2006 OSCAR NOMINEES: Predict This! Part Two

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Okay, now that you’ve mastered the art of winning the Oscar Pool, in Part One, you can witness your sensei in action. I’m going to give you folks the skinny but I’m also going to list how sure I am of my picks. Sometimes you just have to pick for the hell of it. Mostly, you have to bullshit yourself. Without further adieu, here’s my predictions for Sunday’s 78th Academy Awards.

BEST PICTURE
Brokeback Mountain
Capote
Crash
Good Night, and Good Luck.
Munich

Who Should Win: Munich. My adoration of this film has been discussed.

Who Will Win: Brokeback Mountain. All that talk about that Crash movie upsetting? Bored entertainment writers and Roger Ebert do not an upset make.

How Sure am I? If Brokeback Mountain doesn’t win, I will beat my dog to a bloody pulp and leave it on my front door until the Animal Cops come and get me. Hey, it would be pretty cool to see myself on Animal Planet. They have Animal Planet in prison, I think.

BEST DIRECTOR
George Clooney, Good Night, and Good Luck.
Paul Haggis, Crash
Ang Lee, Brokeback Mountain
Bennett Miller, Capote
Steven Spielberg, Munich

Who Should Win: I’m actually rooting for Lee here. Hell of a job making this material accessible.

Who Will Win: Ang Lee, Brokeback Mountain

How Sure am I? I would give up my entire DVD collection. After I burned copies.

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.

Who Should Win: It’s strange. I’m not emotionally attached to any one performance. I’d end up voting for Joaquin Phoenix.

Who Will Win: Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Capote. And you won’t hear me run my mouth.

How Sure am I? I’m Mike McD staring down Teddy KGB, knowing he’s dead meat (At the end of Rounders, not the beginning).

BEST ACTRESS
Judi Dench, Mrs. Henderson Presents
Felicity Huffman, Transamerica
Keira Knightley, Pride & Prejudice
Charlize Theron, North Country
Reese Witherspoon, Walk The Line

Who Should Win: Out of these nominees, Reese. Her performance was the most fun.

Who Will Win: Reese Witherspoon, Walk The Line. My earlier prediction of Felicity Huffman gaining steam comes up short.

How Sure am I? I knew how Titanic was going to end, and I know how this will too.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
George Clooney, Syriana
Matt Dillon, Crash
Paul Giamatti, Cinderella Man
Jake Gyllenhaal, Brokeback Mountain
William Hurt, A History of Violence

Who Should Win: I’ve thought about this for a long time and it’s a real toughie. All nominees are great. Hurt killed in his ten minutes. Gyllenhaal was terrific. Clooney broke out big. Giamatti was robbed last year. But I’m kind of rooting for Dillon. This is his best shot.

Who Will Win: It’s a real toughie again. This was a two man race between Clooney and Giamatti but Dillon has surged in the last few weeks. And I think the surging buzz is legit. The Academy can honor Clooney’s great year with a win here. Or they can give Dillon a pat on the back for a very solid performance. But I think they kiss and make up with Paul Giamatti for Cinderella Man.

How Sure am I? I gotta be straight with you folks. I was never good at math. I mean, I struggled with simple geometry. I never got it. I couldn’t tell you a right angle from a left. This whole category looks like a bunch of bent arrows pointing every which way.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Amy Adams, Junebug
Catherine Keener, Capote
Frances McDormand, North Country
Rachel Weisz, The Constant Gardener
Michelle Williams, Brokeback Mountain

Who Should Win: Rachel Weisz. I know, I know, you know.

Who Will Win: Rachel Weisz, The Constant Gardener

How Sure am I? After the debacle that was Rocky V, me and everyone else in America, nay, in the world was sure it was the bullet that was going to put that poor, angry puppy down. In other words, I’m pretty damn sure, but you never know. Amy Adams is doing the pee-pee dance in the corner. Historically, this is a strange category to predict.

BEST SCREENPLAY (ORIGINAL)
Paul Haggis and Bobby Moreseco, Crash
George Clooney and Grant Heslov, Good Night, and Good Luck.
Woody Allen, Match Point
Noah Baumbach, The Squid and The Whale
Stephen Gaghan, Syriana

Who Should Win: Crash. It’s a thriller, it’s funny, it’s smart, it’s emotionally powerful and it’s entertaining as hell.

Who Will Win: Paul Haggis and Bobby Moresco, Crash.

How Sure am I? I’d not only bet my farm, I’d bet yours.

BEST SCREENPLAY (ADAPTATION)
Larry McCurtry and Diana Ossana, Brokeback Mountain
Dan Futterman, Capote
Jeffrey Caine, The Constant Gardener
Josh Olson, A History of Violence
Tony Kushner and Eric Roth, Munich

Who Should Win: Tony Kushner and Eric Roth for Munich. Brilliant, complicated work.

