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Cate Blanchett looks to win her second

Our SheKnows Entertainment Editor has had his finger on the film pulse for over a decade and now it's time for that knowledge to be shared before the big broadcast.

 

Ladies and gentlemen, the envelopes please for the February 24 ABC broadcast:

 

Performance by an actress in a supporting role:
Cate Blanchett in "I'm Not There"
Ruby Dee in "American Gangster"
Saoirse Ronan in "Atonement"
Amy Ryan in "Gone Baby Gone"
Tilda Swinton in "Michael Clayton"

Bob Dylan is in the Oscar house. Watch for Cate Blanchett to take the award for playing a man. Hardly a stretch in Oscar history, hello "Tootsie," but Blanchett's turn as the folk/rock legend is one for the ages. Looking for an upset: Ruby Dee in "American Gangster."

Performance by an actor in a supporting role:
Casey Affleck in "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford"
Javier Bardem in "No Country for Old Men"
Philip Seymour Hoffman in "Charlie Wilson's War"
Hal Holbrook in "Into the Wild"
Tom Wilkinson in "Michael Clayton"

Javier Bardem will scare up enough Oscar votes to actually make this one a landslide. Bardem has swept the award season thus far for his portrayal of a killer.

Performance by an actor in a leading role:
George Clooney in "Michael Clayton"
Daniel Day-Lewis in "There Will Be Blood"
Johnny Depp in "Sweeney Todd The Demon Barber of Fleet Street"
Tommy Lee Jones in "In the Valley of Elah"
Viggo Mortensen in "Eastern Promises"

 

Day-Lewis is a lock to win his next Oscar for his steely portrayal of an oil man. Although he should win, Viggo Mortensen's turn in "Eastern Promises" deserves its attention.

 

Performance by an actress in a leading role:
Cate Blanchett in "Elizabeth: The Golden Age"
Julie Christie in "Away from Her"
Marion Cotillard in "La Vie en Rose"
Laura Linney in "The Savages"
Ellen Page in "Juno"

 

Oscar loves to reward careers and unlike Lauren Bacall's snub a decade ago, this one will go to Julie Christie who first charmed audiences opposite Warren Beatty in "Shampoo" and will be thanking Hollywood for a lifetime of work come Oscar night.

Atonement paints a pictureAchievement in art direction
"American Gangster": Art Direction: Arthur Max; Set Decoration: Beth A. Rubino
"Atonement" : Art Direction: Sarah Greenwood; Set Decoration: Katie Spencer
"The Golden Compass": Art Direction: Dennis Gassner; Set Decoration: Anna Pinnock
"Sweeney Todd The Demon Barber of Fleet Street": Art Direction: Dante Ferretti; Set Decoration: Francesca Lo Schiavo
"There Will Be Blood": Art Direction: Jack Fisk; Set Decoration: Jim Erickson

 

"Atonement's" glorious hues deserve the gold for their role in defining the instant classic. Although the other nominees painted a stellar cinematic picture, Oscar will want to reward "Atonement" for its other categories as it will not win Best Picture.

 

Achievement in cinematography
"The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford": Roger Deakins
"Atonement": Seamus McGarvey
"The Diving Bell and the Butterfly": Janusz Kaminski
"No Country for Old Men": Roger Deakins
"There Will Be Blood": Robert Elswit

 

The Coen Brothers' go-to cinematographer, Roger Deakins, should walk away with Oscar Sunday. If there is a picture to challenge Deakins for this award, it could be "There will Be Blood" with its dark as oil canvas.

 

Achievement in costume design
"Across the Universe": Albert Wolsky
"Atonement": Jacqueline Durran
"Elizabeth: The Golden Age": Alexandra Byrne
"La Vie en Rose": Marit Allen
"Sweeney Todd The Demon Barber of Fleet Street": Colleen Atwood

 

Sure those Elizabethean costumes are stunning and the color explosion of fabric that was "Across the Universe" is brilliant, but it will be hard to compete with the other-world nature of the costumes from the mind of Tim Burton's "Sweeney Todd."

