The ONLY Oscar Blogger, who lives in walking distance to the Kodak Theater!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

R.I.P. Christine Garofano 1921-2008

Well, it wouldn't be appropriate to not post something about this celebrity. She's more of a celebrity in my life. My Aunt Tina died today and I don't really know what to write here. I can tell you that I'll be heading back to Massachusetts probably tomorrow. Didn't expect a trip back home so soon, but that's life. I'm also probably not going to be blogging very much over the next few days. I got to write a eulogy and I need dedicate enough time to do that.

I'm not crazy about posting personal stuff, but I posted a couple pictures of me with her through the years. I just felt like it.

Well, that's all I'm going to write right now.

Christine Garofano was 86...

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Looking Ahead to the 2008 Oscars

I'm slowly wrapping up the Oscar posts. I'll probably be finished by the end of the week. Being the Oscar blogger that I am, it's hard not to look ahead at the next year. Even though the award season is really only from September-Feburary, it still feels like a 12 month a year passion. It's like sports. I still follow the Patriots even though training camp is not until the summer. You can't help it, so in a lot of respects, I think you'll see an Oscar post here and there during the offseason. I'd be surprised if you didn't.

It's also never too early to look at the possible 2008 contenders, right? Yeah, I have no idea where these films will be in regards to the Oscar race. Half of them will probably be horrible. I just have collected a bunch of films that I think I could be blogging about a lot. Only time will tell...

Appaloosa
The Argentine
Australia
Blindness
Body of Lies
Burn After Reading
The Changeling
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
Defiance
Doubt
The Express
Frost/Nixon
Guerilla
Iron Man
Milk
The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency
The Reader
Revolutionary Road
The Soloist
Synecdoche, New York


Here's a VERY premature Best Picture lineup. Here it is:
The Changeling
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Frost/Nixon
Revolutionary Road
The Soloist

Best Picture: Revolutionary Road

That's all I'm predicting right now. I will just say if Revolutionary Road wins the Oscar next year, then everyone that reads this blog should give me a high five whether it be real or imaginary.

Fortune Cookie Series: Part II

I got this fortune cookie the other day and I haven't had time to write about it yet. Yes, it's the grand return of the fortune cookie series.

Fortune:
You will have good luck and over many hardships.

Analysis:
Isn't this like the standard fortune? I think I've got this one at least ten times. Or maybe I just need a lot of good luck and help overcoming hardships. I don't know.

I look at this fortune and hope its in reference to my work. Stilling waiting on that damn company. It's been almost two weeks and I was told to call them back if I didn't hear anything.

Work has been a hardship the last year. Things could have gone differently, but that's life sometimes. I think/hope it will work out in the end. Only time will tell.

I don't really know what else this could really be referring to? Maybe my love life? Maybe I'll bump into somebody special at the grocery store this week? You never know. Anything is possible.

The problem with this fortune is that it's very broad. Then again, fortune cookie fortunes are always broad. This one is just worse. All I know is I will have good luck and will be able to over many hardships. Basically, I can't be stopped with that combination. Watch out!

Haiku Series: Ethan Coen

As I stated on my podcast last night, Ethan Coen pissed me off with his foolish and lame acceptance speeches. Here's a guy that wins three Oscars and all he says is "Thank you". He didn't even thank his wife or say something from the heart. He had to know he was going to win. Him and his brother were the frontrunners going into the Oscars. It was like a brush off.

I didn't like the Coens very much before and now I know why I don't like them. If they were trying to be funny, then "Haha." I'm not laughing. Millions of people watch the Oscars. Millions of people want to be at the podium with an Oscar in their hand. Millions of people finally get to see their filmmaking idols say something (Yes, people do admire the Coens). And that happens.

It bothers me. Just like people get bothered that Bill Belichick refuses to talk to the media. Well, this is the same thing almost. I'd argue the Coens are even more important since kids don't aspire to be head coaches. They want to be athletes. Well, kids aspire to make movies and it's hard not to respect the Coens.

I just like to see people have some heart on the stage. Embrace their moment as a great achievement. Last night, Julian said seeing his show on television would be a bigger moment. I won't lie, seeing a tv show or film with your name on it would be a huge deal. The difference is thousands of people have had that honor. Not even a hundred directors have won an Oscar. Probably a little over a hundred producers have won an Oscar. It's an elite club. The few, the proud. If all you can muster is thank you, then do it with some heart. And, I thought Coen lacked that on Sunday. Defend him if you want, but my opinion will probably not change.

After submitting that haiku to Awards Daily last week, I've been writing haikus like crazy. Every so often I will post a haiku about someone or something. Yes, it's the haiku series.

Ethan Coen
Keep saying thank you
Yes, you fail to inspire me
Go back to Fargo

Monday, February 25, 2008

How Will We Remember 2007?

Yeah, it's February, but with the Oscars over, it's time to really look at the year in film. Where does 2007 rank? Was it a good year? Or a bad one? What will people say 25 or 50 years from now? Will it be a year held in high regard by film historians?

I've written this before, but this is the best year of film I've experienced (born in 1985). Too young to live during the great 1994, so nothing comes close to 2007. Let's quickly look at some of the great films from this past year.

It was a year anchored by two films that I really do think will stand the test of time. At least that is how it feels. There Will Be Blood and No Country for Old Men will arguably be regarded as masterpieces. Paul Thomas Anderson and the Coen Brothers were on top of their game in every way. They pushed boundaries and succeeded.

Then, there are some really strong films such as The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Atonement, Into the Wild, Juno, and Michael Clayton. How can you forget the comedies such as Knocked Up and Superbad? Or action films such as The Bourne Ultimatum and Transformers? Or musicals such as Enchanted, Sweeney Todd: Demon Barber on Fleet Street, and Across the Universe. Hell, there's even an animation that was top notch. Of course, I'm talking about Ratatouille.

The indie was also very well represented. Besides Juno there was Away from Her, Gone Baby Gone, I'm Not There, Lars and the Real Girl, Once, Rocket Science, The Savages, and Waitress.

The western came back with 3:10 to Yuma and The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. There was even a couple solid biopic films such as La Vie en Rose and Charlie Wilson's War.

Granted every year has a little bit of everything, but I was blown away by some of the quality. I had such a difficult time making my top ten list this year. I left off so many great films that probably would have easily made the list the last couple years.

It's hard to put 2007 into historical context so soon, but I think it will be in great shape. Even look at the performances. Will people forget about Anton Chigurh or Daniel Plainview? Highly doubt it. They've both entered legend status. Even Cate Blanchett as Jude Quinn (aka Bob Dylan) and Johnny Depp as Sweeney Todd are memorable characters. Hell, and don't forget about Marion Cotillard as Edith Piaf. It's unbelievable what 2007 has given us.

Here's hoping that 2008 will be able to live up to it. The bar has been raised so high, I doubt it. Although, I don't doubt that there will be some amazing films released before the year is over.

I just know that 2007 was a special year and I feel fortunate to be able to experience it. And most importantly, be able to blog about it to you.

Oscar Podcast Here

I just recorded a podcast with my two roommates, Julian from Incrediblack and Kyle from Why I Will Never be a Famous Writer. Click HERE to listen. If you have subscribed to the feed, then it should be delivered to you. We are on the iTunes music store. Type in the phrase "spaghetti sauce" and the podcast will pop up.

It is a long podcast. Probably too long. I think it's close to an hour long. We got sidetracked a little and it got out of control, so be warned.

