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OSCAR PREDICTIONS-2007
2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006
The Academy Awards are coming up and our two opinion makers "JR" & "Bo" have their predictions all set for Oscar Night. How close will they be?
JR'S PROLOGUE-It’s Academy Award time and every critic on the planet is weighing in with their predictions. Far be it from me to buck tradition, so allow me to post up with my own prognostications. This is one of those very rare years where the Academy has chosen worthy films. There isn’t much fat in the list. Here’s how this will work: I’ll give you the nominees and then my predictions as to who I think will win as well as who I believe should win. Interestingly enough, in most of the categories both are a match. Then, maybe a random note about any shortcomings in that category. Keep in mind that as this article is written in the first week of February, 2007 momentum can shift dramatically between now and voting time. But this is how I see it going.
SUPPORTING ACTRESS:
Adriana Barraza in “
BABEL” (Paramount and Paramount Vantage)
Cate Blanchett in “Notes on a Scandal” (Fox Searchlight)
Abigail Breslin in “
LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE ” (Fox Searchlight)
Jennifer Hudson in “Dreamgirls” (DreamWorks and Paramount)
Rinko Kikuchi in
BABEL” (Paramount and Paramount Vantage)

JR-Jennifer Hudson of DREAMGIRLS Will win. It’s a nice piece of work that is helped tremendously by a fine singing voice. But not the best performance in the category. Rinko Kikuchi of
BABEL” should win. This performance is all the more remarkable in that it is from a relative newcomer. Kikuchi has only made a handful of films in her native Japan. This is her first American role and it is a heartbreaking and unforgettable one.

BO-Jennifer Hudson may win for Dreamgirls, Cate Blanchett has a shot for Notes on a Scandal, Abigail Breslin (“
LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE”) is just there for kicks and grins, between Adriana Barraza and Rinko Kikuchi for BABEL” Kikuchi kicks ass and to me should win. But I don’t have a vote so Hudson may get the award. I wonder why Vera Famiglia wasn’t nominated for the DEPARTED” since she was perfect as the woman caught between Matt Damon and Leonardo DiCaprio.
SUPPORTING ACTOR:
Alan Arkin in
LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE (Fox Searchlight)
Jackie Earle Haley in “Little Children” (New Line)
Djimon Hounsou in “Blood Diamond” (Warner Bros.)
Eddie Murphy in “Dreamgirls” (DreamWorks and Paramount)
Mark Wahlberg in “
the DEPARTED” (Warner Bros.)

JR-Eddie Murphy of DREAMGIRLS Will win. Smart money is on Murphy and it is the best work he’s ever done. But if it’s me marking the ballot…..Mark Wahlberg of
the DEPARTED”  Should win. Markie Mark has got the chops here. Edgy, tough performance that got under my skin.

BO-Eddie Murphy is the front runner but the rest of the nominees are just as good and they aren’t doing an impression of James Brown. I am tired of actors imitating real people and getting awards for it so I would hope the award goes to someone like Mark Wahlberg (“
the DEPARTED” and why he got the pick over Jack Nicholson may have to do with he was damn funny whenever he was on screen) or Djimon Hounsou for Blood Diamond (who was his generally intense self). But Eddie is likely to win and then never do anything challenging again.
ACTRESS:
Penélope Cruz in “Volver” (Sony Pictures Classics)
Judi Dench in “Notes on a Scandal” (Fox Searchlight)
Helen Mirren in “
the QUEEN” (Miramax, Pathé and Granada)
Meryl Streep in “The Devil Wears Prada” (20th Century Fox)
Kate Winslet in “Little Children” (New Line)


JR-Helen Mirren - “
the QUEEN Here’s the other lock this year. Bet the ranch on this one. Mirren should/will win. Streep’s is a fluff nom. Cruz is perfectly radiant and Winslet does her best work ever, but it’s All Hail The Queen this year.

