Friday, January 19, 2007

Oscar Predictions

*= actual nominees

Best Picture:

- * Babel
- * The Departed
- Dreamgirls
- * Little Miss Sunshine
- * The Queen

Alternate: * Letters from Iwo Jima

This seems to be the line-up that most people are predicting- perhaps Little Miss Sunshine and Babel weren't too secure before, but after their respective PGA and Globe wins, it'd be hard for anything else to wedge itself in. I'd say, actually, that if anything's going it'll be The Queen- doubtful, though. Too bad Children of Men never got any traction here. Not that anyone tried to help it.

Best Director:
- * Clint Eastwood, Letters From Iwo Jima
- * Stephen Frears, The Queen
- * Paul Greengrass, United 93
- * Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu, Babel
- * Martin Scorsese, The Departed

Alternate: Alfonso Cuaron, Children of Men

Am I being too hasty dismissing Bill Condon (Dreamgirls)? Perhaps. But for some reason I don't think he'll get in- Dreamgirls isn't quite as popular as everyone expected (even with it's Globe win) and it's hardly the direction making everyone go ga-ga over it. Scorsese and Innaritu are the only locks, if you ask me- Frears is a strange sleeper who no one's raving over but appears without fail. Greengrass and Eastwood are the most obvious "auteurs" to slip in here- can both make it?

Best Actor:
- Leonardo DiCaprio, The Departed
- * Ryan Gosling, Half Nelson
- * Peter O'Toole, Venus
- * Will Smith, The Pursuit of Happyness
- * Forest Whitaker, The Last King of Scotland

Alternate: Sacha Baron Cohen, Borat

Missed: * DiCaprio in Blood Diamond

O'Toole, Whitaker and Smith (why? I mean I haven't seen it but I just don't GET him) are locks, DiCaprio might get in for the wrong film (Blood Diamond) or (please god no) get shafted in a vote split. And Gosling... well, there isn't really anyone bar Cohen who could get in here, and that just seems off. And, shockingly, Gosling is actually deserving!

Best Actress:
- * Penelope Cruz, Volver
- * Judi Dench, Notes on a Scandal
- * Helen Mirren, The Queen
- * Meryl Streep, The Devil Wears Prada
- * Kate Winslet, Little Children

Alternate: Maggie Gyllenhaal, Sherrybaby

Yawn. This is like, the most obvious line-up ever. None of them are bad performances (though I've yet to see Dench)- in fact, they're all very good, especially Cruz, but please, I need variety! I feed on it!

Best Actor In A Supporting Role:
- * Alan Arkin, Little Miss Sunshine
- * Jackie Earle Haley, Little Children
- * Djimon Hounsou, Blood Diamond
- * Eddie Murphy, Dreamgirls
- Jack Nicholson, The Departed

Alternate: * Mark Wahlberg, The Departed

The most wide-open acting category- anyone could really get in here, although Murphy is pretty much locked up. Otherwise, there's major doubts. Is Nicholson really a sure bet (he sure doesn't deserve it)? Will they get over Haley's creepy character? Did Arkin have enough to do? Is Hounsou really going to get nominated again? Or will they go for Wahlberg (smart and memorable), or Affleck, or Pitt? Who knows. I do my best.

Best Actress In A Supporting Role:
- * Adriana Barraza, Babel
- * Cate Blanchett, Notes on a Scandal
- * Abigail Breslin, Little Miss Sunshine
- * Jennifer Hudson, Dreamgirls
- * Rinko Kikuchi, Babel

Alternate: Emily Blunt, The Devil Wears Prada

Hudson is definite. Blanchett is pretty much too. At least one of the Babel ladies will make it, though most likely both. Cutie Breslin is most vulnerable- can Blunt snatch it? I wouldn't mind either way.

Best Adapted Screenplay:
- * Sacha Baron Cohen, Peter Baynham, Anthony Hines and Dan Mazer, Borat
- * Todd Field and Tom Perrotta, Little Children
- * Patrick Marber, Notes on a Scandal
- Aline Brosh McKenna, The Devil Wears Prada
- * William Monahan, The Departed

Alternate: Jason Reitman, Thank You For Smoking

Missed: * Children of Men

God knows why Little Children is in here, but it is. The Devil Wears Prada strikes me as a bit unbalanced even with all it's sassiness, yet it seems a sure thing- as does The Departed. Borat barely seems to have a screenplay (surely it's improvised mostly?), but I'd be a fool to let my dislike of it guide me. As for Notes... well, it's more "of-the-moment" than Thank You For Smoking, which doesn't really seem to have that many fans. But who knows.

Best Original Screenplay:
- Pedro Almodovar, Volver
- * Michael Arndt, Little Miss Sunshine
- * Guillermo Arriaga, Babel
- Paul Greengrass, United 93
- * Peter Morgan, The Queen

Alternate: Zach Helm, Stranger than Fiction

Missed: * Guillermo del Toro, Pan's Labyrinth; and * Iris Yamashita, Letters From Iwo Jima

No one seems to love Stranger than Fiction as much the actors apparently did, but it's still a possibility. The Queen, Babel and especially Little Miss Sunshine are surely locks, and I'm hedging my bets on the harrowing United 93 and the warm if wobbly Volver.

