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Screaming Females - Castle Talk
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LOSTATSEA.NET > FEATURES >

February 21, 2008
My annual exhaustive list of what films are going to win Academy Awards, what films should win Academy Awards, and the wisdom to see the difference. (For the full list of nominees, go to Oscar.com. I left out some categories because, frankly, I got tired of pretending like I knew about the nominees for Best Short Foreign Language Film.)
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BEST ACTOR

Who will win: Daniel Day-Lewis for There Will Be Blood.

Who should win: Daniel Day-Lewis for There Will Be Blood. I had to type that three times because my fingers kept putting "Johnny Depp" of their own volition. It's not often that I bypass JD in favor of anyone else, so ol' 'Milkshake On My Mustache' must have done a pretty decent job.


SUPPORTING ACTOR

Who will win: Javier Bardem for No Country For Old Men.

Who should win: Casey Affleck for The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. It was a tough call for this one, but I kept thinking to myself, "Which is harder to do, act snivelly and terrified or act cold and impassive?" I decided on "snivelly and terrified," but maybe it's because I'm naturally cold and impassive? The Academy will vote for Javier Bardem, and it's because he, a) is a well-respected actor, having established himself long ago in various excellent Spanish films, so they won't want to act like they respect him less than Ben "Dullard" Affleck's little brother, and b) was brave enough to sport that weird haircut.


BEST ACTRESS

Who will win: Marion Cotillard for La Vie En Rose.

Who should win: Julie Christie for Away from Her. However, the only reason I'm saying she won't win (she did win a similar Golden Globe, after all) is because Cotillard has the mighty biopic formula behind her. On the other hand, Christie has longevity, and the Academy likes to slip in unofficial lifetime achievement awards often enough, but it's usually not for something major like Best Actor/Actress. I was burned by this realization last year, after I swore up and down that Peter O'Toole would bring it home.


SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Who will win: Cate Blanchett for I'm Not There.

Who should win: Saoirse Ronan for Atonement. Here is a category that I would say could easily go to a young girl, yet I am not entirely certain that Cate Blanchett can be beat, especially when she's doing a novel take on the biopic formula. Saoirse Ronan is 14 years of age and as wonderfully chilling (yet somehow easy to relate to) as Briony Tallis, though, and as much as Blanchett usually deserves all of her praise, it's hard to forgive her for Elizabeth: The Golden Age.*


ANIMATED FEATURE FILM

Who will win: Ratatouille.

Who should win: Persepolis, just because it's neat and different, and because rats are gross.


ART DIRECTION

Who will win: There Will Be Blood.

Who should win: I'm OK with There Will Be Blood winning, actually, even though I think Atonement was equally as well put-together. I feel such enthusiasm for both of these films that I tend to change my vote by the minute, but it's because the combination dry/oily There Will Be Blood** and the lush afternoon setting of Atonement both still remain vivid dream settings in my brain.


CINEMATOGRAPHY

Who will win: I have no idea.

Who should win: I... am at a loss for words over here. We have Atonement, No Country For Old Men, There Will Be Blood, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, and The Assassination of Jesse James as nominees. It was a year of beautiful films, that's for sure. In fact, if movies were entirely about cinematography, 2007 would have gone on the books for producing the greatest number of nearly perfect films. I think these films will probably have ballots split between them, and whoever wins will just be lucky with a few extra votes, but nobody engraves "Arbitrary Winner" on an Academy Award statuette, and there's no second place.


COSTUMES

Who will win: Elizabeth: The Golden Age.

Who should win: I've learned my lesson with costumes as well. I thought last year that maybe something a little more subtle would win over Marie Antoinette, but let's get one thing straight: Members of The Academy aren't geniuses. They aren't top fashion gurus who would honestly believe that a cut of a certain suit is more fantastic than 75 oversized 18th century French silk dresses. So therefore I can say that Atonement should get some sort of something for Keira Knightley's green dress, but Elizabeth probably had a lot more house elves working a lot more hours, and I think the Academy is highly interested in spectacle. More on this later.


DIRECTING

Who will win: No Country For Old Men.

Who should win: There Will Be Blood. I mean, whatever. I love, love, love that there is a neo-Western rivalry this year among film enthusiasts, and I'm doing my part to further it. I mean, seriously, it warms my heart that here we are, discussing which is better -- Amazing Film 1 or Amazing Film 2, or maybe Amazing Film 3 sitting over there in the corner. We've come a long way since Titanic and Gladiator, and hopefully there won't be any relapses anytime soon.


DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

Who will win: Sicko.

Who should win: Sicko. It's timely.


DOCUMENTARY SHORT

Who will win: Sari's Mother.

Who should win: Do you think I, or anyone who wasn't assigned to, actually watched any of these documentary short films? I live in Richmond, Virginia, where we were lucky to get Juno. I just chose that one because it caught my eye, but best of luck to you all. Keep, er, making those short documentaries! I'm sure someone loves them somewhere in the world.


FILM EDITING

Who will win: No Country For Old Men.

Who should win: Anybody but No Country For Old Men. My major problems with this film (although again, if this is the weakest link for me, that's a pretty strong chain we're dealing with) had to do with the editing, but I would wager that to Academy voters the characteristics that I thought weakened the film at least caught their attention. I was surprised Atonement wasn't nominated for this category as well. I certainly hope The Bourne Ultimatum's happy.


FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

Who will win: ???

Who should win: How about "Who should be nominated?" Didn't The Diving Bell and the Butterfly turn everyone's heads into an exploded pulp? Isn't it nominated in multiple other categories? Didn't it win the Golden Globe? Is there a misprint on the nominations? How can the Academy have possibly skipped it for this category?


MAKEUP

Who will win: La Vie En Rose.

Who should win: La Vie En Rose. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End had neat makeup? I mean, maybe to cover Johnny Depp's famous tattoo of my face over his heart, but other than that, the award will and should go to La Vie En Rose. I traditionally hate aging makeup, but Cotillard became older than I'd ever seen anyone become in a movie.


MUSIC (SCORE)

Who will win: Atonement.

Who should win: No Country For Old Men. Haha! Psych! That movie didn't have a score! Oh man, the Coen Brothers really showed us, huh? But seriously, though, 3:10 to Yuma had a noticeably good score, but I think the neo-Western appreciators will be scattered all over the place (like tumbleweed?) and those who were delighted by Atonement's typewriter-enhanced score will be gratified.


MUSIC (SONG)

Who will win: Enchanted, for the cheerful song about something or other.

Who should win: Whatever other song Enchanted is nominated for. Just so I can say I didn't agree.


VISUAL EFFECTS

Who will win: Who cares?

Who should win: Did you guys SEE Transformers? I thought my Honda Civic was going to stand up and wave gleefully to me as I crossed the parking lot after seeing it in the theater.


WRITING (ADAPTED SCREENPLAY)

Who will win: Atonement.

Who should win: Atonement, if only because the book was one of the best books I've read in a very long time, and the movie, in my opinion, did nothing to detract from the whole Atonement experience. That's not common, and I think the Academy will like that as well.


WRITING (ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY)

Who will win: Juno (she boldly typed).

Who should win: Juno. It's a slow year for original screenplays when the latest Pixar film is nominated. I'm pretty sure Juno is one of the most perfect movies of its ilk, though, and I'm rooting for it enough to make it my prediction as well as my own pick.


BEST PICTURE

Who will win: Atonement (wait, wait, stay with me here).

Who should win: There Will Be Blood. I recently read an interesting article about how Juno will win Best Picture (at the same moment at which Tim Burton shaves his head and puts on a checked ivory-on-white shirt from Banana Republic, coincidentally). Their logic was that the Academy likes films with clear messages, and, to paraphrase heavily, all of the other nominees this year require too much thought. I hear that. I also think it's possible that the fierce No Country For Old Men vs. There Will Be Blood battle will end up destroying either film's chance to win. Juno, however wonderful it was (and it really, really was), is still thoroughly a comedy, and a comedy hasn't won a Best Picture award since Driving Miss Daisy. So while I think that the "clear message" argument is sound, the author of that article seemed to forget that Atonement's message was made of sharp crystal, yet it also combines breathtaking cinematography, a clever score, beautiful writing, and a war. It's a formidable foe, and though I may think There Will Be Blood might have been slightly more consistent, I won't begrudge Joe Wright and the Atonement crew the award.
---

The Oscars will air February 24th at 8pm on ABC. If you need me I will be at my place, yelling.
---

* Oddly enough, she's nominated for Best Actress for this awful film. If she wins, I'm moving to a farm with no electricity so I can never, ever watch a movie again.

** Skincare joke!

SEE ALSO: www.oscar.com

--
Susan Howson
A staff writer attending graduate school in Richmond, VA, Susan Howson cannot be persuaded to stop talking about movies.

See other articles by Susan Howson.

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