Sunday, February 27, 2005

Oscar Wrap Up

Wow... 100% again!

Christmatica seems to have found its groove.

For the most part, I enjoyed the Oscars. I thought Chris Rock did an admirable job, but I didn't think he had the control of a Johnny Carson or Billy Crystal. Mabye that will come in time... we'll see.

At least he didn't pull any punches. I don't know if I'd go after Jude Law like that (don't get me wrong, I'd go after Jude Law... just in a different way. By 'different way' I mean I'd pay him to sleep with me... okay, I'd pay him just to sit and stare at him for 20 minutes). He was funny, just not FUNNY.

I was VERY excited about Sideways winning Best Adapted Screenplay. Such a wonderful movie.

Some other notes:

  • When did The Simpsons' Sideshow Bob start singing for The Counting Crows?
  • A STANDING OVATION for Chris Rock... at the BEGINNING? Johnny coming back, yeah, that deserves a Standing-O. Billy Crystal coming back... sure. But first time out of the gate? Not so sure... and after seeing the results--definitely a no.
  • What was up with Scarlet Johansen's arm? It was flopping around like a dead fish.
  • I did enjoy Chris Rock's comment about Producers waiting for the actor they really want... then again if you're looking for Salma Hayek, you can easily replace her with a Penelope Cruz (and vice versa).
  • I found it interesting that Salma Hayek and Penelope Cruz--two people with very thick and hardly understandable accents--gave out the best sound awards.
  • I'm not sure if I like the bringing the nominees all on stage... Can you imagine heading back to your seat? "'Scuze me... I'm the guy who just lost... can you move your feet please?"
  • I'm also not sure about the handing out awards to people in their seat. "No, no... don't bother getting up... you're really not that important."
  • Why must the winners thank everyone they've ever met? Who are these people? Their lawyers, agents, friends, cousins, yada, yada, yada. What about your barrista? The kid who delivers your newspaper... the guy down by that place with the weird limp...
  • Where was Peggy Flemming? Sure, she's not an actress and has no reason to ever attend, but we haven't seen much of her lately, and I felt the need to bring her name up.
  • I know I mentioned it earlier, but Scarlet Johansen's arm flop was really disturbing to me.
  • The handing out of the technical awards (by "L-Flop Scarlet") from the balcony was a little odd. I half-expected her to announce that the first person to climb up and get the Oscar will win it. (The other half expected her to grab it with that floppy arm and chuck it out to the crowd.
  • It's amazing how "poor folk" like Hillary Swank can afford lawyers, managers, agents, stylists and a host of other hangers-on can win an Oscar.
  • With all the build-up that Swank and Foxx were going to win, shouldn't they have at least come up with NEW acceptance speeches? They reused their speeches from the Golden Globes... and the SAG Awards.
  • How much money did the Academy save having Beyonce warble through three nominated songs? Did she at least get three of the swag-bags?
  • Lastly... Jeezus. That arm thing of Scarlet Johansen is going to give me nightmares!

I'm sure I'll come up with more on Monday, but I wanted to get some of this out before I forgot.

Only 365 days until the next telecast!

Friday, February 25, 2005

Last year, I had a 100% success rate at predicting the Oscars using my patent pending method called: Chrismatica™! In the order of their scores, here are this year’s Chrismatica™ predictions:

Don Cheadle - HOTEL RWANDA: Didn’t see it… and neither did anyone in the Academy. But everyone heard he was really good—and isn’t that what’s important?
Leonardo DiCaprio - THE AVIATOR: Hey, it’s that kid from Titanic! He’s still working… good for him.
Clint Eastwood - MILLION DOLLAR BABY: He’s going to get one for Best Directing, and it would be a little much to give him Best Actor, Director and Picture…
Johnny Depp - FINDING NEVERLAND: Brilliant role. Totally understated. Johnny is truly one of the most gifted actors of his generation. But, he’s practically made a career out of being peculiar, and no one wants a weird-o making an acceptance speech.
Jamie Foxx – RAY: Personally, I thought Clint and Johnny did a much better job. Both were extremely understated roles. Foxx did a dead-on impersonation of Ray Charles. In fact, it was so dead on that most of the Academy think they’re voting for the real Ray Charles…