Horrible Rating for the Oscars

The Oscars pulled a horrible rating last night. Its worst rating ever. I believe Nielsen ratings started in '74, so that's like 40 years and this is the worst. "Only" 32 million people watched the show. Compare that to the almost 100 million (97.5) that watched the Super Bowl and it looks even worse. It was a 20% fallout from last year.

I don't know what to attribute this to. I don't buy that people thought the strike was going on and no one was going to be there. It's not like the midwest or south doesn't have the internet. Maybe the international stars hurt the ratings. I would hate to think that, but it's possible. George Clooney and Johnny Depp were still there.

Even look at LA and NY, their numbers were both down. I don't know how ABC and the Academy will take this, but I can't imagine them being too happy. I would be extremely disappointing. It was a good show with a couple surprises. I don't know how memorable it was, but I don't consider it the worst Oscars I've seen.

On a side note, should be doing a podcast tonight with some reaction. I'll be posting it later tonight or sometime tomorrow.

2007 Oscar Contest Results

(Ties were broken via the tiebreaker. If you have any questions, contact me.)

1. Jimmy Orsag - 15
2. Brian Bedard - 15
3. Phillip Duong - 14
4. Dres - 13
5. Jason Stevens - 13
6. Julian "Brokeback" Gray - 13
7. Brian Flynn - 12
8. Ann Haney - 12
9. Paul Mecca - 12
10. Mark Porceillo - 12
11. Samuel Leroy - 12
12. Ryan Cox - 12
13. Allison Keeler - 11
14. Kari Granlund - 11
15. Kyle Dickinson - 11
16. Jared Parsons - 11
17. Alexis Broske - 11
18. Nick Bragg - 10
19. Daniel Cotroneo - 10
20. Dave - 10
21. Trisha Tamashiro - 10
22. Dylan Fields - 10
23. Kristina Lechuga - 10
24. Sara Mouser - 9
25. Nolan Wang - 9
26. Sabrina - 9
27. Joey Bonander - 8
28. Kyle Bjordahl - 8
29. Carlos Abrisqueta - 7
30. Nicole Wright - 7
31. Courtney - 7
32. Chris Roderick - 7
33. Alex Lotz - 6
34. Lori Cersosimo - 6
35. Sadrac - 5
36. Melissa Cersosimo - 5
37. Mo - 4

Jimmy won the tiebreaker by correctly choosing Tilda Swinton. This is how it all went down:
1. Best Picture - Jimmy and Brian both chose No Country (both correct)
2. Best Actress - Jimmy and Brian both chose Julie Christie (both wrong)
3. Best Actor - Jimmy and Brian both chose Daniel Day-Lewis (both correct)
4. Best Supporting Actress - Jimmy chose Tilda Swinton (correct), Brian chose Cate Blanchett (wrong)

If you have any questions about your rank, please contact me.

Quick Facts:
- 33/37 Correctly Predicted Ratatouille
- 4/37 Correctly Predicted Marion Cotillard (Jason Stevens, Brian Flynn, Joey Bonander, and Lori Cersosimo)
- 4/37 Correctly Predicted Tilda Swinton (Jimmy Orsag, Jason Stevens, Allison Keeler, and Carlos Abrisqueta)
- 4/37 Correctly Predicted The Bourne Ultimatum for Best Sound Editing (Jason Stevens, Julian Gray, Sara Mouser, and Kyle Bjordahl)
- 3/37 Correctly Predicted The Bourne Ultimatum for Best Sound Mixing (Jason Stevens, Nick Bragg, and Alexis Broske)

I'll be putting the trophy on display on the right sidebar and it will be added to the Hall of Italian Floral Legends...

Looking at the Losses

With the Oscars over, it's time to start looking at where I went wrong last night. As I've stated on this blog before, I never have gotten less than 17 correct from when I seriously started to predict awards back in 2003. Scores of 18, 18, 21, and 17 came out the last four years. This year was 15 and let's hope it's a fluke. Anyway, here's a quick look at my nine losses.

1. Visual Effects
This was a huge surprise for me and as soon as it happened, I realized that Transformers was screwed to win any Oscars. This was the easiest category for it to win and it failed. My best guess is the Academy probably didn't want to watch it or give it any Oscars.

2. Sound Editing
As with Visual Effects, another surprise as I figured this would have been the easier sound category to win. This award is given to sound design and this film is so loud. Bourne was the easy alternative, but still surprised it happened. Again, I believe it had to do with the fact that the Academy just refused to give it to a film like Transformers.

3. Sound Mixing
Poor Kevin O'Connell and Greg Russell. I really think they will win this category. When? Don't have any idea. They just need to work on a film that is more critically accepted. I almost guarantee they will win if they do that. The hatred of Transformers was very evident after this loss and the film went from being the favorite in three categories to the loser in three categories.

4. Documentary
Don't have anything to really add to this. Everyone was talking No End in Sight all the way and Taxi to the Dark Side snuck in. It seems like every year, the Academy throws a curveball like that. A category that no one talks about since it is "locked" ends up giving one of the big upsets of the night.

5. Costume Design
Second straight year this has happened. Arguably third if you want to put Memoirs of a Geisha in this club, but most people thought that would win. Of course, I'm referring to the fact that this is the second straight year a mediocre film has won this category. Yeah, the costumes were great, but few people dared to pick it. What I took from this was that you really have to start looking at this category differently. The film doesn't matter, just the costumes do.

6. Cinematography
This was the dumbest pick of the night (or maybe ever) for me and I knew I should have just stuck with my man, Robert Elswit. I had Elswit winning this for a while, then I changed my pick a couple weeks ago. I was very happy for him, but I was just mad at myself. Of course, I went with Janusz Kaminski, which wasn't completely out of left field, but it probably didn't make a lot of sense either. Well, there's nothing I can do to change it, so I'll live. I think.

7. Art Direction
This was maybe the most annoying decision next to Sound Mixing. The Academy gives Dante Ferretti another Oscar. Nothing against him, but why? With that loss for Fisk, I knew there was no chance that Blood would win anything major. I was actually surprised Elswit managed to win Best Cinematography.

8. Supporting Actress
I knew I should have switched to Tilda. I just didn't want to believe that she was going to win. It all made sense after she won, why it all happened? Doesn't it always? No one saw Blanchett's performance. Dee's performance was forgettable. Ronan was too young. Ryan hasn't earned her due. Swinton is a veteran, has the screen time, and her performance is damn good. Why didn't I see that in the first place?

9. Actress
I was so happy for Marion and like Supporting, I just didn't have the guts to change my pick at the last minute. This annoys me, but I didn't think she would be able to actually win. I guess I was wrong about the Academy. They actually watched this movie or they just read somewhere that she was better than Julie. Either way, they gave it to the right person, it's just too bad that I failed to pick it.

How I Really Did

I've never been one to think that predicting the most correct categories makes you the best Oscar blogger/expert. It's the way you cover the Oscars, but here is a quick look at how I did compared to some other high profile Oscar pundits that I highly respect.

Pete Hammond 17/24 (The Envelope)
Kris Tapley 17/24 (In Contention)
Mikey Filmmaker 15/24
Tom O'Neil 15/24 (The Envelope)
Sasha Stone 15/24 (Awards Daily)
Anne Thompson 15/24 (Variety)
Pete Travers 15/24 (Rolling Stone)
Steve Pond 13/24 (The Envelope)
Scott Feinberg 12/24 (And the Winner Is...)
Jeff Wells 11/24 (Hollywood Elsewehere)

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Initial Oscar Reactions

I'm sure I'll have plenty of stuff to write about, but here are some quick thoughts.

