I've never done this before. Yikes!
Best motion picture of the year
“No Country for Old Men”
“There Will Be Blood”
WILL WIN: I’m calling it for No Country. People are wondering whether TWBB will effectively split the dark, male film vote, but No Country just feels right.
SHOULD WIN: Not Juno or Atonement. Well, I haven’t seen Atonement, so dismissing it so readily seems like narrow-mindedness. And it is! I really find it hard to get worked up about the film and I disliked the book so vigorously that it’s probably ruined for me anway.
PERSONAL SNUB: The fact that Zodiac was so thoroughly snubbed still has me baffled. Are Academy Members that forgetful? True, removing Juno or Atonement and adding a three-hour serial killer film would only heighten the dark masculinity of this Best-Picture line-up, but it deserves to be in there.
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
WILL WIN: The fact that the Coens are finally giving us a two-for-one deal makes me hopeful for them.
SHOULD WIN: I really don’t mind, in this category. While I don’t feel Juno is a best picture contender, I think Reitman did a good job. There Will Be Blood still hasn’t opened here (my initial enthusiasm is waned slightly, stop making me wait this long for things I want!) but I respect PT Anderson enormously, Michael Clayton and The Diving Bell were both very masterfully put-together, so I’m not too fussed about who takes it..
PERSONAL SNUB: Todd Haynes, for I’m Not There’s dazzling audacity, playful spirit and enormous scope. Having only seen the film a meagre two times, I’m impatient to see it again.
Performance by an actor in a leading role
George Clooney in “Michael Clayton”
Daniel Day-Lewis in “There Will Be Blood”
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”
WILL WIN: Daniel Day-Lewis.
SHOULD WIN: I like Day-Lewis, despite not yet seeing TWBB, but Tommy-Lee Jones broke my heart in The Valley of Elah. A surprise win is not on the cards, but if it had to be anyone else, I’d pick TLJ.
PERSONAL SNUB: Chris Cooper, in the vastly unseen Breach (if it’s out on dvd and you haven’t yet watched it, do so!)
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”
Philip Seymour Hoffman in “Charlie Wilson’s War”
Hal Holbrook in “Into the Wild”
Tom Wilkinson in “Michael Clayton”
WILL WIN: There’s no point even tossing a coin on this one, friend-o. Javier Bardem’s oddly coiffured pyschopath has this one locked up.
SHOULD WIN: Cry category-fraud all you want, Casey Affleck still deserves to be recognised for his weak-willed Robert Ford. Affleck plays him with such a twitchy neurosis that is such at odds with the winsome stillness of the rest of the film that it stays in the mind for weks after the fact.
PERSONAL SNUB: Having finally snuffled my way through The Diving-Bell And The Butterfly, I can’t understand why Max von Sydow is getting so little attention. In two short scenes, he completely reverses our sympathies, bringing pathos and humour to the stock, cantankerous old-father role. Watching old men crying, especially legends like von Sydow, is always discomforting, but when it’s done with such abandon and pain, it becomes nearly unwatchable.
Performance by an actress in a leading role
Cate Blanchett in “Elizabeth: The Golden Age”
Julie Christie in “Away from Her”
Marion Cotillard in “La Vie en Rose”
Laura Linney in “The Savages”
Ellen Page in “Juno”
WILL WIN: Julie Christie. I feel it in my fingers…I feel it in my toes…
SHOULD WIN: Laura Linney’s not as showy, as snarky, as shouty as some of the other nominees (and she’d never be caught dead saying the words “fo shizz”). A Christie win would be okay with me, however.
PERSONAL SNUB: Anamaria Marcina. I came out of 4 Months feeling very uncomfortable. It took a little while to process it, but Marcina's peformance helped a lot. Sympathetic, frustrating, utterly believable - and that look at the end (only rivalled by Jude Quinn's slow smile in the taxi).
Performance by an actress in a supporting role
Cate Blanchett in “I’m Not There”
Ruby Dee in “American Gangster”
Saoirse Ronan in “Atonement”
Amy Ryan in “Gone Baby Gone”
Tilda Swinton in “Michael Clayton”
WILL WIN: This is the hardest acting category to predict, I think. At one Amy Ryan looked set for a sweep, but in the meantime Ruby Dee, Blanchett and Swinton have all garnered major prizes. I’m going to go out on a limb and say Blanchett‘s going to take it. The Academy wants to award her, and they’re definitely not going to go for Elizabeth, so this could be her night.
SHOULD WIN: I’ve only seen two of these, so I’m not really at liberty to say. I enjoyed both of them (Blanchett and Swinton), but as a whole I preferred I’m Not There.
PERSONAL SNUB: Kelly McDonald, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Imealda Staunton, Marisa Tomei. Hell, even Cheryl Hines in Waitress.
Best Original Screenplay
"Lars and the Real Girl"
WILL WIN: I’ll be astounded if Juno doesn’t get this one.
