80th Annual Academy Awards

My prayers were answered…the writers strike ended before the Oscars! The time has come for the cream of the crop in Hollywood to dress up, strut down the red carpet and announce this years best productions and performances. And for me and my struggling artist friends to dress comfy, eat chips and guacamole and announce why we agree/don’t agree with this years best productions and performances.

“No Country for Old Men” and “There Will Be Blood” seem to be neck and neck for best picture. The films have enough similarities, though, that could split votes and allow one of the other nominees to slip through and win. “Atonement” is a well constructed film and “Juno” is an audience favorite with the highest box office earnings of the nominees. “Michael Clayton” is the final nominee but I don’t see it having much of a chance.

In my opinion, “Atonement” should hands down win best cinematography. Did you see that long ass scene on the beach? That blew me away. I can’t even imagine what went into making that scene alone. And for that scene alone it deserves an award…but not best picture. “Juno” is a very witty, entertaining movie with great performances all around. But, not a best picture. I would love to see it win best original screenplay. The writing is brilliant.

Both “No Country for Old Men” and “There Will Be Blood” are great films. They both have compelling stories and enthralling performances but only one of them has an ending that doesn’t make you want to go running through the streets yelling “why, why, WHY?”! I was sucked into about two-thirds of “No Country for Old Men” and was completely let down by the denouement (thats fancy theatre major talk for final resolution). “There Will Be Blood”, however, transported me so deeply into a crazy, traumatic, depressing place that it took me quite awhile to return to my own crazy, traumatic, depressing life when it was over. That, my darlings, is a best picture!

The actor categories are pretty much set. Daniel Day-Lewis and Javier Bardem won the Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild awards for best actor and best supporting actor, respectively. It would be a huge shock if they did not take home the Oscar as well.

I wish the best actress category was different. Julie Christie took the GG and SAG awards for her role in “Away From Her” but I can’t fathom why. She is barely even in the movie. Yes, we are all touched that her character had Alzheimers but her portrayel wasn’t moving. It was the situation that was moving. Cate Blanchett or Laura Linney should win. The best supporting actress category is totally up in the air. Cate Blanchett won the GG and Ruby dee won the SAG award. Amy Ryan is getting a lot of buzz for her role in “Gone Baby Gone” as is the little Saoirse Ronan for “Atonement”. I’m not a big supporter of children getting Academy Awards, it seems to send them down the wrong path, but Ronan was incredible.

I predict Paul Thomas Anderson will win best director and I believe he deserves it. Like I mentioned earlier, I would like to see “Juno” win best original screenplay although I also think “Lars and the Real Girl” derserves it. This movie is the most overlooked, in my opinion. What a great film. The writing is beautiful and the performances are captivating. Ryan Gosling should have gotten a nomination for his loveable yet frustrating character. Johnny Depp should NOT have gotten a nomination for “Sweeney Todd the Demon Barber of Fleet Street.”

Adapted screenplay could go many ways. Again the top runners are “No Country for Old Men” and “There Will Be Blood” but if the votes are split, “Atonement” could take it. I hope that “Transformers” wins for visual effects and “The Bourne Ultimatum” for editing. I also hope that Colleen Atwood takes home the best costume Oscar for “Sweeney Todd”…only because of her cool last name (no relation).

No matter who wins, I am prepared for a great show. Jon Stewart is hosting and that makes me feel confident that I will be entertained. He hosted two years ago and the critics had less than great things to say about him. I, however, enjoyed it and say to the critics, back off and let the funny man do his thing!

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One response to “80th Annual Academy Awards

  1. just saw no country for old men; it’s unassumingly unconventional and yet (thankfully) never over the top… overall the Coen brothers deserve their Oscars, well done indeed.

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