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Oscar Podcast Preview – When No Country for Old Men Couldn’t Lose

“He’s a psychopathic killer but so what.” “You seem like a man who wouldn’t want to waste a chair.” “If the road you followed has led you to this, of what use was the road?” “The coin ain’t got no say.” “I’m just looking for what’s coming.” “But you never see that. Beer. That’s what coming.” “That’s foolish. You pick the one right tool.” “Are you going to shoot me?” “That depends. Do you see me?” The pitch perfect Coen brothers masterpiece was one of those “too big to ignore” points in Oscar history where a career high meets overdue status meets making history. It couldn’t lose. The trick for anyone reading the race that year was realizing that. So many didn’t. They falsely believed that the ambiguous ending would count the film out, that Oscar voters would be too soft to recognize greatness when they saw it. So many didn’t understand the ending. They said things like “it ended so many times.” How silly it all seems now, looking back. Like Schindler’s List, The Departed, The Hurt Locker, and 12 Years a Slave the movie would have had to SUCK not to win. The lure of making history combined with cinematic greatness can’t be and will never be denied. Those who said No Country couldn’t win were falling into the trap many Oscar prognosticators fall into and that’s leading with why it can’t win versus why it can. This was the dilemma last year when Gravity had that “it can’t win” thing about it but it seemed to be inexplicably headed for a win anyway. The “why it couldn’t win” was concrete: effects-driven, sci-fi, 3D and two actors. All of those would be breaking down barriers and making history – but not the kind of history the Academy desires to make. Scorsese finally winning, the Coens winning at last, a woman, the first black filmmaker, etc. These things often give extra incentive to vote in support of something bigger than the Oscar race itself. It happens sometimes. ncfomsil No Country has become, for me, one of my all-time favorite films. It sits right at the top of the list alongside Jaws, Annie Hall and Citizen Kane. It combines three vital American voices, Joel and Ethan Coen and Cormac McCarthy. The McCarthy contribution is key, of course, as this adaptation remains the best of any of his books. But the Coens gift here was winnowing down an already winnowed down book, cherry-picking all of the best lines (really) and omitting stuff in the book that would never have worked cinematically. Still, it is as faithful as a rendering as one could imagine, a fully realized, breathtaking adaptation of an American classic. The book No Country for Old Men is a lot more about the history of crime in the west than it is about death. The film, though, is all about death. The mastery of the direction is the parallel stories of Anton Chiguhr (Javier Bardem in an iconic performance) and poor old Llewellyn Moss (equally great Josh Brolin). If you watch the film enough times you’ll see how these two story lines reflect off of one another insisting you ruminate on what they do and why they do it. Screen-Shot-2013-03-11-at-3.07.31-PM Two things make the film exceptional from the outset. The first is the choice to use no music at all until the end credits. This allows for us to become fully engaged in the natural sounds of the busy work we watch many of these characters do. We watch them do things – put things together, bandage themselves up, shoot people, walk through the desert. You hear this, you see it and you can almost smell it. The sounds of silence are as important as the gunfire that cracks through the vast unforgiving landscape. The other thing is Roger Deakins’ cinematography – unmatched by any of his fellow nominees. Robert Elswit won for There Will Be Blood, a worthy winner but it simply can’t touch the work of Deakins that year. In the end, No Country would only win four Oscars, Picture, Director(s), Screenplay and Supporting Actor. It should have added Editing and Cinematography to that list but that was the year the Bourne Ultimatum took those tech nods by surprise. The other big movie that year was Paul Thomas Anderson’s brilliant There Will Be Blood, a film I hated at the time but have come to appreciate over the years. I believe Anderson has one greater movie in him so I won’t choose to see this as his best but one could make that argument very easily. The Academy was equally enamored with the film, giving it Actor and Cinematography. That There Will Be Blood and No Country for Old Men were nominated in the same is fairly remarkable. That was with only five slots for Best Picture even. Atonement, Juno and Michael Clayton were the other nominees. Had there been nine slots Into the Wild would have surely gotten in, along with Bourne Ultimatum, Diving Bell and Butterfly, and maybe American Gangster. We’ll be recording in the next few days, finally, so if you have anything to add…

38 Comments on this Post

  1. Stephen Mitchell

    I have a huge problem with killing Moss off screen.

  2. SallyinChicago

    I have to re-rent the movie again. Or read the book, because I got lost with the Woody Harrelson character.

  3. Sasha, you hated ‘There Will Be Blood’ at first? I can’t imagine why, so I’m very interested to hear your thoughts on it initially and how you’ve come around to it afterwards (it’s an all-timer in my book).

    Agree completely with your write-up on ‘No Country’, its a perfect film for all the reasons you’ve written up and then some. If we had the massively silly 5-9 slot rule for Best Picture, I’d imagine (or like to anyway) that the other films involved would’ve been ‘Zodiac’, ‘The Diving Bell and the Butterfly’, ‘The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford’,… I could see ‘Bourne’ and ‘Into the Wild’ getting in there as well. I hope you guys talk about ‘4 Months, 3 Years and 2 Days’ as well – that was my top film of this monumental year, it won the Palme d’Or and it wasn’t nominated for Best Foreign Language either. Crazy, crazy snub.

