Yay Oscars!

Best Motion Picture of the Year


There Will Be Blood (2007): Paul Thomas Anderson, Daniel Lupi, JoAnne Sellar

Well, close readers of this journal know what my favorite is. But these are five pretty strong movies. Well I’m guessing in the case of Atonement — has anyone out there seen it? It looks too much like The English Patient to me. Which may mean, of course, that it will win. Because let’s face it, not only are three of the nominees about the murderous roots of capitalism, none of them were runaway hits. They may split the “I dislike the evils of capitalism” vote in Hollywood. And then there’s the fact that Juno is the only movie here that resembles anything like a popular hit. There Will Be Blood seems to have the critical momentum, and it is a fine, fine movie, but in my heart of hearts I hope it’s the Coens’ year.


Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role


Viggo Mortensen for Eastern Promises (2007)

I hate bowing to conventional wisdom, but this really seems like Daniel Day-Lewis in a walk. No one saw In the Valley of Elah (and frankly I preferred TLJ in No Country), and if Viggo Mortensen wins an Oscar, I don’t think it’s going to be for playing a Russian Gangster. Johnny Depp was great in Sweeney Todd, but Clooney just won recently and Day-Lewis has all the momentum.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role


Ellen Page for Juno (2007)

Julie Christie in a walk. No one saw Elizabeth (and besides, Blanchett will probably win for I’m Not There), Laura Linney will one day have a part equal to her stature as an actress but her role in The Savages isn’t it, Ellen Page is great in Juno but, well, it’s a comedy, and I didn’t see the French movie.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role


Tom Wilkinson for Michael Clayton (2007)

Obviously, Javier Bardem will crush the competition. Given his performance in No Country, who would dare vote against him?

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role


Tilda Swinton for Michael Clayton (2007)

Five more wonderful performances from great actors (again, I’m giving Atonement-girl the benefit of the doubt) but I think Blanchett’s only real competition is from Ruby Dee. And given American Gangster’s otherwise stunning lack of nominations, I don’t see it happening.

Best Achievement in Directing


Jason Reitman for Juno (2007)
Julian Schnabel for Scaphandre et le papillon, Le (2007)

I’ve heard weird buzzes around town that Schnabel stands a real shot at winning this thing. And his direction for Diving Bell is original, daring and innovative. But come on, so is PTA’s work on Blood. My heart is on the Coens, but I’m always wrong about these things.

Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen


The Savages (2007): Tamara Jenkins

Of these movies, I liked the screenplay for Michael Clayton best, and Ratatouille a close second, but I’m going to guess that Juno will win this one (and not its other nominations).

Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published


There Will Be Blood (2007): Paul Thomas Anderson

Hey, there are four women nominated for writing awards this year! What the hell am I paying dues for in my Boys’ Club moviemaking guild if we’re going to keep encouraging these people?!

Again, my heart is with the Coens here, but these are all swell screenplays. Looking at this list, I get the feeling that Blood may win Picture and Director, but the Academy will give the Coens the writing award just to show, you know, no hard feelings.

Best Achievement in Cinematography


There Will Be Blood (2007): Robert Elswit

These are all handsome movies, but Jesse James has the best cinematography I’ve seen in a decade.

Best Achievement in Editing


There Will Be Blood (2007): Dylan Tichenor

Again, good work here by everyone. I’m a big fan of Roderick Jaynes’s work, but Bourne was surprisingly well-reviewed this year and they might just go ahead and acknowledge that, especially if Blood or No Country sweeps other awards.

Best Achievement in Art Direction


There Will Be Blood (2007): Jack Fisk, Jim Erickson

I think the best work here is in Blood, but American Gangster, like all of Ridley Scott’s movies, has stunning art direction. Sweeney Todd may win for having the most obvious art direction.

Best Achievement in Costume Design

Best Achievement in Makeup


Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (2007): Ve Neill, Martin Samuel

How odd that Sweeney wasn’t nominated for its extraordinary hair and makeup. I have no idea about this category.

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score


3:10 to Yuma (2007): Marco Beltrami

Having no memory of the score in Michael Clayton, having disliked the score in 3:10, and not having seen the others, I’m going to say Ratatouille.

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song


August Rush (2007): Nominees to be determined(“Raise It Up”)
Enchanted (2007): Alan Menken, Stephen Schwartz(“Happy Working Song”)
Enchanted (2007): Alan Menken, Stephen Schwartz(“So Close”)
Enchanted (2007): Alan Menken, Stephen Schwartz(“That’s How You Know”)
Once (2006): Glen Hansard, Markéta Irglová(“Falling Slowly” )

I have no idea.

Best Achievement in Sound


Transformers (2007): Kevin O’Connell, Greg P. Russell, Peter J. Devlin

Again, good work here by everyone, but boy the sound in No Country is so subtle and so crucial to the success of the picture.

