Sunday, February 25, 2007

My Oscar Predictions/Hopes

I've listed the 5 nominees in the order I think they deserve to take home the Oscar. I've bolded the ones I would be happy to see win, and starred the ones I think have the best chance of winning.

--Little Miss Sunshine*
The Departed
--The Queen
--Letters From Iwo Jima

I love how insanely up-in-the-air this category is in terms of potential winners, and my favorites. I actually think 'Babel' is the best of the 5, but for some reason I can't help rooting for 'Little Miss Sunshine' and 'The Departed.' I love them nearly as much as 'Babel,' but something innate in me just wants to see the Academy reward fantastic entertainment for a change. Not a message movie, not an epic, not an emotional powerhouse (though if 'Pan's Labyrinth' or 'Children of Men' were nommed, I'd be rooting for them), just fantastic entertainment made by great filmmakers. 'The Queen' is a very good film I liked a whole lot more than I thought I would, but I still find it appalling that it's up for best picture. 'Letters From Iwo Jima' is the one nomination here that would make me cry if it won-- enough with this Eastwood bullshit. Even if I loved 'Iwo Jima,' I'd want it to lose, and I happened to think it was the dullest movie of 2006, so there you go. I've been predicting 'Sunshine' for a while now, but lately I've been getting a 'Departed' vibe, and I also think there's a big groundswell of support for 'Babel' and 'Iwo Jima.' It could really be anything, but I'm sticking with 'Sunshine.'

--Martin Scorsese, "The Departed"*

--Paul Greengrass, "United 93"

--Alejandro Gonzales Innaritu, "Babel"
--Stephen Frears, "The Queen"
--Clint Eastwood, "Letters From Iwo Jima"

Granted the best directing of the year wasn't nominated (Alfonso Cuaron), but even if he was, I'd still have to cast my vote for Scorsese. I've never believed in this sentimental 'lifetime achievement' awards in the form of Oscars, but enough is enough. If there was ever a year to give it to Marty, it would be for 'The Departed,' where he actually DESERVES it. I've always rooted for him to get an Oscar, but let's be honest: he didn't really deserve it for 'Gangs of New York' or 'The Aviator.' On the other hand, 'The Departed' is so well-directed, it's astonishing. Greengrass is the only other nominee I'd be happy to see take it from Scorsese, but we all know that ain't happening, so no use thinking about it.

--Ryan Gosling, "Half Nelson"
--Forest Whitaker, "The Last King of Scotland"

--Will Smith, "The Pursuit of Happyness"

--Peter O'Toole, "Venus"
--Leonardo DiCaprio, "Blood Diamond"

Once again, my favorites of the year were snubbed (Hugh Jackman in "The Fountain," William H. Macy in "Edmond," DiCaprio in "The Departed"), but we've got to make the best of what we have. Gosling was fantastic, and is the best of the group, so again, let's not worry about it. Whitaker was great and has been doing wonderful work forever, so he really does deserve this. As sugary as the movie is, I'm apparently one of the few who really thought Smith was fantastic in 'The Pursuit of Happyness.' As big a star as he is, I'd be fine with seeing him win here. O'Toole is a living legend-- and yes, he competently walked around and spoke in 'Venus' but it's really not a great performance. DiCaprio was nominated for the wrong film-- the atrocious 'Blood Diamond'-- and it just gets me furious, so the less said about it, the better. I think Whitaker's the winner here, but I'd say watch out for a surprise from O'Toole or DiCaprio *shudder*

--Helen Mirren, "The Queen"*
--Judi Dench, "Notes on a Scandal"
--Kate Winslet, "Little Children"
--Penelope Cruz, "Volver"
--Meryl Streep, "The Devil Wears Prada" (I love her, and I love the performance, but c'mon, it's nowhere near the other four)
Fucking awesome category-- three, arguably four, of the greatest actresses of all time, and just great performances all around. That said, Mirren will win, and she deserves to.

--Jackie Earle Haley, "Little Children"
--Eddie Murphy, "Dreamgirls"
--Alan Arkin, "Little Miss Sunshine"*
--Mark Wahlberg, "The Departed"
--Djimon Hounsou, "Blood Diamond"
What a shitball category. Jackie Earle Haley DID give the best supporting performance of the year, so I'm happy he got nominated, but the rest of these? C'mon. Murphy was very good, but he's just such an asshole, I don't really want to see him get an award. Arkin's great, and was mildly amusing in a gimmicky role (Tee-hee, the grandpa's cursing!), but he's the LEAST of that entire ensemble. Carell and Kinnear were far more deserving of nominations. Wahlberg's nomination I think is a joke. I know a lot of people love him in 'The Departed' but I just don't get it. Are we giving out Oscars now for saying a handful of variations on 'I fucked ya mutha' now? Hounsou was awful. He needs to stop playing the noble black man-- he ran around for two and a half hours screaming "my son!" This was barely a performance. Murphy's the front-runner, but I have a feeling there's too much backlash. I'm predicting Arkin or Haley.

Adriana Barraza, "Babel"
--Jennifer Hudson, "Dreamgirls"*
--Rinko Kikuchi, "Babel"
--Cate Blanchett, "Notes on a Scandal"
--Abigail Breslin, "Little Miss Sunshine"

I know everyone's sick of seeing her win awards, but I think J. Hud's performance is 'Dreamgirls' is the kind of performance this award was created for. She's just wonderful-- and while I loved the 'Babel' ladies and my favorite was Barrazza-- I'll be happy to see Hudson win here.

"Pan's Labyrinth"
--"The Queen"
--"Little Miss Sunshine"*
--"Letters From Iwo Jima"

"Little Miss Sunshine" will likely take this because it's the movie everyone loves, but in my humble opinion, everything that was great about that film had little-to-nothing to do with the screenplay. On the other hand, "The Queen" is a movie that lives and dies by its wonderfully witty and intelligent screenplay. That said, I just can't hide my enthusiasm for 'Pan's Labyrinth' extremely touching and imaginative screenplay, and will be rooting for it here.

(5-way tie; alphabetical)
--"Children of Men"
--"The Departed"*
--"Little Children"
--"Notes on a Scandal"

Best category of the night. Every single one of these screenplays deserves to win, and that makes it the one category of the night I'm not worried about. No matter who takes it, I'll be happy. Huzzah and kudos Academy. Given that, I don't think they're going to be able to resist the snappy clever dialogue of 'The Departed.'

Other deserving winners:
BEST DOCUMENTARY: "Deliver Us From Evil"
BEST EDITING: "United 93"*
BEST MAKEUP: "Pan's Labyrinth"*
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE: (tie) "Happy Feet" and "Monster House"
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE: "Pan's Labyrinth"*
BEST ART DIRECTION: "Pan's Labyrinth"*
BEST COSTUME DESIGN: "Marie Antoinette"*
BEST ORIGINAL SONG: "Love You I Do" from "Dreamgirls"
BEST VISUAL EFFECTS: Uh... I don't give a shit, they all suck


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