Friday, February 25, 2005

My Predictions For The 77th Annual Academy Awards

It's that time of year again...time for my Oscar predictions. I didn't really do too bad last year, but this year is a bit more open. So, here we go:

Best Actor: Jamie Foxx in Ray
Jamie Foxx should win in this category. He's already won a Golden Globe, a Screen Actors Guild award and virtually every other award he can win for this performance. Because of this, I'm picking him to win. However, I wouldn't be too surprised if the Academy went with the "he's old and hasn't won" mentality and gave it to Clint Eastwood.

Best Supporting Actor: Morgan Freeman in Million Dollar Baby
The skeptic in me wants to think that they won't give both male actor awards to African-Americans. I almost picked Alan Alda, Thomas Haden Church, or Clive Owen over Freeman. However, Freeman is a respected actor who has been nominated before and lost. His important role in Million Dollar Baby should be the one that finally gets him the Oscar.

Best Actress: Hilary Swank in Million Dollar Baby
The Academy loves physical transformations and Hilary pumped up for this role. Plus, the Academy likes performances where the character is disabled (wink). Catalina Sadeno Moreno is this year's Keisha Castle-Hughes in that her honor is the nomination. Imelda Staunton has the best chance of beating Hilary. Her role is powerful and so is the subject matter of the film she's in. Don't forget that Hilary herself won under similar circumstances.

Best Supporting Actress: Virginia Madsen in Sideways
This is a very tough category. However, I decided to go with Madsen for a number of reasons. First is that although she's been around for a while, this is her breakthrough role. And what a great Oscar story it will make. Cate Blanchett has a good chance of winning. She pulled off the challenge of playing the great Katharine Hepburn without parodying her. Natalie Portman won the Golden Globe and that could help her. Sophie Okonedo is a dark horse.

Best Animated Feature Film: The Incredibles
This is a great animated film, a new classic. It excels at things rare to American animated films in general (action, drama) and rare in computer animated films in general (human characters with hair, clothing, fire, water). The story is strong and it's very mature (in a good way) for a family-friendly film. Even though Shrek 2 is the biggest film of 2004 and is almost as good as the original, The Incredibles is a much better film. It should win.

Best Art Direction: The Aviator
One movie usually dominates the technical categories and The Aviator is that movie this year.

Best Cinematography: The Passion Of The Christ
It's one of the few categories that this is nominated for, and it's worthy of it. I think they might give at least one Oscar to this movie. However, I think House of Flying Daggers, The Aviator, and A Very Long Engagement all have a very good chance.

Best Costume Design: The Aviator
Another technical award for this film, but I wouldn't be surprised if Troy and its skirts or Lemony Snicket and its outlandish costumes win instead.

Best Director: Clint Eastwood for Million Dollar Baby
This is a safe pick. He won the Directors Guild award and over 90% of the time, the winner of the Directors Guild award is the Oscar winner. Although, don't count Scorsese out. He made a big Hollywood epic that isn't bloody and violent. He might finally win it this time.

Best Documentary Feature: Super Size Me
I'd really love for Tupac: Resurrection to win this, but I don't think it will. Besides, Morgan Spurlock's approach is a lot like Michael Moore's (making himself part of the documentary) minus the divisive politics.

Best Film Editing: The Aviator
Another technical award for this film. However, I liked the way Collateral and Million Dollar Baby were edited.

Best Makeup: The Passion Of The Christ
The makeup in this film made the movie's ultraviolence very convincing.

Best Original Score: Harry Potter And The Prisoner of Azkaban by John Williams
There is a lot of talent in this list of nominees. However, I think John Williams will win. He's a veteran and a previous winner. Plus, the music for this Harry Potter film was clearly the best out of the three. The Passion of The Christ has a good chance here because of how the music helped bring out the emotional impact of the scenes. Lemony Snicket might be a dark horse because Thomas Newman is also an Oscar winner.

Best Original Song: "Learn To Be Lonely" from The Phantom Of The Opera
This category is "eh" this year. I just decided to give it to this song because it's from a movie based on a Broadway musical. "Accidentally In Love" from Shrek 2 has a good chance too, in my opinion.

Best Visual Effects: Spider-Man 2
While this film still looks a bit like a video game, the effects are 10 times better than the original film. Everything fits together well. Harry Potter might have a good chance solely because Buckbeak was rendered excellently.

Adapted Screenplay: Sideways written by Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor
This is a tough ass category. At first, I wanted to give this to Million Dollar Baby. There's nothing unnecessary in Million Dollar Baby. Clint Eastwood used the entire screenplay in his film. However, I think Million Dollar Baby might get slighted in order to honor Sideways. I don't think Sideways will win Best Picture, so it will win this award instead.

Original Screenplay: Hotel Rwanda by Keir Pearson and Terry George
Another tough ass category. Part of me wanted to give this to The Incredibles. After all, Finding Nemo won this category last year and The Incredibles is very well-written. Then there is Charlie Kaufman, Michel Gondry, and Pierre Bismuth's wonderful work for Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind. That movie is ingenious in its structure, humor, and romantic drama. It has a very good chance of winning. The Aviator is the big Hollywood movie so it shouldn't be counted out. Vera Drake is a well-done movie. However, I picked Hotel Rwanda because Hollywood will want to honor this film for something. It probably won't honor Don Cheadle or Sophie Okonedo for their acting, so the Academy will honor this wonderful film (which isn't a Best Picture nominee) for its screenplay.

Best Picture: Million Dollar Baby
It's between this film and The Aviator, in my opinion. I decided to pick this film because of a few things. First, it has a lot of buzz surrounding it for various reasons. The very strong performances by Clint, Hilary, and Morgan. The controversy over the ending (and some critics revealing it). The fight with Warner Bros. to get the money to finance it. This is a strong human drama released by a major studio. I think it will win. The Aviator has the best chance of beating this film because it's a big Hollywood studio film that is actually good (according to critics). Sideways is a dark horse because it did win a Golden Globe. Ray is more known for Jamie Foxx's performance than for its own quality.

Those are my Oscar predictions. Just as I did last year, I will post how well I did after the show.

No comments:

Post a Comment