Schulz's MediaCom VOD Picks
Suscribe to Weekly RiverCitiesReader.com Updates
* indicates required

View previous campaigns.

No Contest for "Old Men": 2008 Oscar Predictions PDF Print E-mail
Movies - Feature Stories
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 20 February 2008 02:50

No Country for Old Men Let's begin with a caveat: I'm not very good as this Oscar-guessing thing. So if you're planning to use my predictions to help win your annual Academy Awards pool, you should know that two years in a row now, I've only guessed correctly in 15 out of 24 categories, giving me an average of .625 - a moderately underwhelming record.

Then again, if that were my batting average in professional baseball, I'd be a god, so I'm pressing ahead.

The following are the nominees for the 80th-annual Academy Awards, scheduled to air on ABC affiliate WQAD-TV at 7 p.m. on Sunday, February 24. And while there's much uncertainty about the eventual results in several major categories, at least I'm feeling confident about this year's all-but-inevitable Best Picture - a category I botched last year. And the year before that. And the year before that. (You've been warned.)

Boldface denotes my predictions.

 

 

BEST PICTURE

Atonement

Juno

Michael Clayton

No Country for Old Men

There Will Be Blood

 

Winner of the Producers Guild Award, the Directors Guild Award, and the Screen Actors Guild Award. The last movie to do that? The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, which won 11 Oscars out of its 11 nominations. With its eight nods, I don't see No Country pulling off that kind of 100-percent victory. Seven out of eight seems about right, though.

 

 

Daniel Day Lewis in There Will Be Blood BEST ACTOR

George Clooney, Michael Clayton

Daniel Day-Lewis, There Will Be Blood

Johnny Depp, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Tommy Lee Jones, In the Valley of Elah

Viggo Mortensen, Eastern Promises

 

And don't be surprised if, while Day-Lewis is holding the Oscar, the statuette actually genuflects.

 

 

Marion Cotillard in La Vie en rose BEST ACTRESS

Cate Blanchett, Elizabeth: The Golden Age

Julie Christie, Away from Her

Marion Cotillard, La Vie en rose

Laura Linney, The Savages

Ellen Page, Juno

 

As Julie Christie is the more obvious front-runner, I'll inevitably pay for this wrong guess. But I'll do it with honor, as Cotillard's performance is the sort of stunningly inspired transformation that won Day-Lewis an Oscar for 1989's My Left Foot. And Cotillard did just win the British Academy Award for Best Actress. After winning a Golden Globe last month. Hmm. Maybe I won't be paying for this guess.

 

 

Javier Bardem in No Country for Old Men BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Casey Affleck, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

Javier Bardem, No Country for Old Men

Philip Seymour Hoffman, Charlie Wilson's War

Hal Holbrook, Into the Wild

Tom Wilkinson, Michael Clayton

 

Hey, I'm not betting against him ... .

 

 

Ruby Dee and Denzel Washington in American GangsterBEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Cate Blanchett, I'm Not There

Ruby Dee, American Gangster

Saoirse Ronan, Atonement

Amy Ryan, Gone Baby Gone

Tilda Swinton, Michael Clayton

 

Because it would be unthinkable if the Academy didn't reward at least one likable performance this year, and among this lineup, Dee's the only option. And yeah, she only has five minutes of screen time ... and only one big scene ... and she's totally peripheral to the storyline ... but still ... it's Ruby Dee!

 

 

Ethan and Joel Coen BEST DIRECTOR

Paul Thomas Anderson, There Will Be Blood

Ethan Coen and Joel Coen, No Country for Old Men

Tony Gilroy, Michael Clayton

Jason Reitman, Juno

Julian Schnabel, The Diving Bell & the Butterfly

 

It's quite possible that, in future years, we'll bitch that Anderson was robbed of a Best Director Oscar for There Will Be Blood, the way we still gripe about Scorsese's loss for GoodFellas. And then we'll stop bitching, because we'll remember just how freaking good No Country for Old Men actually is.

 

 

Tommy Lee Jones in No Country for Old MenBEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

Paul Thomas Anderson, There Will Be Blood

Ethan Coen and Joel Coen, No Country for Old Men

Christopher Hampton, Atonement

Ronald Harwood, The Diving Bell & the Butterfly

Sarah Polley, Away from Her

 

Substitute "Best Adapted Screenplay" for "Best Director," and just re-read the previous commentary.

 

 

 

JunoBEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Brad Bird, Jim Capobianco, and Jan Pinkava, Ratatouille

Diablo Cody, Juno

Tony Gilroy, Michael Clayton

Tamara Jenkins, The Savages

Nancy Oliver, Lars & the Real Girl

 

Fo shizz.

 

 

The CounterfeitersBEST FOREIGN-LANGUAGE FILM

Beaufort, Israel

The Counterfeiters, Austria

Katyn, Poland

Mongol, Kazakhstan

12, Russia

 

Normally, the majority of foreign-language Oscar nominees don't reach our area. But this year, they barely made it to anyone's area. With no buzz to rely on, then, I'm going with the Holocaust drama The Counterfeiters, because I can't seem to find an Oscar prognosticator who isn't predicting it. If I'm gonna be wrong, I'm gonna have company.

 

 

RatatouilleBEST ANIMATED FEATURE

Persepolis

Ratatouille

Surf's Up

 

A mean-spirited critic finally gets what's coming to him. How could the Academy possibly resist?

