A director friend, currently prepping a film in London, wrote me a four-word e-mail last night: “I’m hearing Juno everywhere.” Meaning that British-based Academy members are telling each other over lunches and at parties that they like Juno as a Best Picture nominee more than No Country or There Will Be Blood or Michael Clayton, even. Everywhere I turn, everyone I talk to, the talk is rife that a left-field Best Picture upset may be in the offing.
I don’t believe it. I can’t believe it. How could No Country win all those guild awards and not be the clear front-runner?
One thing I’m fairly convinced of is that Michael Clayton stands a much better chance of stealing the Best Picture Oscar than Juno. I would be flabbergasted if either of these films takes it (as well as shattered, floored, dumbfounded, stunned, appalled) but if No Country or There Will Be Blood has to lose to a dark horse, I would prefer that it be Clayton. I would very, very upset if Juno wins. Who would be delighted about that besides the filmmakers and Fox Searchlight?
I wrote my director friend right back last night and asked “What do you mean ‘everywhere’? Who are you talking to? Directors? Art directors? Below the line? Actors?” He wrote right back: “Producers.”