road
Clint Eastwood-Gran Torino
Sean Penn-Milk
Mickey Rourke-The Wrestler
Will Smith-Seven Pounds

Alt: Frank Langella-Frost/Nixon

Best Actress:

Cate Blanchett-The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Anne Hathaway-Rachel Getting Married
Kristen Scott Thomas-I've Loved You So Long
Meryl Streep-Doubt
Kate Winslet-Revolutionary Road

Alt: Nicole Kidman-Australia

Best Supporting Actor:

Josh Brolin-Milk
Ralph Fiennes-The Reader
Heath Ledger-The Dark Knight
Phillip Seymour Hoffman-Doubt
Michael Shannon-Revolutionary Road

Alt: Brandon Walters-Australia

Best Supporting Actress:

Penelope Cruz-Vicky Christina Barcelona
Viola Davis-Doubt
Vera Farmiga-Nothing But the Truth
Taraji P Henson-The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Kate Winslet-The Reader

Alt: Rosemarie DeWitt-Rachel Getting Married

Just a guess


m. i think i need to purchase one of those buttons that you press and it plays a quote... just so you don't have to repeat it constantly.

so here goes *pressing button*...

"I don't dislike Cate Blanchett". I just am very very very very very very very tired of her December/Oscar thing... she's become the icon to me of this Oscar problem.

I have Blanchett fatigue and what's more: I despise it when OSCAR gets as boring as EMMY.

If Streep & Winslet (both of whom i worship) and Blanchett (whom i respect/like but find overvalued) all make it in for example it's very... well, it's totally interchangeable with any other year --therefore just like the EMMYS ;)

m. said...


i'm with on the predictability and repeatability of some of the nominees, it does make it boring

but it's not only a cate thing, kate has been also nominated 5 times in the same timeframe

clinr eastwood gets nominated for everything and his movies are mostly subpar

i'm just so excited to see cate, kate and meryl this year

Anonymous said...

Wow, tons of comments! Okay, I've tried to get an identity--twice--but both times the thing kept telling me the password was wrong. *shrugs*

I think Australia is being underestimated -- it seems to be a real crowd pleaser (a la Titanic) and that could definitely go a long way. Plus, this is the type of movie that could receive #1 votes for those that love the old fashioned cinema. Anyway, it should definitely be a lot higher than it is, and I think many of the bloggers are underestimating it because of their feelings toward the film. I know you're upset with it--still don't know why(!!)--but it might be one of those films that just get better on repeat showings.


Anonymous said...

Nathaniel, you have to agree though, that if Meryl and the C/Kates do all hopefully get in, that's actually a good thing, as you have 3 of the best and most respected actors of today in the same catergory, a catergory which these 3 clearly optimize.
And i don't want to burst you bubble (i guess i am though) but i think Hathaway's chances of making the final hurdle are VERY slim, i do forsee the odd nomination (and perhaps win) here and there, but i don't see her making the final 5, at all, i feel she's already been forgotten.


mrripley said...

hey people nat is omly expressing his opinion and as it's his blog and he has the right,the hostility from what seems to be new posters here is a bit off putting so leave off him,and his names nathaniel not nate,i agree with the cate blanchett thing i feel it has been over kill when she did not deserve 2 of her last 3 noms anyway.

king of bloggers!!!!

rubi-kun said...

Wall-E seems to be gaining buzz as more contenders drop out. I'd probably put it above Defiance and Rachel Getting Married at least in likelihood. Apparently, it's even more favored than The Dark Knight among the Academy.

Also, Changeling seems to be popular among the Academy. Mixed reviews didn't stop Life is Beautiful from being nominated ten years ago, and Clint is today essentially what the Weinsteins were ten years ago in terms of getting movies nominated.

Anonymous said...

Oh Nathaniel! This Blanchett fatigue you wrote about is true to me. I really, really respect and like her. She is a wonderful actress.
But it slowly but surely gets boring when it every year is like "And the nominees are..." "Cate Blanchet..." and that every year with no break.

I also think you shouldn´t underestimate Australia. It is a Baz movie and when you look back in 2002 it was a big surprise with Moulin Rouge. And Baz Luhrmann movies get cult and classic movies. Also I think Nicole Kidman will be nominated (at least).

Also I don´t know why "Rachel getting married" is rated so high. Too high to me.

Australia is THE movie of the year. And from what I have heard the movie is gorgeous and sweeping and Kidmans performance is fantastic. Some say that it is one of her best performances and she even could convince a critic who normally doesn´t like her that much. So Kidman nominated for Oscar = definitely yes.

Anonymous said...

Oh Nathaniel! This Blanchett fatigue you wrote about is true to me. I really, really respect and like her. She is a wonderful actress.
But it slowly but surely gets boring when it every year is like "And the nominees are..." "Cate Blanchet..." and that every year with no break.

I also think you shouldn´t underestimate Australia. It is a Baz movie and when you look back in 2002 it was a big surprise with Moulin Rouge. And Baz Luhrmann movies get cult and classic movies. Also I think Nicole Kidman will be nominated (at least).

