Should Win: No Country for Old Men
Will win: No Country for Old Men
The Coen Brothers neo-Western Noir finally will bring them the prize. It’s the best film in the group from a pair of filmmakers whose time has come. If it doesn’t win, the upsetter will be Michael Clayton.
Should win: Daniel Day-Lewis
Will win: Daniel Day-Lewis
It’s a classic battle of method actor versus Hollywood leading man. But not even Clooney thinks he’s going to come out the victor. Go with the guilds and believe it’s Day-Lewis.
Will Win: Julie Christie
As a rule, the golden oldie favorite never wins. But the rookie-nominee foreign star (Marion Cotillard) wins even less. Ellen Page wouldn’t shock me, but she's more likely to get the "big future ahead" treatment. Although honestly, I haven’t seen enough of these performances to give my own opinion. I will give my opinion that I would like to see a younger actress get it. No one claims Christie gives an indelible performance, and no one looks at this as her period of time.
Best Supporting Actress:
Should win: Tilda Swinton
Will win: Tilda Swinton
Cate Blanchett? Best? Yes. Actress? Yes. Supporting? No. Amy Ryan may be the favorite, but something tells me no. Saoirse Ronan will be seen as just a kid, and it may be a lead performance, anyway. Never mind it's one of the great child performances ever. My guess is that the choice of the eminently respected veteran Swinton will be seen as a way to honor Michael Clayton as it loses in other categories. Supporting category as consolation prize. But a very deserving one.
Best Supporting Actor:
Should win: Javier Bardem
Will win: Casey Affleck
Again the supporting bugaboo strikes. Casey Affleck gives my favorite performance, but it’s clearly a lead. Hal Holbrook is fantastic in Into the Wild. But Bardem creates one of the most memorable villains in ages with Anton Chigurh. Strong category, as always.
Will win: The Coen Brothers
Should win: The Coen Brothers
Even if No Country for Old Men loses Best Picture, this will be the consolation prize.
Should win: Roger Deakins, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
Will win: Robert Elswit, There Will Be Blood
If there were justice in the world, this would be an easy call. But I think Deakins’ two nominations will split the vote. No Country is the ostensible favorite. If it were the better of the two or even, it wouldn't be a problem. But Jesse James is the best of the year. Elswit, who justifiably could have had his own double with Michael Clayton, should slide into the cracks.
Best Original Screenplay:
Should win: Tony Gilroy, Michael Clayton
Will win: Diablo Cody, Juno
With Juno, Cody creates a new blog-minded style that will inspire an entire generation of screenplays that will seem dated in 25 years. There’s better writing in that jailhouse ramble by Tom Wilkinson than there is in all of Juno.
Best Adapted Screenplay:
Should win: James Vanderbilt, Zodiac (not nominated)
Will win: The Coen Brothers
Probably deservingly so. Cormac McCarthy is not an easy writer to read, much less transfer to the screen.