Academy delivers accolades to its brightest

The award season comes to an end on Sunday night when the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences present the 81st Academy Awards. The famous faces of the film industry will come to find out who will become the new recipients of the little golden man known as Oscar.
While I still feel that the Academy is out of touch since the best film of the year, The Dark Knight, was not nominated for most of the major awards, here are my predictions on who will go on to win the Academy Award on Sunday night.
2008 became the year of the movie Slumdog Millionaire.
The first major award that the movie will receive on Sunday will be for achievement in directing. Danny Boyle has been receiving endless awards for directing Slumdog Millionaire, including the Director’s Guild of America award. I believe there is no chance that any of the other nominees will receive the Oscar here.
Slumdog Millionaire is about a young man named Jamal Malik (Dev Patel) from the slums of Mumbai who is on the verge of winning 20 million rupees on India’s “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?”
When he is suspected of cheating, he is taken to a police station and interrogated by a police inspector. Jamal reveals how he got the answers as he tells the inspector that each question he answered on the show was a key element to his life story.
Slumdog Millionaire has managed to win every major award for best film from the Golden Globe, Critics Choice Award and the National Board of Review. There is no doubt that this movie will receive the Academy Award for Best Motion Picture of 2008.
Moving on from Slumdog, we have the Best Supporting Actress category, which is definitely a toss-up between all five nominees.
In the first place, all of the candidates are worthy of the honor of being nominated. While Amy Adams and Viola Davis were truly amazing in the film Doubt, their nominations will all but cancel each other out.
This will make it a three-way race to the Oscars. Oscar-winner Marisa Tomei turns in an amazing performance in The Wrestler as a stripper who falls for a broken-down professional wrestler.
Taraji P. Henson has an amazing turn in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button as Benjamin’s (Brad Pitt) adopted mother and manages to keep her performance top notch when she ages from 18 to 80.
I believe, however, the Oscar will go to Penelope Cruz as the suicidal and hot-headed wife of a Spanish painter in Woody Allen’s latest film, Vicky Cristina Barcelona. Her performance is truly outstanding and she manages to steal every scene from her co-stars.
No disrespect to any of the other nominees for Best Actor in a Supporting Role, but Heath Ledger absolutely deserves and will get the Oscar. Some say that Ledger will get the award out of pure sympathy because this was his last completed film role and the Academy wants to give it to him posthumously.
However, Ledger still would have deserved the Oscar because he managed to become the best part in the biggest movie of the year. He was dark and unpredictable with a wicked sense of humor. Oscar night will be the night that Ledger will rightfully earn his first Oscar.
In the Best Actress category there is a battle of the old school vs. new school. You have an established Oscar-winning Meryl Streep facing multiple time nominee but never winner Kate Winslet.
Streep is a veteran who has been honored with Oscars wins for both Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress, as well as being nominated for several other roles. She manages to command the screen with her performance in Doubt as a strict nun at a Catholic school who accuses a priest of molesting a young boy.
Despite her great performance in that film, I believe the Oscar will finally go to Kate Winslet.
Since being nominated for the first time in 1995 for her role in Sense & Sensibility, Winslet has gone on to receive six nominations, but has yet to win.
I thought she would have been nominated for her role in Revolutionary Road, but instead she was nominated for her role in The Reader, where she plays a woman who has a relationship with a man half her age and is put on trial for committing war crimes as a Nazi.
Two men who started their careers in the 1980s face off in the Best Actor category, historically the main event of the Oscar ceremony.
In 2003, Sean Penn finally got his first Oscar as a grieving father looking for justice in Clint Eastwood’s film, Mystic River.
This year, Penn is nominated again as Harvey Milk in Milk, the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in the United States, who was tragically gunned down by a disgruntled supervisor after a falling out occurred between the two men.
His main competition is Mickey Rourke, whose career had gone off the tracks along with his personal life in recent years.
However, he has made an amazing comeback with his role as a retired professional wrestler looking for redemption in The Wrestler.
With this showdown on the horizon, I think Rourke will come out on top as the Best Actor.
The Cinematic is a weekly column about all things movies. Look for it every Friday.


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