- Very happy for Robert Elswit and Marion Cotillard. They deserve their Oscars even though I didn't have the guts to pick either one of them.
- Disappointed that the Oscars chose not to award Kevin O'Connell. How long will it take?
- Why did the Academy choose to award Dante Ferretti over Jack Fisk? What a disgrace!
- It's the second straight year that an average film won Best Costume Design. I'm simply blown away.
- Definitely glad that there was no upset in Best Picture. Juno didn't deserve to win.
- Apparently, the Academy had an issue with Transformers. They even gave an Oscar to The Golden Compass. Transformers wasn't amazing, but it wasn't that bad. This is another example of the Academy being too stuck out and refusing to watch the nominated films. I'm shocked that The Bourne Ultimatum won three Oscars.
- Tilda Swinton winning was for real. Not too sure how I feel about it, but Ruby Dee probably didn't deserve to win it on a five minute performance. Looking back it was a dumb pick.
- I didn't have a problem with Jon Stewart. I thought the show was good.

Oscar Contest Update

I have a very good idea of the Oscar winner. I need to double check a couple things and I will announce the winner tomorrow.

It looks like the winner has 15, which is extremely low, but it was a tough night.

As for myself, I went 15/24. The worst of my career, but I'll live.

Live Blogging: The Oscars!



8:57 a.m.: Made myself a pot of coffee. I'm ready to go!

9:00 a.m.: E! Countdown has begun. It should be a long day. A good long day though.

9:03 a.m.: E! is going to let us know what stars have baby bumps. That's exciting. Kim Kardashian is a celebrity style expert. Next to Miley Cyrus, I can't stand her. Annoying and overrated. Go make a sex tape with Reggie Bush. Get off the tv.

9:13 a.m.: E! just gave a quick Oscar checklist of what the average person should know about tonight. Nothing special said that wasn't already known.

9:17 a.m.: E! "expert" Ben Stone was just on. I miss the days of Tom O'Neil, and Joan and Melissa Rivers. Not going to lie. Stone makes a couple good points. Says Into the Wild got Best Picture shaft. Also says the Academy got sick of gangster films. Names American Gangster and Eastern Promises.

9:19 a.m.: E! gives quick retrospect of Best Picture directors and their rise. Boogie Nights clip! Bonus points!

9:31 a.m.: Not sure anyone cares, but Bourne won the Sound Editors Guild top prize last night. It beat Transformers (Oscar favorite). That may be a race to watch out for. E! just had a segment of what you should bring with you on the red carpet. Super glue? Who the hell would bring super glue?

9:39 a.m.: E! reminds us that they are not just celebrating art, but also fashion. And who better to give us advice than Kim Kardashian?

9:44 a.m.: There Will Be Blood feature. "The Story Behind the Story" as E! likes to call it. E! says that when the derrick burned it delayed production of No Country. I was under the impression that they didn't shoot at the same time in Marfa.

9:58 a.m.: E! says killing somebody is a good way to get Oscar attention. I believe they are talking about killing on the screen. Being sarcastic and playing somebody from real life are two other ways. Wow, I've been enlightened. Going to start writing that biopic of that sarcastic killer tomorrow. I knew it was a good idea.

10:03 a.m.: E! has informed us that the Atonement dress was voted best all time according to Sky Movies and British InStyle. The book was also named the 100 best all time according to Time. That's surprising.

10:07 a.m.: A look at early roles of today's stars. George Clooney in Return of the Killer Tomatoes! Josh Brolin in The Goonies! Johnny Depp in A Nightmare on Elm Street! Gotta love that stuff. Always cracks me up, especially Clooney. That movie is so bad.

10:11 a.m.: E! looks at recreation of some dresses from the past year. Amy Adams' dress from Enchanted and yes, the green dress of Keira Knightley from Atonement. Oh God, that's hot.

10:13 a.m.: Couples to look out for. George Clooney and Sarah Larson. Jessica Alba and Cash Warren (Alba is hot, but I actually hate her. I'll explain later.). Katherine Heigl and Josh Kelley is another. I forgot that she is presenting tonight.

10:15 a.m.: E! is going to compare Britney Spears to Edith Piaf later today. I can't wait for that mess. I would be pissed if I was Edith Piaf's family. Spears isn't even on the same level.

10:19 a.m.: What the hell is E! making? Popcorn? Marshmallows? M&M's? I wonder what that tastes like?

10:22 a.m.: Tom O'Neil is reporting of buzz building for Marion Cotillard upsetting. The last couple days I've been saying it was real possible. Her performance is superior to Christie and if people watch it, how can you not vote for it? Not going to change my pick, but an upset could be brewing.

10:26 a.m.: Red carpet march of the penguins! Yes! I love Penguins. Actually, not really, but it's the cool thing to say.

10:28 a.m.: I can't decide whether Sarah Polley is cute. She's not sexy, but she has this look to her. She's real, I guess and I like that.

10:30 a.m.: E! just showed off this 60s inspired hairdo and it's hot. Then again, I love the 60s look. Plus, the model is hot. They just made my day. A modern Audrey Hepburn is next. Oh God, this is too much to handle for me. It's like they know I'm the only person watching E! right now and they are catering to me.

10:34 a.m.: How old is Phil Collins daughter, Lily? She is like five feet tall and looks like a kid. Why are they talking about Miley Cyrus? No one cares.

10:39 a.m.: I just realized I have drank like a pot of coffee. I'm supercharged and ready to go all day. I've never felt better as a blogger. I'm on top of my game, so expect the post of a lifetime. This is a day that will go down in Spaghetti Sauce and Sweet Peas' history.

10:40 a.m.: E! is comparing Britney and Edith Piaf. Not going to lie. It's a stretch. They showed their pictures next to each other and tried to convince us they look alike. Still, don't see it.

10:45 a.m.: Kim Kardashian again! No! They are having the stage manager match up dresses and shoes with their celebrity designer. What the hell is E! thinking? This is a disaster. The guy is smelling the shoes. Did you know that Kim Kardashian is not a designer yet? Oh, that's too bad. My day has been ruined. This is the worst segment ever. This is part of the reason why E! shouldn't cover the Oscars all day. They need filler and waste our time with this garbage. E! gives Tom the stage manager an A+ for effort. Kim is not going away. She'll be here all day. Fuck!

10:46 a.m.: Debbie Matenopoulos is trying to strip some guy on television. Things are falling apart.

10:52 a.m.: E! looks at the international stars nominated for Oscars. It's good to know Canadiens can act. I thought they were only good at hockey.

10:53 a.m.: That guy that Debbie was stripping was none other than All My Children star, Cameron Mathison. I guess this is to appease the female viewers. He's currently surrounded by women and they are all over him. Now, they are kissing him on the cheek.

10:57 a.m.: I think I'm going to go in the shower and put on my "tuxedo". I don't feel right blogging all day in a bathrobe. It's not appropriate for the Oscars.

11:07 a.m.: I'm back. Did I miss anything? Just so you know who I'm be wearing tonight. For my t-shirt I'm going with my orange Boogie Nights shirt (good luck charm for P.T. Anderson?). I'm wearing black socks and black button up pants (workout pants). Yeah...

11:09 a.m.: There's a red carpet cook-off going on. And, no! I came back for the Kardashian sisters segment. I took a shower at the wrong time. What the fuck is Kloe wearing? She looks like a hooker.

11:16 a.m.: Debbie and Amanda Luttrell Garrigus show off some handbags. Wow, I feel so enlightened. Who the hell pays to rent bags for the day or week? Only in Hollywood.

11:22 a.m.: All this food is getting me hungry. I don't know when it will be, but one day I'm going to host an Oscar party with food and prizes.