Alan Alda - THE AVIATOR: Hey, look it’s Hawkeye!
Clive Owen – CLOSER: Well, he IS British and the Academy LOVES British. Let’s face it: this was a slow year for supporting actors. He really should be happy to be nominated (because that’s where it ends for him).
Jamie Foxx – COLLATERAL: Now this is a performance not only worth nominating, but winning. He did a brilliant job in this film, but it’s an action film… with Tom Cruise. And the Academy hates Tom Cruise (well, Scientology… but to the Academy it’s pretty much the same thing—If the costar was Travolta, he wouldn’t have been nominated).
Thomas Haden Church – SIDEWAYS: A gifted performance in a brilliantly written role that most actors would kill for. Tommy-boy took it and ran with it. However, Paul Giamati in the lead role didn’t get nominated and it would be in poor taste to give him an Oscar and snub Paul…
Morgan Freeman - MILLION DOLLAR BABY: Who doesn’t love Morgan Freeman? Great actor, great voice, great presence and has consistently given many great performances. So what if this is a role he could do in his sleep? He is perfect in this role. The Oscar is more for his body of work than for this film, but it’s Morgan’s all the way.

Imelda Staunton - VERA DRAKE: Who?
Catalina Sandino Moreno - MARIA FULL OF GRACE: ¿Quién?
Kate Winslet - ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND: Hey, it’s that chick from Titanic! She’s still working… good for her.
Annette Bening - BEING JULIA: What an amazing performance with an amazing role. Sublime and over-the-top at the same time. Magnificent. It seems like nothing can stop her… However, when Annette was nominated in American Beauty, she gave a brilliant performance and was all but guaranteed the Oscar… then Hilary Swank pulled the socks out of her top, stuck them in her pants and stole her award. Don’t look now Annette, but Hilary’s wearing a jock strap…
Hilary Swank - MILLION DOLLAR BABY: A really great role, but why does it seem like she’s done this before? Because she has. However, like Monster a year before, the Academy loves it when beautiful women play “ugly.” Somehow this is considered brave and that translates into “acting.”


Sophie Okonedo - HOTEL RWANDA: Who?
Natalie Portman – CLOSER: Hey, it’s that chick from Star Wars! She’s still working… good for her.
Laura Linney – KINSEY: The Academy loves Laura, but everyone’s scared of sex right now (shhhhh… Bush might be listening)
Virginia Madsen – SIDEWAYS: My personal favorite. She’s resurrected herself from a former pretty “actress” into a real actress (her looks faded, she had to do something).
Cate Blanchett - THE AVIATOR: Normally, I’m not a fan of an impression, but Cate really played Kate well. It wasn’t just the voice or the look, but she captured the personality of Hepburn and took a movie that worked hard to make you believe you were in the 1930’s and made you feel like you really were in the 30’s. The kicker: The Academy adores the quirky best supporting actress… (Remember Marissa Tomei?)

VERA DRAKE: A pro-choice movie in George Bush’s ‘merica? Don’t think so…
RAY: Taylor Hackford hasn’t directed anything of note since An Officer and a Gentleman. Hack/Hackford either/or. Not happenin’ Taylor…
THE AVIATOR: Poor Marty. Brilliant body of work and still nothing. The losing streak continues… (sadly, he will win someday, for some piece of junk. Remember Paul Newman won for Color of Money). The movie was good, but too long and had none of the subtleties of his earlier/better work.
SIDEWAYS: Nicely directed. But it’s a small picture way outside the studio system. Most importantly…
MILLION DOLLAR BABY: Are you going to say “No” to Clint Eastwood? Has anyone seen Peter Jackson since he beat Clint last year? ‘nough said.

RAY: Nice biopic… but it’s already at Blockbuster, who wants to give an award to a movie that already has the outtakes showing around the world?
FINDING NEVERLAND: Deserving in so many ways, it’s just too intimate a film. Understated in so many ways, Oscar loves films an epic.
THE AVIATOR: Ultimately it’s about a really weird rich guy who liked flying.
SIDEWAYS: My personal favorite. Just a wonderfully crafted movie. Sadly for this film, Clint’s baby is going all the way.
MILLION DOLLAR BABY: Everything the Academy loves in a Best Picture: drama, wonderful relationships, great tragedy, narration by Morgan Freeman, a (sort-of) love triangle, a couple of characters you love to hate, overcoming great odds and a bittersweet ending. Since, it’s already going to rack up some big acting awards, they might as well give them The Prize—the Academy is not known for being subtle…