after last week's tooth hooky oscar movie marathon (juno, once, atonement, and there will be blood), i'm feeling better about talking predictions - even if the splashy ceremony itself is still up in the air. i'm hoping our local pub will have a pool again anyway, and there are still some serious viewing gaps, as you'll see - so hey, internets, want to make this a group effort? if you've seen some of these babies, add your predictions as comments and i'll transfer 'em up here. go go kidchamp critictron 2008!

as in previous years, my picks are italicized and movies i've seen get asterisks.

best actor

george clooney - michael clayton*
daniel day-lewis - there will be blood*
johnny depp - sweeney todd
viggo mortensen - eastern promises
tommy lee jones - in the valley of elah

daniel day-lewis was predictably great, though james dean as jett rink in giant was better in the same kind of role. johnny depp as a quirky and/or tim burton lead is old news, and i predict general clooney fatigue. don't think many people saw the other two. my money's on DDL.

best supporting actor

casey affleck - the assassination of jesse james by the coward robert ford
javier bardem - no country for old men*
hal holbrook - into the wild
philip seymour hoffman - charlie wilson's war
tom wilkinson - michael clayton*

it's a bit shabby that i'm again picking the one performance i've seen,** sure, but javier bardem gave me nightmares.

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*

i've heard the elizabeth sequel sucked, and i think cate blanchett has a better shot at supporting actress. for my beloved ex-boss's sake, i hope laura wins - she's her sister. ellen page was good, but she's so young. julie christie, for she has the golden globe already and i have a small hunch.

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*

the woman-as-dylan conceit is very sexy, and cate blanchett is made of magic.

best song

falling slowly - once*
happy working song - enchanted
raise it up - august rush
so close - enchanted
that's how you know - enchanted

i made the mistake of thinking that the hat trick flick would take something home in this category last year (it was dreamgirls, and the oscar went to the melissa etheridge song from an inconvenient truth). this time around, i think the three disney numbers will cancel each other out - and i think it's been a long time since disney's ashman/menken era of musical dominance. i know nothing about august rush, but i know that everyone who saw once will vote for glen hansard's entry. seeing him perform it live with marketa irglova* (c'mon, guys!) would maybe make my ovaries explode. in a good way.

best director

paul thomas anderson - there will be blood*
joel coen and ethan coen - no country for old men*
julian schnabel - the diving bell and the butterfly
tony gilroy - michael clayton*
jason reitman - juno*

the coen brothers directed no country for old men with such assurance that their choices seemed inevitable. i've heard that schnabel's work on butterfly was impossibly clever, though, and i'm desperate to see it; i might revisit this one.

best picture

michael clayton*
no country for old men*
there will be blood*

atonement's celebrated tracking shot is, unfortunately, seriously overrated. the best thing about that movie was keira knightley's green dress - it was epic, and i mean that in all seriousness. juno's big splash will be the writing nod for diablo cody, i think. especially if schnabel gets best director, no country for old men will get best picture.

*who was seventeen (according to the wall street journal review) when the film was made - damn.

**ETA: i finally saw michael clayton last night (02.23), so i'm updating my asterisks accordingly. i haven't changed my mind as to predictions, so i'm leaving commentary as is.


babyjo said...

i agree with most of your picks, since (stating the obvious) most of them coincide with golden globe/SAG winners. i do think diablo cody/juno will grab best original screenplay, and atonement the award for original score. other than that, neither will come away with anything else.

the green dress WAS epic, i agree. also, at awards shows, javier bardem is...kind of a babe. like the reverse of how viggo mortenson is hot as aragorn but not in real life. shame about that.

lauren said...

i can't decide how i feel about atonement's score. it was clever, to be sure, but it was maybe a bit in love with its own cleverness? like, is it a good thing that the typewriter effects were a bit intrusive at times? i recall liking the 3:10 to yuma score, but it wasn't anything special (same w/ratatouille). mostly i am eighty-five kinds of glad that there will be blood wasn't nominated, as its score made me want to rip out my sinuses and throw them at the screen.

agreed on javier bardem in real life. i neglected to mention that they were sexy nightmares.

wabes said...

having seen none of the above, i can only say that every review of 'atonement' mentioned the typewriter effect, which, to me, means that the movie was much worse than everyone says it was.

i do love james mcavoy - i'd watch him toast bread - but i don't know if i'm willing to commit myself to the time required...

otherwise, there's too much blood in ST or TWBB for my tender nerves - lucky for kolz, he doesn't have to sit through them with me.

javier bardem is still the gay cuban poet from 'before night falls', in my head. so seeing him as a psychopath with that wacked haircut might damage me permanently.

tom said...

Atonement = English class-warfare period piece. Yuck. I mean, such things are almost manipulative at this point. You walk in knowing that the prole is going to get screwed over by a system that perpetuates The Way Things Are -- but everything is overcome or at least resolved quite neatly in the end because Love Conquers All, or Everybody Gets Their Just Desserts, or both. Give me a break.

Juno and No Country for Old Men are outstanding. Nuff said.

I intend to see There Will Be Blood, but something makes me nervous about that. Something about milkshakes. For some reason, I never got around to seeing Michael Clayton, but I suspect it was plenty good, but not overwhelming.

And if "Falling Slowly" doesn't win, somebody should be picked from the audience, at random, and flogged. (And this from a guy who hates musicals.)

Finally: you will note that Tom Hanks, formerly Mr. Oscar Bait, did not get through for Charlie Wilson's War. So George Clooney isn't the first guy to go through that whole thing.

lauren said...

@wabes: on the potential dreaminess of james mcavoy, i saw atonement right after reading wing chun's post:This is a helpful hint for everyone who spent all of Atonement tortured while trying to figure out what famous lady James McAvoy reminded you of — because I did the same through all of The Last King Of Scotland.

It’s Edie Falco. You’re welcome.
no one should have to watch a keira knightley sex scene and think of carmela soprano. i was ruined!

@tom: atonement was about much, much more, it...just didn't work very well. i realize now how much i lost by seeing the movie before reading the book.

tom said...

I'm sure you're right about the movie being much more than what I was proposing. But the thought of "you're not one of us" in a movie just makes my skin crawl, to the point where it almost drowns out every other redeeming facet of it.

True, you can see that in a lot of movies and books. But plunking down ten bucks knowing that this is precisely what you're in for? Respectfully, I'll pass.

Meg said...

Ok, I've seen almost none of these movies (hello, crazy year), but I am obsessed with "Falling Slowly." Once was ok, if weird, but we got the soundtrack and I totally listen to that song over and over when David is out of the house (I don't think he approves of obsessive song listening).

As for Atonement, it was enjoyable, but overrated by a mile. Up until the meta-post-modern ending (whaa?) it was like those Victorian novels (the later Annie of Green Gables, Little Woman, etc) that I used to sob over at 12. So, I mean, I liked it. But it wasn't Oscar worthy.

Meg said...

** except it left me kind of cold... I didn't cry a single tear. Even weirder.