The Root's Oscar Picks

Our predictions on who will take home a gold statue.

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charlesoscars090219

Well, there is nothing to be done now. Academy voters have made their selections and with some exceptions, they represent the ho-hum, narrow reality of said voters. Yes, Slumdog Millionaire is included in the Best Picture category (but, like the new administration, it might be a tad overhyped). And they got it all right in the Documentary Feature category. Yet, some of this year’s nominees emerged based on factors—familiarity of subject matter, popularity of stars/directors and the amount of marketing dollars spent—that have nothing to do with excellence. Let’s look at the main categories.

 

BEST PICTURE

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Frost/Nixon

Milk

The Reader

Slumdog Millionaire

I love Brad Pitt just as much as the next straight guy, and Taraji P. Henson got a Best Supporting nomination, but The Curious Case of Benjamin Button could have been titled The Curious Case of Disappearing Black People. Once Button/Pitt leaves “childhood,” black folk and any depiction of race or racial issues are non-existent. Lance Hammer’s drama, Ballast, set in Mississippi, would have been a more honest choice.

Frost/Nixon? I don’t get it. The original interviews are far superior. This may be Nixon’s last effort from the grave to further rehabilitate his image. The Academy should have nominated Rachel's Getting Married. No doubt they couldn’t relate to the mélange of characters on the screen.

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