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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!


Alltop, all the cool kids (and me)


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February 2008
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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.


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

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