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  The Academy Awards are coming up and "Bo" has put together his predictions for Oscar Night. How close will he be?
AT THE MOVIES-Once again itís Academy Award time and we are once again weighing in with our predictions. As of this writing (021708) Bo has sent in his picks and those are what's posted below.
Cate Blanchett for I'm Not There
Ruby Dee for American Gangster
Saoirse Ronan for Atonement
Amy Ryan for Gone Baby Gone
Tilda Swinton for Michael Clayton

I didnít see Atonement or Iím Not There so I canít comment on them. I would bet that the young Roman isnít going to win here though. Dee was her usual self in Gangster but I donít see a reason for her being here with the rest. Swinton is great in Clayton because we can see her moving towards the edges and wonder at her surprise when she does what she does in the film. Amy Ryan is perfect in Gone as the party mom who suffers at the consequences of her actions and in the end still has no idea why she is such a horrible person. We do see the pain in her performance and since the Ben Affleck directed film was more or less ignored by the Academy I am picking her but would bet that Blanchett wins for playing one of the many versions of Bob Dylan in There.

WINNER: Amy Ryan (if I had a vote).
Casey Affleck for The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford
Javier Bardem for No Country For Old Men
Philip Seymour Hoffman for Charlie Wilson's War
Hal Holbrook for Into the Wild
Tom Wilkinson for Michael Clayton.

The only performance I havenít seen in this category is Affleck and that wasnít due to a lack of trying. Hoffman, Wilkinson and Holbrook are excellent in their roles but this is Bardemís by a long shot. His character is considered a supporting role because Tommy Lee Jones is that main character in Men. From the unusual hair choice to the flat way he speaks Bardem is riveting every time he is on the screen.

WINNER: Javier Bardem
Cate Blanchett for Elizabeth: The Golden Age
Julie Christie for Away from Her
Marion Cotillard for La Vie En Rose
Laura Linney for The Savages
Ellen Page for Juno.

My problem with this category is that I havenít seen any of the performances so I am just guessing here. All of the nominees are in independent films. Cotillard is new here so she isnít likely to beat out even the young Page. Blanchettís performance and film were considered nothing special by many so itís between Christie, Linney and Page. Page is young and Juno is making a strong showing at both the box office and at other awards shows but I think the golden statue is going to Christie for Away From Her. She has acted for a long time and the Sarah Polley directed film has been well reviewed even though few have seen it.

WINNER: Julie Christie
George Clooney for Michael Clayton
Daniel Day-Lewis for There Will Be Blood
Johnny Depp for Sweeney Todd
Tommy Lee Jones for In the Valley of Elah
Viggo Mortensen for Eastern Promises

I havenít seen Depp in Sweeney and have no interest since I have never been a fan of musicals. I have seen the other performances and man, they are all great ones. Jones, Mortensen and Clooney all deserve accolades but Lewisí performance as Daniel Plainview is one of the greatest ones I have seen. He is in damn near every scene and keeps your attention with his choice of voice (as Roger Ebert said he is doing director John Hustonís voice) and the moments in the film where he says absolutely nothing. Day-Lewisí career has been take a role every few years and then chill waiting for something to come along. It seems to work well for him.

WINNER: Daniel Day-Lewis.
Diablo Cody for Juno
Nancy Oliver for Lars and the Real Girl
Tony Gilroy for Michael Clayton
Brad Bird for Ratatouille
Tamara Jenkins for The Savages
There is nothing harder than looking at a blank screen and figuring out how to fill in the spaces. We can toss out three of the nominees right away: Oliver (the film is too quirky), Bird (itís an animated film) and Jenkins (too few have seen the film and the performances were mentioned more that the script). That leaves local girl (and ex-stripper Cody) and Gilroy (a Hollywood veteran). I think Cody will win here but if Gilroy does I wonít be unhappy. Junoís reviews all make a point of talking about the dialogue and one of the hardest things to write is dialogue.

WINNER: Diablo Cody.
Christopher Hampton for Atonement
Sarah Polley for Away from Her
Ronald Harwood for The Diving Bell And The Butterfly
Ethan Coen & Joel Coen for No Country For Old Men
Paul Thomas Anderson for There Will Be Blood
This could be where the academy throws Atonement a bone and gives the Oscar to Hampton but I donít think thatís going to happen. This is Polleyís first nomination so she isnít getting it and Harwood doesnít stand a chance either. Anderson has a shot but I havenít read Upton Sinclairís Oil so I donít know how literal an adaptation he did. I donít think that Sinclair wrote ďI drink your milkshakeĒ though so I bet Anderson took a few liberties. I have read no Country and it is a straight adaptation of the book. Cormac McCarthyís novels are sparse at times with little exposition and limited dialogue so the Coenís were left with a good foundation but at times little material.

WINNER: Ethan & Joel Coen (expect to see them on stage a lot)
Surf's Up.

The category is slim this year and no, I have no idea why Surf was nominated. Persepolis isnít animated in the same way that Ratatouille is and happens to be the more serious of the two but you canít really bet against animated rats so I pick Ratatouille.

WINNER: Ratatouille.
No End in Sight
Operation Homecoming
Taxi to the Dark Side

It is entirely possible that Michael Moore will take home another Oscar for Sicko but I think the winner will be No End In Sight. The war is a major factor in most of the nominees and with No End getting the most attention it will take home the statue.

WINNER: No End In Sight.
The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
No Country For Old Men
There Will Be Blood.

There is nothing better than a well shot film. The performances can suck, the dialogue can be lame, the costumes could look like something out of the Goodwill store but if a film is shot wrong then you spend a lot of time looking at your watch instead of the screen. As will be the case for most of the night the race will be between No Country and Blood. In this case the winner should be Blood hands down. Some scenes look like they were shot in natural light and others just make you absorb the entirety of whatís on the screen.

WINNER: There Will Be Blood.
The Golden Compass
Pirates of the Caribbean: At Worldís End

The three films all had to make good use of the FX departments but since Transformers had to mesh effects with actors more than the other films it should win the prize. That said, the effects in Pirates are damn good.

WINNER: Transformers
Julian Schnabel for The Diving Bell And The Butterfly
Jason Reitman for Juno
Tony Gilroy for Michael Clayton
Ethan Coen & Joel Coen for No Country For Old Men
Paul Thomas Anderson for There Will Be Blood.

Since the Directorís Guild has already given their award to the Coen Brothers it is a lock that the Academy will follow suit since there have seldom been deviations between the two. The directors pick the winners and so they donít disagree with themselves. This Oscar is deserved but I wouldnít be disappointed if PT Anderson won for Blood.

WINNER: Ethan & Joel Coen
Michael Clayton
No Country For Old Men
There Will Be Blood.

First off I havenít seen Atonement (and do not intend to, either since I have gotten bored with English romance films) and have considered seeing Juno. I have seen the other nominees and have enjoyed all of them. Michael Clayton is back in theaters after hanging around for a little while but not making a lot of cash and could win due to the fact that it is a Hollywood film. Blood is very dark and has a masterful performance by Daniel Day-Lewis to push it but isnít as much of a full meal as No Country is. No Country is filled to the brim with wonderful performances and I have thought more about it after seeing it than Blood so for me itís an easy choice.

WINNER: No Country for Old Men.

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Article © 2008 Alternate Reality, Inc.