AWARDS

Ken's 2008 Oscar Predictions

by
February 22, 2008

The Oscars

With the Oscars arriving this Sunday, it's time to play a little prediction game. As it stands, Alex and I will be dropping off our predictions and a few other sites around the web will be doing the same (check out Alex's here). There's really nothing to win, besides maybe some respect, but that's it. I think I have a pretty good grasp on the winners, and while there isn't any prize, the honor bestowed upon the winner will be remembered all year. The 80th Annual Academy Awards air this Sunday, February 24th, so check back afterwards to see who got the closest.

2007 was a great year for movies, just look at this incredible list! I'm probably more excited for this year's Academy Awards then I have ever been. Maybe because I have seen more films last year than any year before, or maybe because I have loved more movies on this years Oscar nominated list than ever before. I get so excited for the awards that I even throw a party that night. Friends dress up like a character from any movie ever, sometimes they even come as an item from a movie. Last year we had a guy come dressed as a bag of chips from Nacho Libre. We have contests and prizes and it's great fun.

This year the added bonus is a competition between Alex and myself and other websites. Who can guess the most correct off of the Oscars nominated list? Make your own list and see how it compares to mine and Alex's, then check back and see how you did. On with the Oscars!!

Ken's Oscar predictions are highlighted in red in the nominations list with a brief reasoning for the choice included below each category.

PICTURE
Atonement
Juno
Michael Clayton
No Country for Old Men
There Will Be Blood

This isn't just what I think should win, this is my absolute favorite film of the year! Masterfully made and a joy to watch. I have seen it twice and loved it both times. In my opinion There Will Be Blood would be the film to give No Country for Old Men a run for its money. But I have a feeling that Michael Clayton could also be the Academy's second choice.

DIRECTOR
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

They are already the best directors in Hollywood. They are consistent and always make a great film. As much as I loved PTA for There Will Be Blood and Tony Gilroy for Michael Clayton, I was an absolute fanatic over the Coen Brothers for No Country for Old Men. I didn't and won't get to see The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, which I heard was amazing, so I won't be able to comment on Julian Schnabel.

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

I thought Daniel Day-Lewis was absolutely amazing in his performance in There Will Be Blood. Even though George Clooney and Johnny Depp were great, this should be a hands-down victory for 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

As of now the only one of these films I have seen is Juno. However, I plan on seeing La Vie en Rose, The Savages, and Away From Her before Sunday night. I can't say much, but from what I have read and heard, I'm going with Julie Christie. She better watch out for Ellen Page though, I think she could surprise everyone with a win.

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

This is should be another hands-down win, although, for me, this is the strongest group of supporting actors I have seen in the last few years. Affleck, Hoffman and Wilkinson were top notch and absolutely perfect. Holbrook was also great but he just didn't have enough screen time to warrant a nomination in my opinion. Bardem's performance is second only to Daniel Day-Lewis.

SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Cate Blanchet - I'm Not There
Ruby Dee - American Gangster
Saoirse Ronan - Atonement
Amy Ryan - Gone Baby Gone
Tilda Swinton - Michael Clayton

Gone Baby Gone was one of my favorite films of last year. Amy Ryan was perfect even though I walked away disgusted by her character. The fact that I felt that way is a credit to her performance. Cate Blanchet is a favorite of mine that might steal the Oscar, but would be just as deserving. I can't believe that Tilda Swinton was even nominated. Michael Clayton was wonderful, but I always forget that she was even in it.

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Juno - Diablo Cody
Lars and the Real Girl - Nancy Oliver
Michael Clayton - Tony Gilroy
Ratatouille - Brad Bird
The Savages - Tamara Jenkins

Another clear winner in my opinion. What a wonderful story this was! Michael Clayton or Ratatouille could very well surprise us and win, but I think this one is in the bag for Juno.

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Atonement - Christopher Hampton
Away from Her - Sarah Polley
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly - Ronald Harwood
No Country for Old Men - Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
There Will Be Blood - Paul Thomas Anderson

Although I haven't read the book, from what I hear it is a dead on match. It was a book that translated extremely well to film. This is high on my list of books to check out eventually.

ANIMATED FEATURE
Persepolis
Ratatouille
Surf's Up

I have to apologize to Alex for bashing how much he hyped up Surf's Up before he saw it. Although he doesn't care for it now, I just recently saw it and didn't think it was all that bad. Persepolis is another one I have yet to see before Sunday night although I heard it's fantastic. Even without seeing Persepolis, I have to give this one to Ratatouille. It was one of my top of the year and I think it was absolutely brilliant.

ART DIRECTION
American Gangster
Atonement
The Golden Compass
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
There Will Be Blood

Of all of these films, I think it comes down to Atonement and Sweeney Todd. Atonement might win, but I have to go with my favorite on this one. Each scene in Sweeney Todd, while maybe not as detailed as Atonement, was so creatively put together. It was very unique and vivid. Might be a close race here.

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Beaufort - Israel
The Counterfeiters - Austria
Katyn - Poland
Mongol - Kazakhstan
12 - Russia

I'll have seen this by Oscar night, but since it's the only one out of this bunch, I'll just go with it.

