…And It’s Oscar Time, Ladies and Gentlemen!
(imagine a rousing rendition of “Hurray For Hollywood)
It’s that time of year, when the most prestigious and well-publicized awards show releases its nominees to a hungry, salivating pack of critics and journalists and a largely uncaring public. Oh well, I’ll write about it anyway, since this is a movie website and because I have no life other than what I steal from the silver screen…so here it goes! Below I will add my all-knowing, and all-interesting, little views of each category. Cajun Carl may add a little input, marking his comments with a CC (pretty clever, huh?).
Performance by an actor in a leading role
George Clooney in Michael Clayton -overrated…no chance
Daniel Day-Lewis in There Will Be Blood – The best bet – Won the drama Globe, so he may be in good shape, here. Still not playing near me. Maybe some day.
Johnny Depp in Sweeney Todd – Johnny picked up the Comedy Globe to add to his trophy room, but I don’t think he is a good bet for the Oscar.
Tommy Lee Jones in In the Valley of Elah – Good, but not good enough
Viggo Mortensen in Eastern Promises – My pick, but a dark horse to win, here.
Performance by an actor in a supporting role
Casey Affleck in The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford – Casey “Baby Ben” Affleck did a good job, here, but not quite this good.
Javier Bardem in No Country for Old Men – Best Bet, since he beat largely the same field for his Globe, but Wilkinson could take him here at the ‘Big Show’.
Philip Seymour Hoffman in Charlie Wilson’s War – I liked this movie and this performance, but probably the most unlikely to win, besides Casey.
Hal Holbrook in Into the Wild – Hmmm, I haven’t seen this one, yet (not in my area
Tom Wilkinson in Michael Clayton – This is the best performance of the year, in my opinion and he has been unsuccessfully nominated before (In The Bedroom). I am putting him just below Bardem as most likely to win.
Performance by an actress in a leading role
Cate Blanchett in Elizabeth: The Golden Age – never write off sumptuous British period pieces, but this is a sequel, and kind of a lightweight movie, so I doubt it.
Julie Christie in Away from Her – Best Bet – best performance and got the Globe, so should deservedly win this one.
Marion Cotillard in La Vie en Rose – Never saw it
Laura Linney in The Savages – Never saw it
Ellen Page in Juno – Ellen gave a great performance in a very good film, but she is too young, the film is to light and this will be one of those “It’s a honor just to be nominated”, things.
Performance by an actress in a supporting role
Cate Blanchett in I’m Not There – She is playing a real person (sort of) and playing someone completely different from herself. Since the Academy loves both of those circumstances, this is the closest thing to a sure bet there is, this year.
Ruby Dee in American Gangster
Saoirse Ronan in Atonement – Since Saoirse has the best performance in this critically acclaimed film, she is the only other nominee to have a shot, here.
Amy Ryan in Gone Baby Gone
Tilda Swinton in Michael Clayton
Best animated feature film of the year
Persepolis (Sony Pictures Classics): Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud
Ratatouille (Walt Disney): Brad Bird – Should win easily.
Surf’s Up (Sony Pictures Releasing): Ash Brannon and Chris Buck
Achievement in art direction
American Gangster (Universal): Art Direction: Arthur Max; Set Decoration: Beth A. Rubino
Atonement (Focus Features): Art Direction: Sarah Greenwood; Set Decoration: Katie Spencer – 2nd most likely to win.
The Golden Compass (New Line in association with Ingenious Film Partners): Art Direction: Dennis Gassner; Set Decoration: Anna Pinnock
Sweeney Todd The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (DreamWorks and Warner Bros., Distributed by DreamWorks/Paramount): Art Direction: Dante Ferretti; Set Decoration: Francesca Lo Schiavo – Great sets in this one. It should win and I think it will.
There Will Be Blood (Paramount Vantage and Miramax): Art Direction: Jack Fisk; Set Decoration: Jim Erickson
Achievement in cinematography
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (Warner Bros.): Roger Deakins – Some really nice film work, here, but most likely will be ignored.
Atonement (Focus Features): Seamus McGarvey – Best bet.
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (Miramax/Pathé Renn): Janusz Kaminski
No Country for Old Men (Miramax and Paramount Vantage): Roger Deakins
There Will Be Blood (Paramount Vantage and Miramax): Robert Elswit
Achievement in costume design
Across the Universe (Sony Pictures Releasing) Albert Wolsky
Atonement (Focus Features) Jacqueline Durran
Elizabeth: The Golden Age (Universal) Alexandra Byrne – Might snag one here.
