"Juno" vs. "Michael Clayton"
So. Cody and Gilroy. One statuette, two phenomena. Even cynics like Eric Henderson, blogging at Slant Magazine, anticipate a closer race than most Oscar media are letting on: “[Gilroy’s] double-dip on Michael Clayton and status as a lost cause over in Best Director ensure a few votes from those who feel pity and from those who have apparently seen none of the myriad law-and-order TV dramas from which the film’s ruinously clichéd plot resolution was lifted.”
Less ironically, Gilroy’s status as a dues-paying hack from way back (the guy wrote a figure-skating opus 16 years ago, for Christ’s sake) is as compelling a nominee back story to Oscar voters—industry wonks all—as Cody’s stripping career or her singular young voice. But the gamebreaker is that one represents a movie, the other a movement—a myth, really, cultivated via an overexposure borrowed in part from its beneficiary. And even if movies aren’t really what the Oscars are all about, Best Original Screenplay is the category where the Academy begs you to believe otherwise. It’s why I foresee Tony Gilroy taking home Michael Clayton’s lone trophy, leaving an upset Juno counting its money as the little movie that could—and didn’t.
I certainly hope he's right. Gilroy deserves that award - as does Tamara Jenkins for The Savages (who I'm leaning towards at the moment). Juno's screenplay is extremely overrated and not Oscar material at all - and I would love to see a fine work like Michael Clayton take home the statuette. It may be the film's only shot at an Oscar.