Time now for the You Can’t Teach That (.blogspot.com) Oscar Special. It’s the Super Bowl of the film industry on March 5. There are a lot of close races this time, so I think I’m going to struggle to hit .500 (like every other year.) My "should win" picks are the films I would vote for if I was in the Academy, and the "will win" picks are the films that are actually going to take home the hardware.
Should win: Munich
Will win: Brokeback Mountain
Yes, I’ll be cheering for the underdog but I’ll pick the favourite. That’s what I do every single Oscar night, because the underdog hardly ever wins. Brokeback is a sappy love story that will melt enough of the voters in the Academy to put it over. Unfortunately, the one movie that I thought had a decent enough chance to beat it wasn’t even nominated (Walk the Line). There’s talk of Crash being the dark horse, and there’s some justification behind that since it plays the race card pretty hard (the Academy likes that.) However, I don’t think it has a chance, just because it was released way too early.
Should win: Steven Spielberg
Will win: Ang Lee
Spielberg will never win another Oscar ever again, so you can all but count him out. However, the Academy loves the Jewish movies, and remember that the odds makers had Roman Polanski chalked up at 100:1 for The Pianist. I kind of wonder how a director who can barely speak English (Ang Lee) does such a good job, so he must be doing something right…And for the record, I think Richie got snubbed…I thought his work on Cinderella Man was just as good, if not better, than his work on A Beautiful Mind.
Should win: Reese Witherspoon
Will win: Reese Witherspoon
Witherspoon pulled off a perfect June Carter in Walk the Line. I must say, I really don’t understand the Academy’s fascination with Judi Dench. And I don’t think Charlize Theron will win again, but the Academy’s bias may show here. Witherspoon has been cleaning up the minor league awards though, so chalk this one up as my Lock of the Week.
Should win: Joaquin Phoenix
Will win: Phillip Seymour Hoffman
The field here is wide open. Hoffman is the overwhelming favourite, but I think Phoenix (that’s wa-KEEN, not JO-kwin) deserves it over Hoffman, just because I thought Hoffman overdid it a little. However, he was still spectacular in Capote, and if he wins, I certainly won’t shed a tear. Watch out for River’s brother though…the Academy seems to like him. After all, he self-taught himself to play the guitar and did all the film’s vocals himself. And of course, don’t count out Ledger by any stretch, because to win an acting Oscar these days, you have to play somebody who’s retarded or gay, and in Brokeback, he sounds retarded and is gay. Deadly combination?
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS:
Should win: Rachel Weisz
Will win: Rachel Weisz
I haven’t seen any of these performances except for Catherine Keener in Capote, and I don’t think she deserves to win. So I would vote for Rachel Weisz, just because she won the Golden Globe. Pretty weak reasoning, I know, but that’s what I often do when I haven’t seen the movies and it works more often than not (except in Jim Carrey’s case.)
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR:
Should win: Paul Giamatti
Will win: George Clooney
I think the Academy dislikes Giamatti, seeing as how he should have been nominated for Sideways, and should have won for American Splendour, like Nick Tam said. If Giamatti wins, then it will be one of those sentimental picks, but Clooney should take it by the closest of margins. My mom is convinced that Clooney will at least win something since he’s nominated in three categories, and I don't think he has a chance in hell for the other two. Weeds has warned me not to count out Jake Gyllenhaal. It could happen if there's enough vote splitting between Giamatti and Clooney. Should he win, I think that will make him the Pepto Bismol Upset of the Week.
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY:
Should win: Syriana
Will win: Crash
Really tough call on this one…I guess we’ll see if Flippy the Coin knows as much about film as he does about football (he’s right about half the time.) It seems to me that the Academy doesn’t like stories that are hard to follow like Syriana, but I think that’s the best kind of writing. Crash will win because it was kind of innovative, I guess. It also had a lot of things happening at once like Syriana, but it also plays the race card. I’d go for Syriana just because I thought some of the dialogue in Crash was just a little wee bit contrived, especially the scenes involving the police. I also despise Paul Haggis (as a writer) for shitting something as stupid as Million Dollar Baby out on a piece of paper, and I’m also a pretty big Stephen Gaghan fan. I would be elated if Woody Allen won for Match Point, but he hasn’t won diddly poo since Hannah and her Sisters.
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY:
Should win: Munich
Will win: Brokeback Mountain
Brokeback wins and it’s going to be a travesty, just because that story was sofa king slow. Annie Proulx wrote it as a short story, but for some reason, they felt they need to drag it across 2 hours and 45 minutes. Munich was by far the best, and in a perfect world, this wouldn’t even be close. But the mushy forbidden love story will win. Although I would like to see a copy of this screenplay, just to see if Heath Ledger’s dang ol’ Boomhauer accent was actually written into the dang ol’ script, or if it was dang ol’ ad-libbed, man.
I've made picks in all 24 categories, but I won't post why I picked them. It's all just guessing when it comes to live action short films anyway.
Animated Feature: Wallace & Gromit in the Curse of the Were-Rabbit
Foreign Language Film: Joyeux Noel
Documentary Short Subject: God Sleeps in Rwanda
Documentary Feature: March of the Penguins
Film Editing: Walk the Line
Art Direction: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Cinematography: Batman Begins
Costume Design: Mrs. Henderson Presents
Visual Effects: War of the Worlds
Makeup: Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith
Sound Editing: War of the Worlds
Sound Mixing: King Kong
Original Score: The Constant Gardener
Original Song (a stupid category): "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp"
Short Film - Animated: One Man Band
Short Film - Live Action: Ausreisser (The Runaway)
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