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‘No Country’ and ‘There Will Be Blood’ Lead Oscars

January 22, 2008

The Joel and Ethan Coen-penned "No Country For Old Men," about the ruthless aftermath of a botched drug deal, and "There Will Be Blood," starring Daniel Day-Lewis as a scheming oil man in an epic about American capitalism, took the lead in the Oscar race with eight nominations each, including best picture and best director.

Meanwhile, "Michael Clayton," a throwback thriller to the 1970s, starring George Clooney as a corporate fixer, received seven nominations, including nods for best picture, best screenplay (by WGAE member Tony Gilroy), best actor (Clooney) and best supporting actress (Tilda Swinton). "Atonement," the adaptation of Ian McEwan's time-shifting, betrayal-filled novel, also captured seven nominations, including for best picture and best supporting actress (Saoirse Ronan).

Unlike last year, when flashy mainstream hits like "The Departed," "Dreamgirls" and "Little Miss Sunshine" dominated, the 2008 Oscar race swings back toward critic-driven films. Many of the movies that received multiple nominations feature dark themes and unconventional endings that, for the most part, have failed to attract broad audiences.

Even the Warner Brothers picture "Michael Clayton," which had the only budget of any consequence among the best-picture nominees, has only sold $39 million in tickets at North American theaters.

All but shut out from the key categories were "American Gangster," the Universal Pictures blockbuster about a Harlem heroin kingpin, and "Into the Wild," a story about a boy's journey to a remote corner of Alaska that was directed by Sean Penn. Each film received just one nomination in the major categories and two overall. Ruby Dee was nominated for best supporting actress in "American Gangster," and Hal Holbrook garnered a nod- his first - for best supporting actor in "Into the Wild."

One of the more upbeat films of the year and a hit - "Juno," the tale of a quirky teenager who gives her baby up for adoption - received four nominations, including best picture, best director, best actress and best original screenplay.

Still, many of the nominations were expected. Daniel Day-Lewis, whose fierce portrayal of an oil man in "There Will Be Blood" has already won him a wheelbarrow full of accolades, continued his march to the ultimate awards podium with a best actor nomination.

Julie Christie and Marion Cotillard, who won respective best actress plaudits at the Golden Globe Awards for playing an Alzheimer's victim in "Away From Her" and the singer Edith Piaf in "La Vie en Rose," will vie for the academy's top female acting honor.

One of the biggest questions about this year's Oscar race - how a continuing writers strike will affect the ceremony - went unanswered. Sid Ganis, president of the academy, did not address the matter during the nominations announcement. The academy has said it has contingency plans in case the writers' strike is not settled by the ceremony, scheduled for Feb. 24.

Best motion picture

"Atonement" (Focus Features) A Working Title Production: Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner and Paul Webster, Producers

"Juno" (Fox Searchlight) A Dancing Elk Pictures, LLC Production: Lianne Halfon, Mason Novick and Russell Smith, Producers

"Michael Clayton" (Warner Bros.) A Clayton Productions, LLC Production: Sydney Pollack, Jennifer Fox and Kerry Orent, Producers

"No Country for Old Men" (Miramax and Paramount Vantage) A Scott Rudin/Mike Zoss Production: Scott Rudin, Ethan Coen and Joel Coen, Producers

"There Will Be Blood" (Paramount Vantage and Miramax) A JoAnne Sellar/Ghoulardi Film Company Production: JoAnne Sellar, Paul Thomas Anderson and Daniel Lupi, Producers

Performance by an actress in a leading role

Cate Blanchett in "Elizabeth: The Golden Age" (Universal)

Julie Christie in "Away from Her" (Lionsgate)

Marion Cotillard in "La Vie en Rose" (Picturehouse)

Laura Linney in "The Savages" (Fox Searchlight)

Ellen Page in "Juno" (Fox Searchlight)

Performance by an actor in a leading role

George Clooney in "Michael Clayton" (Warner Bros.)

Daniel Day-Lewis in "There Will Be Blood" (Paramount Vantage and Miramax)

Johnny Depp in "Sweeney Todd The Demon Barber of Fleet Street" (DreamWorks and Warner Bros., Distributed by DreamWorks/Paramount)

Tommy Lee Jones in "In the Valley of Elah" (Warner Independent)

Viggo Mortensen in "Eastern Promises" (Focus Features)

Performance by an actor in a supporting role

Casey Affleck in "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford" (Warner Bros.)

Javier Bardem in "No Country for Old Men" (Miramax and Paramount Vantage)

Philip Seymour Hoffman in "Charlie Wilson's War" (Universal)

Hal Holbrook in "Into the Wild" (Paramount Vantage and River Road Entertainment)

Tom Wilkinson in "Michael Clayton" (Warner Bros.)

