Saturday, February 23, 2008

Oscar Picks!

I know you've probably been dying to find out, so I won't keep you waiting any longer. Here are my picks for Sunday’s 80th Academy Awards. Keep these predictions close by while you watch, because I’m never wrong!*

Best Picture: This award will almost certainly go to “No Country for Old Men.” If anything else wins, it will surely be considered an upset. If “No Country” doesn’t take home the gold, look for the possibility of “Michael Clayton” surprising everyone. I think there’s a chance that “No Country” and “There Will Be Blood” might alienate some voters with their controversial endings and odd ‘milkshake’ moments. “Clayton” has been quietly building momentum, and if “No Country” and “Blood” split the vote, this might be the movie to beat. On the other hand, “Juno” is a fan favorite and ‘the little movie that could,’ so there is a small chance that it could go the distance. And while “Atonement” was beautiful and stunning, it’s probably going to come up empty handed. To sum up: if it’s not “No Country,” it’ll be “Michael Clayton” or “Juno.”

Best Director: I’m going with Ethan and Joel Coen on this one, who are also pretty much a given. If it’s not them, then maybe Julian Schnabel for “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly,” but I doubt it. I was actually going to list Sean Penn in the runner-up category, but when I checked my score card I remembered that he wasn’t even nominated for “Into the Wild,” so nevermind!

Best Actor: Daniel-Day Lewis. Just give it to him right now.

Best Actress: There’s a bit more wiggle room for guesses here, but I’m going to have to go with Julie Christie. She made viewers of “Away from Her” marvel that a healthy woman could play an Alzheimer’s patient so well, and everyone’s been talking about her amazing portrayal ever since. The only possible upsets I see are in Marion Cotillard and Ellen Page. Laura Linney may be the best actress of her generation, but this isn’t her year, and Cate Blanchett will get more votes in the Supporting Actress category.

Supporting Actor: Chalk another one up for “No Country for Old Men,” this category belongs to Javier Bardem. My dark horse in this category is Hal Holbrook for his heart-breaking performance in “Into the Wild.” He’s an emotional favorite, and the only one I could see upsetting Bardem.

Supporting Actress: This is a much more wide open group, and I don’t feel confident picking a winner at all. Except for Saoirse Ronan, I can easily see any of the other four nominees win the big award on Sunday. (Saoirse is really young, and a common complaint is that she wasn’t even in the second half of “Atonement.”) Amy Ryan was an early favorite for her work in “Gone Baby Gone,” and many agree that she still has a great shot at winning. Ruby Dee has already picked up the SAG Award for “American Gangster,” so she could continue in that momentum and take the big one. Tilda Swinton has been highly acclaimed for her role in “Michael Clayton,” and Cate Blanchett is a big critical favorite for her ‘gender-bending’ turn in “I’m Not There.” If you really forced me to pick one, I guess I’d have to go with...("This is hard!")...Amy Ryan. I'm not sure about this one at all, as I really wouldn't be surprised if any of the four of them win. However, my gut feeling is that it's Ryan.

Animated Feature: While the critics are loving them some “Persepolis,” it’s just gotta be “Ratatouille.”
Art Direction: I’ll just go out on a limb here and say it’s going to either be “There Will Be Blood.” Or “Sweeney Todd.” Or “Atonement.” Man, it really could be any of these three! But “There Will Be Blood” already won the Art Director’s Guild award, so I’ll go with that one.
Cinematography: This award will go to either “No Country for Old Men” for actually making west Texas look good, or to “Atonement” for that amazing 5 minute tracking shot of the soldiers on the beach. In the end, though, I’m going with “Atonement.”
Costume Design: The clothes were absolutely gorgeous in “Atonement,” and the voters will want to honor the movie with something. It’s a tough category, but ultimately it's going to be “Atonement,” if for no other reason than Keira Knightley’s stunning emerald dress.
Editing: Tough category, but I’m actually giving this one to “The Bourne Ultimatum.” An Oscar is the least this editor deserves, for sewing together a multitude of one-second cuts. If “Bourne” doesn’t take it, I’m thinking it could be the elusive Roderick Jaynes for “No Country for Old Men.”
Makeup: First of all, let's please reflect upon the fact that “Norbit” was nominated for an Oscar. Yes, that “Norbit.” Has it sunk in yet? Okay, moving on. Marion Cotillard is a beautiful young woman. In “La Vie En Rose,” she was transformed into a very believable looking old woman. “Rose” will beat out “Pirates” and…“Norbit”…to win.
Original Score: The buzz in this category is all about “Atonement,” and I really did love the way the music and the sound of typewriter keys wove together in the film. If not “Atonement,” then “Ratatouille” is a possibility.
Original Song: It’s too bad “Enchanted” is up for three different songs, because that will probably really hurt them by canceling out their own votes. So despite my beloved Kristin Chenoweth performing an “Enchanted” song, I really thing Falling Slowly from “Once” will be the big winner.
Original Screenplay: “And the Oscar goes to….Diablo Cody for ‘Juno!’” Just getting you used to hearing that. “Juno” is new, it’s fresh-- it’s what Academy voters love. The movie was all about the words. Plus, they’ll feel bad about not giving the statue to “Juno” for Best Picture or Director or Actress (most likely), so the film will get a nod in this slot.
Adapted Screenplay: I hate to say it again, but nothing’s getting past “No Country for Old Men.” It was a big book. Now it’s a big, Oscar nominated movie. The Coens are taking home this award as well. If it’s not them, I’m going to guess “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.” It’s not nominated in the foreign language category because the French decided to submit “Persepolis” instead, so Academy voters may honor the movie’s screenplay as an alternative.
Sound Mixing: No, I don’t really know much about this category, other than to say that Hollywood loves a fairy tale. And what could be a better fairy tale than a nominee finally winning after losing 19 times? Such is the case for Kevin O'Connell of “Transformers,” so look for him to take home the gold on his 20th time out. If he continues to be unlucky, the award could go to “The Bourne Ultimatum.”
Sound Editing: Usually the winner for Sound Mixing wins for Sound Editing as well, so I’ll go with “Transformers” here too. (Unless “Bourne” wins for mixing, in which case I’ll pick “Bourne” in this category too!)
Visual Effects: I’m actually going to go with “Transformers” again here. Otherwise it could possibly be “Pirates of the Caribbean,” but Pirates 2 won last year, so ultimately I’ll give it to “Transformers.”
Documentary/Foreign-Language/Short Films: I’ve never heard of most of these movies, so I’m not even going to pretend to know what I’m talking about. Usually when I’m picking for categories like these, I pick the one with the most interesting sounding title. This rarely works for me.

*I wish.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'd say you did pretty well! Hope you enjoyed the whole evening... thought about you the whole time. -m,