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October 10, 2008

Oscar and the prognosticators

Heath_ledger2

There's safety in numbers when it comes to Oscar prognosticating. So why, then, are we hanging out with only one other movie lover/awards handicapper in saying that "The Dark Knight" will be nominated for best picture?

Oh well, not like we haven't been wrong before.

We consider ourselves in good company, though, because it's Peter Travers from Rolling Stone who picked the Batman flick as one of the five films from '08 that will be a trophy contender come February. We couldn't agree more, as we say in Gold Derby's just-posted early (way, way early) Oscar predictions from People Who Should Know.

We don't really, but just go with it, OK?

It's an august group -- how'd we get in there? -- that independently came up with picks for best film, best actor and best actress. There's a decent amount of consensus -- we all think Frank Langella ("Frost/Nixon") and Mickey Rourke ("The Wrestler") will get nods -- and the majority of us say "Milk" will be one of the top films and Anne Hathaway will be in the running for her "Rachel Getting Married" performance.

Only one awards watcher thinks that Clint Eastwood's latest, "Changeling," will get a best pic nod. After screening it this week, we're convinced of our decision to leave it off the list. Incredible auspices, strong talent, no doubt about it. But it never connected with us, leaving our hearts cold and our butts numb (140 minutes, and felt every bit of it).

Go check out the chart, lovingly prepared by Tom O'Neil, and feel free to keep watch over how many times we vacillate, see-saw, back-track and back-peddle in the next few months. We sense a drinking game on the horizon. Cheers!

 

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Oscar Contenders

  • So "The Dark Knight" didn't make it into the final five after all, never mind that critical and popular support. Let's just call the comic-inspired mega-hit "The Biggest Snubee."

    Here are the best picture contenders in a race that, two weeks away from the Oscars, seems to be a foregone conclusion ("Slumdog") unless there's a come-from-behind possibility ("The Reader" anyone?)

    "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," with Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett; the politically timely "Milk;" rags-to-riches fairy tale, "Slumdog Millionaire," Holocaust best-seller-based drama "The Reader," and Watergate-era biopic "Frost/Nixon."

    Could "Button" and "Slumdog" split the vote, allowing another film to take the prize? Doesn't seem likely. After having clung to "Button" for months as what we thought would be the Academy voters' top vhoice, our money's now on "Slumdog." Momentum can't be ignored.

    Watch this blog for updates, ephemera and all manner of postulating.

Picture this

  • Mmmmm, chocolate Oscar. Not every star will walk away from the 81st annual Academy Awards with a trophy, but if they hit the high-profile Governor's Ball they can have pastry chef Sherry Yard's gold-dusted candy version. Also on the menu from celeb chef Wolfgang Puck is tuna tartare in sesame miso cones, chopped Chino Farms vegetable salad with ginger soy vinaigrette, Maine lobster and caviar. Serve it up! (Getty Images)

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