Thursday, February 28, 2008

David's 2008 films

Just to add to the list mentioned beforehand, I'd just like to specify that if Steven Soderbergh releases either or both of his films of Che Guevara, I'll also attend those presentations with great haste. Can't wait to see Del Toro as Che.

David's Most Anticipated Films of 2008

11 through 20 (in no particular order) : Doubt, Revolutionary Road, Changeling, The Road, The Happening (I'm a Shymalan fan), Get Smart, Pineapple Express, Harry Potter & The Half-Blood Prince, Frost/Nixon, Synecdoche, New York

10. Milk





Sean Penn and Josh Brolin should make for a great duo, in Gus Van Sant's new project.







9. The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button






Brad Pitt + Cate Blanchett + David Fincher = An instant winner! Backed by a script by Eric Roth, this should be an interesting experience.










8. Burn After Reading





After the Oscar win, I'm looking forward to seeing the Coens' new project, and with a stellar cast, this won't be one to miss.








7. The Incredible Hulk




This should be one of the best action films of the year, and with Edward Norton, I'd expect nothing less than a great performance as Dr. Banner.






6. Body Of Lies

Leonardo has 3 movies lined up this movie (Revolutionary Road, back with Kate Winslet directed by her hubby Sam Mendes and Freedom With The Heart), this should be the most intriguing, teaming with popular duo Russell Crowe - Ridley Scott, so I'll be looking for this one to do very well, especially with William Monahan (The Departed) penning this script.




5. Quantum Of Solace




James Bond is back, and this should be a blast. With Marc Forster, one of Hollywood's best directors, behind the camera, and Paul Haggis bringing his expertise yet again, this promises as one of the best Bonds yet, with Daniel Craig looking for Mathieu Amalric, off a great year with The Diving Bell & The Butterfly.









4. WALL-E







Pixar has never disappointed so far, and with Andrew Stanton directing (Finding Nemo), this should be the family film of the summer (although I'm also looking forward to Kung Fu Panda)









3. Righteous Kill





Pacino + De Niro = Need I say more?!?!?!?









2. Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull



The man with the whip is back, and looking at a very-well timed May release, this may well be the box-office king of the year. Gotta love Spielberg!






1. The Dark Knight




Since it was announced we'd see the Joker in this second installement of the rebirth of Batman, I've been anxiously waiting to go see this movie (too bad it's in July, still far away). Christopher Nolan is one of the hottest directors of the 21st century, Christian Bale is definetely the right Bruce Wayne, and with a great cast behind him, the only thing unfortunate here is Heath Ledger's passing because I believe he will give a terrifying performance in this film and he would've been back for the third film. I simply hope the film pays homage to him in the right way, and people will remember him as a great actor who left us too soon.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

My Top 10 Most Anticipated Films of 2008

Now that the 2007 season is done with, it's time to shift our attention to next year. 2008 is looking to be a good but not great year for movies, heavy on adaptations and dramas and light on sequels (thank you!!!). It's not looking like a great year for comedies, and there aren't many action movies in release, but the ones that are are looking pretty good. Let's begin...

10. Mamma Mia!
I'm not a fan of this show, but the trailer looked like super-gay, super-flashy fun. And the idea of hearing Streep's voice is enough to get me excited.

Award Potential: Not a whole lot, besides maybe an Original Song nod (if there is one) and possibly some tech awards like Art Direction. However, if it gets good enough reviews, it shouldn't have any trouble sneaking in Best Actress and Best Picture at the Globes. It looks like this is the only musical this year, and we know they love that.

9. Burn After Reading

The odds of the Coens striking gold twice in a row is a bit hard to see, but they *are* the Coens. And any movie that employs George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Tilda Swinton and Frances McDormand can only be so bad.

Award Potential: After Sunday, it has an extremely slim chance at WINNING Best Picture, and it's virtually impossible for it to garner Best Director (Original Screenplay is unlikely, but eh). It will need excellent reviews.
8. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
This will probably be the strangest movie this year, but it also appears to be one of the best. It's looking like a good year for Brad Pitt...

Award Potential: Probably too weird for the Academy, so if it's a success, they'll probably just go for Adapted Screenplay and maybe an acting nod somewhere. It could do quite well at the Globes, though.

7. Milk
Perhaps the baitiest film of the year. Telling the inspiring, tragic story of the assassination of the openly gay congressman Harvey Milk, the film is at once well cast, and a great project for Gus van Sant.

Awards Potential: The Academy may view this as an opportunity to prove they're not homophobic after all (they're not) and shower this with awards, especially for Josh Brolin. But it will have to be extraordinary.

6. Sex and the City: The Movie
In case putting Mamma Mia! and Milk on this list wasn't gay enough for you, here you are. I really do enjoy this show, and the thought of seeing the four girls complain about orgasms on the big screen makes me smile. Normally I would be apprehensive about a TV-to-film adaptation, but The Simpsons Movie kind of broke the curse. Not to say that that means this will be great, but it's possible.

Awards Potential: Perhaps a GG nod for Sarah Jessica, but beyond that, probably nothing.
5. Doubt
A very baity, well-written play that could easily translate well on film. And the casting of Meryl Streep and Philip Seymour Hoffman makes me excited.

Awards Potential: If it gets the reviews it should be able to get, Streep has a great chance at becoming a three-time Academy Award winner. A nomination for Hoffman isn't out of the question, either.

4. Stop Loss
This film will probably be a total flop, seeing as how it's coming out in late March, but for some reason, I thought the trailer looked outstanding. More than likely, this will be the film I love and everyone else hates.

Awards Potential: None, really, unless the reviews are AMAZING (they won't be).

3. Synecdoche, New York
Early script reviews have been love-it-or-hate-it, but I am soo in love with Charlie Kauffman. Anything he touches makes me melt with anticipation, and the fact that he's behind the camera makes it all the more interesting. Plus, the amazing cast can't hurt (god...great casts this year. Hopefully that means quality; not stuff like Evening).

Awards Potential: Sounds like the screenwriter branch's wet dream, but it will have to be a major success first.

2. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
I, for one, thought the trailer looked absolutely exhilarating. Seeing Indy on the big screen is a very exciting thought for me, and the fact that Cate Blanchett and Shia LaBeouf are involved as well definitely don't hurt.

Awards Potential: Beyond some possible tech nods, I'm about 99% sure it's not getting anything except box office numbers.1. The Road
Based on Cormac McCarthy's bleak but amazing novel, The Road is probably my most anticipated 2008 release; especially now that we know that the impeccable Viggo Mortensen will be playing the unnamed lead. This is an unbelievably challenging book to adapt, but I remain hopeful. I cannot wait!!

Awards Potential: If the world were perfect, we would have two consecutive years where a McCarthy novel won Best Picture. I'm saying that it'll be a success, but it could really go either way.


Well, there we have it. I'll start my first batch predix soon.

Daniel's Projected Winners for 2008

I'll do a Big 8 eventually (as in...maybe months from now) but for now I will just pick a winner of next year's Big 8 categories. In a year, we'll see how accurate these are.

