In my opinion, the Best Picture showcase should be mandatory for all voting Academy members. It’s an event that really separates the men from the boys, the strong from the weak, and the hardcore filmgoers from the casual audience. Imagine 13 1/2 hours of back to back films, supposedly the best films of the year. Some only come for two or three, but not I. I dress in sweats, pack a lunch, and hunker down for all 5 films. For the second time. That’s right, the last two years I have gone into the Best Picture showcase having already seen the films. It gives me a chance to give every film an intense second scrutiny and compare them side by side. Unlike last year, this year I’m not crazy about most of the nominees. Whereas last year I had flipped for films like Michael Clayton, Juno, and No Country, this year I was just kind of excited to see Slumdog and Milk again. Having watched all five of these films back to back, I’m nowhere near convinced that these were the best films of the year. I know I’m beating a dead horse, but The Wrestler was easily the best film I saw this year. Also, I’d go so far to include The Dark Knight and WALL-E amongst the best as well. If I had my druthers, I’d replace Benjamin Button with any of these three, and possibly swap out Frost/Nixon and The Reader as well. But as I have yet to become a voting Academy member, I’ll suffice with choosing between the five nominees they’ve given me this year:

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

Prediction:
Slumdog Millionaire. It’s taken home tons of awards already and tonight will be no different.

What Should Win:
Slumdog. Upon a second viewing, it got even better and I loved it the first time around. Other films didn’t hold up as well (The Reader, for one) and just can’t compare. Though I’d be happy to see an upset by Milk, which is easily second best.