Oscar Predictions: The Winners

Here are my projected winners, not necessarily who I think deserves to win! If it were up to Match Cuts, I’d go with Milk for Best Picture, Mickey Rourke for Best Actor, Kate Winslet for Best Actress, Penelope Cruz for Best Supporting Actress, Heath Ledger for Best Supporting Actor, and Gus Van Sant for Best Director. Anyways, on to the projected results.

* – indicates actual winner

Best Picture
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Reader
Frost/Nixon
Milk
Slumdog Millionaire *

Best Director
Stephen Daldry, The Reader
Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire *
David Fincher, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Ron Howard, Frost/Nixon
Gus Van Sant, Milk

Best Actor
Brad Pitt, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Richard Jenkins, The Visitor
Frank Langella, Frost/Nixon
Sean Penn, Milk *
Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler

Best Actress
Melissa Leo, Frozen River
Anne Hathaway, Rachel Getting Married
Angelina Jolie, The Changeling
Meryl Streep, Doubt
Kate Winslet,  The Reader *

Best Supporting Actor
Josh Brolin, Milk
Robert Downey, Jr, Tropic Thunder
Michael Shannon, Revolutionary Road
Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight *
Philip Seymour Hoffman, Doubt

Best Supporting Actress
Amy Adams, Doubt
Penelope Cruz, Vicky Cristina Barcelona *
Viola Davis, Doubt
Marisa Tomei, The Wrestler
Taraji P. Henson, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Best Original Screenplay: Dustin Lance Black, Milk *
Best Adapted Screenplay: Simon Beaufoy, Slumdog Millionaire *
Best Art Direction: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button *
Best Cinematography: Claudio Miranda, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button Anthony Dod Mantle, Slumdog Millionaire
Best Foreign Film: Waltz With Bashir, dir. Ari Folman, Departures
Best Original Score: WALL-E, Slumdog Millionaire
Best Animated Film: WALL-E, Dir. Andrew Stanton*
Best Costume Design: Michael O’Connor, The Duchess*
Best Visual Effects: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button*
Best Original Song: “O’Saya”, Slumdog Millionaire, “Jai Ho”, Slumdog Millionaire
Best Film Editing: Chris Dickens, Slumdog Millionaire*
Best Make-Up: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button*
Best Sound Editing: The Dark Knight*
Best Sound Mixing: The Dark Knight, Slumdog Millionaire
Best Documentary Feature: Man on Wire, dir. James Marsh*

16/21 correct, not counting those pesky Short Subject Categories.


Best Documentary Short Subject: The Witness – From the Balcony of Room 306, Smile Pinki
Best Animated Short: “Presto”, PIXAR, La Maison en Petits Cubes
Best Live Action Short: Manon on the Asphalt Toyland

2009 Oscar Predictions and Personal Notables

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The Academy Award Nominations will be announced on Thursday morning. This has been a down year for Hollywood after the great output from 2007, but there’s still plenty of good films to chose from. I’m attempting to catch up with some of the contenders but here’s a purely tertiary list of films I think will get nominated for the top six categories. Also, for fun, I’ve added my own choices for the award.

Best Picture

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight The Reader
Frost/Nixon
Milk
Slumdog Millionaire

Correct – 4/5

Match Cuts Best Picture: WALL•E

Best Director

Darren Aronofsky, The Wrestler Stephen Daldry, The Reader
Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire
David Fincher, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Sam Mendes, Revolutionary Road Ron Howard, Frost/Nixon
Gus Van Sant, Milk

Correct: 3/5

Match Cuts Best Director: Jeff Nichols, Shotgun Stories

Best Actor

Leonardo DiCaprio, Revolutionary Road Brad Pitt, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Richard Jenkins, The Visitor
Frank Langella, Frost/Nixon
Sean Penn, Milk
Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler

Correct: 4/5

Match Cuts Best Actor: Guillame Depardieu, The Duchess of Langeais – the other great tragedy of 2008 besides Ledger.

Best Actress

Cate Blanchett, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button Melissa Leo, Frozen River
Anne Hathaway, Rachel Getting Married
Angelina Jolie, The Changeling
Meryl Streep, Doubt
Kate Winslet, Revolutionary Road The Reader

Correct: 3/5

Match Cuts Best Actress: Sally Hawkins, Happy-Go Lucky

Best Supporting Actor

Josh Brolin, Milk
Robert Downey, Jr, Tropic Thunder
James Franco, Milk Michael Shannon, Revolutionary Road
Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight
Philip Seymour Hoffman, Doubt

Correct: 4/5

Match Cuts Best Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight

Best Supporting Actress

Amy Adams, Doubt
Penelope Cruz, Vicky Christina Barcelona
Viola Davis, Doubt
Marisa Tomei, The Wrestler
Kate Winslet, The Reader Taraji P. Henson, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Correct: 4/5

Match Cuts Best Supporting Actress: Marisa Tomei, The Wrestler

New Feature! ->

I’m constantly trying to make this site easier to access and maneuver. I saw a feature on another website (Long Pauses to be exact) that I really liked, so I’ve emulated it with my own work. To your right, under the PAGES tab, you’ll see a DIRECTORS section. I’ve listed all the major directors covered on Match Cuts since its inception two years ago and categorized/linked their respective films reviewed in that time frame.  I hope this makes traversing this site more transparent and brings in new perspectives and readers. Check it out!

Paul Newman (1925-2008)

Incredibly sad news this weekend with the passing of Paul Newman. While he wasn’t a personal favorite of mine, one can’t deny the importance and range of Newman’s career (especially his iconic turns in Cool Hand Luke, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and Nobody’s Fool). Pictured above in what for my money is his greatest performance as pool shark “Fast” Eddie Felson in Robert Rossen’s masterpiece The Hustler.

On (Not) Grading

Just in case you’re wondering, I’ve given up assigning grades to the films I write about. During the 18 months Match Cuts has been online, I’ve taken great pride in giving these grades (maybe too much so). But little by little, I believe this element has eaten away at my entire purpose for writing about film in the first place. I found myself thinking about the grade/rating more so than the actual film itself, and that’s never good. After discussing this problem with a few online colleagues, my decision became easier to swallow, and I resonated most with one quote in particular; “Who cares if I like a film or not, I just want to explore what I found interesting.” Amen to that. So, please forgive my lack of qualifier’s (if you’re into that sort of thing) and hopefully words will better display my interest/or lack thereof in a film more so than any grade, or star, or thumbs up, ever could. 

– GHJ

Note: Maybe the quote I used above, taken out of context, doesn’t do the dialogue I’ve had with others about grading any justice. My point with this post is to illustrate why it shouldn’t matter what grade you give a film. Grades represent a knee jerk reaction that could change over the course of time. I want to move away from such reactions. Really, it’s the commentary, discussion, and reasoning within the content that resonates most.

Future Prospects: Mann and Eastwood

Two of my favorite American filmmakers, Michael Mann and Clint Eastwood, are currently undertaking films of great potential (not surprisingly these are my number one most anticipated movies of 2008 and 2009). Both directors are working in the crime/mystery genre and in period piece settings, rare for Mann, not so much for Eastwood.  Clint’s film Changeling stars Angelina Jolie as a mother who suspects her recently returned son (he was kidnapped) is indeed an impostor, an enticing enough premise under the guidance of such a master. Mann’s gangster saga Public Enemies stars Johnny Depp as John Dillinger and Christian Bale as Melvin Purvis, the FED chasing him, and might be the best fit between material and artist in a long while. Pictures of Eastwood’s film can be found all over the Web and aren’t very indicative of the master’s grace and style, but just yesterday the first images of Public Enemies emerged and it’s astonishing how the mere composition of the amateurish photos capture Mann’s signature professionalism. Using the recently released pictures of a supposed Dillinger bank robbery under way, here’s a few notes to peak your interest.    

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One of Depp’s thugs moves his Tommy Gun methodically across the screen.

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Depp’s Dillinger is eerily reminiscent of Neil McCauley (Robert DeNiro) in Heat

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Mann’s group aesthetics executing beautifully.

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A pitch perfect shot of Depp in the Mann universe.