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February 21, 2008 - Image 12

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The Michigan Daily, 2008-02-21

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4

4B - Thursday, February 21, 2008
OSCARS
From Page lB
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
"Atonement"
"Away from Her"
"Le Scaphandre et le Papillon" (a.k.a.
"The Diving Bell and the Butterfly")
"No Country for Old Men"
"There Will Be Blood"
Should Win: "No Country for Old Men"
Will Win: "No Country for Old Men"
As deeply contemplative and esoteric
as its source material (a novel by Cormac
McCarthy) and yet superb by every con-
ventional standard of drama, the Coen
Brothers' screenplay for "No Country
for Old Men" should emerge as a winner
from the tight race in the Best Adapted
Screenplay category. Featuring the three
most talked-about films at the awards
("Atonement," "No Country for Old Men"
and "There Will Be Blood" - all nomi-
nated for at least seven Oscars, including
Best Picture), this category could very
well be a preview of things to come later
in the night. The buzz for "There Will Be
Blood" is considerable, but "No Country
for Old Men" is the (slightly) more acces-
sible, easily appreciable choice between
two near-equals.

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

BEST PICTURE
"Atonement"
"Juno"
"Michael Clayton"
"No Country for Old Men"
"There Will Be Blood"
Should Win: "300" but I'll settle for "No
Country."
Will Win: "No Country," but watch out
for "Atonement."
We finally have a good selection to
choose from this year. That said, let's
start with "Juno." It's cute that it's nomi-
nated, but a travesty considering "Super-
bad," a true comic masterpiece that
doesn't feature the phrase "honest to
blog," also came out this year. Moving on
to real contenders ... "Michael Clayton"
is probably the most overlooked movie
of the year and won't win. "There Will
Be Blood" could take it, but Daniel Day
Lewis is that movie, so it'll be enough
when he wins Best Actor. "Atonement"
could be the sleeper to upset clear
favorite "No Country for Old Men," and
stranger upsets have occurred ("Crash"?
Seriously?).

"The Savages" - Tamara Jenkins
Will Win: "Juno" - Diablo Cody
Should Win: "The Savages" - Tamara
Jenkins
Say what you want about the greatness
of "Juno," but you have to acknowledge
the grating dialogue and the annoying-
ly ubiquitous plotline. "Juno" will win
because it will make the Academy seem
cool and progressive, but it bypasses one
of the most honest scripts in ages. "The
Savages" is bleak, true and more real
than all of its competitor's pseudo-hip-
ness and hamburger phone.
SARAHSCHWARTZ
BEST ACTRESS IN A
SUPPORTING ROLE
Cate Blanchett, "I'm Not There"
Ruby Dee, "American Gangster"
Saoirse Ronan, "Atonement"
Amy Ryan, "Gone Baby Gone"
Tilda Swinton, "Michael Clayton"
Should Win: Cate Blanchett
Will Win: Amy Ryan

MA\.ucu-Lts MUSIC

4

IMRANSYED

BEST DIRECTOR

Nominees:
Jason Reitman, "Juno"
Tony Gilroy "Michael Clayton"
Joel and Ethan Coen, "No Country for
Old Men"
Julian Schnabel, "The Diving Bell & the
Butterfly"
Paul Thomas Anderson, "There Will be
Blood"
Who Should Win: Joel and Ethan Coen
Who Will Win: Joel and Ethan Coen
It's great seeing first-time nominees
P.T. Anderson, Tony Gilroy and Jason
Reitman get a shot at the golden guy.
But they're all a tad green, and they can
return. Julian Schnabel's been gaining
momentum, and his cerebral opus "Div-
ing Bell" might just pull out an upset. But
it's the Coen brothers - like Scorsese last
year - who have been making too many
good films for too long to be ignored for
directing (and editing, for that matter).
As previous winners in screenwriting,
thesetwo displaytrue filmic competence
and craft in "No Country" that deserves
recognition.
BLAKE GOBLE

BEST ACTOR INA
ROLE
Casey Affleck - "T
of Jesse James byft
Ford"
Javier Bardem - "N
Men"
Philip Seymour Hoffr
son's War"
Hal Holbrook - "Into I
Tom Wilkinson - "Mic
Should Win: Javier Ba
Will Win: Javier Bard
It's been a goody
Bardem has already p
Globe and SAG Awar
of psychopathic assa
urh, and it's lookin
will carry him to t]
horse Casey "Ben's Br
Philip Seymour Hof
at Bardem's heels, bu
Spaniard's trophy to
can make a convincin
- while rocking thatI
nothing less.
BEST ORIGINAL S
"Juno" - Diablo Cody
"Lars and the Real Gii
"Michael Clayton"-I
"Ratatouille" - BradI

