Saturday, February 24, 2007

Oscar picks 2007

It is that time of year again. All the guests are dressed to the nines (some of them to the eights and even worse if they wear frumpy dresses or badly tailored suits) eagerly waiting to hear their name called to grab the golden phallus--- err, sorry I meant the golden statue.

While I have favorite performances, movies and things I liked about movies from last year, my picks for the Oscar’s this year are picks only and not favorites (Unless, heh heh, I say they are).

Best Picture

Toughest category to call this year. Of the five up for the award, I liked Little Miss Sunshine the best from last year (see: December 2006 archives - Movies, Best of 2006). I think it will follow in the path of Crash which came from nowhere last year to pick up the award. Babel is this year’s wild card for me. You can talk Marty up all you want with The Departed, but the movie leaves you cold… especially that trite trick with the rat at the end.

Will Win: Little Miss Sunshine
Should Win: Little Miss Sunshine
Might Win: Babel

Best Director

Another tough call. Clint Vs. Marty and I believe they cancel each other out. Clint made one great movie (Letter From Iwo Jima) & one good movie (Flags of Our Fathers). Honestly, I think Letters kills The Departed and Flags is about equal to Marty’s film. If Clint were to win one more directing award it would put him way into the stratosphere of the who’s who in directing realm. Now don’t get me wrong about Marty. I like his work for the most part. He was ripped twice for best picture (Raging Bull lost to Ordinary People & Goodfellas to Dances with Wolves) & some would argue a third time when he lost out for Taxi Driver against Rocky… Network was better than both of them. My fear is that Marty is going to get the sympathy pick for getting screwed a few times (though I think he may eventually have to wait for the Lifetime Achievement Oscar). Stephen Frears did a good job with The Queen, but that movie is all Helen Mirren all the time so he is out. That leaves Paul Greengrass for United 93 and Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu for Babel. If the academy members have any balls, it would vote for Greengrass for making the bravest film in years, however it will not happen. His nomination was the prize for him. That leaves Iñárritu as the pick.

Will Win: Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu
Should Win: Paul Greengrass
Might Win: Martin Scorsese

Best Actress

Would love to see where the 2nd and 3rd place numbers were against Helen Mirren. If there is a sure thing this year for the Oscar’s it is Mirren’s performance in The Queen. Streep & Dench have their awards while Cruz and Winslet will have to wait a while longer (not much longer I think for Kate Winslet). Nothing more to say. Mirren is a lock.

Will Win: Helen Mirren
Should Win: Helen Mirren
Might Win: Helen Mirren you dope!

Best Actor

This is one of the other tricky categories. On one hand, you have Forest Whitaker winning every award possible leading up the big night (I think the girl scouts gave him and award as well, or maybe they sent him some mint cookies). On the other hand, you have Lawrence of Arabia himself: Peter O’Toole. And, he is waaaaaaaaaaaay over due for an award. Nominated seven time previously for pictures such as: The Ruling Class, Becket, The Lion in Winter & the afore mentioned Lawrence of Arabia. My problem here is that he did a great job in a lackluster film but because he has been snubbed a few times (How in the HELL did he not win for Lawrence of Arabia!!!!) so the sympathy vote is possibly being called in for him. As for the others- Gosling is in a movie that no one has seen (has not played where I live and everything comes here), DiCaprio was nominated for the wrong role & Will Smith was in a People’s Choice type of film that many in the Academy will not likely vote for. That leaves Forest Whitaker & he should win this award easily.

Will Win: Forest Whitaker
Should Win: Forest Whitaker
Might Win: Peter O’Toole

Best Supporting Actress

Jennifer Hudson seems to be the front runner for this year. She’s the American Idol darling who has stolen the spotlight from Beyonce (I bet’s she’s really p*ssed). I have not seen Dreamgirls and probably will not see it as musicals are not really my thing where movies are concerned. The math in this category is fairly simple: Babel’s dual BSA nominations cancel each other out (though I loved Rinko Kikuchi’s startling performance). Cate Blanchett is already a winner from a few years ago. That leaves little Abigail Breslin from Little Miss Sunshine. Hudson gets the nod.

Will Win: Jennifer Hudson
Should Win: Rinko Kikuchi
Might Win: N/A

Best Supporting Actor

Another difficult category to pick. This one seems to be all about Eddie Murphy channeling James Brown’s celebrity hot tub from Saturday Night Live into a movie. I’m not buying it though I do hear and read that he did a great job. Mark Wahlberg received the only acting nomination from The Departed. I am not sure what this is supposed to tell me though I think Wahlberg has turned out to be a fine actor after paying some serious dues (good lord, he was the head of the Funky Bunch at one time!). Djimon Hounsou was very good in Blood Diamond, but he was even better in Amistad or In America. That leaves the front runners: Alan Arkin and Jackie Earle Haley. Arkin will probably win and he’ll deserve it for the quality and quantity of work he has brought to the screen. Haley should win this award outright for his difficult role in Little Children as a tortured, sick man who has… ahem, a problem being around the, uh….well you can figure it out from the title. When he has his meltdown at the end of the movie, you feel a sympathy for him that you never thought possible and that folks is acting at its finest. I'm hoping he wins because Chris Cooper played a fairly seedy, down on his luck character to Oscar gold a few years ago in Adaptation. Besides, he was Moocher in Breaking Away dammit! He should win.

Will Win: Alan Arkin
Should Win: Jackie Earle Haley
Might Win: Eddie Murphy

The Rest of my Picks:

Animated Feature: Cars
Art Direction: Pan’s Labyrinth
Cinematography: Children of Men
Costume Design: Marie Antoinette
Documentary Feature: An Inconvenient Truth
Documentary Short: Two Hands
Film Editing: Children of Men
Foreign Language Film: The Lives of Others
Makeup: Pan’s Labyrinth
Original Score: Babel
Original Song: Listen
Short Film (animated): No Time for Nuts
Short Film (live action): Helmer & Son
Sound Editing: Letters From Iwo Jima
Sound Mixing: Pirates of the Caribbean
Visual Effects: Pirates of the Caribbean
Screenplay (adapted): Notes on a Scandal
Screenplay (original): Little Miss Sunshine

No comments: