No Country for Old Men
Into the Wild
There Will Be Blood
I don't want Atonement, so that's wishful thinking. Juno's more suited to the screenplay categories and it's too Little Miss Sunshinish, i'm hoping for variety. American Gangster is the only one of the ten pictures being considered (Diving Bell, Sweeny Todd, Juno, Atonement, and Charlie Wilson's War are the other 5) that killed at the box office and it's good to have a picture that connected to the general public on the list. In fact, I'll go as far as to say that if American Gangster isn't on the list, there's no reason for the average American to follow the Oscars. No Country and There Will Be Blood are locks. Into the Wild, I think is in. I'll concede Michael Clayton even though I don't know what a good #5 is because a) I like the film a lot and feel it transcended its genre and b) George Clooney's star power shouldn't be underestimated
Sidney Lumet, Before the Devil Knows Your Dead
Ridley Scott, American Gangster
Joe Wright, Atonement
PT Anderson, There Will Be Blood
J & E Coen, No Country
Runner-Up: Mike Nicholls, Charlie Wilson's War
Ok, I'm starting to get more on the wishful thinking list than accurate predictions list.
I'm hoping against Schnaebel because I don't really want a guy to be nominated out of obligation to include a foreign director, which is the way the sendiment is seeming to run, unfortunately. Sean Penn, I'm gonna say no, because he's very vocal about his opinions and he'd probably show up with a picket sign and not be much fun at the Oscar party. PT Anderson and J&E Coen are critical darlings. Jason Reitman or Joe Wright are both decent choices. Mike Nicholls and Tim Burton are directors who are well-respected and people would be happy to see them get more recognition, but honestly, what could be cooler than 83 year old Sidney Lumet getting the nod. Lumet is my super high-risk prediction.
Daniel Day-Lewis, There Will Be Blood
Jonny Depp, Sweeny Todd
George Clooney, Michael Clayton
Emile Hirsch, Into the Wild
Denzel Washington, American Gangster
Runner-Up: Virgo Mortgensen, Eastern Promises
The first four were easy. Clooney's been on so many lists and has gotten so much acclaim thus far, he's hard to deny. In truth, it's a good and not a great performance, but it's a great movie and Clooney's selfless enough on screen to let his superior costars shine, so I'm happy with it. Day-Lewis in There Will Be Blood is going to win. It has everything going for and Day-Lewis is like the Terrence Malick of actors, his films are infrequent but they all blow you away. Depp is one of the great actors yet to be honored. EW didn't predict Hirsch but the guy's been great in two films this year (Alpha Dog) and he anchored the film and carried it into the best picture race, on his shoulders alone. For the fifth slot, the debate between Ryan Gosling (my personal favorite), Washington, and Mortgensen was so close to call. I did see Eastern Promises and Mortgensen is great in it, but is it best actor material? I was inches away from putting Washington. He also was very good in Great Debaters but Washington's dark side won him an Oscar in Training Day. For an actor to get nominated two years in a row isn't that uncommon (see Jonny Depp 2003-2004 or Judi Dench 2005-2006), and if anything Gosling is fresh in voters' minds. It's a very unique performance and I'm hoping for it, but I think it will be Mortgensen or Washington and I'm gonna go Washington just because I think it's an Oscar-caliber performance.
Julie Christie, Away from Her
Marie Courtland, Le Vie en Rose
Kiera Knighlty, Atonement
Ellen Page, Juno
Angelina Jolie, A Mighty Heart
Runner-Up: Cate Blanchett, Elizabeth and the Golden Age
Christie and Courtland are locks and Ellen Page is enough of a crticial darling to stay in there. Knightly will get her second nom and that's good because how many young actress out there could handle the weight of material like Jane Austen and Arthurian legends? Let's crown this girl. As for the fifth, I was initially thinking Blanchett and I saw that film with positive impressions of her, but it's kind of the equivalent of awarding a sequel best picture. Jolie's done good performances lately in Good Shephard as well and she's enough of a tabloid sensation, so let's go with her.
Best Supporting Actor:
Tom Wilkinson, Michael Clayton
Tommy Lee Jones, No Country for Old Men
Javier Bardem, No Country for Old Men
Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Charlie Wilson's War
Casey Affleck, Assassination of Jesse James
Runner-Up: Hal Holbrook, Into the Wild
Charlie Wilson's War should get something in the top 6, so let's hope it's Hoffman. He won a best actor prize but he's always been a supporting man, so it'd be nice to see him compete in that category for once. Wilkinson (my personal favorite), Bardem and Affleck have all been in the running all season long. It's a shame that Assassination of Jesse James isn't getting more buzz in other categories but oh well. For the fifth spot, Tommy Lee Jones who hasn't gotten an Oscar nomination since the early '90s, deserves a nod (and the career resurgence that it will bring) so badly. He is still a relevant and fantastic actor and his performance in No Country, remorseful, delicate, and even-tempered, was better than the showy role that won him the Oscar in The Fugitive.
Best supporting actress:
Cate Blanchett, I'm Not There
Tilda Swenson, Michael Clayton
Amy Ryan, Gone Baby Gone
Ruby Dee, American Gangster
Vanessa Redgrave, Atonement
Runner-Up: Julia Roberts, Charlie Wilson's War
Roberts' nom is just wishful thinking. I miss the 90s. Ryan, Blanchett and Swenson are so in. Redgrave is the kind of veteran actress who merits that kind of consideration.
Before the Devil Knows You're Dead
Runner-Up: Lars and the Real Girl
There's kind of a void after the first four. I have not seen Ratatouille but I know it's up there on some critics' lists, and Before the Devil Knows You're Dead I'd want to see on directing rather than writing, but I'd settle for writing if I could.
There Will Be Blood
No Country for Old Men
Into the Wild
Charlie Wilson's War
Runner-Up: Diving Bell and the Butterfly
The love for Aaron Sorkin will ensure that Charlie Wilson's War will get into one of the top 8 categories, if Hoffman and Nicholls don't score enough love. Into the Wild, Atonement and There Will be Blood are all well-known books which makes the film hard to live up to
I have no idea