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Academy Awards from the 2008-2009 season



The 81st Academy Awards will air live Sunday, February 22, 2009 on ABC hosted by Hugh Jackman

The Dark Knight was arguably THE movie of 2008. Although it was awarded with 8 Oscar nominations, it now might be the biggest nomination snub ever for best picture. After months of buzz that it would be the fifth film to get in the five, The Reader, with three fewer total Oscar nominations than The Dark Knight, was the one that snuck in. What a tragedy. It's embarrassing. There was no Christopher Nolan for directing either and usually best picture and best director don’t match up 5 for 5 evenly. Such a shame. Not even screenplay. Just think of how many great quotes came from that script alone. “I'm only burning my half. All you care about is money. This town deserves a better class of criminal, and I'm gonna give it to them. Tell your men they work for me now. This is my city.”

For some reason, the Academy thought The Reader deserved the attention over Kate Winslet’s other movie Revolutionary Road. To a more disappointment, Leonardo DiCaprio wasn’t nominated and neither was Winslet from Revolutionary Road. Thomas Newman's original score for the film was inaptly omitted too. The Reader makes Penelope Cruz the frontrunner for supporting actress after Winslet in The Reader jumped up to leading, as opposed to the Globes having her win both categories.

Besides the above, here are some other clueless nominations:
• I still don’t know how Robert Downey Jr. got in for Tropic Thunder and James Franco wasn't for Milk.
• In Bruges somehow got a nomination and it was for original screenplay.
• The Wrestler only got two nominations and no Bruce Springsteen.
• No one acting from Slumdog Millionaire got in and it won the Golden Globe’s top drama picture and the best ensemble from the SAG.
• No Clint Eastwood for anything and Gran Torino was shut out.
• Wanted and Iron Man each got two nominations while Indiana Jones didn't get any.
• At least The Curious Case of Benjamin Button had the highest nominations at 13 which were tied with the most in six years. 5 of the 8 films that got 13 nominations before went on to win Best Picture.

There were additional bright sides of the main nominations. Marisa Tomei earned a nomination for supporting actress and that category looks the sharpest from top to bottom. Doubt’s main four performers all got in and Michael Shannon did as well for Revolutionary Road.

Fifth Annual Coverage!
(Film Prophet's Frontrunners are in order from top to bottom in each column)

 

Slumdog Millionaire

Danny Boyle

Mickey Rourke

Kate Winslet

And the Oscar goes to...
Slumdog Millionaire
And the Oscar goes to...
 Danny Boyle
And the Oscar goes to...
Sean Penn
And the Oscar goes to...
Kate Winslet
Will Win:
Slumdog Millionaire
Will Win:
Danny Boyle
Will Win:
Sean Penn or Mickey Rourke
Will Win:
Kate Winslet
Should Win:
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Should Win:
David Fincher
Should Win:
Sean Penn or Mickey Rourke
Should Win:
Meryl Streep
Final Prediction:
Slumdog Millionaire
Final Prediction:
Danny Boyle
Final Prediction:
Mickey Rourke
Final Prediction:
Kate Winslet
BEST PICTURE
Slumdog Millionaire
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Milk
Frost/Nixon
The Reader
BEST DIRECTOR
Danny Boyle
(Slumdog Millionaire)
David Fincher
(The Curious Case of Benjamin Button)
Gus Van Sant
(Milk)
Ron Howard
(Frost/Nixon)
Stephen Daldry
(The Reader)
BEST ACTOR
Mickey Rourke
(The Wrestler)

Sean Penn
(Milk)
Frank Langella
(Frost/Nixon)
Brad Pitt
(The Curious Case of Benjamin Button)
Richard Jenkins
(The Visitor)
BEST ACTRESS
Kate Winslet
(The Reader)
Anne Hathaway
(Rachel Getting Married)

Meryl Streep
(Doubt)
Melissa Leo
(Frozen River)
Angelina Jolie
(Changeling)

