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Donovan's 2008 Oscar Picks

Submitted by ryandonovan at 2008-02-23 12:53:59 EST
Rating: 1.52 on 22 ratings (22 reviews) (Review this item) (V)

DONOVAN’S OSCAR PROGNOSTICATION 2008

Thank god! The Writers Guild strike is over! Now the Academy Awards show can go on! And we can stop pretending to care about writers!

I’m not sure that I feel any of the five nominated films is worthy of the Best Picture statuette. Don’t I say that every year? That seems to frequently be the way it goes when I see most of the films after nominations have been announced. Expectations are raised, knowing that almighty powers have decreed that these are, definitively, the best five films of the year. And as is very often the case, I don’t agree. See if you agree, in my Ninth Annual Oscar Predictions.

I’ll be watching the show to see if my predictions are accurate at my annual Hollywood Drug Party at the Chateau Marmont. It’s just too bad Heath Ledger won’t be able to attend this year. (Hey, if I woke up and realized I had slept with Mary-Kate Olsen, I would have done it too.)

BEST PICTURE:
SHOULD WIN: There Will Be Blood
WILL WIN: No Country For Old Men
GLORIOUSLY OMITTED: Into The Wild
INGLORIOUSLY SNUBBED: The Darjeeling Limited, American Gangster

Unless the majority of Oscar indices are wrong, No Country For Old Men will take Best Picture. It’s not a guarantee, but it’s a reasonable bet. That’s good news for the Coen Brothers, but bad news for the rest of us. I’m getting a little tired of the “the point is there is no point” defense of the film’s plot. If I wanted to see something with no point, I could watch Nancy Grace on CNN at home for free. My one footnote, however, is that the acting performances were all outstanding. Best Ensemble? Sure. Best Picture? Not in my book.

Out of the films that are nominated, the film that I think should win is There Will Be Blood. I’m choosing it by a hair over Juno. Maybe I’m pulling for Blood because it’s really the only film that I think could conceivably overtake No Country. Blood made for an extremely tense viewing, even though the pacing was slow and events were drawn out. But it wasn’t exactly the movie I was hoping for. Nor did I think it would be as rambling as it was. I kept expecting the film to go in a different direction, heading into a showdown between Daniel Day-Lewis and the townspeople he screwed over (it didn’t help that I was convinced, until the end credits, that Paul Dano’s characters, twin brothers Paul and Eli, were actually the same person with a split personality). When that didn’t materialize, and the story leaped forward a dozen years, I was a little baffled. But taken as a morality story, it’s more complete than No Country, any way you slice it.

If I could pick any film of the year to win, it would be The Darjeeling Limited. It’s Wes Anderson’s best film since Rushmore. I was stunned when it wilted at the box office, and when it wasn’t included in any best-of or end-of-year conversations (particularly for Best Original Screenplay). It probably deserves an Oscar nomination in every single category there is – Costume Design, Art Direction, you name it (except for acting – while the performances are solid, this is clearly a director’s showcase). Not recognizing the cinematography is downright criminal. I’m actually splitting the Snubbed spot between Darjeeling and American Gangster, another worthy picture.

I don’t know what to tell you about Juno. I feel so conflicted. This is precisely the kind of movie that I rally behind, that I see early and whose virtues I extol to the world. It’s the type of personal, independent, free-spirited wonder that always gets missed by audiences and ignored by awards. It’s an underdog, the kind I usually feel compelled to lobby for (mostly to claim that I discovered it), and lament how in this daffy world can a movie of this caliber not be recognized for the genius that it is. Why can’t the geezers in the Academy reward this kind of small picture? That’s how my feelings started with this film. I was excited to see it long before it hit local theaters; I was eager when I heard Jason Reitman had a follow-up to Thank You For Smoking; I was intrigued when I heard it got rave reactions at Telluride. Then fate slapped me and prevented me from seeing it at the Toronto Film Fest. More strong reviews followed. When it came out, I wasn’t able to see it in the first couple weeks. Friends lauded it. Then I finally saw it. And before I could socialize my reaction, it seemed like America had already caught the buzz. It was soon clear that this wouldn’t be an unnoticed gem, lacking studio enthusiasm. It’s getting a marketing blitz unusual for such a small film. It’s being talked up everywhere, by everyone. As a matter of fact, it’s pretty hard NOT to hear about it. And of course, the ironic thing is that it is being marketed as an underdog. An Award-Winning, Major-League, Prime-Time, $100-Million-Grossing, Blockbuster underdog. So, it’s getting the kind publicity and attention and box office returns and accolades that I would ordinarily clamor for. But the weird thing is, now that it’s actually achieving its potential, I feel… sour. I am starting to resent the fact that the film is performing so well in every sense. In a way that contradicts Juno’s story itself, just when I thought it was so cool without even trying (“I try really hard, actually”), it tells me to kiss off and goes to join the popular crowd. I should feel proud of this film, but I feel backlash. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the movie, and it probably deserves all the success it’s getting. But I can’t help but feel resentment. Maybe that’s the movie’s fault, but it’s probably because I have deep psychological problems.

