Another Oscar Preview, Part 1

Prepare yourself, people. We are about to get really obsessed about that silly little award show coming Sunday. Like, forget all other forms of pop culture obsessed (maybe excluding some American Idol love, but really, don’t expect a review of My Dad is Better Than Your Dad). While we’ll spend some of the movie duking it out about various movies, I’ll also be posting a few previews of 13 categories I care about in the next 6 days. Today, I’ll start with Best Picture day, both the overall race and the Animated Feature one.

Best Picture

Keep it Simple, Stupid: No Country for Old Men. Look, since 2007 turned to 2008, “No Country” has won nearly every Oscar precursor. It’s a critical beast, a film crafted for victory. I didn’t get it, and I don’t get the love in this, a great year for cinema, but it won the SAG, the DGA, the Scripter and more — many people other than me see it as a complete, fantastic film.

The Main Competitor: There Will Be Blood. Given TWBB’s numerous nominations, there is no doubt that the Academy bought into P.T. Anderson’s movie in a big way. I look for them to get Best Actor and a few technical awards, but it’s a tough rod to hoe this year, especially given TWBB’s only mediocre box office showing.

If They Split the Vote: Michael Clayton. I’ve read in many places that Juno belongs here, and as much as I’d like it, I don’t buy it. Juno and Atonement feel like the movies nominated to be nominated — Clayton is insanely enough feeling like an outside competitor. If it wins, I won’t see a movie in March. Really, I am that trite.

Bryan’s Preference: Juno. The most divisive movie in the top 5, and probably the most of the year, which to me, speaks to just how good the movie is. I suppose Jason Reitman’s directorial nomination signals this could be a competitor, but I don’t think it is. My demographic might realize the brilliance in this movie, but I doubt the Academy will to the full extent it deserves.

Bryan’s Pick: No Country for Old Men. Those that pick against it probably did so, too, against “The Departed” last year. It’s a beast, and it makes too much sense not to win.

Animated Feature

Keep it Simple, Stupid: Ratatouille. Everyone loves it.

The Main Competitor: Persepolis. Critics love it.

Bryan’s Pick: Ratatouille. Everyone, including critics, loves it.

[Coming tomorrow: The men behind the camera, directors and cinematographers.]

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