Monday, January 22, 2007

Oscar Predictions: Last Chance

That time again -- Oscar nominations are announced Tuesday morning, so I suppose I should take a crack at 'em. I'm not nearly as invested in the race this year as I've been in years past, but I was paying close enough attention to make an educated guess. So many of the major categories seem all sewn up, which may be where a lot of the disinterest comes from, so I'm kind of hoping for some upsets, which is where the "from left field" choices come in.

Best Picture
01 - Dreamgirls
02 - The Departed
03 - Little Miss Sunshine
04 - The Queen
05 - Babel
alternate: Letters From Iwo Jima
from left field: Pan's Labyrinth

The top five look very solid, and the buzz right now is that this is five-way race for the award. Which is cool if that's truly the case. I'd be very surprised if anything truly weird happened here.

Best Director
01 - Martin Scorsese - The Departed
02 - Alejandro Gonzalez Iñaritu - Babel
03 - Stephen Frears - The Queen
04 - Bill Condon - Dreamgirls
05 - Paul Greengrass - United 93
alternate: Jonathan Dayton/Valerie Ferris - Little Miss Sunshine
from left field: Alfonso Cuaron - Children of Men

On the other hand, I'm expecting weirdness here. Dayton/Ferris seem like a likely snub due to them being a team, which leaves the field wide open. Either Greengrass or Cuaron would make my day. And unless Clint Eastwood pops up here, the awards looks to be Scorsese's to lose.

Best Actor
01 - Forest Whitaker - The Last King of Scotland
02 - Peter O'Toole - Venus
03 - Will Smith - The Pursuit of Happyness
04 - Leonardo DiCaprio - The Departed
05 - Ryan Gosling - Half Nelson
alternate: Sacha Baron Cohen - Borat
from left field: Matt Damon - The Good Shepherd

I'll be pulling for Gosling to hold on to that fifth slot, certainly. I still think Cohen's too much of a stunt man for Oscar.

Best Actress
01 - Helen Mirren - The Queen
02 - Judi Dench - Notes on a Scandal
03 - Meryl Streep - The Devil Wears Prada
04 - Penelope Cruz - Volver
05 - Kate Winslet - Little Children
alternate: Maggie Gyllenhaal - Sherrybaby
from left field: Naomi Watts - The Painted Veil

I honestly don't even think Maggie has a chance, that's how solid that top 5 are. Watts wouldn't exactly shock me, but I honestly think her co-star Edward Norton stands a better chance in Best Actor.

Best Supporting Actor
01 - Eddie Murphy - Dreamgirls
02 - Jack Nicholson - The Departed
03 - Jackie Earle Haley - Little Children
04 - Michael Sheen - The Queen
05 - Djimon Honsou - Blood Diamond
alternate: Alan Arkin - Little Miss Sunshine
from left field: Stanley Tucci - The Devil Wears Prada

Wide, wide, WIDE open race to nominations, which is cool. Only Murphy and (likely) Nicholson are secure. Mark Wahlberg, Ben Afleck, and Brad Pitt were all Golden Globe nominees I'm picking to drop off in favor of Haley, Sheen, and Honsou. Hopefully the spread-thin vote totals will mean a true dark horse like Tucci or Steve Carell might show up.

Best Supporting Actress
01 - Jennifer Hudson - Dreamgirls
02 - Rinko Kikuchi - Babel
03 - Abigail Breslin - Little Miss Sunshine
04 - Cate Blanchett - Notes on a Scandal
05 - Emily Blunt - The Devil Wears Prada
alternate: Adriana Barraza - Babel
from left field: Meryl Streep - A Prairie Home Companion

I have to stick with Emily Blunt, since she's the one I placed my bet on back in September. Trouble is, I'm not sure if any of the universally-accepted top five are even vulnerable. It seems Barraza would be the first to fall, which is too bad, because she's probably the best of the lot. It's too bad this category coalesced so quickly, because strong performances by Emma Thompson, Toni Collette, and Catherine O'Hara certainly merit consideration.

Best Original Screenplay
01 - The Queen
02 - Little Miss Sunshine
03 - Babel
04 - United 93
05 - Stranger Than Fiction
alt.: Pan's Labyrinth

Best Adapted Screenplay
01 - The Departed
02 - Little Children
03 - The Devil Wears Prada
04 - Notes on a Scandal
05 - Thank You For Smoking
alt.: Children of Men

Predictions in (almost) all categories after the jump.

Best Cinematography
01 - Children of Men
02 - Apocalypto
03 - The Good Shepherd
04 - Dreamgirls
05 - Babel
alt.: The Departed

Best Editing
01 - The Departed
02 - United 93
03 - Babel
04 - Dreamgirls
05 - The Queen
alt.: Little Miss Sunshine

Best Art Direction
01 - Dreamgirls
02 - Pan's Labyrinth
03 - Children of Men
04 - Marie Antoinette
05 - The Prestige
alt.: Curse of the Golden Flower

Best Visual Effects
01 - Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
02 - Superman Returns
03 - Posiedon
alt.: X-Men: The Last Stand

Best Makeup
01 - Apocalypto
02 - Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
03 - Pan's Labyrinth
alt.: The Prestige

Best Costume Design
01 - Dreamgirls
02 - Marie Antoinette
03 - Curse of the Golden Flower
04 - The Illusionist
05 - Pan's Labyrinth
alt.: The Devil Wears Prada

Best Original Score
01 - The Painted Veil
02 - Babel
03 - Notes on a Scandal
04 - The Good German
05 - The DaVinci Code
alt.: Apocalypto

Best Original Song
01 - Dreamgirls ("Listen")
02 - Happy Feet ("The Song of the Heart")
03 - An Inconvenient Truth ("I Need To Wake Up")
04 - Bobby ("Never Gonna Break My Faith")
05 - Dreamgirls ("Love You I Do")
alt.: Little Miss Sunshine ("Till the End of Time")

Best Sound Design
01 - Dreamgirls
02 - Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
03 - Letters From Iwo Jima
04 - Casino Royale
05 - The Departed
alt.: Cars

Best Sound Effects Editing
01 - Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
02 - Superman Returns
03 - Happy Feet
alt.: Casino Royale

Best Animated Feature
01 - Cars
02 - Happy Feet
03 - Monster House
alt.: Over the Hedge

Best Foreign Film
01 - Pan's Labyrinth (Mexico)
02 - Volver (Spain)
03 - The Lives of Others (Germany)
04 - Water (Canada)
05 - Indigenes (Algeria)
alt.: After the Wedding (Denmark)

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