Ebert Predicts Oscar Win for Babel… or Possibly a Little Miss Upset?

Don’t be fooled, Roger Ebert may have been out of commission recovering from surgery since last year, but he still hasn’t lifted his finger from the pulse of the world of film. Although he had hoped to be back in action in time to conduct his usual red carpet interviews at the Academy Awards this year, it looks like this will not be the case. He has, however, still managed to release his annual list of Oscar predictions, once again inviting people to try and outguess his picks — no easy feat, when you consider that Ebert is rarely wrong, and also that he seems to exert some small influence over the Academy’s decisions. Last year when he picked Crash as an upset win for Best Picture, it was a bit hard to tell whether it was a prediction or an order. He campaigned hard for that movie, and it won.

This year, Ebert has chosen Babel as the winner of the night’s major award, with Scorsese finally getting his due as Best Director. I suppose you can choose to take these picks with a grain of salt, but it’s pretty hard to ignore Ebert, a man who always seems to be in the know. Interestingly, he did say that he believes there is an outside chance for Little Miss Sunshine to pull off an upset this year. “Rumor has it that ‘Little Miss Sunshine’ is poised to be an upset winner, and in fact it won an ensemble SAG Award… it touched something deep in the American psyche, and had people identifying with this odd family who pulls together when it matters the most.” What do you think, does Ebert know more than he’s letting on here? I’d be happy with either pick really, but it would be a pretty huge victory for all involved if Little Miss does happen to don the crown.

» Related Link: Outguess Ebert Contest [via]

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  • You make an excellent point about Ebert and the Academy and surprisingly, I agree with most of his choices this year (except for foreign language). It’ll be interesting to see if Babel does take home the big prize. I wouldn’t be surprised if it did.

  • Henrik

    Well Babel was easily the best movie of the ones that are nominated. I don’t think it will win the screenplay award though, I think it will go to Little Miss Sunshine. That’s how it usually goes, even though I (am I the only one on this one?) will grind my teeth if that movie wins anything.

    I don’t get his little comment about “for reasons of tact I prefer not to reveal my preferance” for Best Director. I can only assume he won’t say that he feels Paul Greengrass should win (what other controversial pick is there?) but it seems like a pretty big cop-out for him.

    If I handled the awards, I would give Babel Best Picture, Screenplay and Director. Looking away from the artistic side of things, as far as pure craftmanship goes Babel was the hardest movie to direct of the nominees.

    I’m disappointed that Roger Ebert didn’t see my nations contribution in the foreign film category. What a douchebag! I’m pulling for the danes, and for Babel because I thought it was an awesome movie.

  • snorfle

    I haven’t seen ‘The Queen’ or ‘Letters’ yet, but I would disagree about ‘Babel’ even being the best of the remaining three (though I liked it). I do agree that it will win BP and split BD with Scorcese, though I’m, hopelessly pulling for United 93. Would have been nice to see U93 or Children of Men get best picture nods, but hey.

  • Henrik

    United 93 was excellent, but Children of Men is overrated.

    You have a (from what I can tell) teenage mom, protecting a 1day old baby, trying to run and hide from whole armies of soldiers out to get her, and a resistance force trying to get to her baby. Guns flying everywhere, tanks blowing up the buildings she is in, no help in sight. Not only does she keep her composure perfectly though, she is actually on top of the situation to the point where she is cracking jokes in the middle of it? Lame.

    But yeah, United 93 was better than both The Departed and LMS, so deserved to be up there.

  • Which army was trying to get her? And it wasn’t the teenage Mom trying to protect the baby, it was Clive Owen trying to protect her and the baby. As for the ‘guns flying everywhere’, i’d say that’s about 20% of the film, if that.

    But yes, United 93 should win.

  • Henrik

    Yeah but I was referring only to the last set piece of the movie, where all the shit hits the fan.

    You have to admit it was ridiculous… It’s like pick something, do you want this to be serious and realistic, or do you want it to be a nice little fun ride for the family. They might as well have winked at the camera.

    That’s why United 93 was a better movie. There weren’t any lame jokes to pull the ADD crowd back in the movie.

  • Well United 93 was based on a true story. That’s a pretty terrible comparison seeing as there’s no way they would ever put jokes in United 93 for many reasons.

    As for the jokes in Children of Men, I personally can’t even remember them. And I think the tone of the film was established pretty early on (Michael Cain’s character) as not being 100% dark. You’re really going to tell me that you’re writing off that movie as lame because of a few jokes? THAT is lame.

  • Henrik

    I don’t mind jokes, but there is a time and a place. If you want this to be a believeable universe (afterall, the premise is pretty ridiculous) then you don’t sabotage all your work by having the people who are being shot at with tanks cracking jokes about their situation. That doesn’t work. Michael Caine telling a joke while getting high, does work.

