Oh, right — Oscar predictions 2005!!
Ever since 2003, we here at danieldrezner.com have been unafraid to make bold predictions about who will win and who should win the Academy Awards. This year is no exception, but I will confess that this time it’s a bit more labor rather than a labor of love. [Surely you weren’t expecting Ms. Salma Hayek ...
Ever since 2003, we here at danieldrezner.com have been unafraid to make bold predictions about who will win and who should win the Academy Awards. This year is no exception, but I will confess that this time it's a bit more labor rather than a labor of love. [Surely you weren't expecting Ms. Salma Hayek to get nominated for After the Sunset, did you?--ed. Well, just
at her premiere outfit!!
Ever since 2003, we here at danieldrezner.com have been unafraid to make bold predictions about who will win and who should win the Academy Awards. This year is no exception, but I will confess that this time it’s a bit more labor rather than a labor of love. [Surely you weren’t expecting Ms. Salma Hayek to get nominated for After the Sunset, did you?–ed. Well, just
at her premiere outfit!!
Look, if Kathy Bates can score an Oscar nomination for valiant disrobing a few years ago, surely Salma deserves something for valiant… robing.] Anyway, this has less to do with Ms. Hayek and more to do with the fact that Ms. Drezner appeared in August, making it very, very difficult to get away for Oscar viewing. There is, however, one other factor — which Frank Rich raised in his New York Times column: “The total box office for all five best-picture nominees on Sunday’s Oscars is so small that their collective niche in the national cultural marketplace falls somewhere between square dancing and non-Grisham fiction.” So while I haven’t seen many of the top Oscar nod movies this year, I haven’t felt truly
to see them in the same way as in previous years. Even the fashion is now boring, as Julia Turner points out in Slate (though Turner may have underestimated the effect that 9/11 and Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction have had on muting the red carpet). In other words, I’m flying blind a bit more than usual this year. Nevertheless, ignorance has never prevented me from making bold predictions in the past. On with the Oscars! Best Picture: Will win: The Aviator Should win: Tie, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind/The Incredibles My calculation on this one is purely stragtegic: this year’s Oscars will be a legacy fight between Scorcese and Eastwood. Neither is exactly loved by the system — however, between Million Dollar Baby and The Aviator, the latter more closely meets the parameters of the standard “prestige” Best Picture. Plus, Million Dollar Baby has just a hint of a backlash because of the controversy surrounding its ending. Will either of those two films be remembered even five years from now? Unlikely. The same cannot be said of either Eternal Sunshine or The Incredibles. Best Actor: Will win: Jamie Foxx, Ray Should win: Jamie Foxx, Ray and Collateral The one lock of the year. Why Foxx’s role in the latter movie is considered a supporting performance is beyond me — I think he had more screen time than Tom Cruise. It’s the contrast between the two peformances that make you realize just how gifted and good Foxx really is. Plus, I really want to see Wanda say something in the acceptance speech. UPDATE: Honorable mention must go to one Gary Brolsma, for his “Numa Numa” performance. Kieran Healy is dead-on in roasting the New York Times for not understanding Brolsma’s confident deadpan style. “Earnest but painful”? Gimme a break!!! Best Actress: Will win: Hilary Swank, Million Dollar Baby Should win: Kate Winslet, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Hilary Swank is to acting as the Florida Marlins are to baseball. For the first nine years of their existence, the Marlins were an under .500 team for seven of those years. The two years they were above .500, they won the World Series. So it is for the first nine years of Ms. Swank’s career and her acting choices — mostly stinker roles (The Core, anyone?) with the occasional jaw-dropping performance. This year yielded a way-above average performance for her. All Kate Winslet did in Eternal Sunshine was make someone with a bad orange dye job seem simultaneously compelling and thoroughly imperfect. Whenever I think about her performance, it reminds me of what must have been the inspiration for the Sheryl Crow song, “My Favorite Mistake.” Best Supporting Actor Will win: Morgan Freeman, Million Dollar Baby Should win: Neil Patrick Harris, Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle If I was the Oscar coordinator for Million Dollar Baby, my promotional campaign would for Freeman would be real simple — I’d just send out a postcard with the sentence, “Morgan Freeman has never won an Oscar” and let that fact bore itself into the skulls of Academy voters. WTF? It is highly unlikely that Mr. Harris will ever win an Oscar — but damn, that man was funny in Harold & Kumar, the feel-good libertarian movie of the year. [Does he really deserve an Oscar for playing himself??!!–ed. I’m pretty sure that Mr. Harris’ actual personality is a bit different from his Harold & Kumar persona. Besides, consider the balance required to perform that scene where he’s driving down the road with the two models in the car. I remain unconvinced–ed. C’mon say it with me — Doogie!! Doogie!! DOOGIE!!] Best Supporting Actress: Will win: Cate Blanchett, The Aviator Should win: tie, Virginia Madsen, Sideways; Laura Dern, We Don’t Live Here Anymore By awarding Blanchett an Oscar this year, the Academy can make up for one of their more egregious f***-ups in not giving her the Best Actress award for Elizabeth. Plus, it will be logically difficult for people to vote for Foxx for Best Actor and not acknowledge Blanchett’s similar style of craft. Madsen will give Blanchett a run for her money in this category, and her performance was just effortless — but Blanchett has the stronger track record, and that will sway Academy voters. I’m probably one of about 20 people who saw We Don’t Live Here Anymore, so I understand if this appears to be an obscure choice. In many ways, what blew me away about Dern’s performance was that it was the opposite of Blanchett’s — a portrayal of a thoroughly ordinary, frazzled, and depressed housewife. Dern broght such pain to it, however, that the movie has stayed with me despite its forced contrivances. Best Director: Will win: Clint Eastwood, Million Dollar Baby Should win: Michel Gondry Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind I had to sleep on this one — it’s a close call between Eastwood and Scorcese. However, with Mystic River now on cable, I’ve concluded that Academy voters will give the psychic nod to Clint for both films. [You’re kidding me, right? Scorcese has lots of great films too!!–ed. Yes, but the only one on cable right now is Gangs of New York. Er, never mind–ed.] Enjoy your 2005 Oscars — especially since the 2006 affair will be so boring, what with the Farrelly brothers’
coming out of nowhere to totally sweep the Oscars! UPDATE: Well, it’s over, Chris Rock killed —
— for the first ten minutes (but see Roger L. Simon for a dissenting perspective — though the American people seem to agree with me). The bit at the Magic Johnson theatre was pretty funny as well, especially with the Albert Brooks kicker. And I admit that I won’t forget hearing Chris Rock read, “Growing up as a young Welsh lass…..” anytime soon. Ironically, I think Rock was too good — he made the rest of the show seem boring by comparison (except for Sean Penn, who came across as a humorless clod). [Aren’t you going to say anything about Salma Hayek’s unfortunate hairstyle?–ed. Too depressing to discuss.]
Daniel W. Drezner is a professor of international politics at the Fletcher School at Tufts University and the author of The Ideas Industry. Twitter: @dandrezner
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