WHY THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON WILL WIN BEST PICTURE: Because it’s finally the big-swing Best Picture contender directed by David Fincher with Brad Pitt in it that a generation has been waiting for. Because it made the most money out of all the contenders. Because people genuinely like it. Because people think Cate Blanchett means Oscar-worthy movie, even when that isn’t the case.
WHY THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON WILL NOT WIN BEST PICTURE: Because it’s Forrest Gump with fancier CGI and a weirder premise. Because just as many people genuinely hate it as genuinely like it. Because it’s been doing poorly in the awards everywhere else. Because it’s two and a half hours of creepy with fifteen minutes of touching.
WHY MILK WILL WIN BEST PICTURE: Because it’s actually the best picture nominated. Because its story is coming at the right time when people in the film industry Want To Say Something about gay rights. Because it has tons and tons of good performances in it, and more than a couple of brilliant ones. Because Harvey Milk is here to recruit you.
WHY MILK WILL NOT WIN BEST PICTURE: Because if it’s going to win awards for its acting, it will win them in the acting categories. Because despite its excellence, it definitely lags a bit in the middle and skips and hops through its narrative at other points. Because the fact that Hollywood is gay-friendly doesn’t mean it feels the need to give this movie an award that might otherwise feel unearned. Because the movie feels like a vehicle for Sean Penn more than anything else.
WHY SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE WILL WIN BEST PICTURE: Because it’s a feel-good movie that’s so brilliantly made that you can almost forget it’s a feel-good movie. Because it’s a modern-day fairy tale. Because it has the best soundtrack of an Oscar-worthy film in years if not more. Because it managed to become a crowd-pleasing favourite with zero white characters and one-third of the movie being subtitled. Because it, at this point, has the big mo’. Because it is destiny.
WHY SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE WILL NOT WIN BEST PICTURE: Because it’s a feel-good movie that doesn’t really hold up to a second viewing, thanks to its reliance on a series of deus ex machinae to advance the plot. Because the studio shortchanged the Indian child actors and karma is a bitch. Because Danny Boyle has a lot of – well, not enemies, but people he’s pissed off enough that they might not vote for him.
WHY THE READER WILL WIN BEST PICTURE: Because it’s a well-made little film about a very big subject. Because it has forty minutes of Kate Winslet having sex and many more of her acting impeccably well. Because Holocaust films traditionally play well with the Academy. Because the Weinstein Company made a very big and very strong awards push late in the game.
WHY THE READER WILL NOT WIN BEST PICTURE: Because it’s the umpteenth film about the Holocaust. Because there’s a really good movie waiting to be made about how Germans reacted to the Holocaust and this one only scratches the surface. Because the only reason it got nominated is because people really love Kate Winslet. Because there’s no real reason this movie should win Best Picture. Because it simply isn’t outstanding.
WHY FROST/NIXON WILL WIN BEST PICTURE: Because Ron Howard is very very very popular in Hollywood.
WHY FROST/NIXON WILL NOT WIN BEST PICTURE: Because he’s not so popular that most people are suddenly going to think this deserved its nomination, let alone a win.