I don’t mean to speak for Ed here, but this wouldn’t be the first time we’ve started pulling back and rethinking the momentum of our day-by-day Oscar-winner forecasts, especially as the winds of buzz begin to drift during the last week before the telecast (if for no other reason than Oscar addicts, even in this shortened Oscar season calendar, do begin to resent the steady flood of critics’ and guild awards turning a wide-open race into a dutiful coronation of predestined winners). Last year saw me mistakenly picking The Queen for Original Screenplay before realizing, too late in the game, that Little Miss Sunshine would clearly sass its way to a win. Conversely, Entertainment Weekly this year is apparently going through some last-minute soul searching of its own as it puts Michael Clayton in strong runner-up positions in nearly every one of its main categories. As much as we don’t respect that decision or, really, just about any decision in EW, we gotta say we can relate. Case in point: At this point where we have to wonder whether No Country for Old Men is really the sort of contender that wins as many awards as we have it down for now. It’s hard to see it keeping company with Titanic and The English Patient—the coattails for a movie like No Country can only trail so far, right? Two movies to consider here might be American Beauty and Million Dollar Baby, both of which managed to snatch Best Picture on a plurality rather than as a result of the widespread support one would recognize by the bloated “Winner of 8 ... 9 ... 10 Academy Awards!” totals of yore. Neither won Best Editing, which has often been touted as the secret bellwether of the eventual Best Picture winner for as long as people made it a business to prognosticate the Oscars. Instead, the statuettes went to, respectively, The Matrix and The Aviator. Call us chicken or tell us we’re overthinking it, but we could easily see the razor-sharp but often invisible cutting of No Country making way for another Bourne Ultimatum win. The American Cinema Editors certainly did, as they did previously for…The Matrix and The Aviator.
Will Win: The Bourne Ultimatum
Should Win: No Country for Old Men