Best Picture: Frost/Nixon
alt. Milk

Best Director: Gus Van Sant, Milk
alt. David Fincher, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Best Actor: Viggo Mortensen, The Road
alt. Frank Langella, Frost/Nixon

Best Actress: Meryl Streep, Doubt
alt. Kate Winslet, Revolutionary Road

Best Supporting Actor: Josh Brolin, Milk
alt. Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight

Best Supporting Actress: Kathy Bates, Revolutionary Road
alt. Amy Adams, Doubt

Best Original Screenplay: Milk
alt. Hamlet 2

Best Adapted Screenplay: Frost/Nixon
alt. Doubt

I really shouldn't do predictions this early. Not because they are bound to be totally inaccurate, but because I get myself too excited for next year's Oscars.

What films do you think will score big at the 81st? Which will bomb?

Now that we've seen Marion Cotillard...

...in person, re-watch this clip from "La Vie en Rose". Now knowing how Mademoiselle Cotillard speaks and acts, her acting as Piaf in this scene seems even better (in an already spectacularly acted scene). I thought this would be appropriate seeing as the love for Marion Cotillard going on on the site (and the internet) right now.

Monday, February 25, 2008

I Love Marion



She actually has a nice voice.

Also, I LOVE Cate's reaction when she wins:



She may not have won my award, but seriously...she was excellent in La Vie en Rose. And she was so grateful and enthusiastic when she won. What an amazing woman.

My Oscar Recap

Certainly an...interesting night. As last year, we'll do five good things, and five not-so-good things. Here we go...

THE GOOD (not necessarily in order)

1. Marion Cotillard is an Oscar winner.
Marion Cotillard gave an absolutely amazing performance in La Vie en Rose and, though my pick and prediction were Ellen Page, I think we all knew Ms. Cotillard would pick up her well-deserved Oscar.

2. The speeches. Almost all of the winners--especially those in acting--seemed very genuine and honored, but not self-indulgent. Really lovely. And Jon Stewart is a class act for letting Marketa Irglova accept her Oscar.

3. I was wrong about Best Supporting Actress. The BAFTA turned out to be the most accurate precursor this year. Tilda Swinton is the strangest person ever, but did indeed give a good performance in Michael Clayton. And now Cate has the oppritunity to give a truly worthy performance (which, for her, won't be difficult).

4. The right locks won. Daniel Day-Lewis gave the best performance of the year; truly a deserved lock; Javier Bardem, though not my pick, was undeniably great, , Falling Slowly is the most gorgeous song ever written for a film and there is no way around the fact that it's impossible not to love No Country for Old Men. Excellent choices, Academy.

5. The troops announcing the Best Documentary Short Subject. A surprisingly well-done segment. Let's hope that soon they can do it from home.

THE BAD

1. The ceremony.
About 45 minutes into the telecast, I was ready to sob. I found myself unimpressed with something I focus a great deal of my year around. However, I think that a lot of that can be attributed to the lack of time to write a ceremony. I really think that next year I will be able to enjoy it as much as I always do. Let's hope...

2. The montages. Why not just make the ceremony an hour shorter and avoid the most common complaint? Instead they had these mildly amusing montages of...just about everything. The thing is, these would really only appeal to Oscar enthusiasts, and we've seen the clips a million times before. Sigh.

3. Transformers goes empty-handed. I haven't legally seen this, but why not just throw the dog a bone and give it Best Sound Mixing?

4. My lowest score ever. This is both a plus and a minus...it's good because it meant the evening was full of surprises, but not so good because it's just a bit embarassing to get a 71% (that's if you score it my way: 2 points for the prediction, 1 point for the runner up, divided by 48). The worst part is that many of the winners, namely Cotillard, The Bourne Ultimatum for editing, Taxi to the Darkside for Documentary Feature, Elizabeth for Costume Design and Sweeney Todd for Art Direction, were my first instinct, but I denied them in favor of the frontrunner. How unfortunate.

5. The lowest ratings ever. I knew this would happen, but the Oscars deserve better than 21 million.

Overall, this was a very disappointing night entertainment wise (you can thank the AMPTP for that), but very satisfying in that most all of the winners were deserved, or were at least good choices. And now, the one day of the year where I give a shit about fashion...

BEST DRESSED
Jennifer Garner
WORST DRESSED
Sarah Larson
Well that's that for this year. This was a remarkably strong year for movies, but a weak Oscar year. Very anticlimactic. Well, at least they had a very genuine excuse, and it was all for a good cause.

We've got another year until we do all of this again, so we'll start hurling out some early predix, and just covering some general film news as we usually do. I'm also getting really bored with this template; I think we've had it all year; so that will probably change. 2007 was a great year!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Recap of the 80th Academy Awards part 2

Well, a few surprises here and there, but overall excellent choices all around, not too many upsets in my view...

1. Transformers empty-handed
I was very surprised when they announced The Golden Compass as the winner for Visual Effects because I expected Transformers to pick up at least this category. Anyways, there's always the second time around...

2. The Bourne Ultimatum rewarded
Out of 3 nominations, it picked up... 3 awards. Probably the best action film of the year, Paul Greengrass is definetely the master of picking his technical crew, and I can't wait for his next flick.

3. Actresses
Marion Cotillard = victory! I was really hoping that she would pick up this award, and I was on the money predicting Tilda... They had to pick a winner for Michael, and I'm happy they picked her, because this was a tough category to predict.

Other than that, I wasn't really surprised with the winners. I'm very happy for Daniel Day-Lewis, Javier Bardem, Ratatouille, Diablo Cody and especially Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova for the song Falling Slowly, because Once was the gem of 2007. What a great song!

A great ceremony, and I can't wait for next year.

Recap of the 80th Academy Awards

Best Picture : No Country For Old Men
Best Director : Joel & Ethan Coen - No Country For Old Men
Best Actor : Daniel Day-Lewis - There Will Be Blood
Best Actress : Marion Cotillard - La Vie En Rose
Best Supporting Actor : Javier Bardem - No Country For Old Men
Best Supporting Actress : Tilda Swinton - Michael Clayton
Best Original Screenplay : Diablo Cody - Juno
Best Adapted Screenplay : Joel & Ethan Coen - No Country For Old Men
Best Film Editing : The Bourne Ultimatum
Best Art Direction : Sweeney Todd
Best Costume Design : Elizabeth: The Golden Age
Best Cinematography : There Will Be Blood
Best Makeup : La Vie En Rose
Best Original Score : Atonement
Best Original Song : Falling Slowly - Once
Best Sound Mixing : The Bourne Ultimatum
Best Sound Editing : The Bourne Ultimatum
Best Visual Effects : The Golden Compass
Best Animated Feature Film : Ratatouille
Best Foreign Language Film : The Counterfeiters - Austria
Best Documentary Feature : Taxi To The Dark Side
Best Documentary Short Subject : Freeheld
Best Live Action Short Film : Le Mozart Des Pickpockets
Best Animated Short Film : Peter & The Wolf

Predicted correctly : 14/21 (I didn't offer predictions for the last 3 categories)

Hmm...

Truly a ceremony like no other. I'll post my official reactions/recap tomorrow, but as for now:
  • Marion Cotillard is a very deserving winner. And what a lovely speech. Why the hell didn't I predict her?
  • Tilda Swinton was probably the weirdest person in that room, but I'm glad she won...mostly.
  • I was on the verge of tears for most of the telecast. I was worried that my love for the Oscars had been tampered, because I found myself unentertained. I felt like my beloved Oscars that I have spent so much time obsessing over had become something I just didn't care about. I'd never felt that way before. And yet, in the last 30 minutes, all of that changed.
Overall, I can't say I enjoyed the telecast that much...or at all, really, but I am pleased with the winners.

