Just a couple of weeks ago it looked like we might be missing a televised Oscar ceremony this year. Fortunately, the writer’s strike is officially over and the fiasco that occurred with the Golden Globes won’t be repeated for the big show. John Stewart is poised and ready and now has a team of writers to help him make the most of the biggest night of the year for movies. A lot of folks think the winners for the top six will be fairly predictable, and the odds-makers agree. As for my ballot, I am going to predict some bigtime upsets. While most think that the Coen’s latest pic No Country For Old Men will steal the show, I think that the buzz might have faded out early and that there will be some huge surprises. There is one thing for sure – there will be many different winners on February 24. So who will they be? Here are my thoughts…
Best Picture – There Will Be Blood. While I think that AtonementJuno are far superior films, and that the odds are in No Country’s favor, I think there will be just enough votes to push Blood into the winner’s circle.
Best Director – Julian Schnabel, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. While he might be best known for his beautiful paintings, Butterfly has got Hollywood singing Schnabel’s praises and if the Coen’s have lost any steam at all, this could be the surprise of the night. As an aside, Schnabel received his B.F.A. from the University of Houston and deserves some cheering on from the locals!
Best Actor – Daniel Day Lewis, There Will Be Blood. While the competition is good, I think that Lewis is the winner by a mile. It’s rare that the front-runner is this far ahead of the pack.
Best Actress – Jule Christie, Away From Her. As much as I want Ellen Page to win for Juno, I think that Christie’s portrait of a woman suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease will take the trophy.
Best Supporting Actor – Javier Bardem, No Country For Old Men. Personally, I preferred the performance of Hal Holbrook in Into the Wild due to the fact that he actually acted rather than just terrified, but I have to admit that Bardem gave a truly scary performance that will be remembered for years to come.
Best Supporting Actress – Amy Ryan, Gone Baby Gone. As a character, she upset me more than any other character I saw on screen this year. Her performance was almost too real and evoked some very hateful feelings from it’s audience. If that doesn’t earn an Oscar, then i don’t know what will.
As for the rest of the slate, here’s how I would vote.
Best Animated Feature – Ratatouille
Art Direction – Sweeney Todd
Cinematography – The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
Costume Design – Atonement
Documentary Feature – Sicko
Film Editing – The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Foreign Language Film – Mongol
Makeup – Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End
Original Score – Atonement
Original Song – “Falling Slowly” – Once
Sound Editing – The Bourne Ultimatum
Sound Mixing – The Bourne Ultimatum
Visual Effects – Transformers
Adapted Screenplay – No Country For Old Men
Original Screenplay – Juno
While these aren’t all my personal picks, this is how my ballot would look if I had to try to predict the future.