Okay, I admit it – I’m an Oscar geek.
I have long given up on the Grammys, where the same music can be nominated as “Song of the Year” one year and “Record of the Year” the next. Hello, people…calendar?
And the Golden Globes are basically a hundred or so fawning writers eager to schmooze with celebrities, 98% of which will never set foot in their respective countries. Don’t blame them for taking advantage of their opportunistic position, but really…does that opinion extrapolate?
And the city critic groups – New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston and a handful of others vying for supremacy – well, that’s just a local segment of the National Critics…right?
Boy Oscar, my Oscar…right or wrong you are the pinnacle of self-congratulation, the don’t-we-love-each-other hugfest that separates the elite from the great unwashed. It’s where speeches launch (or save) careers, where catch-phrases tag an actor forever (“you like me…you really like me!”), and where for some reason who you wear is important.
But seriously, it’s where movie legacies are finalized. And frankly, where Las Vegas really ramps up the odds. So here are my “should win” and “will win” for some of the major categories, and if you followed my Golden Globes predictions, you’ll keep your wallet in your pants.
Best Film: What, no Dark Knight? Fanboys, rage…rage against the light!
Should Win: Milk, which blended flashbacks, voice overs, stock footage into the film seasmlessly.
Will Win: Slumdog Millionaire, whose train is running too fast to stop.
Best Actor: Tough category with five solid candidates
Should Win: Mickey Rourke, for a galvanizing physical and emotional performance
Will Win: I wouldn’t have believed this before the Globes, but Mickey Rourke…Hollywoodland loves a comeback.
Best Actress: One actress always gets nominated, another never wins. Hmmm…
Should Win: Melissa Leofor an unmannered three dimensional performance.
Will Win: Meryl Streep. Winslet blew it with the second Globes speech.
Best Supporting Actor: You picked the wrong year to excel, everyone else…
Should Win: Heath Ledger, for a transcendental performance that dominated the year, let alone the movie.
Will Win: Heath Ledger, for the same reason.
Best Supporting Actress: Wondering of one scene can win it for Viola Davis…it worked for Beatrice Straight.
Should Win: Marisa Tomei, a fearless performance and another reason to stop punishing her for My Cousin Vinny
Will Win: Penelope Cruz. Not enough people saw The Wrestler; Doubt split votes. Plus…she rocked the part.
Best Director: I would not want to be sitting near Clint Eastwood when this category comes up…
Should Win: Danny Boylein a nip over Gus van Sant, if only because of the scope of the production.
Will Win: Danny Boyle, because game shows are more popular than gay activists.
Best Original Screenplay: If Clint and the Batman crowd are miffed…how about Seth Rogen?
Should Win: Milk – even though based upon actual events, it simultaneously told the story of a man and a movement
Will Win: Happy Go Lucky; Mike Leigh’s (and the film’s) consolation prize.
Best Adapted Screenplay: Genuinely tough category here, as all are first-rate.
Should Win: Benjamin Button, which mined all that from a short story. Remember Shawshank Redemption?
Will Win: Benjamin Button, their main consolation prize after all those nominations.
And yes, I am genuinely excited to see Jerry Lewis receive the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award.
And yes, I will cry when I see Paul Newman’s picture during the montage of those who left us last year.