Tuesday, January 23, 2007

My award show has a first name, it's O-s-c-a-r

The Oscar nominations are out - and Dreamgirls is your big winner. And, well, it's your big loser too.

The Broadway-based musical leads all films with eight nominations, but in perhaps the biggest surprises of the morning, it was snubbed for Best Picture and Best Director. Babel follows in the hit parade with recognition in seven categories, while The Queen and Pan's Labyrinth are in six.

The specifics:

Best Picture
The Departed
Letters From Iwo Jima
Little Miss Sunshine
The Queen

My prediction: 4 out of 5.

Just a month ago, Dreamgirls was considered nearly unbeatable. There were reports of dancing and raucous times had by preview audiences, and one high profile Oscar blogger proclaimed "Dreamgirls will win Best Picture." And here we stand, after the movie arrived and proved to be entertaining but average, there's not even a nomination in sight. Of course, while I'm happy the Academy didn't recognize an undeserving film, they didn't replace it with something exciting. I admit I haven't seen Letters From Iwo Jima - but c'mon, another Clint Eastwood film? It's just a little boring. I would have much rather seen it replaced by, yes, Children of Men, United 93 or, in a huge stretch for the Academy, Casino Royale.

Best Actor
Leonardo DiCaprio, Blood Diamond
Ryan Gosling, Half Nelson
Peter O'Toole, Venus
Will Smith, The Pursuit of Happyness
Forest Whitaker, The Last King of Scotland

My prediction: 4 out of 5.

Well technically, I guess you could say I was 5-for-5, but I said DiCaprio would be recognized for The Departed - and since I was rather pointed about it, I'm considering it a wrong call. Oddly, I think the Blood Diamond detail makes the race a lot easier to predict: Forest Whitaker is taking Mr. Goldy home next month.

Best Actress
Penelope Cruz, Volver
Judi Dench, Notes of a Scandal
Helen Mirren, The Queen
Meryl Streep, The Devil Wears Prada
Kate Winslet, Little Children

My prediction: 5 out of 5.

As I said yesterday, "It will be a huge shock if my prediction isn't 5-for-5 here." This one wasn't rocket science. I gotta see some of these films, incidentally. I've only seen Prada, and loved Streep in it. And Little Children still hasn't been released in Atlanta. Well, except for in hotel rooms.

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

My prediction: 2 out of 5.

Ouch. Well, I'm very happy for Murphy and, especially, Haley. If Jack Nicholson had taken Haley's spot, it would have just seemed mean. I also had Brad Pitt and The Queen's Michael Sheen listed, but Wahlberg isn't a shock (I'm still pissed he wasn't even nominated for Boogie Nights.) And I guess Hounsou isn't surprising either, except he's playing the same exact character he's played in nearly every film. It's Prince Akeem's to lose.

Best Supporting Actress
Adriana Barraza, Babel
Cate Blanchett, Notes of a Scandal
Abigail Breslin, Little Miss Sunshine
Jennifer Hudson, Dreamgirls
Rinko Kikuchi, Babel

My prediction: 4 out of 5.

I went out on a long limb to mention Catherine O'Hara's name, thinking the Academy would take the chance to recognize a long career. Instead, it's Kikuchi - a Japanese actress who summed up her recent Golden Globes experience thusly: "I met Jack Nickerson. I love him long time." Seriously.

Best Director
Clint Eastwood, Letters From Iwo Jima
Stephen Frears, The Queen
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Babel
Paul Greengrass, United 93
Martin Scorsese, The Departed

My prediction: 4 out of 5.

I put forth a hopeful prediction of Children of Men's Alfonso Cuaron, but I am hardly upset by the inclusion of Greengrass - I'm thrilled United 93 got recognized in one of the major categories. Of course, now it's Eastwood v. Scorsese all over again.

Best Original Screenplay
Letters From Iwo Jima
Little Miss Sunshine
Pan's Labyrinth
The Queen

My prediction: 4 out of 5.

Well, I made the call for one foreign language script to be included. I just called the wrong script (Volver instead of Iwo Jima.)

Best Adapted Screenplay
Children of Men
The Departed
Little Children
Notes on a Scandal

My prediction: 4 out of 5.

Well, yay for Children of Men - it's better than nothing. And we have another Dreamgirls snub, replaced here by Borat. I don't think I even need to bring it to your attention the absurdity of a screenplay nomination for Borat. It may be more egregious than when Kenneth Branagh got one for his faithful-to-the-very-last-word Hamlet in 1996.

Best Foreign Language Film
After the Wedding
Days of Glory
The Lives of Others
Pan's Labyrinth

My prediction: 3 out of 5.

According to Academy rules, Apocalypto and Letters From Iwo Jima weren't eligible for this award, which probably means the name should be changed to Best Foreign Film or something. As far as the eligible films go, the shock is the absence of Volver.

Best Animated Film
Happy Feet
Monster House

My prediction: 3 out of 3. Sort of.

I made five predictions, but the Academy decided to only nominate three (they have done both in years past.) Cars, Happy Feet and Monster House were the three favorites - Flushed Away and Over the Hedge were clearly the filler. Believe me if you want, but I'm chalking this one up as 3-for-3. Suckas.

A complete list of the nominations is here.


Doug said...

Cue the right-wingers who love to lay into everything "Hollyweird" about how the Academy snubbed "Flags of Our Fathers" but gave a bunch of nominations to the counterpart film that describes the Iwo Jima battle from the Japanese perspective.

Can't believe that "Children of Men" got only one nomination. That's ridonkulous. And honestly, as much as I was hyping "Cars" over the summer, I think I ended up liking "Over the Hedge" better.

Josh said...

Children of Men actually ended up with three - screenplay, cinematography and editing. Still, it's 10,000 times the movie Little Miss Sunshine is.

And Monster House was far and away my favorite of the animated films.

Pasqua said...

Animated movies don't deserve awards. The Teen Choice award should be the highest honor for a cartoon.

Oscar party???

Josh said...

The Hartmans usually handle the Oscar party.

jason said...

Josh, quit braggin'.

Riley said...

LITTLE CHILDREN played here at the Tara for, like, two months. It was great.