Saturday, March 29, 2008

First Round Predix: Best Original/Adapted Screenplay

Well, here we are. The last part of our first-round predix. Overall, there are about...a million things I want to change. But I won't let myself.

Now, onward...

1. Vicky Cristina Barcelona-I'm starting to love this project...

2. Hamlet 2
-This one, too...

3. Synecdoche, New York-And yet, this is a great premise. The script reviews have been mixed, though, so I don't know.

4. Australia-I'm warming up to this quite a bit, but dramas have a clear disadvantage in this category.

5. WALL-E-Pixar is overdue for a win, but this category tends to prefer dialogue-heavy comedies.

6. The Soloist (original or adapted? It says it's based on articles, but the Academy counted Letters from Iwo Jima as original, so...)
7. Burn After Reading
8. Milk
9. Changeling
10. The Trial of the Chicago 7
(anyone else get a bad vibe from this?)

1. Doubt-This is a very dialogue-intense play, which will help it greatly in this category.

2. Frost/Nixon-Play adaptations tend to do well in this category, but Doubt is baitier.

3. Body of Lies-Wow, I have little faith in this project anymore. It gets this spot just because it's my BP prediction as of now.

4. The Road-This might be too bleak and sci-fi-oriented for the Academy to embrace, but if it's a success (which it probably will be), I can see it getting nods here and for Best Actor.

5. The Reader-The push here will probably be in Best Actress, but this looks to be another intellegent film, which they love here.

6. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
7. Revolutionary Road
8. Appaloosa
9. Defiance
10. Blindness

Friday, March 28, 2008

Let the Embarrassment Begin!

Without further ado, here are my first predictions for the nominations (and winners in bold) in the Big Eight for our next Academy Awards...

(note: I will predict Benicio only if his films come out in different years...otherwise I think the prospect of vote splitting is way too high)

Best Picture
The Reader
The Trial of the Chicago 7

Best Director
David Fincher, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Sam Mendes, Revolutionary Road
John Patrick Shanley, Doubt
Steven Spielberg, The Trial of the Chicago 7
Gus Van Sant, Milk

Best Actor
Leonardo DiCaprio, Revolutionary Road
Harrison Ford, Crossing Over
Jamie Foxx, The Soloist
Frank Langella, Frost/Nixon
Viggo Mortensen, The Road

Best Actress
Emily Blunt, The Young Victoria
Angelina Jolie, Changeling
Julianne Moore, Blindness
Meryl Streep, Doubt
Kate Winslet, The Reader

Best Supporting Actor
Josh Brolin, Milk
Philip Seymour Hoffman, Doubt
Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight
John Malkovich, Burn After Reading
Michael Sheen, Frost/Nixon

Best Supporting Actress
Amy Adams, Doubt
Kathy Bates, Revolutionary Road
Cate Blanchett, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Viola Davis, Doubt
Carice van Houten, Body of Lies

Best Original Screenplay
Burn After Reading
Hamlet 2
Synecdoche, New York

Best Adapted Screenplay
Body of Lies

The Reader
Revolutionary Road

Sunday, March 23, 2008

It's a Tie!

Yet another classic Oscar clip I've been searching tirelessly for. Again, it'll be off YouTube soon, so watch it now.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

First Round Predix: Best Supporting Actress

1. Viola Davis, Doubt-This category is very kind towards newcomers, and diversity could be the ticket to her success--especially with 2007's all-white winners.

2. Amy Adams, Doubt-The lovely Adams will surely become an Oscar winner someday...I just hope the Academy is smart enough to wait a while. Still, there's no denying that she's a huge threat.

3. Catherine Keener, The Soloist-After very strong performances in Being John Malkovich and Capote, you could kind of say that she's overdue. My guess is that either this or Synecdoche will get her the nod.

4. Scarlett Johansson, Vicky Christina Barselona-Woody Allen will not rest until she becomes a superstar, and this sounds like a classic pretty-young-thing Allen role. The only problem is that so many people hate her (for some reason).

