He hadn't seen all the evidence.(/movie-trailer-guy voice)
He didn't know what he was talking about.
But there comes a time when a man must make a choice.
He must take sides.
And he must face his destiny, alone.
That day has arrived for Uncle Wunelle.
OK, here it is. The moment you've both been waiting for. With a heady mixture of half-baked analysis and bald-faced fabrication (it gives me a perverse pleasure to pick a winner among films I haven't even seen) here's our prediction for who will take home the gold.
- Cate Blanchett; Elizabeth: The Golden Age
- Julie Christie; Away From Her
- Marion Cotillard; La vie en Rose
- Laura Linney; The Savages
- Ellen Page; Juno
My pick: Julie Christie. I did not see the movie, but Cate Blanchett (whom I normally love) did not get universally good reviews, and I couldn't bet on either Cotillard or Page, both of whom I did see. Laura Linney I also like very much, but I've not heard much buzz about The Savages.
(The Academy's Pick: Marion Cotillard. The sincerity of her acceptance speech makes me not hate the Academy. Wunellacumen: 0 for 1)
- George Clooney; Michael Clayton
- Daniel Day-Lewis; There Will Be Blood
- Johnny Depp; Sweeney Todd
- Tommy Lee Jones; In the Valley of Elah
- Viggo Mortensen; Eastern Promises
My pick: Daniel Day-Lewis. Of the ones I saw, these are all powerhouse performances. But Day-Lewis's turn isn't a performance so much as a transformation; a rare treat.
(The Academy's Pick: Daniel Day-Lewis. Wunellacumen: 1 for 2)
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
My Pick: Tilda Swinton. Amy Ryan may take this one (I didn't see the movie), but I was hugely impressed with Swinton's performance.
(The Academy's Pick: Tilda Swinton. I always said the Academy was brilliant. Wunellacumen: 2 for 3)
Best Supporting Actor:
- Casey Affleck; The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
- Javier Bardem; No Country for Old Men
- Phillip Seymour Hoffman; Charlie Wilson's War
- Hal Holbrook; Into the Wild
- Tom Wilkinson; Michael Clayton
My Pick: Tom Wilkinson. I loved Javier Bardem, and his performance was spot-on; but he was part of the ensemble where the movie itself was the star. Wilkinson's role seemed the greater challenge.
(The Academy's pick: Javier Bardem. He joins Anthony Hopkins in getting an Academy nod for a really unsavory character. Wunellacumen: 2 for 4)
- Julian Schnabel; The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
- Jason Reitman; Juno
- Tony Gilroy; Michael Clayton
- Joel Coen and Ethan Coen; No Country for Old Men
- Paul Thomas Anderson; There Will Be Blood
My Pick: Paul Thomas Anderson. It's a toss-up with the Coens, but I think the time period issues give Anderson's accomplishment the edge.
(The Academy pick: The Coens. With this choice, I cannot complain. Wunellacumen: 2 for 5)
My pick: I could see several of these pictures taking the prize, as they're all excellent. Juno is more a screenplay triumph, I think, and Michael Clayton does an absolutely top shelf job with a pretty mainstream concept. The other three seem more ambitious examples of storytelling, and I struggle to choose between No Country and Blood. Given that the Coen Brothers have been my hands-down favorite directorial team for nearly 20 years, I have to give them the nod. I don't think No Country is a better movie than Blood; but it's equal, and I think the Brothers are overdue for an acknowledgment of their contribution to American cinema. (And I acknowledge an attempt to engender a certain cosmic justice when I felt the two leading movies were so close. Knowing that No Country had to get my top pick, I picked Anderson for Director in part because I felt his movie is just too good not to get recognition.)
No Country for Old Men.
(The Academy pick: No Country for Old Men. Wunellacumen: 3 for 6)
So, 50%. And I should have seen Supporting Actor and Director coming. The Best Actress I still wouldn't call that way. Ah well, they'll listen to me next year.
Lastly, my favorite five movies of the year.
Ratatouille, which I like more the more I see it. This was a year to feel excited about American moviemaking. Let's hope 2008 is as fertile.