The Decking Crew Does the Oscars 2005
January 31st, 2005
Maybe it's just me, but a month seems like an awful short time span until we get to the Oscars. Either that or I'm jaded by the 4 months in between the Grammy noms and the ceremony, and it's only a few weeks before The Academy lauds only the movies that came out in the last quarter-year and lays the Smackdown on Jim Carrey for the third year running. There're some decent picks, some shoe-ins, some suprises, and some refreshing decisons that I didn't think a crusty bunch of old men (and that one mid-fifties guy who, even if he were naked and painted bright red, would still bore an audience of feces-armed baboons into brutal submission) could have possibly agreed on. I'll dispense with the opening statements and get down to the nitty gritty.
Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Blanchett - The Aviator
there is no better movie this year if you want to savor four performances
from some of the best actors working today (and Julia Roberts) than
Closer. Natalie Portman does, without a doubt, her best work ever in
this film and portrays a character that very few age-appropriate actresses
could pull off. This is the role
Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Alda - The Aviator
again, seen Sideways, but apparently Thomas Haden Church rips it up
and spits it out. Alan Alda is apparently up for the Geezer Appreciation
Award, as his performance is solid but hardly award-worthy. Morgan Freeman
is in a movie that hasn't even been released in 48 states yet, and once
again we find ourselves in a two-person battle for a small man with
shiny complexion. Jamie Foxx blasted his way into the Hollywood elite
with his, excuse the term being mentioned after Jamie Foxx, virtuoso
performance in Collateral. I never knew he had it in him. Let's face
it - the man is a lock for Best Actor already, and I've got a feeling
that the Academy is going to make this the year where they do that oh
so rare event like giving one man two trophies. Nevermind that Clive
Owen probably out acts him, regardless of the fact that Jamie Foxx's
character is much harder to play to perfection. I'm torn between being
happy that Collateral at least getting some love at the Oscars, and
what is quite possibly the last leg on the journey of turning
Actress in a Leading Role
Bening - Being Julia
though the movie doesn't hit Ohio shores until Friday, I'm pretty sure
it's the ticket to Doublemint Oscars for Hilary Swank. Annette Bening
is allegedly awesome in the underseen Being Juila, and Catalina should
feel proud that she's the stereotypical minority woman thrown into every
actress award every year. Kate Winslet's nomination is both a slight
apology and a huge middle finger to Jim Carrey as she's being nominated
for an inferior performance, and Imelda Staunton
Actor in a Leading Role
Cheadle - Hotel Rwanda
This is one of the toughest to call. Johnny Depp is due for his apologist Oscar (as noted by the nomination for the role that took the least amount of acting chops this year), and Jamie Foxx has just been on a mean streak, winning virtually every critics choice award and the Golden Globe. They are, of course, forgetting that Leo can actually act and proves as such in The Aviator, which as a whole is better than any other movie I've seen all year. Due in no small part to the fact that DiCaprio owns every inch of Howard Hughes. Ray is a clinch, though. I'm marking two men as the victors because it's hard to decipher if the Academy will award the man they screwed last year, or if they'll pick the one truly great performance of a typically subpar actor. Either way, Leo loses, Clint gets gunned down, and Don Cheadle is forgotten halfway through reading his name.
Best Adapted Screenplay
Sunset - Richard Linklater, Ethan Hawke & Julie Deply
one is locked and loaded. Finding Neverland was a great adaptation but
not an amazing script. While Million Dollar Baby has a chance, the fact
that it's past-due in most staes gives me no chance in even counting
it. The Motorcycle Diaries is
Best Original Screenplay
Aviator - John Logan
I want Charlie to win soooo bad. And Brad Bird may have made the best animated movie of all time. But they're too brainiac or brilliant to pass the bullshit artsy detector that the voters have established. I've got a gut feeling this will be Mike Leigh's lone award, and that it's going to shut out two of the most talented creators in Hollywood. I'm gonna stop and cry for a bit.
Best Animated Feature
Brad Bird and Pixar elasti-smack the fuck out of... uh... whats-their-names. I forgot. Ah, it doesn't matter.
Best Foreign Language Film
it is in Heaven
House of Flying Daggers... House of Flying Daggers... House.... House... Hmm. Not here. Oh well.
Achievement in Direction
Aviator - Martin Scorsese
Even though the Globes knew better than to deny Clint his statue ("There's only two kinds of people in this world - those that give me the win, and those that die at my hands."), the Academy will go with the arthouse du jour. Vera Drake was far too underseen to win an award of this magnitude, and Taylor Hackford is getting an mention for making Jamie Foxx not suck. The true crime in all of this is that the most influential director of the past thirty years is going to get the shaft for the best movie he's made in almost fifteen.
Best Picture of the Year
is it. I may be wrong, but i'll be damned if the best movie of the year
isn't recognized. It got the highest amount of nominations, and this
is the one that it deserves most of all. Ray is gonna get his way at
the Grammys, Sideways will win enough to be sated for a while, Million
Dollar Baby ISN'T EVEN OUT YET, and
All in all not a bad, albeit predictable crop of choices. The glaring omission of Jim Carrey and Paul Giamatti (Sideways) is almost unbearable, and the over-love for Finding Neverland and Ray is a bit much. But, it is nice to see The Incredibles get some respect not relegated to the backwater animated category, and The lesser categories (visual effects, sound design & editing, and art direction) are pretty well rounded. Here's hoping that Spider-Man 2 webs up some gold.
I'd have really liked to see Taylor Hackford dropped in exchange for Michael Mann in the directing category, and Stuart Beattie's Collateral script was nothing to scoff at either.
is to scoff at is Michael Moore's Shaft of the Century. Leftist websites
are already up-in-arms that a terrible documentary from an otherwise
talented (if bloated and self-absorbed) director didn't get nominated
for diddly. I say "Eff him!" Fahrenheit 9-11 is probably one
of the worst movies I saw last year (actually, I couldn't even sit through
all of it), and I'm overjoyed that the Greasy Codgers
To sum up, this year's award will be fairly interesting, although this year seems inordinately heavy on the end-of-the-year Oscar movies and not spread out to the shockingly good flicks that this year had to offer.
The Oscars are televised LIVE on February 27th, 2004.
If any prospective publication would like to pay Tom Nix money to make snarky comments, meet him under the bridge Friday at midnight with an undisclosed amount of money in a square, metal briefcase. No cops, and the kid keeps his arms.