March 12, 2008

Moving Forward...

A Look Ahead…

As our 2007 Awards Season is closed, we have nothing else to do but to look at the road ahead and see what next year’s awards ceremony could have in store for us. This year’s ceremony was one full of surprises and spoilers, not to mention it was my worst predicting year to date. Well I guess that’s a good thing, I don’t like everything going to plan all the time. This coming year we have our usual “overdue” actors, writers, directors and a slew of others trying to nab the “Gold Man.” These are the top 20 films that are on everyone’s lips and keyboards as we wait to see their awards prospects:

Best Picture
1. Revolutionary Road (Sam Mendes)
-It might be foolish to place this in the #1 spot but DiCaprio, Winslet, & Bates are awards magnets with an award friendly director based on an acclaimed book. This tells the story of a couple trying to come to terms and raising their children.
2. Doubt (John Patrick Shanley)
-Award-winning play with controversy and Meryl Streep. Should be something good or could be this year’s Proof. Doubt tells the story of religion and morality circling around the accusation of a priest abusing a black student.
3. Frost/Nixon (Ron Howard)
-The retelling of the Watergate scandal with two amazing co-leads (Frank Langella & Michael Sheen), a nominated writer (Peter Morgan), and award winning director should make for a solid bet.
4. The Changeling (Clint Eastwood)
-In the top five solely on the director because even if he directed Norbit, he would have been nominated.
5. Australia (Baz Luhrmann)
-Written by Oscar winner Ronald Harwood and overdue director Baz Luhrmann, this should grab the technical branch attention. Hugh Jackman & Nicole Kidman star.

6. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (David Fincher)
-As this story of a man aging backwards starring Brad Pitt shows much promise, Fincher is hit or miss usually.
7. Valkyrie (Bryan Singer)
-The attempt to assassinate Hitler is a film that should bring buzz throughout the year.
8. The Soloist (Joe Wright)
-A story about dreams and aspirations with last year’s snubbed director at the helm. Wright has been on a roll lately with his fine direction and artistic eye.
9. The Trial of Chicago 7 (Steven Spielberg)
-Based on the prestige of director Steven Spielberg, and a stellar cast, this could be the sleeper hit or late surge that makes it into this year’s race.
10. Body of Lies (Ridley Scott)
-Another crime drama from Ridley Scott could gain him his long overdue Oscar he’s been fighting for.

11. Milk (Gus Van Sant)
12. Nights in Rodanthe (George C. Wolfe)
13. The Reader (Stephen Daldry)
14. Guerrilla (Steven Soderbergh)
15. Seven Pounds (Gabriele Muccino)

16. The Young Victoria (Jean-Marc Vallee)
17. Nothing is Private (Alan Ball)
18. Vicky Cristina Barcelona (Woody Allen)
19. WALL-E (Andrew Stanton)
20. Blindness (Fernando Mierelles)

Best Achievement in Directing
1. Sam Mendes-Revolutionary Road
-Despite on a visible decline in his filmmaking since American Beauty, Mendes is back with a vengeance, hopefully.
2. Clint Eastwood- The Changeling
-Anything that Eastwood does catch the Academy’s eye or at least is in contention for the prize.
3. Baz Luhrmann-Australia
-Snubbed hugely for Moulin Rouge, Luhrmann takes on this epic that should show some promise.
4. John Patrick Shanley-Doubt
-Former Oscar winning writer (Moonstruck) in his sophomore directing effort taking on a very acclaimed play.
5. Bryan Singer-Valkyrie
-Singer has produced some fine filmmaking before, (Apt Pupil, The Usual Suspects) this may be his time to shine or a lone director kind of thing.

6. Ron Howard-Frost/Nixon
7. Joe Wright-The Soloist
8. Steven Spielberg-The Trial of the Chicago 7
9. David Fincher-The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
10. Ridley Scott-Body of Lies

11. Gus Van Sant-Milk
12. Stephen Daldry-The Reader
13. Steven Soderbergh-Guerrilla
14. Jim Sheridan-Brothers
15. Paul Greengrass-They Marched Into Sunlight

16. Woody Allen-Vicky Cristina Barcelona
17. Wayne Kramer-Crossing Over
18. Ed Harris-Appaloosa
19. Fernando Mierelles-Blindness
20. Alan Ball-Nothing is Private

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
1. Frank Langella-Frost/Nixon
-A Tony-Award winning performance translating into a veteran actor whom is long overdue.
2. Brad Pitt-The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
-Pitt has been on the cusp for two years running and has two, possibly three films this year. Pitt’s “Benjamin Button” should be one to watch.
3. Benicio DelToro-Guerrilla
-DelToro is one of our finest actors taking on a very meaty role.
4. Sean Penn-Milk
-A political, gay rights activist in a very exciting political year for America should keep Milk on radar. Penn’s lead turn should bring attention.
5. Leonardo DiCaprio-Revolutionary Road
-DiCaprio may find himself in the same dilemma he was in two years ago, many acclaimed performances could make him vulnerable for a vote-split.

