Friday, February 23, 2007

My Oscar Predictions

Last year I went 22/24 on my Oscar picks, only missing such minor categories as Best Cinematography and Best Picture. This year, the race is very different, and I know I will not be so successful. While most everyone agrees that the four acting categories are all but guaranteed, no one can seem to predict a Best Picture winner.

Anyway, here are my thoughts on the major categories.

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

As I have said many times, I have not seen Dreamgirls, but I would like to think that Oscar voters would see ads for Norbit and change their votes. Oh well. I loved all the other performances.

Should Win: Jackie Earle Haley
Will Win: Eddie Murphy

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

From everything I have seen in clips, Jennifer Hudson does a great job. Cate Blanchett is always great, but I am not sure why this is Supporting; she was a co-lead, but I guess this happens sometimes. But both actresses from Babel give powerful performances, and Abigail Breslin was very good, too. A good selection, but I don't really think there is any question about this one.

Should Win: Adriana Barraza
Will Win: Jennifer Hudson

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

I have not seen two of these, but this is another one that is basically already set in cement. Leo was great, as was Ryan Gosling. Both will be nominated again soon.

Should Win: Forest Whitaker
Will Win: Forest Whitaker

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 did not see Volver, but all of the other performances were great. I like that some older ladies are getting recognized, though Kate Winslet is one of my favorite actresses, and this is already her 5th nomination. Nonetheless . . .

Should Win: Helen Mirren
Will Win: Helen Mirren

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

These are all great films, though I do not think Borat really qualifies as a screenplay, since it was so improvised.

Should Win: The Departed
Will Win: The Departed

Original Screenplay

Letters from Iwo Jima
Little Miss Sunshine
Pan's Labyrinth
The Queen

Should Win: Little Miss Sunshine
Will Win: Little Miss Sunshine

Achievement in Cinematography

The Black Dahlia
Children of Men
The Illusionist
Pan’s Labyrinth
The Prestige

This should not even be a debate. The camera work in Children of Men was so extraordinary and gripping that nothing else should even be considered.

Should Win: Children of Men
Will Win: Children of Men

Achievement in Directing
Babel, Alejandro González Iñárritu
The Departed, Martin Scorsese
Letters from Iwo Jima, Clint Eastwood
The Queen, Stephen Frears
United 93, Paul Greengrass

Each of these directors has achieved something outstanding with these films. I always love the multiple-narrative style, and Iñárritu really did a great job with this. Eastwood, however, has not only created a moving and beautiful film, but also directed it in another language, which is no small feat. But I believe it is finally Scorsese's year, and I am happy that it will be for an awesome movie, not just some "let's give it to him this year since we did not give it to him earlier" type thing (see Denzel Washington in Training Day).

Should Win: Martin Scorsese
Will Win: Martin Scorsese

Best Motion Picture of the Year
The Departed
Letters from Iwo Jima
Little Miss Sunshine
The Queen

All of these films were in my Top 10. As I mentioned earlier, this is the most wide-open year in recent memory. No one can agree on what will happen. The three films that seem to be most in the running are Babel, Little Miss Sunshine, and The Departed. Babel has a lot going for it: it is big and serious and it won the Golden Globe. Little Miss Sunshine has broad appeal and it won the SAG Award. But indie comedies never win, so if LMS wins, it would break a lot of barriers. Also, since it is not up for Best Director, some may think its nomination is a fluke. The Departed is awesome, of course, but lots of times voters decide to reward a director and give the Best Picture to someone else. So if Scorsese wins, it may mean The Departed won't.
So I am bouncing back and forth: Babel seems a safe and likely choice; Little Miss Sunshine would shake things up. But I have been getting a feeling lately . . .

Should Win: The Departed
Will Win: The Departed

I am probably wrong, and if so, who cares? Liveblog Sunday.


At 11:59 AM, Anonymous scott w posited...

I totally agree with your comment about Denzel and Training Day, which I consider a poor film. It is strange how all the other boys I live with in my apartment love Training Day and all other Denzel flicks for that matter.

They also love Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Nicolas Cage, 3 actors which I have never liked. Anyways, I am on the edge of my seat for the live blog on Sunday.

At 7:58 AM, Blogger CoachDub posited...

Don't get me wrong, Scott--I love Denzel Washington, but not all of his movies are so great. He deserved his win for Glory and his nomination for The Hurricane, which he would have one in any other year (he was up against Kevin Spacey in American Beauty) but I did not see what was so special about Training Day.
I do like DeNiro and Pacino, though. And when they get together, like in Heat, watch out.

At 11:39 AM, Blogger Kelsi posited...

I was listening to the radio the other day and the discussed the rules of the Oscars. One of those being that women over 50 don't get Oscars for best actress.

I'm not sure if this is true, because it sounds like total bull that great performances aren't recognized due to age.

At 12:25 PM, Blogger CoachDub posited...

By "rule" they meant "generally accepted fact." Of course a woman of any age can win, but it rarely happens. In the history of the Oscars, only six women over 50 have ever won, the last time being in 1989.

At 10:02 PM, Blogger Pammy posited...

purple fashion guy = andre leon talley, vogue columnist and fashion guru.


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