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2008 Academy Awards: My Predictions

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The time is here when we put our heads together to see if we can be a step ahead of the Academy and read their minds. Thankfully, there are more rewards in predictions with the news of the likelihood that the writers’ strike will be resolved very soon and that there will be a starry Oscar ceremony after all.

Of course, what the familiar patterns and trends, or “buzz” says may be different from what we really see want to see win. As such, I have listed my prediction (“what will win”) as well as my personal preference (“what truly deserves to win”). So here go for the major categories:

Best Picture: No Country for Old Men, pure and simple. It is the best of the lot and the most unanimously praised. There was a time when There Will Be Blood was considered a serious threat but the DGA and PGA wins are clear indicators that No Country for Old Men is not budging. Some feel that if those two films split among their target audiences, Juno might sneak in, but it is still a little too feathery and lightweight (which is probably like Little Miss Sunshine last year). As for Michael Clayton and Atonement, the nominations are their rewards (though I think Atonement is the close second best here).

  • Prediction: No Country for Old Men
  • Preference: No Country for Old Men

Best Director: Again, there is no dethroning the Coen brothers here. They are the only ones with a previous nomination and not even the Academy’s purported bias against duo directors will stop them from getting this one. The others like P.T. Anderson, Julian Schnabel, Tony Gilroy, and Jason Reitman may go on to win an Oscar but in a category that has so many directors who are relatively new to or normally work outside the normal Hollywood system, the Coens are the veterans and are thought to be long due here.

  • Prediction: Ethan and Joel Coen, No Country for Old Men
  • Preference: Ethan and Joel Coen, No Country for Old Men

Best Actor: Yet another category that has very little contesting. This one is Daniel Day-Lewis’ to lose for There Will Be Blood. That film is potentially the big loser of the night so Lewis’ win will be a way to reward it in some way (and he was the thread that did hold P.T. Anderson’s at times screw-loose vision together). I am happy enough that my personal pick, Tommy Lee Jones for In the Valley of Elah, was awarded with a nomination for essentially carrying that film on his thespian shoulders and also for Viggo Mortensen in Eastern Promises. George Clooney is a fairly recent Oscar winner and as many women would like to see their own heartthrob, Johnny Depp, win for Sweeney Todd, there will be another time.

  • Prediction: Daniel Day-Lewis, There Will Be Blood
  • Preference: Tommy Lee Jones, In the Valley of Elah

Best Actress: Finally, a category with a potential for some curve balls and this is where I am going on a little whim with my prediction. I know the precursors from the critics and the SGA dictate that Julie Christie will win, but I have a feeling that the sentimental vote will not pass here. Older veterans are usually quite rare in leading categories and the Academy also likes to give a boost to rising younger actors and actresses in the leading categories (think of Adrien Brody’s first win for The Pianist in 2002 when all the other four nominees were previous winners). Christie does not deserve it here anyway and I can sense audiences wanting the truly deserved contender, Cotillard, to win for being the heart and soul of La Vie en Rose.

About John Lee

  • http:/// Tan The Man

    My preference would also be for Nancy Oliver to win best original screenplay for Lars and the Real Girl. But all signs point to Juno.

  • El Bicho

    While I thought Daniel gave an amazing performance, I would not be surprised to see Jones win it. He is older and gave two great performances with Elah and No Country. Certainly better than his work in The Fugitive, which saw him win an Oscar.

    I thought Ratatouille was the usual Brad Bird excellence. Plus, it’s about being creative, so it will surely hit close to home for Oscar voters, but I am rooting for Persepolis, which was fantastic in its own right.

    You left off a number of categories and nominees, including my all-time favorite Oscar nominee Kevin O’Connell, who is up for Best Achievement in Sound for: Transformers (2007). It’s his 20th nomination without a win. Susan Lucci thinks the guy has had it rough.

  • Maureen McCole

    My predictions are as follows:

    Daniel Day-Lewis, plain and simply brillant.
    Julie Christie, Best Actress
    Javier Bardem
    Amy Ryan
    No Country for Old Men, directing
    No Country for Old Men, picture (although Atonement might creep in)

  • Ann

    Atonement for Best Picture.
    But Julie Christie for Best Actress of
    and George Clooney for Best Actor

  • joe harris

    no country for bp, Daniel day lewis gave great performance, ruby dee will finally win sa, director its hard to say. Most bp wins don’t include bd the last one was scoresse but he was well overdue and it wasn’t his best work. I still would like to see cohen bros win. They didn’t get it with Fargo, maybe its their due.

  • The Grayheck

    Well, the ratings may be low but it looks as if the international Islam press is paying attention. Here is a story written by a Pakistani journalist who was apparently reporting live from the red-carpet and giving opinion on the night’s winners!

  • jeffrey

    i hate the oscors cloverfield was a bad movie