  4. SallyinChicago

    (Where’s the edit button)
    I just ordered the paperback. That was one of those movies that lost me. And I always felt it would have resonated better had I read the book.

  5. Al Robinson

    Yay! Another Oscar Podcast.

    In my opinion, 2007 was the Best year for movies in the decade of the 2000s. I say there are 4 ***** classics:

    Into the Wild
    No Country for Old Men
    There Will Be Blood
    Zodiac

    After that there are a bunch of really good movies:

    300
    3:10 to Yuma
    Alpha Dog
    American Gangster
    Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead
    The Bourne Ultimatum
    Gone Baby Gone
    The Great Debaters
    Grindhouse (Planet Terror / Death Proof)
    Halloween
    Hot Fuzz
    I Am Legend
    Juno
    The Kite Runner
    A Mighty Heart
    The Mist
    We Own the Night

    Question for the Podcast: Why do you think both Zodiac and Into the Wild were ignored for Best Picture and other categories?

  6. murtaza

    The best thing I remember from that year’s Oscars was Marion Cotillard winning, i danced a waltz in my living room when that happened.

    No Country, definitely the best, no competition.

    It was upsetting to see No Country lose editing and cinematography but, The Bourne Ultimatum was sort of a revolution in editing work, and Robert Elswit’s work was spectacular, i think both films deserved these Oscars more than No Country.

    Many films were ignored that year like American Gangster, Into the Wild, Zodiac and Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead for strictly good films like Juno, Michael Clayton and Atonement. Depressing indeed.

    I predicted Tilda Swinton and i predicted it right, every nominee that year in supporting actress category had one major win except Saorise Ronan, i think none of the nominees were really Oscar worthy so i can make my peace with Tilda Swinton actually winning.

    How i loved ONCE, gorgeous movie, fantastic win for its magnificent song, wish it had been recognized in other categories, but then the Academy won’t be the Academy it is.

    Another moment from the Oscars that year which I won’t forget was when Marketa Irglova hardly spoke a word and the band started to play, half embarrassed she left and then Jon Steward brought her back on stage to deliver her acceptance speech.

  7. Al Robinson

    I always wondered whether Anton Chigurh was supposed to be like a ghost. He seemed very real to me.

    I think it’s funny how the two winners for male acting went to characters who were despicable people. Daniel Plainview was the bastard, not his “son”. “I drink your milkshake”

    Best scene in TWBB:
    Plainview: [mumbles] Abandoned my child.
    Eli Sunday: Say it louder… say it louder!
    Plainview: I’ve abandoned my child! I’ve abandoned my child! I’ve abandoned my boy!
    Eli Sunday: Now beg for the blood!
    Plainview: [sotto voce] Please, give me the blood, Eli. Let me get out of here.
    Plainview: [aloud] Give me the blood, Lord, and let me get away!

  8. Al Robinson

    Here is the entire scene:
    Eli Sunday: We have a sinner with us here who wishes for salvation. Daniel, are you a sinner?
    Plainview: Yes.
    Eli Sunday: Oh, the Lord can’t hear you, Daniel. Say it to him. Go ahead and speak to him. It’s all right.
    Plainview: Yes.
    Eli Sunday: Down on your knees and to him. Look up to the sky and say it.
    Plainview: What do you want me to say?
    Eli Sunday: Oh, Daniel, you’ve come here and you’ve brought good and wealth, but you have also brought your bad habits as a backslider. You’ve lusted after women, and you have abandoned your child – your child that you raised. You have abandoned all because he was sick and you have sinned. So say it now – “I am a sinner.”
    Plainview: I am a sinner.
    Eli Sunday: Say it louder – ” I am a sinner! ”
    Plainview: I’m a sinner.
    Eli Sunday: Louder, Daniel. I am a sinner!
    Plainview: I am a sinner.
    Eli Sunday: I am sorry, Lord!
    Plainview: I am sorry , Lord.
    Eli Sunday: I want the blood!
    Plainview: I want the blood.
    Eli Sunday: You have abandoned your child!
    Plainview: I’ve abandoned my child.
    Eli Sunday: I will never backslide!
    Plainview: I will never backslide.
    Eli Sunday: I was lost, but now I am found!
    Plainview: I was lost but now I’m found.
    Eli Sunday: I have abandoned my child!
    [Plainview glares at him]
    Eli Sunday: Say it… say it!

  9. Al Robinson

    I also remember feeling happy that Diablo Cody won for her original screenplay for Juno. I think when she wrote it, she was working as a stripper in downtown Minneapolis. It’s too bad I never saw her at work, that would have been fun. :-)

  10. Al Robinson

    The Bourne Ultimatum, another movie that won Best Editing, but wasn’t nominated for Best Picture. :-(

  11. Al Robinson

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WqyQqE9Rff4

    Diablo talks about her inspiration to write Juno.

