The day is almost here: the 2008 Academy Awards. For a while, there was fear that this show wouldn’t even exist, but, as one could have predicted, the writer’s strike ended far enough in advance for that not to happen.
It’s an incredibly competitive bunch this year, and all films are deserving in some way or another. Here is my Oscar predictions for Best Picture:
- No Country for Old Men will win, even though I think it’s only the third best movie of the group. One of the earliest films to be released wide, the movie faced the challenging of losing steam over the months, and at times, it appeared to be doing so. But the Coen Brothers’ movie has been resilient and proven to be a powerhouse at many major award shows, and it will be a shocker if No Country for Old Men doesn’t win. If the Coens had bothered to stamp a real ending on the film, I would be voting for this film look no other – after all, it is one of the best thrillers ever made – but the ending sucked. To me, an Oscar winner should be a complete film… and endings are an essential part for any film.
- Atonement was my favorite film of the year. It is my most mainstream choice in years, though I have several friends who have told me the movie sucks. I honestly don’t know what they watched; Atonement is an engaging, emotional, interesting and unique war drama, with great direction (how did Joe Wright not get nominated?) and a great score. I would be happy if this movie wins, if not just to prove to my friends that other people feel the same way I do, but this movie doesn’t have much of a chance. Despite winning many major awards, including Best Motion Picture at the Golden Globes, analysts have counted this one out of the running. I don’t know why, exactly, but I’d be very surprised if this movie won.
- Despite my decimal-point favoring to Atonement, There Will Be Blood is my pick (not my prediction) to win Best Picture. The movie is phenomenal and unique, and I want it to win because it is so bold and different from the other films nominated. Unfortunately, the movie will have to be satisfied by a win for Daniel Day-Lewis as Best Actor.
- The final two films are lesser entries, and I will be highly disappointed if they win. Michael Clayton was great, but not that great – especially compared to the other contenders – and Juno… well, it’s a great movie, but it’s a simpler film that doesn’t deserve the title of Best Movie of the Year. Juno will win for Best Original Screenplay, and it will deserve it: after all, the screenplay is what makes the film. I’m not a big fan of comedies winning major awards, and will be upset if Juno steals the award from other, greater films.
More than likely, No Country for Old Men will win. An upset isn’t out of the question, however. No Country and Blood could split votes, leaving an opening for Atonement or, more likely, Juno. I hope that doesn’t happen, but it could. Either way, expect Michael Clayton at the bottom of the pile.