Saturday, March 04, 2006

A Nutshell Prediction: 78th Annual Academy Award Winners

OK, it's that time again when I'll have to stick my neck out and come out with my predictions for the biggie categories of the 78th Annual Academy Awards. Here goes...

Best Supporting Actor
It's a tie between George Clooney and Jake Gyllenhaal. Paul Giamatti was excellent in his role as the ringside boxing manager of Cinderella Man, but Morgan Freeman won the same for a similar role last year. Matt Dillon, while I admired his performance, had too much ensemble noise to stand out through and through. William Hurt had many critics eating out of his hand for his role in A History of Violence, but sorry, that role is not in the book.

Gay Cowboy and Covert CIA Agent? Considering one had a lot more screentime than the other for character develpment and to justify its win, Jake Gyllenhaal will score one for Brokeback Mountain. Sorry George, you're hardworking, but another year yeah?

Best Supporting Actress
This one's pretty easy. Amy Adams, sorry, you don't stand a chance with the other greats mentioned here. Michelle Williams had her role greatly overshawdowed by the kissing cowboys. Frances McDormand had too little to do in her role in North Country. Great role, one which showcased her acting chops for being comatosed, but still played second fiddle to Charlize Theron. Speaking of comatose, Catherine Keener had it given being Harper Lee, but her role didn't require her to do much except drive Capote around.

So, Rachel Weisz, as the wife of the Constant Gardener who was overlooked for a nomination, you'll snag the award as the tough-as-nails-and-oh-so-pregnant activist.

Best Actor
Sorry David, I heard about your great performance in Good Night and Good Luck, but distributors in Singapore feel your movie has no box office potential. So, unless I download illegally, I cannot watch you until your DVD is out. But you know, you'll not win. Terrence Howard, same case with the distributors, but I watched you in Crash, which I thought was a great film you were in. Thank you for the participation. Joaquin Phoenix is Johnny Cash! But too bad, Jamie Foxx was Ray first, and won the award last year.

It's a tie between Heath Ledger and Philip Seymour Hoffman, but having one gay cowboy win the role for Supporting Actor will pave the way for a Capote win. Oscar likes real-to-reel characters you know? While Heath's performance is cool with its little nuances, your nuances cannot beat Philip Seymour Hoffman's uncanny Truman Capote performance. A brilliant actor portraying a great American writer, cannot be wrong.

Best Actress
It's hard to decide amongst the babes. Charlize Theron, I like your performance in North Country, but somehow you're already a winner, and need something stronger to win again. Judi Dench got veteran clout, but Mrs Henderson Presents, you whine too much until the end of the movie. Cool lines, but just not enough. Another English actress Keira Knightley seems like got chance, you know? But you're an English girl playing another English girl, not much of a challenge aye?

So it's Reese Witherspoon against Felicity Huffman. The all American girl in Resse Witherspoon's June Carter was quite ordinary in my opinion, nothing so much as to make it a breakthrough role. Felicity Huffman on the other hand, wins hands down. Not easy to play you know, especially when you're a woman pretending to be a man who wants to be a woman.

Best Director
Bennett Miller is a relative newbie, and since Capote's owned by the lead actor, that's about it. George Clooney, you're nominated here also! But when up against other giants, your time will come soon, just hang in there yeah? Steven Spielberg is already a winner, but given his wins for movies with historical settings, I will not be surprised if he steals this one away.

Paul Haggis probably had it tough in managing the ensemble cast, but I suppose Ang Lee will walk away with the Oscar statue, for his vision in telling an unconventional tale.

Best Picture
Capote's a biography of sorts, again the lead actor had the spotlight on him, and nothing else. Good Night and Good Luck, when compared to the buzz of the other films, seem to be lagging behind. Munich was bold in telling a story which surprisingly didn't take sides. But you cannot get more controversial than Brokeback Mountain for its subject matter. However, the subject matter in Crash seemed to be easier to identify with by many more mainstream folks.

So, which movie will walk away with the trophy? My heart wishes it be Crash, but perhaps Brokeback Mountain, for its more intimate feel, will triumph.

My other predictions

Best Animated Feature Film: Wallace and Gromit in the Curse of the Were-Rabbit. Stop motion for all ages (unlike Corpse's Bride more mature theme).
Best Original Screenplay: Crash. Need I say more?
Best Adapted Screenplay: Brokeback Mountain. Need I say some more?
Best Music (Score): Memoirs of a Geisha. John Williams against John Williams, but here he's got external help.
Best Music (Song): It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp - Hustle and Flow. Something for Hustle and Flow.
Best Visual Effects: King Kong. I think King Kong will sweep all the technical awards.
Best Cinematography: Brokeback Mountain. The country looked so sexy.
Best Art Direction: Memoirs of a Geisha. Oriental stuff, well liked.
Best Costume Design: Memoirs of a Geisha. Oriental stuff, exotic you know?
Best Make-Up: Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith. You can never go wrong with the Wookiees, Palpatine, and a host of other aliens, not forgetting Anakin's seared body.
Best Sound Mixing: King Kong. Another technical award for Kong.
Best Sound Editing: King Kong. Yet another technical award for Kong.
Best Film Editing: Crash. This is the toughest, but I think Crash will probably snag this award for its lack of the biggies later.

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