11:26 a.m.: Ben Stone discusses Oscar math. Makes fun of Eddie Murphy last year and how he was a crybaby. Makes a good point about how Best Picture winner's box office has decreased in the last couple years.

11:29 a.m.: Did you know that Jared Fogle from Subway is celebrating ten years of being thin due to the Subway diet? Has nothing to do with the Oscars, but E! keeps showing that commercial. I thought I would share.

11:33 a.m.: The model with the hair styles is back. This time it's the Audrey Hepburn look. Hot bangs. They talk about how bangs make you look younger. Yes, bangs are in style this year. I can't wait to see that on the red carpet. The Elizabeth Taylor look is next.

11:44 a.m.: Kim is here again. This really needs to stop.

11:51 a.m.: Oh my God! It's Barbie on the red carpet.

11:56 a.m.: I've officially overdosed on Kim Kardashian. She now is judging the cook-off with Ben Stone. There Will Be Blood appetizer? These appetizers are ridiculously small. I guess it's all about presentation. These food segments are always stupid. Who the hell is going to cook any of this stuff for an Oscar party? It's too complicated. Show us some food I can cook.

11:58 a.m.: It's the seven deadly sins displayed in this year's films. How exciting?

12:03 p.m.: About three hours away from the red carpet. Been blogging for three hours. Damn, time is flying. On a side note, Kim is back to tell us about diamonds.

12:06 p.m.: It has been revealed that Kim's favorite thong is Hanky Panky. Debbie also wears a thong. That's useful information. I hope Reggie Bush is watching this. It's good to know what kind of thong your girlfriend prefers. Ben Stone is the luckiest man alive right now. He is surrounded by three stunning models in thongs.

12:21 p.m.: I'm going to head out and get something to eat before things really pick up. Probably be be in 20 minutes. Hopefully, I'll miss a segment with Kim.

12:42 p.m.: I'm back. I come back to Ben Stone and the Olly Girls giving their picks. Who the hell are the Olly Girls? They are talking like two idiots (to put it bluntly). This segment is painful. Their favorite films are Transformers and Superbad. From that segment, I have concluded that the Olly Girls may be the dumbest two people on the planet.

12:47 p.m.: Kim Alert! I think she is on pace to set the record for most appearances on a preshow for no good reason.

1:00 p.m.: Should be two hours away from the Red Carpet. I wonder what Ryan Seacrest is going to wear?

1:14 p.m.: The hairdo model is back. Going with Hollywood glamour look. Not bad, but the other two styles look better. Still hot, though. The last style will be Grace Kelly inspired. Can't wait.

1:33 p.m.: You can feel we're getting close. It isn't raining right now, so the red carpet should be good. It was lightly raining for a little earlier this morning, but it looks to be done (I think).

1:38 p.m.: Not sure if this is a good idea, but I'm drinking a bottle of Yellow Tail Pinot Noir. I going to spread it out, so I hopefully won't get too drunk. We'll find out, so if I write something stupid throughout the rest of the day I have given you a disclaimer.

1:44 p.m.: E! just showed a funny video with two guys singing about the Best Actor race to the tune of Anyone Else But You by The Moldy Peaches.

1:58 p.m.: Stuckey and Murray just did their second video. This one was for Best Actress. The songs are really clever.

2:00 p.m.: T-minus one hour to the red carpet.

2:02 p.m.: Tom O'Neil has posted something really interesting to consider. Ruby Dee will officially be the shortest role ever awarded if she wins tonight. She is onscreen for a total of 4 minutes, 36 seconds. The shortest winner ever is Beatrice Straight for Network. Her screen time was 6 minutes, 1 second. These times are according to Tom O'Neil. They may be off by a couple seconds. Not going to lie, I'm a little worried about Dee.

2:20 p.m.: The hairdo model is back. Not bad. This is how I would rank the hair styles. The first one was the best. Followed by the second one. The fourth one was next and the third one was my least favorite. I'm going to miss that girl.

2:28 p.m.: E! is giving a really good fashion show with some hot models. They just showed this bra with a back to it. They are showing off some risque clothing. I'm getting excited.

2:33 p.m.: I swear E! has been saying the red carpet is only minutes away for the last two hours. It's getting annoying.

2:45 p.m.: The red carpet can't come soon enough. I've officially overdosed on Oscar style and fashion. 15 minutes away from Seacrest.

2:50 p.m.: Kim makes her 100th appearance on the pre-show. Thank God the red carpet is ten minutes away. I can't take this anymore.

3:00 p.m.: Oh my God! It's Ryan Seacrest (screaming)!

3:04 p.m.: Giuliana Rancic talks to Jon Stewart. We're getting closer. Stars should be arriving before we know it.

3:24 p.m.: It's Seal and Heidi Klum. The first couple E! has interview on the red carpet. And let's be honest, one of the oddest couples in Hollywood. The stars are starting to come in. I won't be able to keep up with everyone, so I'll pick my favorite moments. Seal's favorite movie was Into the Wild. Rumor is George Clooney is in the house! Oh my God I"m so excited!

3:28 p.m.: ABC is also on right now, but I'm sticking to E! until 5:00 p.m. I find ABC to be rather boring.

3:31 p.m.: Ben Lyons is calling Marion Cotillard a lock? What? Not saying it's not possible, but he's putting it in the same category as Day-Lewis and Bardem. Completely disagree with what he just said.

3:40 p.m.: Red carpet is getting really full. Too many stars to name.

3:45 p.m.: Seacrest is interviewing George Clooney. And yes, Sarah Larson is with him.

3:48 p.m.: Jason Bateman talks about an Arrested Development movie with Seacrest.

3:57 p.m.: I can't get over Saiorse Ronan's accent. Doesn't sound anything like she did in Atonement.

4:04 p.m.: Seacrest is showing off the Patrick Dempsey doll. It looks like a piece of shit.

4:06 p.m.: It's The Rock! Do you smell what The Rock is cookin'?

4:09 p.m.: It's Amy Adams. Looking fine as ever. She even has an Enchanted doll.

4:10 p.m.: Daniel Day-Lewis has entered the building.

4:18 p.m.: I think Laura Linney and Jennifer Garner are in a lesbian relationship. They just had a very private conversation on the red carpet.

4:20 p.m.: I love how the red carpet is just a love fest. Gary Busey is trying to hook up with Garner and Linney. It's chaotic. And here we are, Seth Rogen and Jonah Hill look like twins. It's a little creepy.

4:21 p.m.: Miley Cyrus is here. I think I just threw up in my mouth.

4:25 p.m.: Cyrus does not have a boyfriend. Oh, that's too bad.

4:27 p.m.: Keri Russell is here. I wonder if she made any pies? Because I'm hungry. Javier Bardem is here and where the hell is Penelope Cruz?

4:34 p.m.: Is Jessica Alba hot? Yes. Do I dislike her? Yes. Why? It starts with her mockery of a John Lennon picture. Seacrest just asked whether Alba is going to breasfeed? What the fuck?

4:36 p.m.: Tilda Swinton looks really scary.

4:38 p.m.: I just finished that bottle of Pinot Noir. Yes, I'm officially drunk. Should be a great show. And Marion Cotillard is here. Wow, what a fox? I'm in love with her.

4:42 p.m.: I don't think I've ever had so much fun covering the Oscars. This is red carpet is ridiculous. Still miss Joan Rivers, but Seacrest is solid.

4:51 p.m.: Casey Affleck is here! I forgot his wife is Summer Phoenix.

4:52 p.m.: Hilary Swank is here! Interesting dress. I just realized she is single since she has divorced Chad Lowe.

