My crystal ball says…
Best Picture Nominees: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Frost/Nixon, Milk, The Reader and Slumdog Millionaire.
My pick would be Slumdog, which combines drama, comedy and romance all in one. The script was believable and all the actors, especially the young ones were amazing. The Bollywood dance at the end of the movie was a nice nice touch. People who have grown up watching Bollywood movies will remember this scene fondly.
I have not watched Frost/Nixon. I would say Benjamin Button and The Reader are tied for second place. Both are haunting and surreal, from the storyline. Milk was actually disappointing – it’s more like a documentary instead of a feature film.
The directors of the same movies above are nominated for best directors. I am divided between Slumdog and The Reader.
As for Best Actress, Anne Hathaway (Rachel Getting Married) gave a really strong and different performance but perhaps a little bit well-controlled when I had expected her to go wilder. I haven’t watched Angelina Jolie in Changeling nor Melissa Leo in Frozen River. Meryl Streep gave quite a standard performance in Doubt but the layers peeled too late in the movie whilst I had expected the drama to unfold earlier. Kate Winslet is whom I would put my money on for her role in The Reader – she portrayed a lady who was willing to die for being shameful of just being illiterate. And it’s about time that Kate won one after being nominated 6 times.
I felt that Penelope Cruz was really different and she gave a break-through performance in Vicky Cristina Barcelona (though I thought the story sucked). I wanted to watch her performance in Volver, for which she was also nominated, but the version I downloaded was without subtitles. Amy Adams portrayed a young naive nun very very nicely in Doubt; whilst Viola Davis had a short air-time for being the mom of a gay (black) boy she managed to get the point across for being scared of her homophobic husband and wanting for the son to just survive. I was surprised to see Taraji P Henson play Benjamin’s mother and it was a pleasant surprise. So of all these four fabulous supporting actresses, my pick would be Amy Adams, for being young, inexperienced, scared but still trying to stand up for what she believed in.
Other Oscar nominations: here.