Anders Bergstrom's blog on Words, Films, and Music

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Ok, the Oscar© Nominations are out today. No real surprises, but nonetheless I offer my commentary, predictions, etc.

I've seen all but one of the Best Picture nominees (Capote which I was planning on seeing this upcoming weekend anyway because I really like PSH). I always watch the show. It's like the movie geek superbowl; half the fun is playing armchair quarterback and complaining about the decisions. Plus this year should be worth watching just for the host. Who is it? None other than Jon Stewart!

78th Annual Academy Award Nominations

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

Brokeback Mountain
Capote
The Constant Gardener
A History of Violence
Munich

Somehow I have a feeling that the adaptation of E. Annie Proulx's cowboy short story is going to take this, but I think that Tony Kushner's (Angels in America) meditation on terrorism and counter-terrorism is more daring and better executed.

Writing (Original Screenplay)

Crash
Good Night, and Good Luck
Match Point
The Squid and the Whale
Syriana

Haggis won the adapted screenplay last year (for Million Dollar Baby) so he's the one to watch this year. But Woody Allen's Match Point is a fantastic bit of writing (it's what he does best) and given it's snubs in the other categories, it should win this one.

Actress in a Supporting Role

Amy Adams (Junebug)
Catherine Keener (Capote)
Frances McDormand (North Country)
Rachel Weisz (The Constant Gardener)
Michelle Williams (Brokeback Mountain)

Williams did great work and will likely pick up this award as the lone acting win for Brokeback, but don't count out Keener either who has been nominated before and did other fine work this year (The 40-Year-Old Virgin). Me, I have a soft spot for Rachel Weisz.

Actor in a Supporting Role

George Clooney (Syriana)
Matt Dillon (Crash)
Paul Giamatti (Cinderella Man)
Jake Gyllenhaal (Brokeback Mountain)
William Hurt (A History of Violence)

Possibly the most competitive category, with fine performances on all counts. I predict either a win for Clooney who had two great films this year, or Paul Giamatti to make up for his snubs the past two years in the leading role category. My choice would be the scene stealing performance by William Hurt playing totally against type in
A History of Violence.

Actress in a Leading Role

Judi Dench (Mrs. Henderson Presents)
Felicity Huffman (Transamerica)
Keira Knightley (Pride & Prejudice)
Charlize Theron (North Country)
Reese Witherspoon (Walk the Line)

Haven't seen any of these, but my gut tells me that Huffman will win because it follows the Academy rule of "most=best," and how can one beat one of the Desparate Housewives wearing tons of makeup as a pre-op transgendered person? From what I've heard though Reese should win (I'll probably get around to seeing Walk the Line before the awards). But this is a tight race and could go either way.

Actor in a Leading Role

Phillip Seymour Hoffman (Capote)
Terrence Howard (Hustle & Flow)
Heath Ledger (Brokeback Mountain)
Joaquin Phoenix (Walk the Line)
David Straithairn (Good Night, and Good Luck)

Another competitve category. From what I've heard, PSH will take this and deservedly so (heh, funny if "Hoffman" and "Huffman" won). But all the other performances are great and don't count out Joaquin (though Jamie Foxx won for playing a music star last year which hurts Joaquin's chances). I personally thought Terrence Howard had as good a year as any actor and Hustle & Flow deserves the praise it's getting.

Directing

George Clooney (Good Night, and Good Luck)
Paul Haggis (Crash)
Ang Lee (Brokeback Mountain)
Bennet Miller (Capote)
Steven Spielberg (Munich)

Usually the Academy mixes things up and nominates one director who doesn't have a Best Picture contender (I was predicting Jackson getting a nod for Kong), but not this year. I predict that Lee will take this one easily. But you know I'm rooting for my all time favourite, Steven.

Animated Feature

Corpse Bride
Hauru no ugoku shiro (Howl's Moving Castle)
Wallace & Gromit - The Curse of the Were-Rabbit

My favourite category and the one where the Academy got the three best. I predict that it will go to Corpse Bride, but my favourite was Wallace & Gromit.

Best Picture

Brokeback Mountain
Capote
Crash
Good Night, and Good Luck

Munich

Again, I think Brokeback is a lock in this category, but that doesn't stop me from thinking that Munich was the better film.

In other categories, I'll post my predictions again before the actual night of the Oscars©. My biggest dissapointment was that Star Wars Episode III - Revenge of the Sith got robbed in the Best Visual Effects category. War of the Worlds and King Kong sure, but Narnia? How can you tell me that those cartoony-looking beavers were better than Yoda? Just kind of gets to me, because I thought the effects in Narnia were weak. That said, I'd say King Kong is a lock in this category. Hell, WETA should get a special acheivement award for creating the character of Kong.

3 comments:

rochelle laura knox said...

i find it humorous that you added the copyright symbol to "oscars". on a blog.

GoldNboy said...

Anders, why do you keep says "a lock in this category", come up with something new. I am also angry about Star Wars not getting it's deserving Visual Effects nomination but whatever, I am more worried about killing those damn regenerators in Resident Evil 4.

Anders said...

I'm pissed about the Star Wars non-nomination in Best Visual Effects too man!

Ok, instead of "lock," let's just say that Brokeback Mountain is my "shoe-in of the week."