By Johnny Firecloud
|Don’t have time to see all the movies nominated for Oscars this year? The 80th annual Academy Awards, hosted by Jon Stewart, air live this Sunday night, February 24th at 5pm. That means you’ve got roughly 48 hours before showtime to figure out what the hell In the Valley of Elah is or why that chick from the X-Men movie is up for Best Actress.|
Time is short, but we can help you narrow down the list with our 2008 CraveOnline Oscar Predictions.
The envelope, please…
Actor in a leading role
- George Clooney in Michael Clayton
- Daniel Day-Lewis in There Will Be Blood
- Johnny Depp in Sweeney Todd
- Tommy Lee Jones in In the Valley of Elah
- Viggo Mortensen in Eastern Promises
It’s impossible not to go with Daniel Day-Lewis on this one. The guy immerses himself so deeply in the role of ruthless oil baron Daniel Plainview for There Will Be Blood that you begin to wonder whether he’s playing at all. Nothing against Johnny Depp’s vocal performance while engaging in Tarantino-esque throat slashery or Viggo’s naked deathmatch, but the passion Day-Lewis exhibits in There Will Be Blood is an uncompromising redefinition of the craft.
- Casey Affleck in The Assassination of Jesse James…
- Javier Bardem in No Country for Old Men
- Philip Seymour Hoffman in Charlie Wilson’s War
- Hal Holbrook in Into the Wild
- Tom Wilkinson in Michael Clayton
After much deliberation, I’d have to say that Javier Bardem’s got my vote. His portrayal of murderous madman Anton Chigurh in the Coen brothers’ No Country for Old Men already won him a Screen Actors Guild Award and a Golden Globe, so it’s hard not to call him a shoe-in. But Casey Affleck’s tortured, envious Robert Ford was downright stunning in The Assassination of Jesse James. Honorable mention: Philip Seymour Hoffman always delivers the passion, and Charlie Wilson’s War is no exception.
On second thought, the Academy does like to shake things up and make old people feel special, so there is a chance that 83-year-old Hal Holbrook could take the honors for Into the Wild. But don’t bet your social security check on it.
Actress in a leading role
- Cate Blanchett in Elizabeth: The Golden Age
- Julie Christie in Away from Her
- Marion Cotillard in La Vie en Rose
- Laura Linney in The Savages
- Ellen Page in Juno
This one’s anything but a no-brainer this year. The Academy seems to love Cate Blanchett (she’s nominated twice this year alone), but the competition in this category is steep. They could spice things up and give the award to Juno‘s Ellen Page, but given their fondness for heavy melodrama, we wouldn’t call her a safe bet. Laura Linney’s more than deserving for her performance in The Savages, and Julie Christie’s return was triumphant and moving, but in the end French actress Marion Cotillard seems set to win for her role as Edith Piaf in La Vie en Rose. She’s already won the BAFTA for it, as well as the Golden Globe. I am shamed. I have not seen this movie.
But Juno was really good. So hell, we’ll go with the underdog.
- Cate Blanchett in I’m Not There
- Ruby Dee in American Gangster
- Saoirse Ronan in Atonement
- Amy Ryan in Gone Baby Gone
- Tilda Swinton in Michael Clayton
Cate Blanchett’s competition is just as stiff in the Supporting Actress category, with Amy Ryan’s trashy drugged out Helene in Gone Baby Gone and newcomer Saoirse Ronan’s captivating performance in Atonement in the runnings. Ruby Dee’s portrayal of Mama Lucas in American Gangster may take top honors in the end, however, because once again, the Academy loves old people.
At the end of it all, I have to go with Blanchett here for her bold take on living legend Bob Dylan in I’m Not There.
- Julian Schnabel for The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
- Jason Reitman for Juno
- Tony Gilroy for Michael Clayton
- Joel Coen and Ethan Coen for No Country for Old Men
- Paul Thomas Anderson for There Will Be Blood
The Coen Brothers are most likely going to run with this one, because the Academy will undoubtedly appreciate their ability to handle more serious material than the standard Coen fare. No Country for Old Men is a gripping, brilliant thriller and deserves recognition. Still, there’s just something biting me inside, hoping Paul Thomas Anderson will win. There Will Be Blood is a film unlike any other.
- Michael Clayton
- No Country for Old Men
- There Will Be Blood
Let’s call this what it is: the only real contenders for Best Picture this year are No Country for Old Men and There Will Be Blood. The other films are good, but they just don’t have that Oscar sheen. It would seem that Old Men has the edge to win, if only for the fact that Blood is such a one-man show (but seriously, Daniel Day-Lewis deserves a statue). I predict No Country, but I hope for Blood.
Check back Monday for all your Oscar updates!