Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Oscar Watch: Some Early Thoughts

Usually around this time, I like to compile a list of my main category predictions as they stand now. This is the time when a number of films that will prove to be major contenders begin to be released. I plan to go far more into detail and analyze each and every category as awards season approaches. Many of the films and performances listed below will likely become absolute non-contenders by the time the holidays roll around (I predicted multiple nominations for "The Human Stain" in 2003 and "The History Boys" last year). For the moment, I will offer my preliminary guesses on the five nominees in each of the eight main categories, listed in alphabetical order. A lot of these predictions are not actual expectations, but rather hopeful guesses at this point based on the lack of other more certifiable candidates. I welcome any feedback.

Best Picture
American Gangster
In the Valley of Elah
No Country for Old Men

Best Director
Ridley Scott, American Gangster
Joe Wright, Atonement
David Cronenberg, Eastern Promises
Joel and Ethan Coen, No Country for Old Men
Paul Thomas Anderson, There Will Be Blood

Best Actor
Denzel Washington, American Gangster
Brad Pitt, The Assassination of Jesse James
James McAvoy, Atonement
Tommy Lee Jones, In the Valley of Elah
Daniel Day-Lewis, There Will Be Blood

Best Actress
Keira Knightley, Atonement
Julie Christie, Away from Her
Cate Blanchett, The Golden Age
Ellen Page, Juno
Marion Cotillard, La Vie en Rose

Best Supporting Actor
Casey Affleck, The Assassination of Jesse James
Hal Holbrook, Into the Wild
Javier Bardem, No Country for Old Men
Tommy Lee Jones, No Country for Old Men
Benicio Del Toro, Things We Lost in the Fire

Best Supporting Actress (really no idea on this one)
Saoirse Ronan, Atonement
Julia Roberts, Charlie Wilson's War
Samantha Morton, The Golden Age
Cate Blanchett, I'm Not There
Jennifer Jason Leigh, Margot at the Wedding

Best Original Screenplay
The Darjeeling Limited
Knocked Up
The Savages

Best Adapted Screenplay
American Gangster
The Assassination of Jesse James
In the Valley of Elah
No Country for Old Men

Yeah, on second thought, you can completely discount the Best Supporting Actor and especially Best Supporting Actress predictions. It's way too early to tell. With the exception of Affleck, Bardem, and Blanchett, I cannot really see any of my other predicted nominees getting in. As far as Best Original Screenplay goes, there is no way that five comedies are making up the list. And "Once" (which I know is not quite a comedy, but it is lighter) for Best Picture? Wishful thinking on my part. Thoughts?

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