La Vie en Rose (Picturehouse) Marit Allen
Sweeney Todd The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (DreamWorks and Warner Bros., Distributed by DreamWorks/Paramount) Colleen Atwood – Best Bet
Achievement in directing
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (Miramax/Pathé Renn), Julian Schnabel
Juno (Fox Searchlight), Jason Reitman – Some very nice work, here, but most likely too light to win.
Michael Clayton (Warner Bros.), Tony Gilroy
No Country for Old Men (Miramax and Paramount Vantage), Joel Coen and Ethan Coen – Best Bet – at least until I see Diving Bell and Blood.
There Will Be Blood (Paramount Vantage and Miramax), Paul Thomas Anderson
Best documentary feature – No pick – have only seen one.
No End in Sight (Magnolia Pictures) A Representational Pictures Production: Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs
Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience (The Documentary Group) A Documentary Group Production: Richard E. Robbins
Sicko (Lionsgate and The Weinstein Company) A Dog Eat Dog Films Production: Michael Moore and Meghan O’Hara – This was great, (I admit I haven’t seen the others, however. Has anyone?), but I don’t think Moore can win this year.
Taxi to the Dark Side (THINKFilm) An X-Ray Production: Alex Gibney and Eva Orner
War/Dance (THINKFilm) A Shine Global and Fine Films Production: Andrea Nix Fine and Sean Fine
Best documentary short subject – who watches these? I don’t even know where to see them.
Freeheld A Lieutenant Films Production: Cynthia Wade and Vanessa Roth
La Corona (The Crown) A Runaway Films and Vega Films Production: Amanda Micheli and Isabel Vega
Salim Baba A Ropa Vieja Films and Paradox Smoke Production: Tim Sternberg and Francisco Bello
Sari’s Mother (Cinema Guild) A Daylight Factory Production: James Longley
Achievement in film editing – Well, I really have only the simplest of how to judge film editing, and have not seen three of the nominees, but I guess I’ll take a shot.
The Bourne Ultimatum (Universal): Christopher Rouse – some good work, here
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (Miramax/Pathé Renn): Juliette Welfling
Into the Wild (Paramount Vantage and River Road Entertainment): Jay Cassidy
No Country for Old Men (Miramax and Paramount Vantage) Roderick Jaynes
There Will Be Blood (Paramount Vantage and Miramax): Dylan Tichenor – Best bet, so far, I guess
Best foreign language film of the year – I haven’t see any of these. Not playing in my area. Why would they? Probably only me and one other guy would even think about seeing any of them.
The Counterfeiters Austria
Achievement in makeup
La Vie en Rose (Picturehouse) Didier Lavergne and Jan Archibald
Norbit (DreamWorks, Distributed by Paramount): Rick Baker and Kazuhiro Tsuji
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (Walt Disney): Ve Neill and Martin Samuel – Best Bet. This movie made a fortune, they have give it something.
Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original score) I didn’t think that the music in any of these films was anything special. What do I know?
Atonement (Focus Features) Dario Marianelli – Best bet, since it won the Globe, I guess
The Kite Runner (DreamWorks, Sidney Kimmel Entertainment and Participant Productions, Distributed by Paramount Classics): Alberto Iglesias
Michael Clayton (Warner Bros.) James Newton Howard
Ratatouille (Walt Disney) Michael Giacchino
3:10 to Yuma (Lionsgate) Marco Beltrami – This flop deserves nothing.
Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song)
“Falling Slowly” from Once (Fox Searchlight) Music and Lyric by Glen Hansard and: Marketa Irglova
“Happy Working Song” from Enchanted (Walt Disney): Music by Alan Menken; Lyric by Stephen Schwartz
“Raise It Up” from August Rush (Warner Bros.): Nominees to be determined
“So Close” from Enchanted (Walt Disney): Music by Alan Menken; Lyric by Stephen Schwartz
“That’s How You Know” from Enchanted (Walt Disney): Music by Alan Menken; Lyric by Stephen Schwartz – No idea what will win, but of the nominees, I guess this is my fave. I still think Music and Lyrics had the best original songs.
Best motion picture of the year
Atonement (Focus Features) A Working Title Production: Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner and Paul Webster, Producers – Best Bet, but please, God, no.
Juno (Fox Searchlight) A Dancing Elk Pictures, LLC Production: Lianne Halfon, Mason Novick and Russell Smith, Producers – Very good film, but too light for an Oscar win.
Michael Clayton (Warner Bros.) A Clayton Productions, LLC Production: Sydney Pollack, Jennifer Fox and Kerry Orent, Producers – Are they kidding? most overrated film of the year.
No Country for Old Men (Miramax and Paramount Vantage) A Scott Rudin/Mike Zoss Production: Scott Rudin, Ethan Coen and Joel Coen, Producers – haven’t seen Blood (below), so this is my choice so far, though I think the snubbed Eastern Promises was a little better.
