In a year of blockbusters (The Dark Knight) and prestige dramas (Doubt, Frost/Nixon), Slumdog is the only true indie with a shot at making the final five.
Best Director, Danny Boyle
No other filmmaker puts more energy on the screen. And Slumdog’s Dickensian storyline makes the film his most Academy-friendly yet.
Best Adapted Screenplay, Simon Beaufoy
He was nominated in the original screenplay race over a decade ago for The Full Monty. His Slumdog script is every bit as personal and charming but even more ambitious.
Best Cinematography, Anthony Dod Mantle
The scenery ranges from slums to palaces, but the photography is vivid no matter what the conditions.
Best Editing, Chris Dickens
As we saw with Into the Wild last year, films that jump back and forth in time often have a good shot in this category.
Best Original Song, “Jaiho”
I don’t want to say too much, but the movie’s closing credits are the highlight of the film, and that’s due in large part to the song that plays over them.
Best Art Direction, Mark Digby, Michelle Day
There’s a lot of location work, which may lead voters to think there wasn’t much set-building involved. But it still could compete with this year’s larger-scale dramas.
Best Original Score, A.R. Rahman
Rahman is a celebrated pop star and composer in his native India; can he break through and achieve Oscar recognition as well?
Best Supporting Actor, Dev Patel
The feature-film rookie delivers a very matter-of-fact, non-showy performance, but a Slumdog sweep could end up including him.
Best Sound Editing & Best Sound Mixing
Loud action flicks usually eat up these slots, but there’s enough fast-paced stuff in there to give the film an outside shot.
QUANTUM OF SOLACE
Best Original Song, “Another Way to Die”
Jack White and Alicia Keys’ duet isn’t winning over tons of fans (or getting much radio play), but Bond songs do have a decent track record at the Oscars.
Best Actor, Daniel Craig
Craig scored a BAFTA nomination two years ago for Casino Royale. If the Best Actor category wasn’t so crowded this time, he’d have a chance.