 

It will be a big night for No CountryAchievement in directing
"The Diving Bell and the Butterfly," Julian Schnabel
"Juno," Jason Reitman
"Michael Clayton," Tony Gilroy
"No Country for Old Men" Joel Coen and Ethan Coen
"There Will Be Blood," Paul Thomas Anderson

 

Here's where we watch for the Best Picture indicator and the best directors of the bunch are the Coen brothers. Their film managed to bring ultra violence to audiences in a tender way. Something that is almost impossible to achieve. If they win this award, watch for their film to win as well. More often than not, the Best Director and Best Picture are partners.

 

Best documentary feature
"No End in Sight" A Representational Pictures Production: Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs

"Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience" A Documentary Group Production: Richard E. Robbins
"Sicko" A Dog Eat Dog Films Production: Michael Moore and Meghan O'Hara
"Taxi to the Dark Side" An X-Ray Production: Alex Gibney and Eva Orner
"War/Dance" A Shine Global and Fine Films Production: Andrea Nix Fine and Sean Fine

 

Watch for Oscar voters to reward the film that chronicles the headlines dominating the day. The documentary on the Iraq war is gripping and deserves every piece of its accolades.

 

Best documentary short subject
"Freeheld" A Lieutenant Films Production: Cynthia Wade and Vanessa Roth
"La Corona (The Crown)" A Runaway Films and Vega Films Production: Amanda Micheli and Isabel Vega
"Salim Baba" A Ropa Vieja Films and Paradox Smoke Production: Tim Sternberg and Francisco Bello
"Sari's Mother" (Cinema Guild) A Daylight Factory Production: James Longley

It is another Iraq-themed documentary and will be another victory for its filmmakers.

 

Achievement in film editing
"The Bourne Ultimatum": Christopher Rouse
"The Diving Bell and the Butterfly": Juliette Welfling
"Into the Wild": Jay Cassidy
"No Country for Old Men": Roderick Jaynes
"There Will Be Blood": Dylan Tichenor

 

Since this is "No Country's" night, the Best Picture could not have achieved that milestone without top-notch editing. Give another one to the family Coen.

 

The mouse will be cooking at the OscarsBest animated feature film of the year
"Persepolis": Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud
"Ratatouille": Brad Bird
"Surf's Up": Ash Brannon and Chris Buck

Although "Persepolis" should win for its haunting portrayal of life in the Middle East, the Oscar will go to "Ratatouille" in its entire rat as chef glory.

Best foreign language film of the year
"Beaufort" Israel
"The Counterfeiters" Austria
"Katyn" Poland
"Mongol" Kazakhstan
"12" Russia

 

Israel is thrilled to be featured at the Oscars this year. Their contribution, "Beaufort" is a beautiful piece of filmmaking of the highest caliber. Although "The Counterfeiters" is the favorite, watch for the Israelis to pull an upset.

 

Achievement in makeup
"La Vie en Rose" Didier Lavergne and Jan Archibald
"Norbit": Rick Baker and Kazuhiro Tsuji
"Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End": Ve Neill and Martin Samuel

 

A stunning achievement in makeup, "La Vie en Rose" also will probably win one of its only awards in this category.

 

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original score)
"Atonement" (Focus Features) Dario Marianelli
"The Kite Runner": Alberto Iglesias
"Michael Clayton": James Newton Howard
"Ratatouille": Michael Giacchino
"3:10 to Yuma:" Marco Beltrami

 

Another chance for the Academy to honor "Atonement" will surely occur in this category.

 

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song)
"Falling Slowly" from "Once," Music and Lyric by Glen Hansard and: Marketa Irglova
"Happy Working Song" from "Enchanted," Music by Alan Menken; Lyric by Stephen Schwartz
"Raise It Up" from "August Rush," Music and Lyric by Jamal Joseph, Charles Mack and Tevin Thomas
"So Close" from "Enchanted," Music by Alan Menken; Lyric by Stephen Schwartz
"That's How You Know" from "Enchanted," Music by Alan Menken; Lyric by Stephen Schwartz

 

There should have been more than one song nominated from the brilliant "Once," but since this is the one the Academy chose, look for it to win. All those Disney songs from "Enchanted" will cancel each other out and the charming duo from England will take the gold,

 

Best animated short film
"I Met the Walrus" A Kids & Explosions Production: Josh Raskin
"Madame Tutli-Putli" (National Film Board of Canada) A National Film Board of Canada Production Chris Lavis and Maciek Szczerbowski
"Même les Pigeons Vont au Paradis (Even Pigeons Go to Heaven)" (Premium Films) A BUF Compagnie Production Samuel Tourneux and Simon Vanesse
"My Love (Moya Lyubov)" (Channel One Russia) A Dago-Film Studio, Channel One Russia and Dentsu Tec Production Alexander Petrov
"Peter & the Wolf" (BreakThru Films) A BreakThru Films/Se-ma-for Studios Production Suzie Templeton and Hugh Welchman

 

Want animation that is pushing boundaries, visit the world of "Madame Tutli-Putli" and you have an Oscar winner.

