No contest for Academy Awards

The 80th Academy Awards ceremony will air thisBy Dave Brown

With the writer’s strike over, the Oscars should be the star-studded night that it usually is. It seems easy to decide the winners of this year’s Oscars; yet, at the same time, the show promises to be spontaneous and fresh.

In some ways, the nominations this year are more exciting than the actual results. The fact that Juno — which should be known as “the little movie that could” — is a contender for Best Picture really gets this particular writer excited. Not only did I love the movie, but I love the idea of nominating this type of movie. Especially in this day and age, when the younger generation is so misrepresented in the media as being troubled, here comes a little movie that shows them what we’re made of. Juno (Ellen Page) is probably one of the most caring and responsible characters I’ve ever seen in a movie, and it doesn’t hurt that she’s merely 19.

Yes, there’s Michael Clayton and Atonement, which are both typical Oscar contender movies. However, while great pieces, they do not generate the same amount of buzz.

However, I think the award for Best Picture will go to No Country for Old Men for several reasons. First of all, the Academy loves to give actors and filmmakers awards that are long overdue. Examples include Paul Newman for The Color of Money instead of for basically anything else he was in and Al Pacino for Scent of a Woman instead of for The Godfather.

I think the Academy is going to give the Coen brothers their due in a different fashion. They did win for Best Original Screenplay for Fargo in the past; now the Academy wants to award these filmmakers for Best Picture just to jazz it up. Then there’s There Will Be Blood to consider, which in some ways is very similar to No Country for Old Men, both stylistically and in terms of content.

Best Supporting Actor comes down to Phillip Seymour Hoffman for Charlie Wilson’s War and Javier Bardem for No Country for Old Men. Hoffman doesn’t have as good a chance as the other candidates because he won for Best Actor last year for Capote; the Academy doesn’t like to award the same person twice in a row, even if he or she deserves the award for both years. I’m going to guess that it’s Bardem’s day, simply because his performance received more praise than Hoffman’s.

Cate Blanchett will most certainly receive the Best Supporting Actress award, not only because her performance in I’m Not There was so amazing but also because the role of Bob Dylan is larger than life. A woman portraying Dylan is the kind of audaciousness that I like to see in the movies and at the Oscars.

Now, let’s talk about some of the perks of the Oscars. The Academy sometimes does choose the best candidate, and this year the Best Actress award will go to Julie Christie for Away From Her, a performance and movie that I loved. In a film that dealt with fleeting memories, it’s a picture about the debilitation of Alzheimer’s and yet, director Sarah Polly tells it gracefully. I hope the movie doesn’t become a fleeting memory as well. My advice to nominee Page, who’s only 20, is simply to sit tight. She’ll definitely receive the Best Actress award in later years.

Best Adapted Screenplay is likely to go to the Coen brothers for No Country for Old Men, because they are legendary screenwriters who are already well-known for their dry and witty humor. And last, but certainly not least, Juno will win Best Original Screenplay. The authenticity of the script alone should garner that film an award for originality.

With the awards show fast approaching, the Oscar race is almost over. With any luck, the films, screenplays and performers mentioned will be taking home the prize — and the recognition they deserve.

Show More

Related Articles

Back to top button