BO-This wasn’t a great year for female leads and only one of the actresses nominated is in a studio film. With that I don’t think that Meryl Streep will win for Devil Wears Prada because it’s a comedy and comedy doesn’t tend to win here. That leaves the field open to our European neighbors and I think that it comes down to Penelope Cruz for Volver or Kate Winslet for Little Children. Winslet is likely to walk away with the award.
ACTOR:
Leonardo DiCaprio in “Blood Diamond” (Warner Bros.)
Ryan Gosling in “
HALF NELSON” (THINKFilm)
Peter O’Toole in “Venus” (Miramax, Filmfour and UK Council)
Will Smith in “The Pursuit of Happyness” (Sony Pictures Releasing)
Forest Whitaker in
"LAST KING OF SCOTLAND" (Fox Searchlight)

JR-Forest Whitaker of THE
"LAST KING OF SCOTLAND" This one has been considered a lock for months now and while I still believe Whitaker both should and will win, don’t be surprised if 7 time nominee Peter O’Toole gets the sentimental vote and walks away with the golden boy. I for one, would not complain. O’Toole should have won a couple of these in years past; Lawrence of Arabia and Lion in Winter.

BO-We have two actors from studio films and three from independent films in this category. Leonardo DiCaprio is good in Blood Diamond but when I saw the film I wasn’t thinking best actor. Will Smith is in the sappy Pursuit of Happyness and just having a new hair style doesn’t get him the nod. That leaves us with Forest Whitaker (
"LAST KING OF SCOTLAND"), Peter O'Toole (Venus) and Ryan Gosling (HALF NELSON”). Gosling is a damn good actor but hardly anyone has seen HALF NELSON”, O’Toole has the ‘he may die soon so let’s give him one’ vibe but Whitaker is likely to win if the ‘geezer’ effect loses out.
ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY:
BABEL” (Paramount and Paramount Vantage) Written by Guillermo Arriaga
"LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA" (Warner Bros.) Screenplay by Iris Yamashita, Story by Iris Yamashita & Paul Haggis
LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE” (Fox Searchlight) Written by Michael Arndt,
"
PAN'S LABYRINTH" (Picturehouse) Written by Guillermo del Toro
the QUEEN” (Miramax, Pathé and Granada) Written by Peter Morgan

JR-
BABEL” Will Win. A complex script filled with subtext. "PAN'S LABYRINTH" Should Win. An obviously personal piece of writing from Guillermo Del Toro.

BO-
BABEL” has a shot but I think that Paul Haggis and his partner will take the award for "LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA", which means Haggis will repeat here after winning for Crash last year. “LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE”, "PAN'S LABYRINTH" and the QUEEN” are all low budget films and while some marvel at the screenplays for Labyrinth and Sunshine they are long shots at beat.
ADAPTED SCREENPLAY:
"BORAT" ("Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan”) (20th Century Fox) Screenplay by Sacha Baron Cohen & Anthony Hines & Peter Baynham & Dan Mazer, Story by Sacha Baron Cohen & Peter Baynham & Anthony Hines & Todd Phillips
CHILDREN OF MEN” (Universal) Screenplay by Alfonso Cuarón & Timothy J. Sexton and David Arata and Mark Fergus & Hawk Ostby
the DEPARTED (Warner Bros.) Screenplay by William Monahan
“Little Children” (New Line) Screenplay by Todd Field & Tom Perrotta
“Notes on a Scandal” (Fox Searchlight) Screenplay by Patrick Marber

JR-
"BORAT" will/should win. If only for the fact that I really want to see the acceptance speech by Sascha Baron Cohen.

BO-
"BORAT" the film is mostly improv and that cuts it out. William Monahan adapted Departed from a film so he did less work than the other nominees. CHILDREN OF MEN” is rumored to have at least five hands on it. Notes on a Scandal has gotten great reviews but hasn’t much buzz and so I think the statue goes to the small film Little Children from actor/writer Todd Field.
ANIMATED FEATURE FILM:
CARS” (Buena Vista) John Lasseter
“Happy Feet” (Warner Bros.) George Miller
"
MONSTER HOUSE" (Sony Pictures Releasing) Gil Kenan

JR-
CARS” This is the first year that I wouldn’t choose the Pixar release. This one was uncharacteristically weak from Pixar. HAPPY FEET This is the film that will win. If only to acknowledge it’s huge box-office success. "MONSTER HOUSE" This is the one that should win. Funny, scary, imaginative and original.

