Water coolers in offices across the nation will be occupied with workers discussing their latest bets and opinions on the month's biggest events. While the Super Bowl will be in prominent focus at the beginning of the month, those with more refined ideas will be eagerly waiting February 22nd , the night of the 81st Academy Awards ceremony. Employees will be starting betting pools, printing out their ballots, and casting their water cooler knowledge upon their coworkers for this highly anticipated event.
It's always good to get some expert opinions on the matter, if only to help you refine your own predictions on the subject. So we sat down with a three prominent individuals from different avenues of the entertainment industry to get their perspective on some of the top categories of this year's Academy Awards:
David Stephen is an independent film director and writer, as well as a professional film and television editor. His work has been featured in multiple film festivals, both national and international alike. His current short, Taprooting, can be seen at the upcoming San Luis Obispo International Film Festival , this March 6th -15th.
Tim Monson is a Publicist for world-renowned PR and Marketing Firm, Bragman Nyman Cafarelli . Working in the trenches of every significant showbiz event in Tinseltown, Tim has his finger on the pulse of the industry, and the Oscars are no exception.
Michael Burk is a Product Manager for the social networking website, MySpace.com . He holds a Masters Degree in Film & Media Studies from UCLA. Being well versed in social trends and critical film analysis, Michael gives us unique insight into what may happen for this year's Academy Awards.
So without further ado, on with the predictions! We have linked AVRev and Modern Home Theater reviews within the categories if you are interested in reading more about the Oscar nominee.
DS: Slumdog’s music made me feel urgency, while the others simply felt like stock music to me. Button may have the edge due to its popularity, but Slumdog made me feel like this is something new. I felt even more in the dark with anticipation, just like with the film's intricate plot, I had no idea where the music was even going.
TM: WALL-E has it. An animated movie, with little dialogue, about robots that can bring out that much of an emotional charge does it with an amazing score. The music is what made this outer space film draw viewers from Earth to space and back.
MB: I think WALL-E is taking this one home. Benjamin Button is my personal choice because the music really did add so much to the mood of that film, but this is a competitive category when you throw in WALL-E and Slumdog Millionaire. WALL-E is probably my second choice for the same reasons as Button. However, I have met quite a bit of people who already went out to buy the Slumdog soundtrack, and it’s such a fan favorite right now. But given the love for WALL-E and the fact that way more people saw it, that’s my pick to win.
DS: I did not like Button, (AKA Forrest Gump 2) but Taraji was fun to watch and I really felt her emotion in this emotion-less movie. It seemed like she was the only person that tried to make her audience feel. Her character made me want to call my mother after the film. She will win, I feel most people feel the same way.
TM: A tough category, but I'll go with Penelope Cruz. She has the international appeal, is well known in the States and has the only nomination for the film at the ceremony. However, Taraji Henson of Benjamin Button is my personal pick. In a film that is brilliantly directed, nearly three hours long, and stars both Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett, this unassuming actress stood out in my mind when I left the theater. The "Sally Field" role that she bested Sally Field in.
MB: Marisa Tomei was great, and she’s probably my pick for lack of a better choice. Amy Adams has a shot for Doubt, but I’m with the title of the film on her chances of winning. Marisa Tomei should pull it off. If for nothing else than a consolation prize for Mickey Rourke losing Best Actor to Brad Pitt.