Reel Society

Reviews for the latest movies in theaters and on DVD.

Early Oscar Predictions For 2009

Oscar StatueAbout a week ago, I updated my (early) Oscar Predictions on my blog, and it just goes to show you how easily the Awards can change from week to week. It is pretty safe to say that Amelia, the critically panned biopic that failed at the box office, is out of the Academy Awards race. Which is too bad, as I was looking forward to Hilary Swank receiving her third Oscar win. And here we go.

Best Picture - Nine

The Academy loves these artsy, eye-pleasing extravaganzas. Plus, it is a musical. History has shown that the Academy likes the genre, as Chicago won back in 2002, and Moulin Rouge was nominated for the award around that time as well. Nine is based off of what some consider to be the greatest film of all time, 8 1/2. This gives Nine an advantage come awards time, as film makers already love the story the film is based off of. But this movie is far from a lock to win Best Picture. In close competition is Up in the Air, the topical picture from director Jason Reitman (Juno; Thank You For Smoking) about a man who fires  people for a living. Also in the race is Clint Easwood's Invictus, which is a biopic on Nelson Mandela, as well as the underdog Precious, which is quietly becoming Oscar's dark horse.

Best Director -  Rob Marshall - Nine

If the movie deserves to win Best Picture, then it goes without saying that the director did an outstanding achievement in the field of film making. So whoever wins the Best Picture award, look for the director of the film to take home the Oscar in this category.

Best Actor - Morgan Freeman - Invictus

At this point, I consider Freeman to be a lock to win Best Actor. He is likable, talented, and possibly the perfect actor to portray Nelson Mandela. Also worth noting is the fact that his role in the film is based on a real life character, and the Academy loves that. Depending on Up in the Air's reviews, George Clooney could sneak up behind Freeman to take the statue. Colin Firth of A Single Man is also getting rave reviews this year.

Best Actress - Carey Mulligan - An Education

Now that Hilary Swank is virtually out of the Oscar race, the young Carey Mulligan seems to be the new front-runner. Her film is getting great reviews, many of the writing highlighting her performance. I will make a bold prediction here by saying that I believe Meryl Streep will not receive a nomination for Lead Actress in Julie & Julia. And if she does, it will be Supporting.

Best Supporting Actor - Matt Damon - Invictus

The Academy likes to award an actor who has had a good year in film making. This is why Josh Brolin was nominated for his small role in last year's Milk. Damon could be nominated for his strong performance in The Informant, but it is easy to say that he will not win the award. Instead the Academy should reward the actor for his supporting role in the Best Picture hopeful, Invictus. All of this depends on the reviews, though. Another strong actor for this award is Inglourious Basterds' Cristoph Waltz, who gave the menacing performance as the film's antagonist.

Best Supporting Actress - Mo'nique - Precious

Mo'nique, the singer turned actress, is getting rave reviews from the film festivals in a role similar to Halle Berry's Oscar winning one in Monster's Ball. Penelope Cruz is supposedly scene-stealing in Nine, though the Academy will likely not give the actress the Supporting award two years in a row.

Best Original Screenplay - Up

Wall-E was surprisingly very close to winning the writing award last year, and the Academy just may give the award to Pixar's latest for one of the greatest animated films of all time. In close competition is A Serious Man, as well as The Hurt Locker. Don't be surprised if the crowd pleasing (500) Days of Summer makes a come from behind win in this category.

Best Adapted Screenplay - Up in the Air

I am predicting only one win for Up in the Air, and it comes in this category. The film is supposedly phenomenal, and you cannot make a good film without a good script. The film Precious may also provide a race for this award.

Art Direction - Nine

Cinematography - Nine

Costume Design - Bright Star

Film Editing - Nine

Makeup - The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus

Original Score - Nine

Original Song - Nine

Sound Editing - Avatar

Sound Mixing - Nine

Visual Effects - Avatar

Animated Feature - Up

Foreign Feature - A Prophet

Documentary Feature - The Cove

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