Friday, February 22, 2008

Prepare yourselves, mortals, for JOHNNY B's FEARLESS OSCAR PREDICTIONS!

Yes, for the first time in a long time (unless I did it over on the LJ- I forget), I am, without a net (or Frankie, for that matter, tee hee), determined to predict the winner of each Academy Award. Of course, we all know that there are many fine films not represented here (Zodiac? Hello!), but these are the choices we are stuck with and it is incumbent upon us all to make do as best we would-be Criswells can do.

Un disclaimér: Since I am of modest means and tied down with many bills and responsibilities, as since the nearest multi-screen cinema to me is run by people who think the likes of Hope Floats and The Bucket List are hightoned filmmaking, it should come as no surprise to you that I have not seen a great many of the cited films below. So this will not be a list of the films I think should win, but a list of the films I think will win, since I do keep up with writing about films as much as the average pop culture aficionado. I will also post my typically witty and erudite commentary after each. And now, before I use up my daily ration of italicized words, here goes nothing.


Atonement: Hey, I saw the trailer! Looks like the kind of film the Academy loves to reward. Also looks like the kind of film that I struggle to stay awake during. I might try to watch it on cable someday.

Michael Clayton: I like Clooney, and Tilda Swinton up to a point, and I have this in my Netflix queue. And why haven't you friended me yet? Click the link in the still-a-work-in-progress linkbar at right. Anyway, I haven't seen this yet because I've been busy watching every season DVD of Entourage (that's available- what the hell is the holdup on season 4?), and since I'm a man of limited means, (see above) I only subscribe to the one disc at a time option. So blame Vincent Chase and Ari Gold. And E, don't forget E. Anyway, this one has a shot, because I hear it has an actual honest to goodness ending, something many of the films on this list lack.

No Country for Old Men: Ah, yes. No Country, aka 3/4 of a classic film. OK, OK, I've mellowed a bit in my stance about how annoyed I was at the non-climax of this film. I can even accept and understand why the author chose to structure it that way. All things considered, this is the best Coen Bros. film since O Brother, make no mistake. But that non-resolution still grates, even after all this enlightenment. This one seems to be the favorite, but I'm not so sure.

There Will Be Blood: I may try to drive down to Bowling Green, 40 miles southwest, and see this tomorrow- I've been meaning to do it for weeks now, but these days, with 3 dollar gas, a frivolous 80-mile round trip is not something lightly undertaken. Anyways, this one looks like it will be outstanding, although I understand it has ending issues as well. Daniel Day-Lewis is a hell of an actor, and I want to see it for him if nothing else. I don't know- there's a nagging feeling I have about this that it won't win the Oscar (TM).

Juno: The trailer I saw, months ago, made this look like it would be clever, witty, and somewhat heartwarming. This will most likely be a Netflixer. Its subject matter and its non-epic status make it a dark horse for me, though. Another hunch.

WINNER: The cynic in me screams Atonement, but the pragmatic, dispassionate observer in me keeps thinking it will be No Country for Old Men, which will make both of us happy because we are big Coen fans, even though they've been pissing us off for about six years now.


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

WINNER: I think this race comes down to the Coens and Anderson, with Schnabel as a dark horse. The other two films seem to me like they could have been directed by anybody more competent that Uwe Boll. Anyway, it seems like the Academy likes to fuck with people, and create these little headscratching situations, so I predict that Paul Thomas Anderson will win for There Will Be Blood, even though the Coens will have directed the Best Picture. This award will be presented first, though, so I claim the right to reverse these picks if the Coens win Best Director.


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)

WINNER:Of these, I've seen Depp and Mortensen's performances (Eastern Promises: another film which coulda/shoulda been nominated for Best Picture), and while Depp was pretty darn good, even singing, as was Mortensen- neither of them have a English policeman in the Russian Mafia's, or a Todd's Barbershop's Patron's chance. That leaves Jones, whom I'm sure gave the standard Tommy Lee Jones Performance®™, usually always worthy of consideration; Clooney, who usually always gives solid, likable, relaxed (even when he's experiencing deep emotional turmoil a la Syriana) perfs; and Day-Lewis, who is an "Act-or's Ac-tor". I'm picking Day-Lewis.


Cate Blanchett (Elizabeth: The Golden Age)
Julie Christie (Away From Her)
Marion Cotillard (La Vie en Rose)
Ellen Page (Juno)
Laura Linney (The Savages)

WINNER: I have seen none of these films, although I have La Vie Netflixed. I have a hunch, however, that Julie Christie will win- because it's been a while since we've heard anything from her, and she's playing someone with Alzheimers', things the Academy seems to always recognize, and on top of that she's looking pretty damn good these days for a woman her age.


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)

WINNER: Wait- how the hell did someone or something from Robert Ford get nominated? Does the Academy know about this? (I kid- that one looks interesting and is Netflix queued/Entourage cockblocked even as we speak) Anyways, despite the presence of Hoffmann, I believe that Bardem will take the statue, because his role as Chigurh generated the most buzz out of all these. Watch out for Holbrook- he might get a sympathy vote because he's probably not long for this world.


Cate Blanchett (I'm Not There)
Ruby Dee (American Gangster
Saoirse Ronan (Atonement)
Amy Ryan (Gone Baby Gone)
Tilda Swinton (Michael Clayton)

WINNER: For the record, I don't think Blanchett looks very damn much like 1965-era Bob Dylan at all, except for the curly wig. I might think different if I see the film, but judging by my previous experience with director Todd Haynes, I probably won't for quite some time. I keep seeing "Sandra" when I see "Ruby" Dee because I'm an idiot. I haven't seen Gangster, except for one clip with Dee, and she was good but I'm dubious. Moving on, nobody wants to have to pronounce Ronan's name more than once. Swinton, by the scenes I've seen (ooh, alliteration!), should probably win this but I'll bet Blanchett gets it because the Academy likes to reward stunt casting.


Surf's Up

WINNER: While I believe that Persepolis, which I still haven't seen yet and most likely won't until its release on DVD because I live in Bumfuck, Kentucky and can't afford to drive to Louisville just to see a film, will be the most enduring of the two nominees (I think that Surf's Up is there just out of courtesy to some producer or somesuch), the Academy will most likely give the statue to Brad Bird (who will always have my undying gratitude for The Incredibles, a flick I just can't get enough of) and Ratatouille, which may deserve it, I don't know. It's in the queue. Blame Drama and Turtle.

And that's all I'm callin'. I don't care (and I suspect you don't either unless you're in the industry or are going to school to try and be) about the "Best Sound Mixing" and "Best Original Score"-type categories.

So there you have it! We will see what we will see!

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