When the nominees for the 81st Annual Academy Awards were announced last Thursday, I was not surprised that ‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” was in the lead with 13 nominations. However, I was shocked with some of the nominees for the acting categories.

One surprise was when Richard Jenkins was nominated for Actor in a Leading Role for ‘The Visitor.” Although I’ve never seen this film, I heard it received excellent reviews. I can’t comment on his acting, but I don’t think the Oscar will go to him.

I hope the award will go to either Sean Penn for ‘Milk” or Brad Pitt for ‘Benjamin Button.” I thought Frank Langella was good in ‘Frost/Nixon,” but I don’t think he deserves an Oscar for his performance.

Mickey Rourke was all right in ‘The Wrestler,” but I don’t think he deserves an Oscar either. Besides, he already has a Golden Globe for that, which is why I saw the film last weekend.

For Actor in a Supporting Role, the Oscar will definitely go to Heath Ledger for his part as the Joker in ‘The Dark Knight.” Superhero movies usually don’t get nominated for the Oscars, but Ledger deserves the award for his role as a villain.

Two of the nominees, Josh Brolin for ‘Milk” and Philip Seymour Hoffman for ‘Doubt,” were no surprises, but the same cannot be said for the other two. Robert Downey Jr. was nominated for ‘Tropic Thunder” I’m not saying that he was terrible in the movie, because he was brilliant it’s just that Ben Stiller movies never get nominated.

The other nominee is Michael Shannon, who plays the mentally unbalanced son of Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet’s real estate agent (played by Kathy Bates) in ‘Revolutionary Road.” Not only have people never heard of him, but he didn’t even have that many scenes in the movie. He’s kind of like Jackie Earle Haley, who was nominated for Best Supporting Actor in 2006 for his role as a pedophile in ‘Little Children.” Being unheard of and not having many scenes in the film, he didn’t win. If you don’t know who I’m talking about, I’ve proven my point.

The award for Actress in a Leading Role will probably go to Kate Winslet for her part in ‘The Reader.” That being said, I wouldn’t mind if it went to Meryl Streep, who plays a strict nun in ‘Doubt.”

I thought Melissa Leo, who plays a single mom who gets involved with illegal-immigrant smuggling in upstate New York, was pretty good in ‘Frozen River,” but she has the disadvantage of being unheard of, so the Oscar won’t go to her. I also don’t think it will go to Anne Hathaway, who was nominated for ‘Rachel Getting Married.”

I just hope the Oscar doesn’t go to Angelina Jolie for her role in ‘Changeling” (OK, OK, he’s not your son, we understand). I admit that I haven’t seen the film and have no desire to see it, but I think she should stick to action films and stop trying to win another Oscar.

For Actress in a Supporting Role, there are two nominees for ‘Doubt”: Amy Adams, who plays a simple-minded nun, and Viola Davis, who plays the mother of the first African-American student accepted to the school. The Oscar won’t go to either of them, because Adams was only all right in the film, and Davis has the disadvantage of being unheard of and not having many scenes.

Marisa Tomei was nominated for her role as an aging stripper in ‘The Wrestler,” and, like her co-star Rourke, she wasn’t terrible in the film, just not Oscar-worthy.
Penlope Cruz was nominated for her role as the crazy ex-wife of Javier Bardem in ‘Vicky Cristina Barcelona.” She was excellent, so I definitely wouldn’t be surprised if the Oscar went to her.

Finally, the biggest category: Best Picture. The nominees are ‘Benjamin Button,” ‘Frost/Nixon,” ‘Milk,” ‘The Reader” and ‘Slumdog Millionaire.” Though some say that Best Picture will go to ‘Benjamin Button,” I still think it will go to ‘Slumdog Millionaire.” Find out if I’m right and watch the Academy Awards on Sunday, Feb. 22, at 8 p.m.

Weng is a member of the class of 2011.



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