The 81st Annual Academy Awards will air on Sunday, February 22nd at 8 p.m. PST live on the ABC network. There will most likely be lots of buzz after the show, and hopefully lots of hookers doing coke off of the winners' dicks. But that we already know about, what we don't know yet are who those dicks will be attached to, so Behind the Hype is taking a stab at Oscar predictions. Chances are, whether we are right or wrong, there will unfortunately be no hookers in our future - we're going to be too busy boozin' it up. Now that we've covered the three major food groups - hookers, coke & booze - on to the predictions!

Actor in a Leading Role

And the nominees are...

Richard Jenkins - The Visitor Richard Jenkins
The Visitor
Mickey Rourke - The Wrestler Mickey Rourke
The Wrestler
Sean Penn - Milk Sean Penn
Milk
Brad Pitt - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button Brad Pitt
The Curious Case
of Benjamin Button
Frank Langella - Frost/Nixon Frank Langella
Frost/Nixon

Redmanthatcould's Prediction

In my opinion, Frank Langella should not have been nominated for his role in Frost/Nixon. Langella did an amazing job, don't get me wrong, but he only had a couple legitimately powerful scenes. I would have liked to have seen Leonardo DiCaprio nominated for Revolutionary Road instead, but I am an admitted DiCaprio fan boy. I thought his role was more griping, and moved the audience emotionally.

It's great to see the Academy willing to look beyond history and politics, and put two controversial actors in the leading role category - Sean Penn and Mickey Rourke. But as I wrote in my review of Milk, I was certain no one else would one-up Penn's role as Harvey Milk, and I was right. Sean Penn will win for best actor.

Teabag Rhino's Prediction

Well, the underdog here for me is Richard Jenkins for The Visitor. His performance, despite going relatively unnoticed, was executed with perfection. The film itself was not spectacular but Jenkins, more commonly known for his dramatic turn as a psychiatrist in There's Something About Mary?... WTF? Anyway, for his performance alone, this film is worth watching.

Who shouldn't get it? In my opinion, Brad Pitt underwhelmed as Benjamin Button and shouldn't even be nominated...his best performance my ass! Who will get it? Well, I'm going to have to disagree with Redmanthatcould on this one. Mickey Rourke is my pick. Let's hope the censors are standing by...

Actor in a Supporting Role

And the nominees are...

Josh Brolin - Milk Josh Brolin
Milk
Robert Downey Jr - Tropic Thunder Robert Downey Jr.
Tropic Thunder
Philip Seymour Hoffman - Doubt Philip Seymour Hoffman
Doubt
Heath Ledger - The Dark Knight Heath Ledger
The Dark Knight
Michael Shannon - Revolutionary Road Michael Shannon
Revolutionary Road

Redmanthatcould's Prediction

Josh Brolin has really started to grow on me, with his roles in American Gangster and No Country for Old Men, but he's not winning this award. Robert Downey Jr. for Tropic Thunder? Don't even get me started. Just as I am gay for DiCaprio, I am equally gay for Philip Seymour Hoffman, who has solidified himself as being able to play any role immensely well. Even though I love Hoffman for his roles in Capote, The Big Lebowski, and many more, he was nothing special in Doubt.

In my opinion, this award really comes down to Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight, and Michael Shannon in Revolutionary Road. Not a lot of America knows how fucking awesome Shannon is, but hopefully they got a nice glimpse after this role. Unfortunately for him, his break-out role occurred the same year that Ledger's did, and Ledger died a young, untimely death. No way, no how Ledger does not win. Heath Ledger will win for best supporting actor.

Teabag Rhino's Prediction

As far as Robert Downey Jr. goes... since when does the Academy give two shits for a fantastic comedic performance, or in this case, a mediocre one. Jim Carrey got overlooked for his most brilliant performance to date in Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind because it was classified as a Musical/Comedy, and Man on the Moon where he eerily mirrored eccentric comedian Andy Kaufman...fuck you Oscar!

Now back to reality, I don't know why we are even debating this? Heath Ledger will win. If he doesn't, I predict war in the middle east, plague, famine, and the second coming of Christ...

Actress in a Leading Role

And the nominees are...

Angelina Jolie - Changeling Angelina Jolie
Changeling
Melissa Leo - Frozen River Melissa Leo
Frozen River
Meryl Streep - Doubt Meryl Streep
Doubt
Anne Hathaway - Rachel Getting Married Anne Hathaway
Rachel Getting Married
Kate Winslet - The Reader Kate Winslet
The Reader

Redmanthatcould's Prediction

I don't feel I can thoroughly comment on this category, since I've only seen two of the five movies, and have no fucking intention of seeing the other three. That being said, I felt Angelina Jolie did the best acting of her career in Changeling. She delivered her lines with sincere conviction - it really felt like she was the woman who lost her son. From my limited knowledge of the movies in this category, I give the nod to Jolie with an asterisk.

Teabag Rhino's Prediction

Anne Hathaway... *Gagh* I just threw up in my mouth. Sorry don't get it, never will. Meryl Streep has been here before, and will be here again (the "it's nice to have even been nominated" group, that is) She's fantastic, but not this year, sorry. It's definitely a toss up between Jolie and Winslet. Both gave amazing performances in two rather different roles, but I see gold in Kate Winslet's future because the academy loves when adults have sex with children... right?

Actress in a Supporting Role

And the nominees are...

