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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