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The Oscars 2008: Pre-game Predictions/Thoughts

You might not want to necessarily bet money on these predictions, but these are my thoughts nonetheless...

Yesterday’s “Best Pic­ture marathon (also know as ‘Christina’s Day of Movie Bliss’) was pretty badass. I have to admit, prior to see­ing all the films back to back, I wasn’t that excited about the Oscar’s (at least com­pared to years past), I blame my malaise on the strike, but also on the fact that so many of the movies I saw in 2007 seemed just mediocre in com­par­i­son to past years.

How­ever, after sit­ting in the the­ater for nearly 12 hours and watch­ing those five films back to back, I have admit it was a damn good year for movies. The the­ater was packed this year — which was dif­fer­ent than last year, when it was kind of full, but not com­pletely packed. On the one-hand, it was cool to see that many peo­ple turn out; how­ever, most of the peo­ple were typ­i­cal movie goers and not the big film fans that seemed to pop­u­late the the­ater last year. You know, peo­ple who stand up as soon as the credit sequence starts, obstruct­ing the view of those of us who actu­ally want to see the cred­its, and then just NOT even mov­ing but stay­ing in place. But those minor annoy­ances aside, it was a GREAT day.

Here are my pre­dic­tions for the big awards. You might now want to bet money on these pre­dic­tions, but these are my thoughts nonetheless:

Best Actress in a Lead­ing Role:

Yeah, Ellen Page isn’t win­ning this. Not a chance in fuck­ing hell. And she doesn’t deserve it. I won’t quib­ble with the nom­i­na­tion (I did have to con­cede her per­for­mance was pretty awe­some, I had for­got­ten that in all the hype that has gen­er­ated since see­ing the film the first time), but Best Actress? Yeah, not happening.

I think Julie Christie should get it for “Away From Her” — and I think that it’s a toss-up between she and Cate Blanchett for the win. I think Blanchett is severely over­rated, at least in con­text with how many times she is nom­i­nated, but I wouldn’t count her out.

Still, I’ll say Christie gets the win.

Best Actor in a Lead­ing Role

Before Movie Mad­ness, I was pretty con­fi­dent George Clooney AKA, Doug Ross, AKA, the object of my lust/desire for the last 13 years or so (wow…), AKA, the most suave guy EVER, would take it home for “Michael Clay­ton” — and that it would be deserved.

Now, I think Daniel Day Lewis will be get­ting it for “There Will Be Blood” — because he was fuck­ing awe­some and just com­pletely acted the hell out of the part. Clooney was fan­tas­tic, Clooney is always fan­tas­tic — but Daniel Day Lewis was just the man.

Best Adapted Screenplay

Atone­ment is my pick, both per­son­ally and what I think will actu­ally win. See­ing it again, wow, I really, really loved this film. Loved it. And with the novel being so cel­e­brated and the adap­ta­tion so astute — yeah, this is my pick. I think that No Coun­try for Old Men and There Will Be Blood both have chances too — but I’m going to go with Atonement.

Best Orig­i­nal Screenplay

If Juno wins any­thing, this will be where it wins. It swept the Spirit Awards, and like, that makes sense — the Oscars? Yeah, it’s going to get Best Orig­i­nal Screen­play and I pre­dict noth­ing else. I loved Michael Clay­ton, but think Juno gets (and deserves) the win.

Best Direc­tor

This is TOUGH. Joel and Ethan Coen did a spec­tac­u­lar job with No Coun­try for Old Men — like, it was unbe­liev­able — but it’s so hard to say what was the bet­ter direc­tion, this or P.T. Ander­son for There Will Be Blood.

Ander­son was so dif­fer­ent styl­is­ti­cally than he has been in the past — it was a styl­ized film, but in a man­ner com­pletely dif­fer­ent from his other works (and I’ve been a fan of his since Boo­gie Nights, though I saw Hard Eight for the first time after I saw Mag­no­lia in the the­ater and loved that too). Punch Drunk Love was a depar­ture, but this was just so styl­is­ti­cally dif­fer­ent in both struc­ture and edit­ing and over­all aes­thetic from what he has done before, I was totally, totally sur­prised and impressed.

