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There Will Be Oscars: The 2008 Academy Awards

Well… we think there will be Oscars. The writers’ strike may leave this year’s ceremony short on kitsch, but these guys will still be winners, even if Snow White doesn’t dance with Rob Lowe this year. Oh, and sorry for the lack of surprise below, but Sean and I agree on our picks for all ‘big eight’ awards. As for the other categories, well… that’s where wars are won.

We’re updating LIVE (and one of us is sucking — it’s a fix!)! Reload this page for live results (winners are indicated in BOLD) throughout Oscar night!

We’ll also be keeping score of our prediction accuracy:

Null: 10/24
O’Connell: 14/24

That’s all folks! Keep on coming back to the site and remember, never rely on our predictions for your Oscar pool!


Best Animated Feature
Surf’s Up

Sean O’Connell: Some thought Pixar’s rat-tastic animated adventure could compete in the Best Picture race. It didn’t get the chance. Consider this a consolation prize. Ratatouille for the win.
Christopher Null: Yeah, Cars‘ loss last year should have surprised me. I don’t see how Ratatouille can miss on this one.

Art Direction
American Gangster
The Golden Compass
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
There Will Be Blood

CN: I’m thinking Atonement, which had both regal manors and gritty war scenes to contend with.
SO: For its Grand Guignol mixture of bleak grey and blood red, Sweeney Todd gets the Oscar.

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
No Country for Old Men
There Will Be Blood

SO: A strong field, though Robert Elswit emerges for There Will Be Blood.
CN: Some tough choices, but The Diving Bell and the Butterfly broke new ground in camerawork by putting you inside the head of a stroke victim, with devastating effect.

Costume Design
Across the Universe
Elizabeth: The Golden Age
La Vie en Rose
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

SO: The Academy seems to like the Elizabeth sequel more than the rest of us did, and so I’m guessing a costume design Oscar is within reach.
CN: Period pieces have been dominating this category for years, so again I’m going to have to run with Atonement, though I also like Elizabeth‘s chances. Tough call.

Documentary Feature
No End in Sight
Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience
Taxi to the Dark Side

CN: Sorry, Michael, but No End in Sight outlined the fallacies of the Iraq War in excruciating detail, and everyone’s getting tired of your kitsch.
SO: An attack on George Bush’s war trumps Michael Moore’s stagey tricks. No End in Sight wins the Oscar.

Documentary Short
La Corona (The Crown)
Salim Baba
Sari’s Mother

SO: Absolutely no idea, so I’m throwing a dart that will land on … Salim Baba!
CN: Sari’s Mother is about both AIDS and Iraq. Win.

Film Editing
The Bourne Ultimatum
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Into the Wild
No Country for Old Men
There Will Be Blood

SO: History says you have to win Editing to take home Best Picture. To that end, I will go with No Country for Old Men.
CN: Yeah, No Country for Old Men also has the advantage of actually having good editing, too.

Foreign Language Film
The Counterfeiters

CN: What a bizarre collection of movies. Do Best Foreign Film nominees have to be about war? I’m picking The Counterfeiters since it’s one of the two that isn’t.
SO: Terrible field. No Persepolis? No Diving Bell? Give me Mongol.

La Vie en Rose
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End

SO: The Pirates sail to a victory.
CN: Thank god Norbit is now an Oscar nominee. I’m going to take La Vie en Rose. Can’t get those eyebrows out of my head. Just because they stuck a starfish on a dude’s face doesn’t mean they should win anything, IMHO.

Original Score
The Kite Runner
Michael Clayton
3:10 to Yuma

CN: The Kite Runner‘s been pushing awfully hard in this category, and I think it will win.
SO: Dario Marinelli’s tense-tapping Atonement score truly deserves it. I hope it happens for him.

Original Song
‘Falling Slowly’ from Once
‘Happy Working Song’ from Enchanted
‘Raise It Up’ from August Rush
‘So Close’ from Enchanted
‘That’s How You Know’ from Enchanted

SO: If ‘Falling Slowly’ is deemed ineligible, the Academy needs to burn. To the ground. Once is a beautiful movie, and this is a beautiful song. Give it an Oscar.
CN: I think it’ll all blow over and the Once track will win in the end.

Animated Short
I Met the Walrus
Madame Tutli-Putli
Même Les Pigeons Vont au Paradis (Even Pigeons Go to Heaven)
My Love (Moya Lyubov)
Peter & the Wolf

SO: My son’s name is Peter, so give me Peter & the Wolf.
CN: I Met the Walrus and he said he wants an Oscar. (The film is actually about John Lennon, which doesn’t hurt.)

Live Action Short
At Night
Il Supplente (The Substitute)
Le Mozart des Pickpockets (The Mozart of Pickpockets)
Tanghi Argentini
The Tonto Woman

SO: Pickpockets steals a win. Ha ha ha … oh God, I am lame.
CN: The Tonto Woman, which is based on an Elmore Leonard story. P.S. Sean, you are lame.

Sound Editing
The Bourne Ultimatum
No Country for Old Men
There Will Be Blood

SO: I’ll never forget the sound of Javier Bardem’s air tank shooting the perfect hole through a stranger’s head. No Country for Old Men grabs a technical nod.
CN: Excellent reasoning, Sean. No Country for Old Men it is.

