Skip navigation

Ah, yes. it’s already time for the political process in which the most popular nominee wins the votes. No, I’m not talking about the presidential election.

The nominations for the 2008 Academy Awards were announced this morning. The winners will be announced on February 24, either by award ceremony or press conference. (Can’t wait to see which.)

Now that they’ve all been announced, here are the nom’s and my thoughts.

Best Short Film, Live Action

At Night (2004)
Supplente, Il (2006)
Mozart des pickpockets, Le (2006)
Tanghi argentini (2006)
The Tonto Woman

Who Will Win: N/A
Who Deserves to Win: N/A

Best Short Film, Animated

Même les pigeons vont au paradis (2007)
I Met the Walrus (2007)
Madame Tutli-Putli (2007)
Moya lyubov (2006)
Peter & the Wolf (2006)

Who Will Win: N/A
Who Deserves to Win: N/A

Best Documentary, Short Subjects

Freeheld (2007)
Corona, La (2008)
Salim Baba (2008)
Sari’s Mother (2006)

Who Will Win: N/A
Who Deserves to Win: N/A

I have not seen any of the nominees above. The New Orleans Film Society should be doing screening of the nominated short subjects (they did last year). Maybe some of these are on YouTube?

Best Documentary, Features

No End in Sight (2007)
Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience (2007)
Sicko (2007)
Taxi to the Dark Side (2007)
War Dance (2007)

Who Will Win: No End in Sight
Even though the Academy has a special relationship with Michael Moore, I think they’re relationship ends here. The voters are probably thinking: It’s “time” someone else gets an award.

Who Deserves to Win: Sicko
Of the two that I’ve seen (No End in Sight and Sicko), Sicko is much better (although a lot of critics seem to prefer No End, which I found sloppy and boring despite the intriguing subject matter). Sicko, I believe, is also more important, especially during an election year when the possibility of universal healthcare is right on the horizon.

Best Foreign Language Film of the Year

Beaufort (2007)(Israel)
The Counterfeiters (2007)(Austria)
Mongol (2007)(Kazakhstan)
Katyn (2007)(Poland)
12 (2007)(Russia)

Who Will Win: N/A
Who Deserves to Win: N/A

I would give an honest guess for who I think would win, but I’m boycotting this category this year. Did the Academy completely and totally forget what else was in the running? 4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days? The Orphanage? Persepolis (which was France’s selection over Diving Bell and the Butterfly)? Black Book?

I’m sure these are all good to great films, and I can only fairly judge if these films deserve to be nominated once I see them. But really… the only way you may have heard of these is 1) you attended the Venice and Berlin film festivals, or 2) you happen to be an Academy member.

Best Animated Feature Film of the Year

Persepolis (2007): Vincent Paronnaud, Marjane Satrapi
Ratatouille (2007): Brad Bird
Surf’s Up (2007): Ash Brannon, Chris Buck

Who Will Win: Ratatouille
Even though Ratatouille is supposed to be the sure winner, Persepolis (which won the Jury Prize and was nominated for the Golden Palm at Cannes last year) has been getting a lot more serious critical praise. But then Golden Palm winner 4 Months didn’t even get nominated in the foreign film category, so Ratatouilleis a good bet.

Who Deserves to Win: Ratatouille
Ratatouille
‘s the only one I’ve seen. And it’s a masterpiece.

Best Achievement in Visual Effects

The Golden Compass (2007): Michael L. Fink, Susan MacLeod, Bill Westenhofer, Ben Morris
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (2007): John Knoll, Hal T. Hickel, Charlie Gibson, John Frazier
Transformers (2007): Scott Farrar, Shari Hanson, Russell Earl, Scott Benza

Who Will Win: Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (2007): John Knoll, Hal T. Hickel, Charlie Gibson, John Frazier
The trend for visual effects winners tend to lean toward these kinds of movies (pirates, robots, fantasy). Pirates seemed to be the most ambitious and out-there, and therefore a likely winner for this award.

Who Deserves to Win: The Golden Compass (2007): Michael L. Fink, Susan MacLeod, Bill Westenhofer, Ben Morris
This was the only film I’ve seen, but I’ve also checked out the promotional material for these other movies. The Golden Compass still looked the best (and the least like effects work).