Achievement in directing

"The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" (Miramax/Pathé Renn), Julian Schnabel

"Juno" (Fox Searchlight), Jason Reitman

"Michael Clayton" (Warner Bros.), Tony Gilroy

"No Country for Old Men" (Miramax and Paramount Vantage), Joel Coen and Ethan Coen

"There Will Be Blood" (Paramount Vantage and Miramax), Paul Thomas Anderson

Performance by an actress in a supporting role

Cate Blanchett in "I'm Not There" (The Weinstein Company)

Ruby Dee in "American Gangster" (Universal)

Saoirse Ronan in "Atonement" (Focus Features)

Amy Ryan in "Gone Baby Gone" (Miramax)

Tilda Swinton in "Michael Clayton" (Warner Bros.)

Adapted screenplay

"Atonement" (Focus Features), Screenplay by Christopher Hampton

"Away from Her" (Lionsgate), Written by Sarah Polley

"The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" (Miramax/Pathé Renn), Screenplay by Ronald Harwood

"No Country for Old Men" (Miramax and Paramount Vantage), Written for the screen by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen

"There Will Be Blood" (Paramount Vantage and Miramax), Written for the screen by Paul Thomas Anderson

Original screenplay

"Juno" (Fox Searchlight), Written by Diablo Cody

"Lars and the Real Girl" (MGM), Written by Nancy Oliver

"Michael Clayton" (Warner Bros.), Written by Tony Gilroy

"Ratatouille" (Walt Disney), Screenplay by Brad Bird; Story by Jan Pinkava, Jim Capobianco, Brad Bird

"The Savages" (Fox Searchlight), Written by Tamara Jenkins

Best animated feature film of the year

"Persepolis" (Sony Pictures Classics): Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud

"Ratatouille" (Walt Disney): Brad Bird

"Surf's Up" (Sony Pictures Releasing): Ash Brannon and Chris Buck

Best foreign language film

"Beaufort" Israel

"The Counterfeiters" Austria

"Katyn" Poland

"Mongol" Kazakhstan

"12″ Russia

Achievement in art direction

"American Gangster" (Universal): Art Direction: Arthur Max; Set Decoration: Beth A. Rubino

"Atonement" (Focus Features): Art Direction: Sarah Greenwood; Set Decoration: Katie Spencer

"The Golden Compass" (New Line in association with Ingenious Film Partners): Art Direction: Dennis Gassner; Set Decoration: Anna Pinnock

"Sweeney Todd The Demon Barber of Fleet Street" (DreamWorks and Warner Bros., Distributed by DreamWorks/Paramount): Art Direction: Dante Ferretti; Set Decoration: Francesca Lo Schiavo

"There Will Be Blood" (Paramount Vantage and Miramax): Art Direction: Jack Fisk; Set Decoration: Jim Erickson

Achievement in cinematography

"The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford" (Warner Bros.): Roger Deakins

"Atonement" (Focus Features): Seamus McGarvey

"The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" (Miramax/Pathé Renn): Janusz Kaminski

"No Country for Old Men" (Miramax and Paramount Vantage): Roger Deakins

"There Will Be Blood" (Paramount Vantage and Miramax): Robert Elswit

Achievement in costume design

"Across the Universe" (Sony Pictures Releasing) Albert Wolsky

"Atonement" (Focus Features) Jacqueline Durran

"Elizabeth: The Golden Age" (Universal) Alexandra Byrne

"La Vie en Rose" (Picturehouse) Marit Allen

"Sweeney Todd The Demon Barber of Fleet Street" (DreamWorks and Warner Bros., Distributed by DreamWorks/Paramount) Colleen Atwood

Best documentary feature

"No End in Sight" (Magnolia Pictures) A Representational Pictures Production: Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs

"Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience" (The Documentary Group) A Documentary Group Production: Richard E. Robbins

"Sicko" (Lionsgate and The Weinstein Company) A Dog Eat Dog Films Production: Michael Moore and Meghan O'Hara

"Taxi to the Dark Side" (THINKFilm) An X-Ray Production: Alex Gibney and Eva Orner

"War/Dance" (THINKFilm) A Shine Global and Fine Films Production: Andrea Nix Fine and Sean Fine

Best documentary short subject

"Freeheld" A Lieutenant Films Production: Cynthia Wade and Vanessa Roth

"La Corona (The Crown)" A Runaway Films and Vega Films Production: Amanda Micheli and Isabel Vega

"Salim Baba" A Ropa Vieja Films and Paradox Smoke Production: Tim Sternberg and Francisco Bello

