Oscar nominations were announced this morning, and while there may be critical consensus that No Country For Old Men and There Will be Blood are the two best of the five best picture nominees, many people (including Chris) have assumed that Atonement was likely to win the big prize. This seemed right to me, but now we learn that the film was not nominated for best director--always a bad sign (perhaps a film buff can tell us in the Comments section whether a movie whose director has not been nominated has ever won best picture). Anyway, No Country and Blood still seem like longshots given the types of films that they are, and it's hard to see the underrated Michael Clayton winning. This of course leaves Juno, which has met almost universal acclaim and huge box office grosses (something that the academy usually appreciates).
A Juno win is certainly a depressing prospect (Best Picture of the Year??), but there were other bright spots on the list of nominees, including Michael Clayton's good showing and Tommy Lee Jones' nomination for In the Valley of Elah, a mediocre film which nonetheless featured a great performance from the actor (much better, in fact, than his work in No Country).