The 80th Academy Awards: If I had been a voter

Here we go again folks! As promised (though perhaps a bit later than initially planned), I’m diving back into the world of previous Oscar ceremonies. This time, I have my sights set on the 80th Academy Awards ceremony. You should know the drill by now. I’m going to state what I would have picked in the major eight categories if I had been lucky enough to have been able to vote. In most cases, it deviates from the actual winner. You’ll see how much that was the case this time around, and sit tight, as I do hope to make this a bit more of a consistent thing (excuse the gap again) and really go back as far as I can go. Until then, just enjoy this new one…

Alright then, once again here goes nothing ladies and gentlemen…behold my picks for this particular ceremony:

Best Picture – Juno

The nominees in Best Picture here were Atonement, Juno, Michael Clayton, No Country for Old Men, and There Will Be Blood. The real winner was No Country for Old Men, and while it’s a fine selection, I greatly prefer the charm of Juno. As such, that would be my winner here.

Best Director – Jason Reitman for Juno

This particular field was made up of Paul Thomas Anderson (There Will Be Blood), Joel Coen and Ethan Coen (No Country for Old Men), Tony Gilroy (Michael Clayton), Jason Reitman (Juno), and Julian Schnabel (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly). The Coen Brothers took the prize at the actual ceremony, but I’m linking my own Picture/Director lineup and going with Reitman’s work on Juno.

Best Actor – Daniel Day-Lewis for There Will Be Blood

Here, the nominees happened to be George Clooney (Michael Clayton), Daniel Day-Lewis (There Will Be Blood), Johnny Depp (Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street), Tommy Lee Jones (In the Valley of Elah), and Viggo Mortensen (Eastern Promises). This is one of the cases where I agree with Oscar. Day-Lewis takes this one in a walk…

Best Actress – Ellen Page for Juno

For this category, Cate Blanchett (Elizabeth: The Golden Age), Julie Christie (Away from Her), Marion Cotillard (La Vie en Rose), Laura Linney (The Savages), and Ellen Page (Juno) duked it out. Cotillard has the statue in reality, but in this alternate world, Page would be my pick.

Best Supporting Actor – Philip Seymour Hoffman for Charlie Wilson’s War

The nominees in this category were Casey Affleck (The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford), Javier Bardem (No Country for Old Men), Philip Seymour Hoffman (Charlie Wilson’s War), Hal Holbrook (Into the Wild), and Tom Wilkinson (Michael Clayton). Here’s a tough one. Bardem won, and deservedly so, while you could easily make the case that Affleck and Holbrook were just as deserving. In a close call, I went with something a bit different and picked the late Hoffman.

Best Supporting Actress – Amy Ryan for Gone Baby Gone

Th field here consisted of Cate Blanchett again (I’m Not There), Ruby Dee (American Gangster), Saoirse Ronan (Atonement), Amy Ryan (Gone Baby Gone), and Tilda Swinton (Michael Clayton). People rejoiced when Swinton won the prize, though my vote would have gone in another direction. I would have picked Ryan in a pretty close situation.

Best Adapted Screenplay – No Country for Old Men (Joel Coen and Ethan Coen)

The nominees here were Atonement (Christopher Hampton), Away from Her (Sarah Polley), The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (Ronald Harwood), No Country for Old Men (Joel Coen and Ethan Coen), and There Will Be Blood (Paul Thomas Anderson). The Coens also won here, and in this case, I agree. Joel and Ethan Coen get my vote as well.

Best Original Screenplay – Juno (Diablo Cody)

Lastly, this group consisted of Juno (Diablo Cody), Lars and the Real Girl (Nancy Oliver), Michael Clayton (Tony Gilroy), Ratatouille (Brad Bird, Jim Capobianco, and Jan Pinkava), and The Savages (Tamara Jenkins). Despite an affinity for Lars and the Real Girl, I also agree with Oscar’s real pick. Cody gets my nod for her Juno script. The Academy chose wisely.

Stay tuned for another of these in the weeks to come!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He contributes to several other film-related websites and is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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