Michael Clayton

Warner Bros. Pictures

The Contenders:

  • Atonement
  • Juno
  • Michael Clayton
  • No Country for Old Men
  • There Will Be Blood

Erik Pedersen of Cool Stuff says:  Michael Clayton

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You totally expected us to say the odds-on favorite No Country for Old Men, didn't you? Or maybe the odds-on almost-as-favorite There Will Be Blood. But the little-seen Michael Clayton? That's crazy!

And we agree, which is why we'll be putting this George Clooney corporate conspiracy thriller longshot down on our interoffice Oscar ballots.

See, we don't stand to gain much if one of the favorites wins—besides, it's kind of boring when they do (see the acting categories). But what if the Coen brothers and P.T. Anderson split the hipster-auteur vote and cancel each other out?

The electric, exciting and smart Clayton, which doesn't have any love-it-or-hate-it moments like Old Men's controversial conclusion or Blood's milkshake moment, could just swoop in for a sweet Oscar upset. Now, that would be exciting.

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