Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Oscar Predictions 2007

I am a huge fan of film. So is Mrs. JC. We've been regular Oscar viewers since 2000, when we began dating.

I've been watching the Oscars since 1991. Haven't missed a show. I don't get big into the whole "awards season" thing, but I enjoy watching the nominations and the Oscar show. We sometimes have friends over to view, and sometimes just the two of us watch. But we enjoy it.

Being a big movie fan, and a big Oscar fan, I enjoy making my own predictions each year. And now, through the power of the blog, the predictions will become public knowledge.

Let me first say that I've seen very few of the Oscar nominated films. I've watched The Departed, Little Miss Sunshine, United 93, and Cars. That's it. So I'm basing most of my predictions on either (a)award show season and how the Academy works historically AND (b) pure guessing.

So here they are, Ole JC's Oscar Predictions 2007!

I'm getting those categories that I know nothing about out of the way immediately. The short films. Always a guess here, because I don't honestly believe anybody has seen any of these films, not even the directors.

ANIMATED SHORT FILM: The Danish Poet, Lifted, The Little Matchgirl, Maestro, and No Time For Nuts.
JC PREDICTS: Toss up between two for me, as Maestro sounds prestigious and No Time for Nuts could be funny. For an animated short, I'll guess No Time For Nuts.

LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM: Binta and the Great Idea, Eramos Pocos, Helmer and Son, The Saviour, and West Bank Story
JC PREDICTS: No friggin' clue. I dunno, maybe West Bank Story

DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT: The Blood of Yingzhou District, Recycled Life, Rehearsing a Dream, and Two Hands.
JC PREDICTS: The Blood of Yingzhou District. It sounds important, likes it's about something. Just a guess, really. My lifetime average in guessing these categories is probably about 5%, tops.

On to the awards I'm a little better with.

ANIMATED FEATURE: Cars, Happy Feet, and Monster House
JC PREDICTS: Cars. Not just because I've actually seen it, but it's state of the art computer animation combined with a good story.

ORIGINAL SONG: "I Need to Wake Up", "Listen", "Love You I Do", "Our Town", and "Patience"
JC PREDICTS: Well, it's gonna be one of the three Dreamgirls songs. The Academy obviously loves this film. I haven't heard any of them, so I'm just gonna put my money on Love You I Do, for no real reason.

ORIGINAL SCORE: Babel, The Good German, Notes on a Scandal, Pan's Labyrinth, and The Queen.
JC PREDICTS: The Queen. I believe it won the Globe, and most Academy members will probably just check it off because of that.

COSTUME DESIGN: Curse of the Golden Flower, The Devil Wears Prada, Dreamgirls, Marie Antoinette, and The Queen
JC PREDICTS: Dreamgirls. Again, they love this film. Plus, fancy show biz costumes going over several years. You can automatically write off The Queen, and people seemed to hate Marie Antoinette so won't give it a shot. Asian type films do well here, but I can't see it beating the popular Dreamgirls.

VISUAL EFFECTS: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, Poseidon, and Superman Returns
JC PREDICTS: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. It's really a two film race here, as Poseidon sunk. I just see them going with the hugely popular money maker over a Superman film that underperformed.

SOUND EDITING: Apocalypto, Blood Diamon, Flags of our Fathers, Letters from Iwo Jima, and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
JC PREDICTS: I'll go with Letters from Iwo Jima. I don't know what the difference is in the sound categories. However, the Academy likes to give each Best Picture nominee at least one award on the night, and this is probably Letters best bet.

SOUND MIXING: Apocalypto, Blood Diamon, Dreamgirls, Flags of Our Fathers, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
JC PREDICTS: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. Seems like a big sound movie to me.

ART DIRECTION: Dreamgirls, The Good Shepherd, Pan's Labyrinth, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, and The Prestige
JC PREDICTS: Dreamgirls. Again, they love it. Plus, many are probably feeling bad about it not getting the Best Picture nomination. Outside shot that Pan's Labyrinth could sneak in, though.

MAKE-UP: Apocalypto, Click, Pan's Labyrinth
JC PREDICTS: Pan's Labyrinth. I feel supremely confident on this one.

FILM EDITING: Babel, Blood Diamond, Children of Men, The Departed, United 93
JC PREDICTS: Tough one to call, really. I'm gonna guess Babel because it juggles a few stories. But I really think United 93 could get past it.

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE: Deliver Us from Evil, An Inconvenient Truth, Iraq in Fragments, Jesus Camp, and My Country My Country
JC PREDICTS: On paper, it looks like a landslide for An Inconvenient Truth. A hot button current issue, and a film that won critical praise and box office. So I'm predicting that to win. However, I think Deliver Us from Evil has an outside shot to pull the upset here.

