Oscar ’08 Prep: Nominee Rundown

I’ve found out that dread is something that attends all awards ceremonies; if they’re tough to watch on TV, imagine how hard it must be to sit in the audience. In preparation for my projected deadblogging of the ceremony, I’m running my preliminary predictions of winners.
In my case, predictions may not even be likely outcomes, but what I want. The huge problem with awards ceremonies is that they never justify the winner. They don’t say “Crash won for proving to us all how bad the white and the burden of his guilt is, and how all black women are shrews. PS Reverse racism.” It’s not like you can say “Jake Gyllenhaal receives this award in recognition of his discovery of the cure for cancer. All forms of cancer. Yes, even that one.”
We’ve got a simple case of “The winner is …”, the announcement of the results, and then roll credits.
I don’t know why we put so much stock in a set of awards given without reason (well, obviously, they’re the “best”). I would like to point out that Norbit has been nominated for an Oscar.

I repeat: Norbit has been nominated for an Oscar.

Well, here we go, anyway.

Best Actor

George Clooney in “Michael Clayton”
Daniel Day-Lewis in “There Will Be Blood”
Johnny Depp in “Sweeney Todd The Demon Barber of Fleet Street”
Tommy Lee Jones in “In the Valley of Elah”
Viggo Mortensen in “Eastern Promises”

Why is George Clooney nominated in this field? Even if you like Michael Clayton, how is Clooney anything more than pedestrian in it? That does it, I’m going to have to find a place that’s showing the damned movie and watch it again just so I can deliver a final verdict. How can everyone in the world except for me and Ajay love Michael Clayton? Clearly I’m defective. I’ve only seen three of these movies, having missed Eastern Promises and with In The Valley of Elah yet to see release in Australia. Johnny Depp is amazing, but Daniel Day-Lewis managed in There Will Be Blood, an expert slow boil that occasionally bubbles over before finally exploding into the THIRD REVELATION. Tommy Lee Jones is always worthwhile nowadays, so I’ll be interested as to what he was like.

Performance by an actor in a supporting role

Casey Affleck in “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford”
Javier Bardem in “No Country for Old Men”
Philip Seymour Hoffman in “Charlie Wilson’s War”
Hal Holbrook in “Into the Wild”
Tom Wilkinson in “Michael Clayton”

I’ve seen all of these, and I will give Tom Wilkinson that he was pretty amazing in Michael Clayton. Personally I want to know which universe Casey Affleck was in a supporting role in The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, considering that he was the lead and sold the movie, but you know. I’m giving this one to Anton Chigurh, because Javier Bardem really rocked the hell out of that movie.

Performance by an actress in a leading role

Cate Blanchett in “Elizabeth: The Golden Age”
Julie Christie in “Away from Her”
Marion Cotillard in “La Vie en Rose”
Laura Linney in “The Savages”
Ellen Page in “Juno”

Pure guess work, as I’ve only seen Juno.

Performance by an actress in a supporting role
Cate Blanchett in “I’m Not There”
Ruby Dee in “American Gangster”
Saoirse Ronan in “Atonement”
Amy Ryan in “Gone Baby Gone”
Tilda Swinton in “Michael Clayton”

I was a bit surprised when I saw that Ruby Dee had been nominated for a role that essentially saw her walk onto the screen, slap Denzel Washington, and walk off, but this is the Academy we’re talking about. To be honest, I’d never heard of Gone Baby Gone until these announcements. Apparently it’s out here in April. The Michael Clayton curse catches again, and I guess Tilda Swinton was good in it but she gets docked major points for participating in the greatest cop-out of the film. I’ll change my tune when I’m out of rehab. Anyway, Saoirse Ronan was pretty amazing so my money’s on her. I just wonder why Atonement didn’t get more acting nominations when … oh, I guess that the Academy doesn’t tally nominations based on my tears.

Achievement in directing

“The Diving Bell and the Butterfly” Julian Schnabel
“Juno” Jason Reitman
“Michael Clayton” Tony Gilroy
“No Country for Old Men” Joel Coen and Ethan Coen
“There Will Be Blood” Paul Thomas Anderson

Just between you and me, No Country For Old Men is pretty much cinematic perfection. I still think that Juno isn’t really Academy league, but nor was Crash and look at that. I’ll endeavour to see Diving Bell soon, it just came out here.
PS. Norbit.

Best motion picture of the year

Michael Clayton
No Country for Old Men
There Will Be Blood

Atonement is tempting, but there’s simply No Country for it.

Let’s see how I go come Monday!

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