Best Animated Film
- * Cars
- * Happy Feet
- * Monster House

Alternate: A Scanner Darkly

Cars' Globe win and it's Pixar tag pretty much lock it up for a nod, if not the win too. Happy Feet is a cutie-pie and pretty much locked too, and I'd surprised if the offbeat and un-child-suitable A Scanner Darkly can beat the buoyant Monster House. I've seen Flushed Away in places but hardly anyone seemed to notice it's existance (and rightfully so).

Best Documentary:
- * An Inconvenient Truth
- * Iraq in Fragments
- * Jesus Camp
- Jonestown: The Life and Death of People's Temple
- The War Tapes

Alternate: * My Country, My Country

Missed: Deliver Us From Evil

An Inconvenient Truth is obvious; Iraq in Fragments and Jesus Camp are supposedly excellent and I've actually heard of them. The other two (including the apparently controversial Jonestown (see comments on this entry)) are complete guesses. As is my alternate. Hey, they never show anyone these things!

Best Foreign Language Film:
- Black Book (Netherlands)
- * The Lives of Others (Germany)
- * Pan's Labyrinth (Mexico)
- Volver (Spain)
- * Water (Canada)

Alternate: * Days of Glory (Algeria)

Missed: * After the Wedding (Denmark)

Volver and Pan's Labyrinth are this categories behemoths, while The Lives of Others has been slyly popping up next to them every time. As for the other two... well, Black Book is from a notorious director returning to home soil and Water seems quite popular. I'm not sure why the lavish Curse of the Golden Flower was knocked out at the previous stage but there you go.

Achievement in Cinematography:
- * Emmanuel Lubezki, Children of Men
- * Guillermo Navarro, Pan's Labyrinth
- Rodrigo Prieto, Babel
- Robert Richardson, The Good Shepherd
- * Vilmos Zsigmond, The Black Dahlia

Alternate: * Dick Pope, The Illusionist

Missed: Wally Pfister, The Prestige

Achievement in Art Direction:
- KK Barrett and Veronique Melery, Marie Antoinette
- * Eugenio Caballero, Pan's Labyrinth
- Jim Clay and Geoffrey Kirkland, Children of Men
- * John Myhre, Dreamgirls
- * Jeannine Opplewall, The Good Shepherd

Alternate: Henry Bumstead and Gary Fettis, Letters From Iwo Jima

Missed: * Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest and * The Prestige

Achievement In Film Editing:
- * Douglas Crise and Stephen Mirrione, Babel
- * Claire Douglas, Richard Pearson and Christopher Rouse, United 93
- * Alex Roderiguez, Children of Men
- * Thelma Schoonmaker, The Departed
- Lucia Zucchetti, The Queen

Alternate: Virginia Katz, Dreamgirls

Missed: * Richard Chew, Steven Rosenblum: Blood Diamond

Achievement in Costume Design:
- * Milena Canonero, Marie Antoinette
- * Sharen Davis, Dreamgirls
- Ruth Myers, The Painted Veil
- Julie Weiss, Bobby
- * Chung Man Yee, Curse of the Golden Flower

Alternate: * Patricia Field, The Devil Wears Prada

Missed: Consolata Boyle, The Queen

Best Original Score:
- Alexandre Desplat, The Painted Veil
- Philip Glass, The Illusionist
- Clint Mansell, The Fountain
- * Thomas Newman, The Good German
- * Gustavo Santaolla, Babel

Alternate: James Horner, Apocalypto

Missed: * Philip Glass, Notes on a Scandal; * Alexandre Desplat, The Queen and * Javier Narrete, Pan's Labyrinth

Best Original Song:
- Bryan Adams, Eliot Kennedy, Andrea Remanda, "Never Gonna Break My Faith", Bobby (performed by Aretha Franklin and Mary J. Blige)
- * Henry Kreiger, "Listen", Dreamgirls (performed by Beyonce)
- * Henry Kreiger, "Patience", Dreamgirls (performed by Eddie Murphy, Anika Noni Rose, and Keith Robinson)
- * Melissa Etheridge, "I Need to Wake Up", An Inconvenient Truth
- Prince, "Song of the Heart", Happy Feet

Alternate: Dave Stewart, Glen Ballard, "Ordinary Miracle", Charlotte's Web (performed by Sarah McLachlan)

Missed: * 'Love You I Do', Dreamgirls; * 'Our Town', Cars

Achievement In Visual Effects:
- * Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
- * Poseidon
- * Superman Returns

Alternate: X-Men: The Last Stand

Best Make-Up:
- * Apocalypto
- * Pan's Labyrinth
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest

Alternate: The Prestige

Missed: Click (????!!!)

Best Sound:
- * Blood Diamond
- Casino Royale
- * Dreamgirls
- * Flags of Our Fathers
- * Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest

Alternate: * Apocalypto

Best Sound Editing:
- Cars
- * Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
- Superman Returns

Alternate: *Flags of Our Fathers

Missed: * Apocalypto, * Blood Diamond, * Letters from Iwo Jima
(I only predicted three, for some reason.)

Overall: 71/99 (71%)
Big Eight: 34/40 (85%)


Tom Kinsolving said...

You should know, Dave, that one of your predictions,"Jonestown: Life and Death of People's Temple" (Best Documentary category) is a FRAUD.
It is a shameless attempt by cult apologist director Stanley Nelson to exploit an uninformed public with a revisionist history of Jim Jones and the People's Temple. For the real story, go to:

Dave said...

Well, that's interesting. I haven't actually seen the film (and probably will never get the chance). Of course, that doesn't mean it won't get nominated. But thanks for the information.