The Envelope Logo

Gold Derby

Tom O'Neil has the inside track on Oscars, Emmys, Grammys and all the award shows.

« Previous Post | Gold Derby Home | Next Post »

Oscar derby drama now looks like a done race

January 27, 2008 |  9:50 pm

What a difference a few award shows makes. Just a few weeks ago there were several serious frontrunners for best picture. That's when "Atonement" led with the most Golden Globe noms and BAFTA pre-noms and "There Will Be Blood" and "No Country for Old Weeks_2 Men" split up the critics' awards — "No Country" claiming New York Film Critics Circle and Critics Choice while "Blood" won National Society of Film Critics and L.A. film critics. Meantime, "Juno" was kicking serious box-office booty while reaping best-picture bids from the Globes and Oscars.

There was a sense that "No Country" was out front for best pic, but vulnerable. Now, after leading with the most Oscar noms (tying "Blood") and winning DGA plus SAG ensemble, suddenly "No Country's" best-pic victory seems like a no brainer.

"Juno" still looked viable in the best-actress race considering how it usually skews young, but now that Julie Christie has snagged the Globe and SAG, Ellen Page is no longer acting as cocky as that Juno chick.

A few weeks ago it looked like Johnny Depp ("Sweeney Todd") or George Clooney ("Michael Clayton") might pose a serious challenge to Daniel Day-Lewis in the actors' race. Tonight at SAG, Clooney didn't bother to shop up and Depp wasn't even nominated.

All along we've known that Javier Bardem is waaaaay out front in supporting, but we also knew that that category, traditionally, often turns into a Veteran Achievement's Award. Now there seems to be little hope that Hal Holbrook ("Into the Wild") can pull off an Alan Arkin or James Coburn.

Instead, if there's a veteran who's suddenly viable this year, it turns out to be Ruby Dee ("American Gangster"). She's now a real player and is turning that supporting actress race — the historic Oscar hotbed for upsets (Marcia Gay Harden, Juliette Binoche, Marisa Tomei) — into the only real category cliffhanger. Thanks, Ruby!

The comments to this entry are closed.


Janet Whit, I'm assuming they got to see Johnny's performance before they nominated him.

Or did they just nominate him on his name alone? That would be too bad, given how many outstanding lead male performances there were this year.

I wonder why George didn't show up? I'm sure he has a good reason. As far as Johnny goes, perhaps voters have finally gotten to see his performance for Oscar voting. DDL is going to be hard to beat, but you talk as if everything is a done deal. Truth is, it doesn't matter. With all the films being made in one year, to be among the top performances is quite an or lose.

James Coburn got a SAG nomination, but didn't win. That was all the recognition he got prior to the Oscars. He also was not nominated at the Globes . Alan Arkin was very similar--SAG nom, No Globe nom. But, Alan Arkin won the BAFTA and some minor forgettable critics awards. Still, Hal Holbrook is not out of the race. He could end up just like Mr. Arkin and Mr. Coburn.

I pray for a JUNO shut-out at Oscars..but more than likely it will get the Best Original Screenplay...preferably would like to see The Savages win that one...or Lars and the Real Girl...

I'm not sure why mr. O'Neil never even considers Cotillard as a possibility in the Best Actress race (barely a mention each time he's predicting). It's always Page, Page, Page (well, until last night) even though Cotillard won the Golden Globe and the LAFCA. Just odd. He sounds like Access Hollywood.

A bit premature - Day-Lewis and Bardem look solid, No Country and Chistie are front-runners, but 3+ weeks (until the ballots are due) is a long time.

Remember Brokeback 2 years ago? Yes, special circumstances. But there is time for the collective mindset of the Academy to adjust to the perception that there is a "sure" winner, and decide to go another direction.

If there is not total commitment to No Country, we'll start hearing indications from chit-chat and other signs.

It looks good for NC, but for best picture especially there needs to be a comfort level. Not sure NC has reached that yet.

"Tonight at SAG, Clooney didn't bother to shop up"... Yes, he is currently in Chad and Darfur... what a shame for him to believe that there are more important things in this world that show up on a ceremony!!!

Tom mentions that Javier Bardem now has locked Best Supporting Actor and that Hal Holbrook has little hope of pulling off a James Coburn or an Alan Arkin. But ...

Last year Eddie Murphy swept the BFCA, Globes, and SAG for "Dreamgirls" and still lost in a groundswell of support. Now, fair enough, that may have been because of "Norbit" and the momentum for "Little Miss Sunshine" but Tom must clarify why he feels Hal and Alan are in different situations, or rather why he feels Javier and Eddie are in different situations. The simple calculation based on Javier's award haul alone is not sufficient evidence, because controlling for all else, the upset still can occur as Arkin proved.

And as for James Coburn, well that year he failed to win any significant precursor although, granted, the supporting actor race was much more contested with Ed Harris, Robert Duvall, and Billy Bob Thornton each winning key precursors.

P.S. We only kvetch tongue-in-cheek. The press corps had a blackout to contend with, after all, and more power to you.

Now, "George Clooney didn't even bother to shop up," that one's a keeper. Too true.

Am praying that "historic Oscar hobed" is a typo that was meant to read "hotbed."

The supporting actress race can sometimes be a Veterans Achievement Award.

Ruby Dee has something else going for her. She will get all the African-American votes, as well as the votes from those who want to feel good about themselves by voting for a veteran African American actress.



In Case You Missed It...

Stay Connected:

About the Blogger

Pop & Hiss



In Case You Missed It...