Sound Mixing
The Bourne Ultimatum
No Country for Old Men
3:10 to Yuma

CN: Hey, Transformers! More than meets the ear? God… now I’m lame.
SO: I get the impression the Academy would like to give something to 3:10 to Yuma, though why is beyond me. Why not throw them this useless bone?

Visual Effects
The Golden Compass
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End

SO: Give me Pirates. Because I’m pretty sure I don’t want to live in a world where the phrase ‘Oscar winner’ can come before the name Michael Bay.
CN: It’s a two-horse race here with Pirates and Transformers. But Pirates 2 won last year, and frankly I think people are sick of this franchise. Give it up for a truck that turns into a robot. Transformers FTW.
Well, I guess it was a two-horse-and-one-bear race.

Adapted Screenplay
Atonement, Christopher Hampton
Away from Her, Sarah Polley
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Ronald Harwood
No Country for Old Men, Joel Coen and Ethan Coen
There Will Be Blood, Paul Thomas Anderson

CN: Few adaptations have been as acclaimed this year as the Coen brothers’ No Country for Old Men.
SO: Hampton changed the book’s ending. Polley pulled out only what she needed (and left off some superfluous junk). PTA only adapted the beginning of Upton Sinclair’s novel, ‘Oil!’ But the Coens nailed Cormac McCarthy’s stark, bleak book. Give No Country for Old Men yet another deserved Oscar.

Original Screenplay
Juno, Diablo Cody
Lars and the Real Girl, Nancy Oliver
Michael Clayton, Tony Gilroy
Ratatouille, Brad Bird, Jan Pinkava, Jim Capobianco
The Savages, Tamara Jenkins

CN: Juno is memorably fun and Sean hates it. All the way to Oscar, baby!
SO: I know it’s going to be Diablo Cody. I know it. So I’ll pick her. Officially, I’m saying it’s Diablo Cody. But Juno is the fourth-best screenplay in this best-of-five race. If there was a God in heaven, Tamara Jenkins would win for the bitter, brilliant Savages. Tony Gilroy would win for his intelligent, nervy Michael Clayton. Try this little experiment. Take a half-gallon container of milk and place it under your sofa. Leave it there for one year. Exactly 365 days from now, take the milk out from under the couch and simultaneously pop Juno into your DVD player. Open the milk and take a whiff. Open your ears and take a listen to Cody’s dialogue. One year from now, which will seem more fresh? My money’s on the milk.

Best Supporting Actor
Casey Affleck, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
Javier Bardem, No Country for Old Men
Philip Seymour Hoffman, Charlie Wilson’s War
Hal Holbrook, Into the Wild
Tom Wilkinson, Michael Clayton

SO: Hoffman had a tremendous year, but this is Javier Bardem‘s trophy to lose.
CN: Until they start handing out Oscars for haircuts, Javier Bardem almost can’t miss on this one.

Best Supporting Actress
Cate Blanchett, I’m Not There
Ruby Dee, American Gangster
Saoirse Ronan, Atonement
Amy Ryan, Gone Baby Gone
Tilda Swinton, Michael Clayton

CN: While I’m looking forward to hearing presenters attempt to pronounce ‘Saoirse,’ I am also equally looking forward to seeing what Amy Ryan wears to the show as she accepts her award for a role that was built for the Oscars. (Monster, anyone?)
SO: So what if Ruby Dee won at the SAG Awards? Amy Ryan won every other award leading up to this big day, and her momentum isn’t stopping now.

Best Actor
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

SO: I wish Clooney hadn’t won for Syriana, because he’s much better in Michael Clayton. And are we just going to nominate Depp every year now until he wins one for an undeserving role? Cheers for Viggo and Tommy Lee, but Daniel Day-Lewis seems to be tearing it up this season, so I’ll allow him to ‘drink my milkshake’ and take my guess.
CN: He’s an oilman, and he just wants a fair Oscar for his work. Give it up for Daniel Day-Lewis. Oh, but first he wants to hear you say you’re a false prophet and that there is no God. Drink it up!

Best Actress
Cate Blanchett, Elizabeth: The Golden Age
Julie Christie, Away from Her
Marion Cotillard, La Vie en Rose
Laura Linney, The Savages
Ellen Page, Juno

SO: Age triumphs over youth, as hipster underdog Ellen Page loses to the graceful (and deserving) Ju
lie Christie
CN: With 42 years between Oscars, Julie Christie will bookend an incredible career with a well-deserved award for a difficult role in a difficult film.
Damn. Good for her.

Best Director
Paul Thomas Anderson, There Will Be Blood
Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, No Country for Old Men
Tony Gilroy, Michael Clayton
Jason Reitman, Juno
Julian Schnabel, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

CN: I don’t see a lot of choice here. Gotta go with Joel and Ethan Coen and No Country for Old Men, tying Best Director to Best Picture as usual.
SO: Where the &^%$#@! is David Fincher? For shame, Academy. Norbit is an Oscar nominee, and the phenomenal Zodiac is not? That’s disgusting. Oh well, give me Joel and Ethan Coen, who showed enormous restraint in the mesmerizing No Country for Old Men.

Best Picture
Michael Clayton
No Country for Old Men
There Will Be Blood

SO: The last win will be the sweetest. No Country for Old Men takes home Best Picture. PTA fans howl in anguish. Juno supporters scream age bias, and Team Atonement wonders what they were doing in the dance in the first place. Good night, all.
CN: No Country for Old Men. Maybe on the commentary track of the DVD they’ll explain why they didn’t just call it Fargo 2.

Vote for your winners here!

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