As far as thrillers go, Michael Clayton is pretty slick. One of the reasons it gets knocked is one of the main reasons I liked it: the film is really a drama wrapped in thriller packaging. (Does that make it a “driller”? “Drammer”? “Thrima”?) The criticism is that audiences go in expecting pure suspense and gunshots around every corner, and instead they get a mystery about a guy who has a ton of problems to solve in his life, most of which are not life-threatening. The other reasons the film gets slammed are for contrivances and convenience, particularly in the case of George Clooney’s “Moment Of Clarity” scene. These kinds of scenes (where a character has an epiphany / realizes the purpose of his life / understands what he now must do) usually don’t work in movies because it’s so hard to externalize something that is exclusively internal. So the moments of clarity, which may be completely believable in a book, look on-screen like an easy way out, a shortcut, a cop-out. The “Moment Of Clarity” scene in Michael Clayton is when Clooney, in the middle of all the chaos, stops to admire the horses on the hill. While it’s not bulletproof, I think it works, and the reason is easy to miss: the horses and the hill and the trees make up exactly the same visual that he saw in his son’s book (at Tom Wilkinson’s loft). With all the heavy crap that was weighing down on him, I think it’s reasonable to believe that he had a moment of clarity, and would stop and get out of the car and think, “What the hell is really going on?” (Of course, the exploding car helps that clarity, too.) Since it’s a movie, and not real life, I think it’s a nice touch that in some transcendental way, his son and Wilkinson actually helped him / warned him, and that Wilkinson’s death (which caused Clooney to stop and smell the horses, so to speak) actually saved Clooney’s life.

Last and least… Atonement was, somehow, worse than I had feared. More on that later.

BEST ACTOR:
SHOULD WIN: Daniel Day-Lewis (There Will Be Blood)
WILL WIN: Daniel Day-Lewis (There Will Be Blood)
GLORIOUSLY OMITTED: James McAvoy (Atonement), Emile Hirsch (Into The Wild)
INGLORIOUSLY SNUBBED: Denzel Washington (American Gangster)

It should be clear to anyone with eyes that Daniel Day-Lewis will win (and deserves to win) the Oscar. In fact, it should be clear that Day-Lewis, as wacky-Method as he may be, is one of the greatest actors of our time. It’s actually a little hard to believe this is only his fourth nomination. He probably deserves a nod each time he’s in a movie. And really, he almost achieves that: this is only the eighth movie he’s made in the 18 years since his first nomination – a win – for My Left Foot. (Random recommendation: if you’re looking for something different, rent/download/steal The Unbearable Lightness Of Being – a criminally underrated Day-Lewis film that blends at least six different genres brilliantly. It’s long, but completely worth it. It boasts one of my favorite final scenes of any movie.)

The two strongest competitors, Tommy Lee Jones and George Clooney, won’t garner any sympathy votes (which often weaken the chances of the year’s best performance) because they both have won previously (albeit for supporting roles). Clooney in fact did the best acting of his life in Michael Clayton… while the final credits were rolling. But his chances will be undermined by the fact that the film is a thriller and that his character didn’t seem that different from... George Clooney.

Jones had an interesting journey to his nomination. He was an early front-runner, the first actor considered a good bet for a nomination as the fall began. But when In The Valley Of Elah imploded at the box office (probably because nobody knew exactly how to pronounce “Elah”… or knew where the hell it was), and other strong actor performances emerged, his chances seemed diminished. However, in early December, he was still considered a sure thing by many (including myself) for a nomination. But after being shut out by the Golden Globes, Screen Actors Guild, and all the major critics groups, he completely fell off the radar. Not one pundit I knew of even thought he was a possibility; personally, I had put odds on 12 other guys to be nominated ahead of him. And after all that, the man wouldn’t smile for anything (even if he was being tickled by a naked Hayden Panettiere,) is celebrating his first Leading Role Oscar nomination. Not bad for a guy who looks like Droopy Dog after a bar fight.

