Saturday, March 04, 2006

A Look into My Crystal Ball...(Oscars 2006)

Best Picture
Brokeback Mountain
Capote
**Crash
Good Night, and Good Luck
Munich

In the closing months, the most hubbub and support has blanketed "that gay cowboy movie," Brokeback Mountain; however, the Brokeback Mountain that I saw was not the Best Picture of 2005. On March 5th, the Academy will disagree. If there is any chance for an upset, Crash is the film to do so. Crash is one of the finest films to come along this millennium, and to lose to a slightly overrated love story would be a travesty. Too bad the loss is practically a reality.

Probable Academy Pick: Brokeback Mountain

Best Director
**Ang Lee, Brokeback Mountain
Bennet Miller, Capote
Paul Haggis, Crash
George Clooney, Good Night, and Good Luck
Steven Spielberg, Munich

The director category is perhaps the most definite. Ang Lee is the low-odd favorite to win, and that's what he'll do. Haggis and Spielberg are equally deserving, but Lee's masterful work will win the award--hands down.

Probable Academy Pick: Ang Lee

Best Actor
**Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Capote
Terrence Howard, Hustle & Flow
Heath Ledger, Brokeback Mountain
Joaquin Phoenix, Walk the Line
David Strathairn, Good Night, and Good Luck

In the realm of Best Actor, you can parlay last year's Jamie Foxx prediction on the insanely talented Mr. Phillip Seymour Hoffman. His role as the intelligent and effeminate Truman Capote in Capote defines brilliance. The emotions that he emits and the persona that he takes on are both of the highest caliber. All four of the other nominated men deserve to be included on this list, but haven't got a chance to pull the carpet out from under P.S.H.

Probable Academy Pick: Phillip Seymour Hoffman

Best Actress
Judi Dench, Mrs. Henderson Presents
**Felicity Huffman, Transamerica
Keira Knightley, Pride & Prejudice
Charlize Theron, North Country
Reese Witherspoon, Walk the Line

Maybe it's just me, but a role that requires a female to play a male who becomes a female is a bit more challenging than anything else attempted on film this past year. Plus, considering Felicity Huffman's recent fame with "Desperate Housewives," the voters may turn in her favor. However, it will take a great deal to steal the statue from Reese Witherspoon for her exquisite and charming role as June Carter, "the woman, behind the man, behind the legend." In addition, it is a shame that Joan Allen was skipped over for her marvelous work in The Upside of Anger.

Probable Academy Pick: Reese Witherspoon

Best Supporting Actor
George Clooney, Syriana
**Matt Dillon, Crash
Paul Giamatti, Cinderella Man
Jake Gyllenhaal, Brokeback Mountain
William Hurt, A History of Violence

Matt Dillon's performance in Crash is shattering and better than any other supporting work of 2005; however, Dillon is up against stiff competition. Jake Gyllenhaal grabs his first nomination with his honest portrayal of Jack Twist. Paul Giamatti attains a nod after being robbed of one for last year's Sideways. And, William Hurt picks up a nomination that he has a chance to win. Yet, at long last, the Oscar will either end up in the hands of Dillon or Clooney. Dillon should win, but Clooney will capture the gold.

Probable Academy Pick: George Clooney

Best Supporting Actress
Amy Adams, Junebug
Catherine Keener, Capote
Frances McDormand, North Country
**Rachel Weisz, The Constant Gardener
Michelle Williams, Brokeback Mountain

Supporting actress is typically a tight race, and this year is no different. Ebert has his support behind Adams. Mine is behind the beautiful Miss Weisz. Yet, the Academy will choose Michelle Williams for playing the victim of true love. Brokeback Mountain can tally another one up on the board.

Probable Academy Pick: Michelle Williams

Screenplay--Crash
Adapted Screenplay--Brokeback Mountain
Cinematography--Brokeback Mountain
Editing--Crash
Art Direction--King Kong
Costume Design--Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Score--Brokeback Mountain
Song--Hustle & Flow
Makeup--The Chronicles of Narnia
Sound--Walk the Line
Sound Editing--King Kong
Visual Effects--King Kong
Animated Feature--Wallace & Gromit
Foreign Language Film--Paradise Now
Documentary--March of the Penguins

© Copyright Brandon Valentine 2006