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Oscar Countdown: Safe As Milk?

By Rob Christopher in Arts & Entertainment on Feb 9, 2009 5:00PM

2009_2_9oscars.jpg Has there been a more predictable year for the Academy Awards than this one? Not since Titanic, in our view; and wouldn't you know it, Kate Winslet is up for Best Actress again. Roger Ebert is predicting a win for her, one for Sean Penn in Milk, and a whole mess of awards for the all-but-unstoppable acclaim-train that is Slumdog Millionaire. In an annual tradition Mr. Ebert once again invites you to try and outguess him for a chance to win a trip for two to the world premiere of Disney/Pixar's Up. If the results are as surprise-free as we're expecting, outguessing Ebert is going to hinge on a wild card category like Best Documentary (he's predicting Man on Wire, but don't overlook Trouble the Water).

So, no surprises? Not so fast. AMPAS president Sid Ganis has warned the nominees, "Your categories are being presented in a completely different way. Heads up. Cinematographers, editors, composers. All of you guys. You're in for a big surprise." Mysterious! The real fun of watching the Oscars has little to do the awards themselves. No: it's the preening, the senseless fashion commentary, the manufactured fantasy of it all. Couldn't we all use a little of that? Keep your eyes peeled for more Oscar coverage, including a special edition of Properly Sauced, featuring a punch recipe for your Oscar party. In the meantime, there's still time to see some of the nominated movies.