5. Renee Zellweger, Appaloosa-I'd like to see her make a mini-comeback, but this film could go either way for me.

6. Kathy Bates, Revolutionary Road-I love her and she's got tons of buzz, but I've heard her character's role in the novel is very small. That didn't hurt Ruby Dee, but I remain skeptical.

7. Cate Blanchett, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button-Lead or supporting? Either way, Cate could easily get a nomination somewhere this year just because she's Cate, but I have my doubts about this film. But, dare I say, she may get a nomination for her allegedly incredible work as the villain in Indy 4. she couldn't, but I can dream.

8. Amy Ryan, Changeling-I'm still mad she didn't win the Oscar (though Swinton is a good alternative), and I would love to see her win or at least get a nomination, but you know my feeling about the film. Why am I predicting Jolie, again?

9. Samantha Morton, Synecdoche, New York-The Academy seems to like her, and she is a very good actress, but she has a lot of competition against her own co-stars.

10. Tilda Swinton, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button/Burn After Reading-I think both of these films will be only a modest success, and even if they're huge, that could cause some vote-splitting. But who knows?

Friday, March 21, 2008

Marisa Tomei's Oscar Win

I've been searching for this video FOREVER. This is perhaps the most surprising win in Oscar history. Watch it fast, though, because YouTube takes these videos off very quickly.

First Round Predix: Best Supporting Actor

First off: I really wish I could let myself change my BP and Director predix. I have such little confidence in them it's frightening. But I have a pledge to myself.

And now...Best Supporting Actor

1. Robert Downey, Jr., The Soloist-A terrific actor in a project I get more confident in by the day.

2. Michael Sheen, Frost/Nixon-I was, personally, very disappointed that he got such little recognition for his excellent performance in The Queen, and this could be a way to compensate for his snub (though they may not consider it necessary to do so).

3. Josh Brolin, Milk-2007's breakthrough star ( of them) could easily pick up an Oscar nod for this very baity role. If I weren't a bit torn about the project, I would be predicting him for #1.

4. John Malkovich, Burn After Reading-I can't stand him, but with this and Changeling, I think there's a good chance he'll be nominated somewhere this year.

5. David Wenham, Australia-Probably not, but I think 2008 will be a year of newcomers. He's been in big-budget fantasies like LOTR and 300, but he's certainly not a known name.
Maybe this will do the trick?

6. Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight-There's no denying that he looks great in the trailer, but all of this buzz so soon after his tragic death seems exploitative. In the end, I think that the Academy will just stick to normal and not honor a performance in a superhero movie. I'd love to see it happen, but I doubt it will.

7. Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Trial of the Chicago 7-This project sounds like an Oscar favorite, but I kind of don't think it will end up being a success. That said, if Doubt doesn't work out, I can see Hoffman getting nominated for this (but I do think that Doubt will be a hit, so there's no need to predict him here...right?).

8. Russell Crowe, Body of Lies-I'm getting very apprehensive about this project (which sucks for me because it's my current BP prediction), and Crowe does better in Lead Actor anyways.

9. Antonio Banderas, The Other Man-I think this project will be laughably bad, so that's that for Banderas.

10. Benjamin Bratt, Guerrilla-If this, indeed, does get made and is well-received, I believe Benicio will get the sole acting nomination.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Paul Scofield: Rest in Peace

Academy Award-winning actor, Paul Scofield, famous for his roles in A Man for All Seasons, Quiz Show, and The Crucible (the first for which he won his Oscar) died yesterday at the age of 86. I just watched The Crucible, where he played Danforth, for the first time just yesterday, so this is a bit of a shock for me. I was quite saddened to read this and I am positive his brilliant work will be remembered and continue to impress. My condolences to his family and friends.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Anthony Minghella Rest In Peace

"Oscar-winning director Anthony Minghella, who turned such literary works as "The English Patient," "The Talented Mr. Ripley" and "Cold Mountain" into acclaimed movies, died Tuesday of a hemorrhage following surgery. He was 54."

This is truly unexpected. I was fortunate enough to see Minghella present Eastern Promises at the London Film Festival last year. He will be missed as will his talent. My thoughts are with his family and friends.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Capote v. Infamous: Part Four

You know, when I first posted "Capote v. Infamous: Part One" months ago...I never ever thought that there would be three more cases. Here we go:

In 2008, this year, Gus Van Sant brings us Milk, the story of Harvey Milk, California's first openly gay elected official. The film stars Sean Penn as Milk and Josh Brolin as Dan White, his assassin. Written by Dustin Lance Black, many have high hopes for this feature.

