February 23, 2007

The Red Carpet

Well, it's that time of year again. Time for my favorite four hours of popcorn television. The Academy Awards will be broadcast this Sunday, and if you're a fan of movies you will undoubtedly be joining me on the couch for the big show. Sure, lots of people complain that it's nothing but an over-indulgent pat on their own backs for the Hollywood crowd, and yes, I'll concede that much. But I still love the spectacle of it all, and always feel that little glimmer of butterflies when waiting to see if my pick wins the award. Besides, who's going to pass up watching Al Gore win an Oscar?

Overall, I think this year has one of the most diverse groups of nominees, and as a result, we aren't going to see a runaway horse taking nine or ten awards (cuz none of them were nominated for that many. Dreamgirls came closest with 8 nominations, followed by Babel with 7, and Pan's Labyrinth and The Queen, each with 6). We're going to see Oscars distributed pretty evenly throughout all the nominees.

Best Picture - The Departed (This one is a no-brainer, particularly since Scorcese is a shoe-in for Director, too. Although I actually enjoyed Babel and Little Miss Sunshine more)

Best Director - Martin Scorsese (see above)

Best Actress - Helen Mirren for "The Queen" (another no-brainer. Since when has anyone playing British royalty NOT won an Oscar?)

Best Actor - Forest Whitaker for "The Last King of Scotland" (has there ever been any doubt? An amazing performance by Whitaker. Go see this movie!)

Best Supporting Actor - Eddie Murphy "Dreamgirls" (I think Dreamgirls' Best Picture snub is going to reverberate into a lot of "lesser category" votes, including this stellar performance by an oft-overlooked talent)

Best Supporting Actress - Jennifer Hudson "Dreamgirls" (The buzz around her performance might mean that academy members spread their votes around, thinking everyone else will vote for her. If that happens, it's anyone's award. Even Abigail's)

Best Screenplay - Little Miss Sunshine (Little Miss has got to win something, so even though Letters has a better chance of winning, I'm going with my favorite)

Best Adapted Screenplay - The Departed (Can you imagine if Borat won this? I think members might vote for it just to see what Sasha Baron Cohen does on stage)

Best Foreign Language Film - The Lives of Others (While I LOVED Pan's Labyrinth, Lives is much more traditional Oscar-meat)

Best Animated Feature - Cars (Duh)

Best Documentary Feature - An Inconvenient Truth (No way Hollywood is going to pass up giving our former Next President an Oscar)

Art Direction - Pan's Labyrinth (Labyrinth has this one in the bag, almost. Pirates has a chance of taking it, too, though)

Cinematography - Children of Men (Haven't seen it, but I've heard awed comments about the apocolyptic camera pans)

Costume Design - Dreamgirls (Another "pity" award for Dreamgirls)

Visual Effects - Pirates of the Carribean: Dead Man's Chest (no contest)

Sound Mixing - Dreamgirls (I never really understood the difference between this and sound editing, so this is just a guess)

Sound Editing - Letters from Iwo Jima (I find it hard to imagine the Academy won't give SOMETHING to honor Clint's latest masterpiece)

Short Film (Live Action) - West Bank Story (this one's a shot in the dark)

Short Film (Animated) - The Little Match Girl (another blind guess)

Music (Song) - "Patience" from Dreamgirls (If it's not this one, it's one of the other two Dreamgirls songs)

Music (Score) - Pan's Labyrinth (Haunting. Truly haunting.)

Make-up - Pan's Labyrinth (So creepy, yet strangely compelling. No contest)

Film Editing - United 93 (a nod to a very interesting film...by far the best "9/11" film to date)

Documentary Short Subject - The Blood of Yingzhou District (sounds like a good Oscar candidate from the title alone)

Here's my prediction of the top award winners:

Dreamgirls = 5
Pan's Labyrinth/The Departed = 3


Steve said...

you got some wrong

Patrick Belardo said...

Eddit Murphy was robbed! Don't get me wrong. I love Alan Arkin and I liked LMS, but I think his part was too small. The Departed win was well deserved though. What did you think of the show as a whole? It was a bit uneventful and the interpretive dancers were freaky.