4:55 p.m.: I drank way too much today. I'm so drunk right now. This is going to be a ridiculous Oscar commentary during the show. I'm so gone. I'm going to regret this.

4:59 p.m.: E! is almost over. I'm be switching to ABC shortly. Katherine Heigl is here and she's by herself. What? Her husband is on tour? I don't know if I buy that. She looks hot though and really, that's all that matters.

5:00 p.m.: Just switched to ABC. E! is done with their coverage. I will head back there after the show. For now, I'm over to ABC's boring coverage. Regis as the host? Give me a break. He's a joke.

5:07 p.m.: Daphne and Tremaine are here and watching the Oscars with me.

5:15 p.m.: Daniel Day-Lewis is being interviewed. He looks great and he looks like a winner.

5:22 p.m.: The guys that count the ballots were just shown.

5:23 p.m.: Ellen Page is here. Not too bad.

5:25 p.m.: I want to know where the fuck is P.T. Anderson?

5:28 p.m.: Xavier Bardem is here according to Regis. It's Javier, Regis.

5:29 p.m.: We're here. It's Oscar time. I'm so excited!

5:33 p.m.: Jon Stewart opens the show with makeup sex.

5:41 p.m.: Solid monologue by Jon Stewart. Very few complaints from me.

5:43 p.m.: Oscars start off with Costume Designer. Fuck! Elizabeth: The Golden Age. If you make a movie set in the 16th century, you will win. Great start to the night...

5:45 p.m.: Second straight year with a shocker with Costume Design. Second straight year with a film that was panned that was awarded the Oscar.

5:49 p.m.: I just tried to drink the wine without taking the cap off. This is a bad start to the night.

5:51 p.m.: Watching the Oscar highlights is inspiring.

5:54 p.m.: Best Animated Feature is next. The winner is Ratatouille!

5:57 p.m.: Best Makeup is next. The winner is La Vie en Rose!

6:00 p.m.: Amy Adams singing Happy Working Song!

6:02 p.m.: Tremaine loved that performance. It was okay according to me.

6:09 p.m.: Do yo smell what The Rock is cookin'? Visual effects is next. The Golden Compass wins. Wow!

6:10 p.m.: Tremaine loved that performance. It was okay according to me.

6:12 p.m.: Art Direction is next. Come on Jack Fisk. Wow! Danete Ferretti won with Sweeney Todd! I should give up now.

6:18 p.m.: Best Supporting Actor is next. Javier Bardem wins!

6:24 p.m.: I have three wins and thee losses. I've failed as an Oscar blogger..

6:30 p.m.: Best short film - live action is next. Yes! Mozart of Pickpockets!

6:33 p.m.: Peter & the Wolf wins Best Animiated Short!

6:39 p.m.: Best Supporting Actress is next. Come on Ruby Dee. Sad day in filmmaking as Tilda Swinton wins. She deserves it though.

6:44 p.m.: Jessica Alba announces the Science Tehnical Awards!

6:48 p.m.: The Coens win Adapted Screenplay.

6:53 p.m.: Miley Cyrus presents "That's How You Know".

6:57 p.m.: Somewhat lame "That's How You Know". Where is "Falling Slowly"?

7:05 p.m.: What a disgrace. The Bourne Ultimatum wins Best Sound Editing. I don't think the Transformers will win anything after this.

7:08 p.m.: Wow! Transformers win nothing and Kevin O'Connell goes to 0/20 and Greg Russell goes 0/12.

7:13 p.m.: Best Actress is next. Julie Christie or Marion Cotillard? Marion Cotillard wins! I"m happy for her, but sadly I picked Christie.

7:19 p.m.: I fucking love this song. "Falling Slowly"...

7:27 p.m.: Iconic look at the previous Best Picture winners.

7:29 p.m.: Best Editing is next. The Bourne Ultimatum wins three Oscars tonight. I'm speechless.

7:44 p.m.: The Countfeiters win Best Foreign Language Film.

7:50 p.m.: Best Original Song is next. "Falling Slowly" wins!'

8:01 p.m.: Best Cinematography is next. Yes, Elswit wins! I'm very happy for him.

8:02 p.m.: In Memoriam...

8:05 p.m.: Best Score is next. Atonement wins.

8:24 p.m.: Best Screenplay is next. Juno wins.

8:28 p.m.: Three awards to go. Best Actor, Director, and Picture. Any surprises left?

8:34 p.m.: Best Actor is next. Be shocked if DDL doesn't win. Day-Lewis wins!

8:38 p.m.: Not going to lie. I've had my worst year ever. This was a tough year. I'll have my stats after the show. Two awards to go. My max score will be 15.

8:43 p.m.: Come on Paul. I don't care anymore. Win for me. Marty is going to announce Best Director. Coens win Best Director.

8:44 p.m.: Denzel Washington will give out Best Picture. Will there will be an upset? No Country wins. Yippee (sarcastic)!

8:48 p.m.: The Oscars are over. I'll have my reaction shortly. It looks like I went 15/24. Not going to lie, a little disappointed.

9:15 p.m.: Currently calculating the Oscar Contest. I'll have some initial reactions shortly.

Juno Wins Best Picture at Indie Spirits

Just watched the super delayed Indie Spirits (don't have IFC). I already knew all the winners, but just wanted to see how the show was. Not bad. Nothing special either. Somewhat predictable night. The only surprise in my opinion was Tamara Jenkins winning Best Screenplay over Ronald Harwood (Diving Bell) and Adrienne Shelly (Waitress). The night was also somewhat spread out. Juno was the big winner with three wins. Diving Bell and The Savages won two each.

Even with wins by Ellen Page, Cate Blanchett, Julian Schnabel, and Juno, I don't see it affecting the Oscar landscape at all. These awards hold little real value to the Oscars. Part of the reason is anyone can vote. Hell, I'm a voter, but I'm (sadly) not in the Academy.  I don't know how many people vote on the Spirits, but I bet the number is fairly large.

If you want to vote next year just join Film Independent (cost $95).  If you live in LA or NY, there are even more advantages.  I know in LA, they have a lot of screenings.  My roommate and I went to see The Darjeeling Limited.  After the film, we met Wes Anderson, Adrien Brody, and Jason Schwartzman.  Hell, I even pissed right next to Brody. No, I didn't look at his package in case you were wondering.

Going back to the Spirit Awards, they also decided to edit out the Best Cinematography and Best Documentary awards on AMC. I'm assuming it was for time related, but it's still a little disappointing. The show was over and I was like I missed something, but I haven't gone anywhere.

Maybe next year I will volunteer to work the show. I've been meaning to do it the last two years, but I've been unable to attend the orientation.

Anyway, I'm going to bed. See you in the morning.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Ode to the Big Stars

Tomorrow there will be big stars walking down the red carpet. They'll be flashing off their fancy dresses and tuxedos, but let's not forget the "biggest" star to ever grace our presence. This video is just a quick reminder...

The Plan for Tomorrow

Around this time tomorrow night, the Oscars will be very close to being over. We'll know almost everything. It's exciting. Anyway, here is my plan for tomorrow in case you were wondering. I have two options. One is stay at my apartment and blog live all day. The other is go down to Orange County and watch it with a couple friends. The issue with that is I don't know if I want to drive all the way down to Orange (probably be like 90 minutes or so from LA). It might not be worth it.

Whatever happens, I'll be here at 9:00 a.m. PST, blogging about something. It will be a slow morning I'm sure, but things will pick up by the afternoon.

Hope to see you tomorrow.

Does Michael Clayton REALLY Need to Win?

