Tuesday, January 25, 2005

The Oscar nominations have been announced, and all I can say for sure is that I have seen almost none of the nominated movies and yet feel totally confident in making some sweeping pronouncements on how I feel the awards should be doled out:

BEST PICTURE: "Million Dollar Baby," "Finding Neverland," "The Aviator," "Sideways," "Ray."

Out of all these movies, I have only seen "Sideways," and I liked it a lot. It may have been just slightly overrated, but was still damn good, so of course it hasn't a hope in hell. I think Oscar will pick "Million Dollar Baby."

BEST ACTOR: Jamie Foxx, "Ray," Leonardo DiCaprio, "The Aviator," Don Cheadle, "Hotel Rwanda," Johnny Depp, "Finding Neverland," and Clint Eastwood, "Million Dollar Baby."

Didn't see any of these performances, but I love Don Cheadle and would like to see him win, though of course, this is the kiss of death; the Oscar will totally go to Jamie Foxx. I can live with that.

BEST ACTRESS: Annette Bening, "Being Julia," Hilary Swank, "Million Dollar Baby,"
Catalina Sandino Moreno, "Maria Full of Grace," Kate Winslet, "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind," and Imelda Staunton, "Vera Drake."

Only saw "Eternal Sunshine," and though I thought Kate Winslet was excellent, I doubt she will win. Hilary Swank beat out Annette Bening the last time they were both nominated, and Oscar hates to reward someone who's not that big a deal at the box office twice in a short period of time. Also, Annette Bening is part of Hollywood royalty by being married to Warren Beatty; she might be a sentimental favorite. That foreign chick, though, might be a wild card, much to Terri R.'s chagrin, who, unlike me, actually saw "Maria Full of Grace" and thought her performance quite flat and dullsville. So really, it's anyone's game. Imelda Staunton might win if only to make Hollywood feel good about a)older, non-sexy English actresses, b)Roe v. Wade, and c)Mike Leigh movies.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Jamie Foxx, "Collateral," Alan Alda, "The Aviator," Thomas Haden Church, "Sideways," Morgan Freeman, "Million Dollar Baby," and Clive Owen, "Closer."

Since Jamie Foxx is going to win Best Actor, it is unlikely that he will win this one, too, although not impossible. Thomas Haden Church would be the fun win, but Morgan Freeman is beloved by the Academy, and should not be discounted. I would like Clive Owen to win, if only for being totally hott. Alan Alda will not win because no one likes him. No one.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Kate Blancett, "The Aviator," Laura Linney, "Kinsey," Virginia Madsen, "Sideways," Sophie Okonedo, "Hotel Rwanda," and Natalie Portman, "Closer."

I liked Laura Linney a lot in "Kinsey," and now that I think about it, that movie really got shut out of the Oscars, huh? Damn red-staters' conservative morals! That was a good movie--Liam Neeson was great, and I can't believe Peter Scarsgaard didn't get a Best Supporting Actor nomination for his full-frontal nudity! Anyway, Kate Blanchett might win because they want to give some kind of acting award to "The Aviator," and she got a lot of huzzahs in the press for her Katherine Hepburn impersonation....Natalie Portman was annoying in "Closer" and also got to dance around topless with Clive Owen, plus she used to date Gael Garcia Bernal, so for the love of all things holy, don't give it to her, Oscar, I beg you! She's also 12 years old. Sophie Okonedo might win out of collective Academy guilt for Rwanda, but Virginia Madsen would be a nice pick because it would give hope to every pretty, older-than-Natalie-Portman actress on Earth.

BEST DIRECTOR: Martin Scorsese, "The Aviator," Clint Eastwood, "Million Dollar Baby," Taylor Hackford, "Ray," Alexander Payne, "Sideways," Mike Leigh, "Vera Drake."

Does anyone actually care who wins this? They might give it to Scorsese--not for "The Aviator," but for his lifetime achievement; Clint has won before, but might win again because he's getting up there in age and they might be scared he's going to keel over, although he seems quite fit; no way is it going to be Taylor Hackford--"Ray" is all about Jamie Foxx, and most people are probably unaware that movie even HAD a director. Mike Leigh is a maybe, because Hollywood has always been impressed with him and his anti-Hollywood ways, but maybe Alexander Payne will win becauase they are not going to give best picture to "Sideways."

OK. Those are my totally uninformed, based-on-hearsay-and-innuendo, biased and arbitrary thoughts on this year's Academy Award nominations. Now, who wants to place some bets?

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