Every year on Academy Awards weekend, NPR's Weekend Edition runs a great little segment in which film music expert Andy Trudeau analyzes the Oscar nominees for best original score (Click here for a webpage on the piece and audio link to it). Stay with it until the end, because his discussion of Michael Giacchino's soundtrack to Ratatouille and Marco Beltrami's 3:10 to Yuma are particularly fun, and the whole thing is a great analysis of how composers think about film.
Trudeau also gets into the Academy's wrongheaded new rule -- No way! A wrongheaded rule from the Academy?! -- that studios couldn't send voters sountrack albums of nominated scores. The Academy wants voters to consider the scores in the context of the movies they were written for. Fair. But Trudeau correctly asserts that great movie music should be able to stand on its own.
Last night, Film Independent's Spirit Awards provided their annual Oscars prelude, with best picture Oscar nominee Juno taking the Spirit's top prize. Lexington resident Steve Zahn, unfortunately, did not pick up the best supporting male actor prize for Rescue Dawn. Chiwetel Ejiofor won for Talk to Me. Click here for the list of winners.
I had a few folks tell me they couldn't make our Oscar Picks slide show work at LexGo, so here, for the record, are my picks for who will and should win tonight:
Will: No Country for Old Men -- Looks inevitable
Should: Michael Clayton -- Really, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly was the best picture, but among the choices given . . .
Will: Daniel Day-Lewis, There Will Be Blood -- One of those performances for the ages . . .
Should: Daniel Day-Lewis, There Will Be Blood
Will: Marion Cotillard, La Vie en Rose -- From what I've been reading, she'd been campaigning for the award, and is good at it, so maybe she'll upset Julie Christie.
Should: Marion Cotillard, La Vie en Rose -- Campaign or not, this was one of those great full-immersion performances.
Best Supporting Actor
Will: Javier Bardem, No Country for Old Men -- Mortal lock.
Should: Tom Wilkinson, Michael Clayton -- Every scene he was in was riveting.
Best Supporting Actress
Will: Amy Ryan, Gone Baby Gone -- Iffy bet here that she'll turn her awards season fortunes around tonight. David Denby had a funny comment on Charlie Rose that critics liked her for playing, "A mouthy skank."
Should: Cate Blanchette, I'm Not There -- She was a rock star.
Will: Joel and Ethan Coen, No Country for Old Men -- No longer, "those weird guys . . . "
Should: Julian Schnabel, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly -- If you truly regard filmmaking as art, award this artist. He also made the best picture of the year.
Reminder: I will be blogging the Oscars tonight, logging in around 8 p.m. So, please join me and please comment.