In 2009, Brian Singer will bring us The Mayor of Castro Street, the story of Harvey Milk, California's first openly gay elected official. The film is written by Christopher McQuarrie, the writer of The Usual Suspects and this year's Valkyrie.

It's exhausting, isn't it?

Defiance: Trailer

For those of you who have not yet seen this, here is the trailer for Defiance, the latest film by director Edward Zwick and starring Daniel Craig.


Saturday, March 15, 2008

Doubt: Meryl Streep

Apparently pictures from the set of Doubt have been online for a while but I've just now found them. For those who haven't seen them, here is Streep looking especially great:

Friday, March 14, 2008

First Round Predix: Best Director

Sorry about the lack of posts this month, but the Oscar blogosphere has been pretty much dead.

1. Ridley Scott, Body of Lies-The "overdue" thing is kind of legitimate, and kind of not. I'm getting some second thoughts about the film, but he's looking like the surest thing as of now.

2. Baz Luhrman, Australia-This is a film that HAS to be well-directed to succeed, and since I have it in the BP lineup, I ought to include him, too.

3. Ron Howard, Frost/Nixon-This is the perfect project for him, and I think he can pull it off very nicely.

4. Joe Wright, The Soloist-You could argue that he's due for a nomination, and I'm growing on this project.

5. John Patrick Shanley, Doubt
-If the film is a success, I can see them anxious to award him, making him a Pulitzer Prize winning playwright turned Oscar nominated director.

6. Charlie Kaufman, Synecdoche, New York-I'd love to see this happen, but I kind of don't think it will.

7. Ed Harris, Appaloosa-Oscar loves their Actors turned Directors...right? The Sean Penn snub raises some eyebrows.

8. Sam Mendes, Revolutionary Road-Again, the project is growing on me, and he ought to prove that his win for AB wasn't a one-time thing. But I've still got some questions.

9. Clint Eastwood, Changeling-Yes, Oscar loves Clint more than life itself, but you know how I feel about this project.

10. Gus Van Sant, Milk-This doesn't look to be a direction-based film. But who knows?

Monday, March 10, 2008

5 Buzzed About Films Destined to Bomb

Every Oscar predictor knows that early buzz can be the curse for a film. Here are some upcoming projects that are raising a few eyebrows for me...

Revolutionary Road, Milk, The Reader, Burn After Reading, Defiance

5. Changeling-Yes, it's Clint. Yes, the premise is decent. But in actuality, can we say this really sounds like an Oscar worthy film? There's something about it that seems VERY unappealing. I dunno...maybe I just need a trailer.

4. Synecdoche, New York-This is that feeling I get soon after I post my year-in-advance predix. I love Charlie Kaufman more than anyone, and this is an amazing cast and story, but the reviews for the script have been very mixed. It's all so troublesome. I think I'll be leaving this out of my second round predix.

3. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button-Sure to be an audience favorite, and will probably receive Globe attention and favorable reviews. However, I see Dreamgirls/Into the Wild/Cold Mountain/Walk the Line written all over this.

2. The Argentine-It's been in production hell for years now, and if it actually gets released, I can see it crashing and burning. Very unfortunate for Steven Soderbergh, who has spent oh-so-much time on the project. I want to predict it, but truthfully, I just don't think it will succeed.

1. Valkyrie-It's not being majorly predicted, but I'm surprised it's being predicted at all. Hell, I'm surprised it was even made. Just look at this production still:
Now, unless, I'm totally off, I think it's safe to call Valkyrie the Oscar vehicle most likely to bomb this year.

But that's just me. What do you all think?

First Round Predix: Best Actress

1. Meryl Streep, Doubt-She's terribly overdue for a third win, and this is the very definition of a baity role.

2. Kate Winslet, The Reader-Everyone wants her to win, but both of her projects this year sound shaky. Still, I remain optimistic.

