The Oscars are over; let’s talk Oscars

on

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.

The Argentine/Guerilla:

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!

Australia:

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.

Margaret:

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.

Milk:

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.

Revolutionary Road:

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

side.