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February 22, 2009

Oscar picks, the final version


Oscar nominees are supposed to be gracious and self-deprecating, never letting on even if they think they have the win all sewn up. At least, that's what their publicists tell them to do.

Now here we have the flip side, with Melissa Leo at yesterday's Spirit Awards saying, "I have no chance," because she thinks it'll be either Meryl Streep or Kate Winslet taking home the best actress honor. Leo did win the Spirit Award for her riveting single-mom-on-the-skids role in "Frozen River."

84968897 Anne Hathaway at the same event: "I'm not winning."

And if we had a nickel for every time we'd heard the veteran actor Richard Jenkins assess his odds at slim to none in the best actor race, we could buy a venti latte by now.

We loved all those performances but, alas, it's true. They probably can't win, and modesty becomes them. So what will take home The Little Gold Man at the "81st Annual Academy Awards" in a few hours?

Here are our picks:

Best picture: "Slumdog Millionaire"

Best actor: Sean Penn, "Milk"

Best actress: Kate Winslet, "The Reader"

Best director: Danny Boyle, "Slumdog Millionaire"

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 foreign language picture: "Waltz with Bashir"

Animated picture: "WALL-E"

Original song: "Jai Ho"

Musical score: A. R. Rahman, "Slumdog Millionaire"

Documentary feature: "Man on Wire"

Documentary short subject: "The Witness"

Animated short film: "Presto"

Live action short: "The Pig"

Art direction: Donald Graham Burt, Victor J. Zolfo, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"

Cinematography: Anthony Dod Mantle, "Slumdog Millionaire"

Costume design: Michael O'Connor, "The Duchess"

Film editing: "Slumdog Millionaire"

Makeup: Greg Cannom, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"

Sound mixing: "The Dark Knight"

Sound editing: "The Dark Knight"

Visual effects: "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"

We have a good feeling about this -- really, much better than our hit-and-miss-but-mostly-miss Emmy choices!


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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.

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  • 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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