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:
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.
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.