Early predix: Nat Rogers pipes in

Posted by · 3:36 pm · June 14th, 2008

So the ever-worthwhile Nathaniel Rogers at The Film Experience has joined in the predictions game – check out his thoughts here. Like many others, his list has “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” ruling the roost with eight nominations, with “Defiance,” “Doubt,” “Milk” and “Miracle at St Anna” rounding out the Best Picture list.

The latter is a particularly interesting choice – one wonders whether the controversy-shy Academy voters will be put off by Spike Lee’s increasingly ridiculous quarrel with Clint Eastwood. Of course, January is a long way off, and if “Miracle at St Anna” turns out to be great, chances are this whole debacle will be forgotten by then. I fear it will not – but with “Changeling” not making his Best Picture list, Nat clearly sees Spike having the last laugh here.

Elsewhere in Nat’s list, most of the usual suspects are present. I’m particularly pleased to see that he shares my faith in a Best Actress nomination for Sally Hawkins (“Happy-Go-Lucky”) – I’m going to be banging this drum all year, so get used to it. Nat, meanwhile, is evidently beginning the campaigning early for Michelle Pfeiffer in “Cheri,” going so far as to call her a “legendary actress.” I admit there won’t be any complaining from me if she finally cops a statuette.

Finally, he invites answers to the question that is most crucial to the prediction game at this stage:

Which seemingly baity property do you consider most suspect in reality?

It happens every year: the seemingly can’t-miss prospect that ultimately does. From “The Crucible” to “Charlie Wilson’s War,” Oscar history is littered with ambitious, namey films that – in voters’ eyes at least – added up to less than the sum of their very shiny parts. It seems inevitable that at least one of the prestige pictures lined up for later in the year will fall by the wayside, but with no reviews to go on, predicting which one is pretty much a shot in the dark.

To go by his predictions, Nat clearly isn’t drinking the Kool-Aid for such weighty titles as “Frost/Nixon” and “Revolutionary Road.” I share his suspicions about the former, but am surprised at how little he rates the latter. Having recently reread Richard Yates’ brilliant source novel, I was struck afresh by the relevance of its social critique and the complexity of its characterisation – if all the talents involved bring their A-game, I believe “Revolutionary Road” could be the one to beat. I certainly wouldn’t – as Nat does – bet against a Best Actress nomination for Kate Winslet. The voters adore her, and April Wheeler is one hell of a character.

So, which contenders do you reckon won’t stay the course? My money’s on “Doubt,” based on… well, nothing but a hunch, really. Hey, it’s only June – hunches are all we have.   

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4 responses so far

  • 1 6-14-2008 at 9:06 pm

    Mack said...

    oh puhleez, it’s so funny how oscar “predictions” are casually tossed out based on “oscar pedigree” of the director, writer/actors alone and then being vehemently and outrageously marketed as inevitable Oscar front runners – case in point: Sasha’s CWW, Tom’s Sweeney Todd and Tapley’s T.C./E.

  • 2 6-16-2008 at 10:10 am

    Scott Feinberg said...

    Kris, Right there with you as far as being cautious about Doubt… for whatever reason, very few stage hits have made a successful transition to the big screen of late. Nice new look to the site.

  • 3 6-17-2008 at 2:31 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Scott: This was actually Guy’s post, not mine. I’ve got “Doubt” in my predictions for the moment, but Guy has his…doubts.

  • 4 6-17-2008 at 2:32 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Mack: T.C./E. – ?