Monday, January 21, 2008

2007 Oscar Predictions

Since the Oscar nominations are being announced tomorrow at 8 AM, I figured it's time to bite the bullet and make my annual predictions.

BEST PICTURE
INTO THE WILD
JUNO
MICHAEL CLAYTON
NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN
THERE WILL BE BLOOD

This may be one of the most wide open Best Picture races in history. If I were to listen to my Front Row Poll results, the nominees would be Atonement, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Juno, No Country for Old Men, and There Will Be Blood. But I think Atonement peaked too early and will fall victim to the Dreamgirls frontrunner syndrome, and Into the Wild will take its place as 'the one that made them cry.' Last year there was a 'locked' 5 (Babel, The Departed, Dreamgirls, Little Miss Sunshine, The Queen) and 1 wild card (Letters from Iwo Jima). I called the wildcard, but predicted it would kick out LMS instead of Dreamgirls, so I will not underestimate the Academy's love of the fluffy comedy (although I think LMS is worlds better than Juno) again. Many are predicting Diving Bell to show up here, but I have a feeling it will fall victim to the Academy's long standing prejudice against foreign language pics (no matter how much it may deserve it), and have to settle for Best Director (which it has locked up). Michael Clayton has gotten universal respect from the guilds, so it will make a good consensus pick (a la The Queen), while the only real lock (No Country), and former dark horse (emphasis on 'dark') There Will Be Blood will make up the critically revered slots in the top 5.

BEST DIRECTOR
Paul Thomas Anderson, THERE WILL BE BLOOD
Joel Coen, Ethan Coen, NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN
Tony Gilroy, MICHAEL CLAYTON
Sean Penn, INTO THE WILD
Julian Schnabel, THE DIVING BELL AND THE BUTTERFLY

Juno is the least "director-y" of the potential Best Picture nominees, so I expect it to miss out here in favor of the critical darling Schabel. And a DGA nod for Gilroy bodes well for a first nod. The rest speak for themselves.

BEST ACTOR
George Clooney, MICHAEL CLAYTON
Daniel Day-Lewis, THERE WILL BE BLOOD
Johnny Depp, SWEENEY TODD: THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET
Emile Hirsch, INTO THE WILD
Viggo Mortensen, EASTERN PROMISES

Three locks and two maybes...can you see anyone else here? I could see Ryan Gosling popping up, but Lars and the Real Girl just doesn't seem like the film to do it after Half Nelson. Who knows? I think they'll go for the young guy (Hirsch) and the guy they've been wanting to honor but haven't had the chance yet (Mortensen).

BEST ACTRESS
Amy Adams, ENCHANTED
Julie Christie, AWAY FROM HER
Marion Cotillard, LA VIE EN ROSE
Angelina Jolie, A MIGHTY HEART
Ellen Page, JUNO

Since the Academy is fond of anointing young actresses, I think they will surprise many and go with Amy Adams over Cate Blanchett, who they love but will get to honor in the Supporting Actress category. I think this is the moment they've been waiting for to give Amy Adams her moment in the spotlight.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Casey Affleck, THE ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES BY THE COWARD ROBERT FORD
Javier Bardem, NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN
Philip Seymour Hoffman, CHARLIE WILSON'S WAR
Hal Holbrook, INTO THE WILD
Tom Wilkinson, MICHAEL CLAYTON

This is one of the few categories that's pretty much all locked up, unless the Academy falls head over heels for There Will Be Blood and nominates Paul Dano. But who would he replace?

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Amy Ryan, GONE BABY GONE
Cate Blanchett, I'M NOT THERE
Catherine Keener, INTO THE WILD
Saorise Ronan, ATONEMENT
Tilda Swinton, MICHAEL CLAYTON

The Academy loves to honor younger actresses, so I think Atonement's Saorise Ronan gets in over American Gangster's Ruby Dee, who has been pretty much absent from the precursors. And they also love Catherine Keener, who has a SAG nod to show for it. Everyone else is a lock.

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Diablo Cody, JUNO
Nancy Oliver, LARS AND THE REAL GIRL
Tony Gilroy, MICHAEL CLAYTON
Brad Bird, RATATOUILLE
Tamara Jenkins, THE SAVAGES

And the nominees for Best Quirky Dialogue are: hate to say it but it's true, that's what this award has become.

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Aaron Sorkin, CHARLIE WILSON'S WAR
Ronald Harwood, THE DIVING BELL AND THE BUTTERFLY
Sean Penn, INTO THE WILD
Joel Coen, Ethan Coen, NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN
Paul Thomas Anderson, THERE WILL BE BLOOD

EDIT: If they're going to show any love to Zodiac it's going to be here, otherwise it will be Atonement. One can hope, right? But I really think now that the Academy will embrace the witty repartee of Charlie Wilson's War. Otherwise, another locked-in category.


I'll post my predictions for the other categories sometime later this evening when I have more time.

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