Here is a quick list I compiled of other Best Picture nominees in recent history that went into the Oscars with multiple nominations and left with a goose egg. I just thinks it's foolish to think that Michael Clayton HAS to win something. I'd make a really good argument that some of the films on this list are superior to Clayton. In case you didn't know, it has seven nominations.

0/10 - Gangs of New York (2002)
0/7 - The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
0/7 - The Thin Red Line (1998)
0/7 - The Insider (1999)
0/6 - Good Night, and Good Luck. (2005)
0/5 - Munich (2005)

Oscar Prediction Podcast

I just recorded a podcast talking briefly about my final Oscar predictions. You can listen to it if you click HERE.

As I've written here before, the podcasts are in the iTunes music store. You can subscribe to them and they will be delivered right to your iTunes. All you have to do is go to the iTunes store and type in "Spaghetti Sauce" in the search engine. It will pop right up. The other option is to subscribe on the Spaghetti Sauce and Sweet Peas' Podcast page. Once again, the podcasts will be delivered right to your iTunes.

This is much better than listening to them on the site. I only have the site since it is the home for the audio. With that said, the most important thing to do is simply listen, so whatever way you want to do it is fine by me. Look out for my Oscar reaction podcast either Monday or Tuesday.

Final Reminder: Oscar Contest

Just a quick reminder, there's still time to enter the Oscar contest. I won't reveal how many people have entered, but it actually surpassed my expectations. Still, I want more people! If you haven't already entered and you read this blog, shame on you. You don't need extensive movie knowledge to participate. Hell, you can "cheat" and copy my entire ballot. The deadline is the start of the Oscars.

Click HERE to enter. Good luck!

2007 Top Ten List

Here is the moment everyone has been waiting for. My 2007 Top Ten list! Yes, it's February, but everyone knows that the movie year does not end until the Oscars. So, here we are, a day before the Oscars. And, what a year 2007 was. It's the best I've ever experienced in my lifetime. Some films that will really stand the test of time and I feel honored that I was able to experience it.

I saw 44 films this past year. Yeah, 44. Before I get to the actual Top Ten, I listed all the films I viewed to give you an idea of what was in contention. Then, I did a couple "fun" categories. Then, you'll see my top ten from number ten to number one. What will be number one? Read on and find out...

*=Saw on the "big" screen

3:10 to Yuma
300
*Across the Universe
American Gangster
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
*Atonement
Away from Her
Blades of Glory
Broken English
Chapter 27 (Premiered in 2007, to be Released in March 2008)
Control
*The Darjeeling Limited
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Eastern Promises
Elizabeth: The Golden Age
*Enchanted
*Everybody Wants to Be Italian (2007 Boston Film Festival)
Gone Baby Gone
*Grace is Gone (2007 Boston Film Festival)
*Greetings from the Shore (2007 Boston Film Festival)
Grindhouse
Hairspray
*I'm Not There
*In the Land of Merry Misfits (2007 Boston Film Festival)
Into the Wild
*Juno
The Killing of John Lennon (Premiered in 2007, Released in January 2008)
*Knocked Up
La Vie en Rose
Michael Clayton
*No Country for Old Men
Once
*Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
Ratatouille
Rocket Science
*Spider-Man 3
*Superbad
*Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber on Fleet Street
The Ten
*There Will Be Blood
Transformers
Waitress
Year of the Dog
Zodiac


Best Film Viewed at Boston Film Festival:
Grace is Gone
John Cusack gives a strong performance that was forgotten around Oscar time. He takes his two girls on a road trip after the sudden death of their Mother, who was fighting in Iraq.

Best Indie Film You Probably Haven't Seen, but Should:
Rocket Science and Waitress (tie)
I couldn't pick just one. Both these films were from the 2007 Sundance Film Festival and nominated for the Indie Spirit Awards. They're also both out on DVD and I highly suggest you rent them both especially if you like boys who stutter trying to debate or hot, juicy pies.

Rising Female Star of 2007:
Ellen Page
First, Hard Candy. Now, Juno. Ellen Page has a bright future ahead of her (I think). Her next film will be highly anticipated.

Rising Male Star of 2007:
Casey Affleck
He's been around for ten years, but 2007 was Casey's breakout with two challenging roles that he excelled in. He's beginning to step out of his brother's shadow and he deserves it.

Best All Around Year for a Male Star:
Josh Brolin
It was a busy year for Josh. Four films and three were nominated for Oscars (No Country, American Gangster, and In the Valley of Elah). His other film was Grindhouse. He proved he is one of the most under-appreciated actors working today.

Best All Around Year for a Female Star:
Cate Blanchett
Two Oscar nominations (Supporting Actress for I'm Not There and Actress for Elizabeth: The Golden Age). Maybe, she'll even win for one. Cate is one of the best actresses this decade and she showed no signs of slowing down.

Most Surprising Film I Disliked:
I'm Not There and Michael Clayton (tie)
To be fair, I want to give both these films another chance, but they both left a bitter taste in my mouth.

Most Surprising Film I Enjoyed:
Hairspray
Never thought I'd like a movie with John Travolta dressed like a woman, but I did. A solid remake with a strong ensemble cast.

Favorite Female Character of 2007:
Ginny Ryerson from Rocket Science
She talks a mile a minute. She "likes" to make-out in janitor's closets. She's manipulative. Sounds like my next girlfriend. What? I'm with love with her. I'll admit it.

Favorite Male Character of 2007:
Daniel Plainview, There Will Be Blood
He's like the role model of the 21st century even though he lived during the early 20th century. He's Greedy, angry, envious, violent, and merciless. He also likes milkshakes and bowling. I also like milkshakes and bowling. Sounds like my next best friend.

Favorite Scene of 2007:
"Bowling Alley Scene" from There Will Be Blood
Not the best acting scene in the film, but what a scene! It ending of this film makes sure you won't ever forget about it. You'll also never look at milkshakes and bowling the same way again.

2007 Top Ten
10. Ratatouille
An animation! I not a huge fan of animations, but it's hard not to like this film. It's so well done and the best work Pixar has done since Toy Story. Remy and Linguini are very likable characters who create a great dynamic together. Some really fun supporting characters from Gusteau and Anton Ego (what a great name). It's also a technically sound film. A solid soundtrack from the score to the actual mix. The score itself is one of the best of 2007. Ratatouille is just a well told story and that starts with the genius of Brad Bird. He does a great job of combining tender moments with moments of laughter with a solid screenplay. I've said this once and I'll say this again, this film is not just a great animated film. It's a great film.

9. Knocked Up
A Judd Apatow film actually made this list. I know, I know. This is actually a really good film. It's not as over the top as some of Apatow's other work (ex. Superbad). Seth Rogen is a rising star. Katherine Heigl proved she could act in films not just television. The premise for this movie may be "stupid", but Apatow makes it work. Judd is one of the best writers in Hollywood today and I personally thought it deserved a nomination for Best Original Screenplay. Ben Stone starts out the movie as a lovable loser and progresses to someone who actually has some direction in his life. The film is a journey of his character and it's a fun journey. Full of many laughs that were not forced. And, that's a great quality to have in a comedy.

8. Gone Baby Gone
Now, I have a Ben Affleck film. Please, don't stop reading this entry. Seriously, did you see this film? Most people didn't and it's a shame. Affleck comes through with a very respectable directorial debut. Dennis Lehane's novel is a film that keeps you guessing and that's what I love about it. The story seems to be resolved until the audience is thrown another curveball. I love movies that do that. I also thought the cast in this film was very solid. Starting from the top, Casey Affleck really anchors this film. Then, add supporting performances from Amy Ryan, Ed Harris, and Morgan Freeman. This film twists and turns you until the very end. It's wicked pissah!

