The journal of a Kentucky culture vulture
Feb20Filed under: Central Kentucky Arts News, Film, Oscars; Tagged as: Anil Kapoor, Danny Boyle, David Fincher, Dev Patel, Doubt, Frank Langella, Frost/Nixon, Heath Ledger, Kate Winslet, Marisa Tomei, Meryl Streep, Michael Shannon, Mickey Rourke, Milk, Penélope Cruz, Revolutionary Road, Sean Penn, Slumdog Millionaire, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Dark Knight, The Reader, The Wrestler, Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Who wouldn’t like a feel-good story right about now: a tale of redemption, an artist getting her due, last respects for a fallen star. Oscar might give us those warm fuzzies Sunday night when the envelopes start opening. Here are my predictions:
Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler
His Golden Globe win was a sign that people really liked this fearless performance and liked Rourke. Sean Penn’s Harvey Milk in Milk and Frank Langella’s President Richard Nixon in Frost/Nixon have their adherents. But Mick has been the comeback story of the year in film, and isn’t it about time for a good comeback story?
Kate Winslet, The Reader
Who’s more due: Winslet, nominated five times with no win, or Meryl Streep, nominated 10 times without a win since 1983 (for Sophie’s Choice)? Bet on Winslet, who could have been nominated for The Reader or Revolutionary Road. She’s truly the best actress of 2008.
Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight
We would love to tell you that Lexington native Michael Shannon will win Sunday night, but would you even want to beat the late Ledger, with all the emotion behind this nomination? Ledger will win a well-earned posthumous award for a film that should get more recognition. Shannon will be back.
Penélope Cruz, Vicky Cristina Barcelona
This is the biggest coin toss of the major categories, and there is some fun in the idea of “two-time Oscar winner Marisa Tomei.” But immensely talented and drop-dead gorgeous have always worked in this category, and it should work for Cruz, who also is due for her brilliant career.
David Fincher, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Slumdog Millionaire‘s Danny Boyle might very well saw off the limb I’m out on here, but 13 nominations connotes some respect for Ben Button, and a lot of that achievement is in the cat-herding task of directing this thing. It’s also hard to imagine a flick going 0-13, which some bet Ben will do.
Right after the nominations came out, there was some drama: Would accusations that Slumdog exploits Indians derail it? Would Harvey Weinstein bully The Reader to a win? But Slumdog has continued to roll – nearing $100 million at the box office – and Weinstein has lost his ability to surprise people.
~ Watch Sunday here and in the Herald-Leader for our profile of Michael Shannon.
About Rich Copley & Copious Notes
Raised by opera-loving parents in a rock ’n’ roll world, Rich Copley has parlayed his broad interests into his career writing about arts and entertainment. Since 1998, he has covered performing arts, film and faith-based popular culture for the Lexington Herald-Leader, the daily newspaper in Lexington, Ky. MORE | E-mail Rich