Oscar 2007: Picks and Predictions

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The Nominees: Babel, The Departed, Letters from Iwo Jima, Little Miss Sunshine, The Queen

My Choice: I'll be just as disappointed as last year if Babel manages to pull off a win here, but otherwise, it's not too bad a category.  The Queen is weighed entirely on Helen Mirren's performance but is too respectful.  Little Miss Sunshine is an enjoyable romp but not much else.  That leaves The Departed, Scorsese's masterful crime drama, and my choice Letters from Iwo Jima, Clint Eastwood's devastating anti-war polemic.

My Prediction: You can really count out all but two because of the Best Editing rule of thumb.  Little Miss Sunshine could be a very, very dark horse, seeing that pretty much everyone loves it.  Babel is like the little engine that couldn't, garnering lots of nods everywhere and no wins (no, the Golden Globe doesn't count).  On the other hand, The Departed was big at the box office, has won a lot of critics' awards, and will probably ride the Scorsese tide.

The Winner: The Departed


The Nominees: Leonardo DiCaprio, Blood Diamond; Ryan Gosling, Half Nelson; Peter O'Toole, Venus; Will Smith, The Pursuit of Happyness; Forest Whitaker, The Last King of Scotland

My Choice: Haven't caught The Pursuit of Happyness yet.  Ryan Gosling is great in an otherwise underwhelming movie, and Leonardo DiCaprio's impeccable dialect still doesn't excuse the fact that he should be on this list for The Departed.  Peter O'Toole makes a real creep charming and his scenes with Vanessa Redgrave are incredibly touching, but does Forest Whitaker ever deserve this award for his haunting and genuinely frightening performance as Idi Amin.

My Prediction: You know what?  It's going to be Whitaker.  You know it, and I know it.  Let's just leave it at that.

The Winner: Forest Whitaker, The Last King of Scotland


The Nominees: Penélope Cruz, Volver; Judi Dench, Notes on a Scandal; Helen Mirren, The Queen; Meryl Streep, The Devil Wears Prada; Kate Winslet, Little Children

My Choice: Haven't seen Volver yet, either.  Kate Winslet is fantastic as always, and Meryl Streep always shines in roles that give her broad characters to work with.  I'm quite tempted to give the edge to Judi Dench for her complex, witty, and malicious turn, but Helen Mirren, as has been stated multiple times, nailed it.

My Prediction: Once again, it's going to be Mirren.  Nope, nobody else.

The Winner: Helen Mirren, The Queen


The Nominees: Alan Arkin, Little Miss Sunshine; Jackie Earle Haley, Little Children; Djimon Hounsou, Blood Diamond; Eddie Murphy, Dreamgirls; Mark Wahlberg, The Departed

My Choice: Somewhat of a weaker category, but some good choices to be had.  Eddie Murphy gets some showstoppers, and the role has some meat to it near the end.  Mark Wahlberg is one of the scene-stealers in The Departed, although he's outshined by Alec Baldwin and the missing Jack Nicholson.  Alan Arkin also has some great scenes, particularly the interaction between him and Abigail Breslin, and Djimon Hounsou's impassioned performance is memorable.  Jackie Earle Haley, though, might be the best thing in Little Children next to Winslet, making a convicted pedophile sympathethic.

My Prediction: As good as Haley is, the nomination is his win.  Wahlberg, as good a character as he has, is outdone by the rest of ensemble, and Hounsou will surely have another chance.  Arkin could get the veteran win, but I'm confident Eddie Murphy will be the first "SNL" alum to win an Oscar.

The Winner: Alan Arkin, Little Miss Sunshine


The Nominees: Adriana Barraza, Babel; Cate Blanchett, Notes on a Scandal; Abigail Breslin, Little Miss Sunshine; Jennifer Hudson, Dreamgirls; Rinko Kikuchi, Babel

My Choice: Jennifer Hudson can sing and emote while doing so, no doubt about it, but her performance outside of the songs is shaky.  Abigail Breslin is adorable in her role, but her nomination is a mystery.  Adriana Barraza has some emotional scenes, but they're just as distant as most of Babel.  Cate Blanchett's turmoil as a teacher caught in an affair with a student is palpable, and her sparring with Dench is powerful.  However, Rinko Kikuchi heartbreaking performance of pain and vulnerability is Babel's only real emotional connection and deserves to win.

My Prediction: The women of Babel will cancel each other out.  Breslin could pull off a win, just because she's so young, and the Academy likes doing that.  Blanchett just won two years ago, so she probably won't.  So it's only left to Jennifer Hudson, who has an incredible amount of momentum going.

The Winner: Jennifer Hudson, Dreamgirls


The Nominees: Clint Eastwood, Letters from Iwo Jima; Stephen Frears, The Queen; Paul Greengrass, United 93; Alejandro González Iñárritu, Babel; Martin Scorsese, The Departed

My Choice: Alejandro González Iñárritu is all over the place with Babel, and Stephen Frears is far too respectful of the monarch.  Man, I dreaded this moment.  Martin Scorsese deserves an Oscar; don't get me wrong.  However, he deserved it four years ago and then two years ago, but he's outdone this year by two other nominees: Clint Eastwood, who made a sweeping look at the Battle of Iwo Jima in two films, and, my choice, Paul Greengrass, whose unflinching look at 9/11 is the best and most devastating film of the year.