Best Achievement in Sound Editing

The Bourne Ultimatum (2007): Karen M. Baker, Per Hallberg
No Country for Old Men (2007): Skip Lievsay
Ratatouille (2007)
There Will Be Blood (2007): Matthew Wood, Christopher Scarabosio
Transformers (2007): Mike Hopkins, Ethan Van der Ryn

Who Will Win: No Country for Old Men (2007): Skip Lievsay
Who can deny the sound editing job in this? This category is usually packed with action movies, but there’re only two in sight. No Country should get it, adding another win to what will be a continuously growing total throughout the ceremony/press conference.

Who Deserves to Win: No Country for Old Men (2007): Skip Lievsay
It was without a score, so No Country was dependent on the diegetic sounds of each scene. Listen to (not watch) the dog chase — the clinking of the bullet against the gun, the wading of the dog, the barking. Brilliant stuff.

Best Achievement in Sound

The Bourne Ultimatum (2007): Scott Millan, David Parker, Kirk Francis
No Country for Old Men (2007): Skip Lievsay, Craig Berkey, Greg Orloff, Peter F. Kurland
Ratatouille (2007): Randy Thom, Michael Semanick, Vince Caro, Doc Kane
3:10 to Yuma (2007)
Transformers (2007): Kevin O’Connell, Greg P. Russell, Peter J. Devlin

Who Will Win: No Country for Old Men (2007): Skip Lievsay, Craig Berkey, Greg Orloff, Peter F. Kurland
See above category.

Who Deserves to Win: No Country for Old Men (2007): Skip Lievsay, Craig Berkey, Greg Orloff, Peter F. Kurland
See above category.

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song

August Rush (2007)(“Raise It Up”)
Enchanted (2007)(“Happy Working Song”)
Enchanted (2007)(“So Close”)
Enchanted (2007)(“That’s How You Know”)
Once (2006)(“Falling Slowly”)

Who Will Win: Enchanted (2007)(“That’s How You Know”)
Oscar likes Alan Menken. “That’s How You Know” is the “main” song of Enchanted, but not the best, so it’s the most likely winner.

Who Deserves to Win: Once (2006)(“Falling Slowly”)
Even though I’m part of the camp that finds Once to be overrated, I still like it nonetheless. And the music isn’t bad, especially “Falling Slowly,” what generally considered the emotional centerpiece of the film.

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score

Atonement (2007): Dario Marianelli
Into the Wild (2007): Michael Brook, Kaki King, Eddie Vedder
Michael Clayton (2007): James Newton Howard
Ratatouille (2007): Michael Giacchino
3:10 to Yuma (2007): Marco Beltrami

Who Will Win: Atonement (2007): Dario Marianelli
Academy voters like rousing scores (despite how they are used in the context of their respective films). However, they like period pieces more, and Atonement has the award hands-down.

Who Deserves to Win: Atonement (2007): Dario Marianelli
The tapping of the keys on the typewriter that’s central to the story is incorporated into the score. Need I say more?

Best Achievement in Makeup

Vie en rose, La (2007): Didier Lavergne, Loulia Sheppard
Norbit (2007): Rick Baker
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (2007): Ve Neill, Martin Samuel

Who Will Win: Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (2007): Ve Neill, Martin Samuel
It’s got a monster, and they won’t like voting for a movie like Norbit, even if it is for makeup and not best picture.

Who Deserves to Win: Norbit (2007): Rick Baker
Whatever reputation Norbit has, the makeup was incredible.

Best Achievement in Costume Design

Across the Universe (2007): Albert Wolsky
Atonement (2007): Jacqueline Durran
Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007): Alexandra Byrne
Vie en rose, La (2007): Marit Allen
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007): Colleen Atwood

Who Will Win: Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007): Alexandra Byrne
A movie about a queen (Marie Antoinette) won last year. I think this year will mark the second time.

Who Deserves to Win: Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007): Alexandra Byrne
The costumes are quite beautiful, despite whatever is said of the quality of the movie.

Best Achievement in Art Direction

American Gangster (2007): Arthur Max
Atonement (2007): Sarah Greenwood
The Golden Compass (2007): Dennis Gassner
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007): Dante Ferretti
There Will Be Blood (2007): Jack Fisk

Who Will Win: Atonement (2007): Sarah Greenwood
It’s pretty. Why shouldn’t they pick it?