PAUL TASSI It's easy to look at Cate Blanchett's
portrayal of Jude Quinn - one of the
A SUPPORTING six personas of Bob Dylan - as gim-
micky. Cross-gender roles are often
easy targets for scrutiny. That said, she
rhe Assassination embodies the iconoclastic musician dur-
he Coward Robert ing one of his most
emotionally inaus-
o Country for Old picious periods,
combining director
nan - "Charlie Wil- Todd Haynes's
vision with
the Wild" her diverse
chael Clayton" abilities and
taking the
3rdem role to a new
em career pinna-
cle. Amy Ryan,
year for bad boys. however, play-
picked up a Golden ing a distraught
d for his portrayal mother and drug
assin Anton Chig- dealer, doesn't
g like momentum go without merit.
he big win. Dark- Her accent and
other" Affleck and demeanor are
fman are nipping authentically
it this is really the South Bostonian.
lose. Anyone that With her recogni-
gly terrifying killer tion as a gifted new-
haircut - deserves comer, she
may take
ANNIELEVENE the statue.
NOAH
CREENPLAY DEAN
STAHL
rl"- Nancy Oliver
Tony Gilroy
Bird

By DAVID WATNICK
Daily Arts Writer
It's the anti-Christmas. No, not Hanuk-
kah, but good guess. It's at winter's opposite
end, when the evil merchant of feeling-like-
shit swoops into the lives of the unlucky
and gives them the gifts of high fever, chills,
nausea, aches, pains, congestion and aca-
demic apathy. It's flu season, and it's now
upon us. Those lionhearted enough to forgo
a pre-season flu shot now sit alert, await-
ing the pathogens preparing to invade and
test the resolve of their immune system. My
membership in this gallant category was
brief and unglorified. I fell to the flu in the
first wave last week. I was arrogantly cava-
lier, and I paid for it. My fault for not getting
the vaccine.
Anyway, I woke up last Tuesday feeling
like I had been run over by a train. After
pathetically crawling out of bed, I decided
I needed a soundtrack to contemplate how
bad I really felt as I laid at home all day. But
when I browsed through iTunes, I felt so
awful that nothing looked appealing.
There's music for every situation, but in
the case of the flu, the list is pretty short.
Face it, no matter how big of a Stooges fan
you are, if you're sick enough, Fun House
will probably make you puke. After a week of
agony, I found a few albums suitable for this
compromised condition.
Belle and Sebastian: If You're Feeling Sin-
ister
Perhaps the prototypical sick-day album.
Not that you're having any problem remain-
ing immobile, but for clich6's sake, sit back,
relax and allow yourself to be engulfed in
its overwhelming melancholy. Stuart Mur-
doch's melodies are sweet enough to soothe
but never overly optimistic, which is good
because you don't exactly have anything to
look forward to in the next few days. The
understated, mostly acoustic arrangements
create a gentle ambience that won't com-
pound your headache. Sure it's a bit woe-is-
me in places, but hey, woe is you. Suck it up
and start feeling "good" about feelingbad.
Galaxie 500: On Fire
Any Galaxie 500 record could fit here, but
On Fire earns the nod because it's the best.
Saturated in reverb, the guitars and bass
buoy a cloud that invites you to jump on and
float away into ache-less bliss. Underneath
it all, a soggy organ washes in to fill out
the three-chord, major-key progressions.
The ethereal vocals carry simple, gorgeous
melodies and always remain distant enough

to let you fall back asleep. Dean Wareham
often closes the songs with extra verses of
bluesy guitar soloing, a revitalizing shot in
the arm if you're trying to shake your mala-
dy and start being productive.
Radiohead: Amnesiac
Sure it's Radiohead, so it's great, but it's
actually poignant here. If it's possible to
"enhance" the experience of being sick, this
is the album that can do it. Embrace your
disoriented malaise by drifting down this
gloomy river and plunging to the depths of
despair in Thom Yorke's fractured dysto-
pian nightmare. The trance beats left over
from Kid A will leave you hypnotized, as
will the indecipherable mumbled vocals.
Your journey to the center of confusion
will peak with "Morning Bell," when the
golden chimes underpinning Yorke's rising
chorus pleas will give you the "release" that
he desperately begs for. From there, recede
into the disarray and ride it out to the jazzy
fade.
Grateful Dead: Europe '72
I know what you're thinking: "Youexpect
me to drop acid and listen to this hippie hoe-
down shit when I'm sick?" Wellthe acid's up
to you, but hippie shit it's not. At the zenith
of their live prowess, the Dead turn in some
of their tightest and sunniest material ever
with the melodic rockers that populate the
first few sides of this triple-LP. Jerry Gar-
cia's jubilant soloing is smile-turning, and
Robert Hunter's American folktale lyrics
evoke a warm nostalgia even if you've never
heard the songs or their stories before. If
that's all too stimulating, flip on the second
and third sides and zen out to the tranquil-
izing guitar jams. If your spiking fever has
you hallucinating, this album will do it.
Jim O'Rourke: Bad Timing
With only four instrumental tracks
over the course of 44 minutes, it's like a
jazz album without the jazz. If you're still
depleted, resign to bed, turn off your mind
and wallow in its endless, therapeutic, sonic
waters. Or, if your self-imposed bedroom
quarantine has you hopelessly bored, spin
it on repeat and pick apart the instrumen-
tal nuances emerging from the mix in the
perpetually morphing movements. Don't
worry, the corrosive experimental edginess
that O'Rourke dabbled in with Sonic Youth
is just a far-off memory. Here, the only thing
experimental is the challenging structure,
as he opts for acoustic guitars and pianos;
just what you need. Easy to listen to, but
never easy listening.

I
I
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