Best Picture

Finally, presented by Denzel himself...
And the Oscar goes to... No Country For Old Men

Best Director

And the Oscar goes to... Joel & Ethan Coen for No Country For Old Men

Best Actor

And the Oscar goes to... Daniel Day-Lewis for There Will Be Blood

Best Original Screenplay

And the Oscar goes to... Diablo Cody for Juno

Best Documentary Feature

And the Oscar goes to... Taxi To The Dark Side

Best Documentary Short Subject

And the Oscar goes to... Freeheld (nice touch with the troops, although a little predictable)

Best Original Score

And the Oscar goes to... Atonement

In Memoriam

Barry Nelson, Jane Wyman, Jack Valenti, Michelangelo Antonioni, Dabbs Greer, Laraine Day, Laszlo Kovacs, George Jenkins, Johnny Grant, Ray Kurtzman, Miyoshi Umeki, Deborah Kerr, Peter Zinner, Freddie Francis, Ingmar Bergman, Heath Ledger, among so many... Rest In Peace to all, and you will be missed.

Best Cinematography

And the Oscar goes to... There Will Be Blood

Best Original Song

And the Oscar goes to... Falling Slowly from Once

Best Foreign Language Film

And the Oscar goes to... The Counterfeiters from Austria

Honorary Oscar

To Robert Boyle, production designer... Wow, 70 years in film... You can see the greatness behind the Hitchcocks, Fiddler On The Roof, Cape Fear, In Cold Blood, The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming, between so many... Congratulations.

Best Film Editing

And the Oscar goes to... The Bourne Ultimatum

Marion

I'm sorry, but YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hurrah for Édith Piaf, and Marion for her portrayal.

Best Actress

And the Oscar goes to... Marion Cotillard for La Vie En Rose

Best Sound Mixing

And the Oscar goes to... The Bourne Ultimatum

Best Sound Editing

And the Oscar goes to... The Bourne Ultimatum

Best Adapted Screenplay

And the Oscar goes to... Joel & Ethan Coen for No Country For Old Men

Best Supporting Actress

And the Oscar goes to... Tilda Swinton for Michael Clayton

Best Animated Short Film

And the Oscar goes to... Peter & The Wolf

Best Live Action Short Film

And the Oscar goes to... Le Mozart Des Pickpockets

Best Supporting Actor

And the Oscar goes to... Javier Bardem for No Country For Old Men

Best Art Direction

And the Oscar goes to... Sweeney Todd

Best Visual Effects

And the Oscar goes to... The Golden Compass

Best Makeup

And the Oscar goes to... La Vie En Rose

Best Animated Feature Film

And the Oscar goest to... Ratatouille

Best Costume Design

And the Oscar goes to... Elizabeth: The Golden Age

20 minutes away

Well, since apparently I'm in charge of presenting the award winners as they're announced, I'd just like to wish good luck to all the nominees, my colleagues in their predictions and to enjoy the ceremony whether live or in the UK... I hope Jon Stewart will deliver once again.

My Dedication to the Oscars

I just wanted everyone to know that, since I'm in the UK, it is currently 12:48 AM. I've been asleep for the past three and a half hours and once the show is over, I'll get another minutes of sleep. The coffeemaker is on.

...and after that I'm going to school.

That is how much I love the Oscars.

94 Minutes From Now...

I will be witnessing the 80th Annual Academy Awards.

Wow.

Daniel's Top Ten of 2007, Honorable Mentions, and Top Eight Categories

What a fantastic year for film.

I wasn't able to see: American Gangster, Away from Her, The Bourne Ultimatum, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Elizabeth: The Golden Age, Gone Baby Gone, In the Valley of Elah, The Kite Runner, Lars and the Real Girl, Zodiac

Here are my Top Ten of 2007:
1. There Will Be Blood
2. No Country for Old Men
3. Juno
4. Atonement
5. Ratatouille
6. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
7. Once
8. Eastern Promises
9. Into the Wild
10. The Savages

Honorable Mention(s): 3:10 to Yuma, Enchanted, Grace is Gone, Knocked Up, Rescue Dawn, Superbad, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

...and my nominees and winners (in bold) of the Top Eight categories:

Best Picture
Atonement
Juno
No Country for Old Men
Ratatouille
There Will Be Blood

Best Director
Paul Thomas Anderson, There Will Be Blood
Tim Burton, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Joel and Ethan Coen, No Country for Old Men
David Cronenberg, Eastern Promises
Jason Reitman, Juno

Best Actor
John Cusack, Grace is Gone
Daniel Day-Lewis, There Will Be Blood
James McAvoy, Atonement
Viggo Mortensen, Eastern Promises
Brad Pitt, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

Best Actress
Amy Adams, Enchanted
Helena Bonham Carter, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Marion Cotillard, La Vie en Rose
Laura Linney, The Savages
Ellen Page, Juno

Best Supporting Actor
Casey Affleck, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
Javier Bardem, No Country for Old Men
Michael Cera, Juno
Hal Holbrook, Into the Wild
Tom Wilkinson, Michael Clayton

Best Supporting Actress
Allison Janney, Juno
Kelly Macdonald, No Country for Old Men
Vanessa Redgrave, Atonement
Saoirse Ronan, Atonement
Tilda Swinton, Michael Clayton

Best Original Screenplay
Brad Bird, Ratatouille
Diablo Cody, Juno
Tamara Jenkins, The Savages
Steven Knight, Eastern Promises
Adrienne Shelly, Waitress

Best Adapted Screenplay
Paul Thomas Anderson, There Will Be Blood
Joel and Ethan Coen, No Country for Old Men
Andrew Dominik, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
Christopher Hampton, Atonement
Sean Penn, Into the Wild

I can't wait. In the meantime, I have to get to bed since I'll be watching the Oscars live...at 1 AM my time. Enjoy the show!

My Absolutely, Totally, 200%, Completely Final Predix

This is my most important post of the year: the final predix. I am not allowing myself to change ANY of these. At all. Red for who WILL win. Blue for the runner-up. Underline for who SHOULD win. Here we go...

BEST PICTURE
Atonement
Juno
Michael Clayton

No Country for Old Men
There Will Be Blood

BEST DIRECTOR
Paul Thomas Anderson – There Will Be Blood
Joel Coen and Ethan Coen – No Country for Old Men
Tony Gilroy – Michael Clayton
Jason Reitman – Juno

Julian Schnabel – The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

BEST ACTOR
George Clooney – Michael Clayton
Daniel Day-Lewis – There Will Be Blood
Johnny Depp – Sweeney Todd
Tommy Lee Jones – In the Valley of Elah
Viggo Mortensen – Eastern Promises

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

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 – Chalrie Wilson’s War
Hal Holbrook – Into the Wild
Tom Wilkinson – Michael Clayton

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

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Juno
Lars and the Real Girl
Michael Clayton
Ratatouille
The Savages

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Atonement
Away from Her

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
No Country for Old Men
There Will Be Blood

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
Persepolis
Ratatouille
Surf’s Up

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM (No Should Win Applicable)
12
Beaufort
The Counterfeiters
Mongol
Katyn

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE (No Should Win Applicable)
No End in Sight
Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience
Sicko