Best Achievement in Visual Effects


Transformers (2007): Scott Farrar, Scott Benza, Russell Earl, John Frazier

I think it’s about time to expand this category to five nominees. Since everyone hated Compass and Transformers, I’m going to say Pirates.

Best Animated Feature Film of the Year


Surf’s Up (2007): Ash Brannon, Chris Buck

I have a hard time imagining Ratatouille not winning this.

Best Foreign Language Film of the Year


Fälscher, Die (2007)(Austria)
Beaufort (2007)(Israel)
Mongol (2007)(Kazakhstan)
Katyn (2007)(Poland)
12 (2007)(Russia)

Not a clue.

Best Documentary, Short Subjects

Best Short Film, Live Action


The Tonto Woman: Daniel Barber, Matthew Brown

No freakin’ clue.

Good luck to everyone! And remember, I’m always wrong!

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18 Responses to “Yay Oscars!”
  1. rjwhite says:

    I can’t wait to see how Zodiac… oh, never mind.

    • Todd says:

      Yeah, disappointing, right? Not even art direction or cinematography. I would have taken out both Golden Compass and Transformers and given two nominations to Zodiac for visual effects.

      • tamburlaine says:

        I completely agree. But I predict that David Fincher will have his day at the Oscars far in the future, only once it becomes abundantly clear how amazing his work is and how much impact it’s had on the filmmaking business and audience. Scorsese Lite.

    • craigjclark says:

      That’s the curse of a March release, but damn it, this is a most egregious oversight. I don’t know if I want to live in a world where a piece of garbage like Transformers gets three Oscar nominations and a masterpiece like Zodiac comes away empty-handed.

  2. mr_noy says:

    I also think Zodiac was shafted. I thought they would at least get a visual effects nod but the effects were so seamless that I don’t think people realized they were watching visual effects. Create a bunch of video game characters and you get an Oscar. Seamlessly recreate 1970’s San Francisco and nobody even notices.

    I’m not a betting man, but if I were, my money would be on Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz taking best song for Enchanted, just because they’ve got 3 of the 5 nominations. Also, Kevin O’Connell for Sound. He’s the record holder for Oscar nominations with no wins (20) so I think this is his year.

    • Todd says:

      Ordinarily I would agree with you on Schwartz, but because he’s got three songs nominated, he could split his own vote. Plus people could, possibly, look at the list and say “Jesus, did Enchanted stuff the ballot box or something?” and vote for Once instead, a movie people loved.

  3. tamburlaine says:

    I have a feeling Marion Cotillard will win Best Actress. And even though I love me some Daniel Plainview, Viggo Mortensen should have that statue, not Day-Lewis.

    But how amazing is that collection of stunners in the Best Actor category? The actors and their respective performances are probably all frighteningly good. (The only one I haven’t seen is Clooney.) Almost makes you wish you could see them duke it out in a cage match. Only one can survive!

    And I don’t think there’s a need to worry about who and what will win Best Director and Best Picture. Though the Coen Bros. are seeing a worthy challenge from PT Anderson, I can’t imagine them losing. I’m very pleased about that. 🙂

  4. igorxa says:

    hal holbrook is the oldest supporting actor nominee ever at 84 and has never won. i bet he gets it, at which point bardem will pull out his cattle gun. ruby dee might suffer the same sympathy and fate.

    other than that, i probably agree with you. and yet again i’ll probably wind up lamenting silly upsets to the cry of “the oscars aren’t relevant anymore!” at least they’re more relevant than the grammys.

    • Todd says:

      This year they are, anyway. I’m pleasantly surprised that they nominated so many movies that weren’t runaway hits.

  5. Anonymous says:

    How could Jonny Greenwood not get a nomination for his score on There will Be Blood? It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a film where the score so complimented the performances.

    Oh, and your images are all coming up “?”

  6. Todd says:

    Jonny Greenwood, it has been noted, lost out on a technicality — too much of his score had been composed for other uses previous to Blood.

    My images are a different matter which I will attend to anon.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Best animated short, for me, is a toss-up between “Madame Tutli-Putli” and “Moya lyubov”.

    “Madame” is the sort of mini-epic that he Academy likes best. The main thing against it is that the NFB won last year.

    “Moya lyubov” should win. It’s visually stunning, and all animators will recognise how much talent was needed to make it. The question is whether or not the non-animator voters will appreciate it or not.

    As for the others: “Pigeons” and “Peter & the Wolf” are fun and charming, but not mind-blowing. “Walrus” is just a documentary version of “Creature Comforts”: interesting in its own right, but not in the same league as the other nominated films.

  8. teamwak says:

    Have you ever been to the Oscars, Todd? I bet that’s a crazy and surreal night. 🙂