Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Oscar Follow-up

So, this years Academy Awards gave the network its lowest ratings ever. It is estimated that 32 million watched the show, which is down from the 40+ million that watched last year. Previous to this year, the lowest ratings were in 2003, with only 33 million watching. Only 32 million this year! It still seems like quite a few people to me! I was one of the lowly and I have to say I quite enjoyed Jon Stewart. I also enjoyed that presenting celebs kept the banter to a minimum (or the writer’s did…a positive outcome for not having seven months to write the show!).

My winning percentage was down this year but looking at the glass half full, I have to say I did extremely well on the major awards! I only missed Best Supporting Actress, but then again, I think many missed that one. Tilda Swindon? Deserved, but not expected…even by her! And what about Marion Cotillard! She very much owned the Best Actress this year and she is only the third French actress to win the Oscar; the others being Claudette Colbert (It Happened One Night in 1934) and Simone Signoret (Room at the Top – 1960).

Just a reminder, the Saturday Film Forum returns on March 8th with a screening of Chocolat. It will be in the Library Theatre, 2pm and it’s FREE! So please join us! I won’t be updating this blog until after Chocolat so stay tuned!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

And now the rest...

I feel very much like Roger Ebert who said: “In theory, if I correctly predicted every single Oscar race, nobody could outguess me, and by default, I would win the prize. Alas, that has never, ever happened, and it's unlikely again this year, because as usual I will allow my heart to outsmart my brain in one or two races, which is my annual downfall. In any event, for what they're worth, here are my Academy Award predictions in a year rich with wonderful films”. So here are the rest of my predictions:

Best Actor: Daniel Day Lewis
Best Actress: Marion Cotillard (every one else thinks Julie Christie but I have a feeling...)
Best Director: Coen Brothers
Best Supporting Actor: Javier Bardem
Best Supporting Actress: Ruby Dee (but many think Amy Ryan)
Adapted Screenplay: No Country for Old Men
Original Screenplay: Juno
Animated Feature: Ratatouille
Art Direction: There Will Be Blood
Cinematography: Atonement
Costume Design: La Vie En Rose
Documentary: No End in Sight
Editing: Bourne Ultimatum
Foreign Language: Katyn
Make-up: La Vie En Rose
Original Score: Atonement
Original Song: Falling Slowly – Once
Sound Editing: No Country For Old Men
Sound Mixing: Transformers
Visual Effects: Transformers

I usually do pretty well. If I remember right, last year I only missed 3 categories. Now I will have to wait until Sunday night to see if I had another year of “choosing wisely”.
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Saturday, February 16, 2008

The Strike is over – On with the Show!

Yes it is true! The Writers strike has ended and so the “show” will go on. The BIG show of course, the Academy Awards! So who will win?? I will give my full predictions next week but for now let’s look at Best motion picture of the year:
Who is nominated:
Atonement (Focus Features)
Juno (Fox Searchlight)
Michael Clayton (Warner Bros.)
No Country for Old Men (Miramax and Paramount Vantage)
There Will Be Blood (Paramount Vantage and Miramax)

Someone predicted that the “American” vote would split between No Country for Old Men and There Will Be Blood and the award would go to Atonement. I liked Atonement quite a bit and although it won the BAFTA for best picture, I just don’t think Academy voters will go for it. Loved Juno but way too hip for Academy voters to select and Michael Clayton…if only they would give it to this smart, fascinating film! But since the Coen brothers won the DGA for best director and the Writers Guild gave No Country for Old Men best adapted screenplay, I will have to go for No Country for Old Men to win the top prize.

Have you seen the top films?? Most of them are still playing in the local cinemas but if you are waiting for them to come to DVD, here are some dates of release*:
Atonement: March 18th
Juno: April 15th
Michael Clayton: February 19th
No Country for Old Men: March 11th
There Will Be Blood: April 8th
(*Even when a release date is set, sometimes they change if the film wins major awards.)
I will be updating this blog Wednesday or Thursday next week with my other predictions. I would love to know what you predict so feel free to add your predictions to the comments and I will share them next week.