Will Win/Should Win: Eric's 2008 Oscar Predictions

by Eric Melin on February 20, 2008

in Blogs

Usually the hype surrounding the Oscars is all about who’s going to win, but this year, with the ongoing writer’s strike reducing the Golden Globes to an embarrassing press conference starring the cheesemeister Billy Bush, the talk was all about whether the 80th Academy Awards would even happen at all. Now that we know they are (with host Jon Stewart), it’s time to turn our attention towards the fun part—picking the winners. Hopefully, these predictions will help your work Oscar pool, or maybe you’ll come to Louise’s Downtown on Sunday, Feb. 24 at 7pm and try to win cash at our big Scene-Stealers Oscar Party. Either way, the show is more fun if you pick winners and keep score, so here goes mine:

Best Animated Feature
Persepolis
Ratatouille
Surf’s Up

Critics love it, it made $620 million worldwide, and it is inevitable.
Will and should win: Ratatouille

Best Documentary Feature
No End in Sight
Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience
Sicko
Taxi to the Dark Side
War/Dance
Believe it or not, the one doc that had nothing to do with war this year was from Michael Moore. Even though he’s out of fashion right now, and his film didn’t come close to Fahrenheit 9/11 box office, he asked some tough questions not only about the U.S. health care system, but who we are as a society if we deny coverage to our own citizens just when they need it the most. Watch out, though, Oscar voters have to be able to say they saw all five nominees before voting, and Alex Gibney’s torture policy examination Taxi to the Dark Side has the current zeitgeist and is gaining some speed.
Will and should win: Sicko

Original Screenplay
Juno
Lars and the Real Girl
Michael Clayton
Ratatouille
The Savages
This is a strong category that would seem to yield five possible candidates to win if it weren’t for the Juno juggernaut—a sleeper hit with no big stars about an unwanted teenage pregnancy. Screenwriter and former stripper Diablo Cody is the toast of Hollywood right now, and the only way she won’t win is if they are tired of hearing about her. Tamara Jenkins’ pitch-perfect, tragicomic The Savages was the most fully-realized of all these great scripts, but…
Will win: Juno
Should win: The Savages

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

The Coen brothers already have an Oscar for writing Fargo, their best film to date. But they’ve just received the Writers Guild Award for their faithful, elegiac adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s “No Country for Old Men,” making them clear front-runners. Paul Thomas Anderson earns his third screenplay nomination for using Upton Sinclair’s 1927 novel “Oil!” as no more than a springboard for his off-the-rails American epic There Will Be Blood. The other nominees are all solid, and special marks should go to Ronald Harwood’s The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, for wrestling a point-of-view movie script from the decidedly uncinematic memoir of a man who was paralyzed, save for an eyelid.
Will win: No Country for Old Men
Should win: There Will Be Blood

Best Supporting Actress
Cater Blanchett – I’m Not There
Ruby Dee – American Gangster
Saoirse Ronan – Atonement
Amy Ryan – Gone Baby Gone
Tilda Swinton – Michael Clayton
This category is the most up for grabs this year. Blanchett has the Golden Globe, Ryan has the Critics Choice award, Dee has the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) award (or, the career achievement award for her six minutes of screen time), and Swinton has a slew of critics’ groups awards. 13 year-old newcomer Ronan is out of the picture. I choose to believe that the Oscars will go with the most searing, layered, and naturalistic performance and not the biggest star, and give the statue to Ryan for Gone Baby Gone.
Will and should win: Amy Ryan

Best Supporting Actor
Casey Affleck – The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
Javier Bardem – No Country for Old Men
Philip Seymour Hoffman – Charlie Wilson’s War
Hal Holbrook - Into the Wild
Tom Wilkinson – Michael Clayton
Hoffman was hilarious, Wilkinson was crazy, Holbrook was heartbreaking, and Affleck was nervous and strangely affecting, but only one person this year created a character that will go down in history as one of the most frightening villains of all time, and that is Javier Bardem. Holbrook’s film was too ambitious and too long, but he was the best thing about it. The 82 year-old actor is also the oldest nominee ever in this category, but it won’t be enough to trump Bardem, friend-o.
Will and should win: Javier Bardem

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
Like the Supporting Actor category, this is a two-person race, with Page as a possible, if unlikely, spoiler. Cotillard is a virtual unknown in a severely flawed French film, but her performance as tragic singer Edith Piaf was completely transformative. Christie has the edge however, for playing a vivacious woman stricken with Alzheimer’s disease in a complicated and mature movie about the life’s concessions. Linney was equally impressive in The Savages, but her nomination itself was a surprise, so she has no real chance to win.
Will win: Julie Christie
Should win: Marion Cotillard

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
Pop Quiz: Who said all of the quotes below, which are quickly becoming classic movie catch phrases?
a. “I have a competition in me. I want no one else to succeed.”
b. “Well, that was one goddamn hell of a show.”
c. “There are times when I look at people and I see nothing worth liking.”
d. “Just give me the blood Eli, let me get out of here. Give me the blood, Lord, and let me get away!”
e. “I drink your milkshake! I drink it up!”
Will and should win: Daniel Day-Lewis

Best Director
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly – Julian Schnabel
Juno – Jason Reitman
Michael Clayton – Tony Gilroy
No Country for Old Men – Joel Coen and Ethan Coen
There Will Be Blood – Paul Thomas Anderson
Having already won the Directors Guild Award and virtually every critics’ group award, the Coens are a cinch to take this one home. And if they take home the other three awards that they directly are nominated for (and not just their movie), they will be only the second (and third) person to do so ever—behind only Walt Disney! Schnabel and Anderson showed a fierce amount of talent as well, though I’d have to go with Anderson if I must choose between them all, for his invigorating, provocative, uniquely funny and beautiful There Will Be Blood.
Will win: Joel Coen and Ethan Coen
Should win: Paul Thomas Anderson

Best Picture
Atonement
Juno
Michael Clayton
No Country for Old Men
There Will Be Blood
Here we go. Next to the Supporting Actress category, this is the other possible big surprise of the night. Having won the SAG award for Best Ensemble, the Producers Guild Award for Best Picture, and almost every critics’ group award, No Country for Old Men is perfectly poised to take home the little gold man. But wait—it is a grim arthouse movie disguised as a thriller and has an ending many people don’t get. These same things apply also to There Will Be Blood. Although both are critical favorites, that small audience could be divided so much between them that neither will have enough votes to win the big one. Michael Clayton will be too low key. Atonement will take its fair share of technical awards, so Oscar voters may think that is reward enough for the over-hyped English epic. That leaves the biggest-grossing movie on this list and the only one with a traditional happy ending—the $118 million little movie that could, Juno. Think it can’t happen? I hope it doesn’t, but I hear they give away Oscars like free iPods. You know, they pretty much just put them in those T-shirt guns and shoot them out at sporting events.
Will win: Juno
Should win: There Will Be Blood

This actor playes the same character in This actor plays the same character in “The Dark Knight.”

Eric is the Editor-in-Chief of Scene-Stealers.com and writes the Screen Stealers column for The Pitch. He’s President of the KCFCC, and drummer for The Dead Girls and Ultimate Fakebook. He is also Air Guitar World Champion Mean Melin. Eric goes to 11. Follow him at:

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Aimee March 5, 2009 at 5:19 pm

Ill be adding your blog to my feed, many thanks.

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2 Aimee March 5, 2009 at 5:19 pm

Ill be adding your blog to my feed, many thanks.

Reply

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