Who Deserves to Win: There Will Be Blood (2007): Jack Fisk
It’s grimy, earthy, dirty… and perfect in every way. If Jack Fisk doesn’t get his deserved Oscar… shit’s going to go down.

Best Achievement in Editing

The Bourne Ultimatum (2007): Christopher Rouse
Diving Bell and the Butterfly, The (2007): Juliette Welfling
Into the Wild (2007): Jay Cassidy
No Country for Old Men (2007): Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
There Will Be Blood (2007): Dylan Tichenor, Tatiana S. Riegel

Who Will Win: The Bourne Ultimatum (2007): Christopher Rouse
Oscar likes quick cuts. We have a winner!

Who Deserves to Win: No Country for Old Men (2007): Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
The more I think about No Country, the better I think it is. Really, can anyone find anything reasonably objectionable about the movie?!

Best Achievement in Cinematography

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007): Roger Deakins
Atonement (2007): Seamus McGarvey
No Country for Old Men (2007): Roger Deakins
Diving Bell and the Butterfly, The (2007): Janusz Kaminski
There Will Be Blood (2007): Robert Elswit

Who Will Win: There Will Be Blood (2007): Robert Elswit
Ah, the Academy will have a choice between TWO Roger Deakins’ movies… and choose neither! Voters will most likely be yelling, “Drainage!” as they vote in this category…

Who Deserves to Win: There Will Be Blood (2007): Robert Elswit
…and maybe they would be right. Even though I didn’t care for Blood, it’s images are astounding. This is a close call, because No Country and Assassination all have gorgeous shots throughout. I wouldn’t cry if any of these won (except for Diving Bell), but Blood is my personal pick.

Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published

Atonement (2007): Christopher Hampton
Away from Her (2006): Sarah Polley
Diving Bell and the Butterfly, The (2007): Ronald Harwood
No Country for Old Men (2007): Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
There Will Be Blood (2007): Paul Thomas Anderson

Who Will Win: No Country for Old Men (2007): Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Although my personal choice and predicted Oscar winner don’t match for a bunch of these categories, I think the deserved will win.

Who Deserves to Win: No Country for Old Men (2007): Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
The film is so well written (I wouldn’t call it “perfect,” but very well done indeed), and it blows the others out of the water. Atonement‘s limited point-of-view works beautifully and comes close, but No Country outranks it only slightly.

Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen

Juno (2007): Diablo Cody
Lars and the Real Girl (2007): Nancy Oliver
Michael Clayton (2007): Tony Gilroy
Ratatouille (2007): Brad Bird
The Savages (2007): Tamara Jenkins

Who Will Win: Juno (2007): Diablo Cody
Maybe it’s a long shot, but I can see this Cinderella story going all the way. An ex-stripper writers a cute little story about a girl who gets pregnant and makes it all the way to the Oscars. Really, could the fairy tale end any better?

Who Deserves to Win: Ratatouille (2007): Brad Bird
I have yet to see The Savages. Of the others, though, the best writing came from Ratatouille. Sure, Michael Clayton was labyrinthine, but it was nothing more than a well-done generic thriller in the style of the 1970s paranoia thrillers. Ratatouille would also be my pick for best film of the bunch.

Best Achievement in Directing

Paul Thomas Anderson for There Will Be Blood (2007)
Ethan Coen, Joel Coen for No Country for Old Men (2007)
Tony Gilroy for Michael Clayton (2007)
Jason Reitman for Juno (2007)
Julian Schnabel for Scaphandre et le papillon, Le (2007)

Who Will Win: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen for No Country for Old Men (2007)
Once again, it’s “time.” (The duo won previously for original screenplay for Fargo, but they haven’t won anything yet for directing.) I think this will be another year in which Oscar tries to spread the awards out evenly.

Who Deserves to Win: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen for No Country for Old Men (2007)
Joe Wright should’ve been nominated for Atonement, but this isn’t the place for my complaints. I should praise who is nominated, and even if Wright was nominated, I would still pick the Coens for their masterful command of their style in No Country for Old Men.Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role

Cate Blanchett for I’m Not There. (2007)
Ruby Dee for American Gangster (2007)
Saoirse Ronan for Atonement (2007)
Amy Ryan for Gone Baby Gone (2007)
Tilda Swinton for Michael Clayton (2007)

Who Will Win: Amy Ryan for Gone Baby Gone (2007)
She’s been in movies before, but Ryan isn’t a household name, and the Academy likes making actors household names overnight. (I guess they think it gives them some kind of indie cred.) The only other contender, Blanchett, just won a few years ago.

