Official 2009 Oscar Predictions: 81st Annual Academy Awards

Jan 22nd, 2009

We published an article a few days ago predicting 2009’s Oscar winners, but in light of the Academy releasing their official nominees today, we’re taking the liberty of revising our picks.  You can read our picks pre-nomination here, and compare them to our now official 2009 Oscar predictions below:

Best Actor

Sean Penn – “Milk”
The Academy loves biopics, particularly when the subject is a downtrodden, persecuted, polarizing figure. They also love Sean Penn. I don’t see them passing on Penn for this one, even for Clint Eastwood’s rumored last performance in “Grand Torino,” or for Mickey Rourke’s acclaimed turn as “The Wrestler.”

Best Actress

Kate Winslet – “The Reader”
Nominated for five Academy Awards but still without a win, Kate Winselt’s performance as Hanna Schmitz in Stephen Daldry’s adaptation of Bernhard Schlink’s novel about post WWII Germany is good enough to finally nab the statuette.

Best Supporting Actor

Heath Ledger – “The Dark Knight”
Heath Ledger’s performance as The Joker in the “The Dark Knight” is magnificent. Not only will Ledger join Peter Finch, the only posthumous Oscar winner, with the win, but this, the final and greatest performance of his life will undoubtedly go down as one of the best in cinema history. The other contenders aren’t even worth mentioning.

Best Supporting Actress

Amy Adams – “Doubt”
Though “Doubt” surely won’t win any awards for best make-up, Amy Adams’ performance is sophisticated and gritty enough to win over the Academy voters. She’ll narrowly edge out Penelope Cruz in “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” and Taraji P. Henson in “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.”

Best Director

Danny Boyle – “Slumdog Millionaire”
Danny Boyle skillfully illustrates this gripping and moving tale of an impoverished Indian teen who makes it onto the the Hindi version of “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” The film has pleased critics and crowds alike, and has already won big at the Golden Globes.

Best Original Screenplay

It’s a great story in its own right, but the Academy will feel guilty leaving it out of the running for Best Picture and so will throw Andrew Stanton and Jim Reardon a bone in the form of the Best Original Screenplay Oscar.

Best Adapted Screenplay

Though this Peter Morgan adaptation of the seminal interview has a few gaping flaws and actually alters some of the real dialogue to no real favorable effect, it still packs a powerful punch sure to impact voters.

Best Animated Feature

The easiest choice of year. No other animated feature has come close to Wall-E’s commercial and critical success, with good reason. This post-apocalyptic, automaton fairy tale would be in the running for Best Picture if this category hadn’t been created.

Best Picture

“Slumdog Millionaire”
Of course the Academy snubs “The Dark Knight”, “Doubt,” “The Wrestler”, and “The Visitor”, among others, for its top prize leaving “Slumdog Millionaire” virtually without competition.

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