When it comes to Oscar award voting, I like to try to get into the heads of those who are voting. This includes those in the technical branches, art branches, of course the actors and directors.
For some reason, I always try to think who Judi Dench is voting for, but this year decided to mix it up with three other Academy voters.
I remember hearing a Nightline interview with Meryl Streep earlier this year where she complained that three of the five best picture nominated films didn't even have a female lead actress. In fact, Meryl seemed very perterbed at this. It doesn't sound like she'll be voting for Milk, Frost/Nixon, or Slumdog Millionaire.
This leads me to think that Meryl Streep is leaving herself with only the choice of decided between The Reader and the Curious Case of Benjamin Button.
Meryl seems like she would like to see roles where serious women, take on serious roles, and as a show of good faith for the competition between herself and Kate Winslet, she is going to be routing for The Reader to win best picutre. The film seems much more in line with films that Meryl herself choses, and I have a feeling she knows that if the reader was made in the 80s she'd have been considered for the lead role.
Meryl's predicted vote: The Reader (2nd choice: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button)
I always remember how Steven Spielberg marched out of the theater when he saw the Oscar nominated film Life Is Beautiful because he didn't like how it handled the issues of the holocaust in comedic fashion.
Obviously, we know Steven's not only serious, but don't joke about WWII.
I think this might lead him to consider The Reader as a potential nominated film, but some how in my heart, I think Spielberg is drawn to something much bigger this year. I think Steven doesn't know exactly how he feels about Slumdog Millionaire, while he's cordial about the film when people ask him about it, I imagine he's a little off put by it's popularity.
I think Spielberg instead is torn between Ron Howard's Frost/Nixon or The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. I imagine that Spielberg has a good relationship with Benjamin Button screenwriter Eric Roth (who also wrote Spielberg's script for Munich). I think Spielberg will opt to vote for Benjamin Button hoping to upset Slumdog Millionaire, and then vote for his friend Ron Howard for director.
Steven's predicted vote: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2nd choice: Frost/Nixon)
Dakota Fanning was made a member of the academy voting body in 2006 at the age of 12, the youngest ever member.
Since Fanning, now only 14 would only be permitted to see the Curious Case of Benjamin Button, as it's rated PG-13 and all the other 4 nominated films are rated R, I'd be tempted to guess this is her choice...especially since I can't see her getting too excited about historical films like Frost/Nixon, The Reader, or Milk.
Not only is Benjamin Button the only non-R rated film it also stars her sister Elle. Surely that is all the bump this film needs to receive Dakota's vote.
Yet, if Fanning had seen all 5 films, I think she might be drawn towards Slumdog Millionaire, somehow I think she might easily have a thing for Dev Patel from Slumdog.
At the same time, as a 14 year girl, I could see Dakota Fanning prone to want to support not only her sister, but also her friends...even if she hasn't seen the film...and because of that, I could see her voting for Milk. I imagine that after Dakota Fanning worked with Sean Penn in I Am Sam, they developed a close bond, and that Fanning might even feel inspired and trained by Sean Penn...thus leading her to vote for the film Milk in hopes to support her friend Sean. Although, the film is probably hardly the type of film a 14 year old girl would normally vote for.
Dakota's predicted vote: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2nd choice: Slumdog Millionaire)