  12. Eric P.

    PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE talk about “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly”. What a beautiful film through and through. Kaminski’s cinematography was nothing short of a miracle. And I’m so glad that Schnabel got a deserved BD nod, even if the film did not score BP.

  13. Eric P.

    Also, a great year for women’s performances:

    Angelina Jolie “A Mighty Heart”
    Cate Blanchett “I’m Not There” (you can throw in Elizabeth: The Golden Age” as well if you’d like)
    Marion Cotillard “La Vie En Rose”
    Julie Christie “Away from Her” (a truly underrated film IMO)
    Ellen Page “Juno”
    Amy Ryan “Gone, Baby, Gone”
    Laura Linney “The Savages”
    Keira Knightly, Vanessa Redgrave, Saiorse Ronan “Atonement”
    Tilda Swinton “Michael Clayton”
    Catherine Keener and Marcia Gay Harden “Into the Wild”
    Marissa Tomei “Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead”
    Ruby Dee “American Gangster”

    Truly truly a great year

  14. Bryce Forestieri

    2007 was undeniably the best year of the decade and one of the high points of a century or so of cinema. The work I’ve put in to bring down my “viewing log” to a reasonable summary that encompasses the year’s greatness while not going overboard was both agonizing and inplaccable. I ended up seeming predisposed by having to axe interesting works by Lee, To, Kar-Wai, Apatow, Sokurov, Fox, Haneke, Akari, Soderbergh and Zvyagintsev among others that you should defnitely check out if you have the time, but given the surplus of quality in the homeland, I just couldn’t find room for them and the essential-only nature of this catalog…maybe in “weaker” years they would have made it.

    As much a landmark year for Horror as it was for The Western, a fact that might have gone overlooked around here, but which also created extra difficulty as I’m not one to underestimate the genre. Included, the best musical the medium has produced ever since DANCER IN THE DARK — but not evetrything was positive, somewhere, someone once again, gave Bela Tarr money to publicly defecate in grand fasion on those willing to be shit on and pay hard-earned money for it, but think again, maybe these people don’t have *real* jobs. In terms of American Cinema, 2007 challenges any year of the 1970’s or more recently, 1999 — and, of course, it couldn’t be any other way, it sports the film of the decade, and for my taste, the most significant Best Picture winner since THE GODFATHER PART II. I’m willing to hear arguments for both UNFORGIVEN and ANNIE HALL…but not really…so let’s give it up.

    1. NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN, Joel & Ethan Coen
    2. THERE WILL BE BLOOD, Paul Thomas Anderson
    3. THE ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES BY THE COWARD ROBERT FORD, Andrew Dominik
    4. BEFORE THE DEVIL KNOWS YOU’RE DEAD, Sidney Lumet
    5. ZODIAC, David Fincher
    6. 4 MONTHS, 3 WEEKS AND 2 DAYS, Cristian Mungiu
    7. YOU, THE LIVING, Roy Andersson
    8. EASTERN PROMISES, David Cronenberg
    9. THE DIVING BELL AND THE BUTTERFLY, Julian Schnabel
    10. 300, Zack Snyder
    11. SILENT LIGHT, Carlos Reygadas
    12. 3:10 TO YUMA, James Mangold
    13. SUNSHINE, Danny Boyle
    14. I’M NOT THERE, Todd Haynes
    15. LOVE SONGS, Christophe Honore
    16. SUPER BAD, Greg Mottola
    17. THE EDGE OF HEAVEN, Fatih Akin
    18. SECRET SUNSHINE, Lee Chang-dong
    19. RESCUE DAWN, Wener Herzog
    20. THE LOOKOUT, Scott Frank
    21. GONE BABY GONE, Ben Affleck
    22. RATATOUILLE, Brad Bird
    23. MY WINNIPEG, Guy Maddin
    24. AWAY FROM HER, Sarah Poley
    25. THE DARJEELING LIMITED, Wes Anderson
    26. JUNO, Jason Reitman
    27. EVANGELION: 1.0: YOU ARE (NOT) ALONE, Masayuki, Kazuya Tsurumaki
    28. THE SECRET OF THE GRAIN, Abdellatif Kechiche
    29. SUKIYAKI WESTERN DJANGO, Takashi Miike
    30. INTO THE WILD, Sean Penn
    31. GRINDHOUSE: PLANET TERROR, DEATH PROOF, Robert Rodriguez, Quentin Tarantino
    32. THE WITNESSES, Andre Techine
    33. ATONEMENT, Joe Wright
    34. PERSEPOLIS, Vincent Paronnaud, Marjane Satrapi
    35. IN THE VALLEY OF ELAH, Paul Haggis
    36. SNOW ANGELS, David Gordon Green
    37. TRICK ‘R TREAT, Michael Dougherty
    38. CHOP SHOP, Ramin Bahrani
    39. THE SAVAGES, Tamara Jenkins
    40. PARANOID PARK, Gus Van Sant
    41. AMERICAN GANGSTER, Ridley Scott
    42. 5 CENTIMETERS PER SECOND, Makoto Shinkai
    43. INSIDE, Julien Maury, Alexandre Bustillo
    44. LA VIE EN ROSE, Olivier Dahan
    45. HOT FUZZ, Edgar Wright
    46. CONTROL, Anton Corbijn
    47. SHOTGUN STORIES, Jeff Nichols
    48. STARDUST, Matthew Vaughn
    49. STARTING OUT IN THE EVENING, Andrew Wagner
    50. THE SIMPSOMS MOVIE, David Silverman
    51. LARS AND THE REAL GIRL, Craig Gillespie
    52. THE ORPHANAGE, J.A. Bayona
    53. MR. FOE, David Mackenzie
    54. ACROSS THE UNIVERSE, Julie Taymor
    55. ROCKET SCIENCE, Jeffrey Blitz
    56. THE VISITOR, Thomas McCarthy
    57. XXY, Lucia Puenzo
    58. [REC], Jaume Balaguero, Paco Plaza
    59. HAIRSPRAY, Adam Shankman
    60. HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX, David Yates
    61. SAVAGE GRACE, Tom Kalin
    62. MICHAEL CLAYTON, Tony Gilroy