The other two nominees, Johnny Depp and Viggo Mortensen, starred in movies that got very little recognition from the Academy aside from their performances, so they won’t pose much threat. Although hand it to Depp – it was a real stretch for him to play a pale, brooding man with unusual hair in a Tim Burton film.

Did Denzel Washington deserve a nomination for American Gangster? He was outstanding, without a doubt, but the question is whether he gave a typical he’s-Denzel-and-he’s-just-that-damn-good performance, or whether he gave a this-is-one-of-the-finest-roles-of-his-career performance. While his character had a spectacular fall from grace, he didn’t have much arc, and didn’t hit all the colors of the emotional spectrum, both of which are usually required for a nomination.

BEST ACTRESS:
SHOULD WIN: Julie Christie (Away From Her)
WILL WIN: Julie Christie (Away From Her)
GLORIOUSLY OMITTED: Angelina Jolie (A Mighty Heart), Keira Knightley (Atonement)
INGLORIOUSLY SNUBBED: None (Not a lot of strong female leads)

Rather than give this award based on merit, let’s give it the way the real Academy voters will: by process of elimination. We’ll start with the least likely to win: Laura Linney. Most of us want her to score an Oscar at some point in her career, but we don’t seem to want it to be for this movie (her nomination was a surprise in itself). Next: Cate Blanchett. Any of us that want to vote for her won’t do it twice, so we’ll cast our ballots for her in the Supporting Actress category instead, deserved or not; plus, her film, Elizabeth: The Golden Age, didn’t get one positive review. Followed by: Ellen Page. Her award-season press may have hurt her chance at winning: we have found in interviews that she’s either insanely Method (staying in character for months after the film opened), or that she was just playing herself in Juno. The runner-up: Marion Cotillard. We simply won’t vote for you for acting in a foreign language film unless you are Roberto Benigni (note that while Benicio Del Toro won for a Spanish-language role in Traffic, the film itself was not foreign).

That leaves Julie Christie, for Away From Her. If she had never won an Oscar, she would be a shoo-in. But she did win (42 years ago for Darling); she also starred in a movie that none of us saw (less than $5 million at the box office), but if we did, we hardly remember it (it debuted last May). So while there’s room for an upset, not only do I predict that Christie will win, I predict that most of us that vote for her will not have seen her film.

I couldn’t settle on just one Gloriously Omitted choice. I didn’t actually see A Mighty Heart, so I have no idea if Angelina Jolie should have been passed over or not. But I’m pretty much in favor of anything that brings disappointment or sadness to the Pitt family. Keira Knightley, on the other hand, I don’t necessarily dislike; I just don’t think she should have been nominated for her role as a woman that stands around looking sad the whole time. Aside from Atonement, I can’t decide what I think of her. She has an undeniably beautiful face, but that face includes some ugly features: the awkward mouth, the horrible teeth, the awful underbite (the latter should get corrected the next time James McAvoy punches her in the jaw). She of course is a big hit with directors because of her heroin chic poise, and with gay pedophiles because of her 11-year-old-boy body. (If you’re thinking, “No, that’s not true; in fact I think she has a very attractive body”, then you are in fact a gay pedophile.)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR:
SHOULD WIN: Tom Wilkinson (Michael Clayton)
WILL WIN: Javier Bardem (No Country For Old Men)
GLORIOUSLY OMITTED: John Travolta (Hairspray)
INGLORIOUSLY SNUBBED: Paul Dano (There Will Be Blood)

Casey Affleck is nominated for Best Supporting Actor... What is this, the Razzies? I’m not sure when Affleck’s whiney, nasally Boston lisp became “good acting”. Even more surprising was that Affleck got a nomination over Paul Dano, who held his own against Daniel Day-Lewis in There Will Be Blood, and still has message boards chatting about his character’s hidden truths.

