The latest Envelope Buzzmeter is out and Juno, a smart and likable comfort-blanket movie, is now in the top five. The problem (and I don’t dislike it — it’s a thoroughly decent domestic dramedy) is that it’s a 7.5 or an 8, at best, and just not in the class of last year’s Fox Searchlight contender, Little Miss Sunshine.
Otherwise, Atonement still leads with No Country for Old Men, American Gangster and The Kite Runner in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th position.
No Country‘s Joel and Ethan Coen are still the leading Best Director contenders with Atonement‘s Joe Wright, American Gangster‘s Ridley Scott and Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead helmer Sidney Lumet running 2nd through 5th.
There Will Be Blood‘s Daniel Day-Lewis is still top dog in the Best Actor category, followed by Gangster‘s Denzel Washington, Sweeney Todd‘s Johnny Depp (a new arrival), Michael Clayton‘s George Clooney — what? — and Atonement‘s James McAvoy.
Stop right there. The 25 Buzzmeter contributors (myself excluded) are telling me that Clooney’s performance, which was perfectly solid and convincing, was stronger and more penetrating than Benicio del Toro‘s in Things We Lost in the Fire? I need to say this politely but are they out of their minds? Del Toro has the spirit, the craft and the under-the-skin honesty of Marlon Brando. Wake up, grow a pair, say what’s really true and stop playing political suck-up games, and I’m saying this with the greatest respect for the smarts and wisdom of everyone concerned.
The Best Actress race is still led by La Vie en Rose‘s Marion Cotilard (my choice), followed by Away From Her‘s Julie Christie, Juno‘s Ellen Page, Atonement‘s Keira Knightley and Enchanted‘s Amy Adams. Honestly, really now — would the Buzzmeter gang be voting for Adams if Enchanted had fizzled at the box-office? It’s a fine, live-wire performance, sure, but it’s pretty much a one-note thing…okay, two notes…an enchanting bit…Carol Burnett as Snow White. Get past it.
In the Best Supporting Actor category, Tommy Lee Jones — the sad-hearted soul of No Country for Old Men — has been edged out by The Assassination of Jesse James‘ Casey Affleck. Affleck was awfully good in that film so no complaints. No Country‘s Javier Bardem still leads the pack with Into The Wild‘s Hal Holbrook, Michael Clayton‘s Tom Wilkinson and Charlie Wilson’s War‘s Philip Seymour Hoffman also among the five. Fine by me.
I’m Not There‘s Cate Blanchett still leads the Best Supporting Actress category, as she should. Gone Baby Gone‘s Amy Ryan, Michael Clayton‘s Tilda Swinton, Atonement‘s Saoirse Ronan and American Gangster‘s Ruby Dee also among the top five.