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Friday, February 22, 2008

Ryan Predicts Academy Award Winners

Hi, this is Ryan Michaels, an 11-year-old from Ann Arbor, reporting on the 80th annual Academy Awards for The Saline Reporter and Milan News-Leader. Recently, the writers strike threatened the being of the ceremony, but thankfully it ceased. So now that the ceremony is on for good, we may casually talk about it. I have screened the nominees for the Oscars, and here are my takes on them:

Atonement is an amazing film, because of the acting, acting, script, production value, twist ending and, of course, the green dress Keira Knightley wears. And the infamous shot of Dunkirk Beach.

The Plot: A lie told by a young girl destroys three lives…

The Best Part: The amazing sequence at Dunkirk Beach, although the shocker of an ending is effective, too.

Its Chances: Despite my love of it, I simply don’t think it stands up against the other main contenders. Although, a shocker of a win wouldn’t make me upset.

Juno is a whip-smart, uplifting, gut-bustlingly funny movie that’s kind of like the Little Miss Sunshine of this year. Except better.

The Plot: A sarcastic, whip-smart teenager gets pregnant, and deals with the results in her own unique way.

The Best Part: The meeting between Juno and her father. Hilarious, yet moving.

Its Chances: Well, No Country has the best chances, but Juno is kind of the dark horse, and a win is not unrealistic at all.

Michael Clayton is a classy, adult thriller with big legal talk, and to be perfectly honest, I understood about 75 percent of the dialouge. Hey, forgive me for not knowing a litigating firm at age 11! But the performances and the great dialouge pushes it forward.

The Plot: A burnout lawyer stumbles upon a case with deadly consequences.

The Best Part: The last shot of the movie. Haunting, yet says much about the main character without a word spoken.

Its Chances: Of the five, in my opinion this is the weakest film. They are all great in their own way, but I truly don’t think it has the power.

No Country for Old Men will rock you, creep you, and make you laugh. It will move you and disturb you. It will make you think about the moral choices. But two hints. Don’t complain about the ending. And peek through your eyes during…Well, any scene with Javier Bardem.

The Plot: A poor farmer stumbles upon $2 million. Chaos ensues, including that of a ruthless bounty hunter and an experienced sheriff.

The Best Part: The tense standoff with the sheriff. People who have seen the movie, you know what I mean.

Its Chances: It has been the front-runner, picking up just about every major award. It’s not my personal favorite of the year, but will most likely win.

There Will Be Blood is an American masterpiece, up with the likes of Citizen Kane and The Godfather. No other film this year deserves to be uttered in the same breath. Seeing Daniel Day-Lewis’ tour-de-force performance, and Paul Thomas Anderson’s sweeping direction honestly haunted me. And also, Jonny Greenwood’s AMAZING score serves as an, almost an emotion in the film itself. Don’t miss it.

The Plot: The story of a demented oilman and his battle of wits with a charismatic priest.

The Best Part: Daniel Day-Lewis’ performance, among the very finest of all time.

Its Chances: My personal pick for the best pick of the year, but it’s likely too offbeat for the Academy. Plus, Day-Lewis is guaranteed a win for Best Actor.

I personally would be satisfied if No Country garnered a win, which is very likely. However, I think it’s a very open-race, and anything can happen. But…

My Prediction: No Country for Old Men

My Preference: There Will Be Blood

What are your predictions?

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