The Academy Awards is one week away so I am finalizing my predictions. I admit that I'm no expert - I only had 13 out of 24 right last year, but it is such a fun process so I'm up for it.
In Roger Ebert's 2008 predictions column he writes "as usual I will allow my heart to outsmart my brain in one or two races, which is my annual downfall". I hear you Roger! That's why I decided to say "screw it!" and go with my heart. I went against my heart last year and guessed wrongly that BABEL would win over my true favorite THE DEPARTED so I think I owe it.
So here goes:
1.BEST PICTURE: NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN – My brain agrees with my heart on this one. It seriously feels like The Coen Brothers time as evidenced by my pick for #2 as well but I have to remind myself that 10 years ago I really thought it was their time for FARGO and THE ENGLISH PATIENT won. Heavy sigh. Please JUNO - don't split the vote and cause an upset! Please - my heart couldn't take it.
2. BEST DIRECTOR: Joel Coen and Ethan Coen.
3.BEST ACTOR: Daniel Day Lewis - Again heart and brain are on the same page with just about everybody out there on this - he truly did perform the best acting of the year so it'll be shocking if he's not rewarded.
4. BEST ACTRESS: Julie Christie - Most are predicting this one for Christie. Her performance was wonderful and like Lewis she's won before (for DARLING - 1965) and it just seems right. The wild card would be Marion Cotillard in LA VIE EN ROSE but that's stuck at "very long wait" in my Netflix queue so I can't appraise yet.
5. BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Hal Holbrook - This is my wild card; my INTO THE WILD card! Sorry, couldn't resist that. Seriously though he was the best thing in that movie - he's 82 and he climbed up a mountain! Somebody else who thinks he deserves it is one of his competitors for the title - Javier Bardem. Read Bardem's touching comments on Holbrook's performance. My brain is doubting this pick but I'm still letting it stand.
6. BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS : Cate Blanchett - Brain and Heart together again. Blanchett is amazing as '65-'66 era Bob Dylan - actually Jude Quinn - one of 6 different personifications of the said rock star singer in I'M NOT THERE if you haven't heard. I predict she will dedicate her Oscar to co-star Heath Ledger. Awarding her will honor him so to speak. Also since she was also nominated for Best Actress for ELIZABETH: THE GOLDEN AGE this stone kills that bird too. Hey, I'm just blogging out loud here!
And the rest:
7. ART DIRECTION: SWEENEY TODD: THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET
8. CINEMATOGRAPHY: Roger Deakins for THE ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES BY THE COWARD ROBERT FORD. Deakins is also nominated for NO COUNTRY as well so I hope a DREAMGIRLS-like canceling out doesn't go down. I will be supremely bummed if Deakins' amazing work doesn't get the gold for either film.
9. COSTUME DESIGN: ATONEMENT
10. DOCUMENTARY FEATURE: NO END IN SIGHT - Because SiCKO would seem to be a shoe-in my brain is still pondering over whether the Academy will let Michael Moore back on their stage. I mean, remember last time? That's not the only reason I think Charles Ferguson's little seen Iraq war breakdown will win but it's good enough for now.
11. DOCUMENTARY SHORT: SARI’S MOTHER - Haven't seen but damnit it looks like a winner!
12. FILM EDITING: THE DIVING BELL AND THE BUTTERFLY - Heart again. I mean the editing was really the show on this one so I can't help but pick it.
13. MAKEUP: LA VIE EN ROSE - Can you believe NORBIT was nominated? Maybe it did have phenomenal makeup but still - NORBIT - an Oscar Nominated Motion Picture?! I may do the biggest spit-take in history if that Eddie Murphy mess upsets this category.
14. VISUAL EFFECTS: TRANSFORMERS - The definition of "no-brainer."
15. ORIGINAL SCORE: ATONEMENT
16. ORIGINAL SONG: “Falling Slowly” from ONCE - This has got to happen. People are crazy about that freakin' soundtrack and this song seems a sure bet.
17. ANIMATED SHORT: I MET THE WALRUS - Didn't see it but the trailer (that's right, a trailer for a short film) is pretty cool.
18. LIVE ACTION SHORT: AT NIGHT - Haven't seen either so I'm just going throwing a dart in the dark here I admit.
19. SOUND EDITING: THERE WILL BE BLOOD
20. SOUND MIXING: THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM - Didn't see it but it looked like this flick mixed it up soundwise. Yep, another dart.
21. ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: JUNO by Diablo Cody. This category should be re-named "snarkiest script."
22. ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: ATONEMENT by Christopher Hampton
23. ANIMATED FEATURE FILM: RATATOUILLE
24. FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM: THE COUNTERFEITERS (German title: Fälscher, Die) - I haven't seen it yet but I read good things about this Austrian war drama on the internets and the Academy seems to love World War II so it seems pretty sound.
Okay! I bet I do even worse than last year but I don't care. I'm just glad the writer's strike is over and the show is going on. It was one of the best years for movies so I bet whatever the flaws and surprises it'll be a blast.