Taxi to the Darkside
War/Dance

BEST FILM EDITING
The Bourne Ultimatum
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Into the Wild

No Country for Old Men
There Will Be Blood

BEST ART DIRECTION
American Gangster
Atonement
The Golden Compass
Sweeney Todd
There Will Be Blood

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
Atonement
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
No Country for Old Men
There Will Be Blood

BEST COSTUME DESIGN
Across the Universe
Atonement
Elizabeth: The Golden Age
La Vie en Rose

Sweeney Todd

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
3:10 to Yuma
Atonement
The Kite Runner
Michael Clayton
Ratatouille

BEST ORIGINAL SONG
“Raise it Up” – August Rush
“Happy Working Song” – Enchanted
“So Close” – Enchanted

“That’s How You Know” – Enchanted
“Falling Slowly” – Once

BEST SOUND MIXING
3:10 to Yuma
The Bourne Ultimatum
No Country for Old Men
Ratatouille

Transformers

BEST SOUND EDITING
The Bourne Ultimatum
No Country for Old Men
Ratatouille
There Will Be Blood
Transformers

BEST MAKEUP
La Vie en Rose
Norbit
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
The Golden Compass
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End
Transformers

BEST ANIMATED SHORT (No Should Win Applicable)
I Met the Walrus
Madame Tutli-Putli
Meme les Pigeones vont au Paradis

My Love

Peter and the Wolf

BEST LIVE-ACTION SHORT (No Should Win Applicable)
At Night
The Substitute

Le Mozart des Pickpockets
Tanghi Argenti
The Tonto Woman

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT (No Should Win Applicable)
Freeheld
La Corona
Salim Baba

Sari’s Mother

What Acting Clips Should they Use?

Let's see...

BEST ACTOR
George Clooney - Michael Clayton: Stopping to see the horses, and the car explosion
Daniel Day-Lewis - There Will Be Blood: "With these...people."
Johnny Depp - Sweeney Todd: "Dreaming that I might come home to a wife and child."
Tommy Lee Jones - In the Valley of Elah: First time meeting Charlize Theron
Viggo Mortensen - Eastern Promises: Not Seen

BEST ACTRESS
Cate Blanchett - Elizabeth: The Golden Age: "I, too, can command the wind, sir!" Campiest line of the year. Who else but Blanchett could make that sound genuine?
Julie Christie - Away from Her: "He never confuses me at all"
Marion Cotillard - La Vie en Rose: Marcel is dead.
Laura Linney - The Savages: Not Seen. I might catch a showing this afternoon.
Ellen Page - Juno: "Have fun at prom with Soupy Sales"

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Casey Affleck - The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford: Not Seen
Javier Bardem - No Country for Old Men: Strangling the cop with handcuffs.
Philip Seymour Hoffman - Charlie Wilson's War: "Go f**k yourself" (take your pick of which one)
Hal Holbrook - Into the Wild: "I could be your grandfather"
Tom Wilkinson - Michael Clayton: "I am Shiva, the God of Death." Duh.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Cate Blanchett - I'm Not There: "You want me to think what YOU want me to think."
Ruby Dee - American Gangster: "I will leave you."
Saoirse Ronan - Atonement: "Yes, I did. I saw him."
Amy Ryan - Gone Baby Gone: "There's nothin' easy 'bout bein' a mother."
Tilda Swinton - Michael Clayton: "Where am I supposed to get 10 million dollars?"

I...can't...wait.

A Look at Best Picture

We made it! The nominees are...

Atonement
Juno
Michael Clayton
No Country for Old Men
There Will Be Blood

I'VE SEEN: 5/5. I'm cool like that.
I PREDICTED: 4/5. I had Into the Wild in place of Atonement. I don't think I've ever been more excited to have been wrong. Now if only Diving Bell and the Butterfly could replace Michael Clayton...

ATONEMENT-This nod is actually somewhat surprising. While momentum has been gaining ever since the film got its coveted 7 nods, we have to be logical: Atonement has a very, very, VERY slim chance. The director snub certainly doesn't help, either.


JUNO-If the precursor-showered, more Oscar friendly Little Miss Sunshine lost last year, I don't see how Juno can win. I'm just thrilled it got the nomination. I really, really do love this movie.

MICHAEL CLAYTON-Probably the least likely nominee. The film is universally liked, but very few are calling it the best of the year (save Richard Roeper and the Reel Geezers). Quite frankly, I don't see how it got this far.

NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN-The most sure Best Picture winner since Lord of the Rings. No Country has won acclaim from every critic and moviegoer in America and has won virtually every precursor. Nothing can stop this. And, quite honestly, I'm okay with that. No Country for Old Men was a really good movie, no matter how you spell it out.

THERE WILL BE BLOOD-I would be ecstatic if this won, but it never got the precursor love it needed. The universal claim that it is a "masterpiece" places it in second, but it really has very little chance. However, in about 20 years, I think we ill all be wondering how the hell this lost.

WILL WIN: No Country for Old Men
SHOULD WIN: There Will Be Blood

IN ORDER OF LIKELINESS:
1. No Country for Old Men
2. There Will Be Blood
3. Juno
4. Atonement
5. Michael Clayton

It's Oscar night!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

7 Things that Would Make me Happy...

It's HERE!

Like any Oscar enthusiast, I have my personal preferences. However, some are stronger than others. Here are my top 7 hopes and dreams (not in order) for tonight's telecast. Most of these are impossible, but...eh. Here we are:

  • Falling Slowly wins Best Original Song
  • Cate Blanchett loses Best Supporting Actress to Amy Ryan (I'd be fine with Swinton or Ronan, too. Hell, even Dee. Just not Cate.)
  • Paul Thomas Anderson wins Best Director or There Will Be Blood wins Best Picture
  • Ellen Page or Marion Cotillard win Best Actress. I'm rooting and (idiotically) predicting Page, but Cotillard is the perfect age and gave a lovely performance, too.
  • Tom Wilkinson wins Best Supporting Actor. Probably the most impossible thing on this list, but I can dream, can't I? Meh...well...Bardem is a very good choice, too.
  • Daniel Day-Lewis wins Best Actor. We all know this will happen, but really: if it doesn't, I'll be extremely upset.
  • The Diving Bell and the Butterfly wins somewhere. Preferably Cinematography or Adapted Screenplay.
Happy Oscars to all!

The Top 5 FYC Ads of the Year

I've been compiling many of my favorite For Your Consideration ads this year and here are my Top Five favorites (and honorable mention):

5.
This was in my Top Five this year because it reminded (or introduced) voters what Marion Cotillard looked like. Why is this important? Because, with the help of the fantastic makeup in this film, it demonstrated how much Cotillard invested in this performance. Makeup is one thing...but that makeup would mean nothing if Cotillard's wonderful and expressive performance was not...wonderful and expressive.

4.
I think it's probably obvious why this made the list. Set up as a photograph taken from the time period, this picture of Casey Affleck is fascinating. I would have loved to see more FYC ads like this come from "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford" this year. Imagine how cool a Brad Pitt one would have looked.

3.
If Casey Affleck's ad captured the time period of the film, this one perfectly captured the feeling of the film. "Charlie Wilson's War" was a good movie but nothing particularly worthy of much more than Philip Seymour Hoffman's nomination (and possibly a screenplay nomination too). I really loved the "Charlie Wilson" ads all year but this one was by far my favorite; it's better than the movie itself.