Amy Adams - Doubt Amy Adams
Doubt
Viola Davis - Doubt Viola Davis
Doubt
Marisa Tomei - The Wrestler Marisa Tomei
The Wrestler
Taraji P Henson - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button Taraji P. Henson
The Curious Case
of Benjamin Button
Penelope Cruz - Vicky Cristina Barcelona Penelope Cruz
Vicky Cristina Barcelona

Redmanthatcould's Prediction

There was very little acting in Doubt that I thought was right on. Hoffman and Meryl Streep are typically amazing, and I thought they both came up a little short. Which probably left the door wide open for Amy Adams, who most certainly stole the show in this movie. Adams has some really stiff competition going against Marisa Tomei's performance in The Wrestler, but I like going for the underdog. This being Adams' second nomination for a Supporting Role, the second time is going to be the charm, and she will walk away with the Oscar.

Teabag Rhino's Prediction

I would love to see Taraji P. Henson win this one. She outperformed Brad Pitt in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and was one of the only reasons I sat through it. Unfortunately, she won't. This is one of those annual pat-on-the-head Oscar nominations that ultimately never go any further than just that, a nomination.

I believe Amy Adams is a better bet than Marisa Tomei here. But beware, Penelope Cruz may very well walk away with it. I for one, wouldn't be surprised.

Cinematography

And the nominees are...

Changeling Changeling The Dark Knight The Dark Knight The Reader The Reader
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button The Curious Case
of Benjamin Button
Slumdog Millionaire Slumdog Millionaire

Redmanthatcould's Prediction

At first, I had no hesitation picking the winner for this category, and just as I was going to write it up, something hit me. It seemed like a no-brainer to go with The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, since the movie spanned so many different sets, scenery, and was just so damn visually memorizing. But then I thought - wait a second - I absolutely loved the lighting in Changeling, and thought the look and feel were perfect for the era the movie was trying to portray. What I thought was my easiest decision so far, ended up not being easy at all. Changeling wins for best cinematography.

Teabag Rhino's Prediction

And the award goes to... Shane Hurlbut for Terminator Salvation. His uncanny ability to hold back and not slap Christian Bale in the face with his penis is truly amazing, even as Bale terrorizes the set and screams obscenities at everyone working on the film... what... oh, he's not nominated... the film hasn't come out yet? Well, he should get some kinda God Damn award... now to business.

This is a tough one for me as well. Being the fan boy I am, I would love The Dark Knight to win something else besides Ledger's Supporting Actor gold, but deep inside, I know it really wasn't as good in this category as the other films. As much as I was just, eh, about Button, I think it's a strong option here. But there's this little nagging feeling in the back of my mind. I can't ignore it, so... because the gritty, and at times, shocking beauty of Mumbai was realized with such care and precision, I give this one to Slumdog Millionaire.

Directing

And the nominees are...

Frost/Nixon Frost/Nixon Milk Milk The Reader The Reader
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button The Curious Case>
of Benjamin Button
Slumdog Millionaire Slumdog Millionaire

Redmanthatcould's Prediction

Danny Boyle made something absolutely magical with a cast of Indian actors that was both special and surreal. Not only did he work with a cast of no-name actors, but he also had to make masterful scenes with children, and he did not miss a beat. Yes, Milk and Frost/Nixon were both moving, and beautifully put together, but neither film had legitimate uphill battles; they both were filled with eloquent acting, and stories that are relevant to American pop culture. Boyle hit his home run telling us a fictional story about an Indian boy (in India), who is fighting for his life, while he's fighting for his love. Slumdog Millionaire wins for best directing.

Teabag Rhino's Prediction

Ron Howard pulled an incredibly rich film out of a seemingly one dimensional idea. Frost/Nixon really shined, but for all the reasons Redmanthatcould already said, Slumdog Millionaire was, by far, my favorite film this year. Danny Boyle told an amazing story so articulately. He took an unfamiliar place and unfamiliar characters and put the viewer right in the midst of the chaotic struggle of life in Mumbai and in no time, we were running alongside these characters as if we had known them all along. I hope for a Slumdog win, but given Hollywood's need to be politically relevant, Milk and Gus Van Sant walk away with gold here. Gus Van Sant picked the right time to tell the right story. Milk's relevance pushes Van Sant to the front of this pack for me.

Best Picture

And the nominees are...

Frost/Nixon Frost/Nixon Milk Milk The Reader The Reader
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button The Curious Case
of Benjamin Button
Slumdog Millionaire Slumdog Millionaire

Redmanthatcould's Prediction

The highly-coveted best picture award. Filmmakers work their whole lives to reach this goal, while others come out of the blue and shock everyone. This year's class of finalists does not seem as difficult as last years, with No Country for Old Men squaring off with There will be Blood, but that's not to say it's an easy decision. Benjamin Button is way over-hyped, and should have never made it to this point; Changeling should have been here in it's place.

For me, I ultimately have two winners in mind - one that should win, and one that will win. Slumdog Millionaire, in my opinion, should win, but I think the award will ultimately go to Milk. That's not to say Milk is not worthy of the award, but it just seems the victory will come too easy to them after all the talk about gay marriage on this year's ballots.

Teabag Rhino's Prediction

The Reader is the sleeper here. Not much attention has been paid to this film. It just might surprise us all... but not likely. If, and I say IF The Curious Case of Benjamin Button wins the coveted best picture award, I will immediately light my TV on fire, not waiting for an acceptance speech. I will then proceed to find every voting member of the Academy who voted for it and promptly shit on their lawns. That being said, I think my television and their lawns are safe... for now.

I agree that the two front runners here are Slumdog Millionaire and Milk. And like Redmanthatcould, I want Slumdog, but will graciously accept a Milk victory. I hope that a gold statue for Milk will open eyes, and that in fact, it will become an even more politically relevant film. The issues raised in the film are very real. This is the Civil Rights Movement of our generation. Milk will not be the only film to document and dramatize these events. This just might be the right time for a politically fueled win here, and for once, I'm okay with that.