Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

THE ENVELOPE

The Oscar Ballot

February 18, 2009|Tom O'Neil

BEST PICTURE

* "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"

* "Frost/Nixon"

* "Milk"

* "The Reader"

* "Slumdog Millionaire"

SPOTLIGHT: The movie with the most nominations has won 15 times in 20 years, so that means "Curious Case," with its 13 bids, should have this all buttoned up, right? Nope. "Slumdog" is going into the Oscars with all of the buzz and momentum.

--

DIRECTOR

* Danny Boyle, "Slumdog Millionaire"

* Stephen Daldry, "The Reader"

* David Fincher, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"

* Ron Howard, "Frost/Nixon"

* Gus Van Sant, "Milk"

SPOTLIGHT: After winning the Directors Guild of America Award, Boyle is the odds-on favorite. It helps that "Slumdog" seems to be top dog in the best picture race. Those two categories agree 75% of the time.

--

ACTOR

* Richard Jenkins, "The Visitor"

* Frank Langella, "Frost/Nixon"

* Sean Penn, "Milk"

* Brad Pitt, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"

* Mickey Rourke, "The Wrestler"

SPOTLIGHT: Most see this as a smackdown between Mickey Rourke and Sean Penn. Rourke is a compelling choice because his movie mirrors his personal struggle to come back swinging from dark times. But the academy tends toward inspiring roles like Penn's based on real people.

--

ACTRESS

* Anne Hathaway, "Rachel Getting Married"

* Angelina Jolie, "Changeling"

* Melissa Leo, "Frozen River"

* Meryl Streep, "Doubt"

* Kate Winslet, "The Reader"

SPOTLIGHT: Winslet claimed the Golden Globe for "The Reader," in which she has a foreign accent in a Holocaust film in which she ages drastically. Automatic Oscar win?! But Meryl Streep won SAG, which has a higher overlap rate with Oscar. So she could win.

--

SUPPORTING ACTOR

* Josh Brolin, "Milk"

* Robert Downey Jr., "Tropic Thunder"

* Philip Seymour Hoffman, "Doubt"

* Heath Ledger, "The Dark Knight"

* Michael Shannon, "Revolutionary Road"

SPOTLIGHT: Most bets are on Ledger, but beware: Voters rarely award posthumously. Alternatives? Brolin stars in the only best picture nominee in this category, and he's red hot right now.

--

SUPPORTING ACTRESS

* Amy Adams, "Doubt"

* Penelope Cruz, "Vicky Cristina Barcelona"

* Viola Davis, "Doubt"

* Taraji P. Henson, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"

* Marisa Tomei, "The Wrestler"

SPOTLIGHT: Actresses in flamboyant, quirky roles often win here, so that bodes well for Penelope Cruz. But this category is infamous for upsets, so Viola Davis could step up for her knockout scene in "Doubt."

--

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

* Dustin Lance Black, "Milk"

* Courtney Hunt, "Frozen River"

* Mike Leigh, "Happy-Go-Lucky"

* Martin McDonagh, "In Bruges"

* Andrew Stanton and Jim Reardon; original story by Stanton and Pete Docter, "Wall-E"

SPOTLIGHT: "Milk" leads because it's the only best picture nominee but watch out for the love-struck robot. Hollywood is so smitten with "Wall-E" that it could become the first animated film to win for screenplay.

--

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

* Simon Beaufoy, "Slumdog Millionaire"

* David Hare, "The Reader"

* Peter Morgan, "Frost/Nixon"

* John Patrick Shanley, "Doubt"

* Eric Roth, Robin Swicord, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"

SPOTLIGHT: If "Slumdog" gets best picture, it will likely clean up here too. "Benjamin Button" could benefit from its lofty literary heritage, as it's based on an F. Scott Fitzgerald short story.

--

ANIMATED FILM

* "Bolt"

* "Kung Fu Panda"

* "Wall-E"

SPOTLIGHT: Up until recently, "Wall-E" seemed invincible in this category -- until it lost every category to "Kung Fu Panda" at the Annie Awards for animation. Since the Oscars introduced a separate category for animation in 2001, the two awards have agreed on best animated feature six times.

--

ART DIRECTION

* "Changeling," James J. Murakami, Gary Fettis

* "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," Donald Graham Burt, Victor J. Zolfo

* "The Dark Knight," Nathan Crowley, Peter Lando

* "The Duchess," Michael Carlin, Rebecca Alleway

* "Revolutionary Road," Kristi Zea, Debra Schutt

--

CINEMATOGRAPHY

* "Changeling," Tom Stern

* "Slumdog Millionaire," Anthony Dod Mantle

* "The Reader," Chris Menges, Roger Deakins

* "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," Claudio Miranda

* "The Dark Knight," Wally Pfister

--

COSTUME DESIGN

* "Australia," Catherine Martin

* "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," Jacqueline West

* "The Duchess," Michael O'Connor

* "Milk," Danny Glicker

* "Revolutionary Road," Albert Wolsky

--

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

* "The Betrayal" (Nerakhoon)

* "Encounters at the End of the World"

* "The Garden"

* "Man on Wire"

* "Trouble the Water"

--

DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT

* "The Conscience of Nhem En"

* "The Final Inch"

* "Smile Pinki"

* "The Witness: From the Balcony of Room 306"

--

FILM EDITING

* "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," Kirk Baxter, Angus Wall

* "The Dark Knight," Lee Smith

* "Frost/Nixon," Daniel P. Hanley, Mike Hill

* "Milk," Elliot Graham

* "Slumdog Millionaire," Chris Dickens

--

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

* "The Baader-Meinhof Complex" (Germany)

* "The Class" (France)

* "Departures" (Japan)

* "Revanche" (Austria)

* "Waltz With Bashir" (Israel)

--

MAKEUP

* "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," Greg Cannom

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|