Sunday, January 21, 2007

Oscar nom picks.

Every year for the past couple of years, thanks to the internet, I've done a little thing with several friends, where we make our Oscar picks. For the purposes of this blog, I'll post them here. 1 or 2 minor edits, one major change on my end, and 2 name deletions made by me, otherwise it's the same. Here it is in cut and pasted form. And if you have any bright ideas, comments, corrections, wish to tear me a new one based on the picks made, don't be afraid to let me know. Remember, they need to be in by 8:30AM EST, Tuesday Jan. 23 2007. No prizes, sorry. Also, do note that none of us have any special knowledge, insight or secret files. We're just talking. Here we go. First, me:

Subject: Oscar predictions
Date: Thu, 18 Jan 2007 05:09:07 -0500

Mike here with our annual let's try to predict the nominations. As usual I use the Hollywood Stock Exchange website as a guide, and break them down into probables, possibles, maybes, and longshots, followed by my pick. I believe 3 years ago I outdid J.C., 2 yrs ago we tied (with some different picks), and last yr, JC did better then me. {NAME DELETED}, I don't want to talk about, poor man. Anyway, here we go:

Best Picture:
Probables: Little Miss Sunshine, The Departed, Babel, Dreamgirls, The Queen

Possible: Letters From Iwo Jima

Maybe: Little Children

Longshots: Volver, United 93, The Pursuit of Happyness, Flags of Our Fathers, The Good Shepard, World Trade Center, Pan's Labyrinth, Children of Men, Note on a Scandal, Blood Diamond, The Devil Wears Prada, Half Nelson, Thank You for Smoking, Borat, Bobby

My picks: Babel, Departed, Dreamgirls, Iwo Jima, Queen

The Queen is so lucky that it's Movie Comfort Food for old people. And as much as i liked sunshine, i would be surprised if Clint was ignored by Oscar. As long as it isn't Booby, I mean Bobby. I mean, how the hell did those nutjobs in SAG vote Booby as Best Ensemble? Didn't they notice Sharon Stone and Ashton Kutcher were in the cast? Didn't they see the TRAILER?!?!?

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Editor's note: I originally had Sunshine 4th in the probables category, and I left it unpicked. Since then, Sunshine won the Producers Guild award. As far as I'm concerned, not only should it be listed as the number one probable, it now has a good chance to win if nominated. So I guess we'll have to throw out Clint in this category. I so much prefer to see Queen not make it in this category, but it doesn't look likely. So here are my revised picks:

My picks: Babel, Departed, Dreamgirls, Sunshine, Queen

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Best Actor:
Probables: Forest Whitaker - The Last King of Scotland, Leonardo DiCaprio - The Departed, Will Smith - The Pursuit of Happyness

Possibles: Peter O'Toole - Venus, Ryan Gosling - Half Nelson, Sacha Baron Cohen - Borat

Maybes: Ken Watanabe - Letters from Iwo Jima, Leonardo DiCaprio - Blood Diamond

Longshots: Aaron Eckhart - Thank You for Smoking, Matt Damon - The Good Shepherd, Derek Luke - Catch a Fire, George Clooney - The Good German, Jamie Foxx- Dreamgirls, Clive Owen- Children of Men, Greg Kinnear- Little Miss Sunshine, Edward Norton- The Painted Veil, Daniel Craig- Casino Royale, Patrick Wilson- Little Children, Nicholas Cage- World Trade Center

My picks: DiCaprio for Departed, O'Toole, Smith, Watanabe, Whitaker.

I'm just finding it doubtful that enough Academy members picked up the Half Nelson DVD and watched Gosling.

Note: Warner Bros. tried to have DiCaprio nominated for Best Actor for Blood Diamond and Supporting Actor for Departed, because the Academy doesn't allow one actor to be nominated twice in the same category. Don't think WB will succeed with that, but if it the category looks a little funny when announced, you'll know why.

