With a little more than 24 hours left until the big ceremony, I decided to throw in my own picks for who should and will win of the six big Oscar categories.

Best Picture:

Will Win: “Slumdog Millionaire”
Should Win: “Milk”
“Slumdog Millionaire” is an excellent film and the Oscar favorite, but “Milk” was a solid little film and one of the most hopeful and timely films to be released in 2008.
“Milk” doesn’t deserve to be overshadowed in the “Best Picture” race by “Slumdog,” no matter how good a film the latter may be.

Best Director:

Will Win: Danny Boyle, “Slumdog Millionaire”
Should Win: Danny Boyle, “Slumdog Millionaire”
I’m 100 percent behind “Milk” for the Oscar’s this year — and just as peeved at how badly the Academy will snub it — but Danny Boyle did the best job of any directors this year with “Slumdog.”

Best Actor:

Will Win: Mickey Rourke, “The Wrestler”
Should Win: Sean Penn, “Milk”
Rourke was the unexpected star with his role in “The Wrestler” and, like the down-on-his-luck character he played, he deserves the award to truly mark how he turned around his career. If Sean Penn hadn’t won “Best Actor” for “Mystic River” in 2003, though, this could be a completely different picture. It’s not until the final scene of “Milk” where video of the real Harvey Milk was shown that you realize how perfectly Penn captured the man who revolutionized our political system.

Best Actress:

Will Win: Kate Winslet, “The Reader”
Should Win: Anne Hathaway, “Rachel Getting Married”
It is partly because the Academy forgot that Winslet was performing a supporting role in “The Reader” that makes me say the win should go to Hathaway (the Golden Globes did not make this same mistake). Winslet deserves her long-withheld Oscar — and between “Revolutionary Road” and “The Reader,” 2008 should have been her year — but Hathaway gave a powerful and unexpected performance that deserves more credit than it’s been given.

Best Supporting Actor:

Will Win: Heath Ledger, “The Dark Knight”
Should Win: Heath Ledger, “The Dark Knight”
With or without the tragedy of his death, Ledger’s performance in “The Dark Knight” is the best performance we had the pleasure of seeing from any of the films released in 2008. There will be no question that he won the Oscar for his performance and not out of sympathy.

Best Supporting Actress:

Will Win: Viola Davis, “Doubt”
Should Win: Viola Davis, “Doubt”
Unlike when the Academy awarded Judy Dench the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her 15 minutes in “Shakespeare In Love” to make up for their snub the year before, Viola Davis’ brief two scenes in “Doubt” are powerful enough to make her undoubtedly deserve this win.

About The Author

Terri Schwartz was a Blast Contributing Editor from 2008-2009.

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