  15. Profile photo of Sasha Stone

    I have a huge problem with killing Moss off screen.

    It’s an incredibly important plot point. The idea behind it is you can see what’s coming next so you can’t get there in time. I loved it. It was the perfect illustration of the film’s central theme.

  16. TWBB is the most overrated film of the 2000s. Refined technique in the service of a nothing screenplay. Boogie Nights and Punch-Drunk Love are PTA’s gems.

  17. Brian Susbielles

    TWBB and No Country are masterpieces and I’m still torn on which one was better in 2007. It should be noted in 2007 that Rudy Dee, who just passed, was nominated and had a good chance to win. And it was the breakout of Marion Coultard to the world, more than Big Fish.

  18. Please discuss Atonement, my absolute favorite film of the year.
    Such an gorgeous, intelligent, well acted period drama, the type that so rarely comes along. And James McAvoy totally deserved a nom.

    Assassination of Jesse James is another amazing one from 2007.

    2 memories from Oscar night:
    -Being so happy that Javier won.
    -Being SO happy that Marion deservedly won. Her speech is fantastic. Thank you life, thank you love!!!!!

  19. Great year for film. It also the year of the Apatow, before his voice became tiresome. Still No Country for Old Men and There Will Be Blood are possibly my 2 favorite films of the decade. Either one would have been a worthy winner.

  20. I love this year, one of the very best for movies. I’ll never forget how after “No Country” premiered at Cannes, I told my friend it would win Best Picture, and I didn’t change my mind the entire year. Very proud moment.

    I remember the Oscar race was all about “Sweeney Todd” before anyone actually saw the movie; then after “Atonement” starting hitting the festivals it quickly became the frontrunner. I remember “Juno” was Roger Ebert’s favorite film of the year, and “Michael Clayton” occupied that respectable fifth slot position. How great is it that the two films that led the nominations were “There Will Be Blood” and “No Country for Old Men?”

    “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly” certainly should’ve been in the five, as well as “Zodiac,” “Eastern Promises,” “American Gangster,” “Into the Wild,” or “Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead.” Would’ve been a great year to have ten nominees.

    And how is it that Cate Blanchett didn’t win for “I’m Not There?” Still boggles my mind to this day.

  21. Munro202

    Such a wonderful year for film! It blows my mind remembering how many of the decade’s great films came out that year, with No Country for Old Men easily topping that year’s offerings. Also love there Will Be Blood and Atonement.

    A few more movies I would really love to hear discussed:

    -SWEENEY TODD! Also one of my all time favourites, call me crazy. I thought it was extremely underrated, and I was really happy when it won the comedy/musical Golden Globe and even the Art Direction Oscar. This is one film that has really stuck with me–I thought all the pieces came together perfectly. Burton has made a few great films and some huge stinkers, but I think this is his one real masterpiece.

    -Lars and the Real Girl, Away from Her, and The Savages: One of the reasons I remember this year fondly was that for each of these small films an extremely talented female filmmaker was nominated in one of the screenplay categories (I guess you could throw in Juno too). Lars and the Real Girl is such a gem (and Gosling should’ve gotten a nod!) and Away from Her was such a wonderful breakout film for Sarah Polley as a writer/director.

    -Assassination of Jesse James: freaking amazing cinematography

    -My Winnipeg: Not that this had much of a splash on the awards circuit, but was probably the biggest audience Guy Maddin will ever reach, and his best film. Along with Polley, makes me proud to be from Canada.