Best Actress:
Probables: Helen Mirren - The Queen, Meryl Streep - The Devil Wears Prada, Kate Winslet - Little Children, Penelope Cruz - Volver

Possible: Judi Dench - Notes on a Scandal

Maybes: Maggie Gyllenhaal - Sherrybaby, Naomi Watts - The Painted Veil

Longshots: Juliette Binoche - Breaking and Entering, Beyoncè Knowles - Dreamgirls, Sienna Miller - Factory Girl, Renee Zellweger - Miss Potter, Cate Blanchett - The Good German, Annette Bening - Running with Scissors, Anne Hathaway- The Devil Wears Prada, Ellen Page- Hard Candy

My picks: Cruz, Dench, Mirren, Streep, Winslet.

I still believe Streep's perf is only a supporting role, not a lead. But oh well . . .

Best Director:
Probables: Martin Scorsese - The Departed, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu - Babel, Bill Condon - Dreamgirls, Clint Eastwood - Letters from Iwo Jima

Possible: Stephen Frears - The Queen

Maybes: Jonathan Dayton & Valerie Faris - Little Miss Sunshine, Paul Greengrass - United 93, Alfonso Cuarón - Children of Men, Todd Field - Little Children, Pedro Almodovar - Volver, Gabriele Muccino - The Pursuit of Happyness

Longshots: Clint Eastwood - Flags of Our Fathers, Robert De Niro - The Good Shepherd, Oliver Stone - World Trade Center, Robert Altman- A Prairie Home Companion, Gulliermo del Toro- Pan's Labyrinth

My picks: Condon, Eastwood for Iwo Jima, Frears, Inarritu, Scorsese.

Like I said, it's a good thing The Queen is old people comfort food, otherwise Greengrass would be nominated over him. And yes, Eastwood over the Sunshine directors. Yes, they got the DGA nomination over Clint, but at least a third of the Guild membership is comprised of video directors, where Dayton and Faris started as. But Clint will not be ignored by the Academy this year, especially in this category. Others years might have seen Altman get a posthumous nom, but not this year.

Best Supporting Actor:
Probables: Eddie Murphy- Dreamgirls, Jack Nicholson - The Departed

Possibles: Jackie Earle Haley - Little Children, Djimon Hounsou - Blood Diamond, Mark Wahlberg - The Departed, Alan Arkin - Little Miss Sunshine

Maybes: Brad Pitt - Babel, Michael Sheen - The Queen, James McAvoy - The Last King of Scotland, Steve Carell - Little Miss Sunshine

Longshots: Ben Affleck - Hollywoodland, Adam Beach - Flags of Our Fathers, Michael Pena - World Trade Center, Bill Nighy- Notes on a Scandal, Stanley Tucci- The Devil Wears Prada

My picks: Arkin, Haley, Murphy, Nicholson and Sheen.

The toughest of the acting categories, in terms of many choices to fill the 5th slot. Sheen is my dark horse; here's hoping the idea of The Queen being old people comfort food actually works in this case over Blood Diamond. For all the deserved attention toward Mirren, we wouldn't empathize with Queen Elizabeth nearly as much, if Sheen's portrayal doesn't allow us to. It almost gives us permission to feel at least a little sorry. Sorry Beach and Carell (in that order), no room.

Best Supporting Actress:
Probable: Jennifer Hudson - Dreamgirls

Possibles: Cate Blanchett - Notes on a Scandal, Rinko Kikuchi - Babel, Adriana Barraza - Babel, Abigail Breslin - Little Miss Sunshine

Maybes: Emily Blunt - The Devil Wears Prada, Phyllis Somerville - Little Children, Vera Farmiga - The Departed

Longshots: Catherine O'Hara - For Your Consideration, Carmen Maura - Volver, Shareeka Epps - Half Nelson, Emma Thompson - Stranger Than Fiction, Jill Clayburgh - Running with Scissors, Maggie Gyllenhaal - World Trade Center, Luminita Gheorghiu- The Death of Mr. Lazarescu, Meryl Streep- A Prairie Home Companion, Vanessa Redgrave- Venus, Katie Holmes- Thank You For Smoking

Just kidding about Holmes!! Just making sure you're still awake! God, Katie has become a joke at this point . . . .

