Friday, December 28, 2007

'Tis the Oscar Season to be Jolly

The following are not Oscar predictions. They are merely an assessment of the Oscar season the way I see it shaping up in my own mind. I'm not saying I think In the Valley of Elah will be nominated for Best Picture, merely that I'd love for such a thing to happen. Obviously my mind will be changing as I see more films. That said, I've seen a lot, including every film on this chart. There are no wild guesses here. I don't need to poll any Academy members to know that Daniel Day-Lewis and Marion Cotillard will be nominated, but that doesn't necessarily mean I have to lock them into my chart at this point in time. Speaking of which, there seems to be this huge rush amongst Oscar prognosticators to be the first one to anoint someone or something Best This or Best That, to be the first champion in a film or performer's corner. Rather than make educated guesses months in advance, based on films I haven't even seen a single frame of, I'm starting this blog to tell you how the movies that I have seen measure up against each other. Anyways, please note that in some categories, a handful of honorable mentions are made beneath the Top 5 contenders, while my personal favorites are marked with an asterisk.

So who am I and why should you care about what I think? I'm MiraJeff. Who the hell are you? I'm just teasing, folks. The truth is, you shouldn't care what I think at all. What are you even doing reading this? The point is, as William Goldman so famously said, no one knows anything. Especially not at this stage in the game. This blog was started as an act of defiance, a bold, boredom-provoked answer to the hordes of 'expert' prognosticators who are as much in the dark as the rest of us until that magical evening known as Oscar Night. You won't see these predictions or picks or whatever you want to call them anywhere else, either because they suck or because others are afraid to make them. Regardless, these are the names and movies you should be paying attention to. 2007 is shaping up to be a great year for movies. There's a lot of depth this year. Some films are bound to get lost in the shuffle, others will peak at just the right time. The Oscar season is a rollercoaster ride for everyone and I look forward to taking that ride with each and every one of you. My readers. My people. Enjoy!

BEST PICTURE

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly*
Grace Is Gone
In the Valley of Elah
There Will Be Blood
Zodiac

(Honorable Mention: 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days, The Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford, Before the Devil Knows You're Dead, Control, Into the Wild, No Country for Old Men, Once, Ratatouille, Reservation Road, Things We Lost in the Fire)

BEST DIRECTOR

Paul Thomas Anderson- There Will Be Blood
Ethan and Joel Coen- No Country for Old Men
David Fincher- Zodiac*
Sean Penn- Into the Wild
Julian Schnabel- The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

(HM: Susanne Bier, Things We Lost in the Fire; Tim Burton, Sweeney Todd; John Carney, Once; Anton Corbijn, Control; David Cronenberg, Eastern Promises; Andrew Dominik, The Assassination of Jesse James...; Tony Gilroy, Michael Clayton; Paul Haggis, In the Valley of Elah; Sidney Lumet, Before the Devil Knows You're Dead; James C. Strouse, Grace is Gone; Joe Wright, Atonement)

BEST ACTOR

John Cusack- Grace Is Gone
Daniel Day-Lewis- There Will Be Blood*
Benicio Del Toro- Things We Lost in the Fire
Emile Hirsch- Into the Wild
Tommy Lee Jones- In the Valley of Elah

(HM: Mathieu Amalric, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly; Christian Bale, Rescue Dawn; Don Cheadle, Reign Over Me; George Clooney, Michael Clayton; Russell Crowe, 3:10 to Yuma; Johnny Depp, Sweeney Todd; Ryan Gosling, Lars and the Real Girl; Philip Seymour Hoffman, Before the Devil Knows You're Dead and The Savages; James McAvoy, Atonement; Joaquin Phoenix, Reservation Road; John C. Reilly, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story; Sam Riley, Control; Seth Rogen, Knocked Up; Adam Sandler, Reign Over Me; Denzel Washington, American Gangster)

BEST ACTRESS

Helena Bonham Carter- Sweeney Todd
Jodie Foster- The Brave One
Angelina Jolie- A Mighty Heart
Laura Linney- The Savages*
Anamaria Marinca- 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days

(HM: Halle Berry, Things We Lost in the Fire; Marketa Irglova, Once; Ashley Judd, Bug; Nicole Kidman, Margot at the Wedding; Keira Knightley, Atonement; Ellen Page, Juno; Charlize Theron, In the Valley of Elah)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Casey Affleck- The Assassination of Jesse James...
Javier Bardem- No Country for Old Men*
Paul Dano- There Will Be Blood
Vlad Ivanov- 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days
Max von Sydow- The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

