Would you rather Rolling Stone‘s resident film critic Peter Travers tell you about this week’s crop of new releases (Fired Up!, Madea Goes To Jail!) or give his predictions about who’s going home with golden trophies at this Sunday’s Academy Awards? Oscar talk wins, and Travers has the lowdown on what the voters may be thinking as we gear up for Hollywood’s biggest night (check out a gallery of the Best Picture contenders, too).
Travers breaks down each of the Oscars’ major category into two groups: The Sentimental Favorite versus Who Is Actually Deserving, with the divide coming to the forefront especially in the Best Actor and Best Actress categories. Will Mickey Rourke’s best performance of his life in The Wrestler beat out award-winner Sean Penn’s depiction of Harvey Milk in Milk? Similarly, the Sentimental favorite in the Best Actress category is Kate Winslet in The Reader, but is two-time Best Actress winner Meryl Streep more deserving for her role in Doubt?
If there’s one guarantee at this weekend’s ceremony, it’s that Heath Ledger will be honored with the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his portrayal of the Joker in The Dark Knight. If by some chance there’s an upset in the category, Travers recommends clearing out of Los Angeles as “there will be riots in the streets.” As for the favorite going into the Best Picture category, Travers believes that the only way Slumdog Millionaire doesn’t win the Oscar is if “everyone associated with this movie is suddenly involved in some sex scandal.