22 February 2008
  my oscar predictions

well it's been a pretty boring oscar year really, in spite of the will-it-or-won't-it-happen drama, and i don't expect there to be a whole lot of surprises on sunday. no country for old men will no doubt win almost all of the awards it's been nominated for. it was a fine movie, not my favorite at all, but i don't have any brokeback mountain level animosity towards it or anything. in any case, i am hoping for at least a few mild surprises, most notably in the best actress category. here's my predix:

supporting actor:
will win. . . javier bardem i don't think has lost a single award so far this season, so it would be an absolute shock if he didn't walk away a winner on sunday. it's a fine performance, but i will never understand how every year so much hype seems to surround performances and films that aren't really in any way spectacular. there are lots of performances that could and should challenge him.
should win. . . when i first saw into the wild back in the fall, i walked away just drained by hal holbrook's performance. it kinda irks me when so many people keep calling him the sentimental favorite, rather than focusing on the real reason he is nominated-- a fantastic performance. it is so good, it almost makes me afraid to watch the movie again. too freaking sad. (oh and one other note, i don't know how casey affleck got nominated in this category but he is without a doubt the lead in the assassination of jesse james)
my five. . . hal holbrook, javier bardem, russell crowe (3:10 to yuma), ben foster (3:10 to yuma) and john travolta (hairspray).

supporting actress:
will win. . . this is the only category besides maybe director that hasn't been set in stone for months now. on the one hand everyone seems to love cate blanchett and for a while she would have been the frontrunner, but there seems to be backlash. so that leaves the door open for amy ryan. for the life of me, i can't figure out why anyone liked gone baby gone (the worst i have seen all year), and her performance was really very small left a lot to be desired. tilda swinton seems to gaining speed also, and then there is the sag winner, ruby dee (who really was quite fantastic in american gangster). i think i am going to have to predict amy ryan even though ANYTHING else would make me happy.
should win. . . cate blanchett is one of those actresses that is so good in everything that she does, that i think academy members might assume (correctly) that she doesn't really need this award and give it to someone like ruby dee or amy ryan who would most likely appreciate it a lot more. still, her bob dylan was one of the year's best performances, and it should be rewarded.
my five. . . cate blanchett, ruby dee, saorsie ronan, romola garai (atonement) and michelle pfeiffer (hairspray)

will win. . . daniel day lewis will win this award, but something tells me it isn't as much of a lock as everyone presumes it is. once again, he may be falling into the cate blanchett trap of looking like he doesn't really need it. still, even though most people are saying that george clooney poses the biggest threat here, my gut tells me that johnny depp is giving him a run for his money. the academy really wants to give johnny depp an oscar, and every year he just barely seems to miss out. even though it may be a relatively close race, daniel day lewis can't lose.
should win. . . lewis is fantastic. that goes without saying. he is one of those actors that you really like watching on screen, but you probably wouldn't want to get close to in real life. he is just too intense. the only thing that bothers me just a little bit about lewis' performance is that it is somewhat reminiscent of bill the butcher in gangs of new york. but you know me, i love dramatic, scene chewing, huge performances, and that is what this one is.
my five. . . daniel day lewis, johnny depp, tommy lee jones, russell crowe (american gangster) and denzel washington (american gangster).

will win. . . whether or not this is a close race or not is really anyone's guess. i haven't necessarily been quiet about my confusion over julie christie's nomination here. #1 her role is SUPPORTING. #2 the movie, and her performance are as boring as sin. and #3 she just isn't that good in it. in the back of my mind i think a lot of people want to admit that she isn't spectacular in away from her, but they are afraid to step out of the pack. marion cotillard and ellen page aren't totally out of the picture yet, but it looks like it is christie's to lose.
should win. . . the only reason that marion cotillard won't win this award is that too many academy voters are afraid to watch movies with subtitles. as has become overwhelmingly evident this awards season, when it comes to foreign films, the academy is 100% helpless. cotillard's turn as edith piaf is no doubt the best performance of the year in any category. almost everyone that sees la vie en rose seems to agree on that. this is the one category i am really rooting for an upset.
my five. . . marion cotillard, cate blanchett, keira knightley (atonement), helena bonham carter (sweeney todd) and nikki blonsky (hairspray)

will win. . . this category is a bit of a mystery. on the one hand, the coen brothers are widely assumed to be the best filmmakers of the year, and most people seem to be rooting for them to win. however, the academy has almost never awarded directing duos. so if they follow suit this year, the award is poised to be handed to the diving bell and the butterfly's julian schnabel. as much as i want to predict an upset here and see schnabel win the award, i think it is going to be a historic year for the coen brothers.
should win. . . of the five nominated directors i think i would be most pleased to see there will be blood's paul thomas anderson win this award. i really admire filmmakers that make bold, dramatic choices with their direction. even if there are a few mistakes made along the way, as long as the director took chances i can accept them. i really think the directing oscar should go to tim burton for sweeney todd. nobody but him could have made this movie. it is a great achievement in filmmaking.
my five. . . tim burton, paul thomas anderson, sean penn (into the wild), andrew dominik (the assassination of jesse james by the coward robert ford) and julie taymor (across the universe)

