The Decking Crew Does the Oscars
January 28th, 2004

Anything With Substance by Tom Nix
Additional Bullshit Comments by Steve Guerrs

Welcome everyone, to Hollywood season. Where, in spite of it all, the film industry finds it necessary to pat itself on the back and hopefully increase revenue for movies that were a bit better than your average bear. Or at least whose director sucked a lot of dick.

In all fairness, though, this year’s cream of the crop showcases some sound choices. They, accompanied by some witty banter, follow:

ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
Johnny Depp - PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: THE CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL
Ben Kingsley - HOUSE OF SAND AND FOG
Jude Law - COLD MOUNTAIN
Bill Murray - LOST IN TRANSLATION
Sean Penn - MYSTIC RIVER

Suprise of the Night #1 - Johnny Depp being nominated for Jack Sparrow. He deserves it, no doubt - but it's more than just rare to see the academy pick a comedic role for a nom over, say, a girl acting like a boy. Bravo, old guys.

Guerrs: Instead, this year they nominate a boy acting like a girl. I'm kidding of course...They didn't nominate Orlando Bloom for Lord of the Rings.

Suprise of the night #2 - This is Johnny Depp's First Oscar Nomination EVER. **bullshit**

Suprise of the night #3 - WHERE THE FUCK IS SEAN ASTIN?!?!?

Guerrs: He's 5 foot nothin' 100 nothin' and nearly a speck of ability. But in this life, he don't have to prove nothin' to nobody but himself.

There isn't a sour name on the list. Penn tore it up in Mystic River (Though I hear that his turn in 21 Grams was even better), Kingsley is class defined, Jude Law has deserved an Oscar for years, although Cold Mountain isn't his best work by far, and Bill Murray made me not hate him so much in Lost in Translation. I think Murray or Penn will walk away with it. Depp if the academy wants to stop just fucking us in the ass and actually give us a reacharound.

Guerrs: You hate Bill Murray? You hate Bill Murray?!? Really? Pete Venkman?? Bill Murray deserves this award because he's Bill Murray. So we can see hear "with the voice of Oscar Winner Bill Murray" for trailers of Garfield.


ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Alec Baldwin - THE COOLER
Benicio Del Toro - 21 GRAMS
Djimon Hounsou - IN AMERICA
Tim Robbins - MYSTIC RIVER
Ken Watanabe - THE LAST SAMURAI

Ken Watanabe ruled the shit out of Last Samurai, and I think he's the hands down favorite here. His only real competition is an allegedly fabulous Benico Del Toro. As much as I love Alec Baldwin, he's got about as much chance at winning the Oscar as winning back Kim Basinger, and Tim Robbins and Djimon Hounsou put forth solid efforts, but nothing compared to the first two.

Surprise of the Night #4 - Dijimon Hounsou playing a non-slavery related role.

ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE
Keisha Castle-Hughes - WHALE RIDER
Diane Keaton - SOMETHING'S GOTTA GIVE
Samantha Morton - IN AMERICA
Charlize Theron - MONSTER
Naomi Watts - 21 GRAMS

Having not seen any of these flicks at deadline, I'm gonna call Theron the winner. Old people love it when hot people have to look like them for a movie. Plus, I hear that she actually acted her ass off. Another possibility is the incredulously adorable Keisha-Castle Hughes. Everyone loves cute kids, right? (Insert Anakin joke here)

Guerrs: We all know who wins here. The rule is, if you get fat, give yourself a unibrow, add a gigantic nose, become an amputee, disfigure an ear, look "drugged up," look anemic, look around intensely, and give the audience a look of boredom, you're an Oscar winner. Congrats Charlize.

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Shohreh Aghdashloo - HOUSE OF SAND AND FOG
Patricia Clarkson - PIECES OF APRIL
Marcia Gay Harden - MYSTIC RIVER
Holly Hunter - THIRTEEN
Renée Zellweger - COLD MOUNTAIN

Given that there hasn't been too much blatant political B.S. handed out just yet, I hold hope that this category wasn't tailor-made for Renee Zellweger. Harden wasn't all that impressive, but I'm secretly pushing for Holly Hunter. Mostly because a win will give her more movie roles. Call me selfish.

ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
BROTHER BEAR
FINDING NEMO
THE TRIPLETS OF BELLEVILLE

Ack! Bullshit! When is the Academy going to expand this category to include anime' and foreign animated features. The fact that Brother Bear is even on this list is despicable. Finding Nemo wins it by a (lucky) fin.

Guerrs: They should just call this the "We always want to give Pixar an award, but don't want a damn cartoon to win Best Picture." They won't though.

ART DIRECTION
GIRL WITH A PEARL EARRING
THE LAST SAMURAI
THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING
MASTER AND COMMANDER: THE FAR SIDE OF THE WORLD
SEABISCUIT

Given that art direction is something that you should not notice when you watch a film, it's hard to gauge without multiple viewings. The King did a lot of justice to Tolkien's book, but I think this one's going to go to either Samurai or Master and Commander: Unnecessary Subtitle # 2.

CINEMATOGRAPHY
CITY OF GOD
COLD MOUNTAIN
GIRL WITH A PEARL EARRING
MASTER AND COMMANDER: THE FAR SIDE OF THE WORLD
SEABISCUIT

If Seabiscuit deserves to win anything, it's this. Of course, we all know how hard it must be to shoot a movie at sea, so Master and Commander: The End of This Subtitle is on The Far Side of the World might win here, too.


Can't wait to see these ads.

COSTUME DESIGN
GIRL WITH A PEARL EARRING
THE LAST SAMURAI
THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING
MASTER AND COMMANDER: THE FAR SIDE OF THE WORLD
SEABISCUIT

As odd as it may seem, The Last Samurai nailed this. Make Tom Cruise happy.

DIRECTING
CITY OF GOD
THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING
LOST IN TRANSLATION
MASTER AND COMMANDER: THE FAR SIDE OF THE WORLD
MYSTIC RIVER

The best quintet of the night. Peter Jackson will win. Else, the academy will know what it is to be teabagged by a fat man.

Guerrs: If you don't understand the teabagging comment, just move right along. It's a haunting image.

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
BALSEROS
CAPTURING THE FRIEDMANS
THE FOG OF WAR
MY ARCHITECT
THE WEATHER UNDERGROUND

Didn't see them, but we did get a copy of Capturing the Friedman's in at work today, so let's go with that one then.

DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT
ASYLUM
CHERNOBYL HEART
FERRY TALES

Peter Jackson is going to win Best Direction. I just know it.

FILM EDITING
CITY OF GOD
COLD MOUNTAIN
THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING
MASTER AND COMMANDER: THE FAR SIDE OF THE WORLD
SEABISCUIT

The fact that HULK was left of this list is a crying shame. In its honor, I'll give it to the "hulk" of the box office, Lord of the Rings. Har Har Har.

Guerrs: The only thing Hulk should win is the award for Best Movie on a Plane that Helped Steve Fall Asleep.

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
THE BARBARIAN INVASIONS
EVIL
THE TWILIGHT SAMURAI
TWIN SISTERS
ŽELARY

::shrug::

MAKEUP
THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING
MASTER AND COMMANDER: THE FAR SIDE OF THE WORLD
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: THE CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL

This is a no-brainer. I didn't see much else besides mascara in Pirates, and Master and Commander: Year of the Colon just added gunpowder. I'm gonna go with the one that has ORCS IN IT.

MUSIC (SCORE)
BIG FISH
COLD MOUNTAIN
FINDING NEMO
HOUSE OF SAND AND FOG
THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING

If Howard Shore won this award every year for his work on the LOTR Trilogy, it still wouldn't be enough. Some of the best movie music of all time. He best win it again.

