Saturday, February 02, 2008

Food for thought

Only twice has the Screen Actors Guild accurately predicted the acting races (4/4) at the Oscars: in 2005 (Swank/Foxx/Blanchett/Freeman), and in 1998 (Nicholson/Hunt/Basinger & Stuart/Williams). And even then, I don't think they deserve points for that last one, giving kudos to Gloria Stuart as well as eventual winner Kim Basinger.

As such, I'm not so comfortable with my predicted winners list as it stands presently. Is it really going to be Christie, Day-Lewis, Dee and Bardem yapping away at the podium on Oscar night? This thought occurred to me while submitting a comment for Adam's musings on this year's Supporting Actress race. Even in the most monotonous "locked and loaded" years, there has been slight variation between SAG and AMPAS's choices. Let's look at the facts...

Among the boys (SAG/Oscar):
- Harris/Spacey in '96
- Duvall/Coburn in '99
- Del Toro/Crowe; Finney/Del Toro in '01 (although this was more attributed to category confusion than anything else.)
- Crowe/Washington; McKellen/Broadbent in '02
- Day-Lewis/Brody; Walken/Cooper in '03
- Depp/Penn in '04
- Giamatti/Clooney in '06
- Murphy/Arkin in '07

The two voting bodies are a tad more consistent with the female actors: seven gals have won the Actor statuette without going on to grab the Oscar, in contrast to the aforementioned eleven men: Jodie Foster (Nell), Kate Winslet (Sense and Sensibility), Lauren Bacall (The Mirror Has Two Faces), Kathy Bates (Primary Colors), Annette Bening (American Beauty), Judi Dench (Chocolat), Helen Mirren (Gosford Park), and Renee Zellweger (Chicago).

Statistically speaking then, we have to have an upset in the making somewhere. Most would point a finger at the Supporting Actress race, often cited as the breeding ground for such shockeroos. But I have a hard time letting go of Dee - Blanchett has already won, Ryan is the critics' darling a la Virginia Madsen, Swinton doesn't have the heat, and the nomination's the reward for Ronan.

But if not here, then where? Actor and Supporting Actor look pretty locked up right now, and while former winner Julie Christie might be this year's Sissy Spacek, Halle Berry was still able to swing SAG in that dead heat race.

Where will it be? Where!!? Or is this going to be another 2005?


Cal said...


I think if there's an upset it's gotta be in the female categories. Christie may look formidable but Juno is SO popular, and I still think Ellen Page could come through and win it. I'm not a fan of Ruby Dee but she looks quite strong. I think it's a 3-way race between her, Blanchett and Ryan.

Yaseen Ali said...

Juno is indeed popular, but at 20 (21 in a few weeks), can you see Ellen Page besting Marlee Matlin's distinction as youngest Lead Actress winner ever? I guess it isn't out of the question, but I think voters can intuit that she doesn't really want it that much. Know what I mean? Anyways, the film has a win locked up in Original Screenplay for El Diablo.

If anyone upsets in that category, I'm thinking it's Cotillard.

Cal said...

Don't get me started on Marlee Matlin. If Page were to win at least it would get MM out of the record books. Lol. Or at least one of them.

Christie's my fave though.

Yaseen Ali said...

Are you a non-fan of Matlin's performance? I haven't seen Children of a Lesser God, so I don't have an opinion (yet).

I'm rooting for Christie too, although I'd be happy for Cotillard as well. Just as long as Page gets nowhere near that microphone.

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