7. Juno
Ellen Page is quickly establishing herself as the current "It" actress in Hollywood. Diablo Cody is quickly establishing herself as the current "It" writer in Hollywood. Jason Reitman is quickly establishing himself as the current "It" director in Hollywood. Why? Because everyone loves Juno. It's the feel good movie of the year. It's the little indie that could. This is a film filled with heartwarming and dramatic moments. It has the ability to make you laugh and cry before the credits roll. That starts with Page, who did such a good job at not making Diablo Cody's dialogue too quirky. She found a good balance and made it sound natural when most people would probably fail. And let's not forget the supporting cast of Jason Bateman, Jennifer Garner, Michael Cera, Allison Janney, and J.K. Simmons. It's even loaded with a good soundtrack (Mott the Hoople!). Considering that many of the great films this year have a dark tone, Juno gives a refreshing change of pace and is a very good alternative.

6. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
A film that no one really saw. Still trying to find someone who watched it, so I can talk to them about it. This film is one of the most technically sound films of 2007. It starts with phenomenal cinematography. Arguably the best of the year. Roger Deakins just has some amazing shots in there and you have to sit back, relax, and enjoy the beauty of them. Then, you have an amazing performance from Casey Affleck (Robert Ford). His chemistry with Brad Pitt (Jesse James) made this film work exceptionally well. He idolizes him and assassinates him. Affleck's eyes are mesmerizing. The amount of fear he holds in is unparalleled. This film is long, but is worth the viewing.

5. No Country for Old Men
No Country is only number five? Oh no! It's going to be okay, I promise. As I've written in my blog previously, I'm just not a fan of the Coens. Respect them? Yes. Like their movies? No. This film I did enjoy, I just liked four better. They did create a film for the ages. Very meticulous and full of tension that keeps you on the edge of your seat. Javier Bardem created a great villain that scared the hell out of you. That scene at the gas station with the coin is easily one of the best scenes of not just 2007, but the decade. The amount of fear in the old man's eyes is great and the expressionless look of Anton Chigurh is even greater. The ending was questionable, but I'm over it. My bigger issue with this film was I didn't give a damn about anyone. I had no feelings (good or bad) for Llewelyn Moss (Josh Brolin) or his wife. I know the Coens like to make movies about stupid people making stupid decisions, but it's not for me. With that said, it's a great film and I expect it to be named Best Picture at the Oscars.

4. Into the Wild
I've been reading that some people didn't like this film because of Chris McCandless's character (Emile Hirsch). I found Alexander Supertramp to be very likable. This film has a lot of heart and you can tell Sean Penn was determined to make the best movie possible. It's a great film about relationships with people and discovering yourself. The guy leaves everything (and I mean everything) behind to go to Alaska. It takes him two years and it feels like you are on the journey with him. Emile Hirsch finally proves he can carry a film. Add onto that strong support from Catherine Keener, Kristen Stewart, Marcia Gay Harden, William Hurt, and Hal Holbrook. And speaking of Holbrook, his performance is very passionate, especially the scene when he tells Hirsh that he wants to adopt him. Very powerful stuff.

3. Atonement
A lot of people thought this film was a waste of time. I completely disagree. Joe Wright created a film that was one of my favorites of the year. I loved the usage of time and always making the audience think. This film is just well made. It has a memorable, epic score. It's beautifully shot. How can you not respect that tracking shot on the beach? Arguably the best of the year. Keira Knightley and James McAvoy really anchor this film. From the scene in the library to their desire to be together throughout the rest of the film. Then, you have Saoirse Ronan giving an Oscar worthy performance at the age of 13. Some people think they were lied to at the end of this film. I looked at it with anger and disappointment. Realizing that you have to live with your choices and you have to make a decision as to how you move on. Whatever path you choose, is the one you live with. And, that's why I thought this film was powerful.

2. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Every so often there is a film that makes you appreciate life more than you already did. Gives you the definition of your very own fragile existence and that was this film for me. A simply stunning film that sent a couple shivers down my spine. Julian Schnabel directed the hell out of this film. He had such a clear vision and his collaboration with Janusz Kaminski was top notch. I loved the cinematography in this film and I thought the mise-en-scene of Schnabel was amazing. I kept wanting to ask myself why this film looked so beautiful? Really, you have to give credit to Ronald Harwood for adapting the book and writing one of the finest screenplays of the year. That had to have been a tough job and arguably the toughest adaptation of the year. Also, don't forget a great performance by Mathieu Amalric as Jean-Dominique Bauby. Yes, he was paralyzed in his whole body besides his eye, but it was so real (plus there are flashbacks). There was just something about it that was so emotional. That scene with his father (Max von Sydow) was the most emotional scene this year that I saw. It was a phone conversation and they were not even in the same room, but there was this electricity. Unmatched and that's amazing directing. All I have to say is get over the subtitles and watch this extraordinary film. It's full of imagination and memories that will move you like no other film this year. Easily one of the best French films since The 400 Blows.

1. There Will Be Blood
Did you really think Paul Thomas Anderson was not going to be number one? Yeah me neither. What's to write that I haven't already written. Ambitious. Epic. Masterpiece. I honestly believe that every time Paul sets out to make a movie, he wants to be the best. And at the age of 38, he's beginning to enter the stage in his life when he fulfills that promise. Yeah, you could pick apart this film and find flaws, but what film doesn't have them? Name me another filmmaker who could make this film? Anderson is on the top of his game and one of the best auteurs alive today. There's a performance from Daniel Day-Lewis that's the best of the decade. He doesn't play Plainview, he is Plainview. He takes acting to another level. The baptism scene ("I've abandoned my boy!") is simply breathtaking. There's a supporting cast of Paul Dano and a bunch of relative unknowns that do a hell of a job including Kevin J. O'Connor, Ciaran Hinds, and Dillon Freasier. The cinematography is phenonamal and proves Robert Elswit is one of the best working today. How does he make the desert look so fucking good? Well, he can thank Jack Fisk, who created a world from scratch and made it look so beautiful. Jonny Greenwood composed a score that is haunting and complements the film so well. Some of those string arrangements are great. Even Dylan Tichenor establishes a smooth pace for the film and makes it feel like the film never wastes a second. The film may lose Best Picture tomorrow, but let's be honest. It's what people remember and people will remember this film long after I'm dead and buried. And, that's why it's number one.


This list is subjective. There is no right or wrong ranking. Still, you are free to disagree. I'd love to hear your top ten for 2007. It was an amazing year for filmmaking.

Final Oscar Predictions

After months of blogging, here it is. My final Oscar predictions. Where did all the time go? I remember when Atonement was the film to beat. Or how There Will Be Blood would never get nominated for Best Picture. Or Charlie Wilson's War and Sweeney Todd being serious threats to win all the awards. I guess that's why we have the award season. It's just always funny to see how some films die and others flourish.

I'll do more of a retrospect after the Oscars, but this was a hell of a season to cover. Considering this was my first attempt to blog the Oscars, it was a memorable one. Most importantly, I hope people took some things from my "analysis" both good and bad.

Remember to stop by on Sunday. I will be live blogging and it would be great to have a couple people checking in. It should be an exciting day as always.

As I've done for the past three years, I post who will win, who should win, and who I want to win. Enjoy!

Best Picture
Who Will Win: No Country for Old Men
Who Should Win: There Will Be Blood
Who I Want to Win: There Will Be Blood
Thoughts: No Country was an amazing film and there's no reason to pick against it now. Still, the best film of 2007 was There Will Be Blood. Very few, if any other filmmakers today would ever think of making such a film and that's why I think you have to respect its greatness.

