March 2, 2006

Oscar Picks

Filed under: movies, oscar — ted @ 10:27 pm

I’m feeling pretty good about this.

I know, this poster is a little perverted. The Julie Andrews one is much better.

Let’s get the minor ones, which I know very little about, out of the way first. I’m going entirely on hearsay for these:

Live Action Short: Cashback

Animated Short: 9

Documentary Short: God Sleeps in Rwanda

And for the technical categories:

Visual Effects: King Kong

Sound Editing: King Kong

Sound Mixing: Walk the Line

Film Editing: Crash

In music:

Original Score: Brokeback Mountain

Original Song: “In the Deep” from Crash

And for artistry:

Makeup: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

Costume Design: Memoirs of a Geisha

Now that I’d done with all of that unpleasantness, let’s move onto the awards I actually care about, with a little commentary:

Art Direction

It sure looks like Memoirs of a Geisha is going to win this one, and I suppose that’s fine.

My Vote: Good Night, and Good Luck

My Pick: Memoirs of a Geisha


Goodness, The New World is the best by a mile, but it’s far from Oscar-friendly. I think this category is a close call, between “Geisha” and “Brokeback,” although I found the camera work in “Brokeback” underwhelming. How Batman Begins gathered a nomination, I’ll never know…

My Vote: The New World

My Pick: Memoirs of a Geisha

Documentary Feature

I’m not crazy about documentaries, and the only one of these I’ve seen is March of the Penguins, and it was rather lacking as a doc. Therefore, I don’t have a vote, however:

My Pick: Darwin’s Nightmare

Best Foreign Language Film

Again, I am rather ashamed with my lack of knowledge here. It sounds like the race has come down to Tsotsi and Paradise Now, with the former being a slight favorite and the latter being the bold, controversial choice (Palestinian suicide bombers, etc.)

My Pick: Tsotsi

Best Animated Feature

Howl’s Moving Castle was magnificent, but Miyazaki has won before, and claymation is quite the crowd pleaser. All three should be pleased there was no Pixar release to contend with.

My Vote: Howl’s Moving Castle

My Pick: Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit

Now, the acting awards. This is, of course, where it gets interesting.

Best Supporting Actress

Early in the season, it seemed Michelle Williams (who still has a strong chance, depending on how brokeback the Academy is feeling) and Amy Adams were frontrunning, but Rachel Weisz has, from what I can tell, pulled ahead as late. Right on.

My Vote: Rachel Weisz

My Pick: Rachel Weisz

Best Supporting Actor

An interesting category, full of petty sentiment. We’re all very proud of Matt Dillon, for portraying a racist with intelligence and humanity, and Jake Gyllenhaal, who complemented Heath Ledger’s epic Ennis with equal intensity, has unfortunately been lost in the shuffle–no one thinks he has a chance. Paul Giamatti is getting all kinds of sympathy, mostly because he was “snubbed” (I honestly don’t see it) for Sideways. The Academy does pull a “make up call” every now and again (e.g. Julia Roberts for Erin Brockovich, Nicole Kidman for The Hours), especially when an actor has performed well for several years in a row without winning. However, George Clooney has two things going for him: first, he’s probably not going to win for anything else, and he had one of the best individual years in recent memory, and, more importantly, he put on weight and grew a beard. Beautiful people making themselves look less beautiful has worked wonders recently, and I think it will here as well.

My Vote: Jake Gyllenhaal

My Pick: George Clooney

Best Actress

Another case where an early frontrunner (Felicity Huffman) lost ground to a better, more deserving challenger. Plus, singing your own songs is totally awesome. Way to go, Reese.

My Vote: Reese Witherspoon

My Pick: Reese Witherspoon

Best Actor

This one’s in the bag, but I wish it wasn’t. Philip Seymour Hoffman is your surest bet on Oscar Night, and he is most deserving. But I wish there had been more discussion in the Oscar-obsessed press about Ledger’s brilliance, and Straithairn’s deadly accuracy. Terrence Howard is incredible, and we’ll be seeng plenty of him in the future. In truth, this one was the hardest for me to decide personally; I’ve flipped between Hoffman and Ledger at least 74 times in the past month (I’ve already editted this post twice.)

My Vote: Philip Seymour Hoffman

My Pick: Philip Seymour Hoffman

Ah, the writing awards, where travesties most often rear:

Adapted Screenplay

The character development and terse dialog in Brokeback Mountain was something special. And I really think it will win. But to realize the true brilliance of the Capote script, read the four chapters from Gerald Clarke’s Capote on which the film was based, and see how Dan Futterman created an emotional, psychological, and literary masterpiece.

My Vote: Capote

My Pick: Brokeback Mountain

Original Screenplay

Speaking of travesties, I think Crash is going to win, despite being by far the worst of the five movies nominated. Ugh.

My Vote: The Squid and the Whale

My Pick: Crash

Now for the good stuff:

Best Director

Who decided to nominate Steven Spielberg? It’s like looking at an NCAA bracket and picking Duke, even though they have a weak team. Sure, Spielberg is awesome, and Munich was good–but give someone else a chance…

I think there is a slight chance for an upset here: Clooney may be able to snatch this one away from Ang Lee. But Lee could have easily won for Crouching Tiger, indeed, he should have, and the rest of the nominees aren’t strong enough to overcome Brokeback Mountain‘s excellence. Plus, if there is a Director/Picture split, I think it will go the other way, and Ang Lee will still win this one.

My Vote: Bennett Miller

My Pick: Ang Lee

Best Picture

Some people have been getting very excited about Crash, thinking that it might have a chance to upset Brokeback Mountain, and even hoping that it does. Those people, most of whom are either from L.A. or hate gay people, have poor taste. For all that is good and true, pray that this doesn’t happen. Brokeback Mountain is ten times the movie Crash is, and a win for “Brokeback” would mark the first time since the late 90s that one of the year’s best movies has actually won best picture. If Crash wins, I won’t be as upset as I was last year, when that miserable mess Million Dollar Baby won, and won’t want to put my fist through the screen, as I did when Sean Penn won Best Actor instead of Bill Murray–but I know it will be hard for me to get up the next morning.

Please, Academy, get it right for once.

My Vote: Capote

My Pick: Brokeback Mountain


1 Comment »

  1. I think Brokeback Mountain will get all acting awards except for Best Actress. I like Reese, but I think Felicity deserves the award…

    Comment by kingdelrosario — March 2, 2006 @ 10:54 pm

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