It’s that time of the year again. The time when Hollywood gets to pat itself on the back for another year of successfully entertaining the masses.
That’s right, award season is upon us once again.
With the opening acts, namely the Emmys and the S.A.G. Awards, in our collective rear view mirrors, there is only one left, the biggest award show of them all: The Oscars.
Each year Hollywood’s biggest and brightest stars gather to celebrate the previous year in film.
This year the event will take place on Sunday, Feb. 22 at 8 p.m. It will be hosted by Wolverine himself: Hugh Jackman.
As always the show promises to be lavish, shocking, a little bit self-serving and at least an hour too long.
This year’s show has already kicked up its fair share of controversy by snubbing “The Dark Knight” for Best Picture and Bruce Springsteen’s song “The Wrestler” in the Best Original Song category.
Academy snobbery aside there are still many great races and compelling storylines worth following this year.
Will Mickey Rourke complete one of the most amazing comebacks in Hollywood history by winning the Best Actor Award?
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Who will be the big winner? “The Curious Case on Benjamin Button” with 13 nominations or “Slumdog Millionaire” with ten (or perhaps a different film will steal the spotlight)?
How will Hugh Jackman fare as master of ceremonies?
And most importantly of all: Will the show crack four hours this year?
All of these questions and more will be answered soon enough, but until then here are one humble moviegoer’s opinions on how the night will go.
Should Win: “The Dark Knight”
Will Win: “Slumdog Millionaire”
Analysis: “The Dark Knight” deserves this award more then any of the nominated films, though “Slumdog Millionaire” is a worthy successor. It’s a small film with a big story and a supremely talented cast and crew. If “The Dark Knight” can’t win, “Slumdog” is one of the next best choices.
Should Win: Danny Boyle- “Slumdog Millionaire”
Will Win: David Fincher- “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
Analysis: Boyle should get the award simply for being the most versatile filmmaker working in Hollywood today. However, Fincher will get the nod because of the shear scope of his film.
Should Win: Mickey Rourke- “The Wrestler”
Will Win: Mickey Rourke- “The Wrestler”
Analysis: Mickey Rourke’s comeback story is simply too good for the Academy to pass up. His rise and fall has been well documented but his return to form in “The Wrestler” is something that will be talked about long after the other films go the way of “Sideways.”
Should Win: N/A
Will Win: Kate Winslet- “The Reader”
Analysis: This reviewer hasn’t seen enough of these films to properly judge them but the Academy will give the award to Winslet as much for “The Reader” as for her unfairly snubbed turn in “Revolutionary Road.” Plus she makes the best hysterical victory speeches.
Best Supporting Actor
Should Win: Heath Ledger- “The Dark Knight”
Will Win: Heath Ledger- “The Dark Knight”
Analysis: This is the easiest race to pick this year. No one will upset Ledger, whose turn as the maniacal Joker in “The Dark Knight” was not only the best performance of the year, but the best in recent memory. His tragic passing aside, Ledger deserves this award for a performance that was truly unforgettable.
Best Supporting Actress
Should Win: Marisa Tomei- “The Wrestler”
Will Win: Taraji P. Henson- “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
Analysis: Tomei’s turn as an aging stripper trying to make her way in the world will get trumped by the surprising Henson, who carried much of the early part of “Button.” Also, she spent most of the movie acting opposite some truly mind-blowing special effects.
Best Writing (Adapted)
Should Win: “Slumdog Millionaire”
Will Win: “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
Analysis: “Slumdog” will take home the big award but “Button” will win the consolation prize.
Best Writing (Original)
Should Win: “Wall-E”
Will Win: “Milk”
Analysis: “Wall-E” is a shoe-in for Best Animated Film, though it rightfully should have been nominated in the Best Picture category. It truly is the best animated movie in years, and Pixar’s finest work to date. “Milk” will win because it won’t get shut out of all of the major awards.
The show will run a brisk three and a half hours, while Hugh Jackman will delight the crowd with an inspired opening dance routine. The biggest applause of the evening will go to “The Dark Knight” director Chris Nolan as he accepts the Best Supporting Actor award for Heath Ledger. Kate Winslet and Taraji P. Henson will duke it out in the race for most over-the-top speech, with the veteran Winslet scoring a last second victory when she forgets which movie she won for and thanks Leonardo DiCaprio for being “such a great friend and co-star.”
Despite the excessive run-time and slightly blowhardy speeches, The Oscars are always the most entertaining of the major award shows and this year promises to be no different.
Colin McGlinchey is a fourth-year student majoring in English with a minor in Journalism. He can be reached at CM646588@wcupa.edu.