Saturday 23 February 2008

The Academy Awards 2007 Prediction Game

This is the only point of the Oscars: choosing your favourites only for completely subjective reasons like what actors you like, which directors you enjoyed in the past or simply, whose political views appeal to you most. This year, I've seen a stunning number of two of the nominated movies ("Juno" and "Ratatouille"). That's right, I haven't even seen the Austrian nominee for Best Foreign Language Film, "Die Fälscher". But when a movie like "The Transformers" is nominated for an award, you know you shouldn't take the whole thing too seriously. The good thing about this year is that Jon Stewart will be hosting again - which is absolutely amazing (I didn't expect him to get the job in the year of the Presidential election). But now to the fun part: italics for who I THINK SHOULD WIN, fat for who is most likely to win. And yes, I am not objective about Ellen Page. I know there is no way that she is going to win, but still.

Best Film:

Michael Clayton
No Country for Old Men
There Will Be Blood

If Paul Thomas Anderson wins director, that one might go to "No Country for Old Men". If the Coens get director, "There Will Be Blood" is certainly going to win. I don't think it's likely that one of the two gets both, but we'll see - maybe it's going to be a very bad decision like "Crash" was when they couldn't decide between "Brokeback Mountain" and "Good Night and Good Luck".

Best Director:

Paul Thomas Anderson for There Will Be Blood
Joel Coen and Ethan Coen for No Country for Old Men
Tony Gilroy for Michael Clayton
Jason Reitman for Juno
Julian Schnabel for The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

Like I said, this should be a runner-up between Anderson and the Coens. Anderson was nominated twice for a Screenplay before and lost ("Boogie Nights" and "Magnolia", which should have won) and now is nominated for both Screenplay and Directing. The Coens were nominated several times before too, but won Best Screenplay for "Fargo".

Best Actor:

George Clooney for Michael Clayton
Daniel Day-Lewis for There Will Be Blood
Johnny Depp for Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Tommy Lee Jones for In the Valley of Elah
Viggo Mortensen for Eastern Promises

I guess that not even Tommy Lee Jones can stop Daniel Day-Lewis from getting that award. George Clooney is still lacking best actor, but Johnny Depp is never going to get one of those.

Best Actress:

Cate Blanchett in Elizabeth: The Golden Age
Julie Christie in Away from Her
Marion Cotillard in La Vie en Rose (La môme)
Laura Linney in The Savages
Ellen Page in Juno

This one is really tough. I don't really think that Blanchett is going to get it, even if she should have won for the first Elizabeth-movie - I've only heard good things about Julie Christie ("Away from Her" was directed by Sarah Polley) and Laura Linney. Hard to say.

Best Supporting Actor:

Casey Affleck in The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
Javier Bardem in No Country for Old Men
Philip Seymour Hoffman in Charlie Wilson's War
Hal Holbrook in Into the Wild
Tom Wilkinson in Michael Clayton

I really have no idea. I liked Casey Affleck in what little bits of "Jesse James" I managed to see over the past weeks. Probably Tom Wilkinson? Anway, this actually is a very "supporting actor"-like nomination list this year, not people who would usually go for Best Actor and fell in here accidentally.

Best Supporting Actress:

Cate Blanchett in I'm Not There
Ruby Dee in American Gangster
Saoirse Ronan in Atonement
Amy Ryan in Gone Baby Gone
Tilda Swinton in Michael Clayton

I think I'd love to see Cate Blanchett just for the fun of having someone win the same award for playing Katharine Hepburn AND Bob Dylan. But I think Tilda Swinton would be a more obvious choice, or maybe they'll go for Ruby Dee. She is 83 (and Saoirse Ronan is only 13, and therefore the youngest person ever nominated for an Academy Award)!

Best Original Screenplay:

Juno, written by Diablo Cody
Lars and the Real Girl, written by Nancy Oliver
Michael Clayton, written by Tony Gilroy
Ratatouille, written by Brad Bird
The Savages, written by Tamara Jenkins

Judging from past history of the Academy Awards with the oddball movies, this one should go to "Juno". On the other hand, "Michael Clayton" has to win something, and the other categories are pretty much dominated by "There Will Be Blood" and "No Country for Old Men".

Best Adapted Screenplay:

Atonement, Christopher Hampton based on Atonement, novel by Ian McEwan
Away from Her, Sarah Polley based on "The Bear Came over the Mountain", short story by Alice Munro
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Ronald Harwood based on Le scaphandre et le papillon, memoir by Jean-Dominique Bauby
No Country for Old Men, Joel and Ethan Coen based on No Country for Old Men, novel by Cormac McCarthy
There Will Be Blood, Paul Thomas Anderson based on Oil!, novel by Upton Sinclair

I really want that one to go to Sarah Polley. She should have gotten more attention for "My Life Without Me".

Best Animated Film:

Surf's Up

Difficult. I loved "Ratatouille", but of course "Persepolis" is the more eloquent and relevant movie. But has Pixar ever lost?

Other stuff:
"Enchanted", which actually was a pretty nice movie (even if Patrick Dempsey's acting sometimes causes Ben-Affleck-like cringing), is nominated three times for best song. And guess what: I think it's going to lose just as many times.
I don't think that Michael Moore will get an Award for "Sicko". Jon Stewart is enough politics for one evening. That's not too bad, Stewart is more effective anyway.
A lot of very famous people died last year. I am not sure whether I really want to be reminded of that.

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