The shine isn’t even off
the 2008 Academy Awards yet, but I say on to 2009! What? No point dwelling
in the past. While it’s still an entire year until the next set of
statuettes gets handed out, it’s never too early to be totally wrong
with your Academy Award predictions. Here’s a quick look at 10 upcoming
projects that caught my eye and maybe, possibly, with any luck, might
catch Oscar’s eye as well.
An ambitious two-film project by Steven Soderbergh
about Latin American revolutionary Che Guevara, starring Benicio Del
Toro, Franka Potente, Benjamin Bratt
and Catalina Sandino Moreno. Viva la revolucion!
Moulin Rouge maestro Baz Luhrmann
returns with an epic love story set during World War II, about an English
aristocrat (Nicole Kidman) who teams with a ranch hand (Hugh
Jackman) to herd cattle across the outback. Sounds like Far
and Away meets City Slickers. I kid, I kid.
Burn After Reading:
All you need to know is Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Tilda Swinton,
Frances McDormand and John Malkovich
in a political comedy-thriller about top-secret CIA information falling
into the wrong hands — and it’s directed by the Coen brothers. Yes, please.
The Changeling: Angelina
Jolie may get her 2008 Oscar snub revenge with this Clint Eastwood–directed
Prohibition-era thriller about a woman whose kidnapped son is returned,
but he could be the wrong child. Clint has been money when it comes
to Oscar nominations these past few years, so Angelina, start thinking
up a snappy speech.
The Curious Case of Benjamin
Button: Based on an F. Scott Fitzgerald
story about a man who is born in his eighties and ages backwards, the
David Fincher–helmed film stars Brad Pitt
as the eponymous Mr. Button and co-stars Cate Blanchett, Tilda Swinton,
Julia Ormond and Elle Fanning. Wow, that story with that
cast makes me that excited.
Doubt: Meryl Streep
takes over Cherry Jones’
Tony-winning role in this tense drama set in a 1960s Catholic school. It also stars Philip Seymour Hoffman and Amy Adams.
You had me at Meryl Streep.
A high school student (Anna Paquin) witnesses a fatal bus accident
and begins to wonder if she was somehow inadvertently responsible.
It also stars Matt Damon, Mark Ruffalo and Matthew Broderick.
Finally, a role where Anna can show that her win for The Piano
wasn’t a fluke.
The true and tragic story of California’s first openly gay elected
official, San Francisco supervisor Harvey Milk (Sean Penn), who
was assassinated along with the city’s mayor by fellow supervisor
Dan White (Josh Brolin). If you haven’t seen the Oscar-winning
documentary The Times of Harvey Milk yet,
be sure to catch it first — it’s fantastic.
The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective
Agency: Based on the wildly popular mystery series by Alexander
McCall Smith, the film tells the story of a Botswanan woman who begins
her country’s first female-owned detective agency. It stars Jill
Scott and Anika Noni Rose
and is directed by Anthony Minghella. My mother loves these books,
and now I can just see the movie to make her happy.
Their hearts apparently did go on. Kate Winslet
and Leonardo DiCaprio reunite for the fist time since Titanic
to play a young couple struggling with the conformities and pressures
of 1950s suburbia. Kate and Leo together at last — now no one let them
get on any boats.
So, do any of these look like
winners? They sure sound like Oscar bait. Though, I’d hold off on
going in on the office pool right now, you know, just to be on the safe