Sunday, February 25, 2007

UPDATED! In which I get predictable

Ha ha, that title is meant to have a double meaning, but it probably just sounds dumb. Anyway, I figured I would do the typical blogger thing and give my picks for the Oscars, which are happening tonight. I'll skip any categories I don't have an opinion about, so don't expect to see Best Short Film, either live-action or animated. Or Best Documentary Short. I have no clue about any of those (I also have no clue about some other categories, but that won't stop me...). So, off we go:

Oscars 2006:

Performance by an actor in a leading role:


Leonardo DiCaprio - BLOOD DIAMOND
Ryan Gosling - HALF NELSON
Peter O'Toole - VENUS
Will Smith - THE PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS
Forest Whitaker - THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND

DiCaprio should have been nominated for The Departed. He definitely shouldn't get any awards for his atrocious accent in this one (although, to be fair, I haven't seen the movie). I hear Ryan Gosling is amazing, but I haven't seen that one either. In fact, I haven't seen any of these. It just better not be Will Smith in that movie about the pursuit of sappyness. So I'll pick Forest Whitaker.

Who should have been nominated? Tommy Lee Jones, The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada. Gael Garcia Bernal, The Science of Sleep (I'm probably the only person who thinks so, but whatever). Edward Norton, Down in the Valley.

Performance by an actor in a supporting role:


Alan Arkin - LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE
Jackie Earle Haley - LITTLE CHILDREN
Djimon Hounsou - BLOOD DIAMOND
Eddie Murphy - DREAMGIRLS
Mark Wahlberg - THE DEPARTED

Out of these, I've seen Little Miss Sunshine and The Departed. I would have chosen Steve Carrell over Alan Arkin for Sunshine, and Jack Nicholson over Mark Wahlberg for The Departed (he was over-the-top, but I don't care, he was awesome), so both of those are out. I'm hoping Eddie Murphy doesn't win, but mostly out of dislike for him and the movie (which I haven't seen, but it bugs me anyway). I'm guessing Djimon Hounsou, but who knows.

Who should have been nominated? Hmmm...maybe Brad Pitt in Babel, or Barry Pepper in The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada. Kevin Kline, A Prarie Home Companion. Sergi Lopez, Pan's Labyrinth.

Performance by an actress in a leading role
:

Penélope Cruz - VOLVER
Judi Dench - NOTES ON A SCANDAL
Helen Mirren - THE QUEEN
Meryl Streep - THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA
Kate Winslet - LITTLE CHILDREN

I think Helen Mirren is a lock for this one. The only one I've seen is The Devil Wears Prada, and while Meryl Streep was pretty good in that role, the movie wasn't that great, and any other actress probably wouldn't have been nominated. I really need to see Volver; I hear Penelope Cruz is great in that.

Who should have been nominated? Kirsten Dunst, Marie Antoinette. I can't really think of anybody else.

Performance by an actress in a supporting role
:

Adriana Barraza - BABEL
Cate Blanchett - NOTES ON A SCANDAL
Abigail Breslin - LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE
Jennifer Hudson - DREAMGIRLS
Rinko Kikuchi - BABEL

For who should win out of these, I would probably say Barraza. Kikuchi was also very good. I wouldn't mind if Breslin won either. But I think Jennifer Hudson is going to win. Bummer.

Who should have been nominated? Possibly Julianne Moore in Children of Men. Meryl Streep, A Prairie Home Companion.

Best animated feature film of the year
:

CARS
HAPPY FEET
MONSTER HOUSE

Cars. I didn't see Monster House, but I heard it was okay. As for Happy Feet, I'll be pissed if it wins. It had very pretty animation, but it was a bad, bad movie.

Who should have been nominated? Flushed Away would be the only other animated movie I would have considered. Everything else was bad.

Achievement in art direction
:

DREAMGIRLS
THE GOOD SHEPHERD
PAN'S LABYRINTH
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN'S CHEST
THE PRESTIGE

My guess for this one is Pan's Labyrinth, but I'll be okay if The Prestige wins. That had some really stunning visuals. Pirates seems out of place here, and I didn't see The Good Shepherd, but I just hope Dreamgirls doesn't get it.

Who should have been nominated? The Curse of the Golden Flower. Marie Antoinette; maybe that didn't get nominated because when you're shooting in Versailles, the set decoration has mostly been done for you.

Achievement in cinematography
:

THE BLACK DAHLIA
CHILDREN OF MEN
THE ILLUSIONIST
PAN'S LABYRINTH
THE PRESTIGE

Children of Men
, all the way. Incredible cinematography in that one. Pan's Labyrinth was also good, of course.

Who should have been nominated? I dunno, maybe my same picks as Art Direction. Those also seem like good picks.

Achievement in costume design
:

CURSE OF THE GOLDEN FLOWER
THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA
DREAMGIRLS
MARIE ANTOINETTE
THE QUEEN

Curse of the Golden Flower. Marie Antoinette was also very good. Like always, I just hope it isn't Dreamgirls. And they actually designed costumes for The Devil Wears Prada? They might as well give an Oscar to Vogue magazine.

Best documentary feature
:

DELIVER US FROM EVIL
AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH
IRAQ IN FRAGMENTS
JESUS CAMP
MY COUNTRY, MY COUNTRY

I'm betting An Inconvenient Truth is too popular not to win. I also hear Iraq in Fragments is really good, and politically loaded films often win, so it has a chance. I've heard Jesus Camp is also good, but I don't think it will win. I don't know enough about the others.

Achievement in film editing
:

BABEL
BLOOD DIAMOND
CHILDREN OF MEN
THE DEPARTED
UNITED 93

I'm usually not too sure about editing. I'll say Children of Men, but Babel and The Departed also seem like good choices. Hell, so does United 93, I guess.

