Saturday, March 04, 2006

Sisyphus’ Oscar Preview (Not To Be Confused With The Nihilist’s Oscar Picks)

If you are looking for an objective preview of the Oscars, you’ve come to the right place. Much like a Supreme Court nominee who studiously avoids prejudging cases that may come before the court, I have made a point of not seeing any of the nominated films. I come to the table with a clean slate. Here is my unbiased preview (note: these are not predictions, but rather who I would have voted for if I were a member of the academy).

Achievement in sound editing
“King Kong”, “Memoirs of a Geisha”, and “War of the Worlds”

How hard can it be to edit sound in a movie about a giant ape? You just have to edit the grunts together. “Memoirs of a Geisha” is apparently about an Asian prostitute – I suppose there could be some interesting sounds to mix there, but when I think sound editing, I think war and explosions.
Sisyphus Picks: “War of the Worlds”.

Achievement in makeup
“The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”, Cinderella Man”, “Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith”

I have to recuse myself from commenting on this category since I have seen Episode III.

Achievement in costume design
“Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”, “Memoirs of a Geisha”, “Mrs. Henderson Presents”, “Pride & Prejudice”, “Walk the Line”

All that you’d need to costume “Memoirs of a Geisha” would be the Victoria’s Secret catalog. “Walk the Line” is about Johnny Cash – it doesn’t exactly require a lot of expertise to come up with a wardrobe for the man in black. “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” questions have been common in the Keegan’s Pub Quiz and since I haven’t known any of the answers, I’ve come to hate that movie. I’ve never heard of “Mrs. Henderson Presents”, (a sequel to “Harry and the Hendersons”?) That leaves “Pride & Prejudice”. Jane Austen movies always have fancy costumes that look hard to make.
Sisyphus Picks: “Pride & Prejudice”

Okay, I’m bored with the categories no one cares about. Unlike the Oscar broadcast, I won’t inflict the rest of them on you. Let’s skip to the main categories:

Performance by an actor in a supporting role
George Clooney in “Syriana”, Matt Dillon in “Crash”, Paul Giamatti in “Cinderella Man”, Jake Gyllenhaal in “Brokeback Mountain”, William Hurt in “A History of Violence”

George Clooney will probably win because Hollywood loves sucking up to him, but he is far too annoying to get my pick. I can’t get beyond the fact the Jake Gyllenhaal’s uncle is editor of the Star Tribune. I hate Matt Dillon almost as much as his friend and frequent co-star, Ben Affleck. William Hurt hasn’t been in a good movie since “Broadcast News”. Paul Giamatti was good in “Sideways”, so I lift my glass of merlot to him.
Sisyphus Picks: Paul Giamatti

Performance by an actor in a leading role
Philip Seymour Hoffman in “Capote”, Terrence Howard in “Hustle & Flow”, Heath Ledger in “Brokeback Mountain”, Joaquin Phoenix in “Walk the Line”, David Straithairn in “Good Night, and Good Luck”

I’ve never heard of Terrence Howard, so he clearly hasn’t paid his dues. I have heard of David Straithairn, but I can’t quite picture him, so he must not be that great an actor. I’ve hated the name Joaquin ever since 1987 when I had Joaquin Andujar on my fantasy baseball team and he went 3-5 with a 6.08 ERA. That leaves the two actors playing gay guys. The movie “Capote” is apparently about the writing of Truman Capote’s excellent book “In Cold Blood”, so I’ll go with him.
Sisyphus Picks: Philip Seymour Hoffman

Performance by an actress in a supporting role
Amy Adams” in “Junebug”, Catherine Keener in “Capote”, Frances McDormand in “North Country”, Rachel Weisz in “The Constant Gardner”, Michelle Williams in “Brokeback Mountain”

Catherine Keener and Frances McDormand are too old for consideration here. Rachel Weisz is not unattractive, but not quite in the class of Michelle Williams and relative newcomer Amy Adams. I give the edge to the fresh-faced, Amy Adams.
Sisyphus Picks: Amy Adams

Performance by an actress in a leading role
Judi Dench in “Mrs. Henderson Presents”, Felicity Huffman in “Transamerica”, Keira Knightley in “Pride & Prejudice”, Charlize Theron in “North Country”, Reese Witherspoon in “Walk the Line”

We can dismiss the ancient Judi Dench out of hand. Felicity Huffman is also getting a little long in the tooth. Charlize Theron can be hot, but she can also look pretty scary. That leaves us a tough choice between two hotties, Keira Knightley and Reese Witherspoon. Keira Knightley appeared in one of the best magazine covers of all time, but she was overshadowed by Scarlett Johansson. Reese Witherspoon didn’t receive the recognition she deserved for the Legally Blonde movies.
Sisyphus Picks: Reese Witherspoon

Best motion picture of the year
“Brokeback Mountain”, “Capote”, “Crash”, “Good Night, and Good Luck”, “Munich”

I’ve heard a lot of good things about Munich, especially during Octoberfest, but apparently the movie “Munich” isn’t about that. “Crash” is about race relations, a topic that is so 1989. “Good Night, and Good Luck” is about a heroic journalist and is thus a little too far-fetched for my taste. That once again leaves the two gay movies, “Brokeback Mountain” and “Capote”. Since much of this blog’s traffic comes from searches for “Brokeback Mountain”, I feel kind of obligated to pick them.
Sisyphus Picks: “Brokeback Mountain”

UPDATE: The academy did a pretty lousy job, going 2-4 and getting only the best actor and actress Oscars correct. Shame on you, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, shame on you.


Anonymous buy viagra without prescription said...

I think Memoirs of a Geisha is the best, and it'll be the winner. When i saw that movie, I just cry like a little baby! Anyway, it's a good movie and they did an amazing production, specially with the effects. 23jj

8:55 AM  

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