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Oscar Week: Forgotten Categories That Should Count

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A pox on the Academy for giving The Bourne Ultimatum (see photo) no identity in the big-ticket categories. Below the star line, though, Bourne pops up three times for technical awards, the kind most people will snooze through during the Sunday Oscarcast. But there are a few technical awards that are essential to how a movie looks, sounds and feels. Take a peek, and see if you agree:

BEST EDITING

The Bourne Ultimatum — Christopher Rouse

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly — Juliette Welfling

Into the Wild — Jay Cassidy

No Country for Old Men — Roderick Jaynes

There Will Be Blood — Dylan Tichenor

Part of me wishes a big win for Roderick Jaynes for No Country for Old Men, mostly because Mr. Jaynes does not exist. It's a name those scamps the Coen brothers made up to hide behind. If he wins he'll be the man who wasn't there. But I'll stand and applaud in my living room if Christopher Rouse takes the trophy for The Bourne Ultimatum. Editing is a big reason that underrated movie makes you feel the action in the pit of your stomach. Rouse cuts film like a true master.

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, Roger Deakins

Atonement, Seamus McGarvey

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly,Janusz Kaminski

No Country for Old Men, Roger Deakins

There Will Be Blood, Robert Elswit

Come on, people. Here's another category as crucial as directing, writing and acting. These five gents are heroes to me, and should be to you as well. Roger Deakins, nominated for both No Country and Jesse James and deserving of the highest praise fo both of them, may just split his vote and end up Oscar-less. Me, I'd put the trophy into the hands of Robert Elswitt, who steeped There Will Be Blood in light and shadow and raised the craft of cinematography to the level of art.

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

Atonement, Dario Marianelli

The Kite Runner, Alberto Iglesias

Michael Clayton, James Newton Howard

Ratatouille, Michael Giacchino

3:10 to Yuma, Marco Beltrami

Over the years, music's importance to movies has increased exponentially, even when it's hardly there, as in No Country for Old Men. When done badly — think of the headache-inducing blast in Elizabeth — The Golden Age — it can bring a whole movie down. I've already bitched a blue streak about the non-nomination of Jonny Greenwood's now-classic score for There Will Be Blood. But among this year's contenders, I'll go with the quiet storm Dario Marianelli created for Atonement, with a runner-up cheer for the grace notes Michael Giacchino found in Ratatouille. Bravo, indeed.

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Peter Travers

Rolling Stone senior writer Peter Travers has reviewed movies for the magazine for more than 20 years. Send your comments and questions to him here.

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