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Six Spot #2: Best Picture 2008

Oscar Question

Welcome to the second Six Spot!  In case you missed the inaugural article last week, the Six Spot is a weekly column hypothesizing who or what would have been the 6th nominee in any given category in any given year.  Last week, we focused of the 1998 Best Actor race…but this week, we focus on the 2008 Best Picture race. The 2008 Best Picture race–a.k.a., The Race That Expanded The Best Picture Lineup–is one that forever reminded us that the Academy is still the Academy we always thought they were.  I remember sitting in my dorm room, 8:35 am, sitting in shock when The Reader was listed as the fifth nominee in the Best Picture field.  Since this race is so important to current Oscar history (I’m serious, this was the race that single-handedly launched the Expanded Field, and not a tip-of-the-hat to 1939).  Many have written about what the sixth through tenth nominees would have been; let’s look at the evidence and try to figure out just what movie would have been the Six Spot.

Slumdog Millionaire

The First Five Spots

The Academy Award nominees were….

  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (Kathleen Kennedy, Frank Marshall, and Ceán Chaffin)
  • Frost/Nixon (Brian Grazer, Ron Howard, and Eric Fellner)
  • Milk (Dan Jinks and Bruce Cohen)
  • The Reader (Anthony Minghella, Sydney Pollack, Donna Gigliotti, and Redmond Morris)
  • Slumdog Millionaire (Christian Colson)

DGA 2008 Boyle Fincher Van Sant Nolan Howard

Breakdown of the Seasonal Hardware

  • Slumdog Millionaire
    • Key WinsBAFTA Best Film win, Golden Globe (Drama) win, SAG Ensemble win, PGA win, DGA win, WGA Best Adapted Screenplay win, BFCA Best Picture win, NBR win
  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
    • Key NominationsBAFTA Best Film, Golden Globe (Drama), SAG Ensemble, PGA, DGA, WGA, BFCA Best Picture
  • Milk
    • Key Wins: NYFCC
    • Key Nominations: BAFTA Best Film, SAG Ensemble, PGA, DGA, WGA, BFCA Best Picture (no Golden Globe nomination)
  • Frost/Nixon
    • Key Nominations: BAFTA Best Film, Golden Globe (Drama), SAG Ensemble, PGA, DGA, WGA, BFCA Best Picture
  • The Reader
    • Key Wins: A slew of victories for Kate Winslet in supporting at the Golden Globes, BFCA, SAG, and a lead win from BAFTA
    • Key Nominations: BAFTA Best Film, Golden Globe (Drama), BFCA Best Picture (no PGA, SAG Ensemble, WGA, or DGA nominations)


  • The Dark Knight
    • Key Wins: A monsoon of posthumous Best Supporting Actor victories for Heath Ledger including the Golden Globes, BFCA, SAG, BAFTA, LAFCA, and Chicago Film Critics.  Not to mention, Box Office monster and huge buzz.
    • Key Nominations: PGA , DGA, WGA, LAFCA runner-up
  • WALL-E
    • Key Wins: LAFCA Best Picture, Chicago Film Critics Best Picture, Golden Globe (Animated Feature), BAFTA Animated Feature (not Best Picture), PGA Best Animated Feature (no Best Picture), BFCA Best Animated Film.  (No SAG or WGA because of ineligibility)
    • Key Nominations: BFCA Best Picture
  • Doubt
    • Key Wins: Lead Actress prizes for Meryl Streep at BFCA and SAG.
    • Key Nominations: BFCA Best Picture, SAG Ensemble, WGA.
  • The Wrestler
    • Key Wins: Best Actor prizes for Mickey Rourke at Golden Globes and BAFTA
    • Key Nominations: BFCA Best Picture, WGA
  • Vicky Cristina Barcelona
    • Key Wins: Golden Globe (Musical/Comedy) and a handful of critics’ prizes from LAFCA, NBR, and NYFCC
    • Key Nominations: WGA
  • Changeling
    • Key Nominations: BFCA Best Picture, BAFTA Best Director


What do you think?

72 points

Written by Sam Coffey

Attorney-at-law, Oscaroligist, coffee lover, Fantasy Football silver medalist, soccer fan (Orlando City SC), Geoffrey Rush enthusiast, and Time's 2006 Person of the Year.

Sam joined The Awards Circuit in January 2014, predicting all award shows with 100% accuracy ever since. A.K.A. "the stat guy."


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