Who Will Win: Larry McCurtry and Diana Ossana win for their spare, moving screenplay for Brokeback Mountain.

How Sure am I? I’m running out of steam. What time is it? Where am I? Who am I? What? Yeah, bet it all, bet everything, let it ride…

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Don’t Tell, Italy
Joyeux Noel, France
Paradise Now, Palestine
Sophie Scholl – The Final Days, Germany
Tsotsi, South Africa

Who Should Win:: I don’t think this has ever happened before but I haven’t seen one of these flicks. Let’s knock out France just because. Germany was starting to get on my good side again but the extra long title looks like they’re just trying too hard, you know? It’s hip not only to be square but to show how forward-thinking you are and give some recognition to Palestine. Unfortunately, like Ricky Roma says, I subscribe to the Law of Contrary Public Opinion. Palestine has had their day in the sun, they got their Golden Globe so they should be straight. That leaves South Africa or Italy. Italy just had the Winter Olympics. And Charlize Theron is South African. That makes it almost too easy. Tsotsi it is!

Who Will Win: Tsotsi

How Sure Am I? There is the slightest of chances voters will get confused as ask why Tootsie is on the ballet, but I doubt it.

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
Howl’s Moving Castle
Tim Burton’s The Corpse Bride
Wallace & Gromit in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit

Who Should Win: The most fun and inventive of the pack: Wallace & Gromit.

Who Will Win: Oscar gold is in Nick Park’s blood. It’s more cheese for Wallace & Gromit baby.

How Sure am I? I will pay $1000 bucks to every reader I let down here (of Monopoly money).

BEST ANIMATED SHORT FILM
Badgered
The Moon and The Son: An Imagined Conversation
The Mysterious Geographic Explorations of Jasper Morello
9
One Man Band

Who Should Win: I am sick and tired of all these “short” categories that have John Holmes-sized titles. What’s the deal? I’m a shorter fellow but you don’t see me walking around calling myself Andre of The Palm Beaches Rivas: A Meditation on How Any Asshole Can Get Lucky. At least not anymore. I’m all about brevity here. 9 it is. It smacks of John Holmes in a different way, but it has a sense of class.

Who Will Win: I have a tradition that has kept me strong in my Oscar pools. I always go with Pixar. One Man Band.

How Sure am I? I’m not even going to bullcrap you here. Remember that face Dakota Fanning gave when she saw people getting evaporated by the tripods in War of the Worlds? Now imagine that face on a 27 year old man. It’s uglier and more pathetic than you could imagine.

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
Darwin’s Nightmare
Enron: The Smartest Guys In The Room
March of The Penguins
Murderball
Street Fight

Who Should Win: I haven’t seen Darwin’s Nightmare or Street Fight yet but far as I can tell, Enron: The Smartest Guys In The Room is the best of the pack.

Who Will Win: Sigh… March Of The Penguins.

How Sure am I? Sure enough to end it all with a hollow-point bullet.

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT
The Death of Kevin Carter: Casualty of Bang Bang Club
God Sleeps in Rwanda
The Mushroom Club
A Note of Triumph: The Golden Age of Norman Corwin

Who Should Win: The Mushroom Club because it sounds like the kind of crowd I’d want to hang with.

Who Will Win: God Sleeps in Rwanda so that fans of Hotel Rwanda can have a little peace in their heart. Forget that Kevin Carter movie because the Academy will not vote for anything with “Bang Bang” in the title. Trust me on this. The Academy does not want to be seen promoting hallucinatory kicks so you can count on Mushroom Club being unjustly ignored…the bastards.

Okay, I just learned The Mushroom Club is not a 24 Hour Party People-type knockoff but, in fact a look at Hiroshima 60 years after the bomb dropped. Not as sexy as I thought it was.

Meanwhile, Norman Corwin may be a bit too golden for his own good. How many of you out there even know who he is? If dude was alive he’d be like 96.

Okay, I just learned Norman Corwin is alive. Sweet peanuts in a tin can, I’m no good at this. Somebody get me a damn martini.

How Sure am I? I got a teethy car salesman-like smile but panic fill these eyes.

LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM
Ausreisser (The Runaway)
Cashback
The Last Farm
Our Time Is Up
Six Shooter

Who Should Win: I’m getting a nice assist here by my boy Laremy Legel who swore by Cashback in his Shorts article.

Who Will Win: Once again I adhere to Oscar-guru Laremy. The way he sees it, Our Time Is Up is primed for victory.

How Sure am I? Laremy’s a kind of shady fellow. The kind of guy you don’t feel all that comfortable turning your back on. But let’s give the guy the benefit of the doubt. Read Laremy’s low-down here.

ART DIRECTION
Good Night, and Good Luck.
Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire
King Kong
Memoirs of a Geisha
Pride & Prejudice

Who Should Win: Memoirs of a Geisha

Who Will Win: The Academy loves the exotic and Memoirs of a Geisha has that handle this year. This movie may not have been loved, but it was certainly admired for it’s visual sense.

