Thursday, March 09, 2006
16 out of 21...
that's my Oscar prediction ratio, in the renowned categories. I *so* should have gone to Vegas or done some betting. I'd have made a decent cent or two.
Well, another Oscar night has come and gone. After what seemed like eons, all of the awards have been handed out and conservatives can sleep easy knowing that hordes of gay sheep herders aren't going to rampage through their town.
Bill O'Reilly, however, is somewhere with his blood boiling that the phrase "Academy Award Winner George Clooney" is now a truth. And Clooney's acceptance speech was a great "fuck you" to conservatives everywhere.
Onto the awards...the rest of my thoughts follow...
Performance By An Actor In A Supporting Role
George Clooney, Syriana
Achievement In Visual Effects
Best Animated Feature Film of the Year
Wallace & Gromit In The Curse Of The Were-Rabbit
Best Live Action Short Film
Best Animated Short Film
The Moon and The Son: An Imagined Conversation
Achievement In Costume Design
Memoirs of a Geisha
Achievement In Makeup
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe
Performance By An Actress In A Supporting Role
Rachel Weisz, The Constant Gardener
Best Documentary Short Subject
A Note of Triumph: The Golden Age of Norman Corwin
Best Documentary Feature
March of the Penguins
Achievement In Art Direction
Memoirs of a Geisha
Achievement In Music Written For Motion Pictures (Original Score)
Achievement In Sound Mixing
Achievement In Music Written For Motion Pictures (Original Song)
"It's Hard Out Here For A Pimp" From Hustle & Flow
Achievement In Sound Editing
Best Foreign Language Film Of The Year
Achievement In Film Editing
Performance By An Actor In A Leading Role
Philip Seymour Hoffman, Capote
Achievement In Cinematography
Memoirs of a Geisha
Performance By An Actress In A Leading Role
Reese Witherspoon, Walk The Line
Achievement In Directing
Ang Lee, Brokeback Mountain
Best Motion Picture of the Year
Good for Hoffman, Weisz, Nick Park & the gang at Aardman Animation. Gustavo Santaolalla's work on Brokeback Moutain was richly deserving of an Oscar and I'm glad the Academy agreed. Robert Elswit's cinematography for good night, and good luck. was sadly overlooked. Applause and kudos also go to Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana for their wins for the screenplay for Brokeback Mountain. Ang Lee's award for Best Director was a lock and was also Oscar-worthy.
Reese Witherspoon = yawn times twelve. As usual the Academy loves it when actresses campaign and talk about their devotion to their role. So couple that with her new lease on life as the new title-holder "America's Sweetheart" and Reese Witherspoon was a lock to win Best Actress. This is much like when Horse Teeth - oh, I'm sorry, I meant Julia Roberts - won for the vastly overrated Erin Brockovich. Ellen Burstyn deserved that for Requiem for a Dream and we *all* know it. This year's Oscar in the category belonged to Keira Knightley but they never reward actresses who haven't had a lengthy career which is just stupid. So a big award goes to a mediocre actress for a mediocre role in a mediocre film...Jon Stewart *is* right...Walk The Line is just Ray with white people.
Jon Stewart was incredible as host. He managed to pull it off with aplomb and style. They'll never have him back of course, as he was too far over the heads of alot of clueless offal in the crowd. He also razzed the people in the theater in a dry, deprecating manner, which they never appreciate. Next year we'll be treated to the same staid mediocrity. Billy Crystal, Steve Martin - get those tuxes ready.
As I very accurately predicted, Crash was the dark horse here, pulling out the win for Best Picture. People thought I was crazy for joining those that saw the last minute push, the renewed interest, and the writing on the wall. But 9,000+ Crash DVDs (distributed by Lionsgate to Academy members between the nominations being announced & the voting deadline) later, here we are. The liver-spotted elder Academy members (and to be fair, some younger ones, presumably) decided not to reward a haunting, poetic film about love denied and instead gave the pinnacle award to a film that was not by any means the best of the year.
Unlike some, I am not anti-Crash. I saw the film in the theater upon its initial release last May. I liked it then, I like it now. But it just seems that Crash won after months of public surmising that the Academy was not looking for a fight by giving Brokeback Best Picture. Mark my words, had the Academy Awards been held a month ago, Brokeback would have won. But they weren't. To the victor go the spoils. Oh well. Despite it all, at least Brokeback can still be called "an Academy Award-winning film". And no matter what anyone says, Brokeback is still a better film than Crash.
So sleep well, conservatives. The boogeyman you so stupidly fear isn't coming to redecorate your house.
Brokeback Mountain is still a powerful love story, one whose story will resonate through time as a masterpiece of virtuoso filmmaking. And just looking at all of the films nominated in major categories brings a smile to one's face - they're all extremely well-made pieces of exemplary art that personify and encapsulate the very heart and essence that make movies a powerful and transformative medium.
I look forward to what's in store for us on this year's silver screen and I can't wait to see what will be honored at next year's Academy Awards.