When the 80th Annual Academy Awards arrive this Sunday, they will cap off one of the most tumultuous roller-coaster years in Hollywood history. A summer bloated with record-breaking, mega-budget films (Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, Transformers) gave way to a fall filled with exceptional, challenging cinema (No Country For Old Men, There Will Be Blood). But it was the Writers Guild of America strike--beginning on Nov. 5, 2007, and concluding on Feb. 12, 2008--that threw our entertainment picture into a tizzy.
Despite the long-looming threat of the Writer’s Guild strike, the 2008 Oscars are looking like a fine affair. Had WGA members not approved their most recent contract negotiations, the Academy Awards would have been reduced to a star-free, writer-starved clip show. (Nobody out there wants a repeat of the Golden Globes. Shudder.) But the strike is over, allowing nominees to attend guilt-free and returning host Jon Stewart to rely on a full staff of writers to pen his off-the-cuff quips.
Best Motion Picture of the Year Atonement (BAFTA, GG) Vegas Odds: 10/1 Juno (BFCA, SA) Vegas Odds: 15/1 Michael Clayton Vegas Odds: 8/1 No Country for Old Men (BSFC, BFCA, COFCA, CFCA, DFWFCA, FFCC, LVFCS, NBR, NYFCC, OFCS, PFCS, SDFCS, SA, SEFCA, TFCA, WAFCA) Vegas Odds: 2/5