Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Oscar Nominations Today

If it wouldn't have been disrespectful of Dr. King, I would have titled this post "Free At Last."

Monday at 3:00 PM, I saw my left hand for the first time in 68 days. It was swollen and flaking; it felt tender and stiff; it was the most beautiful sight I'd seen in . . . well, 68 days.

When my surgeon saw the blister the cast had rubbed on my left thumb, he didn't even argue removing it. I offered to wear a new cast for another two weeks. Before deciding, he X-rayed the hand, showed me the five tiny screws and metal plate he'd installed and manipulated my fingers, sending me to my knees in pain.

He decided he didn't want to put a new cast on it. It's time for me to begin working the hand before it gets so stiff, I'll have serious difficulty regaining use of it. So, for the next month, I'm to exercise it. If I don't have full use by the time of my next visit, I'll have to go into rehab.

Six hours ago, I tried typing with it. I couldn't do it. The fingers wouldn't stretch even the tiny distance required to use the keyboard.

Undeterred, I've been trying to type all evening and can finally write this using both hands--although nowhere near as fast as my usual typing speed. But I don't care. Not having to wrap it up to take a shower or having to look at that moldy old cast is worth almost any price.

It's that time again. Today the Oscar nominations will be announced. As I've done in previous years, I'm listing my suggestions for the top six awards.

Here we go:

Best Actor

  • Johnny Depp (Sweeney Todd)
  • Daniel Day-Lewis (There Will be Blood)
  • Viggo Mortensen (Eastern Promises)
  • Philip Seymour Hoffman (The Savages)
  • Denzel Washington (The Great Debaters)

I think George Clooney will be nominated for Michael Clayton, but I replaced him with Viggo Mortensen because I really liked Eastern Promises and thought Viggo should have gotten the nomination for History of Violence in 2005.

I was one of the few people who did not like American Gangster. I had such high hopes for it, but thought it was badly paced. However, I think it likely that Denzel Washington will be nominated for the film. I preferred his performance in The Great Debaters so listed him for that.

Ryan Gosling got passed over last year for Half Nelson. He may snag a nomination this year for Lars and the Real Girl.

UPDATE AT 8:25 AM: I missed two here, but I'm not crying. Viggo got the nomination I wanted him to have. George Clooney WAS nominated along with Tommy Lee Jones, whom I had pegged as a Best Supporting Actor. Denzel Washington and Philip Seymour Hoffman were not named.

Best Actress

  • Julie Christie (Away From Her)
  • Marion Cotillard (La Vie en Rose)
  • Keira Knightley (Atonement)
  • Laura Linney (The Savages)
  • Ellen Page (Juno)

In 2005, Keira Knightley was nominated for Pride and Prejudice. She lost out to Reese Witherspoon as June Carter Cash. That same year, Amy Adams was nominated for Best Supporting Actress for Junebug. She lost out to Rachel Weisz. My bet is that Knightley and Adams will battle it out for the last nomination slot for Best Actress this year. I'll confess I was not an Atonement fan, but since I'm not nominating it for Best Picture, I'll give this slot to Knightley.

UPDATE at 8:25 AM: I missed one here. Cate Blanchett in Elizabeth: The Golden Age grabbed that final slot I gave to Keira Knightley.

Best Supporting Actor

  • Casey Affleck (The Assassination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford)
  • Javier Bardem (No Country For Old Men)
  • Philip Seymour Hoffman (Charlie Wilson's War)
  • Tommy Lee Jones (No Country For Old Men)
  • John Travolta (Hairspray)

Casey Affleck was lauded for his roles in two pictures in 2007: Gone Baby Gone and TAOJJBTCRF. I'm betting he'll get nominated for one of the two.

Tommy Lee Jones could be nominated for Best Actor for In The Valley of Elah. I think instead he'll get nominated as Best Supporting Actor for No Country.

Philip Seymour Hoffman won Best Actor for 2005's Capote. I think he's more likely to win the Best Supporting Actor nod this year for Charlie Wilson's War than he is to win a nomination for The Savages. I just really loved The Savages.

I wanted to nominate Josh Brolin for either American Gangster or No Country. I threw John Travolta in as a wild card instead.

UPDATE at 8:25 AM: Again, I missed two. Tommy Lee Jones was nominated for Best Actor instead of Best Supporting Actor and John Travolta wasn't nominated at all. Instead Hal Holbrook was nominated for Into the Wild. and Tom Wilkinson was nominated for Michael Clayton.

Best Supporting Actress

  • Cate Blanchett (I'm Not There)
  • Helena Bonham Carter (Sweeney Todd)
  • Ruby Dee (American Gangster)
  • Vanessa Redgrave (Atonement)
  • Amy Ryan (Gone Baby Gone)

Since I nominated Travolta for his gender-bending role, it seemed only fair to nominate Cate Blanchett for her role as Bob Dylan in I'm Not There.