2.
This ad, in a single take, is a summary of everything great about this film. The art direction. The cinematography. The direction. Daniel Day-Lewis. THE ENDING. Milkshakes.

1.
I picked this ad for the best of the year not because it was the most convincing. Or the most beautiful. No, I picked this ad for a couple other reasons. One, it captures the relationship between Sweeney Todd and Mrs. Lovett extremely well. Two, it's a great image. Three, it's absolutely hilarious. But, to be honest, my third reason is the main reason I picked it. It's not the most skilled ad of the year, but it is the most fun. Except for maybe...

Honorable Mention:
I knew I would either give this the number one spot or the honorable mention. I went for the honorable mention. I loved "Walk Hard"'s two or three ads that I saw this year. Serious props to the distributors for campaigning a film that they knew didn't have a chance in hell for a nomination (well...besides maybe Original Song, for which "Let's Duet" was majorly snubbed). Bravo Dewey Cox!

What were your favorite FYC ads this year?

Saturday, February 23, 2008

My Plans for Tomorrow...

As we all know, the best day of the year is just 30 minutes away. My plans for tomorrow are:

1. Make my final predix and print out my final ballot.
2. Spend an obscene amount of time posting here and commenting on other sites.
3. Indulge in ridiculous E! coverage
4. I might see The Savages tomorrow...but probably not. The earliest showing is at 2:30, so I'd be back at around 5, which is cutting it a bit close. Still, I feel obligated to see Linney's performance

and, of course

5. Watch the show from beginning to end--including every commercial--and do so wide-eyed and in absolute silence.

It's almost here! What are you planning on doing to celebrate?

David's Rest of the Predix

Cinematography

Seen : 4/5 (haven't seen Diving Bell - I KNOW!!!!!!!)
Predicted : 5/5 - how 'bout that?

This is a difficult category to choose because there are a lot of clear cut favorites : The Assassination has won most of the awards, Atonement has a 6-minute long shot equally impressive to last year's Children of Men snub (why didn't that win?!?), There Will Be Blood uses large scales most of the time, but to me, even though I haven't seen it, The Diving Bell really has something to offer in this category, especially to film from the main character's point of vue for most of the film is a tough challenge, so I'm gonna go for an upset here with the win.

Prediction : The Diving Bell & The Butterfly

Art Direction

Seen : 5/5
Predicted : 3/5 (went for Elizabeth and Hairspray instead of American Gangster and Golden Compass)

Even though I'd be inclined to go for There Will Be Blood to cut through a technical category here with it's impressive scale, I'd have to go for Sweeney, because the extensive work to recreate old London is rather extraordinary here, and for a Tim Burton film, I'd expect nothing less.

Prediction : Sweeney Todd

Film Editing

Seen : 4/5
Predicted : 4/5 (went for Atonement instead of The Diving Bell)

Usually, this category is a good predictor of the film that will take Best Picture, since 4 out of the last 5 Best Picture winners (Million Dollar Baby exempt) took this award with them. Of course, There Will Be Blood offers a great film, and The Bourne Ultimatum's story follows through extensively, I'll have to go with No Country on this one because the cuts are real subtle and you never are lost in the story, and the last 20 minutes are spectacular.

Prediction : No Country For Old Men

Documentary Feature

Seen : 1/5 (Sicko only, my video store doesn't receive documentaries)
Predicted : 3/5 (not too bad)

I won't say much about this category because I'm not an expert on documentaries, suffice to say that the frontrunner seems to be No End In Sight, so I'll blindly give it my prediction, although I have no idea who'll win this category.

Prediction : No End In Sight

Animated Feature Film

Seen : 2/3 (not yet for Persepolis)
Predicted : 2/3 (yes, I went for The Simpsons anyway, but I liked the penguins)

Pixar doesn't always win this category, but Brad Bird (former Simpsons writer) does bring a charm to this story of a rat chef in the city of haute cuisine. I couldn't help laughing the whole way through, and it is one of my favorite films of the year, so Ratatouille hands down!

Prediction : Ratatouille

Foreign Language Film

Seen : 0/5 (I know...)
Predicted : 3/5

Again, as I've seen none of the films, I will vote blindly on this category. 12 and The Counterfeiters received the higher scores from other sites, but The Counterfeiters seem like a more interesting story in my opinion, so I'll go for that film.

Prediction : The Counterfeiters

TOP 8

Adapted Screenplay

Seen : 5/5
Predicted : 4/5 (poor Sean Penn)

Well, last year it was the Original Screenplay category with most of the Best Picture contenders. Paul Thomas Anderson is a master screenwriter and he really created one of the most intriguing, frightening character stories in recent movie history, but it seems as if he's only short of the finish line, as the Coens will finally get their dues in the major categories this year, so I'm going with the brothers on this one.

Prediction : No Country For Old Men

Original Screenplay

Seen : 3/5 (no Lars or Savages)
Predicted : 4/5 (I put in Before the Devil... instead of Lars)

Well, it seems it will be Juno... and the rest following. Unless Michael Clayton pulls a really big upset, we'll see Diablo Cody picking up her first Oscar tomorrow night (hurrah for the shenanigans)

Prediction : Juno

Best Supporting Actress

Seen : 5/5
Predicted : 4/5 (I put Catherine Keener instead of Ruby Dee)

This is the category I expect to be mistaken with. With Cate Blanchett as a frontrunner (my favorite of the 5 performances)who's lost some momentum and has an Oscar win and a split vote against her, Ruby Dee as a SAG winner and a sentimental nominee, Amy Ryan as a consistent and raved-about performance, you can have a hard time picking a favorite. But, as my colleagues seem to have realized, one of the top films of the year with great performances all around will likely pick up at least one award. In this case, Tilda Swinton has been consistent in the nominations, she's picked up momentum since the Best Picture nomination, and she's one of the great actresses working today, so I'll go ahead with Tilda, even though I wouldn't be surprised to be upset on this one.

Prediction : Tilda Swinton - Michael Clayton

Best Supporting Actor

Seen : 5/5
Predicted : 4/5 (I put Tommy Lee Jones instead of Phillip Seymour Hoffman, although that would've been my prediction early on)

Two words : coin toss. Here, Javier Bardem has Oscar voters thinking about the disappointment of losing The Sea Inside, and he has created a really dangerous on-screen killer in this film, worthy of all the awards he received. Although I loved Hal Holbrook, I wouldn't call it a memorable performance, nor the others nominated in this category. No, I believe for years to come, this film will be remembered, and Anton Chigurh will haunt us for a long time. Only problem : last year, the favorite didn't win, so who knows?

Prediction : Javier Bardem - No Country For Old Men

Best Actress

Seen : 4/5 (sorry Laura, waiting for the DVD)
Predicted : 4/5 (Angelina Jolie for Laura Linney)

Well, this is the category I HOPE the frontrunner doesn't win. I'm sorry, Away From Her was an excellent film, but Julie Christie's performance shouldn't bring home an Oscar. Yes, I loved Ellen Page as Juno, and I believe she'll get her due at the Oscars, but I don't believe it will be this year. No my friends, this year definetely belongs to Marion Cotillard. Her haunting portrayal of one of France's most remembered voices is the work of an artist, a film actress in all it's forms, and I would be ashamed to not hear her name come Oscar time. So I'm gonna cross my fingers and hope for the best.

