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Movie Musings

Oscar picks

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This isn't an attempt to pick who I think will win, just my thoughts on who I would pick for the major categories. For each category, the titles in bold are ones I've seen.

Best Picture
, Juno, Michael Clayton, No Country for Old Men, There Will Be Blood

This one is a complete no brainer for me: No Country for Old Men all the way. A lot of people have complained about the ending and how a couple key events were handled but they seemed perfect to me. Juno and Michael Clayton are both very worthy films that are simply up against a better movie. There Will Be Blood is an inspired failure from a fantastic filmmaker. Atonement just left me flat.

Best Actor
Viggo Mortensen (Eastern Promises),
Tommy Lee Jones (In the Valley of Elah), George Clooney (Michael Clayton), Johnny Depp (Sweeney Todd), Daniel Day-Lewis (There Will Be Blood)

Although There Will Be Blood didn't work for me in the end, the performance by Day-Lewis is amazing. He just disappears completely into the role (as he generally does). Clooney did a great job in Clayton but again is just up against better competition. Mortensen's fully nude sauna fight in Eastern Promises was intense but I didn't really see much else of interest in the role.

Best Actress
Julie Christie (Away from Her), Cate Blanchett (Elizabeth: The Golden Age), Ellen Page (Juno), Marion Cotillard (La Vie en Rose), Laura Linney (The Savages)

This one is a near toss up between Marion Cotillard and Ellen Page but in the end I tip towards Cotillard even though I found the movie itself to be another iteration of the standard musical biopic (rough childhood, sudden rise, descent into jackassery). By the end of the weekend I'll have seen Away from Her so this vote could change.

Best Supporting Actor
Casey Affleck (The Assassination of Jesse James), Philip Seymour Hoffman (Charlie Wilson's War, Hal Holbrook (Into the Wild), Tom Wilkinson (Michael Clayton), Javier Bardem (No Country for Old Men)

Bardem's Anton Chigurh is simply the best character of the year, so I am very confident in picking him despite missing three of the performances (mentally I replace Gone Baby Gone as the nominated Affleck performance and The Savages for Hoffman).

Best Supporting Actress
Ruby Dee
(American Gangster), Saoirse Ronan (Atonement), Amy Ryan (Gone Baby Gone), Cate Blanchett (I'm Not There), Tilda Swinton (Michael Clayton)

This is a really rough one as all are very good performances (though Ruby Dee's is probably a bit on the sentimental side) and I've missed what was, on paper, the most interesting performance of the year in Blanchett playing Bob Dylan.

Ultimately though, I come down in favor of Swinton's performance as a corporate lawyer that is just as shocked as everybody else at where she ends up going once the pressure is really on.

Best Director
Jason Reitman
(Juno), Tony Gilroy (Michael Clayton), Joel and Ethan Coen (No Country for Old Men), Julian Schnabel (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly), Paul Thomas Andeson (There Will Be Blood)

Again, I make it a sweep for No Country. The Coens continue to mature into amazing filmmakers and I'd give them the award for just the scene involving the dog.

Best Original Screenplay
Diablo Cody (Juno), Nancy Oliver (Lars and the Real Girl), Tony Gilroy (Michael Clayton), Brad Bird (Ratatouille), Tamara Jenkins (The Savages)

Diablo Cody is probably going to win this but i have to give it to Brad Bird. As much as Ratatouille is a visually beautiful film, its true success is in the story and the characters and it would have been as great if done with stick figures in a flip book.

Best Adapted Screenplay
Christopher Hampton (Atonement), Sarah Polley (Away from Her), Joel and Ethan Coen (No Country for Old Men), Ronald Harwood (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly), Paul Thomas Anderson (There Will Be Blood)

The Coens again, though it isn't so strong this time. Much of what I think is great about No Country is purely on the screen and in the editing (not that these lines are solid, especially when the directors were the writers as well).

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Updated 02-24-2008 at 09:04 AM by Alex S.

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