Skip to comments.2008 Oscars: My heart screams 'Juno!' but my head says Coen Bros.
Posted on 02/22/2008 11:44:04 PM PST by L.A.Justice
In theory, if I correctly predicted every single Oscar race, nobody could outguess me, and by default, I would win the prize. Alas, that has never, ever happened, and it's unlikely again this year, because as usual I will allow my heart to outsmart my brain in one or two races, which is my annual downfall. In any event, for what they're worth, here are my Academy Award predictions in a year rich with wonderful films.
Prediction: My heart cries out "Juno! Juno! Juno!," but my brain dashes a pail of cold water and sternly corrects me: "No Country for Old Men." To be sure, "There Will Be Blood" cleaned up a lot of the year-end critics' prizes, but is a little too dark and odd for the academy. "Atonement" and "Michael Clayton" are excellent, but don't have the buzz.
Dark horse: "Juno," because the academy may go for an upbeat audience pleaser. Besides, according to me, it really is the best film of the year.
Prediction: Here I cannot see the odds for predicting anyone but Daniel Day-Lewis, period, for "There Will Be Blood." It's a powerful performance, almost in disguise, with that greasy, oily voice, and it's a way to honor an ambitious, respected film. My vote might go to Tommy Lee Jones, who was so fine in "In the Valley of Elah," but I'm pleased enough he at least got a nomination; pleased, too, by Viggo Mortensen, George Clooney and Johnny Depp, in a strong field. But don't bet against Day-Lewis. In this race, I don't think there is a dark horse.
Prediction: Ellen Page for "Juno." OK, here's where my heart takes over. My brain says Julie Christie will win, both for her career achievement and for the quality of her work. But my heart says Ellen Page made me want to hug Juno in a performance that was much more difficult than it might have appeared. To deliver Diablo Cody's high-voltage dialogue with such breezy authority and to make the character loveable and three-dimensional was a genuine achievement.
Dark horse: Marion Cotillard in "La Vie en Rose."
Prediction: Javier Bardem in "No Country for Old Men," don't you think? His weirdo killer with the unpronounceable name and the compressed-air cow stunner made an indelible impression. And it wasn't just for the heartless violence, but for the droll timing of scenes like his exchange with the gas station owner. The other four nominees seem sort of overshadowed, wonderful as they were.
Dark horse: Philip Seymour Hoffman for "Charlie Wilson's War."
Prediction: Ruby Dee for "American Gangster." I think the race is between Cate Blanchett, playing Bob Dylan in "I'm Not There," and the beloved veteran Ruby Dee," the mom of the "American Gangster." The supporting actress has a way of throwing a curveball some years. Does that mean Dee will win? Or maybe Amy Ryan?
Dark horse: Amy Ryan in "Gone Baby Gone."
Prediction: Joel and Ethan Coen for "No County for Old Men," and a lot of other great films. The other nominees are all in one sense or another not Hollywood insiders. Well, neither are the Coens, for that matter, but they're better known. Plus, the Coens won the Directors Guild Award last month, and that winner automatically becomes the Oscar front-runner.
Dark horse: Paul Thomas Anderson for "There Will Be Blood."
Prediction: Diablo Cody for "Juno." She looks like a sure thing. The film benefits so mightily from its screenplay, which is so unconventional in its dialogue that we hardly notice how sure it is in its construction. Here again, I don't see a dark horse.
Prediction: "Ratatouille," hands-down. Period. Case closed. Despite the charm and originality of "Persepolis."
Prediction: The powerful, irrefutable "No End in Sight," which does some real reporting and obtains useful interviews with insiders who discuss what went wrong with the Iraq invasion.
Dark horse: "War/Dance," kids in an African war zone, being kids.
The following categories are not on the Outguess Ebert ballot, but here are my fearless picks, anyway.
Prediction: The Coens, for "No Country for Old Men," with their laconic, subtly funny, economical yet quirky dialogue, with a big assist from Cormac McCarthy's original novel.
Dark horse: Paul Thomas Anderson for "There Will Be Blood."
Prediction: Roger Deakins for his elegant, measured vision and wide open spaces in "No Country for Old Men," commencing with the hypnotic opening shots.
