Despite its postmodern spin on the period romance, it’s still the only old-fashioned ”Oscar movie” of the bunch. Voters swayed by traditional production values — sets, costumes, and overall scope — will mark their ballots accordingly.
Aren’t the days of the typical ”Oscar movie” over? Plus, the lack of a Best Director nod for Joe Wright essentially kills its chances.
Oscar loves a crowd-pleasing hit, and the cheapest-produced Best Picture nominee has become the top grosser by far, with $117 million and counting. It’s the lone feel-good film against four very heavy competitors.
It got only four nods, the fewest of any film in this race (the others have 7 or 8). The cheapest movie doesn’t usually end up on top. And its lack of a SAG best-cast nomination still stings.
An exciting rookie director and Hollywood’s favorite statesman teamed up and revitalized the legal-thriller genre. Impressively, it’s the only film to score multiple acting nominations this year.
Recent Oscar history proves that it’s nearly impossible to win Best Picture without a Best Film Editing nom. Just ask Brokeback Mountain.
No Country for Old Men
The Coen brothers’ violent crime caper takes place in 1980, yet is utterly relevant in 2008. And it contains some of the best acting of the year. After sweeping the guild awards, its Oscar dominance seems inevitable.
In short, that ending. Even some of the film’s most ardent supporters concede that the last 20 minutes are something of a confusing letdown.
There Will Be Blood
The brutal oil epic tied with No Country for the most nods and is showing the most 11th-hour momentum. It’s arguably the coolest choice and will rack up votes from young Hollywood, which worships Paul Thomas Anderson.
For every viewer who loves it, there seems to be another who finds it long, loud, and, well, weird. It may have to settle for a Best Actor win.
Next Page: Our predictions for Best Actor and Best Actress