  22. Munro202

    Oh and I completely forgot about I’m Not There! A big, long, bloated movie, and yet a really remarkable one–Cate Blanchett’s segments especially are sheer brilliance, both in their acting and directing. Particularly love all the visual references to Fellini’s 8 1/2 throughout that story line.

  23. steve50

    A most unusual year in that FOUR book adaptations got it absolutely right.

    NCFOM was a frightening read if you were lucky enough to read it before the film was released and the Coens put it through their prism and made a perfect film out of it.

    TWBB – PTA turned Upton Sinclair inside out with a stroke of genius, I thought, until the last 10 minutes, which I still have a problem with. Interesting note: this film was intended for Johnny Depp, who chose instead to turn his entire career left at stupid and do that awful Pirates sequel instead.

    Ronald Harwood (The Pianist) proved to be one of the best screenwriters the movies have ever seen with his adaptation of The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. Has anybody ever written two screenplays that better explore the isolation and question both sides the survival instinct within a single character? I don’t think so.

    Atonement was my personal favorite. The tracking shot at Dunkirk, the glorious score, and the all performances were jaw-dropping. The brilliantly sexy McAvoy, Redgrave’s facial expression when confessing her attempt to atone, Knightly in her power-green dress, and a creepy Cumberbatch – indelible.

    Oscar’s biggest oversight that year – Roger Deakins. If ever a cinematogrtapher’s work deserved to be honoured, it was Deakins’ double whammy of NCFOM and Jesse James. Puts forward the argument that creative noms should go to the artist, not the film. How can you win if you’re competing with yourself?

  24. steve50

    FIVE perfect adaptations – Into the Wild. How could I forget?

  25. Bryce Forestieri

    I forgot to leave you guys with my awards predilections (ranked in order of preference)

    Best Director

    1. Joel & Ethan Coen – NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN (w)
    2. Paul Thomas Anderson – THERE WILL BE BLOOD
    3. Andrew Dominik – THE ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES BY THE COWARD ROBERT FORD
    4. Sidney Lumet – BEFORE THE DEVIL KNOWS YOU’RE DEAD
    5. David Fincher – ZODIAC

    Sorry, I had to do it. This year comfortably justifies 10 citations per acting category and then some.

    Best Actor

    1. Daniel Day-Lewis – THERE WILL BE BLOOD (w)
    2. Brad Pitt – THE ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES BY THE COWARD ROBERT FORD
    3. Viggo Mortensen – EASTERN PROMISES
    4. Phillip Seymour Hoffman – BEFORE THE DEVIL KNOWS YOU’RE DEAD
    5. Tommy Lee Jones – IN THE VALLEY OF ELAH
    6. Mathieu Almaric – THE DIVING BELL AND THE BUTTERFLY
    7. Joseph Gordon-Levitt – THE LOOKOUT
    8. Casey Affleck – GONE BABY GONE
    9. Emile Hirsch – INTO THE WILD
    10. James McAvoy – ATONEMENT

    Best Actress

    1. Anamaria Marinca – 4 MONTHS, 3 WEEKS AND TWO DAYS (w)
    2. Jeon Do-yeon – SECRET SUNSHINE
    3. Julie Christie – AWAY FROM HER
    4. Maria Pankratz – SILENT LIGHT
    5. Marion Cotillard – LA VIE EN ROSE
    6. Laura Linney – SAVAGES
    7. Ines Efron – XXY
    8. Kate Beckinsale – SNOW ANGELS
    9. Kiera Knightley – ATONEMENT
    10. Ellen Page – JUNO

    Best Supporting Actor

    1. Tommy Lee Jones – NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN (w)
    2. Casey Affleck – THE ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES BY THE COWARD ROBER FORD
    3. Javier Bardem – NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN
    4. Albert Finney – BEFORE THE DEVIL KNOWS YOU’RE DEAD
    5. Jake Gyllenhaal – ZODIAC
    6. Cillian Murphy – SUNSHINE
    7. Max von Sydow – THE DIVINFG BELL AND THE BUTTERFLY
    8. Ethan Hawke – BEFORE THE DEVIL KNOWS YOU’RE DEAD
    9. Steve Zahn – RESCUE DAWN
    10. Paul Dano – THERE WILL BE BLOOD

    Best Supporting Actress

    1. Cate Blanchett – I’M NOT THERE (w)
    2. Hannah Schygulla – THE EDGE OF HEAVEN
    3. Laura Vasiliu – 4 MONTHS, 3 WEEKS AND 2 DAYS
    4. Maria Prankatz – SILENT LIGHT
    5. Ann Savage – MY WINNIPEG
    6. Naomi Watts – EASTERN PROMISES
    7. Luminita Gheorghiu – 4 MONTHS, WEEKS, AND 2 DAYS
    8. Lili Taylor – STARTING OUT IN THE EVENING
    9. Amy Ryan – GONE BABY GONE
    10. Samantha Morton – CONTROL