I presume the nominations were not taken seriously, because voters had long ago decided that Javier Bardem would win. And in my opinion, that’s a mistake. Tom Wilkinson didn’t enjoy as much screen time as Bardem (nor did he get to walk off into the sunset in the end), but his performance was every bit as pivotal. They were both lunatics, they were both absurd, and they both turned their otherwise-normal worlds upside-down, leaving the rest of the populace to make sense of the disasters in their wakes. Bardem was fantastic, but Wilkinson was better. Wilkinson deserves at least some kind of award for not blinking for what seemed like several minutes in his final scene.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS:
SHOULD WIN: Cate Blanchett – I’m Not There
WILL WIN: Cate Blanchett – I’m Not There
GLORIOUSLY OMITTED: Julia Roberts (Charlie Wilson’s War)
INGLORIOUSLY SNUBBED: Kristen Wiig (Knocked Up)

Ruby Dee’s Screen Actors Guild victory blew this race wide open. What was once a two-person race between Cate Blanchett (I’m Not There) and Amy Ryan (Gone Baby Gone) has now been opened up to all five candidates. While Ryan was looking like an early front-runner, she seems to be suffering from Never Heard Of You Syndrome. Despite being a superstar on Broadway (she’s been nominated for two Tonys), she is still virtually unknown in Hollywood. Not winning the SAG award was a big blow. If she’s going to make a last-minute campaign for the Oscar, she’s going to have to take drastic measures… and she’s already run out of Affleck brothers to sleep with.

While Soarise Ronan was good in Atonement, with the strong competition this year, I think we can agree that the Academy won’t give the award to a little girl. Some pundits think there will be enough room for Tilda Swinton to sneak in and pull off an upset, but I think it’s a long shot at best. Her emotional display in Michael Clayton amounted to sweating profusely in a bathroom stall? Yay. Dee delivered a powerhouse speech in American Gangster, but that was about the extent of her performance, which isn’t quite enough to get recognized. She has also run out of Affleck brothers to sleep with.

So I think it still boils down to Blanchett and Ryan, realistically. For the sake of argument, assume they gave equal performances. Blanchett will get votes in this category based on “unfair” reasons, like her known name, the sheer fact that she portrayed a man (a famous man!), and her nomination in the Lead Actress category. Together, those things are probably worth 5%-10% of the vote. Subtracting from that will be the fact that she won an Oscar recently (in 2005 for The Aviator) – but that fact doesn't necessarily help Ryan (if the SAG vote is any indication, it probably helps Dee). Even if Ryan did give the better performance, the “unfair” votes will be enough to make up for it and carry Blanchett to victory.

Kristen Wiig gets the honorable mention for her hilarious, too-brief role in Knocked Up. She had the funniest lines in the movie, which was a nice balance to Katherine Heigl, who didn’t have any.

I considered naming Jennifer Garner to the Snubbed list for Juno... I don’t really think she deserves an Oscar nomination, but I give her credit for her first role in a movie that’s not an Unintentional Comedy. She has a unique ability to look simultaneously gorgeous and not-at-all gorgeous, with those unnatural dimples so big that she could almost fit Ben Affleck’s ego in them. She, of course, still has one Affleck brother to go.

BEST DIRECTOR:
SHOULD WIN: Paul Thomas Anderson (There Will Be Blood)
WILL WIN: Ethan & Joel Coen (No Country For Old Men)
GLORIOUSLY OMITTED: Sean Penn (Into The Wild), Joe Wright (Atonement)
INGLORIOUSLY SNUBBED: Wes Anderson (The Darjeeling Limited)

When I left the theater after seeing No Country For Old Men, I had an epiphany: I am not a Coen Brothers fan. I thought I was. For about 12 years, starting with Fargo (a true masterpiece, if there is such a thing in movie-making), I really thought I was a fan, greatly anticipating each new film they directed. And then each one disappointed me. Even the films that people loved (The Big Lebowski, O Brother Where Art Thou?, The Man Who Wasn’t There) underwhelmed me. I didn’t bother seeing the flops that came after that (Intolerable Cruelty, The Ladykillers). Since I liked some of their earlier work (The Hudsucker Proxy), I forced myself to re-watch their beloved movies that I didn’t really get the first time (Raising Arizona)… and I didn’t really get them the second time either. So when I got to the end credits of No Country (which admittedly kept me rapt right up until the end), and the whole experience was rendered “blah”, I realized: I don’t think I love these guys, and I don’t think I ever truly did. A decade-long cinematic love affair, down the drain. I guess all along I just had a crush on Fargo.

