Saturday, March 04, 2006

Final predix for Oscar and a few words from our sponsors

(Having finally slept in my own home in a bed again, let me just say that I have zero tolerance for sleep deprivation coupled with continued bad dad's night terrors turned out to be seizures brought on by continued circulatory failure. Sleep brought perspective, but not a whole lot. Anyone who knows me knows I'm constitutionally incapable of hiding what I think and feel - so pardon the personal dust on previous pages.)

Back to regular blogging.

Here are my Oscar predix. Miss Cleo's crystal meth ball wasn't necessary to predict most winners this year. Of course, it's still possible for a last minute surprise or two. Here's hoping those only come in lesser categories, as I'm really rooting for Hoffman to finally get his due!

These are Head vs. Heart - "head" being who I think will win and "heart" being who I wish for.

Best Picture-

Head: Brokeback Mountain

It grabbed all the precursors, DGA, Golden Globe, etc. and though the buzz has softened, it's still a dull roar. For better or worse, "I wish I could quit you!" is this year's "I'll never let go, Jack!."

Heart: Capote

This literary but engrossing little film turned the biopic on its ear and left audiences sad and silent even after the lights went back up. A stark visual masterpiece, it offered no easy answers but plenty of insight.

Best Director-

Head: Ang Lee, Brokeback Moutain

To make up for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and because Lee made Brokeback's austerity and beauty come alive with subtlety and grace.

Heart: Ang Lee, Brokeback Mountain

He's humble, eloquent, an amazing director no matter what the subject or time period (see The Ice Storm to remove any doubts). What's not to love about Lee? Nothing. I'm really looking forward to his speech

Best Actor-

Head: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Capote

In a year full of excellent and unique performances, Hoffman managed to turn Truman Capote inside out and wring him dry before an audience, exposing the maddening dichotomy of extreme kindness and irredeemable villainy that made for such a great writer. He didn't just nail the outward tics, voice and appearance. He made you forget about them and focus on the inner demons. One for the ages.

Heart: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Capote

Constantly amazing. Constantly underrated. Some are calling Capote a career high for Hoffman, but we fans know better: the man can act any role he tackles. He'll be back at the podium in future years -- but barking? Time will tell.

Best Actress-

Head: Reese Witherspoon, Walk the Line

Hollywood loves to have an "it" girl. Reese steals the crown from Julia Roberts and though it wasn't her best performance (see Election), she stole the movie from Phoenix.

Heart: Felicity Huffman, TransAmerica

Felicity, like husband William H. Macy, is a virtuoso actor who can do comedy and drama equally well. In TransAmerica, she made an amazing gender-bending role completely her own.

Best Supporting Actor -

Head : George Clooney, Syriana

Heart: George Clooney, Syriana

Body: George Clooney - anything

I've got a Clooney jones going on right now. The other night he was bearded and deglammed like in the Syriana role, in my dream, saying the word "Inveterate." Why? I dunno. But the word means "deep rooted" and as Lorelai Gilmore would say, "Dirty!!"

Toughest category, by far. He may get bested by Giamatti to make up for the Sideways snub, or Gyllenhaal to give Brokeback an acting win. But Hollywood wants to reward George for an amazing year in roles, directing and politics. Hell, I want to reward George. Oh yeah, you know already.

Best Supporting Actress-

Head: Rachel Weisz, The Constant Gardener

Heart: Amy Adams, Junebug

Why? I don't know why on this one. Just a guess on who will win based on precursors. But Amy Adams was great in Junebug.

Best Original Screenplay-

Head: Crash

Unless Crash sneaks in as Best Pic (highly unlikely but possible) they'll want to give it something.

Heart: Good Night and Good Luck

Go George Clooney. Men who look like you shouldn't also have writing skills. Leave some talents for mere mortals!

Best Adapted Screenplay-

Head: Brokeback Moutain

Ugh. I wish they could quit the Brokeback love just for this category. With some really dumb, cheesy lines like that one and "Jack Nasty!" as a writer, I cringe to think this is going to win a writing award.

Heart: Capote

Great lines that exposed Capote's thinking without hitting like anvils (Clint Eastwood could learn a thing or two in this department) Capote was the most literate, most engaging script this year. Damn you, Brokeback. Damn you.

Animated Film-

Head: Wallace & Gromit

Heart: Corpse Bride

I hate Wallace and Gromit. Always have. And while Corpse Bride is no Nightmare Before Christmas or anything, it makes me sad to see Oscarless Tim Burton - again.

Best Documentary-

Head: March of the Penguins

Ironic. A feel-good exercise in anthropomorphism, the Penguins will waddle away with the prize...while the feel-bad work of genius criticized for anthropomorphizing bears, Grizzly Man, didn't even make it to the eligibility stage, despite Herzog's DGA win.

Heart: Grizzly Man

Baby, you were robbed this year. But at least you're in good company.

That's it for me, as technical awards bring on the z's.
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