Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The Oscar Nominations Breakdown

Alright so I promised I would break-down the Oscar nominees and now I’m finally going to do it. So let’s take a look at my predictions and then the real nominees: (Green is for correct predictions, red is for incorrect ones)

My Predictions Actual Nominees

Best Picture
- Babel - Babel
- Dreamgirls - Letters From Iwa Jima
- The Queen - The Queen
- The Departed - The Departed
- Borat! - Little Miss Sunshine

Best Actor
- Forest Whitaker - Forest Whitaker
- Leonardo DiCaprio (for The Departed) - Leonardo DiCaprio (Blood Diamond)
- Sacha Baron Cohen - Ryan Gosling
- Will Smith - Will Smith
- Peter O’Toole - Peter O’Toole

Best Actress
- Helen Mirren - Helen Mirren
- Meryl Streep - Meryl Streep
- Kate Winslet - Kate Winslet
- Perennial nominee, Dame Judi Dench - Judi Dench
- Beyonce Knowles - Penelope Cruz

Best Director
- Martin Scorsese - Martin Scorsese
- Clint Eastwood (For Letters...) - Clint Eastwood (Letters...)
- Stephen Frears - Stephen Frears
- Alejandro González Iñárritu - Alejandro González Iñárritu
- Bill Condon - Paul Greengrass

So to sum that up for you, I correctly predicted 14.5 out of 20 (I give myself half a point for Leo, because I knew he would be nominated but I predicted he would be nominated for the good movie, not the preachy one. Sorry, I forgot I was dealing with Hollywood instead of rational people). Not bad. So now that I’ve graded my predictions for the nominees its time for me to make my predictions as to who will win, and sadly I think this task will be substantially easier.

As I said before, Forest Whitaker and Helen Mirren have already picked out where in their respective houses they plan on displaying their Best Actor and Best Actress awards, and in accord with that Leonardo DiCaprio is working on trying not to scowl when they don’t call his name. Again. (I wonder if Leo must be insufferable to work with, because the Academy, which is made up of many of his peers, just keeps teasing him even though he is most certainly one of, if not the, most talented actors in Hollywood.) And now it seems that based on the last few weeks it is becoming more and more apparent, thanks to wins at the Producers Guild Awards and at the Screen Actors Guild awards Sunday night, that the Best Picture award will go to Little Miss Sunshine. And I know, last year around this time we were all sure that Brokeback Mountain would win, but Little Miss Sunshine hasn’t become the national joke that Brokeback became in the months after its bizarre popularity. And also remember, I correctly predicted Crash would win, so I think you should just trust me on this one (sorry, I just had to bring that up again because it was such a great prediction by me).

Also pretty much in the bag are the awards for Best Supporting Actor and Actress which will most likely go to Dreamgirls co-stars, Eddie Murphy and Jennifer Hudson, which I think seems awfully weird considering that the movie wasn’t even nominated for Best Picture. But perhaps enough of the people in the Academy saw Beyonce’s performance in The Pink Panther and Austin Powers 3 and just decided that no movie starring her should ever be considered the Best Picture. And if that’s the case, then I certainly can’t disagree with their choice. Although it really will be a damn shame if Marky Mark doesn’t win, because he was awesome. Can’t he get some kind of special Academy Award for Most Amazing Excessive Swearing in a Good Film? Who Framed Roger Rabbit? got a special award for being awesome, so really I don’t see why Marky Mark can’t as well? And this, I suppose, is why I’m not allowed to hand out awards that matter.

The only real mystery in this year’s Academy Awards lies within the Best Director category (well that’s not true, I’m sure that there is some question as to who will win the Best Editing award or one of those other awards few people care about outside of people in that specific field and the mothers of those people) where once again Martin Scorsese finds himself in position to win an award he should have won many times already. Part of me thinks that this one is a sure thing, because really, he has to win sometime, doesn’t he? He’s definitely one of the most talented directors we’ve ever had, much better than that Steven Spielberg (who’s won TWO!!!), so at some point you’d figure he’d have a shot to pick up the Best Director award. And we also have to remember that the Academy loves handing out awards as a way of honoring all of a person’s body of work after numerous snubs, kind of like a makeshift Lifetime Achievement Award, (remember Denzel anyone?).

However, there is another part of me that wonders why hasn’t he won it yet? He certainly could have two years ago when The Aviator lost out to Clint Eastwood’s Million Dollar Baby. He also could have picked up the award at the 1989 show when his excellent work, The Last Temptation of Christ, lost to Rain Man, which was directed by Barry Levinson (what? He’s won an Oscar? Weird.). So maybe he’s just not going to win one. Alfred Hitchcock never won one. Neither did Robert Altman. Sometimes the very best of us don’t get recognized for their achievements simply because their consistent greatness gets them overlooked by works that are extraordinary for an individual (Manny Ramirez has never won an MVP award, but I don’t think anyone could argue he isn’t a legitimate MVP candidate every single year. And on the flip side of that, Jeff Kent has won an MVP award. I rest my case). I don’t think that Eastwood could beat him again, but I do think its possible that someone like Greengrass or Iñárritu could pull it off since their works are extraordinary compared to the rest of their careers (or at least most people would think that). It seems highly unlikely that that would happen, but I bet Barry Levinson thought similarly on Oscar Night in 1989.

As for the other awards, well frankly, I don’t really care. I guess I don’t want Happy Feet to win an Academy Award, and I suppose I’d prefer it if Click didn’t win for Best Makeup since I really didn’t like that movie, but honestly, if they won, it wouldn’t be the end of the world. The thing that most upsets me about the Academy Awards this year is the lack of respect for Borat! It wasn’t the greatest movie ever, but it was the first true comedy I can remember that actually had a shot at an Oscar, or so I thought. But I’ve already written more than a 1000 words, so I’ll save that discussion for a later date, or rather, the next time I want to write something, but can’t think of anything to write about.


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