Sunday, March 05, 2006

2006 OSCAR Picks

Like most years, I am looking forward to watching the OSCARS tonight. Unlike most years, though, I have to get up at 4:30am tomorrow morning to go to the hospital. Kristen will be induced into labor, and we hope to have a healthy baby sometime on Monday.

Like last year, I will weigh in with my predictions for the major awards. In past years, I usually saw most of the nominated work on the big screen, but this year I have only seen a few on DVD. In one respect, I am at a disadvantage, but many OSCAR voters admit they only watch a few of the nominated films, too.

Supporting Actress: The only one of the five I saw was Rachel Weisz in The Constant Gardener, although I have Junebug in hand and look forward to seeing Amy Adams' performance. Weisz' work was soulful and worthy of an OSCAR, but this category has a history of producing the surprise winner of the evening. Michelle Williams could ride a Brokeback Mountain wave if that film gets a landslide going, but I am placing my bet on Weisz.

Supporting Actor: This one comes down to George Clooney, Paul Giamatti, and Matt Dillon. Matt Dillon was great and played a pivotal part in Crash, a best film nominee. I am a big fan of Giamatti, but the academy does not seem to share that view. He should have been nominated the last two years as a lead actor, but he was snubbed both years. So I have a hunch that this year's triple nominee Clooney will get the nod. I sort of hope he wins, because his acceptance speech could be memorable.

Lead Actress: It seems Reese Witherspoon has already won this category, judging by the buzz. Felicity Huffman won praise for Transamerica, but I think the earlier release of that film will work against her. I don't wager on OSCARS anymore, but if I still did, I would probably lay a bill on Huffman as my best dark horse candidate.

Lead Actor: Tough category this year. Heath Ledger had the lead in Brokeback Mountain, the favorite to win best picture, but Phillip Seymour Hoffman mastered the role of the very odd Truman Capote. OSCAR likes enigmas, so I give Hoffman the nod. Hoffman made a drunken pact several years ago that he would bark his acceptance speech if he ever won an OSCAR. I might have to record the show just for that.

Directing: Two words. Ang Lee.

Picture: Brokeback Mountain has won every other award out there, but I am hoping that Crash will score an upset. Crash is a riveting movie with several interwoven stories. I found it to be an honest, non-judgmental movie that left me thinking about its questions long after the credits. It deserves kudos for its honesty and power about race in America. Still, Brokeback takes this category.


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