Best Director
Who Will Win: Joel and Ethan Coen, No Country for Old Men
Who Should Win: Julian Schnabel, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Who I Want to Win: Paul Thomas Anderson, There Will Be Blood
Thoughts: As much as I love P.T. Anderson, I think Julian Schnabel deserves this Oscar more than anyone. His directing was the most challenging and breathtaking. Who ever said directing had to be epic to be the best? Although, the Coens look to be in control of this race.

Best Actor
Who Will Win: Daniel Day-Lewis, There Will Be Blood
Who Should Win: Daniel Day-Lewis, There Will Be Blood
Who I Want to Win: Daniel Day-Lewis, There Will Be Blood
Thoughts: It's the performance of the decade.

Best Actress
Who Will Win: Julie Christie, Away from Her
Who Should Win: Marion Cotillard, La Vie en Rose
Who I Want to Win: Marion Cotillard, La Vie en Rose
Thoughts: Julie may win on Sunday, but people will remember Marion's performance years down the road. I know I will.

Best Supporting Actor
Who Will Win: Javier Bardem, No Country for Old Men
Who Should Win: Casey Affleck, The Assassination of Jesse James
Who I Want to Win: Hal Holbrook, Into the Wild
Thoughts: People seem to underestimate Casey Affleck's performance in this film. Too bad more people didn't see it because I found it to be superior to Bardem's. Although, let's face it. Javier is a lock. As much as I would love to see Hal Holbrook pull it off, I don't see it happening.

Best Supporting Actress
Who Will Win: Ruby Dee, American Gangster
Who Should Win: Cate Blanchett, I'm Not There
Who I Want to Win: Amy Ryan, Gone Baby Gone
Thoughts: Ruby Dee is going to win on a long career. Her performance wasn't horrible, but it wasn't Oscar worthy either. I think Cate's role was the most difficult and challenging, but she just won this three years ago. She really captured Dylan well in the Don't Look Back era. I would love to see Amy Ryan win for her crack addict mother role. And, Tilda Swinton scares the hell out of me in this race and I don't know why. It's a toss up, but I'm sticking with Ruby.

Best Original Screenplay
Who Will Win: Juno
Who Should Win: Juno
Who I Want to Win: Juno
Thoughts: I didn't like Michael Clayton that much, so this is an easy choice for me. Juno should squeeze out the victory.

Best Adapted Screenplay
Who Will Win: No Country for Old Men
Who Should Win: The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Who I Want to Win: There Will Be Blood
Thoughts: Like Best Director, I really think Diving Bell was the most challenging adaptation. It's a movie about a stroke victim who can only move his left eye. Yet, it's an amazing piece of work. I would love to see Anderson win only because I think Blood is such an accomplishment, but expect the Coens to win this category.

Best Animated Feature
Who Will Win: Ratatouille
Who Should Win: Ratatouille
Who I Want to Win: Ratatouille
Thoughts: Granted I didn't get to see Persepolis, I can't see Brad Bird losing this race. Ratatouille is not just a great animation, it's a great film.

Best Art Direction
Who Will Win: There Will Be Blood
Who Should Win: There Will Be Blood
Who I Want to Win: There Will Be Blood
Thoughts: Jack Fisk's stunning recreation in Blood has to be rewarded. The Oscars doesn't always award the most flashy or elaborate art direction.

Best Cinematography
Who Will Win: The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Who Should Win: The Assassination of Jesse James...
Who I Want to Win: There Will Be Blood
Thoughts: Deakins had the best culmative year, but let's face it. No one saw Jesse James (unfortunately). If you look at films individually, Blood is the favorite due to the ASC win. I just don't know if will win. Remember last year and the fact that the ASC and Oscars rarely match up. Watch out for Diving Bell. Risky pick maybe, but I just have this feeling it will upset.

Best Costume Design
Who Will Win: Atonement
Who Should Win: Atonement
Who I Want to Win: Atonement
Thoughts: As with Art Direction, the Oscars don't always award the most flashy and elaborate costume design. That stunning dress that Keira Knightley wears should be enough for it to win.

Best Documentary - Feature
Who Will Win: No End in Sight
Who Should Win: No End in Sight
Who I Want to Win: Sicko
Thoughts: No End in Sight seems to be the favorite among the Iraq war films. I only want Sicko to win, so I can listen to another Michael Moore tirade at the Oscars.

Best Documentary - Short
Who Will Win: Freeheld
Who Should Win: N/A
Who I Want to Win: No Preference
Thoughts: There seems to be a consensus of Oscar bloggers and "experts" that this is the film to beat.

Best Film Editing
Who Will Win: The Bourne Ultimatum
Who Should Win: The Bourne Ultimatum
Who I Want to Win: There Will Be Blood
Thoughts: Best Picture doesn't NEED Best Editing. This year will be one of those examples. I can't see the Coens winning four awards. I don't think Dylan Tichenor did an amazing job on Blood, but he is someone I have followed for years and would love to see him get recognition. I'm going with Bourne after the ACE win.

Best Foreign Language Film
Who Will Win: The Counterfeiters
Who Should Win: N/A
Who I Want to Win: No Preference
Thoughts: Everyone seems to like The Counterfeiters. I have to admit, it has a cool name.

Best Makeup
Who Will Win: La Vie en Rose
Who Should Win: La Vie en Rose
Who I Want to Win: La Vie en Rose
Thoughts: The way the makeup artists changed Marion Cotillard through the years was amazing and realistic. It's not as flashy as Pirates, but flashy doesn't always win this award.

Best Original Score
Who Will Win: Atonement
Who Should Win: Atonement
Who I Want to Win: Atonement
Thoughts: Out of all the nominees, I think this score is the best done. It's epic and moving. I think it complements the film well and Atonement deserves to win something.

Best Original Song
Who Will Win: "Falling Slowly", Once
Who Should Win: "Falling Slowly", Once
Who I Want to Win: "Falling Slowly", Once
Thoughts: I love the music in Once and I love this song. Easily the most moving song this past year. It deserves this Oscar.

Best Short - Animated
Who Will Win: Peter & the Wolf
Who Should Win: N/A
Who I Want to Win: I Met the Walrus
Thoughts: Haven't seen any of the films, but I have to pull for the one based on a John Lennon interview back in 1969. I just don't know if it will win. Seems like Peter & the Wolf is the film to beat.

Best Short - Live Action
Who Will Win: The Mozart of Pickpockets
Who Should Win: N/A
Who I Want to Win: No Preference
Thoughts: I like this film or The Substitute. I'm just going with this film on a gut feeling.

Best Sound Mixing
Who Will Win: Transformers
Who Should Win: Transformers
Who I Want to Win: Transformers
Thoughts: Kevin O'Connell and Greg Russell deserve Oscars. No one should go 0/20 or 0/12. I hope the Academy takes notice and awards them. As for the film, it is an incredible mix.

Best Sound Editing
Who Will Win: Transformers
Who Should Win: Transformers
Who I Want to Win: Transformers
Thoughts: The sound design on this film was top notch. I just have to give the edge of the sound categories to Transformers. It was not just your typical blockbuster.

Best Visual Effects
Who Will Win: Transformers
Who Should Win: Transformers
Who I Want to Win: Transformers
Thoughts: That huge battle at the end of the movie was amazing. Michael Bay is an director you want to hate, but you have to love some of the visual effects in his films. This movie is no different.

*I do reserve the right to change any of these predictions. If that happens, I will notify you through this blog.

For more in depth analysis, refer to older blog posts. You can click on the Oscars label below as I have archived all posts about the Oscars.