Best Supporting Actress
Cate Blanchett – I’m Not There. Five time nominee, one win (The Aviator, 2004). This year’s Golden Globe winner.
Ruby Dee - American Gangster. First time nominee, who, at age 83, is the second oldest nominee ever for this category.
Saoirse Ronan – Atonement. First time nominee, who, at age thirteen is the seventh youngest nominee ever for this category.
Amy Ryan – Gone Baby Gone. First time nominee, whose breakthrough performance has earned her awards from the National Board of Review and the major critics circles.
Tilda Swinton - Michael Clayton. First ever Oscar nomination for the acclaimed British actress.
Snubbed - Jennifer Garner (Juno), Samantha Morton (Control).
A very strong field of first time nominees accompany perennial nominee Blanchett. Though much will be made of the 70-year age gap between this year’s youngest and oldest nominees, the serious contenders are Cate Blanchett, who gave the flashiest performance, and Amy Ryan, who gave the grittiest. Though Blanchett seems to be a popular choice, the supporting awards rarely go to the performer who already has an Oscar. In fact, it’s been 13 years since the winner of this category picked up her second golden boy.
Cate Blanchett-Carmody, Emma, Robert
Best Supporting Actor
Casey Affleck - The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. First time nominee Affleck was a revelation in his breakthrough role.
Javier Bardem - No Country for Old Men. Second Oscar nomination. Bardem won the Golden Globe and has garnered universal acclaim for his devastating performance.
Philip Seymour Hoffman - Charlie Wilson’s War. Second nomination, one win (Capote, 2005).
Hal Holbrook - Into the Wild. Just days before his 83rd birthday, first-time nominee Holbrook is the oldest man to ever compete in this category.
Tom Wilkinson - Michael Clayton. Second nomination for the popular 59-year-old British actor.
Snubbed - Irfan Kahn (The Namesake), Steve Zahn (Rescue Dawn), Stephen Graham (This is
The performances by Affleck and Bardem were two of the finest performances of the year, but Bardem’s performance was one for the ages. Holbrook has been around forever, but his career hasn’t been as prolific as past sentimental winners Alan Arkin or Morgan Freeman. Wilkinson’s performance was pure Oscar baiting, while Hoffman’s was the most fun of the group. All bets are on Bardem.
Javier Bardem-Carmody, Joseph, Robert
Casey Affleck-Emma, Sandra
Cate Blanchett –
Julie Christie – Away From Her. Fourth nomination for early favourite Christie, whose lone Oscar has occupied shelf space for over forty years. Aside from her Golden Globe victory, she’s taken the largest bounty of critic’s awards.
Marion Cotillard – La Vie en Rose. The other Golden Globe winner, French beauty Cotillard earns her first Oscar nomination to go along with widespread critical praise.
Laura Linney – The Savages. Third Oscar nomination for New Yorker Laura Linney.
Ellen Page – Juno. The twenty-year-old Canadian is the breakout star of the category, and has garnered enough critics’ awards to be considered a real contender.
Snubbed - Amy Adams (Enchanted), Angelina Jolie (A Mighty Heart), Anamaria Marinca (4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days)
When it’s easy to say that Laura Linney and Cate Blanchett are long shots, you know it’s been a fantastic year for leading ladies. Julie Christie and Marion Cotillard took advantage of their respective Oscar-fodder roles as Alzheimer’s victim and musical legend to win Golden Globes, and are the presumptive frontrunners. The soaring Ellen Page, whose performance in Juno was unlike anything else this year, could be the surprise of the evening, though recent history says Oscar likes serious roles for this category.
Julie Christie-Carmody, Joseph
Marion Cotillard-Robert, Sandra
George Clooney – Michael Clayton. Second acting Oscar nomination for
Daniel Day-Lewis – There Will Be Blood. Fourth nomination for the reclusive powerhouse performer, who won in 1990 for My Left Foot.
Johnny Depp – Sweeney Todd. Since Captain Jack Sparrow became a household name, Johnny Depp has earned three Oscar nominations. Funny how that works out.
Tommy Lee Jones – In the
Viggo Mortensen – Eastern Promises. The only first-time nominee in the group.
