The Oscars…the Major Categories

Here’s the list, which got short-shrifted on the news this morning because of the stock market’s grand-mal (whatever happened to priorities?)


  • Atonement
  • Juno
  • Michael Clayton
  • No Country for Old Men
  • There Will Be Blood

They’ll probably give it to Juno, because the No Country and Blood votes will split the ticket. Might be Atonement, though—that’s a real Ernest Borgnine pick, and as critic James Rocchi’s Rule puts it, the way to handicap the Oscars is to guess what Borgnine would pick.


  • George Clooney in Michael Clayton (Warner Bros.)
  • Daniel Day-Lewis in There Will Be Blood (Paramount Vantage and Miramax)
  • Johnny Depp in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (DreamWorks)
  • Tommy Lee Jones in In the Valley of Elah (Warner Independent)
  • Viggo Mortensen in Eastern Promises (Focus Features)

Nice list; Clooney deserves it, Depp would be good with it; the Borgnine voters will go for Jones, of course but they may be outvoted.


  • Casey Affleck in The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (Warner Bros.)
  • Javier Bardem in No Country for Old Men (Miramax and Paramount Vantage)
  • Hal Holbrook in Into the Wild (Paramount Vantage and River Road Entertainment)
  • Philip Seymour Hoffman in Charlie Wilson’s War (Universal)
  • Tom Wilkinson in Michael Clayton (Warner Bros.)

Bardem, obviously.


  • Cate Blanchett in Elizabeth: The Golden Age (Universal)
  • Julie Christie in Away from Her (Lionsgate)
  • Marion Cotillard in La Vie en Rose (Picturehouse)
  • Laura Linney in The Savages (Fox Searchlight)
  • Ellen Page in Juno (Fox Searchlight)

Borgnine and common sense dictate Christie.


  • Cate Blanchett in I’m Not There (The Weinstein Company)
  • Ruby Dee in American Gangster (Universal)
  • Saoirse Ronan in Atonement (Focus Features)
  • Amy Ryan in Gone Baby Gone (Miramax)
  • Tilda Swinton in Michael Clayton (Warner Bros.)

Ruby Dee? Oh, come on! She had ONE scene. Hope it’s Blanchett, but I wouldn’t dream of trying to handicap a race this tight. Best Supporting Actress is always the most interesting category.


  • Paul Thomas Anderson – There Will Be Blood
  • Ethan Coen & Joel Coen – No Country for Old Men
  • Tony Gilroy – Michael Clayton
  • Jason Reitman – Juno
  • Julian Schnabel – The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

I presume it’s going to be the Coens, for previous work


  • Brad Bird – Ratatouille
  • Diablo Cody – Juno
  • Tony Gilroy – Michael Clayton
  • Tamara Johnson – The Savages
  • Nancy Oliver - Lars and the Real Girl

Juno, because everyone wants to describe Diablo Cody as the girl who went from brass rails to bronze statues. It ought to be Bird, but it ain’t going to happen.


  • Paul Thomas Anderson – There Will Be Blood
  • Ethan & Joel Coen – No Country for Old Men
  • Christopher Hampton – Atonement
  • Ronald Harwood – The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
  • Sarah Polley – Away From Her

Five nice choices, but it ought to be Polley


  • Persepolis (Sony Pictures Classics) Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud
  • Ratatouille (Pixar; Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Distribution) Brad Bird
  • Surf’s Up (Sony Pictures Releasing) Ash Brannon and Chris Buck

I’m still meeting people who don’t know what Persepolis is. The Borgnine vote is going to go with the Rat, despite the uproar over the very good Satrapi/Paronnaud film. Really, go see it.

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