Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Let's Take a Look at Mr. Oscar
(Why wait until Feb 25th when you can see the winners here?)

Best Picture
BABEL
THE DEPARTED
LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA
LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE
THE QUEEN

Prediction: The front-runner unfortunately is The Departed. A star studded cast that is basically a one removed friend of the entire Academy Award voters. But, let's not forget Crash last year flipping out with huge buzz in the last moments of voting to clench the award. Babel is looking strong after the Golden Globes but guess what, that's the Hollywood Foreign Press and the voters never seem to agree with them on best picture. The two sneak attack films are my favorite Little Miss Sunshine and Letters From Iwo Jima. Sunshine could be a shocker because it is a fan favorite and seems to have great lasting power in the mind of the viewer. Iwo Jima has an outside chance just because of Hollywood's obsession with Eastwood...everyone loves him but his recent win with Million Dollar Baby negates a chance (the academy loves to spread out the awards over a five years span, unless your Tom Hanks.) I'm saying right now, The Queen has no chance. There you have it...The Departed with Babel clipping at its heels and hopefully a Sunshine upset.

Best Actress
Penelope Cruz - VOLVER
Judi Dench - NOTES ON A SCANDAL
Helen Mirren - THE QUEEN
Meryl Streep - THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA
Kate Winslet - LITTLE CHILDREN

Helen Mirren will win this...hell, she's won every award up until this point and the academy loves to give best actor and actress awards to people who appear in films that don't have a shot at Best Picture. (The last actor to win the same year his film won best picture was in 2000 with Crowe and The Gladiator. Swank won two years ago along with Million Dollar Baby.) No one even stands a chance to rally because the actress everyone loves is Streep and guess what???-comedies don't win awards. Winner-Mirren.

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

Wow, the biggest surprise of this years noms was Leo, Gosling, and O'Toole! Who saw any of this coming...Leo has received more noms for the Departed to this point and then BAM!-Blood Diamond. But none of these people have a chance. It's all about Forest Whitaker who look Mirren has bought storage space for all the hardware they have collected in the last months. BUT, and this is a big but, Will Smith has a great chance. It's a popcorn flick and Smith gives an Oscar worthy performance (no joke). The buzz for this film has gone through the roof and let's not forget a huge predictor for the academy awards: EXPECTED GROSS vs FINAL GROSS. Crash had a huge one, Million Dollar Baby had one, and this years huge jumps were The Pursuit of Happyness at 146,531,286 in the US and growing. The winner of this formula is Little Miss Sunshine with 59,594,615 and a start at Sundance not the market. The winner at this point is Whitaker but look out for Smith.

Best Supporting Actress
Adriana Barraza - BABEL
Cate Blanchett - NOTES ON A SCANDAL
Abigail Breslin - LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE
Jennifer Hudson - DREAMGIRLS
Rinko Kikuchi - BABEL

This is where predictions get messy. Who knows how supporting awards will go because every year the big upsets occur in these categories. Hudson is the front-runner but after her poor speech at the Globes, her "new actor" status seems a bit forced and unworthy of an Oscar. The only one who could upset the far and away Hudson is Blanchett. I haven’t seen the film but the buzz is crazy and the key to her win is that the film is fresh, just recently being released. She is also a Hollywood standard and voters pick off of name if they are overwhelmed with their screeners. Bebel has no chance so knock those two off. Then the wild card is Breslin for Sunshine. She is really young and seems to feed off the other characters in the film rather than carry her own performance. I'm going to stick my neck out on Blanchett and a film I've never seen.

Best Supporting Actor
Alan Arkin - LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE
Jackie Earle Haley - LITTLE CHILDREN
Djimon Honsou - BLOOD DIAMOND
Eddie Murphy - DREAMGIRLS
Mark Wahlberg - THE DEPARTED

Alan Arkin will win this award. I just have a feeling. Their are two people who can challenge and that is Murphy for Dreamgirls who everyone loves and Haley for Little Children...only because someone obscure always has a chance in the category. Good luck Arkin.

Best Director
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu - BABEL
Martin Scorsese - THE DEPARTED
Clint Eastwood - LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA
Stephen Frears - THE QUEEN
Paul Greengrass - UNITED 93

This is always the category that gives us hints for what film will win best picture. Scorsese is the front-runner along with The Departed because everyone loves him (I love his old stuff, the new stuff is shit) and he's never won an Oscar. Eastwood has a chance but I don't think he will get it...if he does win it's for both of the war films not just Iwo Jima, which is unfair. Greengrass and Frears don't have a chance. What's interesting is Sunshine could get the best picture votes but we won't know off this pick because they don't have a directing nom. I would say that if anyone other than Scorsese or Eastwood wins then you can go ahead and mark down The Queen or Babel as the winner of best picture...but this won't happen. This is the big category and Martin will win.

Best Foreign Film
AFTER THE WEDDING
DAYS OF GLORY
THE LIVES OF OTHERS
PAN’S LABYRINTH
WATER

No Volver? It's won everything else and doesn't get a nom, weird. I'm going with Pan's Labyrinth because it's the only one I've seen and has the best buzz going into the voting.

Best Animated Film
CARS
HAPPY FEET
MONSTER HOUSE

Who cares? This category is stupid. The way I approach this is: Cars has made the most money...Cars has won the most awards....Cars will win. My gut says Monster House and Happy Feet seems to be the critics favorite. But I'll stick to the formula and go with Cars.

Best Adapted Screenplay
BORAT
CHILDREN OF MEN
THE DEPARTED
LITTLE CHILDREN
NOTES ON A SCANDAL

This is a hard one. It seems that Little Children received a few acting noms which takes it off the block. Children of Men didn't receive any other big noms so it's out. Borat will receive the Wes Anderson award as I call it...a generous nom that nobody will consider. It's really between The Departed and Notes on a Scandal. I would go with Scandal but Adapted screenplay never takes chances...it always goes to the fan favorite...The Departed.

Best Original Screenplay
BABEL
LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA
LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE
PAN’S LABYRINTH
THE QUEEN

Unless Babel goes on a Oscar winning spree or Pan's Labyrinth upsets here....Little Miss Sunshine is the clear winner. I say this because the film is nominated for Best Picture without a directors nom which means the film is strong in its writing and acting. Indie films always have a great chance of winning and if it is shut out in all other categories they like to dump off at least one statue to the Cinderella film of the year...Sunshine.

By Zach Hart with 1 comment

1 comments:

Looks like you won the pool at your office. I, however, suspect you work in a small room feeding the funny elk carcas. LOL, just kidding...you were using a silver dollar to assist you with the scratch and sniff edition of the Christian Monitor. Keep up the good work (or lucky guesses).

Nick