There Will Be Blood (Paramount Vantage and Miramax) A JoAnne Sellar/Ghoulardi Film Company Production: JoAnne Sellar, Paul Thomas Anderson and Daniel Lupi, Producers.
Best animated short film – Where do they show these? Birthday parties?
I Met the Walrus A Kids & Explosions Production: Josh Raskin
Madame Tutli-Putli (National Film Board of Canada) A National Film Board of Canada Production Chris Lavis and
Même Les Pigeons Vont au Paradis (Even Pigeons Go to Heaven) (Premium Films) A BUF Compagnie Production Samuel Tourneux and Simon Vanesse
My Love (Moya Lyubov) (Channel One Russia) A Dago-Film Studio, Channel One Russia and Dentsu Tec Production Alexander Petrov
Peter & the Wolf (BreakThru Films) A BreakThru Films/Se-ma-for Studios Production Suzie Templeton and Hugh Welchman
Best live action short film Who watches these? I mean, really, who? I don’t know anyone, who has ever seen any live action short film.
At Night A Zentropa Entertainments 10 Production: Christian E. Christiansen and Louise Vesth Il Supplente (The Substitute) (Sky Cinema Italia) A Frame by Frame Italia Production: Andrea Jublin
Le Mozart des Pickpockets (The Mozart of Pickpockets) (Premium Films) A Karé Production: Philippe Pollet-Villard
Tanghi Argentini (Premium Films) An Another Dimension of an Idea Production: Guido Thys and Anja Daelemans
The Tonto Woman A Knucklehead, Little Mo and Rose Hackney Barber Production: Daniel Barber and Matthew Brown
Achievement in sound editing – I’m like a vegan judging a BBQ rib cook off here, but someone has to do it, so here it goes…
The Bourne Ultimatum (Universal): Karen Baker Landers and Per Hallberg – the sound was good here, but unlikely to win
No Country for Old Men (Miramax and Paramount Vantage): Skip Lievsay – Best bet, I think because the voters probably only know a little more about the category than I do and will go with what has won other stuff.
Ratatouille (Walt Disney): Randy Thom and Michael Silvers
There Will Be Blood (Paramount Vantage and Miramax): Matthew Wood
Transformers (DreamWorks and Paramount in association with Hasbro): Ethan Van der Ryn and Mike Hopkins – bad movie, good sound, so maybe, who knows.
Achievement in sound mixing with all I know about sound mixing, I’m a blind man picking his favorite porno, here, but here it goes.
The Bourne Ultimatum (Universal) Scott Millan, David Parker and Kirk Francis
No Country for Old Men (Miramax and Paramount Vantage): Skip Lievsay, Craig Berkey, Greg Orloff and Peter Kurland – Best bet….just because
Ratatouille (Walt Disney): Randy Thom, Michael Semanick and Doc Kane
3:10 to Yuma (Lionsgate): Paul Massey, David Giammarco and Jim Stuebe
Transformers (DreamWorks and Paramount in association with Hasbro): Kevin O’Connell, Greg P. Russell and Peter J. Devlin
Achievement in visual effects
The Golden Compass (New Line in association with Ingenious Film Partners): Michael Fink, Bill Westenhofer, Ben Morris and Trevor Wood – Very cool polar bears, but is that enough?
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (Walt Disney): John Knoll, Hal Hickel, Charles Gibson and John Frazier – Best bet – Made so much money, it will likely win.
Transformers (DreamWorks and Paramount in association with Hasbro): Scott Farrar, Scott Benza, Russell Earl and John Frazier – probably the best effects of the three, but it is so bad, will they let it win something?
Best Adapted screenplay
Atonement (Focus Features), Screenplay by Christopher Hampton
Away from Her (Lionsgate), Written by Sarah Polley
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (Miramax/Pathé Renn), Screenplay by Ronald Harwood
No Country for Old Men (Miramax and Paramount Vantage), Written for the screen by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen Best bet, I think, but I might be letting my own opinion cloud my judgment.
There Will Be Blood (Paramount Vantage and Miramax), Written for the screen by Paul Thomas Anderson
Best Original screenplay
Juno (Fox Searchlight), Written by Diablo Cody – Best bet, or should I say my best guess, in a category that can go anywhere, but I’m pulling for you, Diablo!
Lars and the Real Girl (MGM), Written by Nancy Oliver
Michael Clayton (Warner Bros.), Written by Tony Gilroy
Ratatouille (Walt Disney), Screenplay by Brad Bird; Story by Jan Pinkava, Jim Capobianco, Brad Bird
The Savages (Fox Searchlight), Written by Tamara Jenkins
…And It’s Oscar Time, Ladies and Gentlemen!