Oscar predictions

>> Monday, January 21, 2008

Tomorrow morning I will sleep in until my usual wake-up time for work. Not a noteworthy statement by any means; however, for the past 7+ years, I've gotten up at 5:15 am to watch the Oscar nominations on live tv. It started in high school, stopped during college and then started right back up after college when I joined the work force. There's not much point anymore since the full nomination list is available right after the announcements. Back in my high school days, the full list wasn't published until the evening paper.

I always enjoy Entertainment Weekly's Oscar predictions. They usually have a pretty solid list, but I have a few differences from their predictions. Granted, they do most of the work so I don't have to!

BEST PICTURE

  • Atonement
  • Juno
  • Michael Clayton
  • No Country for Old Men
  • There Will Be Blood
This is the most rock-solid list I've seen in awhile. I'm not even going to bother messing with it.

BEST DIRECTOR
  • Joel & Ethan Coen for No Country for Old Men
  • Joe Wright for Atonement
  • Sean Penn for Into the Wild
  • Julian Schnabel for The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
  • Paul Thomas Anderson for There Will Be Blood
I think Joe Wright is the most iffy of the bunch. He didn't get a DGA nod as EW noted, which is significant. I would LOVE for Tim Burton to suddenly sneak in, but really, he'll have to probably pick up a lifetime achievement award in his 70s. I do think there is a small chance that either David Cronenberg or Paul Greengrass could get a slot instead of Joe Wright. I'm not sure which of the two would be more likely than Wright. Greengrass was nominated last year for United 93. The Bourne Ultimatum would not have been the hit it was without him. Cronenberg has put in quality work for years. Eastern Promises is his second film in a row that some consider "mainstream." Would it be enough for the Academy? Maybe, maybe not.

BEST ACTOR
  • George Clooney for Michael Clayton
  • Daniel Day-Lewis for There Will Be Blood
  • Johnny Depp for Sweeney Todd
  • Ryan Gosling for Lars and the Real Girl
  • Viggo Mortensen for Eastern Promises
Clooney, Day-Lewis, Depp and Mortensen are locks as far as I'm concerned. Gosling, however, is the iffy one in this category. I actually saw Lars and the Real Girl. Did the members of the Academy? I really liked it, but I think it pales to a lot of other films and performances of the year. Gosling is going to be around for a long time, and I think people already realize this. Therefore, it's not necessary to nominate him for this. Emile Hirsch for Into the Wild is more likely as he already has received a SAG nomination. Plus, he was directed by Sean Penn whom the actors' branch already loves. EW mentions that Josh Brolin's work in No Country for Old Men is too subtle to "catch the Academy's eye." Ironic since they pick Gosling who's work in Lars is exactly that! My guess is that Emile Hirsch will be number 5.

BEST ACTRESS
  • Julie Christie for Away From Her
  • Marion Cotillard for La Vie en Rose
  • Angelina Jolie for A Mighty Heart
  • Laura Linney for The Savages
  • Ellen Page for Juno
Again, Christie, Cotillard, Jolie and Page are locks. Linney's the iffy one in this category and rightly so. As EW mentions, she's been shut out of the pre-Oscar awards circle so far. EW believes that "although the twice-nominated actress has gone the brother-sister route before (in You Can Count on Me), she's never pulled off such an exquisite balance of acerbic wit and heartbreaking vulnerability." Or, more specifically, EW couldn't press themselves to think out of the box for a better person for slot number five. It's a really weak argument. I think most of the actors branch will think, instead, "seen that before." If Elizabeth: The Golden Age was a better movie, Cate Blanchett would obviously be a lock for a nomination. Since it wasn't the knockout the first Elizabeth movie was, a dual nominations won't happen for Cate this year. Instead--and I agree with my sister on this one--Amy Adams will get nommed for Enchanted. EW believes "the whole animated-princess thing too lightweight." However, this role has moved Amy up to the A-list and without her top-notch performance, the movie certainly wouldn't work. (I actually haven't seen it, just going off word of mouth.) I don't think Keira Knightly is going to get nominated precisely for the rationale EW states, "lacks the screen time necessary to make a sufficient impression on voters."

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
  • Casey Affleck for The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
  • Javier Bardem for No Country for Old Men
  • Hal Holbrook for Into the Wild
  • Philip Seymour Hoffman for Charlie Wilson's War
  • Tom Wilkinson for Michael Clayton
Hmm, who gets to be the lucky person who reads Casey Affleck's nomination out loud? I bet they'll be excited by the length of the title! For me, Affleck, Bardem, Holbrook and Wilkinson are locks. I don't think Tommy Lee Jones is going to get nominated, and I don't think Seymour Hoffman is going to get nominated either. I think that most will recognize that his role in Charlie Wilson's War is written rather well and that many other actors could have given it the great panache he does. I think Paul Dano is going to sneak in and be a surprise. EW states that "Daniel Day-Lewis seems to be the focal point for that film's buzz in the acting categories." C'mon, he acts so rarely that almost whenever he does act these days he gets nominated for an Oscar. He's always newsworthy. EW is predicting that There Will Be Blood will be receiving nominations in Picture, Director, Actor and Writing (Adapted). It'll probably get a few nominations in the technical categories. Anyhow, for such a small film, the number of nominations it receives will be surprising to most people. I'm predicting that Paul Dano will be one of the surprises of the morning (along with Amy Adams). There's usually at least one or two every year. I could be right. I could be wrong.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
  • Cate Blanchett for I'm Not There
  • Ruby Dee for American Gangster
  • Catherine Keener for Into the Wild
  • Amy Ryan for Gone Baby Gone
  • Tilda Swinton for Michael Clayton
I actually don't have any differences from this category. I haven't seen any of the films mentioned for this category. I'm glad Tilda Swinton is finally getting nominated since I always thought she should have been nominated for The Deep End. EW mentions Emily Mortimer for Lars and the Real Girl in their "For Your Consideration" category. If Ryan Gosling is nominated she could be a possibility, but I doubt it at this point. Part of me thinks, "Catherine Keener, again?" I'm not enthusiastic about any of the choices in this category this year; although, I think they're all better than Jennifer Hudson winning for Dreamgirls last year. Sorry, I just am not convinced she can act outside of a musical. I need more proof and possibly the Sex and the City movie will prove it.

I'm not going to bother with the writing categories since they almost always match the WGA nominations.

Outstanding questions have to be: Will the show go on? If it does, will Daniel Day-Lewis and Viggo Mortensen appear? I'm sure they will, but I bet they would be just as happy if the show didn't go on so they wouldn't be forced to attend the circus.

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