    Best Original Screenplay

    1. Kelly Masterson – BEFORE THE DEVIL KNOWS YOU’RE DEAD (w)
    2. Roy Andersson – YOU, THE LIVING
    3. Cristian Mungiu – 4 MONTHS, 3 WEEKS AND 2 DAYS
    4. Steven Knight – EASTERN PROMISES
    5. Carlos Reygadas – SILENT LIGHT

    Best Adapted Screenplay

    1. Joel & Ethan Coen – NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN (w)
    2. Paul Thomas Anderson – THERE WILL BE BLOOD
    3. Andrew Dominik – THE ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES BY THE COWARD ROBERT FORD
    4. James Vanderbilt – ZODIAC
    5. Ronald Harwood – THE DIVING BELL AND THE BUTTERFLY

    Best Film Editing

    1. Joel & Ethan Coen – NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN (w)
    2. Tom Swartwout – BEFORE THE DEVIL KNOWS YOU’RE DEAD
    3. Angus Wall – ZODIAC
    4. Dylan Tichenor – THERE WILL BE BLOOD
    5. Dylan Tichenor, Michael Kahn – THE ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES BY THE COWARD ROBERT FORD

    Best Cinematography

    1. Robert Elswit – THERE WILL BE BLOOD (w)
    2. Roger Deakins – THE ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES BY THE COWARD ROBERT FORD
    3. Roger Deakins – NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN
    4. Harris Savides – ZODIAC
    5. Edward Lachman – I’M NOT THERE
    ——————just as extraordinary——————-
    6. Peter Suschitzky – EASTERN PROMISES
    7. Seamus McGarvey – ATONEMENT
    8. Janusz Kaminski – THE DIVING BELL AND THE BUTTERFLY
    9. Alexis Zabe – SILENT LIGHT
    10. Ron Fortunato – BEFORE THE DEVIL KNOWS YOU’RE DEAD

    Best Original Score

    1. Nick Cave, Warren Ellis – THE ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES BY THE COWARD ROBERT FORD (w)
    2. Johnny Greenwood – THERE WILL BE BLOOD
    3. John Murphy, Underworld – SUNSHINE
    4. Carter Burwell – BEFORE THE DEVIL KNOWS YOU’RE DEAD and NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN
    5. Howard Shore – EASTERN PROMISES

    Best Animated Feature

    1. Brad Bird – RATATOUILLE (w)
    2. Masayuki, Kazuya Tsurumaki – EVANGELION: 1.0: YOU ARE (NOT) ALONE
    3. Vincent Paronnaud, Marjane Satrapi – PERSEPOLIS
    4. Makoto Shinkai – 5 CENTIMETERS PER SECOND
    5. David Silverman – THE SIMPSONS MOVIE

    Best Production Design

    1. ZODIAC
    2. YOU, THE LIVING
    3. 300
    4. THERE WILL BE BLOOD
    5. THE ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES BY THE COWARD ROBERT FORD

    Best Costume Design

    1. ATONEMENT
    2. ZODIAC
    3. SAVAGE GRACE
    4. SUKIYAKI WESTERN DJANGO
    5. THE ASSASINATION OF JESSE JAMES BY THE COWARD ROBERT FORD

    Best Visual Effects

    1. 300
    2. SUNSHINE
    3. STARDUST
    4. TRICK ‘R TREAT
    5. SUKIYAKI WESTERN DJANGO

    Best Original Song

    1. Alex Beaupain; ‘As-Tu Deja Aime’ – LOVE SONGS (w)
    2. Alex Beaupain; ‘Ma Memoire Sale’ – LOVE SONGS
    3. Alex Beaupain; ‘La Distance’ – LOVE SONGS
    4. Alex Beaupain; ‘De Bonnes Raisons’ – LOVE SONGS
    5. Alex Beaupain; J’Ai Cru Entendre’ – LOVE SONGS

    Best Sound Mixing: NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN
    Best Sound Editing: NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN
    Best Makeup: LA VIE EN ROSE

    Best Documentary Feauture

    1. Guy Maddin – MY WINNIPEG (w)*
    1. Werner Herzog – ENCOUNTERS AT THE END OF THE WORLD (w)*
    2. Asger Leth, Milos Loncareciv – GHOSTS OF CITE SOLEIL
    3. Wang Bing – FENGMING, A CHINESE MEMOIR
    4. Seth Gordon – THE KING KONG: A FISTFUL OF QUARTERS
    5. Doug Pray – SURFWISE
    6. David Sington, Christopher Riley – IN THE SHADOW OF THE MOON
    7. Charles Ferguson – NO END IN SIGHT

    *Yes, a tie for the win!