 

 

Michael Moore's SickoBEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

No End in Sight

Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience

Sicko

Taxi to the Dark Side

War/Dance

 

My brain says No End in Sight, Charles Ferguson's and Audrey Mars' staggeringly smart Iraq war indictment. But, come on, it's an election year ... how could voters resist the urge to give Michael Moore one more crack at the mic?

 

 

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

Atonement

The Diving Bell & the Butterfly

No Country for Old Men

There Will Be Blood

 

In addition to No Country, perpetual Oscar also-ran Roger Deakins has also been nominated for The Shawshank Redemption, Fargo, Kundun, O Brother Where Art Thou?, The Man Who Wasn't There, and The Assassination of Jesse James. Just give it to him, already!

 

 

OnceBEST ORIGINAL SONG

"Falling Slowly," Once

"Happy Working Song," Enchanted

"Raise It Up," August Rush

"So Close," Enchanted

"That's How You Know," Enchanted

 

Without question, the decade's most idiosyncratic category. (Winners since the 2000 Oscars: Bob Dylan, Randy Newman, Eminem, Annie Lennox, Jorge Drexler - for a song performed in a foreign language - Three 6 Mafia, and Melissa Etheridge.) Expect the Irish acoustic number to win, and deserve to win, over Enchanted's clever animated-musical parodies and whatever August Rush song I've blocked from memory.

 

 

BEST FILM EDITING

The Bourne Ultimatum

The Diving Bell & the Butterfly

Into the Wild

No Country for Old Men

There Will Be Blood

 

If the Coen brothers' editing alias Roderick Jaynes wins this one, and the Coens also win the Picture, Director, and Adapted Screenplay awards they're likely shoo-ins for, they'll have made history, tying for the record of most Oscars received in a single year. The four-time winner they'd share that acknowledgment with? Walt Disney. And if anyone ever opens a CoenBrothersland, I'm there.

 

 

TransformersBEST VISUAL EFFECTS

The Golden Compass

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End

Transformers

 

A Michael Bay-directed adaptation of a toy, for Pete's sake ... and a pretty damned good one! Academy members should feel no guilt about voting for Transformers here.

 

 

BEST SOUND MIXING

The Bourne Ultimatum

No Country for Old Men

Ratatouille

3:10 to Yuma

Transformers

 

Or here. Which should be great news to nominated mixer Kevin O'Connell, currently on his 20th nomination without a win. Last year, referencing his likely (and eventual) loss for Apocalypto, I wrote, "The 20th time has to be the charm, right?" It just might be.

 

 

BEST SOUND EDITING

The Bourne Ultimatum

No Country for Old Men

Ratatouille

There Will Be Blood

Transformers

 

For the devastating precision of those bullets during the hotel attack. And for that same scene's quiet unscrewing of a light bulb. And the distantly ringing telephone. And for the transponder. And for the comedic scratch of a woman's fingernails against an emery board. And for the ... .

 

 

AtonementBEST COSTUME DESIGN

Across the Universe

Atonement

Elizabeth: The Golden Age

La Vie en rose

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

 

There are only a handful of truly iconic dresses in cinema history. Keira Knightley's emerald-green number is one of them.

 

 

BEST ART DIRECTION

American Gangster

Atonement

The Golden Compass

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

There Will Be Blood

 

Atonement's decorations - particularly in that famed six-minute tracking shot - were pretty iconic, too. Too bad that director Joe Wright never lets you forget it for an instant.

 

 

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

 

Once upon a time, about a decade ago, winning Best Costume Design, Art Direction, and Score would mean a fait accompli Best Picture win. (See Shakespeare in Love, Titanic, The English Patient ... .) Not so much now. Evolution in progress, my friends.

 

 

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's EndBEST MAKEUP

La Vie en rose

Norbit

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End

 

As much as I'd love to back La Vie en rose here - and really, from a voter's perspective, isn't it the least embarrassing choice? - I'm betting on Pirates' Ve Neill and Martin Samuel. They helped create dozens of monsters, while La Vie's Didier Lavergne and Jan Archibald basically lent their talents to ... well, one.

 

 

Sari's MotherBEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT

Freeheld

La Corona (The Crown)

Salim Baba

Sari's Mother

 

The subject matter in this frequently downbeat category includes AIDS, the Iraq War, and a mismanaged health-care system ... and that's just Sari's Mother. Call me insensitive, but seriously, how can it lose?

 

 

BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM

At Night

Il Supplente (The Substitute)

Le Mozart des Pickpockets (The Mozart of Pickpockets)

Tanghi Argentini

The Tonto Woman

 

I love that parenthetical "The Mozart of Pickpockets" more than I can say. Apparently, we wouldn't have been able to translate the film's foreign-language title without it. It's a total shot in the dark, but I'm predicting a Tonto Woman win here, as it's based on a story by some writer named Elmore Leonard. I hear he's good.

 

 

Madame Tutli-PutliBEST 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

 

I Met the Walrus features a previously unheard interview with John Lennon. Peter & the Wolf has all that Prokofiev music. Can I be honest, though? I'm really hoping some ill-prepared young star - Hayden Christensen or Jessica Alba, maybe - is forced into saying "Tutli-Putli" in front of a billion people.


blog comments powered by Disqus

Trackback(0)
Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
You must be logged in to post a comment. Please register if you do not have an account yet.

busy