People with fantasy football teams can choose favorite players from whatever team they want. Well, I have my own fantasy team, a team comprised not from the NFL, but instead from the list of Oscar nominees this past year.
There are 24 Oscar categories whose winners will be announced on Feb. 24. I've already predicted the winners for seven of them. Typically, you get 11 players on a football field. So, from the 17 other Oscar categories that I've scoured, here's the other four picks I'd put on my fantasy "movie" team.
Five actresses are nominated this year for Best Supporting Actress. Cate Blanchett is bewitching for her uncanny portrayal of Bob Dylan in I'm Not There. Saoirse Ronan is bewildering as her sexually-confused teenager in Atonement. Ruby Dee is heartening as the disillusioned mother of a drug lord in American Gangster and Amy Ryan is raw as the Boston street-trash mother in Gone Baby Gone.
However, Tilda Swinton's role in Michael Clayton as an anxious, double-dealing corporate executive takes the cake. Her performance in this film has a physicality that is rare and that pervades the screen, making the audience feel everything she does. Her sweat and nervousness, they're not disconnecting at all, as she somehow makes it all relatable.
In terms of the five men nominated for Best Supporting Actor, the choices include Javier Bardem, as a psychotic bounty hunter, Philip Seymour Hoffman, as a whip smart but frustrated CIA agent, Hal Holbrook, as an endearing, widowed old man, and Tom Wilkinson, as a passionate yet paranoid lawyer off his meds.
But, Casey Affleck's performance is my choice. Casey plays an ingratiating sycophant in The Assassination of Jesse James. He too has a physicality that translates in every word he utters and in every movement of his body. He's almost an open book in the way movie-goers can read him so clearly and can so completely empathize with him.
The Coen brothers proved in 2007 that you could have a successful film with absolutely no music at all. However, most people agree that many times it's the music that does indeed save the movie. Five great composers were nominated for the Oscar, but the best original song category is probably one of the most disputed.
In a year that saw a lot of movie musicals, and a lot of movies incorporate songs, you'd didn't see a lot of them recognized. The rules governing how an original song in a movie is nominated became stricter as to disqualify a lot of good music. Disney's Enchanted made out like a bandit, but my choice is Glen Hansard, the Irish singer-songwriter, and Marketa Irglova, his Czech co-musician, who brought some of the most soulful songs I've heard in a film with their soundtrack for Once.
Finally, to fill the ranks of my fantasy team, who better than someone who specializes in fantasy? The nominees who have been recognized for Best Visual Effects certainly fit the bill. Martin Fink, the VE Supervisor for The Golden Compass, created large talking ice bears. Scott Farrar, the VE Supervisor for Transformers, created large talking robots.
But, for me, John Knoll, the VE Supervisor for Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, clenched it by creating a large talking man-squid named Davy Jones. That, along with multiple Johnny Depps and a stupendous sea battle that was simply mind-blowing, Knoll is clearly a fantasy wizard.
So, The M Report's Fantasy Football Team Roster for 2007: