The View From Here

UNCUT's Oscar predictions

Michael Bonner

I’ve just got off the phone with BBC Radio Kent who, in the preamble to this Sunday’s Academy Awards, were asking me, among other things, for my thoughts on who might win in the Best Song category.

That’s something, I’m afraid, I don’t feel particularly qualified to answer, having not much on an informed opinion on the work of Gavin Hansard and The Frames (for Once), the three nominations awarded to Disney’s Enchanted, or even the Robin Williams-Jonathan Rhys Myers movie, August Rush, which I confess completely passed me by.

I guess I’m on far safer ground pontificating on the big four categories – Best Actress, Best Actor, Best Film and Best Director. Thought I should point out I’m fully expecting to eat humble pie come Sunday night/Monday morning, when none of my predictions came true. That said, I’ve been bang on the money picking the heat winners on this year’s Masterchef

Anyway. Here’s what’s what. You can read the full nominations here, along with my initial thoughts.

BEST ACTRESS
Julie Christie for Away From Her
OK, I’d really like to see Ellen Paige win for Juno – she has real freshness and spark – but Juno’s just too small a film, I think, to make the jump from nomination to win. The Academy tends to favour human tragedy, and Christie’s portrayal of an Alzheimer’s sufferer is a great example of an excellent actress handling her character’s situation with considerable elegance and sensitivity.

BEST ACTOR.
Daniel Day Lewis for There Will Be Blood
Watching Day Lewis’ acceptance speech at the BAFTAs the other week, you were reminded that, in real life, he’s a shy, softly spoken man, a league away from the ferocious, formidable presence we see on screen. It is a massive performance, that far outweighs the other candidates. And that he’s now won 17 gongs on the road to the Oscars seems pretty conclusive proof that he’s going to win, if you ask me.

BEST FILM & BEST DIRECTOR
No Country For Old Men, by Joel and Ethan Coen
Here’s the logic. It’s fairly typical to find Best Film going hand in hand with Best Director. Out of the Best Film nominations, only There Will Be Blood stands out as strongly as No Country For Old Men – but I think Day Lewis’ performance is so all-consuming, for want of a better phrase, that is actually overshadows the film itself. Also, I genuinely think No Country is a superb film, a convincing return to form for the Coen brothers, who’ve thankfully appeared to pull themselves out of their recent creative slump.

Elswehere, I think Cate Blanchett will pick up the Best Supporting Actress for I’m Not There while Javier Bardem and his impressively baroque wig will continue their run of Best Supporting Actor awards for No Country For Old Men.

Anyway, I’ll see you Monday morning, knife and fork ready for the humble pie, should it come to that.


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