More Oscar Thoughts (Let Me Have My Thoughts!)
Composer James Newton Howard receives his seventh nomination, and has probably got to win at some point (though more famed composers than he have gone to the grave trophyless). He happens to be tapped for Michael Clayton, a movie that the Academy obviously loved and which is unlikely to win anywhere else, which should help; the Score category is often used to bouquet a movie that's shut out everywhere else (see: Il Postino, Babel, etc.). Still, he'll probably lose to Dario Marianelli for going TAP TAP TAP TAP TAP TAP amidst his admittedly nice melodies. Oh, well.
A bigger threat to break a bigger losing streak: sound designer Kevin O'Connell, who, let's remember, has lost 19 times, including in two years when he made up 40% of the nominees in his category. Now, in his 20th go-round, he's up for a loud Michael Bay movie that was an enormous hit. That would give him a significant boost in any year, but unless Oscar suddenly feels more sensitive than usual in this category to dramatic effects (No Country, There Will Be Blood) rather than loud spectacle, O'Connell shouldn't have too much trouble hurdling over Bourne and 3:10 to Yuma, especially with his well-publicized series of losses working as an extra voting hook. Could it be his year?
Also: I have seating ideas. I would like Laura Linney and Philip Seymour Hoffman to sit next to each other, and experience the whole ceremony in character as the Savages. I would like Ruby Dee to sit next to an empty seat, to commemorate Ossie Davis; I'm thrilled for Ruby (and for Hal Holbrook, I might add), but it makes me sad that neither Ruby nor Ossie was ever nominated in time for them to share this event together. I would like George Clooney and Viggo Mortensen to attend as each other's dates, as they did to the Globes. (Hush. You don't really know what happened, either.)
I would like Sarah Polley to sit next to Julie Christie. What a feat they pulled off. I would like for Sally Kirkland to sit behind the two of them. Sally (pictured left) has this to say: "I was IN Away from Her! I was demented, in the background!! You must have seen me! You probably forgot me! You probably have Alzheimer's! See you at the ceremony!!!"