BO-The category has a weak Pixar film in
CARS” and adequate animation in both Happy Feet and "MONSTER HOUSE" so I pass on picking anything here.
DOCUMENTARY FEATURE:
“Deliver Us from Evil” (Lionsgate) A Disarming Films Production, Amy Berg and Frank Donner
AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH” (Paramount Classics and Participant Productions) A Lawrence Bender/Laurie David Production Davis Guggenheim
“Iraq in Fragments” (Typecast Releasing) A Typecast Pictures/Daylight Factory Production
James Longley and John Sinno
“Jesus Camp” (Magnolia Pictures) A Loki Films Production, Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady
“My Country, My Country” (Zeitgeist Films) A Praxis Films Production, Laura Poitras and Jocelyn Glatzer

JR-“
AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH ” will/should win. The Academy will look at this as a way to make a statement, not only to the current administration but as to their own social consciousness. Either way, they are correct in their choice.

BO-Al Gore has his tuxedo all ready for accepting the award for “
AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH ”.
FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM:
“After the Wedding” A Zentropa Entertainments 16 Production, Denmark
“Days of Glory (Indigènes)” A Tessalit Production, Algeria
“The Lives of Others” A Wiedemann & Berg Production, Germany
"
PAN'S LABYRINTH" A Tequila Gang/Esperanto Filmoj/Estudios Picasso Production,
Mexico
“Water” A Hamilton-Mehta Production, Canada

JR-"
PAN'S LABYRINTH"will/should Win. Guillermo Del Toro’s masterpiece. Not only the best foreign language film of the year but also one of the very best films of the last ten years.

BO-"
PAN'S LABYRINTH" from Mexico should/will win.
DIRECTOR:
BABEL (Paramount and Paramount Vantage) Alejandro González Iñárritu
the DEPARTED (Warner Bros.) Martin Scorsese
"LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA" (Warner Bros.) Clint Eastwood
the QUEEN (Miramax, Pathé and Granada) Stephen Frears
"UNITED 93" (Universal and StudioCanal) Paul Greengrass

JR-
the DEPARTED will win. This is Marty’s year. Finally. But, my only reservation is that this is not Taxi Driver, Raging Bull or Good Fellas. While it’s certainly way over due for a director, who in my opinion, is one of the greatest ever, there is better work in this category. As a matter of fact, there are two better feats of direction. Actually, a third if Guillermo Del Toro had been nominated for "PAN'S LABYRINTH" as he SHOULD have been. I would gladly have left off Stephen Frears’ work on the QUEEN to have Del Toro be rightfully here. Clint Eastwood is THE man right now. He has established himself as a world class artist in the last ten years. The combination of Flags/Letters is formidable. Take away his acting credits and for his directing alone, he still makes a significant contribution to the history of cinema. But, even so, there is another film in the category that is my pick. "UNITED 93" Should win. Paul Greengrass’ work was certainly cut out for him. This had to be a daunting task. To make a film dramatization of events so soon after they occurred and still prevalent in peoples hearts and minds, and to make that film without Hollywood sentimentality or unnecessary showmanship (Oliver Stone’s "WORLD TRADE CENTER") must have felt like walking the narrowest of tightropes for Greengrass. But by using a largely unknown cast and a pseudo-documentary style, Greengrass creates an unforgettable and moving tribute to all those aboard that ill-fated flight.