All that said, consider the Coen Brothers a lock for Best Director. They won the Director’s Guild Award, which is the most accurate of all Oscar predictors (although it was wrong twice in the early 2000s, its track record over the last half-century is astounding). While Julian Schnabel’s Golden Globe victory was a surprise, and might seem to throw some uncertainty into the mix, don’t be fooled: The Diving Bell And The Butterfly was not nominated for Best Picture, and directors whose movies are not nominated for Best Picture never win the Oscar (the only time that happened was in 1930, and even that’s debatable because no nominees were officially named that year, only winners).

Jason Reitman is the real deal. It’s one thing to score big on your first film, and then follow it up with something that’s not awful. But he hit grand slams in his first two at-bats. And not grand slams as in bankable, 100-mil grosser, seen-by-everyone-but-adored-by-no-one flicks (like so many of the torture porn and genre film prodigies of today). But as in smart, funny, meaningful, dare I say important films that, more than any sophomore I can think of recently, strongly suggest that he will be a bona-fide Great Director. I was expecting to have to make him my Snubbed selection for Juno, but then he shocked everyone with a nomination.

Here’s a scoop you heard here first: Joe Wright has a sequel to Atonement in development. The pitch: a young, foolish director witnesses something, something he doesn’t quite understand. He sees audiences weeping at his movie, and his naïve eyes believe they’re crying out of love for the characters and out of admiration of the film. Once he matures, he learns the reality: they were really weeping out of pain, having spent two hours watching a worthless, wretched movie. He’s sorry, but it’s too late; the damage has been done to the viewers’ fragile psyches, and their lives have been ruined. Flash forward to the director as an old man, where he’s lived his entire life with regret, and he makes his final movie to put the record straight, admitting that the original film was horrible, and finally atoning for what he’s done.

In my opinion, The Darjeeling Limited marks a return to form for the unjustly snubbed Wes Anderson. After unveiling disappointments The Royal Tenenbaums and The Life Aquatic, his latest film has returned to the quality of Rushmore, which is where I expected him to be all along. After the success of Bottle Rocket and Rushmore, was Anderson undone by his own coolness? He went from totally geek to totally chic. Did his work suffer because of that? I’m probably being too harsh – after all, Tenenbaums and Aquatic were not bad films, and Tenenbaums netted him an Oscar nomination. And I probably set an unfair bar for him after Rushmore, one of the best films of the 90s. I suppose trying to top it would have been a Sisyphean effort. With something as subjective as art and as cyclical as Hollywood directing, equaling one’s previous outing each time is inarguably impossible. With Darjeeling, I’m happy to see that Anderson was not a flash in the pan. Each shot in the film seems so fused with whimsy – every word, gesture, camera pan, and background detail – but it’s a whimsy so deliberate and intricate that each take must have been a minor miracle. I’m not a huge fan of filmmakers using the same actors over and over, but this cast works: Jason Schwartzman, having co-written the script, was incredibly in-tune with Anderson’s vision; Adrien Brody, a take-him-or-leave-him actor in everything other than The Pianist, is an asset and a welcome addition to the team; and Owen Wilson justifies his presence simply with the priceless line “Look at these assholes.”

Alas, if Wes Anderson can’t win, I guess I’ll settle for the Anderson that’s actually nominated.

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY:
SHOULD WIN: Juno
WILL WIN: Juno
GLORIOUSLY OMITTED: Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World's End
INGLORIOUSLY SNUBBED: The Darjeeling Limited

Very often the two screenplay awards go to the Best Picture winner and runner-up. This year, both of those films (No Country For Old Men and There Will Be Blood) are in the Adapted category, so the Original category is wide open. Expect it to go to one of the Picture also-rans, Juno or Michael Clayton. Juno has the edge as it boasts the hipper, more touching story, and the hipper, more touched writer (she was once a stripper). Diablo Cody is young, she uses edgy language, she has a MySpace page, and she’s a woman with an ATTITUDE. Hollywood seems to be head over heels about this broad, probably because most of them saw her pole-dancing act. It also helps that Juno was a monster Box Office hit, and didn’t have anybody poking holes in the plot or logic.

