Oscar Bets

Yeah, it’s awards season, and the granddaddy of award nominations came out on Tuesday; the Oscars are just over a month away, so let’s not waste time in predicting the winners (of the main categories anyway). And since I haven’t seen the majority of the nominated films, most of this is blind speculation, but since that’s half the fun of Oscar night, let’s get started.

Original Screenplay

Nominees: Juno, Lars and the Real Girl, Michael Clayton, Ratatouille, The Savages

My prediction: Juno. Considering 1) Juno is one of the highest rated movies of last year, 2) the unlikely story of writer Diablo Cody’s rise to fame, and 3) the genuinely smart script, I’d say it’s a shoo-in. Screenplay categories are the two places the Academy loves to be daring, so even if Juno doesn’t win, expect an offbeat pick, like ’Lars’ or ‘Savages,’ to win here.

Adapted Screenplay

Nominees: Atonement; Away From Her; The Diving Bell and the Butterfly; No Country for Old Men; There Will Be Blood

My prediction: No Country for Old Men. In the No Country for Old Men and There Will Be Blood showdown, and bearing in mind that I have not seen either one, I think the Coen brothers’ epic has the advantage; the two films are tied nomination for nomination across the board, but here, I think the Coen brothers will triumph. If there’s an upset, I’d expect The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, the most unusual of the films nominated, to win.

Best Supporting Actress

Nominees: Cate Blanchett (I’m Not There); Ruby Dee (American Gangster); Saoirse Ronan (Atonement); Amy Ryan (Gone Baby Gone); Tilda Swinton (Michael Clayton)

My prediction: Cate Blanchett. She’s picked up nothing but praise and awards for her performance in I’m Not There, and there’s no reason to think it’s going to stop here.

Best Supporting Actor

Nominees: Casey Affleck (The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford); Javier Bardem (No Country for Old Men); Hal Holbrook (Into the Wild); Philip Seymour Hoffman (Charlie Wilson’s War); Tom Wilkinson (Michael Clayton)

My prediction: Javier Bardem. Like Blanchett, he’s the heavy favorite, and as close as a sure thing gets to the win.

Best Actress

Nominees: 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 prediction: Marion Cotillard. This is one category that really seems up for grabs; if an upset comes along, look for Julie Christie or possibly Ellen Page. Cotillard’s the frontrunner for her portrayal of the life of Edith Piaf, but it’s anybody’s game.

Best Actor

Nominees: George Clooney (Michael Clayton); Daniel Day-Lewis (There Will Be Blood); Johnny Depp (Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street); Tommy Lee Jones (In the Valley of Elah); Viggo Mortensen (Eastern Promises)

My prediction: Daniel Day-Lewis. Another good-as sure thing. Are you bored yet with the ceremony?

Best Director

Nominees: Paul Thomas Anderson (There Will Be Blood); Ethan and Joel Coen (No Country for Old Men); Tony Gilroy (Michael Clayton); Jason Reitman (Juno); Julian Schnabel (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly)

My prediction: Julian Schnabel. Just to shake things up, I’m backing the underdog here; the Coen brothers and Paul Thomas Anderson could easily split the vote, leaving the field open for a surprise in what looks to be a predictable Oscar night.

Best Picture

Nominees: Atonement; Juno; Michael Clayton; No Country for Old Men; There Will Be Blood

My prediction: No Country for Old Men. Since comedies don’t wil Best Picture anymore, you can probably discount Juno, even if it’s the biggest moneymaker of the nominees; and once again, I predict in the Coen/Anderson fight, the Coens’ No Country for Old Men is going to take home the prize.