It’s probably foolish to immediately write off the movie nominated in 12 other categories, but if there was one moment in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button that threw me clean out of the movie’s up-to-then pretty seamless illusion, it was the moment the crane shot landed on Brad Pitt on that fishing boatthe precise point where the visual effects team hands the reigns of ancient Pitt over to the makeup team, who handle middle-aged Pitt. Granted, the movie doesn’t truly get lost in Uncanny Valley until the VFX team makes their encore performance to turn the clock back (forward?) on Pitt’s face, suggesting a PIXAR remake of Legends of the Fall. In any case, Benjamin Button has to have a better shot than The Dark Knight, unless all 38 Academy members who are both male and under 40 want to show their gratitude for helping them out with their Halloween costumes this year. (Like elderly Pitt, Two-Face is really more a VFX triumph.) Though Academy members might find its rogue’s gallery a lot less Alice in Wonderland and a lot more Hellraiser, we’re betting Guillermo del Toro’s Oscar goodwill continues here.
Will Win: Hellboy II
Should Win: Hellboy II