Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Oscar Noms and Predictions

Well the Oscar nominations were announced this morning, and while none of them were particularly too surprising, there are definitely some interesting choices in there. Here's a rundown with some predicitions:

Best Supporting Actress
Adriana Barraza for Babel (2006)
Cate Blanchett for Notes on a Scandal (2006)
Abigail Breslin for Little Miss Sunshine (2006)
Jennifer Hudson for Dreamgirls (2006)
Rinko Kikuchi for Babel (2006)

Who Should Win: Jennifer Hudson
Who Will Win: Jennifer Hudson

This newcomer gave a career-making performance in Dreamgirls and by all means deserves this award. Not only is she a fan favorite, but her win at the Golden Globes basically secured her win here. Kudos to Barraza and Breslin for scoring nods.

Best Supporting Actor
Alan Arkin for Little Miss Sunshine (2006)
Jackie Earle Haley for Little Children (2006)
Djimon Hounsou for Blood Diamond (2006)
Eddie Murphy for Dreamgirls (2006)
Mark Wahlberg for The Departed (2006)

Who Should Win: Eddie Murphy
Who Will Win: Eddie Murphy

The only other good thing about Dreamgirls, aside from Hudson, was Murphy's performance as James "Thunder" Early. The two of them made that watered-down ball of cliches watchable, and will be rewarded for it. It's interesting to see Whalberg up there, though...

Best Acress
Penélope Cruz for Volver (2006/I)
Judi Dench for Notes on a Scandal (2006)
Helen Mirren for The Queen (2006)
Meryl Streep for The Devil Wears Prada (2006)
Kate Winslet for Little Children (2006)

Who Should Win: Penelope Cruz
Who Will Win: Helen Mirren

Mirren's performance in The Queen is all the rage lately and her double win at the Golden Globes is a good indication that she's gonna score gold come Oscar time. Unfortunately I haven't seen the flick yet. But I have seen Volver - which was one of the best films of the year, hands down - and Cruz was a revelation in that film. While I'd love to see the gold go to her, it will probably go to Mirren.

Best Actor
Leonardo DiCaprio for Blood Diamond (2006)
Ryan Gosling for Half Nelson (2006)
Peter O'Toole for Venus (2006/I)
Will Smith for The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)
Forest Whitaker for The Last King of Scotland (2006)

Who Should Win: Ryan Gosling
Who Will Win: Forest Whitaker

I've got one question - where's Borat? While I haven't seen any of the films in this category, Whitaker's role in Scotland has Oscar written all over it, so I'd expect this to be a good year for African American performers. From what I've heard, though, Gosling gives one heck of a performance in Half Nelson. It's nominated for a Spirit, so I'll let you know what I think soon...

Best Director
Clint Eastwood for Letters from Iwo Jima (2006)
Stephen Frears for The Queen (2006)
Paul Greengrass for United 93 (2006)
Alejandro González Iñárritu for Babel (2006)
Martin Scorsese for The Departed (2006)

Who Should Win: Iñárritu
Who Will Win: Scorsese

This is the most disappointing category of the year. I've only seen three of these films (Iwo Jima, Departed, Babel) and all three were mild achievements for their helmers; lukewarm films that showcase steady, if only competent direction. Departed was such an exercise in genre it looked like a walk in the park for Scorsese, and the only thing that was good about Babel were those moments in the script that allowed Iñárritu to stretch out a little bit, but these two are poised at the top of this list. I'd prefer it go to Iñárritu; I like to be able to make jokes about the Academy always stiffs the Scor-miester. But if Eastwood wins again this year, I swear I'll fucking shoot somebody. He's a good director, but christ - stop giving him awards for such bland cinema!

Best Picture
Babel (2006): Alejandro González Iñárritu, Steve Golin, Jon Kilik
The Departed (2006): Nominees to be determined
Letters from Iwo Jima (2006): Clint Eastwood, Steven Spielberg, Robert Lorenz
Little Miss Sunshine (2006): Nominees to be determined
The Queen (2006): Andy Harries, Christine Langan, Tracey Seaward

Who Should Win: Pan's Labarynth
Who Will Win: Babel

Socio-political concious coincidence based films are all the rage - anybody remember Crash? naw, me neither - so expect Babel to take the top prize. Which is disappointing, considering it was nowhere near as good as Iñárritu's Amores Perros and was basically a convoluted, trite piece of crap. Pan's Lab was way better than all of these films combined, but it's lumped into the Foriegn Language category. Oh well..

Well, those are my predictions for this year. Some interesting nominees - particularly in the acting categories - but overall I think we all saw this coming. The Oscars are mostly about politics, so keep that in mind when making your own predictions, people. Last years winners are the best example of that - I mean, c'mon, Crash over Brokeback? Really?

Oscars make me sick.

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