(HM: Ashraf Barhom, The Kingdom; Philip Bosco, The Savages; Adrien Brody, The Darjeeling Limited; Chris Cooper, Breach; Russell Crowe, American Gangster; Brian Dierker, Into the Wild; Robert Downey Jr., Zodiac; Albert Finney, Before the Devil Knows You're Dead; Ben Foster, 3:10 to Yuma; Ed Harris, Gone Baby Gone; Ethan Hawke, Before the Devil Knows You're Dead; Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Charlie Wilson's War; Hal Holbrook, Into the Wild; Omar Metwally, Rendition; Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Superbad; Armin Mueller-Stahl, Eastern Promises; Igal Naor, Rendition; Alan Rickman, Sweeney Todd; Mark Ruffalo, Reservation Road; Ed Sanders, Sweeney Todd; Timothy Spall, Sweeney Todd; Denzel Whitaker, The Great Debaters; Tom Wilkinson, Michael Clayton; Steve Zahn, Rescue Dawn)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Cate Blanchett- I'm Not There*
Jennifer Jason Leigh- Margot at the Wedding
Shelan O'Keefe- Grace is Gone
Amy Ryan- Gone Baby Gone
Susan Sarandon- In the Valley of Elah

(HM: Jennifer Connelly, Reservation Road; Ruby Dee, American Gangster; Kelly Macdonald, No Country For Old Men; Emily Mortimer, Lars and the Real Girl; Samantha Morton, Control; Vanessa Redgrave, Atonement; Saoirse Ronan, Atonement; Meryl Streep, Lions for Lambs; Marisa Tomei, Before the Devil Knows You're Dead)

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days- Cristian Mungiu
The Darjeeling Limited- W. Anderson, R. Coppola, J. Schwartzman
Grace Is Gone- James C. Strouse*
In the Valley of Elah by Paul Haggis
The Savages- Tamara Jenkins

(HM: Steve Zaillian, American Gangster; Kelly Masterson, Before the Devil Knows You're Dead; Quentin Tarantino, Death Proof; Diablo Cody, Juno; Judd Apatow, Knocked Up; Nancy Oliver, Lars and the Real Girl; Matthew Michael Carnahan, Lions for Lambs; Noah Baumbach, Margot at the Wedding; John Carney, Once; Brad Bird, Ratatouille; Mike Binder, Reign Over Me; Allan Loeb, Things We Lost in the Fire)

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Ronald Harwood, based on the memoir by Jean-Dominique Bauby*
Into the Wild by Sean Penn, based on the book by John Krakauer
No Country for Old Men by Ethan and Joel Coen, based on the novel by Cormac McCarthy
There Will Be Blood by Paul Thomas Anderson, based on Oil! by Upton Sinclair
Zodiac by Jamie Vanderbilt, based on the books by Robert Graysmith

(HM: The Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford by Andrew Domink, based on the novel by Ron Hansen; Atonement by Christopher Hampton, based on the novel by Ian McEwan; Gone Baby Gone by Ben Affleck and Aaron Stockard, based on the novel by Dennis Lehane; Reservation Road by Terry George and John Burnham Schwartz, based on the novel by Schwartz)

BEST ANIMATED FILM

Beowulf
Ratatouille*
Surf's Up

Movies I Have a Date With: Lust, Caution

Still to See: Away From Her, The Band's Visit, Beaufort, Elizabeth: The Golden Age, Enchanted, Evening, Hairspray, The Kite Runner, Lake of Fire, Love in the Time of Cholera, Man in the Chair, Music Within, The Namesake, No End in Sight, Persepolis, Shrek the Third, Starting Out in the Evening, Stephanie Daley, Talk to Me, This is England, La Vie en rose, Waitress, The Wind That Shakes the Barley, Youth Without Youth

3 comments:

Dave said...

I have a ton of movies to catch up on, so this will obviously change, but Top 5 so far: "Ratatouille", "Jesse James", "Knocked Up", "Eastern Promises", and either "Zodiac" or "Darjeeling."

Jack said...

MiraJeff, some kind Samaritan just shot me over a September 06 draft of the Box. What e-mail should I shoot it over to??

The InSneider said...

jack, please send to mirajeff@aol.com and i'll hook you back up... thanks man!