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Home > Movies > Report

Can a $3 million film win Best Picture?

Arthur J Pais in New York | January 22, 2008 23:24 IST
Last Updated: January 23, 2008 12:31 IST

Shekhar Kapur once again brought luck to Kate Blanchett who received one of her two Oscar nominations for his historical drama Elizabeth: The Golden Age. She was also nominated  in the supporting actress category for playing one of Bob Dylan's avatars in  I'm Not There.

The announcements made in Los Angeles Tuesday morning saw No Country for Old Men getting eight but the big surprise was the  same number of nominations for the much acclaimed There Will Be Blood which was expected to pocket three or four noms. Both films were nominated in the best picture categories.

In the best director's category which has Ethan and Joel Coen (No Country for Old Men), and Paul Thomas Anderson (There Will Be Blood), there were three relatively new directors getting the nominations ---Julian Schnabel (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly), Jason Reitman (Juno) and Tony Gilroy (Michael Clayton).

The nominations will give a big boost to the multi-nomination films particularly Juno which, like  There Will Be Blood, Atonement and No Country For Old  Men, is starting its foreign run within a few days. There Will Be Blood, which is in some 400 theaters in North America, could be playing in 1000 this Friday given its strong performance at the nominations. The emotional sagas centering on a pregnant female teen, Juno which has also been nominated for best movie, has already grossed an impressive $85 million in North America. Whether it gets the crown or not, it could still end its run with about $150 million in North America alone, a mighty gain for a film that hardly cost $10 million (some say it cost just about $3 million)

The announcements offered a slate of surprises, the biggest being the Tommy Lee Jones nomination in the best actor category for his performance in the anti-war drama In the Valley of Elah in which he plays a father searching for son who disappears after returning from the combat in Iraq. Jones was widely expected to be nominated in the supporting actor's category for playing the dour but conscientious police officer in the hit film No Country for Old Men which has taken some $48 million in North America.  On the other hand, In the Valley of Elah, made just about $8 million. Javier Bardem, who plays the relentlessly focused killer in No Country for Old Men, was nominated in the supporting actor category.

Among the critically acclaimed and popular films which were stiffed are Simpson the Movie and The Bourne Ultimatum.

While Atonement received seven nominations including in the best picture category many must have been surprised with the same number of noms including a best director nom for Michael Clayton.

A drama of corporate corruption and skullduggery, Michael Clayton was a critics' favorite and did reasonably good business, $40 million in North America, for a film costing about $45 million. But not many had expected it to get as many nominations as the British sentimental drama Atonement.

Michael Clayton's nominations include  best actor nod for George Clooney [Images] in the title role. Expecting major nominations for the film, Warner Bros planned a re-launch for it across  North America this week.

Talking of Oscar nominations snubs, there were several glaring ones : Angelina Jolie [Images] in A Mighty Heart, and  Keira Knightley [Images] and James McAvoy in Atonement, which managed to get one acting nomination in the acting category --- for Saoirse Ronin.

The acting categories had a few surprises, apart from the snubs; the  best actress nomination for Laura Linney's work in  The Savages must have raised a few eyebrows. She is a brilliant actress but the film has had very small run and had grossed about $2 million.

Best actress competitors are: Julie Christie, an Oscar winner for Darling, as a woman trapped by Alzheimer's in Away From Her and Marion Cotillard as the tragic French singer Edith Piaf in La Vie En Rose

Ellen Page [Images], another nominee, plays  a street-smart pregnant teen in Juno . She is one of the few acclaimed actresses among the relative newcomers.

While Daniel Day-Lewis, an Oscar winner for My Left Foot, grabbed another best-actor nomination as a flamboyant and ruthless  oil baron in There Will Be Blood, Johnny Depp [Images] was recognized as the murderous barber in the musical Sweeney Todd.

Viggo Mortensen, who plays a mysterious Russian mobster  Eastern Promises, was also nominated.