How Sure am I? This is one movie that does stand a Chinamen’s chance. Okay, I just learned Geisha’s are Japanese. I blame the schools, really.

COSTUME DESIGN
Charlie and The Chocolate Factory
Memoirs of a Geisha
Walk The Line
Pride & Prejudice
Mrs. Henderson Presents

Who Should Win: Memoirs of a Geisha

Who Will Win: Hollywood loves the period stuff and Memoirs of a Geisha is both period and exotic.

How Sure am I? Jack Burton-after-a-cup-of-fire-and-lightening sure. And if you don’t know who Jack Burton is you need more help than I thought.

MAKEUP
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
Cinderella Man
Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith

Who Should Win: I’m boycotting Narnia for no really good reason and while Sith impressed me in other areas, makeup wasn’t exactly one of them. So I’m going to have to go with Cinderella Man who helped turn Craig Bierko into an intimidating Max Baer with subtleness.

Who Will Win: Narnia.

How Sure am I? The good news is I’m so sure about so many of these I feel about as newly confident as Freddie Prinze Jr. after he got the call from his agent about Scooby Doo 2. “They want me back?…Really? Wow! I am THE MAN! They must have loved my Fred.” The bad news is…where is he now? I believe strongly in kicking a man while he’s down. It’s good for his character and puts hair on his chest.

SOUND MIXING
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
King Kong
Memoirs of a Geisha
Walk The Line
War of the Worlds

Who Should Win: Kong and War of the Worlds are both deserving, but the Walk The Line, musical numbers ruled!

Who Will Win: King Kong, edges Walk The Line with no real complaint by me.

How Sure am I? I have a gun to my head and a deadline to meet. Catch my drift?

SOUND EDITING
King Kong
Memoirs of a Geisha
War of the Worlds

Who Should Win: Tough call between Kong and War of the Worlds, but in the end it’s the Mighty Kong.

Who Will Win: King Kong

How Sure am I? Remember what I said about paying out $1,000 in Monopoly money if I lose? Double that bad boy.

EDITING
Cinderella Man
The Constant Gardener
Crash
Munich
Walk The Line

Who Should Win: The Constant Gardener, easily.

Who Will Win: The Academy will be fooled into thinking multi-storied means greatness so the well-edited Crash will grab the crown.

How Sure am I? I’d be willing to bet half my chips here. Except the red ones. I get to keep all my red chips.

CINEMATOGRAPHY
Wally Pfister, Batman Begins
Rodrigo Prieto, Brokeback Mountain
Robert Elswit, Good Night, and Good Luck.
Dion Beebe, Memoirs of a Geisha
Emmanuel Lubezki, The New World

Who Should Win: Brokeback Mountain just barely gets the edge over The New World for me.

Who Will Win: Brokeback Mountain

How Sure am I? I know shit from Shinola. One comes in a can. The other gets deposited in one.

ORIGINAL SCORE
Gustavo Santaolalla, Brokeback Mountain
Alberto Iglesias, The Constant Gardener
John Williams, Memoirs of a Geisha
John Williams, Munich
Dario Marianelli, Pride & Prejudice

Who Should Win: Love Gustavo’s stuff from film to film but there is something in John Williams’s Munich score that haunts me.

Who Will Win: Gustavo finally gets his due and wins for Brokeback Mountain.

How Sure am I? I’m a little scared of Williams’s great Geisha score, but I always get that way around Geishas. Especially when they bug out their eyes and they got all that white makeup on. I think its because they remind me of mimes. And oooooh man, I hates me some mimes.

ORIGINAL SONG
“In The Deep”, Crash
“It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp”, Hustle & Flow
“Travelin’ Thru”, Transamerica

Who Should Win: “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp”

Who Will Win: In truth, it isn’t all that hard out here being a pimp. I mean, you get to sit on your couch all day, smoke a blunt, watch kung-fu films, walk around in fishbowl shoes, carry a cane, listen to Biggie, tap that ass and maybe once in a while raise your voice and an open palm. But if Hollywood wants me to say it’s hard out here, I’ll say it’s hard out here.

How Sure am I? That’s like asking me how patriotic I am. I know everyone has their panties in a bunch for the Crash song but I believe in America. And now way America bitch-slaps a pimp. Only I can do that.

I should probably let you all know I’ve been known to be full of crap. Sometimes it starts to seep out of my ears. It’s kind of embarrassing. But I find it best not to fight it, if you can be completely full and covered in crap and still feel confident…it may even start to rub off other people and when they feel comfortable enough, they’ll start to admit they’re full of crap too. And if all goes well this Sunday, I may actually come out of this smelling like flowers.

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Weekend: Nov. 15, 2018, Nov. 18, 2018

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