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What's Up For Today?

New York Cool - Ask Miss Wendy

Film

 


Frank J. Avella's
February Film Column

Opposite Photo:
Javier Bardem in
No Country for Old Men


80th Academy Awards: My Predictions
February 17, 2008

I believe a bit of boredom has set in when discussing most of this year’s major Oscar categories. Last year, no one was really certain about Best Picture so there was speculation galore (Could the serious Babel beat the beloved Little Miss Sunshine? Would Clint’s Letters from Iwo Jima pounce The Departed?). No Country for Old Men seems to have a lock this year, which is forcing many an Oscar pundit to cyberscurry about trying to create alternate scenario like Michael Clayton winning because it appeals to the older Academy members or Juno taking one for the youth. I just don’t see it happening, but you never know…

Last year I correctly predicted eight out of the eight major categories— not really a difficult feat since the only real surprise was Alan Arkin. This year the wild card category is Best Supporting Actress.

Oscar prognosticating has become a fiercely competitive game to some but still remains fun for many of us. And it should be fun. So in that spirit, here are my 2007 Academy Award predictions:

BEST PICTURE
Atonement
Juno
Michael Clayton
No Country for Old Men
There Will Be Blood

I don’t see the need to mention any scenario but the obvious one.


Javier Bardem in No Country for Old Men


Prediction: No Country for Old Men
Preference: There Will Be Blood

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

No one can take this away from the brothers Coen! No one.

Prediction: Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, No Country for Old Men
Preference: Paul Thomas Anderson, There Will Be Blood

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

Again, the obvious is obvious. There will be gold!


Daniel Day Lewis in There Will Be Blood

Prediction: Daniel Day-Lewis in There Will Be Blood
Preference: Daniel Day-Lewis in There Will Be Blood

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

Finally, we get to some competition. Of late, there has been speculation that anyone who actually watches Cotillard will vote for her. And this might be true but Christie’s an icon and has been uncharacteristically visible this season (like Peter O’Toole last year but he went up against Oprah fav Idi Amin, I mean Forest Whitaker!). I think she’ll win her second Oscar, by a hair.


Julie Christie in Away from Her

Prediction: Julie Christie in Away from Her
Preference: Marion Cotillard in La Vie en Rose


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

On occasion, the old timer wins here, but this year Holbrook will have to be happy with a nomination. The award is Bardem’s.

Prediction: Javier Bardem in No Country for Old Men
Preference: Javier Bardem in No Country for Old Men

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

Here’s where we get messy (and, in turn, exciting!) Really, anyone can win. And, historically, of late, anyone has won! (Anna Paquin, Marisa Tomei, Kim Basinger) Ruby Dee is at an advantage and disadvantage. She is revered and deserving of career recognition, but the veteran rarely wins in this category (Ann Sothern, Lauren Bacall, Gloria Stuart). Blanchett is loved and hers is the genius turn. Plus I am tired of reading about how she won’t win because she recently won. If they love you enough, it doesn’t matter (Tom Hanks back-to-back anyone?) She won’t win because the film is too obscure for most Academy members tastes and that screener (a showcase of just Blanchett’s performance in I’m Not There) probably confused most who saw it. Ryan could take it if enough members saw the film. And there’s been growing momentum (real or imagined?) for Swinton since she won the BAFTA and since this may be the only way to award Michael Clayton something. I guess all this should mean Ronan will win by default. Flip a few coins. Ask your grandmother. My gut, today:


Tilda Swinton in Michael Clayton

Prediction: Tilda Swinton in Michael Clayton
Preference: Cate Blanchett in I’m Not There

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Diablo Cody, Juno
Nancy Oliver, Lars and the Real Girl
Tony Gilroy, Michael Clayton
Brad Bird, Story by Jan Pinkava, Jim Capobianco, Brad Bird, Ratatouille
Tamara Jenkins, The Savages

Gilroy once had a chance here but can anyone really compete with a media-goddess named Diablo?

