Why Your Favorite Movie Will Not Win Tonight
February 24, 2008
There are few nights more anticlimactic than Oscar night, the night where we ignore the back and forth between Barry Obama and Hillary Clinton and celebrate the anti-democratic, unelected elite. It’s hardly surprising that in a time of recession and general economic malaise that we have decided to come together to share in life’s rich pageant and praise famous men and women. It’s just a shame that Letterman won’t be there. Without question, the best Oscar host of the last 15 years.
But since the Academy of
Revisionist History Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will never admit their mistakes, there’s nothing to do except pick the losers of tonight’s festivities.
Best Actor: Viggo Mortenson, Eastern Promises; Tommy Lee Jones, In the Valley of Elah; Johnny Depp, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street; George Clooney, Michael Clayton; and Daniel Day-Lewis, There Will Be Blood.
In this the year of long titles (we haven’t even mentioned No Country for Old Men), the similarly long winded Daniel Day-Lewis is almost sure to win. The only thing that might hold Lewis back is the very real possibility that the Academy believes Day-Lewis to be on such higher level than any other actor that they don’t actually vote for him. I for one agree; he is so good that there should be a general category, “Best Performance by Daniel Day-Lewis,” but until such time, it’s unfair to hold it against him.
Best Actress: Ellen Page, Juno; Laura Linney, The Savages; Marian Cotillard, La Vie en Rose; Julie Christie, Away from Her; and Cate Blanchett, Elizabeth: the Golden Age
This is a really tough category. I think that Ellen Page wins if everything’s coming up Juno–which I don’t see happening. I’d give the award to Blanchett, but I think she’ll win for supporting actress, and no-one has seen any of the other movies. My mind is telling me to pick Christie, but something is telling me to pick Laura Linney. It was something of a surprise nom, but then again, she’s a pro who has been at it for a while now and this may be here year to get recognized.
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.
Bardem. No contest…upset pick: Tom Wilkinson. Affleck may be the next big star, but this just isn’t his year.
Best Supporting Actress: Cate Blanchett, I’m Not There; Ruby Dee, American Gangster; Saoirse Ronan, Atonement; Amy Ryan, Gone Baby Gone; Tilda Swinton, Michael Clayton
As I said a minute ago, I’m going with Blanchett since she’ll be recognized for both roles. That said, Amy Ryan has the best upset chance, followed by Tilda Swinton in the unlikely “Michael Clayton sweep scenario” wherein she, Wilkinson, Clooney, and the movie win.
Best Director: Paul Thomas Anderson, There Will Be Blood; Julian Schnabel, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly; Ivan Reitman, Juno; Joel and Ethan Coen, No Country for Old Men; Tony Gilroy, Michael Clayton
As goes the DGA, so goes the Oscar. This year that means Joel and Ethan Coen. A well deserving pair, if not necessarily for this movie.
And, lastly, Best Picture:
Atonement, Juno, Michael Clayton, No Country for Old Men, and There Will Be Blood
There are two main rules for picking a best picture winner: 1) it has to have been nominated for best editing (meaning that only There Will Be Blood and No Country have a shot this year) and 2) people have to have seen it, i.e. it almost always goes to the first or second highest grossing nominee (Juno or No Country). With No Country making both lists, I’m going to have to say that the Coen’s are the clear favorites barring the following upsets:
1) There Will Be Blood peaked again on Academy Screener disks. This movie had lots of hype around new years which all became very still after the noms came out.
2) The Michael Clayton sweep scenario. Unlikely, but, then again, no-one really knows anything and the movie is the perfect mix of morality and entertainment.
3) Juno: the little movie that could. The “Artic Monkeys” of Hollywood just doesn’t have what it takes.