Saturday, 24 February 2007

Obsessing Over Oscars

It’s that time of year, the time movie fans either love or loathe. Yes, Oscar walks among us again.

Often at this time I indulge in a bit of navel gazing about why I am so interested in the Oscars. The ceremony itself is usually bloated, smug and features a horribly teary acceptance speech by the best actress, and I seldom agree with their choice of best picture. Crash beating Brokeback Mountain still makes me grind my teeth.

To be fair to the Academy, they have been getting more diverse and less mainstream with their choices of films in recent years. This year the nominees are the most multicultural ever.

Fundamentally though, why should movie fans give a damn what Hollywood thinks the best in the last year of cinema was? You already know what you like and what you don’t.

I guess it comes down to the fact that, as a lover of movies, it’s nice to see them celebrated. It’s also a great excuse to go see a lot of good films, and yell at the tv when your favourites miss out.

Below are my pics for the likely Oscar winners, and who I’d pick in the various categories. Bear in mind that as usual I’ve not seen some of the heavyweight contenders, such as ‘Notes from a Scandal’ and ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’.

The nominees are here:

By all means let us know what were your favourites!

Best Picture

Likely winner: Man, this is really hard to pick this year. All the contenders have won earlier awards, none of them is really dominating things, and they're all excellent. I’ll pick the feel-good factor of Little Miss Sunshine.

Tane’s top five:

Little Miss Sunshine
Letters From Iwo Jima
United 93
The Departed

Honourable mentions:

The Queen
Out of the Blue
Children of Men
Russian Dolls
The Squid and the Whale
Superman Returns
Flags of Our Fathers
Happy Feet

Lauren’s top five:

United 93
The Departed
Little Miss Sunshine
The Prestige

Honourable mentions:

Letters From Iwo Jima
The Queen
Superman Returns
Russian Dolls
Out of the Blue
The Devil Wears Prada
The Squid and the Whale

Best Director

Likely winner:
Surely, surely, Martin Scorsese will get his long overdue Oscar this year. Even if The Departed doesn’t get Best Picture, the momentum is there for him to get one of those unofficial lifetime achievement awards the sentimental folks in Academy bestow from time to time.

Tane’s best director: Paul Greengrass, United 93. With no major performances to drive it, if any movie’s success can be put down to a director’s skills, it was this one.

Best Actor:

Likely Winner: Forest Whitaker, who played Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in The Last King of Scotland, has swept all awards before him.

Tane’s best actors: Whitaker. My nominees would also include Matt Damon from The Departed, Leonardo Di Caprio and Djimon Honsou for Blood Diamond, and Heath Ledger in Candy. Honourable mentions to Sacha Baron Cohen from Borat, Daniel Craig from Casino Royale, Ken Watanabe and Kazunari Ninomiya from Letters From Iwo Jima and Mathew Sunderland from Out of the Blue.

Best Actress

Likely Winner: Helen Mirren, Her Majesty in The Queen, has been as dominant as Whitaker.

Tane’s best actress: Mirren. I’ve not seen any of the other nominees though. Abby Cornish in Candy and Jennifer Hudson in Dreamgirls were also outstanding, and Sarala from Water delivered perhaps the child actor performance of the year.

Best Supporting Actor

Likely Winner: Eddie Murphy, as troubled soul star Jimmy Early in Dreamgirls.

Tane’s pick: The supporting actor/actress nominations often bug me, as so often someone gets nominated (Jennifer Connelly in A Beautiful Mind comes to mind) who is clearly a lead, simply because the studio thinks they’re more likely to win in that category. Djimon Honsou comes into that category this year.
My pick would be Murphy. My other nominees would be Alan Arkin and Steve Carell from Little Miss Sunshine, Michael Caine in Children of Men, and Adam Beach in Flags of Our Fathers.

Best Supporting Actress

Likely Winner: Jennifer Hudson from Dreamgirls, though she’s clearly the film’s lead actress.

Tane’s pick: Rinko Kikuchi from Babel. Other nominees: Adriana Barazza, also from Babel, Abigail Breslin in Little Miss Sunshine, and Seema Biswas and Kulbhushan Kharbanda from Water.

