Vulture’s Final Oscar Predictions: the Exciting Categories

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Jai ho! Photo: Courtesy of AMPAS

Sure, math genius Nate Silver has already made his picks, and on Sunday night he and his computer will almost certainly be proved 100 percent correct. Even so, we wouldn't want to let that deprive you of a chance to lose $10 by betting our predictions in your Oscar pool. After the jump, our best guesses in all six major categories. And stay tuned for our picks in the unexciting categories!

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Frost/Nixon
Milk
The Reader
Slumdog Millionaire

Technically, a small case could be made for any of the nominees (except for Frost/Nixon, obviously) — Benjamin Button has the most overall nominations, Milk could squeak by on anger over Prop 8, and Harvey Weinstein has made no secret of his willingness to commit murder if it would mean a victory for The Reader — but Slumdog Millionaire's clean sweep of the important precursor awards makes it 2008's Little Unstoppable Front-runner That Could.


Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire
Stephen Daldry, The Reader
David Fincher, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Ron Howard, Frost/Nixon
Gus Van Sant, Milk

Will a certain six-time nominee finally be able to retire her "losing face" as most are expecting? Meryl Streep doesn't need another Oscar, Anne Hathaway seems to have lost all momentum, and Angelina Jolie never had any in the first place. There's interesting talk of a last-minute sneak attack from Melissa Leo, but we still think you'd be crazy to bet on anyone who isn't Kate Winslet.


Richard Jenkins, The Visitor
Frank Langella, Frost/Nixon
Sean Penn, Milk
Brad Pitt, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler

Fact: No actor has ever won an Oscar for the portrayal of a widowed economics professor, Richard Nixon, or an old-man baby, so this one's between Sean Penn and Mickey Rourke. And as much as we'd love to hear Rourke get bleeped while eulogizing his Chihuahua, we're kinda worried today that the Academy might give it to Sean Penn.


Fact: No actor has ever won an Oscar for the portrayal of a widowed economics professor, Richard Nixon, or an old-man baby, so this one's between Sean Penn and Mickey Rourke. And as much as we'd love to hear Rourke get bleeped while eulogizing his Chihuahua, we're kinda worried today that the Academy might give it to Sean Penn.

Will a certain six-time nominee finally be able to retire her "losing face" as most are expecting? Meryl Streep doesn't need another Oscar, Anne Hathaway seems to have lost all momentum, and Angelina Jolie never had any in the first place. There's interesting talk of a last-minute sneak attack from Melissa Leo, but we still think you'd be crazy to bet on anyone who isn't Kate Winslet.


Josh Brolin, Milk
Robert Downey Jr., Tropic Thunder
Philip Seymour Hoffman, Doubt
Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight
Michael Shannon, Revolutionary Road

Josh Brolin, Robert Downey Jr., Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Michael Shannon are all exceptionally gifted actors, but none of them is talented enough to hide the mortification they'd feel if Heath Ledger somehow lost. Good thing that will never happen!



Amy Adams, Doubt
Penélope Cruz, Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Viola Davis, Doubt
Taraji P Henson, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Marisa Tomei, The Wrestler

Kate Winslet's promotion to the lead category for her role in The Reader makes this race the toughest major one to call. Still, Penélope Cruz was the early front-runner, and we don't think the Academy would pass up a chance to make history.