    Best Foreign Language Film

    1. Cristian Mungiu – 4 MONTHS, 3 WEEKS AND 2 DAYS (Romania)
    2. Roy Andersson – YOU, THE LIVING (Sweden)
    3. Julian Schnabel – THE DIVING BELL AND THE BUTTERFLY (France)
    4. Carlos Reygadas – SILENT LIGHT (Mexico)
    5. Christophe Honore – LOVE SONGS (France)

  26. Scott (the other one)

    Nice to see this film revisited. IMO, it is a masterpiece, one of those rare films that is absolutely perfect in how it is conceived and executed. And I include in that the two endings, the controversial ending where Bardem simply disappears (a terrifying representation of the permanence of evil, and a deliberate refusal to pander to audience expectations of a satisfying moral ending) and the stunning final scene with Tommy Lee Jones, ending with his saying that then he woke up. This leaves me breathless every time I see it.

    With all due respect to some of the Coen’s more popular films, like The Big Lebowski and O Brother, I think that their three masterpieces are No Country for Old Men, Fargo and — seriously — Inside Llewyn Davis.

  27. Mikhaill

    Deakins’ work in “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford” whas the best that year.
    Hell, it’s maybe the best cinematography in the whole noughties!

  28. Scott, “seriously–Inside Llewyn Davis”

    What do you mean “seriously” like it’s difficult to believe it’d be their masterpiece, or one of? I put it in their top echelon of films. I’m sure most AD readers would too. I think you nailed their top 3 even though a handful of their other films a just slightly below a masterpiece.

    I also feel that a 4 sided coin could be flipped and the Oscar for cinematography could’ve gone to any but Atonement, which was still amazingly shot. Into the Wild was also worthy of a nomination but I wouldn’t bump any of them. Each of the other 4 films were shot perfectly and No Country’s work was probably the most subtle. In the end, for me, it was down to Jesse James and TWWB, of which I felt had the best long takes and tracking shots. I could go on and on for hours on why each film deserved the win but I can tell it was the closest 4-way race I’ve ever seen in that, or any, category. It was just a great year for cinematography and one of the best lists of nominees ever.

  29. Simon Warrasch

    Picture
    “There Will Be Blood”

    Achievement in Directing (TIE)
    Julian Schnabel “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly” /
    Paul Thomas Anderson “There Will Be Blood”

    Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
    Tommy Lee Jones “In the Valley of Elah”

    Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role
    Marion Cotillard “La vie en Rose”

    Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role
    Casey Affleck “The Assassination of jesse james by the Coward Robert Ford”

    Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role
    Cate Blanchett “I’m not there”

    Original Screenplay
    Nancy Oliver “Lars and the Real Girl”

    Adapted Screenplay
    Paul Thomas Anderson “There Will Be Blood”

  30. Philipp

    Please don’t forget to talk about movies that were shut out or not even in conversation; some of them have already been mentioned (like Zodiac, Paranoid Park). I’d like to add Lust, Caution.

  31. This is my favorite year for movies in my lifetime(I was born in 1980). NCFOM, Zodiac, TWBB, and Into The Wild are all classics in my opinion and I am still shocked that 2 of these movies were not nominated for Best Picture. While there wasn’t a ton of memorable popcorn films released that year, there were so many great serious/adult fare movies released. This is the year that would have benefitted most from the expanded best picture nomination rule.

  32. Don’t count out ANG LEE ‘s “Lust , Caution” , actor , actress , adapted screenplay , cinematography , production Design , score all are outstanding.

  33. Jeremy

    Lot of great movies from 2007, but my favorite was probably the one starring a cartoon rat. Pixar had always been great, but I didn’t expect Ratatouille to turn out be a formal masterpiece. I should have never doubted Brad Bird.

  34. First, if Deakins should’ve won that year it should’ve been for The Assassination Of Jesse James. But Elswit was a worthy winner.

    Second, here’s my list of the best movies of 2007, which joins 1999, 1975 and 1939 as one of the greatest years in cinema history:

    1. There Will Be Blood
    2. Once
    3. No Country For Old Men
    4. The Diving Bell And The Butterfly
    5. Zodiac
    6. Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead
    7. Michael Clayton
    8. The Assassination Of Jesse James
    9. Grindhouse
    10. Superbad
    11. The Orphanage
    12. The King Of Kong: A Fistful Of Quarters
    13. The Band’s Visit
    14. The Host
    15. Gone Baby Gone
    16. Control
    17. Atonement
    18. Ratatouille
    19. Rescue Dawn
    20. The TV Set
    21. Hot Fuzz
    22. 4 Months, 3 Weeks And 2 Days
    23. 3:10 To Yuma
    24. Knocked Up
    25. Into The Wild
    26. Away From Her
    27. Juno
    28. The Mist
    29. In The Valley Of Elah
    30. Eastern Promises
    31. La Vie En Rose
    32. The Darjeeling Limited
    33. I’m Not There
    34. The Bourne Ultimatum
    35. Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix
    36. American Gangster
    37. The Lookout
    38. The Savages
    39. Sweeney Todd
    40. Enchanted

    Movies I Missed: Silent Light, My Winnipeg, You The Living, Persepolis, Sunshine, The Kite Runner, Lars And The Real Girl, Starting Out In The Evening, A Mighty Heart, Paranoid Park, Shotgun Stories, Breach, The Secret Of The Grain, Sukiyaki Western Django