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: Borat, Children of Men, The Departed, Little Children, and Notes on a Scandal
JC PREDICTS: Tough call here too. I would say Borat, because they want to give Sacha Baron Cohen something. But comedies don't do well, and what exactly is it adapted from? Little Children is a prestige piece, but maybe too small. So my predict is this The Departed.

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: Babel, Letters from Iwo Jima, Little Miss Sunshine, Pan's Labyrinth, and The Queen.
JC PREDICTS: Babel. All Best Picture nominees will win something, and I believe the Academy wants to honor this one with a major award. Oft-times in recent years, the original screenplay category has become a sort of Best Picture runner-up award. Pulp Fiction in 1994, Fargo in 1996 are two off the top of my head.

CINEMATOGRAPHY: The Black Dahlia, Children of Men, The Illusionist, Pan's Labyrinth, and The Prestige
JC PREDICTS: Pan's Labyrinth. The Black Dahlia is supposed to be gorgeous to look at, but I'm going with the more popular pick here.

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM: After the Wedding, Days of Glory, The Lives of Others, Pan's Labyrinth, and Water
JC PREDICTS: Pan's Labyrinth. No brainer. Take it to the bank and cash it.

SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Adriana Barraza, Cate Blanchett, Abigail Breslin, Jennifer Hudson, and Rinko Kikuchi
JC PREDICTS: Jennifer Hudson for Dreamgirls. This is usually the category for an upset, but I can't see who else has a real shot. She's got the rags to riches story, and she's won everything so far.

SUPPORTING ACTOR: Alan Arkin, Jackie Earle Haley, Djimon Hounsou, Eddie Murphy, and Mark Wahlberg
JC PREDICTS: I'm taking the easy road here with Eddie Murphy from Dreamgirls, because I have doubts that the sheep will stray from every award before them. However, my mind keeps saying there will be an upset, and I'm not sold that Murphy is popular enough with his fellow actors. Not to mention this is his first "real" role in a long time after making family oriented box office films. I could see the upset here. Who would it be? Arkin wasn't around long enough in his film and Haley is the "honor just to be nominated" guy. Hounsou? I don't see it. I would not be shocked if Marky Mark Wahlberg picked this one up. He stole every scene he was in and the film had a galaxy of actors in it.

ACTRESS: Penelope Cruz, Judi Dench, Helen Mirren, Meryl Streep, and Kate Winslet
JC PREDICTS: Who are we kidding here, if Helen Mirren from The Queen doesn't win, I'll demand a recount. There hasn't been an Oscar favorite like this since Schindler's List.

ACTOR: Leonardo DiCaprio, Ryan Gosling, Peter O'Toole, Will Smith, and Forest Whitaker
JC PREDICTS: Because he's won everything so far, Forest Whitaker in Last King of Scotland. However, I wouldn't be surprised to see Mr. O'Toole win it. He's been nominated eight times, and lost them all. They might give him the Al Pacino sympathy vote here. I don't think it will happen, but of all the "upset possibilities", this is the best chance. There is almost always one surprise winner in the major categories.

DIRECTOR: Clint Eastwood, Stephen Frears, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Paul Greengrass, and Martin Scorsese
JC PREDICTS: Martin Scorsese, finally. Five previous nominations and no wins for the man regarded as our best director. This is his year. He got the DGA Award, and I cannot imagine they would deny him a sixth time. He probably would have got it in 2002 for Gangs of New York if the campaign didn't turn voters off. Every Best Picture nominee gets one award, and this is The Departed's best shot.

BEST PICTURE: Babel, The Departed, Letters from Iwo Jima, Little Miss Sunshine, and The Queen
JC PREDICTS: Originally, I really thought that Departed would do the director/picture combo here. After the Globes, I sensed that Babel was gaining speed, and began to lean that way. But after the Screen Actor's Guild Award (and the Producer Guild Awards), I'm going with Little Miss Sunshine. In some ways, it seems to trite to be a real contender. But I've learned not to vote against the actors. See, they make up the largest number of the Academy votes. That explains how Shakespeare in Love beat Saving Private Ryan in 1998 and how Crash beat Brokeback Mountain last year. A movie that showcases actors tends to get their favor. It also explains the worst travesty in Oscar history (Roberto Benigni winning the Actor prize in 1998 because he was a huge hit at parties with the actors). You win over the actor's, they'll vote for you. And the fact that they gave Little Miss Sunshine their top award makes me lean that way here. I wouldn't be surprised to see Babel win it, but I've been burned in my predictions too often by voting against the actors to do it this year. Babel would be my second guess.

That's it. The show is on Sunday February 25th on ABC. I'll update how I did that Monday.

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