2006 OSCAR NOMINEES: Love That Choice!

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Love. It comes, it fills you with good feeling and then it rips your heart out, walking out the door with that innocent expression that makes you want to physically turn your face inside out. I’ve spit and spewed a lot of acrimony at the Academy the last few months but hey, they deserve it, even when they don’t (fans of Joseph Hellar rejoice!). But this time I am going to get all gooey for the Academy. Yes, I’m in love again. I’m turning down the lights, and striking a match. Roman scented candles light my crib and it’s just me and you, Academy. That’s not just your hormones acting up on you, those are the tunes of Barry White gracing your eardrums. I already got the Taco Bell waiting in the microwave and all it takes is one push of a mother-bleeping button to reheat your Chalupa baby (supreme, of course).

Now, since I just pimped you, Taco Bell, you might do us all a favor and bring back THE CHILITO! And I don’t think I’m alone here. For all of you poor souls that have no idea what I am referring to, hear is a brief education. The Chilito, or as it was later referred, The Chili Cheese Burrito was the Microsoft Windows of the Taco Bell menu, or at least it was until it was vindictively ripped away along with my heart. The reason for the name change I shall not disclose here…it’s just better this way, trust me (but if you are a truly brave soul, check out this link for a little Chilito history).

This was back when they really were thinking outside of the bun. Basically, it was a beef soft taco with extra meat and extra extra melted cheese. The chili part is up to some debate. Slap in a little mystery sauce (I don’t know what it was or where it came from and I don’t need to know). It had about 8 billion calories and 1,200 grams of fat and it was the most magnificent tasting thing these hands have ever laid claim. Arrrghhhhh. Oh, and Chilito Lady, even before the Academy, you were the love of my life. She knows who she is. And she is no doubt very afraid right now.

Before there’s any more tangents, let’s just dive right into this pool of love together. Here are the nominations that made me most happy this year.

BEST PICTURE
Munich

I predicted Munich would be nominated Best Picture last November. It wasn’t exactly brain surgery, everybody was thinking the same thing. In fact, many people had it pegged as the likely Best Picture winner based on the material and talent involved. Well, Munich was released and the buzz was more modest. Strong reviews, but not the raves peoples were expecting. Munich went from a likely Best Picture winner to a film that wasn’t likely to get nominated. And cynics would say Munich got in on name-brand recognition but that’s hogwash. Spielberg’s name and powerful subject matter didn’t stop Amistad from getting ignored, nor did it guarantee Saving Private Ryan a Best Picture Oscar.

I can only assume Munich was nominated because enough people felt as I did, or close to the way I do about the film: I think it’s an outstanding film. I believe it is a film that will be looked back at in years to come, especially in the conversation of history and what films were made when and why. When I think of The Day The Earth Stood Still I think of The Cold War, when I think of Top Gun, I think of the Reagan Era and resurging American pride. The Munich era is not yet completely defined, but I will remember what an exceptional thriller it is, how it turns the revenge film on its head, how it promotes conversation and the questions it raises. Thanks, Academy, for nominating my favorite film of the year. And sorry for calling you retards.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Rachel Weisz, The Constant Gardener

Sure Weisz was a lock, but sometimes after you leave a theatre you can’t help but root for someone to get recognized. Weisz was feisty, smart and electric. She manages to keep her character’s mystery intact even after secrets have been revealed. She’s this year’s sexiest dead woman.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Matt Dillon, Crash

I’ve given Crash some crap for being nominated Best Picture but the truth is I really like the movie. I think it has a great screenplay, it’s well-acted and directed. I don’t think it’s as simplistic as some narrow-minded critics have accused it of being, quite the opposite actually. And Dillon’s racist L.A. cop is a big reason why I feel that way about the film. The monsters in Crash are real human beings. They are often good people who act repulsively out of anger and Dillon’s cop is one of them. Dillon has always been a natural actor and a likeable screen presence. This is a case of right actor, right role, right time. Congrats, homey!

BEST SONG
“It’s Hard Out Here For a Pimp”, Hustle & Flow

I have serious Hustle & Flow penance to make up after I included Terrence Howard in my list of head-scratchers and the Academy is giving me a nice assist here. I love the epic creation of “Whoop That Trick” (and wouldn’t it have been cool if the Academy nominated that as well?) but this is the best song in the film, especially because of the rawness of Taraji P. Henson and how she hits her notes with surprising feeling. Damn, Academy, I didn’t know yo ass wuz down like dat!

DOCUMENTARY
Enron: The Smartest Guys in The Room

I’ve concentrated a lot of hugs and kisses towards Grizzly Man (deservedly), but the fact is Alex Gibney’s film, based on the book by Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind, is perhaps my favorite documentary of 2005. More so than any other category, a great documentary doesn’t guarantee an Oscar nomination, no matter how revolutionary or original the doc may be. Just ask Grizzly Man. Or Crumb. Or Hoop Dreams. The committee that decides which documentaries are eligible for nomination are one queer bunch, indeed.

So color me delighted that Gibney’s film made the cut and got itself a nomination. This is an intelligent look at the tragedy of brilliant men spinning out of control, propelled by their own egos. It shows how greed and absolve of responsibility from the upper ranks to the low corrupted and infected virtually everyone in one of the most promising of corporations. To hear the Enron traders on the phone brag about how they are stealing energy from “grandma in California” (during the California blackouts a few years ago, a direct result of Enron’s greed and not the energy crisis it was depicted as) is as chilling a moment as I’ve seen in any film this year. This is a true must-see and I am glad the Academy pimped this bitch out.

So that about wraps things up for the evening, Academy. Now get your stank-skank ass out of my apartment. Just kidding, baby, I love you. I love you more than a Chilito. Almost.

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Weekend: Sep. 20, 2018, Sep. 23, 2018

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