  35. My Oscars 2007:

    Best Picture
    There Will Be Blood (win)
    No Country For Old Men
    Once
    Zodiac
    The Diving Bell And The Butterfly
    Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead

    Best Director
    Paul Thomas Anderson – TWBB (win)
    Joel & Ethan Coen – NCFOM
    David Fincher – Zodiac
    Julian Schnabel – TDBATB
    Andrew Dominik – The Assassination Of Jesse James
    Robert Rodriguez & Quentin Tarantino – Grindhouse

    Best Actor
    Daniel Day Lewis – TWBB (win)
    Mathieu Almaric – TDBATB
    Philip Seymour Hoffman – BTDKYD
    George Clooney – Michael Clayton
    Tommy Lee Jones – In The Valley Of Elah
    Christian Bale – Rescue Dawn

    Best Actress
    Marion Cotillard – La Vie En Rose (win)
    Julie Christie – Away From Her
    Belen Rueda – The Orphanage
    Ellen Page – Juno
    Laura Linney – The Savages
    Amy Adams – Enchanted

    Best Supporting Actor
    Javier Bardem – NCFOM (win)
    Paul Dano – TWBB
    Max Von Sydow – TDBATB
    Tom Wilkinson – Michael Clayton
    Ethan Hawke – BTDKYD
    Steve Zahn – Rescue Dawn

    Best Supporting Actress
    Cate Blanchett – I’m Not There (win)
    Marie-Josee Croze – TDBATB
    Tilda Swinton – Michael Clayton
    Sigourney Weaver – The TV Set
    Leslie Mann – Knocked Up
    Jennifer Garner – Juno

    Best Original Screenplay
    Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead (win)
    Michael Clayton
    Superbad
    The Band’s Visit
    Ratatouille
    Hot Fuzz

    Best Adapted Screenplay
    No Country For Old Men (win)
    There Will Be Blood
    The Diving Bell And The Butterfly
    Zodiac
    Atonement
    Into The Wild

    Best Editing
    No Country For Old Men (win)
    There Will Be Blood
    Michael Clayton
    Zodiac
    Hot Fuzz
    The Diving Bell And The Butterfly

    Best Cinematography
    The Assassination Of Jesse James (win)
    There Will Be Blood
    No Country For Old Men
    Zodiac
    Control
    Atonement

    Best Score
    There Will Be Blood (win)
    Ratatouille
    Atonement
    Into The Wild
    The Assassination Of Jesse James
    The Orphanage

  36. Kjartan Atli Óskarsson

    My top 10 for the year 2007:

    1. Zodiac
    2. There Will Be Blood
    3. No Country for Old Men
    4. Ratatouille
    5. The Bourne Ultimatium
    6. The Diving Bell And The Butterfly
    7. Hot Fuzz
    8. 3:10 to Yuma
    9. Atonement
    10. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

    At the time I thought that No Country was the best film of 2007 but over the years Zodiac and There Will Be Blood have left a more lasting impact on me (I still think that No Country is brilliant, but just not as brilliant as the other two fim). I think that Zodiac is David Fincher’s masterpiece (close call between Zodiac and The Social Network) and quite possibly the greatest film of the decade. It is a brilliant study of obsession and of the fact that we humans have hard time living with not knowing the answer to a question. I love that this is a murder mystery that doesn’t get solved, instead we only get the solution that the main characters think is the truth. How this film did not get a single oscar nomination is nothing less than a scandal. The film should have at least been nominated for picture, director, actor (Gyllenhaal), actor in a supporting role (Ruffalo) and screenplay.

    What I love about There Will Be Blood is the struggle between Daniel and Eli, the struggle between capitalism and religion, two forces that have shaped the history of the US. Both of these men are radicals that are absolutely ruthless in there drive to succeed and are not a afraid to use there family and to explode each others ideology to get what they want.

    I would also like to mention Atonement which is a film that I revisited a few months ago. I think it is pretty solid film with a great score and a fantastic performances from almost all the actors in the cast. I was especially impressed by Ronan, Garai and Redgrave (the final scene with Redgrave’s monologue might be my favorite scene of 2007) who I think delver maybe the best performance of 2007 and they should all have gotten a Oscar nomination for best supporting actress (or probably for best actress, since Briony is clearly the main character of Atonment).

  37. Isaac David Quesada

    Volume is too low, this happens frequently with your podcasts, I live in a loud city and listen to this while biking to work, I miss a big part of the podcast because of volume :( the volume of the songs are ok though. Aside from that it`s a pleasure to hear them.

  38. Profile photo of Sasha Stone

    Volume is too low, this happens frequently with your podcasts, I live in a loud city and listen to this while biking to work, I miss a big part of the podcast because of volume :( the volume of the songs are ok though. Aside from that it`s a pleasure to hear them.

    Okay we’ll work on that! Thanks.

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