Who Deserves to Win: Amy Ryan for Gone Baby Gone (2007)
As good as Blanchett is as one of the facets of Bob Dylan, Ryan is fascinating in her trashy role in the Boston-set tale. And she’s so different than in two other movies I saw her in this year (Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead and Dan in Real Life) that I didn’t even recognize here in Gone Baby Gone. A fantastic (and Oscar-worthy) job.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role

Casey Affleck for The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007)
Javier Bardem for No Country for Old Men (2007)
Philip Seymour Hoffman for Charlie Wilson’s War (2007)
Hal Holbrook for Into the Wild (2007)
Tom Wilkinson for Michael Clayton (2007)

Who Will Win: Javier Bardem for No Country for Old Men (2007)
Tom Wilkinson did some overacting for Michael Clayton(which is pure Oscar bait), but Javier Bardem really nailed the part of Anton Chigurh, a ruthless killer who gets rid of anyone standing in his way.

Who Deserves to Win: Casey Affleck for The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007)
I didn’t care for the movie, but Affleck really showed what he is capable of as an actor. As J.K. Simmons said in Juno: “I didn’t know he had it in him.” (Question: Why wasn’t he nominated?)

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role

Cate Blanchett for Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007)
Julie Christie for Away from Her (2006)
Marion Cotillard for Vie en Rose, La (2007)
Laura Linney for The Savages (2007)
Ellen Page for Juno (2007)

Who Will Win:
This really is a tough one.

Who Deserves to Win: Julie Christie for Away from Her (2006)
La vie en roseis still in the same red Netflix envelope and on the same endtable as it was a month ago, so I can’t judge Cotillard’s role. (I should be watching it tonight, and I’ll have a post up soon if I do.) But Christie was fantastic in her role of a woman slowly falling victim to Alzheimer’s disease. The film felt a little manipulative in the second half, so while I don’t care deeply for the movie, Christie’s performance is undeniably powerful and breathtaking.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role

George Clooney for Michael Clayton (2007)
Daniel Day-Lewis for There Will Be Blood (2007)
Johnny Depp for Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007)
Tommy Lee Jones for In the Valley of Elah (2007)
Viggo Mortensen for Eastern Promises (2007)

Who Will Win: Daniel Day-Lewis for There Will Be Blood (2007)
Enough time has passed for the Academy to consider giving Day-Lewis his second Oscar. Even though I think he overacted in the film, it’s the kind of role and style of acting that the Academy would be drawn to.

Who Deserves to Win: Viggo Mortensen for Eastern Promises (2007)
I haven’t seen In the Valley of Elah. Of the remaining contenders, Mortensen pulled off the most remarkable performance. His transformation into a Russian mobster is one of 2007’s treasures. And as much as I love George Clooney, he’s not anything incredible in Michael Clayton: he’s satisfactory. Ditto Johnny Depp.

Best Motion Picture of the Year

Atonement (2007): Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Paul Webster
Juno (2007)
Michael Clayton (2007)
No Country for Old Men (2007): Ethan Coen, Joel Coen, Scott Rudin
There Will Be Blood (2007): Paul Thomas Anderson, Daniel Lupi, JoAnne Sellar

Who Will Win: Atonement
The Academy loves period pieces, and that’s a good enough reason as any for the Oscar for Best Motion Picture to go to Atonement (at least within the confines of Oscar reasoning). No Country and There Will Be Blood are certainly contenders, but if either film won, it would be surprising to me. Juno and Michael Clayton are pure dark horses — I highly doubt any chance of either film having a chance to win.

Who Deserves to Win: Atonement
You know my feelings on There Will Be Blood, Michael Clayton, and No Country for Old Men. I put both Juno and Atonement in my Top 15 at the end of 2007, but hands-down, between those two, Atonement is the better picture, though I don’t think it’s the best picture of the year.<hr>

Wow. A lot of great movies seem to be getting their due this year at the Oscars. Even if my picks don’t win, it’s pretty cool that they’re nominated so that people can look back to see what was competing against the “winners.” Then they can make up their own mind.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: