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Oscar Beats Me Like A Gong . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Oscar nominations were announced yesterday, and although I'm typically well-versed in the competition among the films, this year I have neglected a majority of the nominees for various reasons.

Many of my rationales for not seeing these movies may have been suspect, however, it doesn't change the fact that I'm woefully unprepared at present to predict the outcomes and make arguments that the actual winners might not deserve their awards.

The big winners so far have been "Babel" (7 nominations) and "Dreamgirls" (8 nominations though shut out of the really big categories). I have seen neither of them.

In the case of "Babel," I assumed from the first preview I saw that this would be a well-meaning, possibly profound and utterly bleak affair. It was the last part that has kept me from seeing it so far as every time I considered it, I just wasn't in the mood for something that heavy.

"Dreamgirls" was a different story as I just generally don't care for musicals with the notable exception of "Footloose," which was more of a dancing movie.

I liked "Chicago" just fine, but didn't rush out to see it. I've heard Eddie Murphy and Jennifer Hudson were excellent (and both received best supporting Oscar nominations) in "Dreamgirls," a fact that still hasn't caused me to pay money and sit inside a theater.

For Best Picture, "Babel" will be competing against ``The Departed,'' ``The Queen,'' ``Letters from Iwo Jima'' and ``Little Miss Sunshine'."

I've only seen "The Departed" (which was excellent) among that group of nominees, although I do plan to rent "Little Miss Sunshine" this weekend. "Letters From Iwa Jima" hasn't even been released in Austin, and I just can't muster any enthusiasm whatsoever to see "The Queen" as I care about the British Royal Family almost as much as I do about fine cheeses or crack - which is next to nothing at all.

The Best Actor category features competition between Leonardo DiCaprio for ``Blood Diamond,'' Ryan Gosling for ``Half Nelson,'' Peter O'Toole for ``Venus,'' Will Smith for ``The Pursuit of Happyness'' and Forest Whitaker for ``The Last King of Scotland."

If I was betting, I would lay odds on Whitaker winning this one with strong competition from O'Toole, although not one single person in the United States has actually seen "Venus."

Best actress features the typical Academy list which they seem to pull from every year, and includes Penelope Cruz for ``Volver,'' Judi Dench for ``Notes on a Scandal,'' Helen Mirren for ``The Queen,'' Meryl Streep for ``The Devil Wears Prada'' and Kate Winslet for ``Little Children.''

Cruz is the only oddball in this mix as the rest seem permanently fixed in a slot. It is my sneaking suspicion that no Academy Members actually watch Judi Dench in her movies; they simply hear her name and pencil her in on the ballot.

She could likely show up on-screen for all of 3 minutes, take a crap in the middle of a scene and then declare something biting in her lofty accent and still secure a nomination. But that's just my theory (and it's not to say that she is not a good actor either, simply that you don't have to reward her every single time).

Anyway, there are many more categories, but if I can't even tackle the major ones, then my depth of knowledge about Best Animated Documentary shorts will be even worse.

I obviously have a lot of catching up to do, but that's also one of the irritating things about getting older is that you tend to see fewer movies in the theater, which is just another thing to add to my growing concerns about my upcoming birthday that is less than a week away.

There is no time to waste, and I might have to sneak away at lunch to start reversing this trend.



  1. Anonymous Says:
  2. I am not prepared for the Oscar pool at work this year. I've only seen "Little Miss Sunshine" and "Pursuit of Happyness". But besides "The Last King of Scotland", I really have no desire to see any of these others! My friend saw "The Queen" and said she about fell asleep during it, so her and her friend snuck into 2 other movies. hehe Whenever I've watched a musical at home, I fast forward through the singing parts, with the exception of "Moulin Rouge". That was a good flick. Next thing we know, you'll be watching Jeopardy and eating dinner at 5pm. But then again, I got my dad watching "The Soup" when he was here and he doesn't miss a week...and he's 74! haha

  3. Anonymous Says:
  4. I love Oscar night, i've been faithfully watching it for years and years. I went to an Oscar Party one year, had to dress up, go through a limo and come out on the "red" carpet to be interviewed by some man with a microphone. Does this make me a loser LOL?

  5. Jlee - I'm with you as I usually am excellent at this contest, which I've done for many years. And nice one turning your Dad onto The Soup. Good choice as The Queen would have only put him to sleep.

    Miss Ash - That is a great idea. I think it would be a good time by all, although I'm not sure which unlucky bastard would get stuck doing the interviewing. Oh well, as long as it wasn't me then all is good.

  6. Anonymous Says:
  7. I've seen "The Departed", "Blood Diamond" and "The Pursuit of Happiness." All three were good. I'm glad to see DiCaprio has matured beyond the pretty-boy roles into the tough-guy roles. He was great in both movies.

  8. Anonymous Says:
  9. "Footloose"?!? Really, you liked it? I haven't seen any of the movies up for best and I don't really plan on it. If Leonardo is in a movie I tend to pass.

  10. Robert - He was excellent in The Departed, but I wasn't sold on the preview for Blood Diamond as I wasn't sure if I bought him as a mercenary (and to a lesser degree his accent). I'll have to rent it.

    Rob - I dug Footloose as a kid, and think about the cast - Kevin Bacon, Sarah Jessica Parker, Chris Penn, John Lithgow. See above comment about The Departed as i wouldn't necessarily stay away from any movie that had Leo in it.

  11. Anonymous Says:
  12. I don't think I've seen any of the movies this year. It seems like the movies of the past year haven't been all that interesting. I like the old time movie musicals, but just have not found ones of today all that great. I do agree that Footloose is more of a dance movie as people don't really break out into song unlike say Xanadu.

  13. How could I forgot Xanadu - this is the one with Sean Connery wearing possibly the most ridiculous outfit ever seen onscreen right? I could be wrong.

  14. Anonymous Says:
  15. Xanadu (it just may help with your trivia) starred Olivia Newton-John and Gene Kelly. She was a muse that fell in love with a mortal and had to figure out a way to stay on earth. He was an old guy who needed something to do and helped Michael Beck (I think that is right) open up a club, which surprisingly they called Xanadu. ELO and Olivia sang the music in the movie.

  16. Obviously I was wrong. Thanks for the right answer as that could very well be in the mix - and I would have missed it.

    Now what Sean Connery movie am I thinking about?

  17. Little Miss Sunshine was hilarious. Go to the bathroom before the movie starts or wear diapers. You will wet yourself from the laughter.

  18. Thanks for the advice as I'm watching it tomorrow & it's best to be prepared.


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