Tuesday, January 22, 2008

There Will Be Oscars... Presumably

I'm not sure how much the Academy Awards will matter if the writers' strike isn't resolved by the time the ceremony is scheduled (February 24).  The Golden Globes were a great example of the "if a tree falls in a forest, but no one is around to hear it..." axiom with their attempt to do the show as a press conference, rather than its usual celebrity-stocked, loose-lipped fashion show.

But here at Fried Rice Thoughts, we've posted something about the Oscar nominations for three years running, and I'd hate to be a roadblock for tradition.

You can read the complete list here, but for now, these are the categories I think most of us care about the most:

Best supporting actress:
Cate Blanchett - I'm Not There
Ruby Dee - American Gangster
Saoirse Ronan - Atonement
Amy Ryan - Gone Baby Gone
Tilda Swinton - Michael Clayton

Best supporting actor:
Casey Affleck - The Assassination of Jesse James
Javier Bardem - No Country For Old Men
Philip Seymour Hoffman - Charlie Wilson's War
Hal Holbrook - Into the Wild
Tom Wilkinson - Michael Clayton

Best Actress:
Cate Blanchett - Elizabeth: The Golden Age
Julie Christie - Away From Her
Marion Cotillard - La Vie En Rose
Laura Linney - The Savages
Ellen Page - Juno

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

Best Director:
Julian Schnabel - The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Jason Reitman - Juno
Tony Gilroy - Michael Clayton
Joel Coen and Ethan Coen - No Country For Old Men
Paul Thomas Anderson - There Will Be Blood

Best Original Screenplay:
Diablo Cody - Juno
Nancy Oliver - Lars and the Real Girl
Tony Gilroy - Michael Clayton
Brad Bird, Jan Pinkava, and Jim Capobianco - Ratatouille
Tamara Jenkins - The Savages

Best Adapted Screenplay:
Christopher Hampton - Atonement
Sarah Polley - Away From Her
Ronald Harwood - The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Joel Coen and Ethan Coen - No Country For Old Men
Paul Thomas Anderson - There Will Be Blood

Best Picture:
Michael Clayton
No Country For Old Men
There Will Be Blood

Quick thoughts:

▪▪ I think Jennifer Garner kind of got hosed.  She was fantastic in Juno.  But her competition is tough, so I don't think she would've won, anyway. And Juno got plenty of love in other categories, so maybe that was enough.

Kelly McDonald in No Country For Old Men would've been a good pick too, now that I think about it.

▪▪ Who would I have taken off in favor of Garner?  Well, I haven't seen Atonement, so I'd say Ruby Dee.  She was good in American Gangster, but I can really only think of one scene in which she stood out.

Robert Downey, Jr. would've been a nice Best Supporting Actor pick for Zodiac too, but I don't know who I'd take off that list.

▪▪ Who should win Best Supporting Actress? Tilda Swinton.  That was the one sit-up-and-clap nominee for me.

▪▪ Looking over each of the categories, I'm not sure anyone's a lock for a winner.  Okay, Daniel Day-Lewis is probably a cinch for Best Actor.  But I haven't seen There Will Be Blood yet, so I really can't say much about that.  (Hopefully, that'll change this weekend.)

▪▪ Javier Bardem might be a lock for Best Supporting Actor, too.  But Philip Seymour Hoffman (who also could've been nominated for both The Savages and Before the Devil Knows You're Dead) and Hal Holbrook (despite only about 10-15 minutes of screen time) both had great performances in their roles.

▪▪ Man, I really need to see There Will Be Blood.  That and Atonement are the Best Picture nominees I haven't seen yet.  I need to rent Eastern Promises, too.

▪▪ I don't think he will, but I'd love to see Julian Schnabel win Best Director for The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.