One of the things I really liked about Michael Clayton (and I give this credit to the screenplay), is how the protagonist is characterized. He’s a guy that is supposed to have all the answers. And more than that, he is the guy that everyone THINKS has all the answers. He is the “fixer” for a large, high-powered law firm, the man that can supposedly get anybody out of any mess. No matter what the situation, he is supposed to know what to do. And he puts on a façade that is consistent with that. But as the events of the movie unfold, we see that he has no answers at all. Not one. Not in any facet of his life. He is always at least one step behind everyone else. He doesn’t know what to do about: his career, his boss, his son, his gambling addiction, his failed restaurant, his debt, his brother, how to find and help Tom Wilkinson, and centrally, the moral dilemma of the pesticide company. Even in the end, when he finally gets something right, it only works out because his opponent believes he’s got the answer and is in control, when in reality he’s bluffing. It adds up to a host of contradictions that writer/director Tony Gilroy pulls off deftly. As the sole criticism of the script, however, I will say that the re-playing of the sequence from the beginning of the film was unnecessary, a ten-minute waste of time and a momentum-killer.

I chose the Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World’s End for my Gloriously Omitted spot… not that it had a screaming chance of an Oscar nom, but I wanted to call attention to what an atrocity that story was. Even worse than Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, if you can believe it. I haven’t met one person that could tell me what was going on during any part of that movie. Try it yourself: pick any five-minute span of the film, and try to explain it to someone else. Or try to explain why a character did something in a particular scene. I guarantee you can’t do it. Even if your name is Johnny Depp. And Americans still spent 300 million of their hard-earned dollars on it… I can just see the four horsemen of the apocalypse cresting the hill now…

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY:
SHOULD WIN: The Diving Bell And The Butterfly
WILL WIN: No Country For Old Men
GLORIOUSLY OMITTED: Into The Wild
INGLORIOUSLY SNUBBED: American Gangster

The easy choice would be to go with my Best Picture selection, There Will Be Blood. But the significant deviation from the source material and uncomfortably jarring ending knock it down a bit for me. Without Daniel Day-Lewis, it’s hard to say whether I would have liked the movie at all. (The script gets extra credit, however, for “I drink your milkshake!”) Instead, I’ll endorse The Diving Bell And The Butterfly. While director Julian Schnabel is picking up awards for his artistic vision, it was screenwriter Ronald Harwood who decided to tell the story from the paralyzed character’s point of view, providing one of the most unique narrative experiences of recent cinema.

After Atonement won the BAFTA and Golden Globe awards, it’s clear that Europeans love the film because it’s like them: senseless and boring. It has as much a chance at winning the Screenplay award as it does Best Picture: none.

I was disappointed that American Gangster was slighted. So it included exaggerations, liberties, artistic license, unverified research, disputed accounts, and complete fabrications… big deal. It was still a good story. If the truth is more important to you than a good story, I don’t even know what to say to you (mostly because I rarely tell the truth).

Thoughts on some other awards…

Best Original Score
The score that deserves to win wasn’t even nominated. The music from There Will Be Blood (composed by Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood), so original and so arresting in the context of the film, was deemed ineligible because of its use of some pre-existing music. I understand that the name of the category is “Original” Score, but it would be nice if there was consideration for musical achievement that didn’t fit squarely into that box. In its absence, the front-runner looks like Atonement, which I resent. I readily admit that the score was good, but the story was so flimsy that it relied VERY heavily on the music to trick the audience into imagining there was drama that didn’t actually exist. I suppose that’s the hallmark of a good score, but I don’t want to vote for a film that relied on it artificially. The most interesting part of this race is who is NOT nominated: musical savant John Williams. For the second year in a row, he’s not nominated for an Oscar. That doesn’t sound like a big deal, but examine his history: in the 40 years since his first nomination, this is only the second time he’s gone consecutive years without a nomination. In those 40 years, he’s racked up some astonishing stats: he’s been nominated for 45 Oscars (and won five); he has had multiple nominations 13 times; he had a streak of being nominated eight years in a row; and there have been only 11 years where he wasn’t nominated. Is he worried about being passed over next year too? Well, a certain fedora-wearing archeologist with an iconic theme song will be back in theaters in May...