MUSIC (SONG)
"Into the West" - THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING
"A Kiss at the End of the Rainbow" - A MIGHTY WIND
"Scarlet Tide" - COLD MOUNTAIN
"The Triplets of Belleville" - THE TRIPLETS OF BELLEVILLE
"You Will Be My Ain True Love" - COLD MOUNTAIN

And Cold Mountain cancels itself out, so LOTR wins again.

Guerrs: Oh come on. There's a kiss, there's a kiss at the end of the rainbow! It was the soul of that whole movie. Wha' Happened?

SOUND
THE LAST SAMURAI
THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING
MASTER AND COMMANDER: THE FAR SIDE OF THE WORLD
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: THE CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL
SEABISCUIT

This one should probably go to The King. Mostly because I'm still not over the Nazgul shriek.

SOUND EDITING
FINDING NEMO
MASTER AND COMMANDER: THE FAR SIDE OF THE WORLD
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: THE CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL

If MC Farcyde deserves an award, this is it. Make Russell Crowe happy.

VISUAL EFFECTS
THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING
MASTER AND COMMANDER: THE FAR SIDE OF THE WORLD
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: THE CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL

Duh.

Surprise of the Night #5 - Pirates getting FIVE NOMINATIONS. Maybe the academy actually saw movies this year.

Guerrs: You know what's the most surprising? That the academy didn't split all their nominations on Bruckheimer's other 2003 releases! Look at this catalog!


Boring. Bloated. Belligerent.

WRITING (ADAPTED SCREENPLAY)
AMERICAN SPLENDOR
CITY OF GOD
THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING
MYSTIC RIVER
SEABISCUIT

American Splendor or Return of the King. I'd really push the King this year, as it's hard enough to adapt one book successfully, but PJ did all three and made them some of the best movies of all time. Let Hollywood rejoice in the fact that they have one of the greatest director/writers ever alive right now.

Guerrs: We really are sucking up to Peter Jackson, but who cares? Just the fact that Dead Alive will always be part of his film catalog gives us the right to bow.

WRITING (ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY)
THE BARBARIAN INVASIONS
DIRTY PRETTY THINGS
FINDING NEMO
IN AMERICA
LOST IN TRANSLATION

A bunch of indies and a flick about a fish. Nemo was a feat, but Lost in Translation wins it hands down.

Guerrs: Nemo was a fun movie, but doesn't contain the depth of Translation's isolation and characters. Whoa. A serious comment.

BEST PICTURE
THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING
LOST IN TRANSLATION
MASTER AND COMMANDER: THE FAR SIDE OF THE WORLD
MYSTIC RIVER
SEABISCUIT

Surprise of the Night #6 - Seabiscuit getting nominated.

It comes down to a The Good, The Bad and The Ugly final shootout between Lost in Translation, Mystic River, and Return of the King. Mystic River has everything going for it. Lost in Translation is hurt by the fact that no one other than critics and art house geeks saw it, and ROTK is hurt by the fact that a) Oscar has never given love to a fantasy film and b) Oscar hasn't put out to a single film in a series (Both Godfather and Godfather II won, thankyouverymuch). I've a feeling this year will be another history-maker, and Peter Jackson's love children will have their day in the sun. No film deserves it more than Return of the King. It defines why we go to the movies in the first place.

Guerrs: How did Master and Commander make it on this list? No one cared! Seabiscuit, I shake my head at you for being overly underdog-ish. Mystic River, you're a bastard for possibly stealing King's thunder. And Lost in Translation, just enjoy all those other awards you're getting and be happy with it. The King will rule them all.


Come on!

That's it. One man's take (and another's flubbed lines) on a possibly very rewarding Oscar ceremony (no pun intended). The Oscars air February 29th, a full month early. You all have until then to discuss it on our message boards. Enjoy.

Tom Nix is 40 pounds, a beard, and a successful film career away from being Peter Jackson.

If you think Tom was right about everything, tell Guerrs@thedeckingcrew.com he was clearly wrong.

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