Prediction: Diablo Cody, Juno
Preference: Brad Bird, Story by Jan Pinkava, Jim Capobianco, Brad Bird, Ratatouille


BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Paul Thomas Anderson, There Will Be Blood
Christopher Hampton, Atonement
Ronald Harwood, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, No Country for Old Men
Sarah Polley, Away From Her

Again, the Coens, although it’d be the perfect place to give Anderson something!

Prediction: Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, No Country for Old Men
Preference: Paul Thomas Anderson, There Will Be Blood

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Beaufort (Israel)
The Counterfeiters (Austria)
Katyn (Poland)
Mongol (Kazakhstan)
12 (Russia)

Prediction: The Counterfeiters
Preference: I haven’t seen all five, so I abstain.

BEST ANIMATED FILM
Persepolis
Ratatouille
Surf's Up


Ratatouille

Prediction: Ratatouille
Preference: Ratatouille

BEST ART DIRECTION
American Gangster
Atonement
The Golden Compass
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
There Will Be Blood

 


James McAvoy and Keira Knightley in Atonement

Prediction: Atonement
Preference: Sweeney Todd


BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford Roger Deakins
Atonement, Seamus Mcgarvey
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Janusz Kaminski
No Country For Old Men, Roger Deakins
There Will Be Blood, Robert Elswit

Going out on a limb with this one.


Casey Affleck and Brad Pitt
The Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford

Prediction: The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
Preference: There Will Be Blood

BEST COSTUME DESIGN
Across the Universe, Albert Wolsky
Atonement, Jacqueline Durran
Elizabeth: The Golden Age, Alexandra Byrne
La Vie En Rose, Marit Allen
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street, Colleen Atwood

Prediction: Atonement
Preference: Sweeney Todd

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
No End in Sight
Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience
Sicko
Taxi to the Dark Side
War/Dance

Prediction: No End in Sight

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT
Freeheld
La Corona" ("The Crown")
Salim Baba
Sari's Mother

Prediction: Freeheld


BEST FILM EDITING
The Bourne Ultimatum, Christopher Rouse
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Juliette Welfling
Into the Wild,Jay Cassidy
No Country for Old Men,Roderick Jaynes
There Will Be Blood, Dylan Tichenor

Prediction: No Country for Old Men
Preference: There Will Be Blood

BEST MAKEUP
La Vie en Rose
Norbit
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End


Marion Cotillard in La Vie en Rose

Prediction: La Vie En Rose
Preference: La Vie En Rose

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
Atonement, Dario Marianelli
The Kite Runner, Alberto Iglesias
Michael Clayton, James Newton Howard
Ratatouille, Michael Giacchino
3:10 to Yuma, Marco Beltrami

Prediction: Atonement
Preference: Atonement

BEST ORIGINAL SONG
"Falling Slowly" from Once
"Happy Working Song" from Enchanted
"Raise It Up" from August Rush
"So Close" from Enchanted
"That's How You Know" from Enchanted

Ever since Eminem won, this category has moved further and further way from rewarding Disney.


Amy Adams in Enchanted

Prediction: "Falling Slowly"
Preference: "Falling Slowly"

BEST ANIMATED SHORT FILM
I Met the Walrus
Madame Tutli-Putli
Même Les Pigeons Vont au Paradis (Even Pigeons Go to Heaven)
My Love (Moya Lyubov)
Peter & the Wolf

Prediction: Madame Tutli-Putli

BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM
At Night
Il Supplente (The Substitute)
Le Mozart des Pickpockets (The Mozart of Pickpockets)
Tanghi Argentini
The Tonto Woman

Prediction: Il Supplente (The Substitute)

BEST SOUND EDITING
The Bourne Ultimatum
No Country For Old Men
Ratatouille
There Will Be Blood
Transformers

Prediction: No Country for Old Men
Preference: The Bourne Ultimatum

BEST SOUND MIXING
The Bourne Ultimatum
No Country For Old Men
Ratatouille
3:10 to Yuma
Transformers

Prediction: No Country for Old Men
Preference: The Bourne Ultimatum

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
The Golden Compass
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
Transformers

Prediction: Transformers
Preference: None

 

 



 


 

 

 


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