Just for the record, this morning’s Academy nominations plus predictions and scattered reactions:
BEST PICTURE: Atonement, Juno, Michael Clayton, No Country for Old Men and There Will Be Blood. (Juno doesn’t belong with the other four — in a better world, being “really likable” and making lots of money wouldn’t translate into a Best Picture nom, especially with masterpieces like Zodiac and The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford being cold-shouldered, and with a much more affecting spiritual delight like Once also getting the shaft.) What Will Win?: No Country for Old Men….I think.
BEST DIRECTOR: Paul Thomas Anderson, There Will Be Blood; Joel & Ethan Coen, No Country for Old Men; Tony Gilroy, Michael Clayton; Jason Reitman, Juno; and Julian Schnabel, The Diving Bell & the Butterfly. (Schabel’s is an attaboy/gmme nomination — meaningless without a Butterfly Best Picture nom.) Who Will Win?: the Coen boys.
BEST ACTOR: George Clooney, Michael Clayton (still don’t get this…a very strong and lived-in performance and Clooney’s second best perf ever after Syriana, but it doesn’t meet my criteria for “award-quality” — how about a nomination for Sturdiest Lead Male performance?); Daniel “I drink your milkshake” Day-Lewis, There Will Be Blood; Johnny Depp, Sweeney Todd; Tommy Lee Jones, In the Valley of Elah; Viggo Mortensen, Eastern Promises. (“I yam Rauhssian and good with a knife, and if you attack me in a steam bath I will fight you in a way that will get the attention of certain female journalists.”) Who Will Win?: Lewis.
BEST ACTRESS: Cate Blanchett, Elizabeth: The Golden Age (what?…welcome to the clueless blue-hair vote…aesthetically-challenged empties who are enormously impressed by histrionics and costumes); Julie Christie, Away from Her; Marion Cotillard, La Vie En Rose; Laura Linney, The Savages (well deserved); Ellen Page, Juno. Who Will Win?: Between Christie and Cotillard. HE has stood by Cotillard all the way. She should win unless the oldies get together and decided to give Christie, who is superb in Away From Her, an admiration-plus-nostalgia vote.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Casey Affleck, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford; Javier Bardem, No Country for Old Men; Philip Seymour Hoffman, Charlie Wilson’s War (Toby Kebbell, the guy who played the same kind of smart-ass character in Control, was better); Hal Holbrook, Into the Wild; Tom Wilkinson, Michael Clayton. Who Will Win?: Bardem.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Cate Blanchett, I’m Not There; Ruby Dee, American Gangster; Saoirse Ronan, Atonement; Amy Ryan, Gone Baby Gone; Tilda Swinton, Michael Clayton (well deserved). Who Will Win?: It’s between Blanchett and Ryan.
More to come in a few….