Sunday, February 25, 2007

My wildly inaccurate Oscar picks

Since it's a Sunday I figured why not a change of pace. Instead of politics, since the Oscars are tonight I'll make my no doubt wildly inaccurate Oscar picks before heading downtown this afternoon to see the Toronto Marlies be defeated by the farm-team of my beloved Canucks, the Manitoba Moose.

The Oscars are probably the only awards show I even half pay attention to, although I may flip on the Junos this year to see how Bev Oda arrives on the red carpet and who she's wearing. I also haven't seen a number of the movies here, but with that said here we go...

Best Actor
The nominees are Leo DiCaprio for Blood Diamond, Ryan Gosling for Half Nelson, Peter O'Toole for Venus, Will Smith for The Pursuit of Happyness, and Forest Whitaker for Last King of Scotland.

I'll confess, out of these five movies I only watched the first 30 minutes of Pursuit of Happyness before I could take the crappyness no more. So, I'm flying blind here. I'll say either O'Toole or Whitaker though, and based on the trailers for his movie and the buzz I'll give it to Whitaker.

Best Supporting Actor
The nominees are Alan Arkin for Little Miss Sunshine, Jackie Earle Haley for Little Children, Djimon Hounsou for Blood Diamond, Eddie Murphy for Dreamgirls, and Mark Whalberg for The Departed.

Hey, I've actually seen one of these ones: Little Miss Sunshine. A few times, in the theater and on several airplanes. It rocked, and so did Arkin, so I need to give him the nod here.

Best Actress
Nominated are Penelope Cruz for Volver, Judi Dench for Notes on a Scandal, Helen Mirren for The Queen, Meryl Streep for The Devil Wears Prada, and Kate Winslet for Little Children.

I've actually seen two out of five here, The Queen in the theater and (most of) Devil Wears Prada on a plane, so we're getting better. While everybody loves Dame Judy, based on the trailers her charcter just inspires too much hatred to be Oscarish IMO. And Prada seemed like a teen movie, not an Oscar movie. Besides, Mirren was amazing as Queen Elizabeth II, an amazing performance, so I have to give her the nod here.

Best Supporting Actress
Nominated are Adriana Barraza and Rinko Kikuchi from Babel, Cate Blanchett from Notes on a Scandal, Abigail Breslin from Little Miss Sunshine, and Jennifer Hudson from Dreamgirls.

I've seen Babel and Little Miss Sunshine, so that's three of the five nominated performances. While Barraza was great as the housekeeper, I think it's down between Kikuchi as the troubled student and the sentimental favourite, Breslin. Both turned in great performances. While my emotional pick would be Breslin, if the academy sticks to form they'll probably go with Kikuchi for her multi-layered performance.

Nominated are Alejandro González Iñárritu for Babel, Martin Scorsese for The Departed, Clint Eastwood for Letters from Iwo Jima, Stephen Fears for The Queen, and Paul Greengrass for United 93.

I've seen them all here but The Departed. It will probably be Babel or Letters, and my personal choice would be Letters. I thought it was a brilliantly directed film, wouldn't change a thing. Babel I've had some arguments among friends with. I've grown weary of the whole intersecting storylines thing, and yeah, I get the metaphor, but it just seemed like they were trying too hard, trying to win an Oscar. So I'll give my nod to Eastwood, but I won't be surprised if the academy picks Iñárritu.

Best Picture
The bigee. Nominated are Babel, The Departed, Letters from Iwo Jima, Little Miss Sunshine, and The Queen.

I've seen them all but The Departed, and I don't think any are a real home-run, obvious Oscar pick. The closest to the traditional mold would be Babel, but as I've already said I just felt it was trying too hard. I really enjoyed The Queen, but is it best picture material? I don't think so. I really enjoyed Letters from Iwo Jima, but would the academy really go for a foreign-language film? While I wouldn't be surprised if they went with Babel, my choice here has to be Little Miss Sunshine.

Lastly I'd also like to give a shout-out to The Lives of Others for Best Foreign Language film. It wouldn't have been out of place among the best picture nominees, IMO.

Your Turn

Are you going to watch the Oscars tonight? What are your picks? Will you eat your shirt if Eddie Murphy wins an acting Oscar? Am I a cultural heathen? Discuss.

Update: Perhaps not wildly inaccurate, I got half of my picks right, 3/6, and 4/7 if you count Lives of Others. Figures the one movie of the five I DIDN'T see wins best picture. DVD, I guess. Happy for Marty Scorsese. Ellen has host was safe but boring, so a success by Oscar standards I guess. But why can't they ever end these things on time?

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Anonymous said...

Best Actor -- Leo DiCaprio/Blood Diamond, Ryan Gosling/Half Nelson, Peter O'Toole/ Venus, Will Smith /The Pursuit of Happyness, and Forest Whitaker/ Last King of Scotland.
Was riveted by Gosling's performance and also thought Leo did a terrific job in what was an effective thriller. But I concur with you that the academy, unless swept by a last-chance swoon for O'Toole, will go with Whitaker's command performance.

Best Supporting Actor-- Alan Arkin/Little Miss Sunshine, Jackie Earle Haley/Little Children, Djimon Hounsou/Blood Diamond, Eddie Murphy/Dreamgirls, and Mark Whalberg/The Departed.
Arkin has to be favoured, but i had major trouble with the oh-so-cute-indy feel of LMS. Haley was the standout here, but if there's an upset I think it'll go with Whalberg.

Best Actress -- Penelope Cruz/Volver, Judi Dench/Notes on a Scandal, Helen Mirren/The Queen, Meryl Streep/The Devil Wears Prada, and Kate Winslet/Little Children.
As wide open a category as you'll find, with some major hardware holders looking to add to the collection. While I thought Mirren was brilliant as Lizzy, and Dench frenetically abrasive as the stalker, I'd love to see Cruz win, just to get her on camera more;^) I'd also be happy, performance wise, to see Winslet win.

Best Supporting Actress -- Adriana Barraza and Rinko Kikuchi/Babel, Cate Blanchett/Notes on a Scandal, Abigail Breslin/Little Miss Sunshine, and Jennifer Hudson/Dreamgirls.
The favourites appear to be Breslin and Hudson who both gave brave performances in flawed films. I agree that Kikuchi probably should win, but feel the academy is going to go with Breslin.

Directing -- Alejandro González Iñárritu/Babel, Martin Scorsese/The Departed, Clint Eastwood/Letters from Iwo Jima, Stephen Fears/The Queen, and Paul Greengrass/United 93.
Tough choices here as each did a amazing job. I thought, despite its familiar Scorsese feel, The Departed was a very strong film and that Eastwood's Letters deserves to haul in an award. But my pick is going to Greengrass, we know the academy has short-term memory lapse for anything released before November, but this film excelled beyond its press and was just painfully riveting.

Best Picture -- Babel, The Departed, Letters from Iwo Jima, Little Miss Sunshine, and The Queen.
Please don't let LMS win, because I didn't believe it for a minute. It struggled as a comedy/satire, wobbled as socio-drama, and really had the worst ending I've seen in a while. For me, it's either Letters or Departed and I'll say the academy will go with Scorsese this time.

Anonymous said...

Who cares. Why do these people need awards? Isn't the money and celebrity enough?

I wonder how many people really remember who one in each category last year.

Well, I must confess, I do watch and then get mad at myself for doing so - it's so obscene with the money and gifts they get while children are going to be hungry.

I'm watching tonight actually to see if Al Gore wins - the rest I don't care.