O's 2009 Oscars® Cheat Sheet
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
It's a typical roster for Oscar's top award: some high-prestige adaptations (Benjamin Button, Frost/Nixon, and The Reader), a handsome biopic (Milk), and a crowd-pleasing wild card (Slumdog Millionaire).
O's Winner Is...
Slumdog all the way: It's got the most awards-season momentum and the most passionate admirers.
Missing in Action
Last summer's dystopian fable Wall-E is playful, tender, totally beguiling—and inexplicably absent from this list, though it will almost certainly pick up a consolation prize in the form of Best Animated Feature. Among the extras on the three-disc special edition: commentary from director Andrew Stanton, a short film starring the robot-welder Burn-E, and alternate scenes that point toward the darker detours the story might have taken. Best of all, the DVD includes the short Presto (which served as Wall-E's warm-up act in theaters), a laugh-out-loud vignette of a magician and his unruly rabbit-in-a-hat.