original screenplay:
will win. . . the worst thing about juno (and there are many many bad things to choose from) is the screenplay. it is dull, unfunny and at times almost incomprehensible. there are so many scenes that go nowhere. there are so many characters that should have been excised early in script development. yet for some reason that i will never be able to understand diablo cody will win her oscar this year and everyone will swoon and i will go to the kitchen for a cookie or something.
should win. . . to be completely honest i haven't yet seen any of the nominated screenplays except juno (although i am going to see michael clayton tomorrow). i can't imagine i would like lars and the real girl. it looks mind numbingly stupid. and i am almost certain i would hate ratatouille. so i guess i will be rooting for the savages. my pic for best original screenplay would have been paul haggis' flawless script for in the valley of elah.
my five. . . paul haggis, adrienne shelley (waitress), scott frank (the lookout), olivier dahan (la vie en rose) and matt groening et al. (the simpsons movie)

adapted screenplay:
will win. . . the consensus seems to be that the coen brother's script for no country will take this award along with the boatload of other awards the movie is destined to receive, but i sort of think that if the coens win best pic and best directors, the academy may throw a bone here to paul thomas anderson's blood. i still think the coen brothers will win, but i wouldn't be surprised to see a mild upset here.
should win. . . there are some excellent screenplays nominated in this category. there will be blood is a well written adaptation and i think that this category is where the film is most deserving of a win. atonement is also a great movie and i would be happy to see it win the category even though it has no chance. although i haven't seen it yet, the diving bell and the butterfly sounds like an excellent movie, and i am happy to see it get at least a little attention (for a foreign film). still, the greatest screen adaptation this year without a doubt was sean penn's masterful rewriting of john krakauer's incredible book into the wild.
my five. . . sean penn, paul thomas anderson, christopher hampton (atonement), halsted welles (3:10 to yuma) and marjane satrapi (persepolis)

will win. . . the ratings for the oscars have been down lately, and i think that has something to with how everyone is trying to make this category seem like it isn't all wrapped up. but alas there will be no crash-type upset sunday night. no country for old men will cap off an incredibly successful night with a final feather in their collective cap.
should win. . . of the final nominated films there are some great, some good, and some what-the-hell-are-people-thinking. starting at the bottom of the rung, i will never understand why people are falling all over themselves cheering for the crap-fest that is juno. in the middle is no country, not too great, but certainly not bad. and then there are the truly great atonement and there will be blood. i will be rooting for atonement (is it completely outside the realm of possibility? i think yes, but people are saying no). still, truly the best movie of the year was persepolis. too bad it is in french.
my five. . . persepolis, into the wild, hairspray, atonement and 3:10 to yuma

other categories:
cinematography. . . i think any of the five nominated movies could potentially come out on top in this category. especially after last year's children of men catastrophe, it seems pretty obvious that people voting on this category don't know what cinematography is (pretty landscapes ala brokeback mountain does not equal excellent camera work). it is most likely going to be the assassination of jesse james or there will be blood. i think some of the cinematography in atonement is fantastic, but not quite as great as james. still, my prediction is there will be blood
art direction. . . it shocks me that there is even a chance that sweeney todd won't win this category. burton's art direction here is so fantastic that it really makes the movie. it is just fun to look at. there will be blood is the favorite to win this, and it might be deserving in another year. i am going to go ahead and predict sweeney todd in this category, if only because it seems like a travesty not to.
costumes. . . once again, the costumes in sweeney todd are truly fabulous. it is one of those movies that you watch and think that these actors must have really been living in the scene. i wouldn't even begin to think of how they could get out of bed and walk into the film and seem like such a part of the scenery otherwise. there is a lot of support for atonement here (it's amazing what a little green dress can do), but i am still thinking it is sweeney todd's to lose.
makeup. . . i had never seen marion cotillard before watching this movie, so i didn't really know what she looked like, but now that i know it just makes the makeup in this movie that much more fascinating. in la vie en rose, she goes back in forth in age from her teens to maybe her late 40s. i don't think i have ever seen a movie like that where this shift seems so convincing. la vie en rose will win this category no doubt.
score. . . it's kind of screwed up that johnny greenwood's score for there will be blood was disqualified in this category, but my favorite score for atonement was my favorite. it's so cool how they made the sound of the typewriter dominate the film's music. and it is going to win the category.
song. . . i really don't care too much about this category this year since none of the songs from into the wild or love in the time of cholera made the cut. in short, the best film song will not win this award. but the oscar will probably go to that song from once that everyone seems to be putting over their oscar montages this year.
foreign film. . . what a disaster. here is a list of the best foreign films this year-- the diving bell and the butterfly, 4 months 3 weeks and 2 days, persepolis, lust caution and the orphanage. here's how many of these movies that were nominated in this category-- zero. in fact none of them even made the top 10 shortlist. the five nominated movies are no doubt inferior, nobody has ever seen them, and so i just don't care.
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