The Oscar Quest: Best Picture & Best Director – 2007
This was a tough year. One where, even though I’d have voted a different way on Best Picture, you really can’t fault their decision too much (or can you?). I thought these five were a really strong set of nominees. Personally I’d have gone another way with the fifth nominee, but, the Academy is the Academy. Still, these five are all good films. Good job, Academy, for picking well. And good job, Hollywood, for giving us the best year probably in all the 2000s.
Best Picture – 2007
And the nominees were…
Atonement (Focus Features)
Juno (Fox Searchlight)
Michael Clayton (Warner Bros.)
No Country for Old Men (Miramax, Paramount Vantage)
There Will Be Blood (Paramount Vantage, Miramax)
Atonement — Loved this movie. Would’t vote for it for Best Picture, because it’s not quite there yet. But it’s a hell of a film, and I’m glad it got nominated. Plus, it was an obvious Best Picture type movie, and because of that I’m also glad it didn’t win. But still, I do love this movie.
Juno — I said this yesterday, but, I’m going to need more time before I can be truly objective on this movie. I loved it when it came out, then the backlash hit, and it clouded my judgement. So, I need time. Still, on this list, this counts as the #5, just because it’s not really a Best Picture movie. I don’t care that it got on here because, it was never going to win. But I approve of the film, if only that it’s a unique script.
Michael Clayton — Loved this movie. A lot. It’s just like a 70s movie, and that always wins with me. I can’t vote for it to win, and I’m actually kind of shocked they nominated it, but, good going Academy, this movie is awesome.
No Country for Old Men — I remember seeing this movie on Thanksgiving break. I went to my local theater, expecting to be the only person in the theater, while all the idiots went to go see whatever was out that weekend instead (Note: It was Fred Claus), only to find that the theater was mostly packed. I was happy, for about an hour, two. Then the end of the movie happened. Tommy Lee Jones delivers that brilliant monologue, and then the movie just ended. I almost stood up and clapped. It was fucking incredible. And the second after that reaction died down, I waited. I stayed in my seat and just waited. Because I know, all the idiots I was in the theater with would be like, “What the hell was that all about?” and say the movie was terrible because it “didn’t end.” Sure enough, that’s what happened. Right then and there, I was okay with this movie winning Best Picture, because fuck the people that live near me. They’ll all fucking retarded. And any time I can go against them and be validated in my efforts, I’m happy. Plus, I know that after it won, a bunch of them got the DVD to see what it is they missed, and then instea of saying it sucked, tried to understand it and couldn’t. That makes me even happier. Fuck those people.
Anyway, this movie is great. I’m glad it won. But I can’t vote for it. Only because…
There Will Be Blood — I love this movie so goddamn much. This was my favorite movie of 2007, and it just had to have gotten my vote. This was me voting for what I thought was the best picture of the year, knowing that whatever won, I’d be okay with it. So, ultimately, everything worked out. But really, this movie, to me was not only the best of 2007 (along with that other film I talk about all the time, the one with the long title), but in my top ten for the decade itself (if I had one of those lists, which I don’t, since you can’t really sum a decade up by ten movies. Unless of course I’m picking my favorite one from each year … it’s too tedious, let’s just deal with abstract concepts). I loved this movie. I saw this movie four times in theaters. I made a trip to another state to see it the first time, because I was worried it wouldn’t get released in enough theaters. Then, got back to school, people wanted to go see it again. Then, I went on my own, just to watch it again. And then I watched it again when I got back home on another break. Love this movie. I’m fine with it not winning, but, 100% my vote, right here.
My Thoughts: I think it was pretty adequately explained up there in that last paragraph.
Rankings: (Shit. Well this is tough. Ranking a #5 here is like ranking a #2 or 3 most other years.)
4. Michael Clayton
2. No Country for Old Men
1. There Will Be Blood
Best Director – 2007
And the nominees were…
Paul Thomas Anderson, There Will Be Blood
Joel & Ethan Coen, No Country for Old Men
Tony Gilroy, Michael Clayton
Jason Reitman, Juno
Julian Schnabel, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Anderson — Honestly, despite my insane love for the movie, I think even I won’t vote for him here. The Coens are so crazily overdue it’s insane. So my vote almost has to go to them. Because Best Director is kind of a nebulous concept, and since the whole Scorsese debacle, I feel that as long as a director has the statue, it really doesn’t matter what, specifically they won for. That’s after years of being beaten to death with directors winning for undeserving work or for just directing the Best Picture winner. So the Coens deserved it. One day though, P.T.A. You’ll get your due.
Coens — Had to. They should have won for Fargo. They should have won for any number of their movies. This just happened to be the one where the stars aligned. And I’m cool with it. This is my vote.
Gilroy — Loved the direction, loved the film, but can’t vote for him. Nice that he’s on here, though. Also, he wrote the Bourne movies. I feel that’s worth an Oscar nomination in and of itself.
Reitman — Yeah, I guess he got on here because they loved the film. Because I thought Joe Wright did a better job with Atonement than he did with Juno. But, whatever. #5.
Schnabel — Loved this movie. It’s a beautiful, beautiful film. It’s about the French magazine editor who had a stroke and then dictated his memoirs through his left eye, which was the only body part left that he had control over. About 60% of the movie is shot from that one eye. And it is a brilliant piece of directing. It’s a shame he’s up against the Coens, because this would be my vote in most other years. But, it’s really between him and the Coens, and I have to take them. I just do. It’s hypocritical and goes against everything I stand for, but what can I do? I learned from the best — the Academy.
My Thoughts: Schnabel and Anderson are very, very deserving, but I have to vote Coens. I just do.