Friday, February 18, 2005

Hola, kids. Don’t fret if you don’t hear from me for a little while; I’m off to spend a full week vacationing in Orlando, Florida, which means you can expect some theme park experience reviews when I get back. In the meantime, please enjoy the following cynical, disparaging remarks about the Oscars:

I’m being lazy and reposting a short rant I wrote last year for the Oscars, but I think it’s fitting, seeing as how the Academy was equally lazy this year, nominating the same small handful of films in virtually every category across the board. There are a handful of unique nominations, but for the most part the 2005 Oscar nominations read like some kind of goofy mantra.
Aviator - Million Dollar Baby - Ray - Finding Neverland - Sideways (Best Picture)
Aviator - Million Dollar Baby - Ray - Finding Neverland - Vera Drake (Director)
Aviator - Million Dollar Baby - Ray - Finding Neverland - Hotel Rwanda (Actor)
Aviator - Million Dollar Baby - Ray - Finding Neverland - Collateral (Editing)
Aviator - Million Dollar Baby - Closer - Collateral - Sideways (Supporting Actor)
Aviator - Million Dollar Baby - Closer - Kinsey - Hotel Rwanda (Supporting Actress)

Personally I don’t take a lot of stock in the Oscars. To me, it’s basically equivalent to the Super Bowl: I don’t really care much about it, it's extreemely over-hyped for what it is, I seldom ever watch it, but I’ll be interested in checking the paper the next day to see who won. Now, you might ask, “Sombrero Grande, you’re a movie fan and respected reviewer. How can you not care about the Oscars?” Well, to me the Oscars never really fulfill their perceived purpose: to be the end-all awarding and celebrating of the best cinema has to offer each year. In reality, it’s all about marketing and popularity; who makes whom the most money and what can studios sell as “Oscar-worthy.” It really gets my panties in a bunch when some studio executive bitches and moans that the reason their film didn’t bring home a little gold man is solely because they didn’t devote enough cash to marketing it to the Academy members. It’s that kind of talk that sends the message loud and clear that the Oscars are not about skill, craftsmanship or art; it’s about cash. So while the Academy Award marketers try to make it sound as though their accolades honor the best and brightest in the field of filmmaking, Sombrero Grande sees instead merely studio gold being exchanged for golden statues.

That being said...everyone wants to know what every reviewer's Oscar "picks" are, including mine. So here goes:

Best Picture:
Who'll win: This is a tough one to pick. I'm gonna guess Million Dollar Baby since it seems Hollywood's itching to award Eastwood for the way he's pissed off conservatives with this one.
Who should win: Hands down, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and The Incredibles should have at least been nominated. But alas...

Best Actor:
Who'll win: Jamie Foxx.
Who should win: I'm gonna give it to Jamie Foxx. Any guy who starts out playing the "ugly girl" character on In Living Color who can then go on to win over critics all up and down for two serious roles in one year deserves something in my book. Chris Rock, hook that man up.

Best Actress:
Who'll win: Probably Hillary Swank just because I think all the conservative-propelled buzz around Million Dollar Baby will put her foremost in people's minds.
Who should win: I'll go ahead and say Kate Winslet just because I enjoyed Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind so much. I know that's not a legitimate reason, but neither are the reasons for some of the Academy members' votes. So there.

Best Supporting Actor:
Who'll win: I think it could be a double-score for Jamie Foxx here.
Who should win: Part of me wants to see Thomas Haden Church get it, but that's just because I sat behind him at a TV taping once and it'd be cool to be able to say I sat behind an Oscar winner "back before." Actually that's kind of lame, but it would fit into my catalog of lame celebrity stories (like the time Buddy Hackett told me my fly was open on The Tonight Show) just fine.

Best Supporting Actress:
Who'll win: Popular actors/actresses playing popular actors/actresses from the past seems to go over well with the Academy, so I'll say Cate Blanchett for her portrayal of Katharine Hepburn.
Who should win: You know, I really should get out to the theaters more often, but I don't get offered free screenings like big shot, fancy-pants reviewers do, so I'm gonna have to bail on picking someone for this one. Tell ya what, I'll pick two next year to make it up to you. Deal?

Best Animated Feature Film:
Who'll win: Now here's a category I'm well-suited to talk for a while about, unfortunately there's such a clear winner lined up here that there isn't really anything else to say but that The Incredibles will walk away with this if there's any justice in this world. The fact that Shark Tale was even nominated only goes to show that money paves the road to Oscar nods.

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