Saturday, February 21, 2009

Oscar Prediction: Slumdog Millionaire

Why should anyone listen to my Oscar Prediction when it appears that everyone else is also predicting that Slumdog Millionaire will win the Oscar for Best Picture?

The first reason is because since 1997, I have seen all five films that were up for Best Picture before the Oscars occurred. In eleven Oscar shows, I have predicted the Best Picture Winner nine out of eleven times. In 1998, I predicted that Saving Private Ryan would win Best Picture. Shakespeare In Love won, and from that day, that was considered one of the biggest upsets in Oscar history. In 2005, I predicted that Brokeback Mountain would win Best Picture. The film Crash won. While Crash winning was a big surprise, many people believe that it was a better film. I think that Brokeback Mountain had the Best Picture film, but Crash was probably a more powerful film. I cannot complain about Crash winning.

The second reason why I think you should listen to me is because I can describe what works and doesn’t work about each of the nominees for Best Picture without ruining the film for you.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button was a good movie, but not a great movie. The film is about a man who lives his life going from the body of an old man and grows younger throughout his life. The problem is that his story is not really that compelling. Compare the film to Forrest Gump, by the same screenwriter. Forrest Gump lived an amazing life. I don’t think that Benjamin Button’s life was that amazing. The fact that this film has 13 Oscar nominations is really surprising. If it wins anything, I would guess it would win some technical awards. I still say that you should see the movie, on DVD.

The Reader is probably the least likely film to have been nominated for Best Picture. Kate Winslet had two films out at the same time. Her other film, Revolutionary Road, got more attention than the Reader prior to the Oscar nominations. This film is the least likely to win Best Picture. The problem with the film is that the story of a Nazi with a hidden past is less compelling than the other films that I have seen dealing with the Holocaust. There is a strong chance that Kate Winslet will win Best Actress. She was great in the movie, but she is also getting more attention than the film itself. While I wasn’t one of the people who was shocked and upset that The Dark Knight wasn’t nominated for Best Picture, I think it would have made more sense for The Dark Knight to receive a Best Picture nomination than The Reader.

Frost/Nixon is a great movie. I think that it is a solid film with an amazing performance by Frank Langella as Richard Nixon. The film showed that Nixon was wrong for what he did, but the film also gave him a human side. I think that Republicans and people who see the good in Richard Nixon could also enjoy the film. In a way, the film made me feel kind of sorry for Richard Nixon. While this is a solid film, it also doesn’t have that Best Picture feeling. It amused my intellect a lot more than my heart.

Every year, there are a few films that are actually competing for Best Picture, and the rest of the films are just nominees. This year, the only film that I feel is seriously in competition with Slumdog Millionaire is the film Milk. I have to say that Milk has that Best Picture feeling. To learn about a man, who decided not to just be a regular man, but to fight for what he believes in, is reminiscent of at least two other Best Picture winners that I can name, Gandhi and Braveheart. Sean Penn gives an amazing performance as Harvey Milk. I think that he is better in this film than he was in Mystic River. He is also the only person truly competing with Mickey Rourke for Best Actor. I highly recommend seeing Milk. In another year, this film could easily win Best Picture.

I predict that Slumdog Millionaire will win Best Picture. It is a very powerful film that shows the difficult life of the poor in India. The compelling story of what Jamal went through during his life is what makes this movie great. I don’t want to go deep into detail, but I think that just like Milk, the film has that powerful Oscar feel. I think that this film will be more popular with audiences. I felt great after watching the movie. It is very powerful. I will be very surprised of Slumdog Millionaire does not win Best Picture. I think that the attention that it is getting is truly overpowering the attention to the film Milk.

There is still a chance that Slumdog Millionaire could lose. It has been reported that some of the children who play leads in the early part of the film are still living in horrible poverty in India. People don’t like the thought of the stars of a film that they love actually living in poverty after making the film, especially if those stars are children.

If Slumdog Millionaire makes millions of dollars, the stars should not be stuck in poverty while the producers enjoy the feast of the film’s success. I have read that the filmmakers are trying to provide for the young stars. I do not know enough about this situation to render my own verdict. I would say that I don’t think that this controversy will be enough to alter the outcome of the Oscars.

Best Picture: Slumdog Millionaire.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Kate Winslet: Her Own Worst Enemy

It is not often that an actor or actress can hurt their chances of winning an award by having two great films in the theaters at once. This has happened in the past and it is most likely to happen again. This year it is happening to Kate Winslet.

Last month, Kate Winslet won two Golden Globes. She won Best Supporting Actress for The Reader and she won Best Actress in a Drama for Revolutionary Road. Now she is nominated for Best Actress for The Reader for an Oscar. She wanted to be nominated for Revolutionary Road instead. Now Revolutionary Road does not have the same hype as it did before the Oscar nominations came out. Of the two films, I have only seen The Reader. I saw it because it is nominated for Best Picture.

Kate Winslet is a very talented actress. She may finally win an Oscar this year. She was great in The Reader. But had one of her two films come out next winter, she probably would have been nominated for both of them. I think that she would admit this too.
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