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
There Will Be Blood - Robert Elswit

To be honest, I know it's going to be either Assassination of Jesse James, No Country for Old Men, or There Will Be Blood. I loved them all so much I'll be happy with any of them. I do favor Assassination of Jesse James a bit because of the overall grandeur Roger Deakins is able to portray.

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
No End in Sight
Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience
Sicko
Taxi to the Dark Side
War/Dance

I was actually lucky enough to see all the nominated documentary features except for Operation Homecoming. As tired as I am of seeing documentaries blasting the Bush administration, No End in Sight was able get across so much information while at the same time still be really enjoyable. Taxi to the Dark Side was interesting, but repetitive. I'm sick of Sicko and Michael Moore, his documentaries are starting to seem more like emotional pleas. War/Dance was great and could be the major competition for No End in Sight.

DOCUMENTARY SHORT
Freeheld - Cynthia Wade and Vanessa Roth
La Corona (The Crown) - Amanda Micheli and Isabel Vega
Salim Baba - Tim Sternberg and Francisco Bello
Sari's Mother - James Longley

Didn't see any of these, this is just my best guess.

ANIMATED SHORT FILM
I Met the Walrus - Josh Raskin
Madame Tutli-Putli Chris Lavis and Maciek Szczerbowski
Même Les Pigeons Vont au Paradis (Even Pigeons Go to Heaven) - Samuel Tourneux and Simon Vanesse
My Love (Moya Lyubov) - Alexander Petrov
Peter & the Wolf - Suzie Templeton and Hugh Welchman

This was a wonder to watch. I have never seen stop-motion look more fluid and pretty then in Peter & the Wolf. Madame Tutli-Putli and Même Les Pigeons Vont au Paradis (Even Pigeons Go to Heaven) were both visually stunning, but I though lacked in story. I was only able to watch the trailer for I Met the Walrus, but wasn't that impressed.

LIVE-ACTION SHORT FILM
At Night - Christian E. Christiansen and Louise Vesth
Il Supplente (The Substitute) - Andrea Jublin
Le Mozart des Pickpockets (The Mozart of Pickpockets) - Philippe Pollet-Villard
Tanghi Argentini - Guido Thys and Anja Daelemans
The Tonto Woman - Daniel Barber and Matthew Brown

This one sounded good, but I haven't seen any of them yet. I'll be going with my wife to a local theater that is showing them all in one sitting. At least I'll get to check them out before Sunday night.

VISUAL EFFECTS
The Golden Compass
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
Transformers

I think this is a no-brainer. Anyone disagree?

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

Funny how it always comes down to Sweeney Todd or Atonement. Could you pick two more different films? As complex as I'm sure the costumes in Atonement were, I have to give Sweeney Todd the nod for creativity and uniqueness again.

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
There Will Be Blood - Dylan Tichenor

In case you don't know, Roderick Jaynes = The Coen Brothers. As much as I want The Bourne Ultimatum to win, I think No Country for Old Men is going to take this one as well.

SOUND MIXING
The Bourne Ultimatum
No Country for Old Men
Ratatouille
3:10 to Yuma
Transformers

SOUND EDITING
The Bourne Ultimatum
No Country for Old Men
Ratatouille
There Will Be Blood
Transformers

I'm going to have give this one and Sound Mixing to The Bourne Ultimatum. Although I do think that No Country for Old Men or Transformers could very well take these awards, I remember clearly loving the audio aspect of The Bourne Ultimatum.

ORIGINAL SCORE
Dario Marianelli - Atonement
Alberto Iglesias - The Kite Runner
James Newton Howard - Michael Clayton
Michael Giacchino - Ratatouille
Marco Beltrami - 3:10 to Yuma

If there is one area in film that I need to expand my appreciation for, it's the score. I'm going with Atonement just because it sounds like a good choice.

ORIGINAL SONG
"Falling Slowly" - Once, Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova
"Happy Working Song" - Enchanted, Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz
"Raise It Up" - August Rush
"So Close" - Enchanted, Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz
"That's How You Know" - Enchanted, Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz

The music from Enchanted was great and fun, but I wouldn't necessarily listen to it over and over in my car. "Falling Slowly" and the entire Once soundtrack is exactly what I am listening to in my car right now. I loved the movie, loved the soundtrack, and absolutely loved that song. I'll be disappointed if it doesn't win.

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

Don't care if the makeup was great in Norbit, I have to vote against it because of how bad that movie was. Plus, the make up in Pirates was outstanding.

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  • I think your prediction for Makeup might change after watching La Vie en Rose. :-)
  • Chris
    Pretty goo picks. It is so hard because Blood and Old Men are so good that you want either one to win. I loved Juno but i kinda hope Ratatouille takes best screenplay, I thought the film was superb.
  • I don't see Juno as that original.
  • Mike
    I agree Transformers is a no-brainer. I sat through it three times, and it sure wasn't the writing that kept me coming back.
  • I am still with my predictions that I wrote a month ago 😉 and we will see what will happen 😉 http://blog.myspace.com/Shero_Rauf
  • Joseph- You were right! I finished "La Vie en Rose" about 2 hours before the awards and I was blown away. A truly amazing film! I changed my vote for make-up and best actress on the ballot I filled out last night in favor of "La Vie en Rose". Wish I could have changed my votes on this online prediction though.

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