Oscar’s List – 2009 Academy Awards

film-oscars*Originally written as a Facebook post on the morning/night of the 2009 Academy Awards. Updated and reposted here, along with the winners, so we can all see how clever Fazil really is… 

Good morning fellow movie lovers,

So today’s the big day. As the Academy Awards is the most important event of the year for me, I have spent the whole of last week trying my best to watch every single film nominated for every category. This includes ‘Slumdog Millionaire’, ‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button’, ‘Frost/Nixon’, ‘The Reader’, ‘Milk’, ‘Doubt’, ‘The Wrestler’, ‘Rachel Getting Married’, ‘Changeling’, ‘Vicky Cristina Barcelona’, ‘The Duchess’ and ‘Revolutionary Road’.

Of course, I have previously seen ‘The Dark Knight’, ‘Australia’, ‘Iron Man’, ‘Wanted’, ‘Hellboy 2’, ‘Kung-Fu Panda’, ‘Tropic Thunder’, ‘Wall-E’, and the incredible and most underrated film of 2008, ‘In Bruges’. I was not able to catch ‘The Visitor’, ‘Frozen River’, ‘Happy-Go-Lucky’, ‘Defiance’ and ‘Bolt’. Given the time/logistical constraints, I decided not to bother with the Foreign Language, Documentaries and Shorts nominees.

So here are my personal favorites for each category, as well as my first and second choice as to who will actually walk away with the naked golden man they call Oscar…

SMILE! You're on Candid Camera!
SMILE! You're on Candid Camera!

Best Picture
Personal Favorite: ‘Slumdog Millionaire’
Who Will Win: ‘Slumdog Millionaire’
2nd Choice: ‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button’
Actual Winner: ‘Slumdog Millionaire’

Best Director
Personal Favorite: Danny Boyle for ‘Slumdog Millionaire’
Who Will Win: Danny Boyle for ‘Slumdog Millionaire’
2nd Choice: David Fincher for ‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button’
Actual Winner: ‘Danny Boyle’

Best Actor in a Leading Role
Personal Favorite: Mickey Rourke for ‘The Wrestler’
Who Will Win: Mickey Rourke for ‘The Wrestler’
2nd Choice: Sean Penn for ‘Milk’
Actual Winner: Sean Penn for ‘Milk’

With all the flash photography, Kate didn't notice the fake assasination attempt on her life...
Kate didn't notice the fake assasination attempt on her life...

Best Actress in a Leading Role
Personal Favorite: Meryl Streep or ‘Doubt’
Who Will Win: Kate Winslet for ‘The Reader’
2nd Choice: Anne Hathaway for ‘Rachel Getting Married’ / Meryl Streep for ‘Doubt’
Actual Winner: Kate Winslet for ‘The Reader’

Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Personal Favorite: Heath Ledger for ‘The Dark Knight’
Who Will Win: Heath Ledger for ‘The Dark Knight’
2nd Choice: None
Actual Winner: Heath Ledger for ‘The Dark Knight’

Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Personal Favorite: Amy Adams in ‘Doubt’
Who Will Win: Penelope Cruz for ‘Vicky Cristina Barcelona’
2nd Choice: Marisa Tomei for ‘The Wrestler’
Actual Winner: Penelope Cruz for ‘Vicky Cristina Barcelona’

Best Original Screenplay
Personal Favorite: Martin McDonagh for ‘In Bruges’
Who Will Win: Martin McDonagh for ‘In Bruges’
2nd Choice: Dustin Lance Black for ‘Milk’
Actual Winner: Dustin Lance Black for ‘Milk’

Best Adapted Screenplay
Personal Favorite: Peter Morgan for ‘Frost/Nixon’
Who Will Win: Simon Beaufoy for ‘Slumdog Millionaire’
2nd Choice: Eric Roth for ‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button’
Actual Winner: Simon Beaufoy for ‘Slumdog Millionaire’

Best Animated Feature
Personal Favorite: ‘Wall-E’
Who Will Win: ‘Wall-E’
2nd Choice: None
Actual Winner: ‘Wall-E’

Best Film Editing
Personal Favorite: Chris Dickens for ‘Slumdog Millionaire’
Who Will Win: Chris Dickens for ‘Slumdog Millionaire’
2nd Choice: Lee Smith for ‘The Dark Knight’
Actual Winner: Chris Dickens for ‘Slumdog Millionaire’

Best Cinematography
Personal Favorite: Anthony Dod Mantle for ‘Slumdog Millionaire’
Who Will Win: Anthony Dod Mandle for ‘Slumdog Millionaire’
2nd Choice: Wally Pfister for ‘The Dark Knight’
Actual Winner: Anthony Dod Mantle for ‘Slumdog Millionaire’

Suited, booted,
Suited, booted...Buttoned.

Best Art Direction
Personal Favorite: Michael Carlin and Rebecca Alleway for ‘The Duchess’
Who Will Win: Donald Graham Burt and Victor J. Zolfo for ‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button’
2nd Choice: Nathan Crowley and Peter Lando for ‘The Dark Knight’
Actual Winner: Donald Graham Burt and Victor J. Zolfo for ‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button’

Best Score
Personal Favorite: A.R. Rahman for ‘Slumdog Millionaire’
Who Will Win: A.R. Rahman for ‘Slumdog Millionaire’
2nd Choice: Alexander Desplat for ‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button’
Actual Winner: A.R. Rahman for ‘Slumdog Millionaire’

Best Song
Personal Favorite: A.R. Rahman and Sampooran Singh Gulzar for ‘Jai Ho’ from ‘Slumdog Millionaire’
Who Will Win: A.R. Rahman and Sampooran Singh Gulzar for ‘Jai Ho’ from ‘Slumdog Millionaire’
2nd Choice: Peter Gabriel and Thomas Newman for ‘Down to Earth’ from ‘Wall-E’
Actual Winner: A.R. Rahman and Sampooran Singh Gulzar for ‘Jai Ho’ from ‘Slumdog Millionaire’

Best Make-Up
Personal Favorite: Greg Cannom for ‘The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button’
Who Will Win: Greg Cannom for ‘The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button’
2nd Choice: John Caglione Jr. and Conor O’Sullivan for ‘Hellboy 2: The Golden Army’
Actual Winner: Greg Cannom for ‘The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button’

the_duchess_movie_image_keira_knightley
Best Costume Oscar: Proportional to size of lead actress's hair.

