Tuesday, January 31, 2006

My Oscar picks

I'm doing this before I've read too many other opinions, just to see if I still agree when the awards actually come around. I'll put my own vote first, then my guess for the Academy's pick in parentheses if it differs from mine.

Best Picture: Brokeback Mountain.

In a change of pace, I have actually seen all but one (Capote) of the best picture nominees. These are some really phenomenal films, and it is not easy for me to decide. Crash had a fantastic cast and made for an enjoyable and socially conscious experience, but I felt the characters were often cardboard and the film's plot often went for quantity over quality. If not Brokeback, I would have to give the award to Good Night and Good Luck, which was one of the most topical and just plain solid -- in writing, directing, and acting -- movies in years. Munich was an excellent film in my opinion, and also very well-rounded, but it wasn't really a stand out. There was a certain sense of Another Serious Spielberg Film [tm]. Brokeback Mountain has to top them all, though. There was no element that didn't achieve near-perfection. That the decision of which movie deserves to win is hard is not a reflection of mediocrity, but of excellence.

Best Director: Ang Lee

As the picture and director nominees actually line up this year, there isn't really more that I need to say about this one. My feelings about the directing of the movies is pretty much parallel to my feelings about the films themselves. As with the picture category, I do think that George Clooney deserves serious recognition for Good Night and Good Luck, but Ang Lee did one better.

Best Actor: Heath Ledger (Phillip Seymour Hoffman)

I haven't seen three of the performances in this category, so it's between Ledger and David Strathairn. It's really a coin toss for me. I believe that both gave equally compelling performances, but I also think Ledger had a much more difficult role to play, so I'll give it to him. I would bet it's going to Phillip Seymour Hoffman, though. I'm sure he was excellent, as always, in Capote.

Best Actress: unknown (Reese Witherspoon)

Didn't see a single one of these. Just picking which actress I generally like the most, I'd say Felicity Huffman. I am certain Reese Witherspoon is going to win, and she may have been great, but I really don't care for her.

Best Supporting Actor: Jake Gyllenhaal (unknown)

This is interesting. I have seen two of the performances, and frankly Matt Dillon didn't do anything for me, so I'm going with Gyllenhaal. However, I am almost certain he won't win, and he probably doesn't deserve to. Unfortunately, I haven't seen any of the other actors' films, so I couldn't even begin to guess who it's going to be.

Best Supporting Actress: Michelle Williams (unknown)

Brokeback Mountain is the only of the actress' films I've seen. I really have no clue how the others are. I hear Rachel Weisz was good, and I usually like her performances quite a bit, but I don't know what the Academy will think.

So, yeah, I guess it's Brokeback Mountain all the way for me, but that may be as much out of ignorance of some of the other nominees than anything else. I wouldn't mind such a sweep, in any case, if only to stick it to the bigots.


  1. I don't know if you even viewed it, but "Walk The Line" didn't even get nominated.
    I thought it was a great movie.
    Oh well.

  2. I haven't seen Walk the Line, mostly because Johnny Cash doesn't do it for me and I'm not incredibly interested in his story. Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon were nominated from it, though.