A borderline homicidal gunman, a cantankerous oil tycoon, a disgraced attorney who took out the trash for wealthy clients and three points of the spectrum of character gunning it out for millions of dollars. These are not the characters you expect to see celebrated during the galas of award season, yet there we were, taking it all in.
At the end of the day, 2007 could very well compare with years like 1939 (Gone with the Wind, Stagecoach, Wizard of Oz, etc.), or 1948 (Hamlet, The Red Shoes, Treasure of the Sierra Madre). It is damn near the best year any era. We had Paul Thomas Anderson's magnum opus in There Will Be Blood, the examination of celebrity and idolatry told withing the legend of Jesse James in The Assassination of Jesse James, the Coen Bros. look at the failure of good men in a world that needs them most in No Country for Old Men, Tony Gilroy's treatise of frailty in a corporate-driven world and David Fincher's taut portrayal of obsession in its many forms in Zodiac.
In 2007, it would have been easy all too easy for the Academy to go with traditionally middling fare as they did with Chicago and Crash. Instead, they came through, making the critically-acclaimed and dark duo of No Country for Old Men and There Will Be Blood the top nominated films with 8 nominations, respectively. Together, the two films won major categories like directing, best actor/supporting actor and adapted screenplay.
But those were just the films nominated. Before the Devil Knows You're Dead,