Scott, To Be Certain


Sunday, January 28, 2007

Deserving Oscar Nominees... Am I Dreaming?

It's Oscar time again!

"How is that unlike any other time"

Well, for starters, it's the time of year where tragic Academy Award fanatics like myself almost exclusively focus on film-watching and bitching about shithouse/excellent movie stars.

So you're quite right, it's indistinguishable from any other time. Although I did take my fandom to a new level this year by staying up until 12.40am last Tuesday night to watch the nominations live online. It was entertaining to watch Salma Hayek simultaneously battle a runny nose and unpronouncable names - methinks she inhaled a little nasal helper since in LA it was 5.40am. She also unleashed an unexpected fist-clench and extremely loud "Yeeesss!" as Penelope Cruz's name was announced - Hispanic sister-girlfriends unite!

What really redoubles the pleasure of Oscar enthusiasts is the knowledge that this year there are some genuine contests. And even where there isn't one, like in Best Actress, we can at least be at peace in the knowledge that the winner and her fellow nominees are all deserving.

"What exactly are you insinuating"

All I'm saying is that the actresses nominated this year have all actually delivered award-worthy performances, including Dame Helen Mirren, the soon-to-be-winner. They can all additionally boast proportionate foreheads.

In fact, I can't remember a lovelier, more deserving, more age-diverse and forehead-proportionate final 5.

The median age in the category is 50.6 years, which is also refreshing (compared to 38.4 last year and 35.2 the year before, aka The Year of The Horse). It was certainly an excellent year in cinema for experienced actresses.

I was excited to learn recently that Helen Mirren's birth name is Ilyena Vasilievna Mirinova. I'd always had a strong sense that Dame Helen would be an extremely gifted tennis player or even SBS newsreader, without her ever having remotely explored those pursuits. Now I know why.

Elsewhere, the Best Picture race is, for the first time in many years, a bona fide competition.

There is no two-horse "Brokeback Mountain vs. Crash" potential egregious Hilary-style undeserved upset in the offing. Nor is there a boring, suspenseless pre-ordained Return of the King (deserved) or A Beautiful Mind (undeserved) style victory ahead.

Instead, the category is full of excellent and genuine contenders.

Babel took out the Golden Globe for Best Drama, while Little Miss Sunshine won the Producers Guild Award (a major precursor) - but it was beaten to Best Comedy/Musical at the Globes by Dreamgirls, which is conspicuously absent from the shortlist. In its place is Letters From Iwo Jima, the second of two war-themed films made by Clint Eastwood this year (unreleased here so far and so the only one I am yet to see). The Academy likes to imagine itself in a perpetual orgy with Clint, its face firmly nestled up his hairy, wrinkly arse - he already has 2 Best Director awards, in addition to another 2 for producing the films he won them for (Million Dollar Baby and Unforgiven) - so don't count this one out either.

Add to that mix The Departed, which is the only major box office hit among the 5 and the 2nd most lauded film of the year, coming in only behind The Queen in total awards won (though most of the latter film's awards are Dame Helen's). In fact, The Queen is pretty much the only film you can confidently predict will lose the contest.

Surprises are good - bring it on.

As you may be aware, I have been moonlighting as an Oscar columnist on other similarly-sized web ventures featuring "BC" in the title. Click here to read the latest thrilling instalment.

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  • At 11:47 AM, January 29, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I'd love to see Kate Winslet win. She's a fantastic actress, and such a good sport about being nominated so often (see Ricky Gervais's 'Extras')

  • At 2:41 PM, January 29, 2007, Blogger weasel said…

    So how did you land this gig? and will you send them a more sexed up pouty shot next time? may as well advertise!

  • At 2:12 PM, January 31, 2007, Blogger Scott said…

    Anonymous - you and I both.

    Kate is easily the best actress of her generation. Given she has 5 noms under her belt at 31, just think how many she'll amass over her career. She'll win more than once.

    Weasel, obviously I sent nude pics to land the gig.

  • At 2:32 AM, November 27, 2011, Anonymous muebles arganda del rey said…

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