Sunday, January 27, 2008

Those Oscar Nominations

I, as you are very well aware, got sidetracked on the day the Oscar nominations were announced and I'm just now getting around to putting in my two cents worth that nobody asked for. Uh-huh. I did pretty good at the start and then gradually got worse and worse. So super happy for Atonement and I love that AMPAS embraced Juno, when there really wasn't any need for them to do so. They could've blindly gone with another actor-turned-director, but they didn't! Good on them!

For reference, my predictions were over here.

Best Picture
Atonement
Juno
Michael Clayton
No Country for Old Men
There Will Be Blood

Correctly Guessed: 4/5
I missed Juno, which I just thought was too young and hipster for the Oscar voters, but I couldn't be happier that it and Atonement - both shaky best picture prospects - made it in over the blah bizarre hero worship of Into the Wild.

Best Director
Paul Thomas Anderson, There Will Be Blood
Joel and Ethan Coen, No Country for Old Men
Tony Gilroy, Michael Clayton
Julian Schnabel, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Jason Reitman, Juno

Correctly Guessed: 4/5
I missed Reitman for, again, Sean Penn for his work on Into the Wild. Considering their love of actors turned directors this is much more surprising of an omission. Especially considering Reitman's work was on a comedy and a youth-oriented comedy at that. Plus he's only something like 30 years old! Is this the Academy saying that, yes, comedies can be well-directed and that you can be young and still get nominated without prejudice? I hope so!

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

Correctly Guessed: 4/5
If Emile Hirsch from Into the Wild was to miss I didn't think it would be to Tommy Lee Jones for a movie that had dropped off most people's raders a while back it failed to set anything on fire, let alone the box office. Still, apparently he deserves it and he definitely had a big year, so good on him. Ryan Gosling and Hirsch will surely get more chances in the future.

Best Actress
Cate Blanchett, Elizabeth: The Golden Age
Julie Christie, Away from Her
Marion Cotillard, La Vie en Rose
Laura Linney, The Savages
Ellen Page, Juno

Correctly Guessed: 4/5
COME ON JULIE!!! I did predict the surprise nomination of Linney, but I also predicted Angelina Jolie for A Mighty Heart against my better judgement - I never once thoughout the year thought she was going to be nominated until the field got so incredibly small - instead of Blanchett who, I believe, becomes the first performance of this decade to be nominated for a film rated "rotten" at Rotten Tomatoes. Although I have done absolutely no research to back up that theory. Scarily - also, sadly - Blanchett is actually in the second highest-grossing film of the five represented. Isn't that just baffling!?

Best Supporting Actor
Casey Affleck, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
Javier Bardem, No Country for Old Men
Hal Holbrook, Into the Wild
Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Charlie Wilson's War
Tom Wilkinson, Michael Clayton

Correctly Guessed: 4/5
I had predicted Tommy Lee Jones here, and not best actor, for his role in No Country for Old Men. I just figured Charlie Wilson's War had no mileage whatsoever.

Best Supporting Actress
Cate Blanchett, I'm Not There
Ruby Dee, American Gangster
Saiorse Ronan, Atonement
Amy Ryan, Gone Baby Gone
Tilda Swinton, Michael Clayton

Correctly Guessed: 5/5
When Sid Ganis announced Saiorse Ronan I felt such a relief. Right then, a mere few seconds into the announcement I felt like Atonement was in. Anyway, I got 5/5 here like everyone else who didn't predict Catherine Keener.

Best Original Screenplay
Juno
Lars and the Real Girl
Michael Clayton
Ratatouille
The Savages

Correctly Guessed: 4/5
I was predicted a surprise with Eastern Promises filling the spot of Lars and the Real Girl. 3 of the 5 nominees here are women, which is encouraging! But, I do so hope that Ratatouille wins this, but Diablo Cody has, I'm sure, got this wrapped up.

Best Adapted Screenplay
Atonement
Away From Her
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
No Country for Old Men
There Will Be Blood

Correctly Guessed: 4/5
I had Into the Wild sweeping in over Atonement, but thankfully the Academy showed some taste and didn't fall for Sean Penn's D-grade Bruce Springsteen riff. And, in case you didn't get it the first time, SARAH POLLEY IS AMAZING!!!!!!! Oh man, is she ever!