Prediction : Marion Cotillard - La Vie En Rose

Best Actor

Seen : 5/5
Predicted : 4/5 (Emile Hirsch for Tommy Lee Jones)

Can anybody stop the Daniel Day-Lewis bandwagon? In my opinion, No! So, it's as simple as that.

Prediction : Daniel Day-Lewis - There Will Be Blood

Best Director

Seen : 4/5
Predicted : 3/5 (Penn and Wright for Reitman and Gilroy)

Well, it's down to the big 3 : Anderson, the Coens and Schnabel. The Coens have scored the DGA, Schnabel took the GG and Anderson's looking for his first award (deservedly so). Here I'll give the edge to the Coens, but I'd be just as happy with either of the two others.

Prediction : Joel and Ethan Coen - No Country For Old Men

and finally...

BEST PICTURE

Seen : 5/5
Predicted : 4/5 (Into the Wild for Michael Clayton)

Atonement's the safe bet as many point out, but the GG and the BAFTA's were their rewards, because last year's GG winner did not take home the big one. Juno has all the elements going for it (yes, compared to Little Miss Sunshine) but it has too many big contenders in front of it. Michael Clayton doesn't seem to have the momentum going for it, but still a great film. Which leaves the grand scale There Will Be Blood, carried by Daniel Day-Lewis and PTA, or The Coens with their latest great ensemble and storyline, No Country For Old Men. With the coin toss, I expect either of these two to win, but since I gave the edge to No Country as my favorite film of the year (it wasn't by much, I swear to you), I will predict No Country as the Oscar winner for Best Picture of 2007.

Prediction : No Country For Old Men

Hope that you will all tune in for tomorrow, and have a great show!!!

Daniel's Final Predictions

Wow. What a year. I'll have my personal categories and my Top Ten up tomorrow (I know for sure that I'm seeing "Assassination of Jesse James..." tomorrow so I'll wait in case that scores big on my list). Anyway, I just wanted to say how much I appreciate you all reading Oscar Obsession. It's been a fine year here and we couldn't have done it without you. So, thanks.

Without any further ado...

Daniel Crooke's Predictions for the 80th Academy Awards

Best Picture: No Country for Old Men
Best Director: Joel and Ethan Coen, No Country for Old Men
Best Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis, There Will Be Blood
Best Actress: Marion Cotillard, La Vie en Rose
Best Supporting Actor: Javier Bardem, No Country for Old Men
Best Supporting Actress: Tilda Swinton, Michael Clayton
Best Original Screenplay: Juno
Best Adapted Screenplay: No Country for Old Men
Best Animated Feature: Ratatouille
Best Foreign Language Film: The Counterfeiters
Best Documentary Feature: No End in Sight
Best Cinematography: There Will Be Blood
Best Film Editing: The Bourne Ultimatum
Best Art Direction: There Will Be Blood
Best Costume Design: Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Best Sound Mixing: Transformers
Best Sound Editing: No Country for Old Men
Best Visual Effects: Transformers
Best Makeup: La Vie en Rose
Best Original Song: "Falling Slowly", Once
Best Original Score: Atonement
Best Animated Short Film: I Met the Walrus
Best Live Action Short Film: The Tonto Woman
Best Short-Subject Documentary: Sari's Mother

Best of luck to everyone in their predictions. Can't wait until tomorrow!

Independent Spirit Awards!!

Thanks to AwardsDaily for these:

Best Supporting Male

  • Chiwetel Ejiofor, Talk To Me

Bests First Screenplay

  • Diablo Cody, Juno

Best First Feature

  • The Lookout

Best Supporting Female

  • Cate Blanchett

John Cassavetes Award

  • August Evening

Best Foreign Film

  • Once

Best Male Lead

  • Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Savages

Best Screenplay

  • Tamara Jenkins, The Savages

Best Documentary

  • Crazy Love

Best Cinematography

  • Janusz Kaminski, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

Robert Altman Award

  • Todd Haynes, Laura Rosenthal and the cast of I’m Not There

Best Director

  • Julian Schnabel, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

Best Female Lead

  • Ellen Page

Best Feature

  • Juno
Predictable.

David Tolentino's Final Predix

VISUAL EFFECTS
Seen : 3/3
Predicted : 2/3 - I went for 300 instead of The Golden Compass

Doesn't seem like Transformers will lose this category since Pirates won last year and it was a fan favorite, so I'm predicting it to win.

Prediction : Transformers

SOUND MIXING
Seen : 5/5
Predicted : 3/5 - I put 300 and Hairspray instead of 3:10 To Yuma and Ratatouille (300 really got snubbed)

I usually have a hard time predicting this category since a lot of contenders seem like the right choice. This year, I'd have to go with Transformers, but 3:10 and Bourne seem like good bets too, especially since 3:10 is not in the Sound Editing category, but I'll stick with Transformers.

Prediction : Transformers

SOUND EDITING
Seen : 5/5
Predicted : 2/5, I missed that category a little bit, getting Ratatouille and Transformers.

I really like Ratatouille in this category because it is an excellent work of recreating the sounds of the kitchen world.

Prediction : Ratatouille

ORIGINAL SONG
Seen : 1/3 (I've only seen Once)
Predicted : 2/5 - Once and Enchanted (That's How You Know)

Well, once again, a movie has picked up 3 noms in this category, but the favorite has to be Falling Slowly, because this is a song written and performed by the actors and the movie was fabulous.

Prediction : Falling Slowly - Once

ORIGINAL SCORE
Seen: 5/5
Predicted : 3/5 (because of Academy ruling, Into the Wild and There Will Be Blood were cut for 3:10 To Yuma and Michael Clayton)

Since I've seen the film, the one thing that really captivated me from the beginning was Atonement's score, really standing out in itself, and the GG win makes it a really strong contender.

Prediction : Atonement

MAKEUP
Seen : 3/3
Predicted : 1/3 (La Vie En Rose only)

I'll predict La Vie En Rose here because they did some extensive work on Marion in this film, and I'm tired of the Eddie Murphy multi-character big makeup show (sorry, not very ethical on my behalf)

Prediction : La Vie En Rose

COSTUME DESIGN
Seen : 4/5 (Across The Universe missing)
Predicted : 4/5 (Predicted Hairspray instead of Across The Universe)

To me, the film with the most costumes implicate much more work, and I also look for originality and style. Elizabeth seems like a good bet in scale but the originality in Sweeney Todd seemed better altogether, so I'm going to go with Sweeney here.

Prediction : Sweeney Todd

Tonight, I'll get the rest of my predictions in!

(This is Brian posting what David had earlier, only in one post this time. So don't get alarmed when it says my name)

A Look at Best Director

The nominees are...

Paul Thomas Anderson - There Will Be Blood
Joel Coen and Ethan Coen - No Country for Old Men
Tony Gilroy - Michael Clayton
Jason Reitman - Juno
Julian Schnabel - The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

I'VE SEEN:
5/5. Yay me.
I PREDICTED: 3/5. I had Sean Penn and Joe Wright in place of Tony Gilroy and Jason Reitman. Turns out I expected Atonement to get unanticipated love in the wrong category.

ANDERSON-Seeing him win would make me very happy, but this just isn't his year. He'll probably get it someday.


