Helen Mirren as Queen Elizabeth II in The Queen.
Clint Eastwood's Letters from Iwo Jima.
Martin Scorsese during the production of The Departed.
Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett in Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's Babel.
All photos courtesy of The Academy of Motion Pctures Arts and Sciences.
By Almie Rose Vazzano
Now that the meddlesome holidays are over, I can focus on my true religion: awards season. The Golden Goose of them all is the 79th Annual Academy Awards on February 25th and I couldn’t be more excited to shout at my television screen. My Oscar predictions often miss the mark (though let it be known that I called the Three Six Mafia win for best song, and am pathetically proud of this feat), but that will not stop me from another year of guessing.
Last year I said that if Brokeback Mountain didn’t win for best picture, I would eat my cowboy hat. It didn’t, and I did. It tasted disgusting and I had to be hospitalized. This year, I’m clueless since my money was on Dreamgirls which has been surprisingly snubbed without a nomination for Best Picture. It was like the Academy’s way of saying, to paraphrase Beyoncé, “To the left, cast and crew of Dreamgirls, to the left. Everything you own in a box to the left,” before swiftly kicking them out the door. Babel picked up the prize for best drama at the Globes, but Clint Eastwood’s “Letters to Iwo Jima” has been gaining momentum and critical acclaim.
Clint Eastwood is to Martin Scorsese as the Joker is to Batman. When they face off, Scorsese loses. Case in point: Million Dollar Baby vs. The Aviator. Shockingly, rapper Eminem has more Academy Awards than Scorsese, who has been nominated 5 times but has never won. This will be his year, even though Eastwood could amble through and take home the Best Director Oscar and later find his car keyed with an American Express card.
In lead acting, sure bets are Helen Mirren and Forrest Whittaker. One cannot forget the classic Oscar rule for women: Ladies, get ugly and/or completely unrecognizable and get an award. Of course this rule was a great exception last year, when Reese Witherspoon won best actress for Walk the Line, and that is so like you to bring that up, isn’t it? You just always need to go there, don’t you?
The supporting actor race used to be the place to find surprises and/or upsets. But Jennifer Hudson, former American Idol loser, is practically already an Oscar winner. Unfortunately, by the time this issue comes out, the SAG Awards may have broken her winning streak.
In supporting actors, Eddie Murphy of films starring Eddie Murphy and Eddie Murphy with Eddie Murphy is the likely contender. Although, Alan Arkin could be an upset, as the Academy loves old dudes in supporting roles, in a list that is too long to show here but includes Jim Broadbent, Michael Caine, and Morgan “I’m Just The Voice Of Reason, Gently Narrating” Freeman.
Better luck next year, Emilio Estevez!