Oscar Predictions 2009

The Envelope Please: Who Will Win, Who Deserves to Win, Who Was Snubbed

Despite having garnered a whopping 13 nominations, Oscar night is going to be a big disappointment for fans of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button which will only win a few times and just in minor categories. Instead, the evening will belong to Slumdog Millionaire which I predict will win Best Picture and Best director, netting an impressive 7 Academy Awards overall, despite the fact that it isn’t up for anything in the acting categories.

The 81st Annual Academy Awards, hosted by Hugh Jackman at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, are set to air this Sunday, February 22nd on ABC-TV at 8 PM. Below, first I predict the winner in each category. Next, I say which among the nominees is actually the most deserving. And because so many great movies and performances are invariably overlooked, I also recognize several among those snubbed who were certainly worthy of Oscar consideration.

Best Picture

Will Win: Slumdog Millionaire

Slumdog is the prohibitive favorite. Benjamin Button has a puncher’s chance of a surprise knockout, although Milk is actually the second best of the bunch.

Deserves to Win: Slumdog Millionaire

Overlooked: The Dark Knight, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, The Secret Life of Bees, Burn after Reading

Best Director

Will Win: Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire)

In a category ordinary coupled with Best Picture, Boyle is the obvious pick, unless the Academy opts to recognize Fincher (Benjamin Button) for his body of work.

Deserves to Win: Danny Boyle

Overlooked: Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight), Woody Allen (Vicky Cristina Barcelona), Gina Prince-Bythewood (The Secret Life of Bees), Joel and Ethan Coen (Burn after Reading)

Best Actor


Will Win: Sean Penn (Milk)

This is a difficult category to handicap this year, because Mickey Rourke is certainly the sentimental favorite, having revived his career by overcoming a host of personal problems similar to the character he portrayed in The Wrestler. Plus, he’s coming into the contest with all the momentum, having won the Golden Globe. But I say the Academy wises up and rewards the more deserving Sean Penn, even though he already has an Oscar on his mantle.

Deserves to Win: Sean Penn

Overlooked: Heath Ledger (The Dark Knight), Dev Patel (Slumdog Millionaire), Javier Bardem (Vicky Cristina Barcelona)

Best Actress

Will Win: Kate Winslet

Winslet wins because the Anglophilic Academy prefers to pick Brits, especially actress. Kate’s the only English actress nominated, so she wins. It’s as simple as that.

Deserves to Win: Melissa Leo (Frozen River)

Overlooked: Sally Hawkins (Happy-Go-Lucky), Rebecca Hall (Vicky Cristina Barcelona), Freida Pinto (Slumdog Millionaire)

Best Supporting Actor

Will Win: Heath Ledger (The Dark Knight)

I predicted this outcome when The Dark Knight was released way back in July, although the late Heath Ledger really belongs in the lead actor category, given how his spellbinding performance as The Joker overshadowed that of Christian Bale in the title role.

Deserves to Win: Heath Ledger

Overlooked: Brad Pitt (Burn after Reading), Tom Cruise (Tropic Thunder)

Best Supporting Actress

Will Win: Penelope Cruz (Vicky Cristina Barcelona)

Penelope prevails even though she wasn’t even the best actress in Vicky Cristina. Here’s why she’ll still win: Viola Davis and Amy Adams split votes because they’re nominated for the same movie (Doubt). Davis also splits votes with Taraji Henson (Benjamin Button) because they’re both black. And Marisa Tomei’s chances are hurt by the fact that she already has an Oscar.

Deserves to Win: Viola Davis (Doubt)

Overlooked: Danai Jekesai Gurira (The Visitor), Alicia Keys (The Secret Life of Bees), Frances McDormand (Burn after Reading).

Best Original Screenplay

Will Win: Milk

Deserves to Win: Frozen River

Overlooked: Burn after Reading, Vicky Cristina Barcelona

Best Adapted Screenplay

Will Win: Slumdog Millionaire

Deserves to Win: Slumdog Millionaire

Overlooked: The Dark Knight, The Secret Life of Bees

Best Documentary

Will Win: Man on Wire

Deserves to Win: Man on Wire

Overlooked: Hollywood Chinese, A Man Named Pearl, Standing Operating Procedure

Best Animated Feature

Will Win: Wall-E

Deserves to Win: Wall-E

Overlooked: Chicago 10

Director Brett Morgen earns high marks for finding a most innovative way to illustrate a regrettable chapter in American history.

The Rest of My Predicted Winners:

Best Foreign Language Film: Waltz with Bashir

Best Cinematography: Slumdog Millionaire

Best Film Editing: Slumdog Millionaire

Best Art Direction: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Best Costume Design: The Duchess

Best Makeup: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Best Original Score: Slumdog Millionaire

Best Original Song: Slumdog Millionaire (“Jai Ho”)

Best Sound Editing: The Dark Knight

Best Visual Effects: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Kam Williams is a popular and top NewsBlaze reviewer, our chief critic. Kam gives his unvarnished opinion on movies, DVDs and books, plus many in-depth and revealing celebrity interviews.

Sadly, Lloyd Kam Williams passed away in 2019, leaving behind a huge body of work focused on America’s black entertainment community. We were as sad to hear of his passing as we were overjoyed to have him as part of our team.