COENS-Having won every valuable precursor (unless you count the GG...I don't), the Coen brothers are the odds on favorite for sure. They're really the only logical prediction at this point.

GILROY-A decent directorial effort, but he really stands no chance.

REITMAN-A highly underrated effort that I'm thrilled the Academy recognized. However, considering that just about no one expected him to get in, all this nomination does is make Juno look like a more legitimate contender in Best Actress.

SCHNABEL-Don't count him out as a HUGE upset just yet, but without a BP nod for his film, his chances are very, very slim.

WILL WIN: Joel Coen and Ethan Coen - No Country for Old Men
SHOULD WIN: Paul Thomas Anderson - There Will Be Blood

IN ORDER OF LIKELINESS:
1. Joel Coen and Ethan Coen - No Country for Old Men
2. Julian Schnabel - The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
3. Paul Thomas Anderson - There Will Be Blood
4. Tony Gilroy - Michael Clayton
5. Jason Reitman - Juno

TOMORROW: Best Picture (it's almost here...)

Predicting the Shorts

Best Animated Short: Peter and the Wolf (runner-up: I Met the Walrus)
Best Live-Action Short: Tanghi Argenti (runner-up: Le Mozart des Pickpockets)
Best Documentary Short Subject: Sari's Mother (runner-up: Freeheld)

Um...yeah. As usual, I'm just going with what other sites are saying and IMDb information. But I applaud the Academy for continuing to honor shorts.

Sublime

Friday, February 22, 2008

My Final Independent Spirit Award Predix

The final precursor before the Oscars is this afternoon: The Independent Spirit Awards. My final predix are...

Best Feature: Juno (runner up: The Diving Bell and the Butterfly)
Best Director: Julian Schnabel - The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (runner-up: Todd Haynes - I'm Not There)
Best First Feature: The Lookout (runner-up: Rocket Science)
John Cassavetes Award: August Evening (runner-up: Quiet City)
Best Screenplay: Tamara Jenkins - The Savages (runner-up: Ron Harwood - The Diving Bell and the Butterfly)
Best First Screenplay: Diablo Cody - Juno (runner-up: Kelly Masterson - Before the Devil Knows You're Dead)
Best Female Lead: Ellen Page - Juno (runner-up: Angelina Jolie - A Mighty Heart. Where's Laura Linney?)
Best Male Lead: Don Chadle - Talk to Me (runner-up: Frank Langella - Starting Out in the Evening)
Best Supporting Female: Cate Blanchett - I'm Not There (runner-up: Marisa Tomei - Before the Devil Knows You're Dead)
Best Supporting Male: Ifran Khan - The Namesake (runner-up: Chiwetel Ejiofor - Talk to Me)
Best Cinematography: The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (runner-up: Lust, Caution)
Best Documentary: Crazy Love (runner-up: Lake of Fire)
Best Foreign Film: 4 Months, 3 Weeks & 2 Days (runner-up: Once. Any of these could win, really)

We'll see later today...

On Second Thought...

...I am changing my Best Actress prediction to Ellen Page. Why? Mostly because of one man:

So I did some research, and I found something that might be worth noting. Roger Ebert has picked a Best Actress nominated film as the best of the year 10 times: Bonnie & Clyde (1967, Faye Dunaway received the nod), An Unmarried Woman (1978, Jill Clayburgh), Sophie's Choice (1982, Meryl Streep), The Color Purple (1985, Whoopi Goldberg), Leaving Las Vegas (1995, Elisabeth Shue), Fargo (1996, Frances McDormand), Monster's Ball (2001, Halle Berry), Monster (2003, Charlize Theron), Million Dollar baby (2004, Hilary Swank) and now Juno.

Not counting Ellen Page, because, obviously, we don't know how she will do, 5/9 of those women--around 56%--have gone on to win the Oscar. Also take notice that the last 4 times when this happened, the nominated women took home their statuettes.

It may also be noteworthy that Ebert has predicted the Best Actress winner correctly every year since 2002 when Halle Berry upset (kinda) Sissy Spacek. This year, he is predicting Page.

Finally, the only times in Oscar history that both lead acting awards have gone to previous winners are 1973 (Glenda Jackson and Jack Lemmon) and 1994 (Tom Hanks and Jessica Lange). Day-Lewis is a lock, but Christie remains somewhat vulnerable.

I dunno...maybe this doesn't prove anything (I usually hate when people use trivia as logic, but I was really surprised at all of this). I just thought it was really interesting, and I've been imagining Ellen winning for days. I can really see it. I'm going for it, even though it will probably end up being Christie or even Cotillard. My updated predix are:

1. Ellen Page - Juno
2. Julie Christie - Away from Her
3. Marion Cotilalrd - La Vie en Rose
4. Laura Linney - The Savages
5. Cate Blanchett - Elizabeth: The Golden Age

As I write this, I realize that I really do regret giving Cotillard my award. However, I allow myself to change my picks up until the ceremony. I think I might take advantage of that.

A Look at Best Actor

The nominees are...

George Clooney - Michael Clayton
Daniel Day-Lewis - There Will Be Blood
Johnny Depp - Sweeney Todd
Tommy Lee Jones - In the Valley of Elah
Viggo Mortensen - Eastern Promises

I'VE SEEN: 4/5. All but Eastern Promises; it looks like a bit too much for me to handle...
I PREDICTED: 3/5. I said Johnny would be snubbed to make room for Ryan Gosling in Lars and the Real Girl, and, like everyone, I said Emile Hirsch instead of Tommy Lee Jones (happy to be wrong there).

CLOONEY-Everyone is placing him second...and I have no idea why. The problem is that his performance, much like the film, is liked by everyone, but loved by very few. He's a very, very dark horse no matter how you put it.DAY-LEWIS-A phenomenon of a performance. Everyone, even his fellow nominees, have said that he gave the best performance by an actor this year. He's got everything for him, and nothing against him. He'll be receiving his well-deserved second Oscar in a breeze.

DEPP-He hasn't gotten much precursor attention, and honestly, no one has said he gave this amazing performance. It's really hard to say...

JONES-A terrific performance in a terrible movie, but considering that the nomination itself was a huge surprise, he really poses no threat at all.

MORTENSEN-I actually think he is the most likely upset. He certainly has a strong fanbase and you could kind of argue that he's overdue. But it doesn't really matter, seeing as how Daniel Day-Lewis is a sure thing.

WILL WIN: Daniel Day-Lewis - There Will Be Blood
SHOULD WIN: Daniel Day-Lewis - There Will Be Blood

IN ORDER OF LIKELINESS:
1. Daniel Day-Lewis - There Will Be Blood
2. Viggo Mortensen - Eastern Promises
3. Johnny Depp - Sweeney Todd
4. George Clooney - Michael Clayton
5. Tommy Lee Jones - In the Valley of Elah

TOMORROW: Best Director (oh...my...god. We're almost there...)

Thursday, February 21, 2008

I Know I'm the Last to Post This...

But here is the link to AMPAS' official YouTube channel. I've been watching these non-stop since Monday (namely Diane Keaton's acceptance speech). They update it constantly. This should be more than enough to keep me amused until Sunday :-)

A Look at Best Actress

The nominees are...

