Speculating On The 80th Round Of Oscars®

Time to once again blindly (for the most part — having seen very little of the contending nominated films in the following categories) pick my picks for 80th Annual Academy Award winners. I didn’t bother with the Documentary categories this time around — figured I’d better my odds.

Performance by an actor in a leading role

  • George Clooney in “Michael Clayton”
  • Daniel Day-Lewis in “There Will Be Blood” – Everything that I’ve heard seems to indicate this is the performance to beat, and that likely it won’t be.
  • Johnny Depp in “Sweeney Todd The Demon Barber of Fleet Street”
  • Tommy Lee Jones in “In the Valley of Elah”
  • Viggo Mortensen in “Eastern Promises”

Performance by an actor in a supporting role

  • Casey Affleck in “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford”
  • Javier Bardem in “No Country for Old Men” – Having not seen the movie I’m already prepared to hand over the award to him from just what I saw of his performance in the trailer.
  • Philip Seymour Hoffman in “Charlie Wilson’s War”
  • Hal Holbrook in “Into the Wild”
  • Tom Wilkinson in “Michael Clayton”

Performance by an actress in a leading role

  • Cate Blanchett in “Elizabeth: The Golden Age”
  • Julie Christie in “Away from Her” – Shot in the dark here. Though my crush on Ellen Page wants me to lean toward her.
  • Marion Cotillard in “La Vie en Rose”
  • Laura Linney in “The Savages”
  • Ellen Page in “Juno”

Performance by an actress in a supporting role

  • Cate Blanchett in “I’m Not There” – Just the weird fact that she plays Bob Dylan — that, and they’re not going to give her the award for best actress.
  • Ruby Dee in “American Gangster”
  • Saoirse Ronan in “Atonement”
  • Amy Ryan in “Gone Baby Gone”
  • Tilda Swinton in “Michael Clayton”

Best animated feature film of the year

  • “Persepolis” (Sony Pictures Classics)
  • “Ratatouille” (Walt Disney) – This flick got a lot of nomination nods, which has me leaning toward picking it as the favorite. There’s also the fact that no one saw Persepolis — and Surf’s Up? Really?
  • “Surf’s Up” (Sony Pictures Releasing)

Achievement in art direction

  • “American Gangster” – Art Direction: Arthur Max, Set Decoration: Beth A. Rubino
  • “Atonement” – Art Direction: Sarah Greenwood, Set Decoration: Katie Spencer
  • “The Golden Compass” – Art Direction: Dennis Gassner, Set Decoration: Anna Pinnock
  • “Sweeney Todd The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” – Art Direction: Dante Ferretti, Set Decoration: Francesca Lo Schiavo
  • “There Will Be Blood” – Art Direction: Jack Fisk, Set Decoration: Jim Erickson – Nice period piece, and it doesn’t look half as dark and gray as Sweeny Todd.

Achievement in cinematography

  • “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford” – Roger Deakins
  • “Atonement” – Seamus McGarvey
  • “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly” – Janusz Kaminski
  • “No Country for Old Men” – Roger Deakins – If the Coen brothers know how to do anything in film, they know how to get the best out of their cinematographer.
  • “There Will Be Blood” – Robert Elswit

Achievement in costume design

  • “Across the Universe” – Albert Wolsky
  • “Atonement” – Jacqueline Durran
  • “Elizabeth: The Golden Age” – Alexandra Byrne
  • “La Vie en Rose” – Marit Allen
  • “Sweeney Todd The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” – Colleen Atwood – This seems to be about the right “period-piece” to usually clean up in this category.

Achievement in directing

  • “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 – To complete the set of bookends when it whens Best Picture.

Achievement in film editing

  • “The Bourne Ultimatum” – Christopher Rouse
  • “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly” – Juliette Welfling
  • “Into the Wild” – Jay Cassidy
  • “No Country for Old Men” – Roderick Jaynes – Nothing to really go on here other than gut feeling.
  • “There Will Be Blood” – Dylan Tichenor

Best foreign language film of the year

  • “Beaufort” – Israel
  • “The Counterfeiters” – Austria
  • “Katyń” – Poland
  • “Mongol” – Kazakhstan – The “Oh, we’re sorry we nominated Borat for best original screenplay last year” award.
  • “12” – Russia

Achievement in makeup

  • “La Vie en Rose” – Didier Lavergne and Jan Archibald
  • “Norbit” – Rick Baker and Kazuhiro Tsuji
  • “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” – Ve Neill and Martin Samuel – I’d love to root for Rick Baker since he’s been a hero of mine since I was a kid — but Norbit? The makeup in Pirates 3 did rock.

