Sunday, March 23, 2003

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Some Oscar predictions -- with more links to Salma Hayek!!!

As frequent readers know, I supported the decision to go to war with Iraq now rather than a permit an interminable delay in the hopes of acquiring more multilateral support. However, if someone had told me a week ago that a delay of the war was the best way to ensure that Salma Hayek, Nicole Kidman, and Diane Lane would be wearing sexy, full-length gowns, then maybe I would have switched my position on the war. Given the cancellation of the red carpet pre-game and the predicted somber tone of the ceremonies, I'll admit to being upset. What's the point of an Oscar ceremony if Gwyneth Paltrow isn't dressed to the nines? If Halle Berry isn't dressed up, that's just wrong. Do you think our troops in the field want to see Halle Berry in a pants suit?

OK, I think I got that out of my system.

[Isn't this a pretty sexist rant?--ed. Hey, I fully supprt equal opportunity ogling. If women (or men) want to covet Will Smith, Tom Cruise, or Daniel Day-Lewis, I say go for it. However, the change in tone of the Oscar ceremony disproportionately affects what the women will wear if ballroom gowns are disdained. What about the likelihood of anti-war sentiments voiced by the winners?--ed. I'm more sanguine about that. It's their right and privilege, and besides, I have no doubt that Michael Moore will fall into the "useful idiot" category by the end of the evening.]

Anyway, here are my predictions, preferences, and explanations for the big awards this evening:

Will win -- Chicago
Should win -- Monsoon Wedding

I really liked Chicago, but it bugs me that the best musical of the year was not even nominated. The music in Monsoon Wedding was just as good, the plot was more substantive, the ending more satisfying, and the overarching themes were thought-provoking. It deserved both the nomination and victory.

Will win -- Daniel Day-Lewis, Gangs of New York
Should win -- Hugh Grant, About a Boy

Simple rule -- comedic acting is more difficult than dramatic acting. Also, great acting performances require that a character change (this is why I've always believed that Dustin Hoffman robbed Tom Cruise of the Best Actor Oscar for Rain Main). Grant wins on both counts.

Will win -- Julianne Moore, Far From Heaven
Should win -- tie, Moore and Nicole Kidman, The Hours

I'm predicting an upset here -- I think Kidman and Renee Zellweger will split the "starlet" vote. And Moore is certainly worthy. But you can't watch Kidman's performance and think it was just some prosthetic nose that explains her transformation. It's the best -- and subtlest -- portrayal of mental illness I've ever seen.

Will win -- Rob Marshall, Chicago
Should win -- Mira Nair, Monsoon Wedding

See comments under Best Picture.

Will win -- Chris Cooper, Adaptation
Should win -- Tie, Dennis Quaid, Far From Heaven, and Cedric the Entertainer, Barbershop

I will admit that I haven't seen Adaptation yet, but Quaid was fearless in portraying not just a closeted homosexual, but portraying him simultaneously in both a sympathetic and unsympathetic light. Cedric, on the other hand, was just really funny, plus he gave the most moving speech of the entire movie.

Will win -- Catherine Zeta-Jones, Chicago
Should win -- Catherine Zeta-Jones, Chicago

Everyone is praising Zeta-Jones' solo numbers in Chicago, but what sold me was what she did in "Cell Block Tango." At the end of that number, my jaw was open and I was barely breathing. It was that good, and she was that spellbinding in it.

Will win -- Pedro Almodovar, Talk to Her
Should win -- Todd Haynes, Far From Heaven

Both are good -- this is just a matter of taste.

Will win -- David Hare, The Hours
Should win -- Peter Hedges, Chris Weitz, and Paul Weitz, About a Boy

Again, I thought both were excellent, but Hedges and the Weitz brothers actually improved on their source material, which never happens in movies, unless it's a John Grisham book, in which case the only direction to go is up.

posted by Dan on 03.23.03 at 01:58 PM