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Saturday, March 04, 2006

Oscar Picks

Alright folks, it's time to pick our Oscar winners. By the way, I STILL am not over Bill Murray losing to Sean Penn (the acting equivalent to emo) two years ago. His turn in Lost in Translation, which I just watched again recently, was a marvel. Shame, shame, shame.
This year presents us with many political offerings, so perhaps it's fitting that Jon Stewart is hosting. Whether you're conservative or liberal, come on, Stewart's hilarious. Should be fun. Here are my predictions, make yours in the comment section:

Best Supporting Actor: George Clooney
Look, they have to get him on stage at some point, and Good Night, Good Luck is probably not going to do it. So look for Clooney's Syriana performance to bag the Oscar. After all, what's an Academy Awards show without a little sanctimony? Clooney actually believes he's being bold by making left-of-center films in Hollywood's echo chamber. Persecution? The guy says whatever he wants without retribution and can always retreat to his Italian villa. I appreciate his talent and interest in making serious films. But overlionizing Murrow and hazy oil conspiracies? That doesn't even bother me as much as his interviews...

Best Supporting Actress: Amy Adams
There is always one surprise at the Oscars, and I'm going with this one. The performance of Amy Adams in the small film Junebug has generated deep admiration by critics, and I will guess, voters. Rachel Weisz of The Constant Gardener is probably the favorite, with Brokeback Mountain's Michelle Williams in the mix as well. Let's say they cancel out a lot of votes and Adams wins a narrow plurality.

Best Actor: Philip Seymour Hoffman
It's got to be Philip Seymour Hoffman for Capote. I've always loved Hoffman--first saw him in Paul Thomas Anderson's films--and am very happy he's getting his due. Brokeback Mountain's Heath Ledger a fairly close second, Joaquin Pheonix gets the bronze. Nice to see David Strathairn get a nod--always thought he was good. Check him out in John Sayles' Limbo, an unheralded but wonderful film.

Best Actress: Reese Witherspoon
This is a really tough call. The trend has been to change or disfigure your phyiscal appearance and win an Oscar (Kidman and Theron come to mind). This would seem to favor Transamerica's Felicity Huffman. But Walk the Line's Reese Witherspoon has won so many awards leading up to the Oscars that it's hard to see her being denied, especially after singing her own parts. One interesting conspiracy theory: Witherspoon skipped the BAFTAs, which could turn off British voters and swing a close contest to Huffman. Superdarkhorse: Keira Knightley. Dench and Theron: just happy to be there.

Best Director: Ang Lee
Fuhgettaboutit. No contest. OK, maybe Crash's Paul Haggis but I really, really doubt anyone will top the Brokeback director. If Haggis pulls the shocker, then you know it's going to be a big night for Crash, culminating in a best picture. Speilberg's just happy to be nominated this year.

Best Picture: Crash
This is a total coin toss between Crash and Brokeback Mountain. Typically the best director and best picture award line up together, but not always. Here's why I think Crash will narrowly, narrowly win:
1) a marketing campaign that would make Miramax proud
2) this is an LA film about race, and many of the voters live in LA
3) older Academy voters quietly squeamish about Brokeback
But this really is a 50/50 pick. Wouldn't surprise me at all to see Brokeback win.

Et tu?

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