2007-08 Oscar Calendar

[Monday, December 3, 2007]

Official Screen Credits
Forms Due.

[Wednesday, December 26, 2007]

Nominations ballots mailed.

[Saturday, January 12, 2008]

Nominations polls close
5 p.m. PST.

[Tuesday, January 22, 2008]

Nominations announced
5:30 a.m. PST
Samuel Goldwyn Theater

[Wednesday, January 30, 2008]

Final ballots mailed.

[Monday, February 4, 2008]

Nominees Luncheon

[Saturday, February 9, 2008]

Scientific and Technical
Awards Dinner

[Tuesday, February 19, 2008]

Final polls close 5 p.m. PST.

[Sunday, February 24, 2008]

79th Annual
Academy Awards Presentation
Kodak Theatre

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All In


I used to think that if I ever met God, he’d look like Kenny Rogers. It just seemed about right. And like The Gambler said, “You’ve got to know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em.” But I don’t even think the almighty himself would know how to call the 2006 film awards season.

A year like this presents that unique opportunity in the world of prognostication, free of definitives, seemingly clear of “safe” bets, where any of the five nominated films for Best Picture could walk away with the top prize. So why not play the outside odds? Why not place a hop bet on a hard eight, close your eyes and wait for the stickman’s call? (I bet that’s the only craps reference you’ve come across in Oscarland.)

With that in mind, in either my infinite wisdom or my unparalleled stubbornness, I’ve decided to play the cards I’ve been considering heavily for the better part of four months. Sure, I folded this hand once pre-nominations, but not this time. Even if the allure of being alone in a prediction settles nicely with this rebel, I still feel that Clint Eastwood’s “Letters from Iwo Jima” is the film that can throw a wrench into the machinery of Oscar night, 2007.

It’s interesting to see these random polls indicating “Letters” on top, to be solicited for podcast discussion on the topic and to see Academy historian Robert Osbourne suddenly waving a flag for the film. It’s interesting because none of that really means a whole lot to me as it pertains to this prediction. It has always just made a weird sort of SENSE to me.


The guilds didn’t see it before nominating. Barely enough Academy members saw it in time to nominate, but seemingly enough did to bolster passionate support to land it a Best Picture nomination. In the weeks since the announcement of the nominees, the film has been in the unique position of being the last film seen; the film about which people would be saying “What’s all this fuss about?” Then you read a Kim Masters article about one guy who took a look at the Best Picture nominees, didn’t find himself considering any of them “best” and marked Clint down in a sympathy vote. One has to wonder, who else is doing that very thing?

Like Jack said in the Best Picture “frontrunner”: “And I think about this.”

The bottom line is rhetoric begets more rhetoric. You can talk circles around any of the nominees and come up with valid analysis. Old fashion phone calls and member interrogation has turned up zip this time around, so you really have to just go with the line of rhetoric and reasoning that makes sense to you, and ever since I saw “Letters from Iwo Jima,” it was a film that made sense to me as a Best Picture victor. Despite it’s being in a foreign language, despite its lack of star-power (Oscar history is hitting a brick wall slowly in the last three years), and combined with another ambitious war effort from a drastically respected veteran of this industry…it just adds up.

“Little Miss Sunshine” could win because, at least in the guild scenario, it commanded two significant chunks of membership: actors and producers. “Babel” could win because it has obvious support throughout a number of branches. “The Departed” could win because it might be too difficult to not allow Scorsese to have his cake and eat it too, assuming though that may be. And “The Queen” could win because there is not a bad word that can be said about it.


What I dread is the wave of definitives that will crash the party if, say, “Babel” or “The Departed” wins. “See!” I can hear the masses screaming. “You really DO have to have an editing nomination to win!” Well, no, you don’t. And this season, just in its first phase, has already broken all kinds of Oscar “records,” but, well, “print the legend” and all of that.

But really, it’s all been talked to death. I’m prepared for any of the films to be read aloud Sunday evening. I’m not confident in my own prediction, and no more so than if I had predicted any of the rest. In some ways I feel like I’d be more confident predicting a tie. Talk about hedging your bets. But I gotta be me…and so I am.