Who should have been nominated? The Fountain? Marie Antoinette? The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada?

Best foreign language film of the year
:

AFTER THE WEDDING
DAYS OF GLORY (INDIGÈNES)
THE LIVES OF OTHERS
PAN'S LABYRINTH
WATER

The only one I've seen is Pan's Labyrinth, but it was one of my favorite films of the year, so I'm choosing it.

Who should have been nominated? The Curse of the Golden Flower. The Death of Mr. Lazarescu, even though I didn't especially like it.

Achievement in makeup
:

APOCALYPTO
CLICK
PAN'S LABYRINTH

Click? Really? Old-man makeup isn't exactly award-worthy, in my opinion. I'm guessing Pan's Labyrinth, but Apocalypto would probably also be a good guess.

Who should have been nominated? Marie Antoinette. The Curse of the Golden Flower.

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original score)
:

BABEL
THE GOOD GERMAN
NOTES ON A SCANDAL
PAN'S LABYRINTH
THE QUEEN

Hell, I don't know. I'll say Pan's Labyrinth. Babel might also be a good choice. And The Queen is popular, maybe it'll win something other than Best Actress.

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song)
:

"I Need to Wake Up" - AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH
"Listen" - DREAMGIRLS
"Love You I Do" - DREAMGIRLS
"Our Town" - CARS
"Patience" - DREAMGIRLS

I'll take a wild guess and say "Love You I Do" from Dreamgirls. I don't know, and I don't really care, for that matter.

Achievement in sound editing
:

APOCALYPTO
BLOOD DIAMOND
FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS
LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN'S CHEST

I've only seen Pirates, so I'll choose that one. But it could probably go to any of these.

Achievement in sound mixing
:

APOCALYPTO
BLOOD DIAMOND
DREAMGIRLS
FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN'S CHEST

Ditto my last answer.

Achievement in visual effects
:

PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN'S CHEST
POSEIDON
SUPERMAN RETURNS

Pirates. As for the others, they really didn't even deserve to be nominated. Superman Returns? There wasn't anything in that movie that hasn't been done over and over for the last ten years. And I didn't see Poseidon, but come one, it was a sinking ship movie. I really doubt it had anything that hadn't already been done by Titanic, or, more recently, The Perfect Storm.

Who should have been nominated? The Fountain. I'm actually kind of pissed that it didn't get nominated. Too low-tech for the academy, I guess, but it really had the most incredible effects of the year. The Science of Sleep also had great effects, but I guess they were too obviously (and purposely) fake to be nominated. And Shortbus had one of the most moving effects I've ever seen, with the "camera" zooming around cardboard-looking buildings all over Manhattan.

Adapted screenplay
:

BORAT CULTURAL LEARNINGS OF AMERICA FOR MAKE BENEFIT GLORIOUS NATION OF KAZAKHSTAN
CHILDREN OF MEN
THE DEPARTED
LITTLE CHILDREN
NOTES ON A SCANDAL

My pick is Children of Men, but it will probably go to The Departed. What was Borat an adaptation of, the TV show? Weird.

Who should have been nominated? A Prairie Home Companion. The Prestige. Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story.

Original screenplay
:

BABEL
LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA
LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE
PAN'S LABYRINTH
THE QUEEN

I'm guessing Little Miss Sunshine, since this is probably the only award it will win. The others are also all good picks, so any of them could also win.

Who should have been nominated? The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada. Shortbus. The Fountain. The Science of Sleep. Brick.

Achievement in directing:

BABEL
THE DEPARTED
LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA
THE QUEEN
UNITED 93

I think it'll finally be Scorsese's year, for The Departed. I would also accept Alejondro Gonzalez Inarritu, for Babel. I didn't see United 93, but I heard it was very good. Maybe patriotism will win out. And the Academy always loves Clint Eastwood, so don't count out Letters from Iwo Jima.

Who should have been nominated? Alfonso Cuaron, Children of Men! Michel Gondry, The Science of Sleep (in my dreams)! Sofia Coppola, Marie Antoinette. Tommy Lee Jones, The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada. Darren Aronofsky, The Fountain. Robert Altman, A Prairie Home Companion.

Best motion picture of the year:

BABEL
THE DEPARTED
LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA
LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE
THE QUEEN

And for the big one...I don't know. I'm guessing Letters from Iwo Jima, since, as I mentioned, the Academy loves Eastwood and will honor Scorsese with Best Director. But I could be wrong; The Departed and The Queen are also possibilities. And maybe Babel, although there seems to be a backlash against it, possibly for being too much like Crash (which it's much, much better than).

Who should have been nominated? You can probably guess what I'll say here: Children of Men, which I really do think is the best movie of the year. I also think The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada and A Prairie Home Companion are very good. And while I loved The Science of Sleep, The Fountain, and Marie Antionette, I realize that they aren't for everyone, so I don't begrudge the Academy for leaving them out.
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And that's it. I think it's funny that Best Visual Effects was the category I got most worked up about. How silly of me. If anybody reads this, it'll probably be after the ceremony, so you can berate me in the comments for how wrong I ended up being.
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POST-CEREMONY UPDATE:

Looks like I should have guessed The Departed for more categories. How about that.

Happy Feet
won for Best Animated Picture (dammit!), but my wife had a good comment: It's got that environmental theme, which those Hollywood liberals love. I should have considered that factor.

Were there no good original songs in movies last year? All five of the songs performed during the show sucked.

I'm surprised Pan's Labyrinth didn't win Best Foreign Language Film, but maybe voters thought something else should get recognized after it won a few other categories.
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Okay, that's it for me with the silly commentary. Hopefully I'll be able to get to some of my normal stuff soon.