January 31, 2006

It's the most wonderful time of the year

So the Oscar nominations were announced today, and of course you know I have to comment, because I'm a whore for the golden statue. Forthwith, my comments on the major categories.


No real surprises here, although there was some discussion about whether enough people had seen Capote, and whether Munich would be too controversial. There were some (like GMA's Joel Siegel) who were shocked to not see Walk the Line up there, but I wasn't. After leaving the movie, I thought it was great, but that it did have a sense of "done it all before" considering Ray had just come out the previous year. The strength of the film was the two leads, and that's what it got.


As I predicted in a previous post, this is really a 3-man race between Philip Seymour Hoffman, Heath Ledger and Joaquin Phoenix. (Hoffman now has a definite edge, as he received the SAG Award last week.) The surprise here was for Terrence Howard to score a nomination for Hustle & Flow. I'm so glad my hubby rented it - I'll be watching it tonight. Because when you're trying to avoid a pompous speech by the country's First Idiot, nothing satisfies like a pimp with a heart of gold. In other news, clearly the Academy sides with hotel staff everywhere in their distaste for Russell Crowe.


This was without a doubt the least surprising category. About the only question that was up for grabs was if Charlize would get a nomination considering the lukewarm reviews for North Country. I'll be posting my official predictions in a later post (have to catch up on some videos first), but this is really a 2-woman race between Felicity Huffman and Reese Witherspoon. The latter received the SAG award, but my hunch is that the Academy is going to applaud the complete transformation necessary to play a pre-operative transgender woman.


Here's where the morning's big shockers happened. A few were foregone conclusions - Clooney, Giamatti, Gyllenhaal. There had been speculation that someone from the vast ensemble of Crash might get a nomination, and Matt Dillon made it, which is great. His character definitely had the biggest arc of change in the film, and he did it wonderfully (you hate him, then you feel sorry for him, and you possibly like him by the end). William Hurt has one of those "very short screen time but great" roles from what I understand. I won't be falling over myself to see the movie, though - I'm guessing he's a huge longshot. This is really a race between those first three.


Most of this was expected, but I have to say how pleased I was to see Catherine Keener get a nomination (she's had a spectacular year between Capote and The 4o Year-Old Virgin) and Michelle Williams (don't call her "Dawson's Creek girl" anymore!). Again, the surprise was that Frances McDormand would make it in from North Country, although I don't think I can name anyone else who was a strong enough contender, except perhaps Anne Hathaway.


Again, this was a no-surprise category, although there was a lot of talk about Woody Allen slipping in. Instead he'll settle for a screenwriting nod. My early guess is that this is just a race between Ang Lee and Paul Haggis, with Lee taking it home, as he was the winner from the Director's Guild (an excellent predictor).

Other little tidbits and thoughts...

I'm glad to see that Wallace and Grommit doesn't have much competition, and should easily walk off with an Oscar for Best Animated film. It's out on video, and I highly recommend it.

Also happy to see all the acclaim for Brokeback Mountain, which received the most nominations of any film. You go, gay cowboys!

The Best Song category was a bit perplexing - I can't remember the last time there were only 3 nominees. I'm pulling for Dolly Parton to take this home - can't wait to see her perform! (Just please don't let Beyonce do it, please, please!)

I did a pool with some online friends to predict the nominees in each category, and I only got them all right once - for Best Makeup. I'm not sure what that says about me. Other than the gay thing.

So please discuss away - this is my favorite time of year! You know I'm full of opinions. In the meantime, I'll be renting any DVDs I can. Tomorrow I'll be watching the other one the SNU brought home for me - The Constant Gardener, so I can judge Rachel Weisz's performance, and maybe (just maybe) forgive her for looking like hell at the Globes.


Stef said...

J-Lo, it's more than just the nearness of our birthdays - I do believe we are separated-at-birth Oscar twins. :-)

My picks are up...so a few comments on yours:

- I had totally forgotten about Russell Crowe and Cinderella Man. Yep, both he and Ron Howard were shut out for this year. That's okay, I thought the film was decent but not as good as this year's big 5.

- William Hurt blew big chunks in that movie. I don't understand why he's gotten any acclaim at all, let alone a nomination. If someone has figured it out, please clue me in.

- Best Song - I'd love to see "It's Hard Out Here for A Pimp" from Hustle & Flow win. I had that song in my head for days after seeing the movie.

- I'm avoiding tonight's Idiot Man Talking by going out for dinner. Hooray for counter-programming!

ScottE. said...

Best pic is really between Capote and Brokeback...I go Brokeback.

Best Actor is between PSH and Heath...it'll go PSH.

Best Actress should be Felicity, but might go Reese...I'd die and bawl if Felicity gets it...and that's why I'll be watching alone, at home. For the hope of that one moment!

Best Supporting Actor, although I'd love for my Jack Fucking Twist to win, I highly doubt it. That said, I hope it's George Clooney, as I really dislike Paul Giamatti....Or Matt Dillion...his performance in Crash was really good.

Best Supporting Actress, Catherine Keener...if not, I do love Frances McDormand....I'm still on Margie from Fargo thou'!

Best Director, Ang Lee

Picture, Brokeback

Cinematography, Brokeback

Score, Brokeback


Now let me go wressle some gay cowboys!

DaveBear said...

The Oscars really *are* the Gay Super Bowl, aren't they? I realized the truth of that statement when I caught this morning's paper and saw a headline about the Super Bowl.

(My reaction? "Oh, that's right, that was yesterday, wasn't it?")

Conversely, I've been speculating about possible Oscar noms since roughly mid-January, plus that whole prediction game thingee which you already know about. It's easy to tell which event interests me more.

Deep down I guess I know that the race for the little gold statue is yet another form of mass-consumption entertainment, no more or less valid than a Great Big Ol' Sporting Event, but I do like to kid myself that the Oscars are somehow more rarified, more refined. It's fun to pretend.

Dancer in DC said...

That's because the gays just ARE more refined. :)

Welcome to my blog, Dave! (For others reading, Dave is a close longtime online friend of mine.)

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