Best Costume Design
Personal Favorite: Michael O’ Connor for ‘The Duchess’
Who Will Win: Michael O’ Connor for ‘The Duchess’
2nd Choice: None
Actual Winner: Michael O’ Connor for ‘The Duchess’

Best Visual Effects
Personal Favorite: John Nelson, Ben Snow, Daniel Sudick and Shane Mahan for ‘Iron Man’
Who Will Win: Eric Barba, Steve Preeg, Burt Dalton and Craig Barron for ‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button’
2nd Choice: Nick Davis, Chris Corbould, Timothy Webber and Paul J. Franklin for ‘The Dark Knight’
Actual Winner: Eric Barba, Steve Preeg, Burt Dalton and Craig Barron for ‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button’

Best Sound Mixing
Personal Favorite: Chris Jenkins, Frank A. Montano, and Petr Forejt for ‘Wanted’
Who Will Win: Ed Novick, Lora Hirschberg and Gary Rizzo for ‘The Dark Knight’
2nd Choice: Tom Myers, Michael Semanick and Ben Burtt for ‘Wall-E’
Actual Winner: Ian Tapp, Richard Pryke and Resul Pookutty for ‘Slumdog Millionaire’

Best Sound Editing
Personal Favorite: Richard King for ‘The Dark Knight’
Who Will Win: Richard King for ‘The Dark Knight’
2nd Choice: Ben Burtt and Matthew Wood for ‘Wall-E’
Actual Winner: Richard King for ‘The Dark Knight’ 

At this point, just for a second, all the sound is drained, maximising the impact for the trucks eventual crash. Beautiful.
At this point, just for a second, all the sound is drained, maximising the impact for the truck's eventual descent. Beautiful.

Essentially, if we’re to use Fazil’s prediction of who will actually win, rather than his own personal favourites, he managed to get a lot of them right. To be fair, a lot of them were no-brainers, and could have been seen coming from a mile away.  

Sean Penn’s win upset the cart for him. However, as Fazil himself explained to Fikri on the phone before they got cut off as the LRT went underground at Ampang Park, he saw ‘Milk’ before he  saw ‘The Wrestler’, and by the movie’s end, he thought that Sean Penn would have deserved something. He was, however, metaphorically seething with rage at ‘In Bruges’ loss to ‘Milk’. Though Fikri himself haven’t seen ‘Milk’, he did manage to catch ‘In Bruges’, and had to admit that the screenplay was incredibly strong.

He managed to stay on course even with the technicals, missing out only on the sound mixing category (which he managed to miss completely; none of his choices won). Fikri was especially happy with the victory for ‘The Dark Knight’ for sound; he thinks that the film itself would have made for an interesting study almost exclusively from the sound angle alone. The only thing he was still unhappy about was the exclusion of the film’s score from the nominations; it still stands as one of the most epic he has heard since…well, since ‘Transformers’, really.  

Good night all and Jai Ho!

According to Fazil, Anne Hathaway is still appealing even if she’s a goth junkie with very short hair. Or maybe because it was the witching hour and he wasn’t really thinking straight…

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5 thoughts on “Oscar’s List – 2009 Academy Awards

  1. I liked the Oscars, not necessarily for the awards, but for 3 things.

    1. The Hugh Jackman opening musical, which I think was good.

    2. The Ben Stiller Joaquin-Phoenix-inspired-overgrown-beard-awkwardness was really funny.

    3. And James Franco and Seth Rogen’s skit as their characters from Pineapple Express was downright hilarious!

    As for the awards, even though I think Sean Penn deserved the best actor for Milk, I think the Academy gave Dustin Lance Black the screenplay solely for political reasons.

    I mean we get it, “vote no for prop-8”, you don’t have to give Milk the Oscar for us to know that. Martin McDonagh’s In Bruges was a far more superior script than anything at the Oscars this year. And that’s a fact!

    And Slumdog, come on. 8? Seriously? I mean I always knew the Academy liked looking cool, but 8 is going overboard! I mean they were throwing so many awards at Slumdog, that for a moment, I thought they were going to give it the Best Foreign, Best Live-Action Short and maybe even Best Animated Film. Haha.

    Personally I think Slumdog deserved 3, at most 4 awards that night. But nothing more.

    The only award I was happy with that night was “Man On Wire”, which was such an amazing documentary. It totally blew me away.

    And I share your sorrow for the Dark Knight’s score Fikri, but the Academy, like life, operates in mysterious ways 🙂

  2. I didn’t mind Slumdog Winning, actually. I personally felt that it was a close call with some of the other films in Cinematography, Editing, and Sound categories; I don’t think The Dark Knight was far behind in the running.

    I haven’t seen Man on Wire, yet. From where I stand (or sit), the shorts and docs are not always as accessible here in Asia, unfortunately.

    Fikri

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