6. Hugh Jackman-Australia
-With an acclaimed performance in The Fountain two years ago, we were shown Jackman has some true acting chops.
7. George Clooney-Burn After Reading
-Being deemed as the new “Tom Hanks,” which puts him in contention for every performance he gives. Leatherheads keep him fresh also.
8. Tom Cruise-Valkyrie
-If Cruise’s personal life doesn’t interfere than he could win his long overdue Oscar he’s been hunting for.
9. Ralph Fiennes-The Reader
-Ralph Fiennes is Hollywood’s best kept secret of leading man talent. Two nods and a Stephen Daldry film brings him to light.
10. Will Smith-Seven Pounds
-For the reason only that Will Smith can act his way out of a paper bag these days, no matter how bad the film is.

11. Ben Kingsley-The Dying Animal
12. Russell Crowe-Body of Lies
13. Ed Harris-Appaloosa
14. Richard Gere-Nights in Rodanthe
15. Jamie Foxx-The Soloist

16. Clive Owen-The International
17. Jake Gyllenhaal-Brothers
18. Philip Seymour Hoffman-Synecdoche, New York
19. Paul Giamatti-Cold Souls
20. Edward Norton-Motherless Brooklyn

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role
1. Kate Winslet-Revolutionary Road
-The most overdue working actress today with five prior nominations. Two big films, either one of them can bring her to the podium
2. Meryl Streep-Doubt
-Watch out for the Oscar Queen to take home her third Oscar for a very meaty and Oscar-bait role. Even if the film is bad, she can still win.
3. Julianne Moore-Blindness
-Another overdue actress but is very hit or miss lately. They probably should have given to her for Far From Heaven, while they had a chance.
4. Keira Knightley-The Duchess
-Snubbed for Atonement, Knightley is becoming a normal Oscar radar character. Another British character for her however, she needs to stretch her legs a bit.
5. Nicole Kidman-Australia
-Could we have a Cruise/Kidman reunion at the Oscars? Kidman hasn’t returned since The Hours win. She needs bring some character depth/

6. Angelina Jolie-The Changeling
-A Mighty Heart showed it is possible for her to act and director Clint Eastwood has a good track record with his actress’.
7. Summer Bishil-Nothing is Private
-We could be in for a newbie at the ceremony.
8. Julia Roberts-Fireflies in the Garden
-If she can be “in contention” for her mediocre Charlie Wilson’s War, this Robert Frost poem adaptation could be something unexpected.
9. Vera Farmiga-Nothing But the Truth
-A smart film that could give Farmiga the recognition she’s been thought to possess.
10. Salma Hayek-Cirque du Freak
-Because a movie about a freak show on the road can do something for her…I think?

11. Kate Winslet-The Reader
12. Emily Blunt-The Young Victoria
13. Penelope Cruz-Vicky Cristina Barcelona
14. Jill Scott-The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency
15. Diane Lane-Nights in Rodanthe

16. Laura Linney-The Other Man
17. Jessica Lange-Bonneville
18. Marisa Tomei-The Night Job
19. Winona Ryder-The Informers
20. Maria Bello-Downloading Nancy

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role
1. Michael Sheen-Frost/Nixon
-Snubbed for The Queen with a very powerful role in a sure to be powerful performance.
2. Philip Seymour Hoffman-Doubt
-Hoffman is becoming a regular; all he needed to do was win one evidently. Unless the character is off putting to voters, (the character is) Hoffman should land this.
3. Robert Downey, Jr.-The Soloist
-Sure to be nominated for Iron Man…j/k…Serious note, there are a lot of people who really want Bobby Jr. to get his Oscar and this could be his year for it. Hopefully Foxx doesn’t steal the spotlight.
4. Benjamin Bratt-Guerrilla
-Along side DelToro could ride him in to his first nomination.
5. Heath Ledger-The Dark Knight
-Not sure how much I personally believe in this but if enough people want to give him that final taste of recognition than Ledger could be our first posthumous nominee in over 25 years.

6. John Malkovich-The Changeling
-Eastwood gets the overdue ones their recognition.
7. Leonardo DiCaprio-Body of Lies
-Could be a co-lead with Crowe but they may not want to split votes with himself.
8. Josh Brolin-Milk
-No love at all last season for No Country for Old Men, they may want to give him his due.
9. Ralph Fiennes-The Duchess
-Another film for the British actor, Fiennes has a busy year ahead.
10. Sacha Baron Cohen-The Trial of the Chicago 7
-Borat, Sweeney Todd, we know he can do comedy, how about drama?

