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2009 Oscar predictions

By PETER KEOUGH  |  February 11, 2009

So, back to the male nominees and more suffering for the good of humanity. We have Clint Eastwood as the blue-collar racist Korean War–vet curmudgeon in Gran Torino who redeems himself by taking up the cause of the Asian family who've moved into his tough Detroit neighborhood. Although he hasn't made an impression on the Golden Globes or the SAG nominations, I can't see the Academy passing on what might be its last chance to recognize Eastwood as an actor. Likewise, Mickey Rourke should prove an irresistible sentimental favorite, as art imitates life and vice versa in his title role in The Wrestler, an '80s wash-up who takes a fusillade of staples for our sins.

That leaves just one Best Supporting Actor nominee, and he's the exception that tests our rule — a heavily made-up Robert Downey Jr. in Tropic Thunder. It should provide one of the Awards' most poignant moments in this age of Obama: the realization that the only "African-American" nominated in either of the male categories is a white guy in blackface.

Peter's picks
Best Picture
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Doubt
Frost/Nixon
Milk
Slumdog Millionaire

Best Director
Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire
David Fincher, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Ron Howard, Frost/Nixon
Christopher Nolan, The Dark Knight
Gus Van Sant, Milk

Best Actor
Clint Eastwood, Gran Torino
Frank Langella, Frost/Nixon
Sean Penn, Milk
Brad Pitt, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler

Best Actress
Anne Hathaway, Rachel Getting Married
Angelina Jolie, Changeling
Melissa Leo, Frozen River
Meryl Streep, Doubt
Kristin Scott Thomas, I've Loved You So Long

Best Supporting Actor
Josh Brolin, Milk
Robert Downey Jr., Tropic Thunder
Philip Seymour Hoffman, Doubt
Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight
Dev Patel, Slumdog Millionaire

Best Supporting Actress
Amy Adams, Doubt
Penélope Cruz, Vicki Cristina Barcelona
Viola Davis, Doubt
Taraji P. Henson, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Kate Winslet, The Reader

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