Oscar Watch: Best picture contenders
"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"
|"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" |
Kathleen Kennedy, Frank Marshall and Cean Chaffin
Pros: It's about time to reward Kennedy and Marshall, who have 11 best picture nominations between them and have never won.
Cons: Will voters who watched it on DVD appreciate its visuals? And despite 18 years of development, its studio pedigree can't compete with "Slumdog's" rags-to-riches story.
Brian Grazer, Ron Howard and Eric Fellner
Pros: The older, liberal Academy members might want to stick it to Richard to Nixon once more.
Cons: The political vote might favor "Milk."
Dan Jinks and Bruce Cohen
Pros: In the wake of California's Prop. 8, a vote for "Milk" might be seen as a vote for gay rights -- and atonement for overlooking "Brokeback Mountain" two years ago.
Cons: No political biopic has won best picture since "Ghandi" in 1983.
|"The Reader" |
Anthony Minghella, Sydney Pollack, Donna Gigliotti and Redmond Morris
Pros: Harvey Weinstein. And its holocaust subject matter could appeal to more serious-minded voters.
Cons: Harvey Weinstein. And it is perceived to have scored the "fifth slot," which makes it the underdog.
|"Slumdog Millionaire" |
Pros: Amid a glum economy, academy members might want to reward a feel-good story.
Cons: Backlash? The last time there was this big a best picture favorite was 1999 -- when "Saving Private Ryan" lost to "Shakespeare in Love."