Cate Blanchett - Elizabeth: The Golden Age
Julie Christie - Away From Her
Marion Cotillard - La Vie en Rose
Laura Linney - The Savages
Ellen Page - Juno

I'VE SEEN: 4/5. Very subjected to change, as I may be seeing The Savages this weekend.
I PREDICTED: 4/5. Like most, I predicted Angelina Jolie would get in over Laura Linney.

BLANCHETT-A not-all-that-acclaimed performance in a mediocre film. Besides, she'll win for her average performance in I'm Not There instead.

CHRISTIE-See, logic tells me to go with her, and I think there's a very good chance they will. However, there's something about predicting her that goes against my morals. I always need to make one surprise prediction in one of the last 4 categories to keep me on my toes all night, so I'm kind of steering away from Christie.

COTILLARD-After her "surprise" BAFTA victory, she's being predicted as an 11th hour upset. I'm probably going to go with that. I can really see this happening (and it couldn't be for a better performance).

LINNEY-She's gotten some buzz, and I do think it's interesting, but I believe (and hope) that she'll have a Helen Mirren year and win every precursor leading up to the Oscar. She deserves better than this. However, she looks unbelievable in her clips.

PAGE-I can REALLY see this happening, but I kind of hope it doesn't. Don't get me wrong; Page gave one of the three best performances of the year (with Day-Lewis and Cotillard); but I hope that in maybe 10 years she'll give a knock-out performance that will win her an Oscar. This is a star-making performance, but I would be a bit disappointed to see her win an Oscar--simply because it would make it more difficult to win one later on.

WILL WIN: Marion Cotillard - La Vie en Rose...for now
SHOULD WIN: Marion Cotillard - La Vie en Rose

IN ORDER OF LIKELINESS:
1. Marion Cotillard - La Vie en Rose
2. Julie Christie - Away From Her
3. Ellen Page - Juno
4. Laura Linney - The Savages
5. Cate Blanchett - Elizabeth: The Golden Age

TOMORROW: Best Actor

My god, I cannot wait for Sunday.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

A Look at Best Supporting Actor

The nominees are...

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

I'VE SEEN: 4/5. All but Jesse James, which may change this week.
I PREDICTED: 4/5. I had Tommy Lee Jones for No Country in place of Holbrook. Looks like I snubbed Into the Wild in the wrong place.

AFFLECK-He's gotten a surge of buzz recently, but nothing will take the award away from Bardem.



BARDEM-Arguably the biggest lock of the year. Bardem has created a character with a huge cult following only a few months after his film was released. He's got this award.

HOFFMAN-This is a reward for having such a good year. Nothing else.

HOLBROOK-The most likely upset if they don't want to give Ruby Dee Best Supporting Actress but do want to give out a "just in case you die before you give an Oscar worthy performance" award. But he really can't dethrone Bardem.

WILKINSON-I would be ecstatic if this happened, but if they do like Michael Clayton, they'll give Swinton an Oscar instead of Wilkinson. Sad.

WILL WIN: Javier Bardem - No Country for Old Men
SHOULD WIN: Tom Wilkinson - Michael Clayton

IN ORDER OF LIKELINESS:
1. Javier Bardem - No Country for Old Men
2. Hal Holbrook - Into the Wild
3. Casey Affleck - The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
4. Tom Wilkinson - Michael Clayton
5. Philip Seymour Hoffman - Charlie Wilson's War

TOMORROW: Best Actress (ahh! so close!!)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Final Ballots Were Sent Out Today...

Therefore, it is IMPOSSIBLE for any of the buzz to change. Ballots are in, the frontrunners are set, and soon, those lucky three counters will know who the winners are.

Also, I feel the need to brag: I get Thursday and Friday off of school because of the Rodeo, which, in Arizona, is considered a holiday. I love the southwest!

I plan to spend my time catching up on some last minute Oscar contenders; mostly The Savages and The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford; and refreshing my memory on Michael Clayton on DVD. And when I'm not doing that, I'll be rocking back and forth wishing it were Sunday.

A Look at Best Supporting Actress

The nominees for the alleged "most confusing race of the year" are...

Cate Blanchett - I'm Not There
Ruby Dee - American Gangster
Saoirse Ronan - Atonement
Amy Ryan - Gone Baby Gone
Tilda Swinton - Michael Clayton

I'VE SEEN: 4/5...or 5/5. I didn't see American Gangster, but I saw all of Ruby Dee's clips. Interpret that as you like.
I PREDICTED: 3/5. I went with Catherine Keener for Into the Wild over Dee, and I made a last minute surprise prediction and put Redgrave in over Ronan.

BLANCHETT-As usual, the most unpredictable race of the year will usually just go to the frontrunner; therefore, Blanchett will pick up her second Oscar (both in Supporting, sadly) on Sunday. I'd love to be wrong, but I'm fairly confident. Still, I suppose any of these ladies could win.


DEE-I really think people are overestimating the SAG victory. Also, as was the problem with Eddie Murphy last year, she's being predicted, but no one has proclaimed that she deserves the Oscar. The SAG was the end for her.

RONAN-I guess she could win in a Marcia Gay Harden kind of way, but, being the only actress in this lineup without any significant precursor attention, she's the default last place choice. Her age doesn't help either.

RYAN-Her winning would make me VERY happy, but the critical darling rarely beats the industry favorite.

SWINTON-With a surge of popularity and the BAFTA win, she's the most likely upset, but I doubt anyone can take the spot away from Blanchett--contrary to popular belief.

WILL WIN: Cate Blanchett - I'm Not There
SHOULD WIN: Amy Ryan - Gone Baby Gone

IN ORDER OF LIKELINESS:
1. Cate Blanchett - I'm Not There
2. Tilda Swinton - Michael Clayton
3. Ruby Dee - American Gangster
4. Amy Ryan - Gone Baby Gone
5. Saoirse Ronan - Atonement

TOMORROW: Best Supporting Actor

Monday, February 18, 2008

A Look at Best Original Screenplay

The nominees are...

Juno
Lars and the Real Girl
Michael Clayton
Ratatouille
The Savages

I'VE SEEN: 4/5. All but The Savages.
I PREDICTED: 4/5. I had American Gangster instead of Lars and the Real Girl. I really don't know why, but I did.

JUNO-Despite the fact that people are criticizing it for being overwritten, I wouldn't listen to their ramblings. Ms. Cody has picked up nearly every precursor that matters, and should have no trouble doing the same for the Oscar. I can't wait to see her acceptance speech.


LARS AND THE REAL GIRL-Last minute buzz prevailed, and it got this nomination...for some reason. Glad to see another woman in this category, though.

MICHAEL CLAYTON-It could win simply because they don't want Michael Clayton to go home empty-handed, but if they choose to do that, they'll give Supporting Actress to Swinton. Juno is just too strong.

RATATOUILLE-As with all animated nominees in this category, this nod is just a way of saying "yes, you're going to win Best Animated Film." That said, it's not really IMPOSSIBLE. It is the best reviewed film of the year.

THE SAVAGES-The nomination for Linney shows that the film did have a decent amount of love, so it could upset...but probably not.

WILL WIN: Juno
SHOULD WIN: Juno

IN ORDER OF LIKELINESS:
1. Juno
2. Michael Clayton
3. The Savages
4. Ratatouille
5. Lars and the Real Girl

TOMORROW: Best Supporting Actress (we're getting closer...)