11. Kenneth Branagh-Valkyrie
12. Jamie Bell-Defiance
13. Jim Broadbent-Dirty Tricks
14. Pierce Brosnan-Mamma Mia!
15. Bruno Ganz-The Reader

16. Dennis Quaid-The Express
17. Viggo Mortensen-Appaloosa
18. David Wenham-Australia
19. John Krasinski-Leatherheads
20. Gael Garcia Bernal-Blindness

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role
1. Amy Adams-Doubt
-She has talent and with this great role based on a great play, Adams could be making her trip to the podium. She still has left over love from Junebug and Enchanted.
2. Cate Blanchett-The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
-Because Blanchett can be nominated in anything, regardless how bad the film is. Who knows? She could even get nommed for Indiana Jones.
3. Kathy Bates-Revolutionary Road
-An awards legend in an acclaimed adaptation. Bates chews through scenery like no one else.
4. Catherine Keener-The Soloist
-Snubbed immensely for Into the Wild, she gets another crack at it with this Nathaniel Ayers biopic. She also has Kaufman’s film Synecdoche, New York.
5. Amy Ryan-The Changeling
-Still has the love from Gone Baby Gone and directed by Eastwood alongside Angelina Jolie and John Malkovich is a good bet.

6. Carice Van Houten-Body of Lies
-There’s always a breakthrough role that makes it in. Ridley Scott is a good one to lead the way.
7. Sandra Oh-Blindness
-The most ignored member of the Sideways cast could get her due.
8. Dianne Weist-Synecdoche, New York
-There was a time she was amazing especially in cast ensembles; she seems to stick out every time.
9. Angela Bassett-Nothing But the Truth
-Because Lord knows she should have won for What’s Love Got to Do With It?
10. Samantha Morton-Synecdoche, New York
-Looking for another nomination in the Charlie Kaufman directorial debut.

11. Franke Potente-Guerilla
12. Renee Zellweger-Appaloosa
13. Jessica Lange-Grey Gardens
14. Frances McDormand-Burn After Reading
15. Charlotte Rampling-The Duchess

16. Michelle Williams-Synecdoche, New York
17. Tilda Swinton-The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
18. Miranda Richardson-The Young Victoria
19. Viola Davis-Doubt
20. Emma Thompson-Brideshead Revisited

Best Original Screenplay
1. Charlie Kaufman-Synecdoche, New York
2. Andrew Stanton-WALL-E
3. Joel Coen & Ethan Coen-Burn After Reading
4. Baz Luhrmann, Ronald Harwood, Stuart Beattle-Australia
5. Susannah Grant-The Soloist
6. Dustin Lance Black-Milk
7. J. Michael Straczynski-The Changeling
8. Julian Fellowes-The Young Victoria
9. Seth Rogan & Evan Goldberg-The Pineapple Express
10. Woody Allen-Vicky Cristina Barcelona
11. Pam Brady & Andrew Fleming-Hamlet 2

Best Adapted Screenplay
1. Eric Roth-The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
2. Peter Morgan-Frost/Nixon
3. Justin Haythe-Revolutionary Road
4. John Patrick Shanley-Doubt
5. David Hare-The Reader
6. William Monahan-Body of Lies
7. Ed Harris & Robert Knott-Appaloosa
8. Don McKellar-Blindness
9. Jeremy Leven & Bruce Joel Rubin-The Time Travelers Wife
10. Nicholas Meyer-The Dying Animal


  1. A movie that I think is getting severely underestimated so far is Rian Johnson's follow-up to Brick, The Brothers Bloom. Brick was a critical indie darling, and now Johnson has some money and a cast led includes two recent Oscar winners in Adrien Brody in Rachel Weisz, with supporting performances from the oft-snubbed Mark Ruffalo and Oscar veteran Maximillian Schell. At the least it should be considered a contender for Original Screenplay.

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  3. Great list, but I don't think films like "Australia", "Frost/Nixon", or "Doubt" are going to have as big an impact as films like "Milk" or "Body of Lies" (Ridley Scott is just TOO overdue).

    Check out The Oscar Nazi for year-round predictions and analysis.

  4. "overdue director Baz Luhrmann"

    I wouldn't go THAT far. He isn't overdo for a nomination, just snubbed for direction that should have won (well ignoring Peter Jackson)

  5. I need to said this... Heath Ledger will not be the first posthumous nominne in 25 years... In 1995 Massimo Troisi was nominated one year after his death.
    I think he has a great chances for unleast a posthumous nomination...

    I'm scared about Australia and Doubt, but i'm expecting about Young Victoria and the msot talented and Beautiful (For me, she's better than overracted Keira Knightley) Emily Blunt and Blindness for Fernando Meirelles, Julianne Moore and Gael Garcia Bernal

  6. In my opinion I could agree in Best Actress category instead From 17 to 20 these names:

    -sally hawkins, Happy-Go-Lucky: Especially her, because she's in a Mike Leigh's film, wonderful performance, british actress and winner at berlinale...
    -Anne Hathaway, Danicng with Sheba
    -Michelle Williams, Incendiary
    -Sophie Okonedo, Skin
    -Carice van Houten, Dorothy Mills
    -Drew Barrymore/Jessica Lange, grey Gardens
    -Uma Thurman, Life before her eyes
    -Sienna Miller, the edge of love
    -Juliette Binoche, Disengagement
    -Charlize Theron, The burning plain (Maybe in 2009)
    -Julianne Moore, Savage grace
    -Joan Chen, The Home Song stories
    -Susan Sarandon, Middle to Nowhere