Best Cinematography
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
Atonement
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
No Country for Old Men
There Will Be Blood

Correctly Guessed: 5/5
Just like supporting actress, pretty much everyone got this category 5/5 unless they swapped out Atonement for Eric Gautier's work on Into the Wild.

I am also in the minority that Roger Deakins work on the Coen's No Country is better than Roger Deakins' work on Andrew Dominik's Jesse James.

Best Art Direction
American Gangster
Atonement
The Golden Compass
Sweeney Todd
There Will Be Blood

Correctly Guessed: 3/5
I had Harry Potter taking The Golden Compass' "fantasy" spot and La Vie en Rose's french music halls being deemed more impressive than whatever American Gangster has (I haven't seen the latter). I'm glad that The Golden Compass didn't get the cold shoulder - although it personally wouldn't be in my top five - due to fickle American audiences. This is down to Atonement and Blood methinks.

Best Costume Design
Across the Universe
Atonement
Elizabeth: The Golden Age
La Vie en Rose
Sweeney Todd

Correctly Guessed: 4/5
I had missed costume design legend Albert Wolsky's work on Julie Taymor's Across the Universe for the candy-coloured duds of Hairspray. Unfort Hairspray got zero nominations, which means out of this year's prominent musicals - Sweeney Todd, Hairspray, Once, August Rush and Across the Universe - it was the one that got the short straw. Interesting. Can that green dress (and that green dress alone) win Atonement the statue?

Best Editing
The Bourne Ultimatum
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Into the Wild
No Country for Old Men
There Will Be Blood

Correctly Guessed: 4/5
Only missing The Diving Bell, which I hadn't predicted in favour of Zodiac, which did not get any members of it's crew a congratulatory call early in the morning, which is a big shame. Can the Coen Brother's pseudonym "Roderick Jaynes" become only the second (that I am aware of) fictional person to ever win the Oscar? I think most definitely yes.

Best Original Score
3:10 to Yuma
Atonement
The Kite Runner
Michael Clayton
Ratatouille

Correctly Guessed: 3/5
Despite what people say I don't actually believe Jonny Greenwood's since disqualified score for There Will Be Blood would have been nominated - I certainly wasn't predicting it would even before the word came out that it had been disqualified. Nevertheless, I was very pleased to see James Newton Howard's score for Michael Clayton get a nomination. Sure, he's one of their favourites and it was a surefire best picture nominee, but that score wasn't anything typically "oscar" and I'm glad they recognised it. Well done, AMPAS!

Best Original Song
"Raise It Up", August Rush
"Happy Working Song", Enchanted
"So Close", Enchanted
"That's How You Know", Enchanted
"Falling Slowly", Once

Correctly Guessed: 2/5
Look, yes, the three noms for Enchanted is silly, but the music branch has taken ahold of his category and given it the shakeup it deserves. No longer can you get by simply by inserting songs randomly over scenes (Hi Into the Wild) or throwing a song over the closing credits (I'm looking at you Hairspray, ditching "Ladies Choice" for "Come So Far"? Bad move! I've been saying that for months). And as random as that August Rush nomination is, I said a month and a half ago that "I actually sort of like this one!" So there ya go.

Best Sound Mixing
The Bourne Ultimatum
3:10 to Yuma
No Country for Old Men
Ratatouille
Transformers

Correctly Guessed: 3/5
Nice move on the Ratatouille part! Very subtly, but great work there. But, most of all, I'm just happy they nominated No Country for Old Men.

Best Sound Editing
The Bourne Ultimatum
No Country for Old Men
Ratatouille
There Will Be Blood
Transformers

Correctly Guessed: 3/5
Nice lineup.

Best Visual Effects
The Golden Compass
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
Transformers

Correctly Guessed: 1/3
Blah, whatever. These are all better than I Am Legend and 300.

Best Make-Up
La Vie en Rose
Norbit
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End

Correctly Guessed: 1/3
It really does boggle the mind. How can the make-up branch be so blind?! And what was so incredibly better about the fatsuit work on Norbit than the fatsuit work on Hairspray? Is it because in Norbit you see all the roles of fat on Eddie Murphy and they're not all covered up with costumes. Still, the movie that, some believe, cost Eddie Murphy an Oscar is now an Oscar and Razzie nominee all on the same day. Wasn't that nice? I'm sure Murphy is beaming with pride.