SHOULD WIN: Ratatouille scores points for Anton Ego’s speech about criticism, The Savages for the brother-sister rapport, but neither are enough to push them over the edge for me. I’d probably favour The Savages over anything else, though.
PERSONAL SNUB: 4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days.
Best Adapted Screenplay
"Away From Her"
"Diving Bell and Butterfly"
"No Country For Old Men"
"There Will Be Blood"
WILL WIN: This is a tough one. I could go the way of the tide and say No Country again (you can’t stop what’s coming, after all), but I’m saying Diving Bell.
SHOULD WIN: Away From Her. I’m always impressed when writers can sketch out a feature-length film from a slim short story.
PERSONAL SNUB: Zodiac. Gah! I was watching All The President’s Men a few weeks ago and I was astounded at the similarities between the two films. Makes you wanna work at a news desk in 1970s America, on the trail of a serial/Watergate buggers.
Best Foreign Film
"The Counterfeiters" -Austria
WILL WIN: The Counterfeiters, because it’s the only one I’d heard of before the nominees were in.
SHOULD WIN: *tumbleweed*
PERSONAL SNUB: It’s so obvious I feel stupid even typing it; 4 Months, 3 Weeks 2 Days.
WILL WIN: Ratatouille.
SHOULD WIN: Ratatouille/Persepolis. NO MORE PENGUINS, OKAY? YOU’RE JUST ENCOURAGING THEM WITH THIS NOMINATION.
PERSONAL SNUB: *tumbleweed*
"Assassination of Jesse James" -Deakins
"Diving Bell and Butterfly" -Kaminski
"No Country For Old Men" -Deakins
"There Will Be Blood" -Elswit
WILL WIN: Will the Deakins double nod half his chances? Probably. It’s a pity, he’s an interesting guy and a great photographer. I’ll say…Kaminski.
SHOULD WIN: Deakins, but I’m not sure which film. Both left lasting impressions.
PERSONAL SNUB: Edward Lachman, on I’m Not There. Heath Ledger sitting in the blue-romanticism of a New York coffeehouse, the dusty orange of Riddle, Marcus Carl Franklin solemnly walking though the dark deep blue of the ocean, even the stark black and white of the opening.
American Gangster -Max
The Golden Compass -Gassner
Sweeney Todd -Ferretti
There Will Be Blood -Fisk
WILL WIN: I honestly have no idea. Fisk?
SHOULD WIN: For all it's Whovian charm, The Golden Compass. A flawed film for sure, for I adored parts of it.
PERSONAL SNUB: I know I've said it a million times, but where the hell is Zodiac? That cluttered newspaper office, with its used coffee mugs, stacks of paper, retro phones... I think I have some kind of office fetish?
Across the Universe -Wolsky
Elizabeth the Golden Age -Byrne
Sweeney Todd -Atwood
La Vie En Rose -Marit Allen
WILL WIN: Durran.
SHOULD WIN: None of these particularly excite me, tbh.
PERSONAL SNUB: Okay, this is the only category that I’d have loved a Juno nod. The clothes suited the characters perfectly and I really, really want that slinky tee.
Achievement in sound editing
“The Bourne Ultimatum”
“No Country for Old Men”
“There Will Be Blood”
WILL WIN: I still don't understand this category, but I think No Country will do it again.
SHOULD WIN: Come back to me when I have time to read some book explaining the logistics of Sound Editing. I swear I'll get around to it one day.
PERSONAL SNUB: See above.
Best Film Editing
The Bourne Ultimatum -Rouse
The Diving Bell and Butterfly -Welfling
Into the Wild -Cassidy
No Country For Old Men -"Roderick Jaynes" (i.e. The Coen Bros)
There Will Be Blood -Riegel & Tichenor
WILL WIN: "Roderick Jaynes"
SHOULD WIN: It nearly made me throw up, but the BOURne uLtiMAAATum!
PERSONAL SNUB: Jindabyne. To be honest, I could probably put this film into every Personal Snub, but read this piece and tell me it shouldn't have at least gotten this.
3:10 To Yuma -Beltrami
The Kite Runner -Iglesias
Michael Clayton -Howard
WILL WIN: Atonement...clackclackclack.
SHOULD WIN: Haven't heard most of them.
PERSONAL SNUB: Jonny Greenwood, biznitches. It's [probably extremely intrusive when watched in the context of the whole film, but sometimes that works. Think Philip Glass in The Hours. Think Bernard Herrman in, well, anything. Think Jaws!
Best Original Song
"Falling Slowly" Once
"Happy Working Song" Enchanted
"So Close" Enchanted
"That's How You Know" Enchanted
"Raise It Up" August Rush
WILL WIN: Hollywood coes over Once and rewards “Falling Slowly”.
SHOULD WIN: I know I’m a disgrace to my country and to my reputation as somebody who likes music, but I prefer Enchanter’s “That’s How You Know” than the Once duet. Earnest singer-songwriters, especially if they’re named Glen Hansard, just don’t do it for me.
PERSONAL SNUB: Kate Bush. She probably wouldn’t have turned up, but still