What’s fascinating is that there are so many other races worth an equally in-depth look, races that seem ripe for upsets. I have this weird feeling Peter O’Toole could pull off that unlikely victory in Best Actor. I sense that anti-fantasy bias will steer the foreign language film committee to “The Lives of Others.” I feel like the hippie, baby boomers might rather rock out to James Taylor or Melissa Etheridge than a “Dreamgirls” number. It seems to me “Children of Men” could easily not prove “pretty” enough to win Best Cinematography, while something breathtaking like “The Prestige” could surprise. The Academy might be more impressed with the makeup seen throughout “Apocalypto” rather than the work done in a couple of key scenes in “Pan’s Labyrinth.” And Best Original Score? Pull it out of a hat, because who the hell knows?

It’s the Oscars that could go one of a million different ways, and as eager as I am to be on the other side of it, I’m strangely ready to relish in the surprises (or lack thereof) as they come down the pike this weekend. So put on your Sunday finest, put the champagne on ice and don’t bogart the guacamole. “It’s going to be a bumpy night!”


Full list of final predictions below, indicated in the sidebar and, as always, charts:

Main Category Charts
Technical Category Charts
Oscar Predictions Archive


Performance by an ACTOR in a LEADING ROLE
Forest Whitaker in "The Last King of Scotland"

Performance by an ACTOR in a SUPPORTING ROLE
Alan Arkin in "Little Miss Sunshine"

Performance by an ACTRESS in a LEADING ROLE
Helen Mirren in "The Queen"

Performance by an ACTRESS in a SUPPORTING ROLE
Jennifer Hudson in "Dreamgirls"

John Lasseter


Achivement in ART DIRECTION
"Pan's Labyrinth"
Art Direction: Eugenio Caballero
Set Decoration: Pilar Revuelta


"Children of Men"
Emmanuel Lubezki


Achievement in COSTUME DESIGN
Sharen Davis


Achievement in DIRECTING
"The Departed"
Martin Scorsese


"An Inconvenient Truth"
Davis Guggenheim


"Recycled Life"
Leslie Iwerks and Mike Glad


Achievement in FILM EDITING
Stephen Mirrione and Douglas Crise


"The Lives of Others"


Achievement in MAKEUP
"Pan's Labyrinth"
David Martí and Montse Ribé


Best MOTION PICTURE of the Year
"Letters from Iwo Jima"
Clint Eastwood, Steven Spielberg and Robert Lorenz, Producers


Achievement in MUSIC Written for Motion Pictures (ORIGINAL SCORE)
"The Queen"
Alexandre Desplat


Achievement in MUSIC Written for Motion Pictures (ORIGINAL SONG)
“I Need to Wake Up” from “An Inconvenient Truth”
Music and Lyric by Melissa Etheridge


"The Little Matchgirl"
Roger Allers and Don Hahn


"West Bank Story"
Ari Sandel


Achievement in SOUND EDITING
"Letters from Iwo Jima"
Alan Robert Murray and Bub Asman


Achievement in SOUND MIXING
Michael Minkler, Bob Beemer and Willie Burton


Achievement in VISUAL EFFECTS
"Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest"
John Knoll, Hal Hickel, Charles Gibson and Allen Hall


"The Departed"
Screenplay by William Monahan


"Little Miss Sunshine"
Written by Michael Arndt


“Dreamgirls” - 3
“The Departed” - 2
“An Inconvenient Truth” - 2
“Letters from Iwo Jima” - 2
“Little Miss Sunshine” - 2
“Pan's Labyrinth” - 2
“The Queen” - 2
“Babel” - 1
“Cars” - 1
“Children of Men” - 1
“The Last King of Scotland” - 1
“The Lives of Others” - 1
“Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest” - 1

Previous Oscar Columns:
02/12/07 - "Short Talking"
02/05/07 - "Around the Bend"
01/22/07 - "No More Bets"
01/15/07 - "Building the Perfect Beast"
01/08/07 - "Making It Count"
12/18/06 - "Winding Down, Sorting It Out"
11/27/06 - "Switching Gears"
10/23/06 - "Lighten Up"
10/16/06 - "Starting To Get Serious"
10/09/06 - "'Flags' Lands and the Supporting Actresses Need Sustenance"
10/02/06 - "What's in a lead anyway?"
09/18/06 - "Aftermath"
09/11/06 - "It's All Happening."
09/04/06 - "Aw, Canucks."
08/28/06 - "On Your Marks..."
08/14/06 - "Enough Foreplay!"
08/07/06 - "Don't Knock Masturbation; it's Sex with Someone I Love"
07/31/06 - "Old and New, the Oscar Season Approaches"


You know what, I think I'm predicting the exact same thing as you. Hope it works out well! My only hesitation is DREAMGIRLS for costumes...Marie Antoinette just seems like a logical winner (except that most people don't like the movie). I'm guessing MA and Flower will split and DREAMGIRLS will win in the end.

Bold calls. Chapeau.
I've gone and predicted that Martin Scorsese will lose:

Between your predictions and mine, this Oscar might turn out a night to remember and not the snoozefest it seems to be with other predictions.

"What I dread is the wave of definitives that will crash the party if, say, “Babel” or “The Departed” wins. “See!” I can hear the masses screaming. “You really DO have to have an editing nomination to win!” Well, no, you don’t."

THANK YOU. Best thing I've read Oscar-wise in weeks. If I hear one more 'pundit' mention the Editing nom I'm gonna take a hostage. Great predicts -- if yours come true Sunday, I'll be dancing.

Hey Kris--
It is so damn wonderful to read an intelligent analysis NOT based on stats and shit. Whether LETTERS wins or not (and I agree that it has a fantastic chance) this year has proven all the progs misguided AND you have proven to be the ONE smart cookie of the bunch who doesn't pretend to be the sage of all sages. Brav-fuckin-o!

Good column - as usual.

I agree with the Letters pick. Doubt the voters missed the anti-war theme of the film(s).

greatest race ever...

Good for you for sticking to your guns, even though I strongly doubt Letters will win anything.

But I would be happy for you to be right there if it could mean you would be wrong about Best Live Action Short - "West Bank Story" is about as bad as short films can get.

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2008 Year in Advance Predictions

UPDATED: 2/25/2008

Main Charts | Tech Charts

[Motion Picture]

“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”



“Revolutionary Road”

“The Soloist”


David Fincher
“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”

Ron Howard

Gus Van Sant

Sam Mendes
“Revolutionary Road”

Joe Wright
“The Soloist”

[Actor in a Leading Role]

Benicio Del Toro
“The Argentine”

Jamie Foxx
“The Soloist”

Frank Langella

Sean Penn

Brad Pitt
“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”

[Actress in a Leading Role]

Vera Farmiga
“Nothing But the Truth”

Angelina Jolie

Julianne Moore

Meryl Streep

Kate Winslet
“Revolutionary Road”

[Actor in a Supporting Role]

Josh Brolin

Russell Crowe
“Body of Lies”

Robert Downey, Jr.
“The Soloist”

Heath Ledger
“The Dark Knight”

Michael Sheen

[Actress in a Supporting Role]

Amy Adams

Kathy Bates
“Revolutionary Road”

Cate Blanchett
“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”

Catherine Keener
“The Soloist”

Carice van Houten
“Body of Lies”

[Writing, Adapted Screenplay]

“Body of Lies”

“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”



“Revolutionary Road”

[Writing, Original Screenplay]


“Hamlet 2”


“The Soloist”


[Art Direction]



“Indiana Jones and the Kingdom
of the Crystal Skull”

“Red Cliff”

“Revolutionary Road”



“The Dark Knight”


“Indiana Jones and the Kingdom
of the Crystal Skull”

“Revolutionary Road”

[Costume Design]

“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”


“The Other Boleyn Girl”

“Red Cliff”

“Revolutionary Road”

[Film Editing]

“Body of Lies”

“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”



“Indiana Jones and the Kingdom
of the Crystal Skull”


“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”

“The Dark Knight”

“Red Cliff”

[Music, Original Score]

“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”

“Indiana Jones and the Kingdom
of the Crystal Skull”

“The Soloist”

“Revolutionary Road”


[Music, Original Song]

coming soon

[Sound Editing]


“Indiana Jones and the Kingdom
of the Crystal Skull”

“Iron Man”

“Speed Racer”


[Sound Mixing]


“Indiana Jones and the Kingdom
of the Crystal Skull”


“The Chronicles of Narnia:
Prince Caspian”


[Visual Effects]

“The Chronicles of Narnia:
Prince Caspian”

“The Incredible Hulk”

“Iron Man”

[Animated Feature Film]


“Kung Fu Panda”


[Foreign Language Film]

coming soon

[Documentary, Features]

coming soon

[Documentary, Short Subjects]

coming soon

[Short Film, Animated]

coming soon

[Short Film, Live Action]

coming soon