Tuesday, January 31, 2006

And the nominees are...

"Brokeback Mountain" leads. "Cinderella Man" predictably forgotten. "Chocolat II: Pride & Prejudice." Actor-centric filmmaking dominates the major categories. "Sin City" completely shut-out. More, you want? Let's get to it...

Brokeback Mountain
Goodnight & Good Luck

Hey, look! "Munich" actually made it in! Cool, a couple people owe me some money now. That, "Crash" and especially "Goodnight & Good Luck," would be worthy, honorable wins. "Capote" is kind of iffy... it's less a movie and more transportation for Hoffman's grand lead performance. Further analysis is pretty futile, of course, because "Brokeback" is winning. Never underestimate The Academy's fondness for a weepy, melodramatic cheeseball dipped in a yummy coating of Social Importance.
Winner: "Brokeback Mountain."
Should win: "Goodnight & Good Luck" or "Munich."
Missing: "Sin City."

Philip Seymour Hoffman
Heath Ledger
Terrance Howard
Joaquin Pheonix
David Strathairn

Overall good category, but one dripping with Oscar politics: Hoffman and Strathairn are "due." They really want to hear Ledger's teary-eyed speech about leading in such an "important" film. Howard is the "shiny new guy" on the brink of stardom. Pheonix is the immediate audience fave. I'm betting safe on Hoffman, but if Ledger wins you can write off all chances of a Best Picture upset.
Winner: Hoffman.
Should win: David Strathairn.
Missing: Robert Downey Jr. ("Kiss Kiss Bang Bang")

Judi Dench
Reese Witherspoon
Felicity Huffman
Keira Knightley
Charlize Theron

Every year the Oscar handicappers seem to forget The Academy's raging fetish for all things Judi Dench, and every year they act shocked that she's up for another innocuous lil' English comedy. It'll be fun to watch Knightley's inexplicably-virulent detractors here on the interweb have a cow over this. Theron has no reason to be here for the awful "North Country." Witherspoon will win, giving "Walk the Line" it's Oscar.
Winner: Reese Witherspoon
Should Win: Reese Witherspoon
Missing: Naomi Watts ("King Kong.")

George Clooney
Matt Dillon
Paul Giamatti
Jake Gyllenhaal
William Hurt

Hurt for "History of Violence!?" KICK ASS! Giamatti is the favorite and safe-bet. Gyllenhaal was better than Ledger in their film, but gimme a break. Clooney is the dark horse.
Winner: Giamatti
Should Win: Hurt
Missing: Mickey Rourke ("Sin City")

Amy Adams
Catherine Keener
Frances McDormand
Rachel Weisz
Michelle Williams

Hey, super. Now we get to see the "You don't up there to FISH!!!!!!!!!" clip ad-naseum on all the news shows for the next month and a half. And watch all the critics bust a nut over Adams actually getting "Junebug" into the running. Put the cash on Rachel Weisz... but not too much of it.
Winner: Rachel Weisz
Missing: Georgie Henley ("Narnia"), Tilda Swinton ("Narnia.")

George Clooney ("Goodnight & Good Luck")
Paul Haggis ("Crash")
Ang Lee ("Brokeback Mountain")
Bennett Miller ("Capote")
Steven Spielberg ("Munich")

I'm going to break stride and take a risk here: I'm gonna say this is a "split" year and Ang Lee will lose director to Steven Spielberg or Clooney. Preferably Spielberg. Don't be too mad at me if you lose the bet, just a hunch.
Winner: Spielberg
Missing: Robert Rodriguez ("Sin City,") Andrew Adamson ("Narnia,") Christopher Nolan ("Batman Begins.")

Goodnight & Good Luck
Match Point
Squid & The Whale

"Crash" has the most heat. "Goodnight" is #2. "Match Point" is Woody's welcome-back nod. "Syriana" is the political pick. Bet accordingly.
Winner: "Crash"

Brokeback Mountain
History of Violence
Constant Gardner

Guess who's probably gonna take it?
Winner: "Brokeback Mountain"
Should Win: "History of Violence"
Missing: "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang"

Brokeback Mountain
Batman Begins
Goodnight & Good Luck
Memoirs of a Geisha
New World

"Brokeback" will rob another one, it's very postcard-pretty but totally generic. Nice surprise to see "Batman" get a nod.
Winner: "Brokeback Mountain"
Should Win: "Batman Begins"
Missing: "King Kong," "Narnia," "Sin City."

Cinderella Man
Constant Gardner
Walk the Line

Finally, a category without the obligatory "Brokeback" nod, (it's dead weight 2nd act would disqualify it here, anyway.) "Crash" probably has this one for the paralell-story difficulty, and on that line where is "Sin City."
Winner: "Crash"
Should Win: "Crash" or "Munich"
Missing: "Sin City," "Narnia"

Goodnight & Good Luck
Harry Potter
King Kong
Memoirs of a Geisha
Pride & Prejudice

Hm. Okay, "Pride" looks like every other Victorian movie, no big thing. No "Narnia," really?
Winner: Too close right now.
Should Win: "King Kong"
Missing: *sigh* "Sin City," "Narnia," "Batman Begins"

Charlie and The Chocolate Factory
Memoirs of a Geisha
Ms. Henderson Presents
Pride & Prejudice
Walk the Line

The costume biz here declares a symbolic putting-in-their-place of the scifi/fantasy genres that the traditionalists are so sick of winning all the time. They've even hopped "King Kong," at least as good at it's period costumes as the other three historical pics here.
Winner: "Geisha" (yuck)
Missing: Echo? What echo? "Kong," "Sin City," "Narnia," "Batman"

Brokeback Mountain
Constant Gardner
Memoirs of a Geisha
Pride and Prejudice

Y'know what? Not even going to pretend this is a good list this year. "Brokeback" wins.
Winner: "Brokeback Mountain"
Missing: "Kong," "Narnia," "Batman"

Hustle & Flow

Oooooh! Look how with it we are! We nominated a rap about pimping!

Chronicles of Narnia
Cinderella Man
Star Wars Episode III

"Narnia" wins.

Chronicles of Narnia
King Kong
War of The Worlds

"Kong" wins based on the monkey alone.

So thats my list this year, let's just get on with it...

P.S. Memo to Hollywood: We get it. Robert Rodriguez does most of his own work and that hacks off the Unions. Y'know what? This isn't a struggling Midwestern factory, and none of you are Norma Rae. Get over it and stop stiffing this guy. The total passing over of "Sin City" is UNFORGIVABLE.


Wesley said...

Good roundup I think you way too estatic over Batman but good overview anyway.

mr menendez said...

i know this is old an all but...
the oscars snub movies like sin city all the time. but, in this case, i think it's because rodriquez quit the dga (directors guild of america) so he could share the directing credit with frank miller (y'know, the guy who did the comic book.) and since it was pretty much a shot for shot adaptation, rodriquez was there as, mostly, a technical director. the oscars don't support anyone who's not part of thier little club. that's why you don't see indie movies get awarded.