Monday, January 28, 2008

Divining the Oscars

With the American Society of Cinematographers, the Directors Guild, and the Screen Actors Guild having all recently bestowed their honors, the favorites among the nominees for the 80th Academy Awards are taking shape. Robert Elswit, nominated once before (for the beautiful black-and-white Good Night, and Good Luck) was recognized by his cinematographic colleagues ("Hey, I know you!") for his extraordinary work in There Will Be Blood, and that gives him an edge in the category.

No Country For Old Men's Joel and Ethan Coen won out over fellow nominees Paul Thomas Anderson, Tony Gilroy, Sean Penn, and Julian Schnabel, on Saturday, Jan. 26, nabbing best director(s) kudos from the DGA. That makes the Brothers Coen the odds-on favorites for the Academy Award: Since the DGA began prizing its directors in 1949, only six of its choices have failed to go on to Oscar wins. (DGA trivia note: the last time the Guild honored two men as best feature-film directors was 1961, when the winners were Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins for West Side Story.

As for the four acting slots, Sunday, Jan. 27th's SAG Awards went to Ruby Dee (supporting actress, American Gangster), Javier Bardem (supporting actor, No Country For Old Men), Julie Christie (lead actress, Away From Her) and Daniel Day-Lewis (lead actor, There Will Be Blood). If you're doing an office Oscar pool, you could do worse than follow the SAG line.


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