Heath Ledger as The Joker

Penelope Cruz

Slumdog Millionaire Milk
And the Oscar goes to...
 Heath Ledger
And the Oscar goes to...
 Penelope Cruz
And the Oscar goes to...
 Slumdog Millionaire
And the Oscar goes to...
 Milk
Will Win:
Heath Ledger
Will Win:
Penelope Cruz
Will Win:
Slumdog Millionaire
Will Win:
Milk or WALL·E
Should Win:
Heath Ledger
Should Win:
Any of the 5
Should Win:
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Should Win:
Milk
Final Prediction:
Heath Ledger
Final Prediction:
Penelope Cruz
Final Prediction:
Slumdog Millionaire
Final Prediction:
Milk
SUPPORTING ACTOR
Heath Ledger
(The Dark Knight)
Phillip Seymour Hoffman
(Doubt)
Michael Shannon
(Revolutionary Road)
Josh Brolin
(Milk)
Robert Downey Jr.
(Tropic Thunder)
SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Penelope Cruz
(Vicky Cristina Barcelona)
Viola Davis
(Doubt)
Marisa Tomei
(The Wrestler)

Taraji P. Henson
(The Curious Case of Benjamin Button)
Amy Adams
(Doubt)
ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Slumdog Millionaire
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Frost/Nixon
Doubt
The Reader
ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Milk
WALL·E
In Bruges
Happy-Go-Lucky
Frozen River

Oscar night notes:

Film Prophet's highlights of the show:

~ Slumdog Millionaire won a total of 8 Oscars, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button had the second most with 3, while The Dark Knight and Milk scored two a piece. In a nutshell, it was a complete landslide and it was unsatisfying. Slumdog Millionaire was also rated R and I just found out for the past 4 years, 4 of the Best Picture nominees were rated R each year and the last 4 winners now were also rated R.
~ Host Hugh Jackson brought his showmanship on stage like his character in The Prestige did, but was underused in the second half and didn’t have the verbal joking moments or segments to introduce guests like past hosts did. His 'I didn't see The Reader' musical opening number had it right for everyone.
~ Kate Winslet's front row seat was like a foot away from the center stage steps which propelled her win for the night.
~ The first win was to Cruz in supporting actress that was expected but that's where most of the energy was into because it was the most open category of the year.
~ I had a feeling that after a 5 minute elaboration skit with Tina Fey and Steve Martin that WALL•E would probably win screenplay, but Milk did as predicted.
~ Time Warner cable blacked out several times during the broadcast, especially early on during the show.
~ Jack Black's Dreamworks' money betting on Pixar joke was the first laugh of the show for me.
~ The Jackson-Beyonce-Zac Efron-Vanessa Hudgens-Mamma Mia! musical number was odd to watch. Did Beyonce even sing live?
~ The tech presentations were rushed as they had the same presenters in a sequence just standing there announcing the category’s nominees and winners, while the Oscars gave each acting category about ten minutes a piece. They had five other actresses or actors that were past winners in the categories on stage talking about the nominees’ performances. I did miss the acting clips though.
~ I enjoyed the year's romance montage; it was the best one of the show actually.
~ It took me a few moments that Ben Stiller dressed up like the new Joaquin Phoenix look and attitude.
~ James Franco and Seth Rogen reprised their Pineapple Express roles on a taped skit laughing to serious movies and thinking about the ones not nominated for Oscars.
~ The best win of the night was Heath Ledger's when his family gave his speech.
~ The last hour was getting out of hand with all the Slumdog appreciation to music score, songs, and performances on stage. EVEN THE WORST PART OF SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE - THE ENDING CREDITS MUSIC VIDEO SONG – WON AN OSCAR. It was probably only made for the movie to win an Oscar. Memo to Bruce Springsteen next time to have a music video during the ending credits.
~ I was actually very happy than former Mr. Madonna, Sean Penn, won, even though I predicted Mickey Rourke on this page.  The night before the Oscars ceremony Mickey beat Sean for the Independent Spirit Award. It was the only category of the eight I got wrong. It was also one of the most predictable Oscars ever. Penn’s win and Oscar speech made up for a somewhat lackluster night of wins... it was a surprise when he wasn't a surprise before the surprise contender became a solid lock to win a few weeks ago, if that makes sense.