So there are the easy picks - your Whitakers, Mirrens, and Scorceses. Though, could Paul Greengrass steal it from Scorcese? If there's anyone who could upset it, it would be him - he's the films only big nomination, which kind of shows that the Acadmey saw the directing as the star of the film (which is true), and it was one of the best reviewed films of the year, and it was the first film to touch on 9/11, so they may want to acknowledge that. But most likely they won't, because I'm pretty sure the Academy is tired of smarmy film students quoting John Stewart, "For those of you keeping score at home, that's Three 6 Mafia - 1, Martin Scorcese - 0". And by the Academy, I mean me.
Did you know that the sound mixers have their own organization? It's called the Cinema Audio Society. And guess what - they have their own award. That's right. And guess what, every Society and Guild in Hollywod does the same thing. One of my production teachers is a three time "Grippy" award winner, swear to God. Anyway, my strategy? To vote along the guild awards for the technical awards. 'Dreamgirls' for sound mixing, 'Pans Labyrinth' for art direction.
Okay, you know that strategy I just talked about? It's bullshit. The Costumer Designers Guild Awards is split into three categories, for fantasy, period, and contemporary. Because they just had to be fair and reconize that all work can't be judged in one crass category of just plain 'Best', didn't they? They had to rub their noses in the Oscars face, by giving two of their awards to two of the nominees. Fuck. Is the 'Curse Of The Golden Flower' too over the top? Is 'The Queen' too minimal? Or are they impressed by that? Is that impressive though? They just wore a bunch of tweed. Fuck.
Okay, I just checked IMDb for who has won the best costume category for the last few years. 'Memoirs Of A Geisha' won last year, which shows they like the Asian things. They also gave awards to 'Return Of The King', as well as 'Gladiator', which hints that they kind of have a thing for flamboyant armor getups, again leaning in the favor of 'Golden Flower'. But they've also given awards to 'Moulin Rouge!' and 'Chicago', showing they have a tendency to go for the razamataz, so maybe a 'Dreamgirls' upser here? Damn it.
Okay, I went with 'Dreamgirls'. My theory? No one saw 'Golden Flower'. Shit. I'm sweating it, but I have to move on.
'Children Of Men' won the ASC Award. Duh. Name one movie thats used a camera better in the last ten years. Go ahead, I dare you.
Fun Fact: Click is an Oscar nominated film. For best makeup. Yeah. As much as people were amazed at how an elderly looking Adam Sandler could still make terrible poop jokes, I'm giving this one to 'Pans'.
Okay, my mother just called and said that theres an article on Berkshares in the New York Times today, so I'm going to try and track down a copy, because those things confounded me all summer.
So, apparently the article is in one of the regional sections that only gets sold in the Northeast, and it's part of the Times Select premium program online, which means I have to pay for it. I'm going to straight-up murder some one. Though, on the upside, I got a sandwich.
Are people over the Pixar thing? 'Cars' didn't create nearly the stir that their previous efforts did. I'm going with 'Happy Feet'. Penguins trump cars any day, hands down.
'The Departed' won the Eddie this year, which makes it pretty much a lock for Best Editing. Besides, no one can cut a montage to a Rolling Stones song like Thelma Schoonmaker. And cutting montages to Rolling Stone songs is really how editors judge their worth. No, really.
Any one want to make a side bet that when Al Gore accepts the Oscar for Best Documentary he'll end his speech by "raising their roof"? Any one? Five will get you ten.
I have no idea what any of the Documentary Shorts are about, but I like the sound of 'The Blood Of Yingzhou District'. Sounds snappy.
Foreign Film: This is a pickle. 'Pans Labyrinth' and 'The Lives Of Others' were both really good, and if I were being fair, I would spilt the award. But, I think more people have seen 'Pans', and theres such a big Latin presence in the nominations this year, that it'll probably get it.
Hey! That Berkshares article is in the national report section. Neat. Theres a little map in the middle of the article with Great Barrington starred off.
Score? I honestly have no idea. The academy loves their Philip Glass, but I think 'Pans' is going to take it again. And it should. And I checked off 'Listen' for best song. Because I don't care about that category at all this year (No DeVotchka love, really?), and am dreading having to sit through Beyonce's overwrought performances. Shes going to do the thing where she clenches her fist and pulls it in - three times in the course of one minute. I promise you.
I didn't get to go to the Animated Shorts program, so I'm picking 'Lifted' just because it's Pixar. I know I just said a second ago how the Pixar sheen has worn off... but I lied. As for the Live Shorts... it's probably going to 'Binta and The Great Idea', because its hart warming, has a positive message, was produced by Unicef, and is filled to the brim with cute African kids. But damn it, I'm putting down 'West Bank Story', the 'West Side Story' adaptation placed in an Israeli border town. Why? Because it was funny, entertaining, had some nice, subtle political jabs, and a man dressed in a menorah suit, that's why.
'Pirates' won almost every category at the Visual Effects awards (there are, literally five hundred awards given out), so I'm giving it best visual effects. Plus, I don't think anyone wants to give 'Poseidon' or 'Superman Returns' the vindication of being 'Oscar winning material'.
Screenplay is kind of iffy this year. Peter Morgan has won a few for 'The Queen', plus he wrote 'Last King Of Scotland'. But then Michael Arndt just won the Writers Guild Award for 'Little Miss Sunshine'. So what to do? I... I'm going with 'The Queen'. And for adaptation? Well. 'The Departed' won the Guild award, and 'Children of Men' wasn't even nominated there. But the writing awards at the Oscars have tendency to go to the more, progressive, cooler films that were actually better than the wons that won Best Picture (i.e., Eternal Sunshine, Talk To Her). So I'm going with 'Children Of Men', because as I've said before, it rocked my socks.
So the big one. Here's what I'm thinking. 'Little Miss Sunshine'. Not only that, but I'm betting on Abigal Breslin to upset Jennifer Hudson in the Best Supporting Actress. Because cute kids are just as exciting as redeemed reality show contestents, and it seems like the Academy really didn't want to give an award to 'Dreamgirls' unless it really needed to. So those are my thoughts. We'll see how I do in about two and a half hours. Oh, and want to look smart to your friends? Explain to them the reason everyone is laughing when Tom Cruise give Sherry Lansing the humanitarian award this year, its because Summer Redstone fired them both this year, and this a big kind of Fuck You to Viacom. Whee!
P.S. Try doing a Google image search for 'Dreamgirls'. It's uh... interesting.