widescreen – Our savior, the 80th Annual Oscars


The Writers Guild of America strike is finally over. And while the benefits (and detriments) to the writers and the industry at large are sure to be debated over the next few weeks, it is important to recognize the timely significance of this deal. The Oscars, and by extension we, have been saved because, really, how many more reality programs and American Gladiator episodes can we as a society endure?

With that in mind, here are my prognostications and personal picks for this years major, hotly contested categories.

Best Actor
True, Daniel Day-Lewis reveled well in his There Will be Blood, but the Oscar should and will go to George Clooney for Michael Clayton, which is fair since only Clooney can make a movie about a high-powered fixer whose life is changed by a modern fairy tale totally oddly engrossing.

Best Supporting Actor
Javier Bardem will more than likely pick up a golden statue for his spooky, air-powered Angel of Death role in No Country for Old Men, even though Casey Affleck better exemplified the raw power of a supporting role in his film, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford.

Best Actress
The Academy has always loved Julie Christie, so expect her to walk away with a win for her performance in Away From Her. While Christie was amazing in the film, Ellen Page, with her dramatically spunky and precocious performance in Juno, was better.

Best Supporting Actress
Michael Clayton will earn Tilda Swinton a win here, which is in some respects a shame because Amy Ryans realistic portrayal of a self-absorbed mother in Gone Baby Gone was as stupendous as the woefully under-appreciated film itself.

Best Cinematography
The vintage views and pastoral landscapes of The Assassination of Jesse James are gorgeous and hard to ignore; its unfortunate that the Academy will go for the grossly over ballyhooed Atonement.

Best Director
I imagine the Academy will throw the Coen brothers a bone here for No Country, even though Jason Reitman made an emotionally smarter, more enjoyable film, Juno.

Best Editing
No contest here, folks The Bourne Ultimatum was a kinetic force of film editing.

Best Original Song
Sure, August Rush was cute and it featured vibrant music, but with any luck the Academy has fallen every bit in love as I have with Falling Slowly from the film Once which should have been nominated for Best Picture.

Best Picture
Michael Clayton will probably continue its near-sweep of the Oscars, which is a shame since Juno exemplifies how heart, storytelling and Oscar-caliber performances can combine to forge a movie with emotional humor, resonance and character.

Best Adapted Screenplay
Tough call will it be Atonement, which probably wont pick up as much as people think, or will it be No Country? My money is on No Country.

Best Original Screenplay
Diablo Cody, come on down everyone agrees that youre the it writer in Hollywood.

Contact the writer kschramm77@yahoo.com