 

Best live action short film
"At Night" A Zentropa Entertainments 10 Production: Christian E. Christiansen and Louise Vesth
"Il Supplente (The Substitute)" (Sky Cinema Italia) A Frame by Frame Italia Production: Andrea Jublin
"Le Mozart des Pickpockets (The Mozart of Pickpockets)" (Premium Films) A Karé Production: Philippe Pollet-Villard
"Tanghi Argentini" (Premium Films) An Another Dimension of an Idea Production: Guido Thys and Anja Daelemans
"The Tonto Woman" A Knucklehead, Little Mo and Rose Hackney Barber Production: Daniel Barber and Matthew Brown

 

The story of women in a cancer ward pulls at the heart strings and will charm Oscar voters.

 

Achievement in sound editing
"The Bourne Ultimatum": Karen Baker Landers and Per Hallberg
"No Country for Old Men": Skip Lievsay
"Ratatouille": Randy Thom and Michael Silvers
"There Will Be Blood": Christopher Scarabosio and Matthew Wood
"Transformers": Ethan Van der Ryn and Mike Hopkins

This and special effects are the categories where Oscar traditionally rewards the big summer movies.

 

Achievement in sound mixing
"The Bourne Ultimatum": Scott Millan, David Parker and Kirk Francis
"No Country for Old Men": Skip Lievsay, Craig Berkey, Greg Orloff and Peter Kurland
"Ratatouille": Randy Thom, Michael Semanick and Doc Kane
"3:10 to Yuma": Paul Massey, David Giammarco and Jim Stuebe
"Transformers": Kevin O'Connell, Greg P. Russell and Peter J. Devlin

 

See sound editing.

 

Achievement in visual effects
"The Golden Compass": Michael Fink, Bill Westenhofer, Ben Morris and Trevor Wood
"Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End": John Knoll, Hal Hickel, Charles Gibson and John Frazier
"Transformers": Scott Farrar, Scott Benza, Russell Earl and John Frazier

 

See sound mixing.

 

The year's best picture?Adapted screenplay
"Atonement," Screenplay by Christopher Hampton
"Away from Her," Written by Sarah Polley
"The Diving Bell and the Butterfly," Screenplay by Ronald Harwood
"No Country for Old Men," Written for the screen by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
"There Will Be Blood," Written for the screen by Paul Thomas Anderson

 

It's the Best Picture, so it has to have the best screenplay. Just a note: "Diving Bell" could pull an upset in this category.

 

Original screenplay
"Juno," Written by Diablo Cody
"Lars and the Real Girl," Written by Nancy Oliver
"Michael Clayton," Written by Tony Gilroy
"Ratatouille," Screenplay by Brad Bird; Story by Jan Pinkava, Jim Capobianco, Brad Bird
"The Savages," Written by Tamara Jenkins

 

The Academy's opportunity to reward the little movie that could and besides, it is a fantastic screenplay.

Best motion picture of the year
"Atonement" A Working Title Production: Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner and Paul Webster, Producers
"Juno" A Mandate Pictures/Mr. Mudd Production: Lianne Halfon, Mason Novick and Russell Smith, Producers
"Michael Clayton" A Clayton Productions, LLC Production: Sydney Pollack, Jennifer Fox and Kerry Orent, Producers
"No Country for Old Men" A Scott Rudin/Mike Zoss Production: Scott Rudin, Ethan Coen and Joel Coen, Producers
"There Will Be Blood" A JoAnne Sellar/Ghoulardi Film Company Production: JoAnne Sellar, Paul Thomas Anderson and Daniel Lupi, Producers

 

A sweeping epic is usually the Oscar fave, but on this evening, with the world at war watch for the Academy to reward the little story of a killer in Texas and a bag of money found by a bystander who should have walked away.

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