February 17, 2007
Most Difficult to Predict

What do you reckon is the hardest category to predict...one where cases could be made for all the contenders? Many will shout back "Best Picture" (and I'll concede it's quite fun) but to me it's really Original Score. Ironically, this was also the case for the nominations.

I'll get into why I think this in more detail on Thursday's column but I honestly feel cases could be made for all five nominees. And with "The Painted Veil" and "The Fountain" out of the running, I'd honestly be satisfied with all five of them as well.


Score's hard to predict, but I think the hardest will be Sound Mixing and Sound Editing. The CAS isn't the most reliable of precursors, considering their winner hasn't won the Oscar since 2000. With five nominees in Sound Editing, it's harder. Kevin O'Connell could win for Apocalypto, but he's not nominated at CAS. Pirates is the loudest, Dreamgirls is the musical, Blood Diamond and Flags have complex war sound effects. Then the majority of people are predicting Letters to win in sound editing, but it's the only one not nominated in sound mixing.

Good point on Sound Mixing. If it was just the Mixers voting, I'm confident O'Connell/Russell would win. But as is, I don't think the Academy as a whole knows enough of their plight and/or will like the movie.

Sound Editing is another interesting one. If "Letters" does win (and it might), let's be frank - it'll be because they deemed it the place to throw the film a bone.

After pic, I'd have to go with Sound Editing. Mixing seems clearly Dreamgirls's to lose, but I don't think Letters has editing wrapped up, personally.

I feel like Queen is still a great bet for score, so I wouldn't personally say it's the "hardest" to predict. But who knows.

I'm thinking lately that people might be a little crazy to think Pan's has makeup in the bag. I watched Apocalypto again tonight and damn, there is a LOT of variety going on there. Pan's only has a central character and a creepy sequence to fall back on.

After the nominations, I thought Apocalypto would win makeup. The fact that they spent hours applying makeup to all those extras in that heat was really something. I think it's the best of the three. But the fact that Pan's Labyrinth has better reviews, more nominations, and is more of an "artistic" film gives it the advantage. I think it's interesting that from 1998-2004 every best makeup winner was also nominated for Art Direction and Costume Design. Chronicles of Narnia must have been close to getting nominations in those categories as well. And considering Pan's Labyrinth almost got nominated for costumes, that's another reason why I'd give it the advantage here.

Here's a twist. Who do you think will present Best Picture this year?

Ouf! I'd say a case could be made for Foreign Language Film as well! I don't see how a "best" could be selected from such excellent options! People will just vote for their "favourite"

I don't think "Dreamgirls" has Sound Mixing in the bag per se. Though I'll simultaneously say I don't know what can beat it.

May I also add that after last night's guild, I'd consider Costume Design awfully difficult to predict as well.

I think it will either be "The Queen" or "Pan's Labyrinth." A lot of people are saying "Babel," but I don't think they will give it to Santaolalla two years in a row. Desplat is a fantastic up and comer, and his score for "The Queen" has Oscar written all over it. Plus he won the Golden Globe for "The Painted Veil."

"Pan's" is the most traditionally melodic, which could sway voters who just pop in the CD, and the film is very popular, so it could pick up the award here. That lullaby is very memorable, and could stick in voters' heads.

But right now I'm going with "The Queen." It just feels right. And looking back over past winners, it seems to fit their tastes.

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