Sunday, February 24, 2008

Oscars 2008: Who Will Win

I was at WonderCon yesterday, sitting in my seat in the big Hall A, when Amy came up to me and starting talking about Jon Favreau and the movie "The Break up" (which I reviewed, see below). I had no idea what she was talking about.

I don't claim to be a know-it-all about movies. I don't claim to know film structure, etc. But what I love about movies is that everybody can talk about it. We all know what we like.

So, this essay is about who I think will win the Oscars in tonight's broadcast, and then again, who should win. After all, I know what I like.

Best Picture:
Will Win - No Country for Old Men. Should Win - No Country for Old Men. I have to say that the only picture I think here who has a chance for second is Atonement, and possibly There Will Be Blood. There have got to be some Oscar voters out there who love old movies and epic quality (Atonement), and others who love biopics about America (There Will Be Blood). But I think Old Country for Old Men is just astounding in its simple idea of good vs. evil. And, layered into that, an interesting idea of, no matter who you're dealing with, they each have their own idea of integrity, things they will and will not do.

Best Actor: Will Win - Daniel Day-Lewis. Should Win - Daniel Day-Lewis.
This one is so simple that I would bet no other actor is preparing a thank-you speech. DDL is on camera the entire time, and we see his character's journey so clearly. This category is really in the superlative: each candidate gives an incredible performance.

Best Actress: Will Win - Julie Christie for Away from Her. Should Win - Marion Cotillard for La Vie en Rose. Julie is the odds-on favorite here, but the movie is a downer. Marion Cotillard was incredible in a role that took her from a 17-year-old girl to a used-up singer of 47. But I doubt if enough people, even academy voters, saw the film.

Best Supporting Actor: Will Win - Javier Bardem for No Country for Old Men. Should Win - Javier Bardem. Bardem captured that film with such intensity. It's possible that Casey Affleck could win with his arresting portrayal of Robert Ford in The Assassination of Jesse James, or Hal Holbrook could win for Into the Wild due to his age and body of work, but I doubt it.


Best Supporting Actress: Will Win - Tilda Swinton for Michael Clayton. Should Win - Amy Ryan for Gone Baby Gone.
The two female categories are the hardest to predict. The academy may go for a lifetime of achievement (Ruby Dee), or vote for the best actress of our generation (Cate Blanchett). But Amy Ryan's powerful and genuine performance is a keeper, especially that last haunting scene.

Director: Will Win - Joel Coen and Ethan Coen for No Country for Old Men. Should Win - Joel and Ethan Coen. I think there's a chance that Paul Thomas Anderson's There Will Be Blood could win, and a shock that Atonement wasn't even on the list. But I think No Country will win out for its universal themes and interesting way of telling the story.

Other interesting categories:

Animated Feature: Should and Will Win - Ratatouille. And I think this film should have been among the nominees for Best Picture.

Original Screenplay: Will and Should Win - Diablo Cody for Juno. This one's a real toss-up, as a lot of voters may think Juno is just too light to be nominated. But nobody worked harder to turn a comedy into a really satisfying drama with laughs along the way.

Cinematography: Will Win - No Country for Old Men. Should Win - The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford.

Art Direction: Will Win - No Country for Old Men. Should Win - Sweeney Todd and the Demon Barber of Fleet Street.

Original Song: Will Win - Enchanted
, for something. Should Win - Falling Slowly from Once.

It's plain to see that I believe No Country for Old Men is going to sweep quite a few categories. Unfortunately, although I believe the film should be Best Picture, that halo effect may detract in several categories from films that deserve recognition.

So, Friendo, are you ready for the Oscars? Call it!

1 Comments:

At 9:33 PM, Blogger Ruth said...

Wow, Cat, great calls!

 

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