Dark horse: Seamus McGarvey, for "Atonement" and its astonishing tracking shot (no special effects) in the Dunkirk scene.
Prediction: Christopher Rouse for "The Bourne Ultimatum." Well, it sure had the most edits, didn't it? Even though the microscopic average shot length gave some viewers the heaves.
Dark horse: Roderick Jaynes for "No Country for Old Men." The award will be accepted on his behalf by the Coen brothers (in-joke).
Prediction: "Falling Slowly" from "Once," not just for the song but for the manner of its presentation. The three nominees from "Enchanted" will cancel one another out.
Dark horse: "Raise It Up" from "August Rush."
My ranking: 1. MICHAEL CLAYTON 2. ATONEMENT 3. NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN
I enjoyed M CLAYTON, in spite of some questionable plot twist towards the end. A question...When a car is burned down, do you assume that a person was in it just because you find a wrist watch in the car? Is it not obvious if a human body was not in the burning car? In any case, George Clooney did a good job.
ATONEMENT was good...I just thought that it was too slow at the beginning...
NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN...Javier Bardem was great portraying a killer. However, there were moments in the movie when I asked myself what was the point of this particular scene...For example, what was the point of the scene with the sheriff (Tommy Lee Jones) and some old guy? I guess that I was not too sophisticated enough to "understand" this film...Oh well. I am sure there are other people out there who watched NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN. I would love to hear your reactions...
Julie Christie...I think that she was great in DR ZHIVAGO. She did hand out awards at some AARP function. At the function, Michael Moore got some award for SICKO. Christie, at that function, commented that it is important that Hollywood make films challenging present policies on Iraq...Whatever...
I am prepared to be disgusted when the BEST DOCUMENTARY winner is announced Sunday night...Some anti-Iraq War documentary will probably win...Either TRIP TO THE DARK SIDE or NO END IN SIGHT. TRIP TO THE THE DARK SIDE is about US troops torturing an Afghan taxi driver to death...I am sure that maker of either documentary will use the platform to critize Bush Administration.
I am looking forward to OSCAR LIVE THREAD Sunday night...
My heart does not care. My head said who gives a damn what awards liberals give to other liberals.
I hope that Ruby Dee gets the BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS award...She was great in AMERICAN GANGSTER.
Last movie I saw was the Godfather—as in the original one with Marlon Brando.
For those FReepers in to reading: Try reading a collection of Coen Bros. screenplays (I can give links to free ones--let me know). I started out with Blood Simple and Miller's Crossing one night. They're screenplays so they're short--2 hrs max ea. but, with your mind's eye, they come alive like in a movie, but with a difference.
The last academy awards presentatiion show I saw was hosted by Bob Hope.
obligatory in-joke explanation-
Dark horse: Roderick Jaynes for “No Country for Old Men.” The award will be accepted on his behalf by the Coen brothers (in-joke).
Roderick Jaynes is a pseudonym for the Coen brothers themselves that they use for Editing credit.
My brain says, “WHO THE FU@K CARES??????”
It’s just the frickin’ liberal nutjob self-absorbed Oscars. Who the absolute fu@k cares about anything in Hollyweird anymore? They need to be ignored. I wish the writer’s strike would’ve kept going.
I hated “No Country for Old Men”.
It was doing fine until the last 20 minutes or so...
Then it got disjointed like the film broke and the important pieces got lost... The end made the whole thing feel like a waste of time.
Needless to say, I was really disappointed.
I haven’t watched that Hollywood swill crap for years and for sure will not this year after seeing what’s up for Oscar. I’m predicting the lowest TV audience in the history of that show.
Last year, it was all about gays, pimps, and global warming.
This year, its all about “dark” subject lines and documentarys ripping on the US military.
The oscars have become one big liberal circle jerk. I haven’t watched them in years.
Where are the nominations for Amy Adams in "Enchanted," or "King of Kong" for Best Documentary, or for anything that anybody actually liked and might be rooting for? They nominated a bunch of stuff that was about as enjoyable as sitting through a root canal, and the Oscar telecast will probably be just as painful as any of these movies and twice as long.
