Thursday, January 31, 2008

More Oscar Picks

A couple more Oscar predictions:

Directing. The nominees: Julian Schnabel, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly; Jason Reitman, Juno; Tony Gilroy, Michael Clayton; Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, No Country for Old Men; Paul Thomas Anderson, There Will Be Blood.

There will not be blood, but there will be an Oscar for the Coen brothers. As Walter Monheit used to say in the late, lamented Spy magazine: Oof!

Documentary Feature. The nominees: No End in Sight; Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience; Sicko; Taxi to the Darkside; War/Dance.

The rule is, if I haven’t seen it, it won't win. Just kidding, but gone are the days when documentary nominees were all obscure films that no one except some Academy voters saw. Documentaries are hot now, and the ones that win tend to be those that were commercially successful and/or politically influential, like An Inconvenient Truth (however scientifically suspect its content may have been).

On that basis, the contest is between Michael Moore's Sicko and Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs’ well made Bush-botched-the-occupation doc No End in Sight, which didn’t question the rationale for the Iraq invasion but detailed the hubristic blunders of the Administration — which is a little like saying that Hitler had the right idea but his strategy was bad.

I think the award will go to Sicko, which exposed the sickening state of U.S. healthcare, most likely to no avail. But it is a remarkably moving polemic, and the most focused of Moore’s films.

No comments: