Oscars 2007 - my predictions and my hopes

2006 was an eventful year and it certainly produced some very good films. There were no bona fide classics in the vein of 2005's Brokeback Mountain, nor 2001's In the Bedroom, but it is a sign that Hollywood is producing several highly-deserving films when the nominations are evenly spread and the winners are by no means a dead cert.

Before continuing, I feel that I must state which "award season" films I've unfortunately not yet had the chance to see. I'm listing these titles because there is a real chance that, had I seen them, they would be in contention on both my personal list and the list containing my predictions for the Academy Awards on February 25th. In alphabetical order, they are: Children of Men, The Good Shepherd, Half Nelson, Letters from Iwo Jima, Little Children and Pan's Labyrinth. Excluding these titles, I have seen every other film in the big award categories.

My Predictions for the 79th Annual Academy Awards
Best Picture - Little Miss Sunshine
Best Director - Paul Greengrass for United 93
Best Actor - Peter O'Toole for Venus
Best Actress - Dame Helen Mirren for The Queen
Best Supporting Actor - Eddie Murphy for Dreamgirls
Best Supporting Actress - Jennifer Hudson for Dreamgirls
Best Original Screenplay - Michael Arndt for Little Miss Sunshine
Best Adapted Screenplay - William Monahan for The Departed

My Personal Choices for the 79th Annual Academy Awards
Best Picture - The Departed
Best Director - Martin Scorsese for The Departed
Best Actor - Christian Bale for Harsh Times
Best Actress - Penélope Cruz for Volver
Best Supporting Actor - Djimon Hounsou for Blood Diamond
Best Supporting Actress - Rinko Kikucki for Babel
Best Original Screenplay - Guillermo Arriaga for Babel
Best Adapted Screenplay - Alan Bennett for The History Boys

I also want to draw attention to the supporting performances by Michael Sheen in The Queen (perfectly capturing Tony Blair not as an impression but as an inhabition), Jodie Whittaker in Venus (remarkably assured debut that holds its own magnificiently against O'Toole), William Hurt in The King (his physicality is extraordinary) and the entire cast of The History Boys. Kudos must also go to Daniel Craig's clinical and dark leading performance in Casino Royale, Dame Helen Mirren's astute embodiment of Her Majesty in The Queen and Michael Mann's kinetic direction in Miami Vice.

Edit: Having just rewatched The Departed on DVD, I now realise what an excellent achievement it is. My full review is coming soon but suffice to say that it's my best picture from 2006. My runner-up is The History Boys and Alejandro González Iñárritu's direction in Babel was the second most accomplished from 2006.

Last updated: 24/05/2018 02:47:06

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