A discussion is warranted about Pete Hammond‘s belief/theory (which is shared by yours truly) that given the strong support/affection for Michael Clayton, particularly among the over-60 crowd, the odds favor at least one Clayton nominee — Tilda Swinton — getting rewarded with an Oscar.
The thinking is that Academy voters, wanting to give Tony Gilroy‘s film something but knowing that a Best Picture or Best Director or Best Original Screenplay or Best Supporting Actor win won’t happen (because No Country, the Coen brothers, Diablo Cody and Javier Bardem have these prizes all but sewn up), will throw all their Clayton love to Swinton.
Swinton has the added plus factor of having gained a bit of weight for her role as a never-jangled corporate flunky and thereby made herself look less than fully attractive (flab being a symptom among Type-A professionals of bad food, late-night drinking, stress and anxiety). Academy members have always seemed to admire any performance that physically alters or deglamorizes. I know, I know….the height of shallow thinking. But why was there laughter when Denzel Washington said “by a nose” before he announced that the Best Actress Oscar was going to Nicole Kidman for her performance in The Hours?