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By Luke Walter on 26.1.2024

Luke Walter’s Oscar Showdown

It has certainly been one of the less colourful awards seasons in recent memory. With the ongoing writers strike; the Golden Globes, usually serving as a litmus test for The Academy Awards, having already been hit by the strike action of the Writers Guild of America, of which many of those whom grace the red-carpet are members. There is still uncertainty over the fate of the flagship of the awards season, the 80th Academy Awards, which may well end up being a sinking ship if the Writers Guild of America continues with their picketing action.

The strike however, does not deprive Hollywood of the talent which has been nominated for an Academy Award. Here is a run- down of the categories and nominations, starting with best picture and best director, and this writer’s predictions for those who will be walking away with that golden little man known as Oscar.

Films which have been nominated for Best Picture include Atonement, based on an Ian McEwan novel of the same name; directed by Joe Wright and based on the screenplay by Christopher Hampton. Already the winner of the Best Motion Picture Drama Award at the 65th Golden Globes Award, it is a contender but percieved by some commentators as weaker than the other films in the category.

Juno is a critically acclaimed comedy film dealing with the issue of teen pregnancy. Directed by Jason Reitman and written by Diablo Cody, it is probably the rank outsider of all the films in this category. However, its nomination is testimony to how successful indie films can be.
Written and directed by Tony Gilroy, legal thriller Michael Clayton is the second movie in two years starring George Clooney to be nominated for Best Picture. Clooney’s 2006 film, Good Night, and Good Luck, featured in this category. Its nomination is testimony to the good performance’s Clooney can deliver. It is definitely in the top three of this category.

Based on the Cormac McCarthy novel of the same name, No Country for Old Men is the modern Western adapted and directed by Joel and Ethan Cohen. The film is possibly the Cohen brothers’ best work since the 1996 black comedy, Fargo. It is probably the main contender in the category because of the honest depiction of McCarthy’s brutish and sinister novel.

The main rival to No Country for Old Men and the Cohen brothers Oscar crown is, There Will Be Blood. Written, produced and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson. The film is a tough and rough portrayal of the early twentieth century California oil business. Daniel Day Lewis, a man who knows how to pick his films, is probably guaranteed the Best Leading Actor gong for his part. But Day Lewis’ stealing of the limelight might alienate other talent and deprive There Will Be Blood of Oscar glory.

Best Director will see Joel and Ethan Cohen, No Country for Old Men, go up against Paul Thomas Anderson, There Will Be Blood, for the award. The Cohen brothers’ do have the experience, as well as a host of movies under their belt including Fargo, The Big Lebowski and The Man Who Wasn’t There. Paul Thomas Anderson has considerably less movies to his name, but he is a big critic favourite with such films as Magnolia and Boogie Nights. The dark horse of this category is perhaps Julian Schnabel who directed The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, a French film and winner of the Cannes Film Festival in the best director category. Tony Gilroy for Michael Clayton and Jason Reitman, director of Juno, complete the category.

Part two of Luke Walter’s Oscar Showdown will be going live on Tuesday.

As a result of the rather hectic AGM its now going live on Wednesday


  • great stuff luke, for more fantastic film fun check out

    By website-editor on 26.1.2024

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