Monday, January 29, 2007

Oscar Cheat Sheet

The grand-daddy of all award shows is almost upon us and putting aside for the moment the question of validity, I want to look at who will win. This is a first order look at the Oscars, what is, not what should be. Hopefully this will help you win your office pool (unless you are in my office, in which case, shoo).

Actors are the largest group in the academy and since they have their own awards (which are mind-numbly-ing boring and self-serving to watch), I wanted to see how well the SAG awards predict the four acting categories and best picture.

Here is a list going back three years.
Actor: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Capote. - also won Oscar
Actress: Reese Witherspoon, Walk the Line. - also won Oscar
Supporting actor: Paul Giamatti, Cinderella Man. - didn't win Oscar
Supporting actress: Rachel Weisz, The Constant Gardener. - also won Oscar
Ensemble cast: Crash. - also won Oscar

Actor: Jamie Foxx, Ray - also won Oscar
Actress: Hilary Swank, Million Dollar Baby - also won Oscar
Supporting Actor: Morgan Freeman, Million Dollar Baby - also won Oscar
Supporting Actress: Cate Blanchett, The Aviator - also won Oscar
Ensemble cast: Sideways - didn't win Oscar

Actor: Johnny Depp, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl - didn't win Oscar
Actress: Charlize Theron, Monster - also won Oscar
Supporting Actor: Tim Robbins, Mystic River - also won Oscar
Supporting Actress: Renee Zellweger, Cold Mountain - also won Oscar
Ensemble cast: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King - also won Oscar

Over the past 3 years the SAG awards have been 80% right (over the three years before that they were 33% right though). The three mistakes, George Clooney won Best Supporting Actor in 2005 (for Syriana), Million Dollar Baby won Best Picture in 2004, and Sean Penn won Best Actor in 2003 (for Mystic River), all have explanations. Clooney was nominated for Best Director in 2005 and this was his consolation prize. Sideways didn't win any other acting awards at the SAG, while Million Dollar Baby won two and like Johnny Depp- and Sasha Baron Cohen- found out, never bet on comedies to win Oscar Gold (Johnny lost again the next year for the dull Finding Neverland, which showed that it is okay to get serious, but not boring).

In short, the SAG awards are pretty excellent predictors and so I pick:
Best Actress: Helen Mirren - The Queen
Best Supporting Actor: Eddie Murphy - Dreamgirls (this is my weakest pick)
Best Supporting Actress: Jennifer Hudson - Dreamgirls
Best Picture: The Departed

The Departed wins instead of Little Miss Sunshine, because the again, Oscar doesn't go comedic, the SAG Awards are 80% right, so I needed to change one, and this feels like Marty's year.

Now for the directing and writing Awards. The Oscars are a psychological web of intrigue. You try and guess how people vote, but the winners affect each other. Some awards trigger other wins for the same movie, while other awards are indications that there aren't going to be anymore wins for that movie. So, assuming I am right about the first five here are my guesses for the rest.

Best Directing is going to The Departed. The Best Picture needs to pick up a few other major categories and The Departed was largely snubbed in the acting categories (the good performances are being punished for Jack's scenery chewing). Plus, its Marty's turn.
Little Miss Sunshine is going to get the Sideways/Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Best Original Screenplay red ribbon, for being the movie that the voters wished they could have voted for.

Best Adapted Screenplay is one the most wide open category of the night. It is probably safe to discount Little Children and Notes on a Scandal, but the other three all make compelling cases. Borat was a box office hit and was generally snubbed elsewhere. The Departed is a Best Picture favorite and its screenplay was a knockout (best dialogue in recent memory). Children of Men (my favorite movie of the year) and was snubbed in above, but still managed three nominations, with this as the biggest one. Hollywood loves success and the movie of the year has to win something so: Borat.

Some other picks, briefly:
Best Cinematography: Children of Man, though it might win in editing instead.
Best Editing: I would give it to Children of Man, but I think it will go to Babel, which has to win something, but not Best Picture.
Best Art Direction: Dream Girls.
Best Costume Design: Marie Antoinette, the period piece always wins best costume.
Best Animated Feature: Happy Feet, but any of these could win.
Best Foreign Language Film: Pan's Labyrinth. Much deserved, hopefully Guillermo del Toro curses during his speech.
Best Documentary: Either Iraq in Fragments or An Inconvenient Truth. I am hoping for an Al Gore speech, so An Inconvenient Truth.

To Recap:
Best Picture: The Departed
Best Actor: Forest Whitaker
Best Actress: Helen Mirren
Best Supporting Actor: Eddie Murphy
Best Supporting Actress: Jennifer Hudson
Best Direction: The Departed
Best Orginal Screenplay: Little Miss Sunshine
Best Adapted Screenplay: Borat
Best Cinematography: Children of Men
Best Editing: Children of Man
Best Art Direction: Dreamgirls
Best Costume Design: Marie Antoinette
Best Animated Feature: Happy Feet
Best Foreign Language Film: Pan's Labyrinth
Best Documentary: An Inconvenient Truth

*I didn't pick any thing in the Musical categories because I don't have a clue. I didn't see Dream Girls and that seems like a lock to win something or another.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

ignorant comments and Al Gore's movie was just a bunch of made up crap. No basis for this, global warming is nothing more than a myth