Thursday, September 27, 2007

Oscar Predictions: September 2007

I've been updating my Oscar predictions on my own the past few months, but, with the Oscar season kicking in full force, I felt like I should post my thoughts now.

Best Picture
American Gangster
No Country For Old Men
The Savages
There Will Be Blood

Rants: I really placed The Savages here on a whim (Oscar usually goes for a contemporary comedy, right?) but the rest have the most buzz right now. I give the edge to Atonement over No Country For Old Men because it's a costume film based on a highly-acclaimed novel and Oscar eats that shit up for breakfast.

Best Actor

John Cusack, Grace is Gone
Daniel Day-Lewis, There Will Be Blood
Tommy Lee Jones, In the Valley of Elah
James McAvoy, Atonement
Denzel Washington, American Gangster

Rants: This seems like the consensus right now (with the exception of Cusack...but come on, he plays a grieving Iraq War widower with two children- how can Oscar look the other way?) with Jones leading the pack by earning some of the best reviews of his career for Paul Haggis' follow-up to Crash.

Best Actress
Marion Cotillard, La Vie en Rose
Jodie Foster, The Brave One
Nicole Kidman, Margot at the Wedding
Keira Knightley, Atonement
Laura Linney, The Savages

Rants: This is the hardest race to predict right now because their seems like no clear front runner at the moment. I'd go with Cotillard (who I finally get to see in a couple of weeks when her film comes to my town!) because she's been getting the most buzz, but she's in a foreign film and Oscar is pretty much allergic to them. Kidman's been getting exceptional reviews, but she just won in 2002 so that might be a little too soon for a second win. Maybe this will be Linney's year if her performance is ever bit as good as it's chalked up to be.

Best Supporting Actor
Javier Bardem, No Country For Old Men
Philip Bosco, The Savages
Alan Rickman, Sweeney Todd
Mark Ruffalo, Reservation Road
Tom Wilkinson, Michael Clayton

Rants: There's no way any of these man can compare with the accolades Bardem has been receiving for his performance in No Country For Old Men. It's going to take a pretty buzz-worthy performance to dethrone him at this point.

Best Supporting Actress
Cate Blanchett, I'm Not There
Jennifer Jason Leigh, Margot at the Wedding
Saoirse Ronan, Atonement
Susan Sarandon, In the Valley of Elah
Tilda Swinton, Michael Clayton

Rants: Blanchett has been praised from here to kingdom come for her performance as Bob Dylan in I'm Not There, but I think Jennifer Jason Leigh will sneak in there because of the fact that she's been ignored by Oscar her whole career.

Best Director
Paul Thomas Anderson, There Will Be Blood
Joel and Ethan Coen, No Country For Old Men
Ang Lee, Lust, Caution
Ridley Scott, American Gangster
Joe Wright, Atonement

Rants: Lee might sneak in because this is the category where the Academy loves to place an acclaimed foreign film that they don't want to nominate for Best Picture (Meirelles in 2003, Almodovar in 2002, Fellini and Bergman back in the day), but the Coen Brothers really have a big lead over the rest of them. This might change, however, once we get some reviews for Blood and Gangster.

Best Original Screenplay
Knocked Up
Margot at the Wedding
The Savages

Rants: Oscar generally prefers grown-up comedies in this category (Eternal Sunshine won here in 2004 as did Little Miss Sunshine last year) so these seem like the safest bets. Any of these could easily win (except maybe Ratatouille), but I'm going to go with Margot because it's written by Noah Baumbach and many felt like he should have won in 2005 for The Squid and the Whale (But who did Oscar pick that year....of course, Crash...ugh)

Best Adapted Screenplay
American Gangster
No Country For Old Men
Reservation Road
There Will Be Blood

Rants: I know this is basically a repeat of the Best Picture nominees, but there is literally no other films getting any buzz in this category. Atonement seems like the safest bet because, like I stated before, is based off of an acclaimed novel.

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