Saturday, February 23, 2008

Good Night, and Good Luck

In case you're wondering about my guesses for tomorrow's race, I've committed to Tony Stewart as the projected winner for the Auto Club 500 at the California Speedway, with backup calls on Greg Biffle and Dale Earnhardt, Jr., plus I'm throwing a wild card possibility to Joe Nemechek; true, he'll be starting in 43rd position, but Fantasy NASCAR obligates you to pull in one driver from the bottom of the barrel for each race.

Is everyone terrified yet? I actually do play Fantasy NASCAR, but only as a concession to my brother, the sportswriter, and no, I don't have any idea what I'm doing. But my team name, the Tracy Chapmen, is pretty much the best in the league. (I'm going to pause here for the full glory of the pun to roll to the back of the room.)

But you came for something else? Oh, right. After a monumentally frustrating three-week technical outage (long story, but I'm no longer too fond of the Domain Registry of America), this blog is up and running just in time to weigh in alongside Goatdog and Nathaniel and ModFab and QTA and EW on tomorrow night's likely winners. I'm not feeling too confident, I must say, and since I'm under a firm Monday deadline with a Brokeback Mountain essay, I can't embellish much. Because you all know I won't be writing tomorrow night. So here are my thoughts:

PICTURE No Country for Old Men (my vote: There Will Be Blood, because it pushes more and risks more, and has more virtuosic credentials than Juno)

DIRECTOR Joel and Ethan Coen, because they've never won, and to make sure they get something (my vote: Jason Reitman, because think how easily Juno could have been a She's All That or a Charlie Bartlett if he hadn't taken it so seriously and directed his cast so brilliantly)

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE No End in Sight (my vote: No End in Sight, though Taxi to the Dark Side is also quite an accomplishment)

ACTRESS Julie Christie (my vote: Marion Cotillard, who could easily pull this off, and I wonder if Laura Linney couldn't as well, but with everyone else changing horses, I'm sticking with the Christie consensus that had built up until recently)

ACTOR Daniel Day-Lewis (my vote: Daniel Day-Lewis, though Tommy Lee Jones is a very close runner-up for me)

SUPPORTING ACTRESS Tilda Swinton, because MC needs to win something, and she has gathered momentum, even if Blanchett will make things hard for her (my vote: Tilda, as if you didn't know)

SUPPORITNG ACTOR Javier Bardem (my vote: Hal Holbrook, and for the performance, not just the sentiment)

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY Juno, even though I was calling for a Ratatouille upset not long ago (my vote: Juno)

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, since the Coens won't need to double up (my vote: No Country for Old Men, I guess, in a narrow and ambivalent squeaker over There Will Be Blood)

CINEMATOGRAPHY The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, since it has the best gimmicky hook (my vote: There Will Be Blood)

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM 12, though I can see Katyn or The Counterfeiters squeezing in there (my vote: let's wait and see the films, shall we?)

FILM EDITING The Bourne Ultimatum, since the other films split the art/prestige ballots (my vote: Into the Wild, which was comprehensive and thoughtful and also a little glib, consistent with its own protagonist)

SOUND MIXING Transformers, so that Kevin O'Connell can die a happy man (my vote: No Country for Old Men, in a walk, friendo)

ART DIRECTION Sweeney Todd, since I can't help spreading the wealth, though this will be close race against great-manor gewgawism and sand-blasted oil rigs (my vote: There Will Be Blood, with the unexpected inclusion of American Gangster growing on me as a runner-up)

COSTUME DESIGN Elizabeth: The Golden Age, because one green dress does not a fashion show make (my vote: Elizabeth: The Golden Age, though I'm not proud of it)

ORIGINAL SCORE Atonement, with The Kite Runner and Ratatouille still in contention (my vote: 3:10 to Yuma, with Michael Clayton not far behind; note my utter non-agreement with Oscar)

ORIGINAL SONG "Falling Slowly", because seriously (my vote: "Falling Slowly", because come on)

ANIMATED FEATURE Ratatouille (my vote: Persepolis, though I wanted to like both films better)

VISUAL EFFECTS Transformers, because big loud robots explosions (my vote: The Golden Compass, because gold dust animal mystical truth-telling bear armor)

SOUND EFFECTS EDITING No Country for Old Men, because everyone's praising it, so why not predict it (my vote: No Country for Old Men, because hissssssssssspop)

MAKEUP La Vie en rose (my vote: La Vie en rose, but then, you'd probably guessed that one, too)



Blogger NATHANIEL R said...

yay, you're back!

8:17 AM, February 24, 2008  
Blogger goatdog said...

I have a business proposition for you: we'll sell the amazing bon mots you seem to have the ability to toss off effortlessly ("great-manor gewgawism"? priceless!), and become millionaires. (I hear you asking, Where does goatdog fit in? But why bother with the little details at this point?)

12:04 PM, February 24, 2008  
Blogger keep showing up said...

ah nick, i hope somewhere out there last night, you experienced the highest thrill i can imagine for you: an oscar telecast collector's oscars paradise.

the montage of clips counted up all 79 best pictures a had a sublime nick geek moment, thinking somewhere Nick might be checking off, or crafting a list from the parade.

Melted at Javier's speech in Spanish to his mother. So wished Marion Cotillard and Dario Marianelli also launched into their mother tongues to most comfortably express their pure joy.

Not much else to add, than I toast Tilda Swinton's way with the word "dude", admire her comeuppance of George Clooney... and concede at long last, after three Enchanted numbers: Axe the Best Original Song category.


2:05 PM, February 25, 2008  

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