Oscars watching

Current thoughts on the 2009 Oscars race. (UPDATE)

The race for Hollywood’s most coveted prize this year is heating up for  good reason: there’s a lot of good movies in the running (most have yet to be shown here in Manila, Benjamin Button opens on Thursday, after the MMFF ban).

Today, the Producers Guild announced their nominees for Best Picture, and it came down to:

Slumdog Millionaire
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight

Kung-Fu Panda

Man on Wire
Trouble the Water
Standard Operating Procedure

Based on current winning tallies and buzz, Wall E is locked to win Animation, while Man on Wire, the electrifying story of French high-wire artist Philippe Petit’s attempt to walk between the two towers of the World Trade Center back in the ’70s, is likely to win Documentary. However, there is a curious hybrid film which has the potential of being nominated in three categories that it’s technically qualified in: Waltz with Bashir is a foreign-language (from Israel) Documentary presented in Animation. It will likely be nominated in Foreign Language, maybe even win it.

Of the potential Picture nominees, I have only seen TDK, Wall-E and last night Benjamin Button. It’s been a while since I’ve seen a movie in its pirated format even if dvds of Milk and Gran Torino are all over the Metro’s streets. I have a feeling Slumdog Millionaire is too. Next week I’m seeing The Changeling, from UIP, but it’s still up in the air if Angelina will get her acting nom, even if she deserves it at this point.

While I recognize TDK as one of 2008’s best, it is definitely not the best, and I would rather see another film included in the 5 nominees instead of TDK. It should be Wall-E but Disney seems to have quit its campaign. If it’s true that the PGA gets 4/5 against the Oscars, either Frost/Nixon or TDK is replaced by The Wrestler, Doubt or a surprise from Rachel Getting Married or Happy Go Lucky.

Three films will surely get the lion’s share of nominations. Milk, Slumdog Millionaire and Benjamin Button, with the last getting the most nominations, namely: 

Adapted Screenplay
Support Actress
Production Design/ Art Direction
Visual Effects 

Button is likely to win Makeup, and has a good chance of winning Cinematography, Costume, and Art Direction. If it wins either or both Direction and Editing apart from one more category mentioned above, it wins Picture.

Let’s see what the DGA and WGA will nominate when they make their announcements later this week. The Globes will be held on the 18th, and the Oscar noms announced on the 22nd.

UPDATE. I made the draconian mistake of forgetting to include Visual Effects as another possible category nomination for Benj Button. Today, the Academy just announced the shortlist for VFX noms:

The seven titles that will vie for one of three available nominations include year-end arrivals “Australia” and “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” as well as summer popcorn movies “Journey,” “The Dark Knight,” “Hellboy II: The Golden Army,” “Iron Man” and “The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor.”

Also, the  USC Libraries 21st Annual Scripter Award includes BB and Slumdog Millionaire among the finalists.

This brings a total of 11 possible nominations for BB, give or take 2 (Support Acting and Sound). BB is a technical marvel, even if it doesn’t win Picture, it will likely win a number of technicals.


3 thoughts on “Oscars watching

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