Then you have the Coen Broth­ers — who always do amaz­ing work, Intol­er­a­ble Cru­elty aside (and not a bad roman­tic com­edy of sorts — I won’t lie, I’ll watch it if it’s on HBO and noth­ing else is on) — who totally brought it with No Coun­try for Old Men. It was incred­i­bly authen­tic in the same way Fargo was authen­tic, but with more nuance and restrained per­spec­tive. It was a masterpiece.

I’m going to split the dif­fer­ence with Best Pic­ture and just say P.T. Ander­son for There Will Be Blood. Truth be told, I think that if either wins, this cat­e­gory will be well honored.

Best Pic­ture

Oh, the big one — wow. This is dif­fi­cult. See­ing all five yes­ter­day, I really loved them all. There Will Be Blood was prob­a­bly the only film of the five that I couldn’t see myself fre­quently rewatch­ing. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll get the DVD — it’s just not some­thing like Atone­ment or Michael Clay­ton or Juno or No Coun­try for Old Men (but pri­mar­ily Juno and Atone­ment) that I could like, pop into the DVD player at ran­dom and watch and re-watch. Atone­ment will prob­a­bly be the film I re-watch the most — just a great love story/adaptation, and Michael Clay­ton was a great thriller and I liked it the most the first time I saw it in the theater.

Still, for Best Pic­ture, it’s all about No Coun­try For Old Men and There Will Be Blood.

After think­ing about it over night, I think No Coun­try for Old Men will prob­a­bly end up win­ning. It’s my per­sonal pick for “Best Pic­ture” any­way, in terms of acad­emy aes­thetic. It was just so incred­i­bly well done — the pac­ing, the sus­pense, the absolute authen­tic nature of the loca­tion and char­ac­ters, I mean, it was just astound­ing. It was the last of the five screened, and you know, after sit­ting in a the­ater for at that point, 10 hours, I was afraid that I was going to get tired and kind of zone out. I was expect­ing it to be slow. It wasn’t an action film by any means, but the pac­ing was such and the ten­sion and sus­pense ele­ments were such that not only was I full engrossed, but at the edge of my seat. My mom felt the same way. We were both utterly enthralled.

There Will Be Blood was mag­nif­i­cent too — but No Coun­try For Old Men — wow.

Actu­ally, all five were fan­tas­tic in their own way. I might have sub­sti­tuted Wait­ress for Juno (and yeah, I think Keri Rus­sell was way bet­ter than Ellen Page), but that’s really just a minor quibble.

I love the Oscars. I love movies.

And now my bat­tery is almost dead, so I’m out!

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3 people have left comments

David­StL - Gravatar

David­StL said:

Some good picks, But I have to go with Cate for Sup­port­ing Actress, and I am going with Laura Lin­ney for lead­ing Actress. We will see how we do tonight.

Posted on: February 24, 2008 at 4:08 pmQuote this Comment
GoOr­ange - Gravatar

GoOr­ange said:

I’d have to say there weren’t many sur­prises last night. When I stood back and asked “who will the acad­emy pick”, the choices seemed fairly clear for Best Pic­ture, Best Actor and Best Actress. Best sup­port­ing actress was a total toss up and best sup­port­ing actor was the one area where I was sur­prised, and dis­agree with the deci­sion. I had Philip Sey­mour Hoff­man pegged as a sure thing for that one.

My per­sonal choices for who should win what were a bit dif­fer­ent, but I wasn’t overly sur­prised with the choices made by the academy.

I think Cate Blanchett is an amaz­ing actress, but as you said she is get­ting to be quite over­rated when it comes to the Oscars.

In the future I’d like to see the show plan­ners cut down on the hor­ri­ble scripted dia­log before each award (it’s just painful, and what was up with Owen Wil­son?), and limit the host to just an open­ing pre­sen­ta­tion, skip­ping the time wasters like the binoc­u­lars montage.

–Jeff

Posted on: February 25, 2008 at 11:31 amQuote this Comment
River - Gravatar

River said:

peABD4 Very true! Makes a change to see some­one spell it out like that. :)

Posted on: April 10, 2011 at 9:21 pmQuote this Comment