HE final, final Oscar predictions: BEST PICTURE: No Country for Old Men, although I’d like credit for saying it’s vaguely possible that Michael Clayton or Juno could sneak a win. (Although it probably won’t happen.) BEST DIRECTOR: No Country‘s Joel and Ethan Coen — no question, no discussion.
BEST ACTOR: Blood‘s Daniel Day-Lewis…a lock. BEST ACTRESS: Probably Away From Her‘s Julie Christie, although I personally prefer La Vie en Rose‘s Marion Cotillard. (I’ll personally be shattered if Juno‘s Ellen Page wins for the mere feat of giving good spunk.) BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: No Country‘s Javier Bardem. BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Michael Clayton‘s Tilda Swinton, although my personal choice is I’m Not There‘s Cate Blanchett.
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: Diablo Cody for Juno, but it’ll be cool if Tony Gilroy wins for Michael Clayton. BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: The Coens, No Country. BEST ANIMATED FEATURE: Ratatouille. BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: Roger Deakins, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. BEST ART DIRECTION: Jack FIsk, There Will Be Blood. BEST SONG: “Falling Slowly”, Once, Glenn Hansard and Marketa Irglova. BEST DOCUMENTARY: No End in Sight.
I’ll tap out the small stuff sometime tomorrow.
Vantage Point is a hound dog, but it’s going to be the weekend’s #1 film. The tracking is 71, 40 and 19, which means a weekend gross in the high teens, possibly crestng $20 million. Unless, of course, it tanks so badly with audiences that the word spreads like nerve gas.
“Can an implausible set piece offer up fresh thrills and insights if replayed ad infinitum from different perspectives?,” Justin Chang‘s 2.21 Variety review begins. “Not according to Vantage Point, a 23-minute movie dragged out, via some narrative gimmickry, to a punishing hour and a half.
“Circling endlessly around a political assassination attempt and its violently contrived aftermath, the film proves every bit as crude, nerve-grinding and finally unsalvageable as the car accidents it keeps inflicting on its characters. Originally slated for a 2007 release, Sony holdover is unlikely to stop traffic around multiplexes despite its attention-getting cast, especially when poor word-of-mouth takes hold.”
Seeking to “reduce exposure to advertising markets and cyclicality,” Reed Elsevier intends to sell Variety and other Reed Business trade pubs like Broadcasting and Cable, Multichannel News and Publishers Weekly. Either the RE bean counters don’t see enough growth potential in the advertising revenues from these trades over the next few years, or they’ve simply lost their stomach for the business. Can you imagine an owner of a automotive garage saying they’re selling in order to reduce exposure to gaskets, oil filters, picky customers, Phillips head screwdrivers and fan belts?
Video from the Belgrade rioting has shown a clip of a Serbian mob on a street below with a view of a large off-white wall with a half-obscured McDonald’s logo, plain as day. If I were there (and a part of me wishes I were) I would get this shot, guaranteed. Nothing says “Orwellian” or “Big Brother” like the Golden Arches.
“A desperately unfunny mix of tepid showbiz satire and formulaic romantic comedy, writer-director Amy Heckerling‘s long-delayed, trouble-plagued I Could Never Be Your Womanfinally has been released — or, more precisely, unleashed — as a direct-to-video title. But it’s unlikely that even the marquee allure of Michelle Pfeiffer, Paul Rudd and up-and-comer Saoirse Ronan will be enough to offset unfavorable buzz after enough renters sample this ill-fated fiasco.” — from Joe Leydon‘s 2.21 Variety review.
Gabriel Sherman‘s 2.21 New Republic piece about the run-up — reporting, internal debating, stalling, the resignation of a reporter — to the publishing of yesterday’s N.Y. Times story about allegations that Sen.John McCain and a female lobbyist had an improper relationship eight years ago, is an absolute must-read. The article is called “The Long Run-Up: Behind the Bombshell in The New York Times.”
There is a place in the world for big-concept Roland Emmerich movies with lots of special effects that critics will most likely hate. You have to be a grown-up and accept this. Be a man, take the pain. There was the alien mother ship the size of Newport, Rhode Island, hovering over the White House in Independence Day. That scene in The Patriot with the cannonball blowing a guy’s head off. Those scenes of cataclysmic global disaster in The Day After Tomorrow. The scary saber-tooth tigers in 10,000 B.C. (out March 7, 2008). The latest sign off is an end-of-days movie called 2012 that may cost $200 million to make. Big paychecks all around.
Michael Clayton “is the best it can be in that genre. But there’s a ceiling on that genre. If it has a shot at [winning] anything, it’s best supporting actress with Tilda Swinton.” — George Clooney speaking to Time profiler Joel Stein in the 2.20 issue.
Also: “I thought Daniel Day Lewis had the best performance of the year. Then I saw La Vie En Rose. Marion Cotillard does an old person trying to be young, instead of what everyone does — a young person trying to be old. It’s a stunning performance. But there is no way Daniel Day Lewis won’t win. For me, it’s like being Hillary Clinton. If it weren’t for Barack Obama, it would have been a very good year [for her].”