My picks: Barraza, Blanchett, Breslin, Hudson, Kikuchi.

After Hudson and Blanchett, just try to cut the list down! That being said, I really tried to think of an alternative that I thought the Academy would pick over Barraza, but no such luck. I have a bias over her storyline in Babel; my least favorite. But not enough of a bias to think she won't get the nod. Personally, I would really want to put in Farmiga, and either O'Hara or Blunt, over Barraza and Breslin, but that's not happening.

Best Original Screenplay:
Probables: Little Miss Sunshine, Babel, The Queen

Possibles: Pan's Labyrinth, Stranger Than Fiction

Maybes: The Good Shepherd, Half Nelson, The Lives of Other, The Pursuit of Happyness, Letters from Iwo Jima, United 93

Longshots: Volver, Bobby, World Trade Center, Sherrybaby

My picks: Babel, Sunshine, The Queen, Stranger Than Fiction, United 93.

United here is another dark horse, otherwise I'd put Iwo Jima here. Greengrass not getting anything would be a bit of a surprise.

Best Screenplay Adaptation:
Probables: The Departed, Dreamgirls

Possibles: Children of Men, The Devil Wears Prada, Thank You for Smoking, The Last King of Scotland, Little Children

Maybes: The History Boys, Notes on a Scandal, Flags of Our Fathers, The Illusionist, The Painted Veil

Longshots: A Prairie Home Companion, The Good German, V For Vendetta, Running With Scissors

My picks: Children of Men, Departed, Dreamgirls, Flags, Little Children.

Sorry I don't see Flags as having only a small chance, I'm feeling the adaptation for Smoking is probably not a major improvement, Prada is too lightweight, and despite some people knowing Patrick Marber, that the positive credit for Scandal is going to remain with the female leads.

Ok. Those are mine, let's see if you can do any better?

Now the first response I got was not someone picking, but someone who didn't like to be refered to as poor man by me in regards to his picks. His thoughts:

"Poor man" !?! A pox upon you, {Word deleted}. I pick those I think deserving, not what the low-brow, mouth breathing, knuckle draggers will likely pick.

Sorry man, didn't mean to refer to you as poor. Would have said sorry earlier but getting band-aids for my knuckles, then getting them over the keyboard takes a lot of my time.

However, someone else did respond, and with nominations. One of the guys listed on the left hand side, known as Hollywood Say, making his first contribution here. Here are his thoughts:

Sent : Saturday, January 20, 2007 12:10 PM

Picture: Babel, Departed, Dreamgirls, Iwo Jima, Queen

Actor: DiCaprio (Departed), Whitaker, Smith, O'Toole, Gosling

Actress: Cruz, Dench, Mirren, Streep, Winslet

Supporting Actor: Murphy, Nicholson, Haley, Arkin, Sheen (ditto on Sheen)

Supporting Actress: Hudson, Blanchett, Kikuchi, Breslin, O'Hara

Director: Scorsese, Condon, Eastwood, Inarritu, Greengrass (I'm going with my gut here, not to mention the one who deserves it the most. Academy also has a history of nominating directors from films that they themselves won't nominate, as a way of throwing a bone. I'm guessing that will be the case here.)

Original Screenplay: Babel, Little Miss Sunshine, The Queen, Iwo Jima, Pan's Labyrinth

Adapted Screenplay: Children of Men, Departed, Dreamgirls, Little Children, Notes on a Scandal

It's okay, you can post my picks on your blog without annonimity. I don't really care. At the end of the days, just post the final Oscar results, in which the good money should bet on me. Lol!

Yeah, I've made bets with Hollywood Say over who actually wins; with either a dinner or DVD as a prize. And if my memory is correct, I haven't beaten him once. I've been close once or twice, but never victorious.

Not once.





time . . . . . .

No bitterness here, of course. If there was, why would I keep doing this? It's not like I'm banging my head against the wall. That's a different sort of pleasure all together. Later all.

P.S. : Hollywood Say, nice contribution. Please don't hesitate to contribute again in the future around here. Strenik, the door is open to you as well.

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