Best Animated Feature
Persepolis
Ratatouille
Surf's Up

Correctly Guessed: 2/3
You know what was one of the first thoughts I had after not hearing The Simpsons Movie be read out as a nominee? This doesn't bode well for a costume nomination next year for Sex and the City. I know, right?

Best Foreign Language Film
Austria, The Counterfeiters
Israel, Beaufort
Kazakhstan, Mongol
Poland, Katyn
Russia, "12"

Correctly Guessed: 4/5
I only missed Katyn from Poland for Brazil's The Year My Parents Went on Vacation. Considering the uproar/controversy/scandal over this category, I thought for sure the roundly praised Vacation would get in. Alas...

Best Documentary Feature
No End in Sight
Operation: Homecoming
Sicko
Taxi to the Dark Side
War/Dance

Correctly Guessed: 3/5
I missed Taxi and Homecoming for Lake of Fire (apparently one of the greatest docos ever made) and Autism: The Musical. Only Sicko has been released here, naturally.

Best Documentary Short
Freeheld
La Corona
Salim Bab
Sari's Mother

Best Live Action Short
At Night
The Substitute
The Mozart of Pickpockets
Tanghi Argentini
The Tonto Woman

Best Animation Short
I Met the Walrus
Madame Tutli Putli
Even Pidgeons Go to Heaven
My Love
Peter and the Wolf

Correctly Guessed: I didn't do predictions for any of the short categories.
As far as I'm aware there are no Aussie nominees this year in any of the three, which is sad. We've had a nominee for the last five or so years, too.

Conclusion

Overall, it's a very impressive roster of nominees. There isn't anything that just screams "AWFUL!" As much as I'm glad Into the Wild missed I'm even gladder that it's exclusion meant stuff like Atonement and Juno could make it in. The letter is a teen-oriented comedy, folks! That's wild. Although it was always going to be hard to begrudge the list of nominees they released because 2007 was such a strong year for movies.

Of the major contenders I have only not seen There Will Be Blood and The Diving Bell and the Butterfly - out here in 2 weeks I think - and a collection of the acting/tech contenders too.

On the prediction side of things I did very good in the major 8 categories, never doing worse than 4/5.

I was intrigued to go way back to my one-year-in-advance predictions. I was right to feel unsure about Elizabeth: The Golden Age (in fact, back in February '07 I predicted it for Best Actress and Costume Design only, which is all it got), The Kite Runner and Sweeney Todd (that Depp snub I predicted very nearly came true). I was wrong to feel confident on American Gangster (although it did figure heavily in the race), Charlie Wilson's War and Reservation Road (what a disaster that turned out to be?) And there were some choices that look downright foolish today (Bette Midler?!) And the less said about The Other Boleyn Girl the better.

My out-on-a-limb prediction of widespread love for Ben Affleck's Gone Baby Gone didn't pan out, but it did end up with an Oscar nod and a lot of award season love, so I didn't feel completely ridiculous about it.

Some of the strange year-in-advance predictions I made that turned out to come true:

Casey Affleck and Cinematography nominations The Assassination of Jesse James and nothing else!

Ratatouille in Best Original Screenplay!

Michael Clayton for Best Original Score! Was this on anybody's radar even the night before the announcement? In fact I predicted three original score contenders - MC, Atonement and Ratatouille!

Three of the Best Art Direction nominees! Golden Compass, Atonement and Sweeney Todd!

3:10 to Yuma in Best Sound Mixing! How random!

I correctly predicted that Shrek the Third would diediedie!

Also, in a bizarre bout of foreshadowing I typed this after my Best Make-Up predictions. Read and be amazed:

So, I originally had Norbit down. But I don't even think these guys will nominate that? Surely... right?

Yikes!

1 comment:

J.D. said...

Actually, Elizabeth: The Golden Age is the third acting nom-receiving film to be "rotten" so far this decade, behind I Am Sam and Unfaithful.

What? I was bored!