Also I don´t know why "Rachel getting married" is rated so high. Too high to me.

Australia is THE movie of the year. And from what I have heard the movie is gorgeous and sweeping and Kidmans performance is fantastic. Some say that it is one of her best performances and she even could convince a critic who normally doesn´t like her that much. So Kidman nominated for Oscar = definitely yes.

Sally Belle said...

I don't agree with any Blanchett fatigue...people love Cate. She's infinitely lovable.

I say Kidmans out Blanchett's in. Gonna have to change my predictions.

Also, I think Benjamin Button, Milk, Slumdog, and RR are in too.

I'd rather see The Wrestler then Slumdog, but, after two years of "feel good" Fox Searchlight movies getting in...I'm thinking Slumdog is the one this year. According to Juno and Little Miss Sunshine...those last 15 minutes make all the difference.

I've got Evan Rachel Wood on my radar, but, I don't think she can overcome Tomei...who is better known, has a bigger role and will campaign harder.

I'm hoping that Eastwood sits this one out.


tiger i hope you're right that it improves on second viewing. I liked it (always love Baz's theatricality, showmanship and style) but i just felt it had problems.

various anons Nicole is not getting in for this. You all know that I love the Kidman and would love for her to have an Oscar comeback. But I'm a believer and I thought her performance was ...odd... (at times it felt like she was doing that very high pitched Moulin Rouge! bedroom scene for entire scenes (and this isn't a farce)

rubi-kun i wish i could believe the WALL*E buzz but i don't. with the animation ghetto another Beauty & the Beast just won't happen.

john hope you're wrong about Hathaway but who knows. I just think it's clearly a superior performance to Jolie's for example. But alas... Oscar doesn't always choose wisely.

anon michael shannon became a sure thing because

a) supporting actor is weird outside of Ledger and

b) he's a major scene stealer (trust me, winslet, dicaprio and Bates all kind of just let him have his scenes) and the audience L-O-V-E-D him. you could feel the love in the screening room during his scenes.

Anonymous said...

"NATHANIEL R said...

m. i think i need to purchase one of those buttons that you press and it plays a quote... just so you don't have to repeat it constantly.

so here goes *pressing button*...

"I don't dislike Cate Blanchett". I just am very very very very very very very tired of her December/Oscar thing... she's become the icon to me of this Oscar problem."

I don't buy it, Nathaniel. You were 'tired of her' even before she got nominated for Notes on a Scandal and she had had only 2 nominations by then. (source: Oscar wrap-up 2006)

mikadzuki said...

Oh, for crying out loud, who cares if Nathaniel doesn't want to jump on the Cate Blanchett bandwagon? Why do some people want every blogger/reviewer they read to be an exact clone of themselves to echo their every opinion? Considering how predominant groupthink is in the cinephile community, why not be HAPPY that someone takes up a contrarian position for once?

Anonymous said...

You guys give Nat a break. He is the only level headed Oscar blogger out there. And he's right about Blanchett. Please we need a year off...


Michelle said...

I'd like to know how many of the Anons saying that Australia is THE movie of the year have actually seen it? It is just wishful thinking? There haven't been that many raves of this movie. Many reviewers seem to be respectful of the effort but feel it falls short. Those are not the words of THE movie of the year. And not everybody is gushing over Kidman's performance either.

Anonymous said...

I'll just wait and judge Michael Shannon for myself then, since all you're saying is "he was great, he's getting in, trust me." He was incredible in "Bug" though, so I get that he could have a nomination in him, but I haven't seen anyone champion a nomination for him except for here giving him lock status. The story's always been Kate and Leo with maybe some scraps thrown to Kathy Bates. I think we're going to see a couple of lead in supporting's clothes in this category this year -- Michael Sheen, Dev Patel, and Philip Seymour Hoffman all circling for nods. Throw in Bill Irwin or Alan Alda or Peter O'Toole in the vet slot, or maybe some love for the "Milk" guys, and all of them occupying the "thanks for being nominated" positions to an inevitable Heath Ledger victory.

I never had Nicole Kidman in my predictions. I saw the writing on the wall for her after her "Cold Mountain" snub that they were done nominating her, and that saddens me considering that I love her work and fully support her Oscar win. Nor did I have Cate Blanchett in my predictions. I'll never grow tired of her being nominated though. The Meryl-in-waiting has to get her nomination tallies to the double digits, dammit! :) But "BB" looks like it's Brad's show. 6 performances, 5 slots for lead actress like we've all called it. It'll be some combination of Meryl, Kate, Angelina, KST, Sally, and Anne.

Catherine said...

I have to say, I love all this Oscar chat but it's super frustrating living in a country where most of the stuff we're discussing won't be shown until the new year. I wish there was some kind of structured global release date for every film. Gah.

Anonymous said...