Snubbed – Sam Reilly (Control), James McAvoy (Atonement), Tom Hanks (Charlie Wilson’s War)
While Clooney, Jones, and Mortensen gave perhaps the best performances of their careers, it’s hard to think anyone could beat the selective Daniel Day-Lewis, who appears to be the only clear favourite of any category this year. If anyone else takes home Oscar here, it’s the upset of the night.
Daniel Day-Lewis-Carmody, Emma, Joseph, Robert
Julien Schnabel – The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. The
Jason Reitman – Juno. The 30-year-old’s first Oscar nomination gives him more than dad Ivan Reitman ever had.
Tony Gilroy – Michael Clayton. One of two nominations for
Joel and Ethan Cohen – No Country for Old Men. The Cohens have never won for this category, and enjoy their first directorial nomination in just over a decade.
Paul Thomas Anderson – There Will Be Blood.
Snubbed – Joe Wright (Atonement).
Aside from the Cohens, who appear to be the favourites, the rest of the field are here for the first time in their careers. Jason Reitman and Tony Gilroy aren’t going to win, and it’s a scandal that Joe Wright was denied a nomination for Atonement.
Joel & Ethan Cohen-Carmody, Emma, Robert , Sandra
Julien Schnabel-JosephOriginal Screenplay
Diablo Cody - Juno. The twenty nine-year-old former stripper’s debut is a bona fide sensation. A vividly distinctive script, but is it too quirky?
Nancy Oliver - Lars and the Real Girl. Another debut indie from a promising young lady.
Tony Gilroy - Michael Clayton. The scribe of the Bourne trilogy earns his first screenplay nomination.
Brad Bird - Ratatouille. The most prolific talent of the group; if anyone can win a screenplay Oscar for an animated film, it’s Brad Bird.
Tamara Jenkins - The Savages. And yes, a third female first-time nominee!
Snubbed – Adrienne Shelly (Waitress)
Some call this the “Citizen Kane Award”; others call it the “Ben Affleck Award.” These days it tends to go to an indie sensation, or the most enjoyable film that simply has no shot at winning Best Picture. Either way, this year’s group is historic in that there have never been more women nominated than men. Barring an upset, this year’s winner will be just the fourth woman in 75 years to win Oscar in this category.
Diablo Cody-Emma, Joseph, RobertNancy Oliver-Sandra
Christopher Hampton - Atonement. Third nomination for
Sarah Polly - Away From Her. Impressive Oscar debut for the young Canadian.
Ronald Harwood - Diving Bell and the Butterfly. Won Oscar for The Pianist, this is Harwood’s third nomination for this award.
Joel and Ethan Cohen - No Country for Old Men. Often heralded more for their writing than direction, the Cohens won this award for
Paul Thomas Anderson - There Will Be Blood. Of
Snubbed – Aaron Sorkin (Charlie Wilson’s War)
Another incredibly remarkable group of nominees. Atonement and Diving Bell were books that seemed almost impossible to translate onto the screen, while No Country put the source material on screen page for page.
Joel and Ethan Cohen-Robert, Sandra
Christopher Hampton-Carmody, Emma, Joseph
Best Animated Film
Ratatouille – Hard to beat any Brad Bird/Pixar project in this category, and the recent Golden Globe win solidifies its standing as the favourite.
Surf’s Up – D’oh! Bloody penguins!
Snubbed – The Simpsons Movie
As this year’s big Pixar project, Ratatouille was a huge critical success, a nice rebound from the uncharacteristic misfire of Cars.
Atonement (Working Title)
Juno (Fox Searchlight)
Michael Clayton (Castle Rock)
No Country for Old Men (Paramount Vantage/Miramax)
There Will Be Blood (
The past few years of Oscar have thrown up lots of surprises. Since the Russell Crowe overdrive at the beginning of the decade which crowned more traditional Oscar fare Gladiator and A Beautiful Mind, Oscar has been all over the shop. Big industry marketing campaigns helped more mediocre films like
Snubbed – The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, Eastern Promises (and your favourite film of 2007 here)
No Country for Old Men-Emma, Robert, Joseph, Sandra