2/11 Chart Update
It's been a while, eh? Sitting back watching the "No Country for Old Men" onslaught on the precursor circuit, why would anyone want to update predictions that, by and large, see "No Country" sweeping? To be quite honest, it doesn't really feel right.
There are actually a couple of categories that look a little ripe for the taking, and more than enough foregone conclusions to go around. Like Best Supporting Actress, which is a five-horse race if you ask me. Amy Ryan dominated the critics groups, Cate Blanchett took the Golden Globe and Ruby Dee grabbed the SAG Award. If that hasn't made things interesting enough, Tilda Swinton was victorious with the BAFTA over the weekend and Saoirse Ronan hasn't made an appearance beyond a Golden Globe nomination, so her possibilities and heavy campaigning began the day she was nominated. A lot of steam is left in that ship, is my point.
Then there is that interesting lead actress category, which is still an open road for the three main combatants. Julie Christie took the SAG and Golden Globe (Drama) while Marion Cotillard wrangled the comedy Globe and the BAFTA. Ellen Page, meanwhile, is the "it" star of the moment with "Juno" tearing up the box office and at least the perception that the Academy may want to reward it outside of original screenplay.
Oh, and to give a little love to the tech categories, what about 20-time nominee Kevin O'Connell and his partner, 12-timer Greg P. Russell? The duo has been well covered both here and in mainstream media regarding their Best Sound Mixing nomination for "Transformers." But the campaign behind "No Country for Old Men" is putting considerable effort behind its tech nominations, including the praise-worthy soundscape of the picture. "The Bourne Ultimatum," meanwhile, proved dominant at the BAFTAs, so perhaps a statue isn't as secure for O'Connell and Russell as it would seem. (I'm still sticking with them.)
Oh, and those are just a few of the many brain-twisters driving me nuts in the lead-up to the show. Don't get me started on the adapted screenplay race, that could be seeing a groundswell behind "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" over the brothers Coen, or even the Best Picture ranks, which, let's face it, might have "No Country" in a precarious "Brokeback Mountain" scenario.
The "pros" are leaning that way for the Coens' flick, dubbed an "instant classic" in some quarters and therefore kind of a big deal (right?). Others are positing lists of lessons, presuming, I suppose, that we have actually learned anything, when in fact all the "rules" have been tossed out the window. Maybe that's what we've learned.
Lots of questions, lots of possibilities -- and ballots are due this week. More than likely, "No Country" is on a course for Oscar glory. But "more than likely" is a cheating bitch, sometimes.
Previous Oscar Columns:
01/21/08 - "1/21 Chart Update"
01/14/08 - "1/14 Chart Update"
01/07/08 - "12/24 Chart Update"
12/24/07 - "12/24 Chart Update"
12/12/07 - "12/12 Chart Update"
12/10/07 - "12/10 Chart Update"
12/03/07 - "12/3 Chart Update"
11/27/07 - "11/27 Chart Update"
11/12/07 - "11/5 Chart Update"
11/05/07 - "11/5 Chart Update"
10/29/07 - "10/29 Chart Update"
10/15/07 - "The Oil Man vs. the Demon Barber?"
10/08/07 - "Clean-up on Aisle September"
10/01/07 - "Still Anybody's Game"
09/17/07 - "Post-Toronto Update"
09/10/07 - "Notes from the Eye of a Storm"
09/03/07 - "Launching the New Season"
08/03/07 - "August Update"
07/01/07 - "The Silence is Deafening"
02/26/07 - "Forging Ahead: In Contention's Year in Advance Oscar Speculation"