If the reviews are true, maybe Cate Blanchett will get another Oscar Nomination, even the win... If Kate and Meryl will have split votes, Cate could get that weakness and became the winner. I'm her fan, though I think she didn't get the lead Oscar Nomination last year instead Angelina Jolie, Amy Adams and Tang Wei... Even if TCCOBB has some love we same the eighth partner oscar winners in Leading Oscars: Brad Pitt (The name of the film) and Cate Blanchett (His lover). But maybe I talk too soon...

I never see Kidman nominated, even if Australia gets a Best Picture and Director nominations (A la Master and Commander/10 Nominations including Picutre and Director but without acting nominations). Maybe the next year with "the Danish Girl".

Anonymous said...

Catherine, my thoughts exactly. I want to watch them NOW!


Anonymous said...

I can't wait to read what sort of problems the movie had for you. I'm wondering if they're the same as everyone else's (disjointed scenes, cheesiness, etc). I've read very good things about Nic's performance, but it seems you don't like it at all. I know the first 20 minutes or so she is supposed to have heightened comedy, and you think that didn't work? Grr I'm etching to know! You were the one blogger I thought for sure would love it. I'm hoping on repeat viewings it will be looked at differently by critics and such.


mrripley said...

i think kidman has hit a rough patch i dunno why,she seems to be picking roles which do not suit her,i much prefer mid 90's to die for nicole or 01 moulin rouge nicole.

Andy Scott said...

Hey Nathaniel -- is Slumdog really close to a lock? I've been doubting its BP chances (I feel better predicting Boyle for the lone directing spot) but maybe I'm just being a sour puss?

m. said...

i looking forward to seeing milk this week, trailer looks fantastic and it is so topical right now

does sean penn have a chance at winning? he won just 3 yrs ago

nathaniel - sorry i called u nate earlier, apologies, big fan and i've been reading your blog for yrs

Anonymous said...

mrripley: many reviewers said Nic's performance in the first part of Australia resembles her performance in To Die For.


mrripley said...

well i am sure it will not come close to the unnominated brilliance of that performance still my fave of hers.

sussman said...

what about the wrestler. i thought that would be a lock for picture, actor,director, and screenplay. i haven't seen the movie yet but i think it looks amazing.

RC said...

it really is a tricky oscar best pic year.

i hope the precursors are diversified in their we have some mysteries on oscar nod day.

Anonymous said...

i agree with the majority of your oscar predictions. however, i would not put dustin hoffman or hugh jackman at better odds than brad pitt this year.
also, you have published your first predictions of the entire year with henson out of best supp actress! i still think shes a lock. although the competition is rounding up, no one seems as certain except cruz and davis. putting her in the blue, harsh!
also, i would ex out doubt from my best picture top five. im not saying its impossible, but im putting it in 8th-10th place


rc, i hope for that every year. Alas...

adam k. said...

I agree that there's no reason for Henson to be in blue, or even out of the top 5, really. Why the sudden loss of the faith? I think after Cruz, Davis, Winslet, she's right up there in the next tier. Whether she edges out Tomei and Dewitt will depend largely on whose movie is best received by AMPAS, and I think it's safe to say they'll be more into Button than Rachel or The Wrestler. But I'd have those 6 as the main contenders for the 5 slots.

Brad & Cate, too, should probably at least be in red. If the movie's huge, they could easily both make it. I think Cate's still 7th behind the top 6, but not a terribly distant 7th, if the buzz is to be believed. And Brad should be no lower than about 7th, as well.

Rick said...

I really like your choices... they match mine quite closely ... nothing to argue about!?!!

Anonymous said...

I think "The Reader" has a better chance than some claim... every year there is atleast one period piece for BP and with a hot director and amazing performances to boot, it might get a BP nod and a handful of other nomms.


i love that when i put taraji in the top five people complained it wasn't cate or tilda and then as soon as i take her out people complain about that too

you really can't win with oscar predictions


the truth is the buzz has been wildly up and down and I changed the page after hearing one of the downs which was immediately followed by the In contention/awards daily BUTTON loving frenzy.

this time of year. such a rollercoaster.

Clay Atlas said...

Slumdog doesn't stand a chance.

adam k. said...

It's cause you were for Taraji before you were against her.

Glenn said...

"I haven't seen Slumdog Millionaire or Milk yet"

Neither has 99.999% of the world's population, but that - for better or worse - doesn't stop them having opinions on it and what they think others' opinions will be.

gosh said...

Almost every review of TCCOBB predicts a Best Actress nod for Cate Blanchett.

Anonymous said...

It seems like pundits are devided on whether or not DiCaprio will be nominated. I find his buzz most confusing. There are some who say he is a LOCK and may very well win, and some who say he is amazing in the role, but they're not sure he will be nominated...

What will happen? :/

- MW

Anonymous said...

Hey Nat, great predictions. It just seems loke you're underestimating Cate Blanchett, who appears to be a solid bet for a Lead Actress nomination.
As for Clint Eastwood, I agree that Gran Torino doesn't look very Oscary.
By the way, I was looking for the2004 Oscar pages to read your past comments on Clint Eastwood and Million Dollar Baby, but I can't find them anywhere.