Vail keeps an eye on the Oscars |

Vail keeps an eye on the Oscars

Charlie Owen
Vail CO, Colorado
Special to the Daily"Slumdog Millionaire" follows the story of Jamal Malik, a street kid in Mumbai who eventually lands an appearance on India's version of "Who Wants to Be A Millionaire?" The film was nominated for 10 Oscars this year, including Best Motion Picture and Danny Boyle for Achievement in Directing.

VAIL, Colorado “-Ahhh, the Oscars. Like the Superbowl, World Series, Stanley Cup playoffs and Wrestle Mania, the Oscars represent the culmination of another Hollywood season aimed at proving to the world that all the mindless slop they churn out of their studios was worth our time and money.

Okay, so it’s not all mindless or pointless, but a vast majority of it is. How many “Underworld” movies do we need before we realize they’re all exactly the same? Who the hell greenlighted “Fool’s Gold” and “Superhero Movie”? Whatever.

Do movie goers need or even care about the Academy Awards anymore? Probably not, but it’s still nice to see films that offer something more than mind-numbingly idiotic characters and plots a third grader could generate honored for keeping the corporate movie machine from becoming a complete farce.

I’ll admit, I wasn’t too impressed with Hollywood last year. I saw more than 75 movies and maybe five of them were worth talking about. But since the Oscars will be handed out regardless, I’m going to do my best to predict which films will win a statue in the categories that regular people actually care about.

Winner: Mickey Rourke for his portrayal of a washed up pofessional wrestler in “The Wrestler.” There is a chance that Sean Penn could steal this one for his work in “Milk.” Penn’s portrayal of Harvey Milk, an openly gay political activist who did for gay rights what Rosa Parks did to end segregation, was dynamic and relevant and the Academy won’t want to appear homophobic.

Winner: Heath Ledger in “The Dark Knight.” Come on, give the guy a break. Not only did he pull off the most menacing Batman villian to date, but he died in the process. Just let him have it, he earned it. Plus, the Academy won’t want to face the lynch mob waiting outside its doors if Ledger doesn’t win.

Winner: Meryl Streep seems like a given for her role in “Doubt,” but Kate Winslett will get this one for “The Reader.”

Winner: This one’s a tough category. There are some worthy opponents in this field but Taraji P. Henson will walk away with the Oscar for her work as a loving foster mother in “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.”

Winner: Although “WALL.E” is heavily favored here, I’m calling for an upset. “Kung Fu Panda,” the deliciously vibrant computer-animated movie with a cohesive plot centering on martial arts fighting animals, has the personality and charisma to steal this one.

Winner: Danny Boyle for “Slumdog Millionaire,” for a million different reasons. Although I love David Fincher’s work, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” was overhyped and didn’t deliver. I got to give this one to Boyle.

Winner: “Slumdog Millionaire.” Not even a question.

High Life Writer Charlie Owen can be reached at 970-748-2939 or

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