3. Julianne Moore, Savage Grace-I desperately want her to win, and with this and Blindness, it looks possible. But so far, Meryl and Kate are stealing her thunder.

4. Angelina Jolie, The Changeling-The film itself sounds questionable, but she was snubbed this year and this is Clint. And yet...

5. Kerry Washington, Mama Black Widow-It would just be too boring to have the typical lineup of Meryl, Kate, Julianne and Angelina. So I'm throwing in Kerry Washington. She probably has no chance at all, but I want to be adventurous.

6. Cate Blanchett, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button-The Academy will have a hard time being Cate-free for a year, but I remain on the fence about the film.

7. Nicole Kidman, Australia-Honestly, I wouldn't trust her to turn in good work anymore.

8. Penelope Cruz, Vicky Christina Barcelona-The talented and lovely Cruz could be looking at Oscar gold again, but I don't think the film will be big enough.

9. Keira Knightley, The Dutchess-She's got the talent, but the project itself sounds like it's destined for failure.

10. Meryl Streep, Mamma Mia!, Kate Winslet, Revolutionary Road, Julianne Moore, Blindness-If they don't get the nod for the film I predicted them to get it for, they'll probably get it here.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

First Round Predix: Best Actor

Sorry for the lack of updates these last few days...

1. Frank Langella, Frost/Nixon-An always overlooked actor may finally see Oscar bait in this upcoming project. It certainly worked on stage.

2. Leonardo DiCaprio, Body of Lies-Everyone knows that he'll win an Oscar someday, and with this and Revolutionary Road, it's looking like that may be very soon. However, I still think Langella's chances are stronger.

3. Viggo Mortensen, The Road-Great role...great actor...maybe not all that baity, but this is just something I'm hoping for.

4. Philip Seymour Hoffman, Doubt-He's fast emerging as one of the best actors of his generation, but he won't win again for a while.

5. Sean Penn, Milk-I remain unsure about the project, but I'll include Penn for now.

6. Hugh Jackman, Australia-He's a very talented actor, and I think he sounds very well-cast here. However, I'm sure that most will disagree with me.

7. Philip Seymour Hoffman, Synecdoche, New York-I'm sure he'll be great, but a child molesting priest is easier to reward.

8. Benicio Del Toro, The Argentine-I don't see good things for this film as a whole. Too bad, because the distribution process has been hell.

9. Leonardo DiCaprio, Revolutionary Road-I just don't think this will live up to the buzz.

10. Brad Pitt, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button-I think this will end up like all of Fincher's films: loved by the public, liked by critics, ignored by AMPAS.

And did anyone else think Cruise's production stills for Valkyrie look hilarious?

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Round 1 Predix: Best Picture

I love first round predix! Let's start with the big one...

1. Body of Lies-The Academy's newfound love for darkness should help this one quite a bit. Also, most of the early contenders sound kind of destined to fail. This is looking solid right now.

2. Frost/Nixon
-A Tony Award winning play being brought to the screen with its original, all-star Broadway cast and Ron Howard behind the camera? Sounds good to me, but this kind of stuff isn't the Academy's favorite thing ever anymore.

3. Doubt-My prediction is that either this or Frost/Nixon will get the nod, but not both. That said, I'm still predicting both because they look like they have equal chances right now.

4. Australia-Baz Luhrmann has yet to fail completely, but...I dunno. Seems fishy to me. But the premise is good enough for it to make the lineup (for now).

5. Synecdoche, New York-Mixed reviews leave me on the fence for this...but it's in for now just because I need a comedy.

6. Hamlet 2-I think it sounds promising, and the reviews have been mostly good, but the cast and premise aren't exactly Academy friendly.

7. The Changeling-I thought it sounded good initially, but I'm getting more and more hesitant. Jolie will probably be in my Actress predix, though.

8. Revolutionary Road-Reuniting two former co-stars is a good gimmick for box office and early buzz, but the film itself just doesn't sound that great.

9. Milk-This is probably more an acting film than anything else.

10. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button-There is no denying that this sounds great, but will it end up being "too weird" for the Academy? I kind of think so...

Well, there we are. This is going to look funny a year from now.