    And when that one character died at the end of the 2nd act, Clive Owens reaction felt real, and it was believeable that he would react like that. It was excellent because you don’t have the fucking John Williams score pulling the heart string and you don’t see him with a tear running down his cheek. Very subtle and unsensational and it was awesome. But then when the really bad shit happens, and goes on for a prolonged sequence you have the people cracking jokes?

    I don’t think it’s a terrible comparison. Actually if memory serves, you mentioned that Children Of Men was like United 93 yourself. But apparently it takes the reverance of real dead people to make a movie that actually is serious.

  • What joke is this you’re talking about anyways?

    If I did compare United 93 and Children of Men, it was because of the shooting style in regards to the documentary feel during the last act of the film.

    Perhaps she’s making light of the situation because she either doesn’t completely understand how much danger she’s in, or maybe that’s her way of dealing with stressful circumstances. In the end, it’s just not worth discussing for me because I can’t even remember the jokes that you’re talking about.

  • Henrik

    Well it was the “How is she?” – “Annoyed” exchange .

    It wasn’t because she was unaware. The delivery was like when a black woman on Jerry Springer would tell off her rival. It was just a joke that was thrown in there, was horribly misplaced, and ruined alot of the movie for me. Didn’t bring it down from a perfect score, but it’s like you can see the director standing there selling out right in front of you. Not a good thing.

  • So let me get this straight… Children of Men is overrated, but you still think it deserved a perfect score? Come on man, you can’t tell me you don’t start some of these posts looking for an argument!

  • Henrik

    Oh, you misunderstood. I can see why you’d get that.

    I meant that it’s not like I thought the movie was perfect before the incident. It brought it down from like 4.5/6 to 4/6. Didn’t bring it down from 6/6. You understand what I mean?

    Hey man, you don’t think I’m being honest here? I can see why that little misunderstanding would make my posts seem pretty fucking weird, but please… Have more faith in my integrity.

  • I’m not saying you’re lying, I’m just saying that you seem to be exaggerating your opinions a little just to get a rise out of people. To say that one misplaced joke makes Children of Men overrated and undeserving of an Oscar is a pretty bold statement. Not that we haven’t come to expect bold statements from you as it is!

  • Henrik

    Well, it’s how I feel. I guess my apathy is not as well evolved as yours may be.

    Like I said I didn’t think the movie was 100% succesful or resolved beyond that, but that’s fair enough. Like not many movies are excellent, and it was an ok movie. But then they just sell out, don’t give a fuck about the movie or what it’s trying to do, throw all believeability out the window and I do find it insulting when I get shit like that thrown in my face.

    I don’t find it insulting when it’s done in Die Hard, or in Terminator 2, or other awesome action-thrillers. But it bugs the hell out of me when the movie acts like it’s supposed to be taken seriously and then just fucks it all up at the end just because they need a funny to bring back the kiddies. Like I said before, pick something.

  • i think what entertains me most about henrik’s comments isn’t what he writes, but seeing how fast he can reply. seriously, it’s amazing!

  • I think you’re over-estimating just how seriously Children of Men was suppose to have been taken. And as far as ‘selling out’, I don’t know how one joke constitutes a filmmaker selling out. What about the product placement? What sort of integrity is this single joke destroying other then your own personal taste? And I agree with Sean, you’re being overdramatic for the sake of getting a rise out of people. Boring.

  • Goon


    attn: Jay

    anti-Dane Cook sentiment is spreading. Maxim (who you think’d be his crowd?) places him on the top 50 lamest things of all time.

  • The man

    Babel was a complete joke. I hated that movie it shouldn’t even be nominated. Everyone in that movie was total fucken moron. A cute japanese girl that no one wants to fuck? Come to the states go to any Anime convention and wear that outfit. Boom 20 geek cocks standing at attention. Why did Brad Pitt leave his wife in that filthy room instead of that clean bus? Why didn’t he take her back to the hotel or were ever they were staying? Are you telling me that any government would let an American woman slowly bleed to death after being shot with George “I want to invade every country on earth” Bush in office? I just don’t buy it. And I’m not even going to mention that stupid story involving the Mexican nanny.

    The Children of Men should have been nominated and win best picture. It was easily the best film of last year.

  • Well the cute Japanese girl was deaf… you may remember that guys were interested in her until they found out she was deaf. Brad Pitt left his wife because she was bleeding to death and the bus driver said he would find help. They were in the middle of a desert in a foreign country, and he was helpless. That was the point. I really don’t think it was any harder to believe than Children of Men.

  • Nuno

    I don’t believe that there was a misplaced joke in the final act of the Children of Men amidst all of the chaos in the internment camp. True, the characters joked in the film, but they tended to be dry, sarcastic jokes made in conversation. These characters have been aware for some time that the human race is drawing to it’s end and when faced with such hopelessness it’s natural for them to react with bitter sarcasm.

  • katie

    did i make henrik go away?? he hasn’t posted a comment in almost five days.

  • Poor Henrik. Maybe he took all of our criticism personally? It’s definitely quiet around here without him.