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Oscar Millionaire: The 2009 Academy Awards

Every year we try to predict the Oscars — weeks ahead of when everybody else chimes in on the matter. Rarely do we do very well. But it’s fun to keep score and, hey, if we do get it right this time, you better believe we’re gonna crow about it.

We’ll be updating the winners LIVE on Oscar night, February 21! Reload this page for live results (winners are indicated in BOLD) throughout Oscar night!

The score:
Null: 12/24
O’Connell: 14/24

As usual, we’ve done poorly… but hey, remember we did these picks almost a month ago! Congrats to all the winners!

Best Animated Film
Kung Fu Panda

SO: I don’t care what happened at the Annie Awards. WALL*E wins.
CN: Yeah, how weird was that? Someone at Pixer must’ve really pissed someone off in that organization. WALL*E, easy.

Best Foreign Language Film
The Baader Meinhof Complex
The Class
Waltz With Bashir

SO: Move to the head of The Class.
CN: I find it impossible to pick correctly in this category, but The Baader Meinhof Complex looks kind of great. Looking forward to it, maybe it’ll win.

Best Art Direction
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
The Duchess
Revolutionary Road

SO: In the shock of all shocks, The Duchess wins a well-deserved Oscar.
CN: Yeah, I think you talked me into it. Pass The Duchess.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
The Reader
Slumdog Millionaire

SO: The Dark Knight kind of deserves this one, but Slumdog will grab it.
CN: Always a really strange, dark horse kind of category. I’m picking Benjamin Button.

Sound Mixing
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
Slumdog Millionaire

CN: The Dark Knight. Deal with it.
SO: Wanted. Deal with it.

Sound Editing
The Dark Knight
Iron Man
Slumdog Millionaire

CN: The Dark Knight. Again. FTW.
SO: Wanted. Again. FTW.

Original Score
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Slumdog Millionaire

SO: More Slumdog love.
CN: Another oddball category that I can rarely pick right. Thinking WALL*Ethat’s all you had to listen to for the first 45 minutes.

Original Song
‘Down to Earth’ from Wall*E
‘Jai Ho’ from Slumdog Millionaire
‘O Saya’ from Slumdog Millionaire

SO: The Slumdog songs split the vote, and Peter Gabriel’s WALL*E tune wins the prize.
CN: Yep, WALL*E should win without much fuss.

Costume Design
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Duchess
Revolutionary Road

SO: Another win for The Duchess.
CN: Agreed. Duchess.

Documentary Feature
The Betrayal
Encounters at the End of the World
The Garden
Man on Wire
Trouble the Water

SO: If Man on Wire loses, I’m putting my foot through the television screen.
CN: This is a lot tighter race than Sean lets on — both Trouble the Water and Encounters have lots of buzz. But in the end I gotta root for Philippe Petit and Man on Wire.
Sean’s TV is saved!

Documentary (short subject)
The Conscience of Nhem En
The Final Inch
Smile Pinki
The Witness – From the Balcony of Room 306

SO: Have to go with The Final Inch. Yeah, I know. That’s what she said.
CN: Picking The Witness – From the Balcony of Room 306.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
Hellboy II: The Golden Army

SO: Perhaps Button‘s second-best shot at an Oscar.
CN: Was that makeup or digital effects? What about Ledger’s Joker? Talk about memorable makeup… I’m going for a Dark Knight upset.

Animated Short Film
La Maison en Petits Cubes
Lavatory – Lovestory
This Way Up

SO: Pixar magic carries Presto to a win.
CN: You know what, Oktapodi is better. (This Way Up is also impressive.)

Live Action Short Film
Auf der Strecke (On the Line)
Manon on the Asphalt
New Boy
The Pig
Spielzeugland (Toyland)

SO: Show me Spielzeugland! No, for real. Show it to me. I didn’t see it. But I love the title. Winner!
CN: Yeah, it’s about the Holocaust, too. Spielzeugland.

Visual Effects
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
Iron Man

SO: Perhaps Button‘s best shot at an Oscar.
CN: Going with Iron Man.

Best Film Editing
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
Slumdog Millionaire

CN: Slumdog. The editing was actually pretty good.
SO: Let’s see. The Dark Knight needed an editor, and Button‘s cuts didn’t stand out. I believe Danny Boyle makes his best decisions in the editing bay, so give me Slumdog.

Best Supporting Actor
Josh Brolin, Milk
Robert Downey Jr., Tropic Thunder
Philip Seymour Hoffman, Doubt
Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight
Michael Shannon, Revolutionary Road

SO: Not a good year to be going up against Heath Ledger.
CN: It’s kind of sad because all five of these are outstanding performances, but Ledger will get his due here.

Best Supporting Actress
Amy Adams, Doubt
Penelope Cruz, Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Viola Davis, Doubt
Taraji Henson, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Marisa Tomei, The Wrestler

CN: Penelope Cruz didn’t do much for me in Barcelona except scream really loudly, and Tomei is the one on this list that really deserves the win. I’m still rooting for her, but I figure Cruz will win in the end.
SO: I still think Penelope Cruz walks away with this one, much the same way she walked away with Vicky.

Best Actor
Richard Jenkins, The Visitor
Frank Langella, Frost/Nixon
Sean Penn, Milk
Brad Pitt, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler

SO: Perhaps the toughest category, as all seem worthy. But I’m betting on Mickey Rourke for The Wrestler, because Hollywood adores the comeback (and kind of hates Sean Penn).
CN: Hollywood may hate Sean Penn, but Rourke’s burned so many bridges it makes Penn look like a saint. I think Rourke had the more impressive performance and deserves the Oscar more, but my hunch is it will fall in the lap of Sean Penn in the end.
Hey… at least I got one ‘upset’ right!

Best Actress
Anne Hathaway, Rachel Getting Married
Angelina Jolie, Changeling
Melissa Leo, Frozen River
Meryl Streep, Doubt
Kate Winslet, The Reader

SO: You had me at Holocaust, Ms. Winslet.
CN: A lot of surprisingly blah roles here. Something’s pulling me though toward a Marisa Tomei-style upset in favor of Anne Hathaway.

Best Original Screenplay
Frozen River
In Bruges

SO: WALL*E. Call it the, ‘We Don’t Have Enough Balls to Put You In The Best Picture Race Where You Belong’ Oscar.
CN: I’m also picking WALL*E, but only because the actual writing of some of the other picks (Milk‘s script is crummy) are so lackluster.

Best Adapted Screenplay
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Reader
Slumdog Millionaire

SO: Script might be Slumdog‘s weakest element, so this one could go to Frost/Nixon or Doubt. I’ll lean to Peter Morgan and Frost/Nixon.
CN: Slumdog Millionaire.

Best Director
Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire
David Fincher, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Ron Howard, Frost/Nixon
Stephen Daldry, The Reader
Gus Van Sant, Milk

SO: Danny Boyle, whose fingerprints are all over Slumdog.
CN: I doubt we’ll see a director/picture split this year, so Slumdog it is.

Best Picture
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Reader
Slumdog Millionaire

CN: I’m still not clear why, but Slumdog Millionaire has momentum galore and I don’t think it’ll be stoppable on Oscar night. I think people see it as a metaphor for hope and a message about how we can pull ourselves out of this economic mess we’re in. Too bad we can’t set the country up on a TV game show. Slumdog ends up making me depressed, not hopeful (Indians are right to be insulted by its brochure-like treatment of poverty in their country), but that’s Hollywood for you.
SO: It should be Button, but it’s going to be Slumdog.

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