Best Original Song: Astonishingly, there was no nomination for Eddie Vedder (or his ego) for any of his songs from Into The Wild. It’s the one category that I felt the film actually deserved some recognition. Not one, but three (three!) songs from Enchanted? Eek. With all of the garbage nominated this year, they should have replaced the category with a better one: Best Retro 70s Folk Song. It would come down to Where Do You Go To (My Lovely) by Peter Sarstedt from The Darjeeling Limited and All I Want Is You by Barry Louis Polisar from the opening credits of Juno. Voters may have leaned toward All I Want Is You, unless they had seen Darjeeling’s short-film-prequel, The Hotel Chevalier, which featured Where Do You Go To more prominently and with greater significance. After much debate and an unprecedented mustache-off during the live performances on the show, it would have been declared a tie, and the world would have been a wonderful place. Instead, we live in a world where dancing rats will take the award.



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Reviews


Submitted by JonnyX at 2008-02-27 02:04:16 EST (#)
Rating: 1

YOU WERE WRONG

Submitted by CaptainThorns at 2008-02-25 10:09:44 EST (#)
Rating: 2

Submitted by BLITZKREIG_BOB (user info) at 2008-02-23 19:22:56 CST (#)
Ranking: 2

Honestly, I could give a rat's ass about the movie industry.

However, your Oscar reviews have become an Uber-institution (that I could care less about).

Rock on...and post something non-oscar.

Submitted by iddqd at 2008-02-24 22:47:10 EST (#)
Rating: 0

darjeeling sucked. i like wes's films but hes found a nice comfortable rut with his wealthy, yet dysfunctional and quirky families all learning a lesson about life together.

Submitted by Stabkill at 2008-02-24 21:38:43 EST (#)
Rating: 2

Your opinions are better than the Oscar Awards itself.

If Hollywood went up in a nuclear mushroom cloud, I wouldn't miss it. Fuck it, take everything within of 50 miles of L.A. and make the world a better place.

Submitted by darko at 2008-02-24 21:32:04 EST (#)
Rating: 2

Submitted by Bubba2341 (user info) at 2008-02-24 14:50:03 EST (#)
Ranking: -2

Submitted by ghola (user info) at 2008-02-23 19:11:56 EST (#)
Ranking: 2

someone else did one of these, but yours was better
============
Better? No, simply longer and more pretentious.
---------------
Which is what makes it completely fitting for the Oscars.

Submitted by DonovanMD at 2008-02-24 21:23:06 EST (#)
Rating: 2

Ok, I admit, these are always pretty damn good.

Submitted by kuroneko_sama at 2008-02-24 21:14:16 EST (#)
Rating: 2

not reading all of that



and i dont give a shit about the oscars












you get the points for the time taken to type this

Submitted by Bubba2341 at 2008-02-24 14:50:03 EST (#)
Rating: -2

Submitted by ghola (user info) at 2008-02-23 19:11:56 EST (#)
Ranking: 2

someone else did one of these, but yours was better
============
Better? No, simply longer and more pretentious.

Submitted by lungfish at 2008-02-23 22:53:37 EST (#)
Rating: 2

ps, I didn't read this.

Submitted by lungfish at 2008-02-23 22:52:57 EST (#)
Rating: 2

Submitted by HotWillie (user info) at 2008-02-23 14:51:08 EST (#)
Ranking: 2


Julie Christie is still a piece of ass, however.

----

Indeed. She's in my Hall of Fame.

Submitted by BLITZKREIG_BOB at 2008-02-23 20:22:56 EST (#)
Rating: 2

Honestly, I could give a rat's ass about the movie industry.

However, your Oscar reviews have become an Uber-institution (that I could care less about).

Rock on...and post something non-oscar.

Submitted by Earth Collapse at 2008-02-23 19:20:46 EST (#)
Rating: 1

Atonement is going to win Best Picture, because it was the best film of the year, GODDAMNIT.

Submitted by ghola at 2008-02-23 19:11:56 EST (#)
Rating: 2

someone else did one of these, but yours was better

Submitted by Lambchop at 2008-02-23 16:13:19 EST (#)
Rating: 2

If it were up to me No Country for Old Men and There Will Be Blood should sweep.

Including Daniel Day-Lewis for Best Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor, and Supporting Actress

I'd go gay for that man.

Submitted by JMG114 at 2008-02-23 16:05:33 EST (#)
Rating: 2

Not as good as mine, because I didn't much care for Juno.

Submitted by Sinistral at 2008-02-23 15:22:15 EST (#)
Rating: 2

Also, Daniel Day-Lewis did a phenomenal job in "There Will be Blood," but the movie itself was way too long and drawn-out for it get Best Picture.

Submitted by Sinistral at 2008-02-23 15:20:36 EST (#)
Rating: 2

Philip Seymour Hoffman should win Best Supporting Actor for his work in "Charlie Wilson's War." Quite simply, he made that movie into something more than a mediocre film with big names (Julia Roberts and Tom Hanks).

And thank you for criticizing "No Country for Old Men." I hated that movie from day one, and not because I didn't get it, but because it's a piece of shit movie.

"American Gangster," on the other hand, is in my opinion one of the most disappointing movies of the year. It was hyped as the next "Godfather" or "Scarface" but to me it didn't deliver at all.

Submitted by rorrim at 2008-02-23 14:54:45 EST (#)
Rating: 2

Submitted by HotWillie (user info) at 2008-02-23 14:51:08 EST (#)
Ranking: 2



Good post fag.

Submitted by HotWillie at 2008-02-23 14:51:08 EST (#)
Rating: 2

BEST PICTURE:
SHOULD WIN: No Country For Old Men
WILL WIN: Michael Clayton

The two auteur entries will split the vote, and the well crafted studio pic will win in an upset.

I agree Nancy Grace is a cunt.

It's obvious you're gay for Wes Anderson.

Jason Reitman is a very good director, but he got the nomination because of Diablo's pole work and daddy's well placed phone calls. Dick Zanuck did the same for Dan Aykroyd on Driving Miss Daisy. The script and casting are the stars there, not the director.


BEST ACTOR:
SHOULD WIN: Daniel Day-Lewis (There Will Be Blood)
WILL WIN: Daniel Day-Lewis (There Will Be Blood)

Agreed.

If you haven't seen an early DDL film called Stars and Bars, you should. He gives an hilarious performance in a weird, offbeat comedy. Yes, Daniel Day Lewis can be really fucking funny.


BEST ACTRESS:
SHOULD WIN: Marion Cotillard
WILL WIN: Julie Christie (Away From Her)

Marion Cotillard was fucking amazing. If you think she didn't give the best performance by any actor in any role you probably didn't see the film and/or are gay for Wes Anderson.

Julie Christie is still a piece of ass, however.


BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR:
SHOULD WIN: Tom Wilkinson (Michael Clayton)
WILL WIN: Javier Bardem (No Country For Old Men)

Agreed. Bardem's hair should accept the Oscar on his behalf.


BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS:
SHOULD WIN: Amy Ryan (Gone Baby Gone)
WILL WIN: Ruby Dee

Ruby in the Academy's senior moment. It's a fact little known outside Hollywood, but Ben Affleck nailed her shortly after Ossie died. Casey watched, so that's an Affleck twofer.


BEST DIRECTOR:
SHOULD WIN: Ethan & Joel Coen (No Country For Old Men)
WILL WIN: Paul Thomas Anderson (There Will Be Blood)

I reversed your choices. I do not respect your opinion of the Coens at all. They are masters. And you didn't even mention one of their very best, Miller's Crossing. Go fuck yourself in the ass with a bowling ball.

And while you're at it, why don't you suck Wes Anderson's cock already? Jesus. And Reitman's, too. See if you can fit them both in your mouth at the same time.

Schnabel's nomination, like Reitman's, owes much to the script. They're both good directors, but the writers did the heavy lifting in these two instances. As you already know, it was the screenwriter who came up with the POV device in Diving Bell, which made the film.


BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY:
SHOULD WIN: Michael Clayton
WILL WIN: Juno

Again with The Darjeeling Limited. Maybe you should suck the entire film's cock. And the crew. And everyone who went to see it. All three of them.


BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY:
SHOULD WIN: The Diving Bell And The Butterfly
WILL WIN: No Country For Old Men

Agreed. Now go slurp up Wes Anderson's milk shake.

Good post fag.

Submitted by Axolotl at 2008-02-23 14:12:17 EST (#)
Rating: 2

;(

Submitted by Axolotl at 2008-02-23 14:12:09 EST (#)
Rating: 2

BUT WHERE IS SUPERBAD?

Submitted by darko at 2008-02-23 13:56:01 EST (#)
Rating: 2

Better than JMG's, because he hated juno


Hey, what's the big deal about going to some building every Sunday? I
mean, isn't God everywhere?

-- Homer Simpson
Homer the Heretic