BO-If I was voting then Paul Greengrass would get the award for
"UNITED 93" but I don’t have a vote so lets cut out the delay and let Martin Scorsese walk up to the podium for the DEPARTED. Eastwood has won twice already and the rest haven’t paid dues long enough.
PICTURE:
BABEL (Paramount and Paramount Vantage) An Anonymous Content/Zeta Film/Central Films Production. Alejandro González Iñárritu, Jon Kilik and Steve Golin, Producers
the DEPARTED (Warner Bros.) A Warner Bros. Pictures Production. Graham King, Producer
"LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA" (Warner Bros.) A DreamWorks Pictures/Warner Bros. Pictures Production. Clint Eastwood, Steven Spielberg and Robert Lorenz, Producers
LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE (Fox Searchlight) A Big Beach/Bona Fide Production. David T. Friendly, Peter Saraf and Marc Turtletaub, Producers
the QUEEN (Miramax, Pathé and Granada) A Granada Production. Andy Harries, Christine Langan and Tracey Seaward, Producers  

JR-We’ll start with the big kahuna. This is a great list. I only have a small quibble or two. "PAN'S LABYRINTH" and "UNITED 93" both need to be here. But what to drop from the list to make room? “LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE could be sacrificed. While I love the film (it was in my top 10) my other two choices are better. This is a tough pick this year. I think we may be looking at a possible split for Director/Picture again. Momentum is going to shift as we get closer to the ceremony. So take my Will Win pick with a grain of salt. BABEL” Will Win. I think this is going to be this years Crash. Scorcese will take Best Director but BABEL” will sneak away with the win. It was in my top 5 so I would not complain. If BABEL” doesn’t upset than it’s “the DEPARTED” all the way. Too close to call right now. "LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA" Should win. While this film is the better of the two world War II Eastwood bookends, it is the combination that stands as an achievement. This is what the makers of Tora Tora Tora only dreamed of back in 1970. Eastwood bridges social and cultural gaps by realistically portraying two perspectives of a seminal event in world history.

BO-First off everyone should stop whining about Dreamgirls not getting nominated for Best Picture even though Bill Condon was nominated for director because the reviews have suggested that the film dies out near the end. If there is anyone who should be upset it’s the folks who made
"UNITED 93", one of the best of not the best film of the year. So with that out of the way let’s get to the films that were nominated and see who gets knocked out right away. So lose “LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE and “the QUEEN  because both are small films with limited audiences. BABEL” has a chance but the multiple storyline sort of takes it out of the game which means it’s a fight between “the DEPARTED” and "LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA" . Iwo Jima hasn’t been seen by enough people to have a serious chance so it looks like Martin Scorsese will accept for “the DEPARTED”, one of the best crime films of this and any year.

OTHER AWARD PICK'S BY JR:
ART DIRECTION: "
PAN'S LABYRINTH" will win and should win. Eugenio Cabellero’s art direction is gorgeous and completely original.

CINEMATOGRAPHY: "
PAN'S LABYRINTH" again will win and should win. Guillermo Navarro creates a real world that is the stuff of nightmares and a fantasy world that is rich and realistic.

COSTUME DESIGN: Curse of the Golden Flower will/should win. The only possible upset here could be Marie Antoinette.

FILM EDITING: “
BABEL will/should win. The team of Douglas Crise and Stephen Mirrione balance a story that takes place in various parts of the world and with initially separate storylines perfectly.

MAKE UP: "
PAN'S LABYRINTH" will/should win. Sometimes subtle and other times elaborate. Fantastic work.

ORIGINAL SCORE: Again
"
PAN'S LABYRINTH" will/should win. Javier Navarette created a score that stuck with me long after the movie ended.

VISUAL EFFECTS:
"PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN'S CHEST" will win. This will be the Academy’s acknowledgement of this films gargantuan success. "SUPERMAN RETURNS" should win. Much has been said as to the quality of the film itself but the level of visual effects prowess is indisputable. The plane rescue scene was exhilarating
"Want to read some upcoming comics now? We've got a bunch of SNEAKY PEEKIES of future MARVEL, DC and IMAGE titles right HERE"

OSCAR © Copyright 2007 Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. No right given or implied by Alternate Reality, Incorporated.

Article © 2007 Alternate Reality, Inc.

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