I've updated my page tracking the various year-end awards, and trends are definitely emerging. The Oscars don't always (or ever) hold to this form, since we're tracking film critics instead of actual Oscar voters, but seeing wave after wave of the same people winning these awards must affect the way voters might think.
Almost nothing has changed since before the holidays, with the Big Board looking like this:
Best Picture: No Country For Old Men over There Will Be Blood (17-3). I guess the only thing that can stop this film is if lots of people go to see it, and have the same reaction to the last 20 minutes that I did. Namely, "huh"? If Juno or Michael Clayton can pull off an upset, I'd be stoked... but I don't see it happening.
Best Director: The Coen Brothers over Paul Thomas Anderson (15-4). This one is done. I think they've got it in the bag. If Tim Burton and Sweeney Todd push themselves over the edge, I'd be shocked.
Best Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis over George Clooney (12-5). DDL could win an Oscar any time he steps in the ring. It's almost not fair. By the way... could someone tell Paramount Vintage to OPEN THIS DAMN MOVIE IN SEATTLE SO I CAN SEE IT?!?!? Cool - thanks. Also, does it mean anything that Johnny Depp received no critic awards and no SAG nomination? Just throwing that out there.
Best Actress: Here's where the
biggest only change took place - Julie Christie over Ellen Page (11-9). Julie Christie was dominating before the holidays, but Juno's current box office momentum sent Ellen Page soaring up into what might be the only battle of the evening. Marion Cotillard could still win, but she's not really on this radar screen.
Best Supporting Actor: Javier Bardem over Casey Affleck (15-3). I think this one is done too. Even people who didn't love this movie know in their hearts that Bardem's performance was devastatingly terrifying.
Best Supporting Actress: Amy Ryan over Cate Blanchett (14-4). Even though this looks like a blowout, in my heart I believe that this one is still open, simply because I think approximately 4 people around the country have seen Gone Baby Gone and I'm Not There combined, and no one had heard of Amy Ryan before this film. Does the combination of a previously unknown actress in a film that no one saw scream Academy Award winner to you? I can definitely see Tilda Swinton pulling off an upset here.
Best Original Screenplay: Diablo Cody (Juno) will win this. I wish I could give it to Tony Gilroy for Michael Clayton, but it's not to be. Original Screenplay usually goes to the quirky film that gets the Best Picture nomination, but not the win (Pulp Fiction, Sideways, Lost in Translation, Almost Famous, etc.). You know... for the kids.
Best Adapted Screenplay: The Coens again seem to own this, with the only real competition coming from Paul Thomas Anderson. It would be interesting if they wanted to recognize both films this year, giving Picture and Director to No Country for Old Men, but giving Screenplay to There Will Be Blood. Hmmm....