I read No Country. It was a pointless story built around some guy’s facination with guns and violence(shotguns with silencers?).
I don’t want to see any of them.
They were right on one area, the takeover of our southwest by gangs of narcoterrorists, the “hero” of the story an enforcer for them.
I agree a total waste of two hours, I am glad I did not pay to see it.
“..and the Oscar telecast will probably be just as painful as any of these movies and twice as long.”
I don’t watch that swill but I’m betting there will be a lot of “Go Obama” going on. It’ll drive Hillidiot nuts.
The movie was about a lot more than that. It’s a very good and thought-provoking movie.
The Coen Brothers hit their peak with Raising Arizona, a funny movie. Regarding their nonsense scenes, either they are much dumber than anyone thinks, or they slip them in to have fun with the critics trying to make sense out of them. Personally I think they got lucky with Arizona, ran out of material shortly afterward, and have been displaying their incompetence ever since, which the critics love.
Brando used cue cards in most of his scenes. Talk about over rated.
amen amen. According to Bill O’Reilly,he’s in L.A. nobody cares about the oscars.Hollyweird is all about supporting abortion and homosexuality! And let us not forget that hollyweird overwhelmingly supports Demon-crats.
I usually love the Coen Brothers, and was with them till the film suddenly stopped. I was like "What the hell was that?!"
I’ve discussed this movie with other folks on line, and hardly any two impressions are the same. However, I felt it was a serious film about good, evil and fate.
Nice to know that I wasn’t the only one who didn’t completely enjoy NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN.
By the way, Michael Medved gave three stars (out of 4) for the film. But, he did say that the film was “overpraised”.
I did watch THE LADYKILLERS (2004), starring Tom Hanks. That movie wasn’t too bad...
I guess you didn’t like FARGO?
My favorite lines in the movie, Where is pancakes house?
There is no other purpose for these award shows except to feed egos that are already excessive* and to sell even MORE music, dvd’s, etc.
With the exception of the commercial of the year I can’t stand these show!
*My apologies for those of you who work behind the scenes in the industry. I’m sure you do work hard and deserve the recognition.
Personally, I loved No Country For Old Men. I don’t like when all movies start and end the same. Who needs cookie cutter films. Don’t we get enough of that in Presidential elections?
I will miss the awards tonight... as, I will be flying home (THANK YOU, GOD) from Buenos Aires. Nice place, but..... I’m ready to be home.
MY wife and I loved JUNO. Really, a surprisingly good film from start to finish. THERE WILL BE BLOOD was long and dark, but really a very good film. I agree that Daniel Lewis MUST win for that performance.
Haven’t seen any of the others yet.. but, NO COUNTY FOR OLD MEN is one I want to catch when it comes back out after the awards. It looked good, from the trailers...
However... as a piece of art, the Rat movie was best made last year. :-)
I really liked Attonement (thought Kiera Knightly did well to loose her 'brand' of the Pirate movies. I dind't see No Country for Old Men...but I did see There Will be Blood and I didn't like it at all. Daniel Day Lewis will win by sheer volume of face time he had. I wouldn't recommend it myself.
Lastly I loved Juno. It was adorable and witty/funny. Great movie. Disney's Enchanted should have been up for something...it was just fun technicolor escapism...everything that a movie should be (and I can't wait to buy it...I want to count all of the 'Princess' references...I may have missed a few.)
I perfectly agree with you. No argument.
I am not watching....but my son just called from Chicago to see if I heard what Jon Stewart just said. According to my son, and I'm paraphrasing him paraphrasing Jon Stewart,"Can you believe we are in a war with Islamic Fundamentalists and we are about to elect a guy named Hussein POTUS?" My son said the audience didn't laugh and appeared very uncomfortable. I can't wait to see it on Youtube.
You were right about the low ratings. I haven’t watched the Oscars for at least 10 years because I don’t care about the movies that were nominated. I think that the best movie of 2007 was “The Simpsons.” In ‘06, my favorite movie was “Man of the Year.” Why don’t more comedies receive Oscar nominations? No comedy won the Best Picture Oscar in the last 30 years.