Best Original Screenplay

Likely Winner: This could be an early indicator of the winning film – I’ll go with Little Miss Sunshine

Tane’s pick: Babel. Nominees: The Queen, Little Miss Sunshine, Russian Dolls and Out of the Blue.

Best Adapted Screenplay

Likely Winner: It’s a bizarre nomination, as it was a largely improvised film, but I think Borat might take this.

Tane’s pick: The Departed. Nominees: The Prestige, Candy, Children of Men, Letters From Iwo Jima.

Best Cinematography

Likely Winner: Children of Men

Tane’s pick: Apocalypto

Best Art Direction

Likely Winner: Dreamgirls

Tane’s pick: Dreamgirls


Likely Winner: Cripes, editing’s such a fundamental part of a film I always find it hard to judge it. I’ll take a stab and go the Academy liking the interwoven stories of Babel.

Tane’s pick: United 93


Likely Winner: Dreamgirls

Tane’s pick: Apocalypto


Likely Winner: ?

Tane’s pick: Apocalypto


Likely Winner: I Love You I Do, from Dreamgirls

Tane’s pick: Patience, from Dreamgirls


Likely Winner: Apocalypto

Tane’s pick: Apocalypto

Visual Effects

Likely Winner: Superman Returns

Tane’s pick: Pirates of the Carribean: Dead Man’s Chest


Likely Winner: Flags of Our Fathers

Tane’s pick: Flags of Our Fathers

Animated Film, Documentary, Foreign Film

Off all the films that would fit into these categories, I've have only seen Happy Feet, An Inconvenient Truth and Water, so I can’t really comment. Cars is tipped to win animated, An Inconvenient Truth is sure to get documentary and Pan’s Labyrinth was thought to be close to landing a regular Best Picture nomination, so it’ll win Foreign Film.

Sound Editing

Too technical for me!


The_doctor said...

Well I know my choices wil not win, but these are my pick for the academy.

Best Motion Picture of the Year

The departed (2006)

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role

Forest Whitaker
for The Last King of Scotland (2006)

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role

Helen Mirren
for The Queen (2006)

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role

Djimon Hounsou
for Blood Diamond (2006

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role

Rinko Kikuchi
for Babel (2006) (I hope)

Best Achievement in Directing

Martin Scorsese for The Departed (2006)(This time?)

Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen

Babel (2006):
Guillermo Arriaga

Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published

The Departed (2006):
William Monahan

Best Achievement in Cinematography

Laberinto del Fauno, El (2006): Guillermo Navarro

Best Achievement in Editing

Babel (2006): Douglas Crise, Stephen Mirrione

Best Achievement in Art Direction

Laberinto del Fauno, El (2006): Eugenio Caballero, Pilar Revuelta

Best Achievement in Costume Design

Marie Antoinette (2006): Milena Canonero

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score

Laberinto del Fauno, El (2006): Javier Navarrete

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song

Dreamgirls (2006): Henry Krieger, Siedah Garrett("Love You I Do")

Best Achievement in Makeup

Laberinto del Fauno, El (2006): David Martí, Montse Ribé

Best Achievement in Sound
Apocalypto (2006): Kevin O'Connell, Greg P. Russell, Fernando Cámara

Best Achievement in Sound Editing

Apocalypto (2006): Sean McCormack, Kami Asgar

Best Achievement in Visual Effects

Superman Returns (2006): Mark Stetson, Richard R. Hoover, Neil Corbould, Jon Thum

Best Animated Feature Film of the Year

Happy Feet (2006): George Miller

Best Foreign Language Film of the Year

Laberinto del Fauno, El (2006)(Mexico)

Best Documentary, Features

An Inconvenient Truth (2006): Davis Guggenheim

Best Documentary, Short Subjects

Two Hands: The Leon Fleisher Story (2006): Nathaniel Kahn, Susan Rose Behr

Best Short Film, Animated

No Time for Nuts (2006): Chris Renaud, Mike Thurmeier

Best Short Film, Live Action

West Bank Story (2005): Ari Sandel

Maria said...

I've seen far too few new movies!! Of the ones mentioned, I've only seen "The Queen" and "Cars"... no, we don't go to the cinema often ;-)

I DO hope "Efter brylluppet" will win best foreign movie though! How could would it be to get a Danish Oscar!! :-D