Tuesday, January 22, 2008

No Nominations For Old Men - except Hal Holbrook

The Academy Award nominations were announced this morning, and oddly enough, I'm fairly happy with the results. Of my five favorite 2007 films, a whopping three of them are nominated for Best Picture (sadly, Once was expectedly ignored, garnering just as many nominations as Norbit).

What follows are the nominations in the six major categories, as well as the results of my predictions yesterday. A complete list can be found here. (And no, I wasn't kidding about that Norbit/Once thing - the films received one nomination each.)

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

Prediction results: 4/5. My five favorite 2007 films, by the way, are Once, Blood, Clayton, Eastern Promises and No Country (in that order, I think). I had Into the Wild slotted instead of Clayton.
Early favorite: No Country For Old Men.

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

Prediction results: 4/5. I am at a loss to explain why, but the Academy tends to cream over writer-director-hack extraordinaire Paul Haggis (Crash). His Elah was a box office disaster, but I guess they threw him a bone with Jones's out-of-nowhere nomination. I called Into the Wild's Emile Hirsch in that spot (Wild was largely ignored, one of the morning's big surprises).
Early favorite: Day-Lewis.

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

Prediction results: 3/5. Blanchett is a minor shocker, because the film was almost universally despised. And I believe she is the first woman to be nominated in an original film and its sequel, as she also got the nod for 1998's Elizabeth. I had Keira Knightley and Amy Adams (admittedly a stretch) instead of Blanchett and Linney.
Early favorite: Page.

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
Philip Seymour Hoffman, Charlie Wilson's War
Tom Wilkinson, Michael Clayton

Prediction results: 4/5. I assumed the Academy would attempt to reward older, Oscarless people, so I thought Max von Sydow would slide in (he has only received one nom, for 1987's Pelle the Conqueror). Instead, Hoffman picked up his second nomination.
Early favorite: Bardem.

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

Prediction results: 5/5. Back sufficiently patted.
Early favorite: Ryan.

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

Prediction results: 2/5. Jason Reitman was born on the exact same day as my younger brother and sister, which makes me hate him even more. See, I have this long-simmering beef with the guy dating back to 1989, when he turned in a truly dreadful one-line performance in his father's Ghostbusters II. Being practically the same age, and a wannabe actor at the time, I seethed with jealousy that he got to be in such a huge movie solely because of family connections. I coulda done better! I woulda done better! ... Anyhoo, now he's nominated for Best Director, and I actually really dug his last film, Thank You For Smoking. I hate that asshole. For the record, I only called the Coens and Anderson, while lobbing whiffs on Sean Penn, Sidney Lumet and Joe Wright. (Nobody is this beautiful and perfect all the time.)
Early favorite: Le Coens.

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