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February 20, 2008 > And the Nominees are.....

And the Nominees are.....

By Mona Shah

For a while, this year's Oscar ceremonies were a hit or miss. Its fate hinged on whether the writers' strike was resolved by February 24, allowing the telecast, with Jon Stewart as host, to air on ABC as planned. It appears the strike has ended, but there will be blood at the show this year.

"There Will Be Blood" and "No Country for Old Men" lead this year's Best Picture nominations. Nominees were announced with the usual fanfare and posh pre-Oscar luncheons. But with the Hollywood writers' strike ending in the nick of time, what will the glamour fest look like this year?

The best picture slate is diverse -- English romance, suburban comedy, corporate thriller, cops-and-robbers action and a one-man epic. And while the filmmaking is often dazzling and some of the movies have happy endings, all have undercurrents of regret and longing for lost opportunities. This dark mood is noticeable this year more than previous years, mirroring our trepidations, not just about our country, but the world at large, and its sinking economy.

One thing seems certain...the public is open to challenging movies allowing producers to deal with morally complex, serious themes. The following are nominees for top honors in just a few of many categories eligible for Oscar recognition.

Best Picture
1. Atonement
2. Juno
3. Michael Clayton
4. No Country For Old Men
5. There Will be Blood

Best Actor
1. George Clooney in "Michael Clayton"
2. Daniel Day-Lewis in "There Will be Blood"
3. Johnny Depp in "Sweeney Todd The Demon Barber of Fleet Street"
4. Tommy Lee Jones in "In the Valley of Elah"
5. Viggo Mortensen in "Eastern Promises"

Best Actress
1. Cate Blanchett in "Elizabeth: The Golden Age"
2. Julie Christie in " Away from Her"
3. Marion Cotillard in " La Vie en Rose"
4. Laura Linney in "The Savages"
5. Ellen Page in " Juno"

Best Supporting Actor
1. Casey Affleck in "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford"
2. Javier Bardem in "No Country for Old Men"
3. Philip Seymour Hoffman in "Charlie Wilson's War"
4. Hal Holbrook in "Into the Wild"
5. Tom Wilkinson in "Michael Clayton"

Best Supporting Actress
1. Cate Blanchett in "I'm Not There"
2. Ruby Dee in "American Gangster"
3. Saoirse Ronan in "Atonement"
4. Amy Ryan in "Gone Baby Gone"
5. Tilda Swinton in "Michael Clayton"

Achievement in Directing
"The Diving Bell and the Butterfly": Julian Schnabel
"Juno": Jason Reitman
"Michael Clayton": Tony Gilroy
"No Country for Old Men": Joel Coen and Ethan Coen
"There Will Be Blood": Paul Thomas Anderson

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