Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Snap decisions

Predicted winners for the 80th Annual Academy Awards, subject to rethinking before the February 24 ceremony. I moved quickly through the list, but if the writers' strike hasn't let up by then it will take you longer to read this than it will to watch the actual event, much like the glitter-free Golden Globes. Let's get this settled, guys; America is counting on a full plate four-hour plate of banter, musical numbers, montages, and speeches thanking God next month.

Best Picture: No Country for Old Men.

Personal favorite: Michael Clayton.

Garbage nomination: None. It's an appealing smorgasbord.

Best Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis

Personal favorite: Day-Lewis, but Mortensen was a pleasant surprise.

Garbage nomination: I wouldn't tell him to his face, but Tommy Lee Jones sleepwalks through the Valley. Better his more alert supporting turn in No Country.

Best Supporting Actor: Javier Bardem (pictured)

Personal favorite: Hal Holbrook

Garbage nomination: None. A flavorful slate, highlighted by Holbrook, but Bardem has the momentum.

Best Actress: A tough one. Today: Marion Cotillard. Tomorrow: Ellen Page, riding high on Juno. Thursday: the delicate Julie Christie. (No chance for Linney but I'm happy that The Savages got some traction.)

Personal favorite: All things considered, Page.

Garbage nomination: Blanchett. I enjoyed the hokey film but once was enough for HRH in the superior predecessor.

Best Supporting Actress: Amy Ryan.

Personal favorite: Ryan

Garbage-ish nomination: Much as I hate to consign Ruby Dee to the rubbish bin I can't abide seeing American Gangster anywhere near the rest of a more deserving crop. The song, not the singer, but she and Holbrook are a couple of old school charmers.

Best Director(s): The Coen Brothers.

Personal favorite: I'll stick with the Coens.

Garbage nomination: None. I'm not that broken up that Tim Burton didn't nab a slot (that he revived his flagging career is reward enough), though Juno really is a matter of writerly tone.

Best Original Screenplay: Diablo Cody.

Personal favorite: Tony Gilroy.

Garbage nomination: Lars and the Real Girl is a questionable choice, more an actor's showcase.

Adapted Screenplay: Christopher Hampton

Personal favorite: Hampton

Garbage nomination: None. A strong field.

Animated Feature: Persepolis. Worthy, good for you.

Personal favorite: Ratatouille.

Garbage nomination: I haven't seen Surf's Up, but which of these doesn't belong?

Best Foreign Language Film: Beaufort. Not that I've seen it. Voters may be an Israel frame of mind this year,

Personal favorite: Nil.

Garbage nomination: Given the quality of the films shut out, these had better be damned good. The year's Garbage category, as it often is.

Best Art Direction: Atonement.

Personal favorite: Sweeney Todd.

Garbage nomination. The dim and underdesigned American Gangster. The Golden Compass earned its shot.

Best Cinematography: The Assassination of...blah blah blah. With two nominations it should be Deakins' to lose.

Personal favorite: The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.

Garbage nomination. None. Let there be light.

Documentary Feature: No End in Sight.

Personal favorite: No End in Sight.

Garbage nomination: None, but a little war-heavy. There are other subjects.

Documentary Short: I'm guessing Sari's Mother, developed from last year's excellent Iraq in Fragments.

Animated Short and Live Action Short: No opinion. I'll guess once I have some idea what they are.

Best Visual Effects: Transformers. It is what it is.

Personal favorite: The Golden Compass.

Garbage nomination: Nothing new in Pirates III.

Best Costume Design: Sweeney Todd.

Personal favorite: Sweeney Todd.

Garbage nomination: None.

Best Film Editing, Sound Editing, and Sound Mixing. I'd say two out of three, maybe a sweep, for Bourne Ultimatum, though I found the film editing too sensational.

Best Original Score: Only Atonement stands out for me. An eh category.

Best Original Song: "Falling Slowly," from Once.

Personal favorite: "Falling Slowly."

Garbage nominations: One of the Enchanted songs ("Happy Working Song," I think) was quite enough as Disney hogs the nominations as usual.

Best Makeup: La Vie en Rose.

Personal favorite: La Vie en Rose.

Garbage nomination: Norbit, I know, but it's the great Rick Baker so it flies. Pirates, move on.

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