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original score)

  • “Atonement” – Dario Marianelli – flat out guess here.
  • “The Kite Runner” – Alberto Iglesias
  • “Michael Clayton” – James Newton Howard
  • “Ratatouille” – Michael Giacchino
  • “3:10 to Yuma” – Marco Beltrami

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song)

  • “Falling Slowly” from “Once” – Music and Lyric by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova
  • “Happy Working Song” from “Enchanted” – Music by Alan Menken, Lyric by Stephen Schwartz
  • “Raise It Up” from “August Rush” – Nominees to be determined
  • “So Close” from “Enchanted” – Music by Alan Menken, Lyric by Stephen Schwartz – This only counts as a third of a pick if I win since all I’m going on is that one of Enchanted‘s three nominations in this category will win.
  • “That’s How You Know” from “Enchanted” – Music by Alan Menken, Lyric by Stephen Schwartz

Best motion picture of the year

  • “Atonement” (Focus Features)
  • “Juno” (Fox Searchlight)
  • “Michael Clayton” (Warner Bros.)
  • “No Country for Old Men” (Miramax and Paramount Vantage)
  • “There Will Be Blood” (Paramount Vantage and Miramax) – I think I’m going with the odds on favorite here — playing it safe.

Achievement in sound editing

  • “The Bourne Ultimatum” – Karen Baker Landers and Per Hallberg
  • “No Country for Old Men” – Skip Lievsay
  • “Ratatouille” – Randy Thom and Michael Silvers
  • “There Will Be Blood” – Matthew Wood
  • “Transformers” – Ethan Van der Ryn and Mike Hopkins – Saw this film! Sound was great — especially incorporating the “transforming” sound effects from the old animated show.

Achievement in sound mixing

  • “The Bourne Ultimatum” – Scott Millan, David Parker and Kirk Francis
  • “No Country for Old Men” – Skip Lievsay, Craig Berkey, Greg Orloff and Peter Kurland
  • “Ratatouille” – Randy Thom, Michael Semanick and Doc Kane
  • “3:10 to Yuma” – Paul Massey, David Giammarco and Jim Stuebe
  • “Transformers” – Kevin O’Connell, Greg P. Russell and Peter J. Devlin – See above.

Achievement in visual effects

  • “The Golden Compass” – Michael Fink, Bill Westenhofer, Ben Morris and Trevor Wood
  • “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” – John Knoll, Hal Hickel, Charles Gibson and John Frazier
  • “Transformers” – Scott Farrar, Scott Benza, Russell Earl and John Frazier – Having the screenplay sitting at my desk for well over a year before the movie was released, I was skeptical about how they were going to pull this off. They pulled it off quite well.

Adapted screenplay

  • “Atonement” Screenplay by Christopher Hampton
  • “Away from Her” Written by Sarah Polley
  • “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly” Screenplay by Ronald Harwood
  • “No Country for Old Men” Written for the screen by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen – I’m think this is the “sorry we didn’t give you the Best Direction nod” consolation award.
  • “There Will Be Blood” Written for the screen by Paul Thomas Anderson

Original screenplay

  • “Juno” Written by Diablo Cody – an ex-stripper with her very first screenplay being nominated?! C’mon, that’s a “Hollywood” story worthy of having a screenplay written about it itself.
  • “Lars and the Real Girl” Written by Nancy Oliver
  • “Michael Clayton” Written by Tony Gilroy
  • “Ratatouille” Screenplay by Brad Bird, Story by Jan Pinkava, Jim Capobianco, Brad Bird
  • “The Savages” Written by Tamara Jenkins

Those are my picks. But, I do reserve the right to mix ’em up a bit if I happen to actually see anymore of the nominated films before February 24th. Let’s hope the writers strike is settled before then.

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One Response to “Speculating On The 80th Round Of Oscars®”

  1. Dan Taylor Blog Says:

    […] on January 22nd I speculated on the winners for the 80th annual Academy Awards. Here’s a quick rundown on what I picked with a few last […]

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