My Prediction: Count out Greengrass, sadly, because his film isn't nominated (shame on you Academy) and Frears because The Queen is riding entirely on Mirren's performance.  González will only win if I'm wrong and Babel somehow has more respect than I imagine.  I don't think there's going to be another battle between Eastwood and Scorsese, because Letters from Iwo Jima never got any momentum going except for the idea of a battle between those directors.  So it's finally going to be Martin Scorsese's year.  It's about time, yes, but it should have been for something else.

The Winner: Martin Scorsese, The Departed


The Nominees: After the Wedding, Denmark; Days of Glory (Indigènes), Algeria; The Lives of Others, Germany; Pan's Labyrinth, Mexico; Water, Canada

My Choice: N/A

My Prediction: Pan's Labyrinth

The Winner: The Lives of Others


The Nominees: Cars, Happy Feet, Monster House

My Choice: Monster House

My Prediction: Cars

The Winner: Happy Feet


The Nominees: Sacha Baron Cohen, Anthony Hines, Peter Baynham, Dan Mazer, and Todd Phillips, Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan; Alfonso Cuarón, Timothy J. Sexton, David Arata Mark Fergus, and Hawk Ostby, Children of Men; William Monahan, The Departed; Todd Field and Tom Perrotta, Little Children; Patrick Marber, Notes on a Scandal

My Choice: The Departed

My Prediction: The Departed

The Winner: The Departed


The Nominees: Guillermo Arriaga, Babel; Iris Yamashita, Letters from Iwo Jima; Michael Arndt, Little Miss Sunshine; Guillermo del Toro, Pan's Labyrinth; Peter Morgan, The Queen

My Choice: Letters from Iwo Jima

My Prediction: Little Miss Sunshine

The Winner: Little Miss Sunshine


The Nominees: Dreamgirls, The Good Shepherd, Pan's Labyrinth, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, The Prestige

My Choice: The Prestige

My Prediction: Pan's Labyrinth

The Winner: Pan's Labyrinth


The Nominees: The Black Dahlia, Children of Men, The Illusionist, Pan's Labyrinth, The Prestige

My Choice: Children of Men

My Prediction: Pan's Labyrinth

The Winner: Pan's Labyrinth


The Nominees: Apocalypto, Blood Diamond, Dreamgirls, Flags of Our Fathers, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest

My Choice: Flags of Our Fathers

My Prediction: Dreamgirls

The Winner: Dreamgirls


The Nominees: Apocalypto, Blood Diamond, Flags of Our Fathers, Letters from Iwo Jima, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest

My Choice: Letters from Iwo Jima

My Prediction: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest

The Winner: Letters from Iwo Jima


The Nominees: Babel, Gustavo Santaolalla; The Good German, Thomas Newman; Notes on a Scandal, Philip Glass; Pan's Labyrinth, Javier Navarrete; The Queen, Alexandre Desplat

My Choice: Pan's Labyrinth

My Prediction: Pan's Labyrinth

The Winner: Babel


The Nominees: "I Need To Wake Up" from An Inconvenient Truth; "Listen" from Dreamgirls; "Love You I Do" from Dreamgirls; "Our Town" from Cars; "Patience" from Dreamgirls

My Choice: "Our Town" from Cars

My Prediction: "Listen" from Dreamgirls

The Winner: "I Need To Wake Up" from An Inconvenient Truth


The Nominees: Curse of the Golden Flower, The Devil Wears Prada, Dreamgirls, Marie Antoinette, The Queen

My Choice: Curse of the Golden Flower

My Prediction: Dreamgirls

The Winner: Marie Antoinette


The Nominees: Babel, Blood Diamond, Children of Men, The Departed, United 93

My Choice: United 93

My Prediction: Babel

The Winner: The Departed


The Nominees: Apocalypto, Click, Pan's Labyrinth

My Choice: Pan's Labyrinth

My Prediction: Pan's Labyrinth

The Winner: Pan's Labyrinth


The Nominees: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, Poseidon, Superman Returns

My Choice: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest

My Prediction: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest

The Winner: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest


The Nominees: Deliver Us from Evil, An Inconvenient Truth, Iraq in Fragments, Jesus Camp, My Country, My Country

My Choice: N/A

My Prediction: An Inconvenient Truth

The Winner: An Inconvenient Truth


The Nominees: "The Blood of Yingzhou District," "Recycled Life," "Rehearsing a Dream," "Two Hands"

My Choice: N/A

My Prediction: "The Blood of Yingzhou District"

The Winner: "The Blood of Yingzhou District"


The Nominees: "The Danish Poet," "Lifted," "The Little Matchgirl," "Maestro," "No Time for Nuts"

My Choice: N/A

My Prediction: "The Little Matchgirl"

The Winner: "The Danish Poet"


The Nominees: "Binta and the Great Idea" ("Binta y la Gran Idea"), "Éramos Pocos" ("One Too Many"), "Helmer & Son," "The Saviour," "West Bank Story"

My Choice: N/A

My Prediction: "West Bank Story"

The Winner: "West Bank Story"

Predicted film with the most awards: (tie) Dreamgirls and Pan's Labyrinth

Predicted number of awards: 5

Film with the most awards: The Departed

Number of awards: 4

Copyright © 2007 by Mark Dujsik. All rights reserved.