"Sari's Mother" (Cinema Guild) A Daylight Factory Production: James Longley

Achievement in film editing

"The Bourne Ultimatum" (Universal): Christopher Rouse

"The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" (Miramax/Pathé Renn): Juliette Welfling

"Into the Wild" (Paramount Vantage and River Road Entertainment): Jay Cassidy

"No Country for Old Men" (Miramax and Paramount Vantage) Roderick Jaynes

"There Will Be Blood" (Paramount Vantage and Miramax): Dylan Tichenor

Achievement in makeup

"La Vie en Rose" (Picturehouse) Didier Lavergne and Jan Archibald

"Norbit" (DreamWorks, Distributed by Paramount): Rick Baker and Kazuhiro Tsuji

"Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End" (Walt Disney): Ve Neill and Martin Samuel

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original score)

"Atonement" (Focus Features) Dario Marianelli

"The Kite Runner" (DreamWorks, Sidney Kimmel Entertainment and Participant Productions, Distributed by Paramount Classics): Alberto Iglesias

"Michael Clayton" (Warner Bros.) James Newton Howard

"Ratatouille" (Walt Disney) Michael Giacchino

"3:10 to Yuma" (Lionsgate) Marco Beltrami

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song)

"Falling Slowly" from "Once" (Fox Searchlight) Music and Lyric by Glen Hansard and: Marketa Irglova

"Happy Working Song" from "Enchanted" (Walt Disney): Music by Alan Menken; Lyric by Stephen Schwartz

"Raise It Up" from "August Rush" (Warner Bros.): Nominees to be determined

"So Close" from "Enchanted" (Walt Disney): Music by Alan Menken; Lyric by Stephen Schwartz

"That's How You Know" from "Enchanted" (Walt Disney): Music by Alan Menken; Lyric by Stephen Schwartz

Best animated short film

"I Met the Walrus" A Kids & Explosions Production: Josh Raskin

"Madame Tutli-Putli" (National Film Board of Canada) A National Film Board of Canada Production Chris Lavis and Maciek Szczerbowski "Même Les Pigeons Vont au Paradis (Even Pigeons Go to Heaven)" (Premium Films) A BUF Compagnie Production Samuel Tourneux and Simon Vanesse

"My Love (Moya Lyubov)" (Channel One Russia) A Dago-Film Studio, Channel One Russia and Dentsu Tec Production Alexander Petrov

"Peter & the Wolf" (BreakThru Films) A BreakThru Films/Se-ma-for Studios Production Suzie Templeton and Hugh Welchman

Best live action short film

"At Night" A Zentropa Entertainments 10 Production: Christian E. Christiansen and Louise Vesth

"Il Supplente (The Substitute)" (Sky Cinema Italia) A Frame by Frame Italia Production: Andrea Jublin

"Le Mozart des Pickpockets (The Mozart of Pickpockets)" (Premium Films) A Karé Production: Philippe Pollet-Villard

"Tanghi Argentini" (Premium Films) An Another Dimension of an Idea Production: Guido Thys and Anja Daelemans

"The Tonto Woman" A Knucklehead, Little Mo and Rose Hackney Barber Production: Daniel Barber and Matthew Brown

Achievement in sound editing

"The Bourne Ultimatum" (Universal): Karen Baker Landers and Per Hallberg

"No Country for Old Men" (Miramax and Paramount Vantage): Skip Lievsay

"Ratatouille" (Walt Disney): Randy Thom and Michael Silvers

"There Will Be Blood" (Paramount Vantage and Miramax): Matthew Wood

"Transformers" (DreamWorks and Paramount in association with Hasbro): Ethan Van der Ryn and Mike Hopkins

Achievement in sound mixing

"The Bourne Ultimatum" (Universal) Scott Millan, David Parker and Kirk Francis

"No Country for Old Men" (Miramax and Paramount Vantage): Skip Lievsay, Craig Berkey, Greg Orloff and Peter Kurland

"Ratatouille" (Walt Disney): Randy Thom, Michael Semanick and Doc Kane

"3:10 to Yuma" (Lionsgate): Paul Massey, David Giammarco and Jim Stuebe

"Transformers" (DreamWorks and Paramount in association with Hasbro): Kevin O'Connell, Greg P. Russell and Peter J. Devlin

Achievement in visual effects

"The Golden Compass" (New Line in association with Ingenious Film Partners): Michael Fink, Bill Westenhofer, Ben Morris and Trevor Wood

"Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End" (Walt Disney): John Knoll, Hal Hickel, Charles Gibson and John Frazier

"Transformers" (DreamWorks and Paramount in association with Hasbro): Scott Farrar, Scott Benza, Russell Earl and John Frazier


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