I think Helena Bonham Carter will get passed over and that would be a shame. She did a terrific job in Sweeney Todd. She'll probably get snubbed in favor of Saoirse Ronin in Atonement.

UPDATE at 8:25 AM: Once more I missed two. I was right about Helena Bonham Carter getting passed over for Saoirse Ronin. Tilda Swinton in Michael Clayton edged out my pick of Vanessa Redgrave for Atonement.

I was delighted by Ruby Dee's nomination, the only one for American Gangster. Apparently the Academy agreed with my low estimation for that movie.

Best Director

  • Joel and Ethan Coen (No Country For Old Men)
  • David Cronenberg (Eastern Promises)
  • Paul Greengrass (The Bourne Ultimatum)
  • Ridley Scott (American Gangster)
  • Joe Wright (Atonement)

Okay, I know the odds are waayyy against Paul Greengrass and David Cronenberg, but here I went with my heart.

Since I snubbed American Gangster and Atonement in other categories, I balanced my choices here with those films.

UPDATE at 8:25 AM: Gina was right. I should have taken a look at the DGA nominations. I missed FOUR of the picks here. The only one I nailed was No Country For Old Men.

The nominations included Paul Thomas Anderson for There Will Be Blood, Tony Gilroy for Michael Clayton, Jason Reitman for Juno, and Julian Schnabel for The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.

Best Picture

  • Juno
  • No Country For Old Men
  • Sweeney Todd
  • The Savages
  • There Will Be Blood

I could have erred by not listing American Gangster or Atonement. I just didn't admire either film all that much. I was torn between Michael Clayton and There Will Be Blood. I went with the one most likely to be on the minds of the Academy voters.

UPDATE at 8:25 AM: Again, I missed two. Sweeney Todd and The Savages were edged out by Atonement and Michael Clayton.

Apparently the Academy voters didn't agree with me about Atonement. I KNOW how much they like those big sweeping historical sagas. I do, too, sometimes. Just not this year.


Gina Black said...

Congratulations on the joyous reunion with your left hand!

My DH had surgery on his (he has something called Dupuytren's Contractures) and he not only had weeks and weeks of PT afterwards but it was at a place that specialized in hands. They had gizmos--like doorknobs you could twist endlessly--and things to help strengthen. Then the DD and I taught him how to knit and he's been knitting ever since.

I haven't seen enough films this year to even hazard a guess, except I will comment that as far as the gender bending award goes, I think they should give it to Robert De Niro for Stardust. I really enjoyed that film and he was wonderful.

Also, as to the Best Director award, the academy nominees almost match the DGA nominees film for film, and this year those films are:

JOEL COEN & ETHAN COEN, No Country For Old Men
TONY GILROY, Michael Clayton
SEAN PENN, Into The Wild
JULIAN SCHNABEL, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

So let's see what the academy does this year.

Maya Reynolds said...

Thanks, Gina. The wife of one of my good friends is a PT specialist and she says I'm going to have to have rehab, too. I'm just hoping I can work the hand enough to avoid it. When I did rehab on my knee last year three times a week, it interfered with my life something fierce.

Well, hell, according to the DGA Awards, I'm out in left field. It won't be the first time. Thanks.

Church Lady said...

Do they (the doctors) recommend any vitamin/herbal supplements to aid in recovery? I really believe in this (as a supplement to traditional Western medicine, not as an alternative)

I still remember the feeling of having my leg cast removed in the 6th grade. I remember every sensation and emotion.
Good luck for your speedy recovery.

Maya Reynolds said...

CL: No, my surgeon is from Somalia. He's strictly a construction worker--but a seriously talented one.

Can you recommend any vitamins or herbal supplements? I take a daily all-round vitamin, but that's it right now. I'd be pleased to have your recommendation.

The Anti-Wife said...

No cast! Good for you! When my friend had hand surgery, the Dr. started her out by having her squeeze a rubber ball (not too hard - like those stress reliever toys)several times a day until her hand was strong and flexible enough to do more strenuous exercises. Then she went into PT. Start with one about the size of a softball or bigger if closing your hand is a problem.

Maya Reynolds said...

AW: What a great idea. I have a box of new tennis balls in the garage. No, I don't play. They're part of the legacy my dogs Lucy and Molly left me. I've kept the balls, knowing I'd get another dog eventually. I'll go get one right now. Thanks.

I keep going over to your website and checking for your six random things. [grin]

Church Lady said...

I wouldn't even pretend to have recommendations. I really hoped your doctor would. But I do think that what you put into your body is extremely important, especially when you're healing. (sorry to sound preachy.)

*off to read your Yahoo post

Maya Reynolds said...

CL: Well, I'm doing an all-around vitamin plus extra C and E for healing right now. I'm really pleased with the surgery scar. It looks terrific.