MAGNET’s Oscar Predictions

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Slumdog Millionaire and Heath Ledger are locks. But what about Sean Penn vs. Mickey Rourke? Kate Winslet vs. Meryl Streep? Peter Gabriel vs. A. R. Rahman? MAGNET editor (and longtime amateur Oscar predictor) Eric T. Miller tells you who will win in each category tonight.

While I liked all the movies nominated for Best Picture, I don’t think any of them are even among the 10 or 15 best films of last year. Milk is the strongest of the lot, but I’m not even sure that was director Gus Van Sant’s best movie of 2008. (See Paranoid Park and decide for yourself.) As for Best Director, each of the nominees (with the possible exception of Danny Boyle) has made better movies, and I’m sure each of these guys will be nominated again. I’m fine with anyone but Brad Pitt winning for Best Actor, but I’m rooting for Sean Penn (realistically) and Richard Jenkins (unrealistically). Kate Winslet is as good as any actress working, and she is long overdue for an Oscar, but I think Anne Hathaway and Melissa Leo are just as worthy this year. Heath Ledger was as deserving for Brokeback Mountain as winner Philip Seymour Hoffman was for Capote a few years ago, so now it’s Ledger’s turn to win one that I think Hoffman could also claim ownership of. I’m fine with any of the ladies up for Supporting Actress, which I think is the closest race of all the big categories.

But who cares what I think? Here’s what I know:

Best Picture: Slumdog Millionaire
Best Director: Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire
Best Actor: Sean Penn, Milk
Best Actress: Kate Winslet, The Reader
Best Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight
Best Supporting Actress: Penelope Cruz, Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Best Original Screenplay: Dustin Lance Black, Milk
Best Adapted Screenplay: Simon Beaufoy, Slumdog Millionaire
Best Cinematography: Anthony Dod Mantle, Slumdog Millionaire
Best Animated Feature: WALL•E
Best Foreign-Language Film: The Class
Best Art Direction: James J. Murakami, Gary Fettis, The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button
Best Documentary: Man On Wire
Best Sound Mixing: Lora Hirschberg, Gary Rizzo, Ed Novick, The Dark Knight
Best Sound Editing: Richard King, The Dark Knight
Best Film Editing: Chris Dickens, Slumdog Millionaire
Best Score: A. R. Rahman, Slumdog Millionaire
Best Song: Peter Gabriel, “Down To Earth,” WALL•E
Best Makeup: Greg Cannom, The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button
Best Animated Short: Presto
Best Documentary Short: Smile Pinki
Best Live Action Short: Toyland

Two Tunes That Should Have Been Nominated For Best Song:
Robyn Hitchcock’s “Up To Our Nex” from Rachel Getting Married

Bruce Springsteen’s “The Wrestler” from The Wrestler:

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