I can't resist.
And its not a total crap shoot idea either. Last year, I ended up doing pretty well (save for all that Miracle at St. Anna stuff). I actually got 3 of 5 best actor nominees predicted, and rightfully predicted best actress (though my best supporting actor prediction - John Malkovich for Changeling - makes me ill).
2009's crop offers a whole parade of Oscary possibilities - such as your likely biopics (Clint Eastwood's Mandela project, which I'm just gonna call Mandela; Mira Nair's Amelia, Ang Lee's Taking Woodstock, perhaps Spielberg's Lincoln); literary adaptations (Martin Scorcese's Shutter Island, Peter Jackson's The Lovely Bones, Stephen Frears' Cheri, Julie Taymor's The Tempest); huge budget musicals starring everyone you can think of (Rob Marshall's Nine), interesting latest projects from innovative directors (The Coens' A Serious Man, Terrence Malick' The Tree of Life, Paul Greengrass' Green Zone, Steven Soderbergh's The Informant); and lighter, potentially crowdpleasing fare (Sam Mendes' Away We Go, Jason Reitman's Up In The Air, Nancy Meyers's untitled Meryl Streep comedy, Judd Apatow's Funny People). Add that to some huge(r) question marks (James Cameron's Avatar, Jane Campion's Bright Star, John Hillcoat's The Road), and the dozens of films I failed to mention, and this could be a really, really interesting year.
Some things to potentially note:
- It could actually, well, look just like 2007, if the cards fall a very specific (and unlikely way). Imagine this scenario: A Coen brothers film (A Serious Man), a Jason Reitman film (Up In The Air) and a Joe Wright film (The Soloist) nominated for best picture; Daniel Day-Lewis (Nine), Johnny Depp (Public Enemies), and George Clooney (Up In The Air), and Viggo Mortensen (The Road) battle it out for best actor; Marion Cotillard (Nine or Public Enemies), Javier Bardem (Biutiful), Phillip Seymour Hoffman (The Boat That Rocked) all among the other acting nominees...
-This could be a very good year for female directors: Kathryn Bigelow, Lone Scherfig, Mira Nair, Nancy Meyers, Jane Campion, Julie Taymor and Nora Ephron all have promising works out there. I'll wager this now: one of them will be a best director nominee. Which one, I really don't know.
-Matt Damon has THREE big performances (Green Zone, The Informant, Mandela), and is extremely overdue for a second acting nomination. I'd say the surest possible thing to say is that he will be nominated in some capacity.
-For the past six years, at least one acting nominee has come out of Sundance. This year Mo'Nique and Carey Mulligan seem like the odds on favourites to fulfill that history.
Anyway, here's my suggested five, winners in bold (all of which I'm sure will be wrong):
Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker
Clint Eastwood, Mandela
Ang Lee, Taking Woodstock
Steven Soderbergh, The Informant
Martin Scorcese, Shutter Island
Matt Damon, The Informant
Daniel Day-Lewis, Nine
Leonardo diCaprio, Shutter Island
Morgan Freeman, Mandela
Demetri Martin, Taking Woodstock
Carey Mulligan, An Education
Michelle Pfeiffer, Cheri
Maya Rudolph, Away We Go
Hilary Swank, Ameila
Audrey Tatou, Coco avant Chanel
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Matt Damon, Mandela
Jonathan Groff, Taking Woodstock
Richard Kind, A Serious Man
Alfred Molina, An Education
Mark Ruffalo, Shutter Island
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Kathy Bates, Cheri
Penelope Cruz, Nine
Mo'Nique, Precious: Based on the novel by Sapphire
Imelda Staunton, Taking Woodstock
Michelle Williams, Shutter Island
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Away We Go
A Serious Man
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
BEST ANIMATED FILM
The Fantastic Mr. Fox