oscarsThe 2009 Academy Awards are just two days away! Here’s who would win if I ran the show, along with my predictions for who will win.

Best Actor
On pure acting chops, the best was Sean Penn, but Hollywood is a big softie and tends to reward living the role. In that case, Mickey Rourke takes it. Frank Langella was damn good, but I don’t see him beating the Mick. Michael Sheen should have been nominated for Frost/Nixon.

– My pick: Mickey Rourke
– Who will win: Mickey Rourke

Best Actress
Kate Winslet won the Golden Globe, but for Revolutionary Road, not The Reader (which is what she’s nominated for here). Meryl Streep won the SAG. This will be a squeaker. I’d be thrilled if Melissa Leo beat them both.

– My pick: Meryl Streep
– Who will win: Between Kate Winslet and Meryl Streep, too close to call – probably Meryl by a nose

Best Supporting Actor
Anyone who bets against Heath Ledger in this category is a fool, and I think I would say that even if he hadn’t died (though we’ll never know, will we?).

– My pick: Heath Ledger
– Who will win: Heath Ledger

Best Supporting Actress
Remember that urban legend about Marisa Tomei not really winning the Oscar, but the envelope was misread? It wasn’t true, but it felt true. Don’t count on her winning again. Viola Davis wins the Dame Judy Dench Briefest Performance to Be Nominated Award.

– My pick: Penelope Cruz
– Who will win: Penelope Cruz (Please God, let Javier Bardem present it to her and kiss her really hard!)

Documentary
I had absolutely no way to see 3 of the 5 nominated films, so I’ll pick from the 2 I did see.

– My pick: Man On Wire
– Who will win: Man On Wire,
but really I have no idea

Foreign Language Film
Revanche was quite good (and good luck finding it), but Waltz with Bashir was absolutely shattering. I’ve never heard a theater so silent as was mine at the end of this film. I couldn’t decide whether The Class was a documentary or scripted.

– My pick: Waltz with Bashir
– Who will win: Waltz with Bashir

Adapted Screenplay
Benjamin Button proved that you can make a 3 hour movie, and base it on an F. Scott Fitzgerald work, and still have no story at all. Expect Doubt to feel the “But did he do it?” backlash. Slumdog bowled us all over, so I see a lot of awards going down just like duckpins – this is one of them.

– My pick: Slumdog Millionaire
– Who will win: Slumdog Millionaire

Original Screenplay
Oh, so many good nominees in this category. You really can’t go wrong, whatever you pick. See them all. The Dark Knight should have been nominated in this category – if it had, it would be my pick.

– My pick: In Bruges (very narrowly over Frozen River)
– Who will win: Milk

Cinematography
Did you notice how every scene in Benjamin Button looked like a landscape painting? A bit too precious for my taste, but it wins awards.

– My pick: The Dark Knight
– Who will win: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Best Director
Another pin goes down for Slumdog. Christopher Nolan should have been nominated for The Dark Knight and would have been my pick.

– My pick: Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire
– Who will win:
Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire

Best Picture
Slumdog will make it a turkey (in bowling, that’s good). Should have been The Dark Knight. Really, the Academy has to get over its prejudice against comic book movies. They aren’t going to stop making them, and making them well.

My pick: Slumdog Millionaire
Who will win:
Slumdog Millionaire

What are your picks? Leave me a comment!