Saturday, February 23, 2008

Oscar picks 2008

It’s Hollywood pat on the back time again- where millions watch the only award show that hardly matters anymore (because the Grammy’s clearly suck). Do the Oscars matter now that every network/magazine or blogger like me rates this stuff at the end of every season? Where are great stars of yesteryear like Cary Grant or Katharine Hepburn? Tom Hanks is not our Jimmy Stewart- he’s our Tom Hanks and that should be enough. Gone are those golden days of great movies. Sure, they churned out some lower grade films then, but do we really need absolute crap like Witless Protection or yet another Rambo movie? Clearly, there are enough morons out there (studio executives who green light this junk & idiots who fill the seats) who say yes. Okay, stepping off the step stool now and my mega horn is thrown away.

Best Picture

Not only do I think No Country for Old Men is the best picture, but it was my favorite movie last year. The Coen brothers have done it again. There Will be Blood is only good because Daniel Day-Lewis did some kick ass (I drink your milkshake!) acting in it. Paul Dano was chronically under used in his role & left out of the Oscar party. Juno, while very good was too cutesy for a best picture win. Atonement was not good enough. In any other year, Michael Clayton would be the front runner but there will be no denying the Coens.

Should Win: No Country for Old Men
Might Win: Cannot see any possibility of another movie winning
Will Win: No Country for Old Men

Best Director

Yeah, you might think I am biased here with my pick of the Coens. This film elevates their already lofty status to new heights. Paul Thomas Anderson is the serious competition here and I don’t think he going to get it (This is not even P.T.A.’s best movie- Boogie Nights easily gets the nod with Magnolia right behind it). The other three are mere window dressing. This race is the one that might be the tightest to call.

Should Win: Joel and Ethan Coen
Might Win: Paul Thomas Anderson
Will Win: Joel and Ethan Coen

Best Actress

This is a two horse race: Marion Cotillard in a movie that no one has seen & Julie Christie in another movie that no one has seen. Ellen Page got the late year push from Juno, but her role is mostly charming smart-ass quips and not great acting (the real gem in Juno is the writing- Thank you Diablo Cody). Laura Linney is solid in just about everything she does and I am waiting for a big role to come her way so she can really shine. Cate Blanchett is not going to win this year in this category since she is nominated twice. That leaves Cotillard and Christie. Gut feeling is Christie takes it as she is an established name.

Should Win: Laura Linney
Might Win: Marion Cotillard
Will Win: Julie Christie

Best Actor

Daniel Day-Lewis vs. the world on this one. His competition is filled with worthy actors. George Clooney might prove us all wrong. Tommy Lee Jones doesn’t have a real chance in a movie most people did not see. Johnny Depp is a good actor, but is wearing out his welcome in quirky roles (note to Depp: please stay away from Tim Burton for a long, long, LONG TIME). Viggo Mortensen in a powerhouse role will not win either (the Academy likes the Best Actor Winners to be in dramas. Only four winners since 1980 featured actors in terribly violent roles: De Niro, Hopkins, Crowe & Washington)

Should Win: Daniel Day-Lewis
Might Win: George Clooney
Will Win: Daniel Day-Lewis

Best Supporting Actress

Best Supporting Actress is always an interesting one to try to figure out. Will it be another year of an out of the blue winner like Saoirse Ronan (Atonement) or Amy Ryan (Gone Baby Gone)? Will it be a year for an established background actress to be recognized like Tilda Swinton (Michael Clayton)? There is always the sympathy vote for a veteran actress like Ruby Dee who has never been nominated and Oscar likes to give these out for career achievement. Then you have the actress who really deserves it like Cate Blanchett (I’m Not There). There should be no question here… yet there always is.

Should Win: Cate Blanchett
Might Win: All four besides C.B., but the lean is towards Ruby Dee
Will Win: Cate Blanchett

Best Supporting Actor

Unlike its sister category, I don’t see the same kind of out of the blue possibilities every year in this race. Javier Bardem should win this easily friend-o. There is stiff competition with Philip Seymour Hoffman in the mix (hell, he could be tough to beat in three roles this year: The Savages, Before the Devil Knows Your Dead & the nominated role in Charlie Wilson’s War). New comer Casey Affleck is this year’s Ryan Gosling. Tom Wilkinson is A-1 in Michael Clayton but would rate #3 in this year’s category. Hal Holbrook should escort Ruby Dee down the red carpet as he is her counterpart this year though I give him no chance.

Should Win: Javier Bardem
Might Win: Philip Seymour Hoffman (The Academy loves to have actors with Best Actor & Supporting Actor Oscar’s: There are currently six)
Will Win: Javier Bardem

The Rest of my Picks:

Animated Feature: Persepolis
Art Direction: Sweeney Todd the Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Cinematography: No Country For Old Men
Costume Design: Elizabeth: The Golden Age
Documentary Feature: War/Dance
Documentary Short: Salim Baba
Film Editing: No Country For Old Men
Foreign Language Film: The Counterfeiters
Makeup: La Vie en Rose
Original Score: Michael Clayton
Original Song: Once
Short Film (animated): I Met the Walrus
Short Film (live action): At Night
Sound Editing: The Bourne Ultimatum
Sound Mixing: Ratatouille
Visual Effects: Transformers
Screenplay (adapted): No Country For Old Men
Screenplay (original): Juno

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