Well, this year is harder than most, which usually means that it’s more interesting than most. I’d like to believe that, but it can also mean that it was a relatively weak Oscar year. I wouldn’t necessarily buy that either, since some great movies came out this year. It’s just that a bunch of them didn’t get Oscar love. Of the ones that did, here are my best guesses for who’ll go all the way.
And hey, if the crop of movies doesn’t seem to be as much fun this year, just remember Chris Rock will be there to make sweeping generalizations (as it turns out, I’m the one straight black guy who watches these things), the nominees will either be in the audience, onstage, or maybe hanging from the ceiling, and the stage goes wicked far into the crowd. And LCD floors! (You’ll see what I mean)
Apparently, the theme this year is “Oscars, you so crazy!”
SHORT FILM (ANIMATED)
Will Win: Guard Dog
Should Win: Guard Dog
Guard Dog is directed by Bill Plympton, who’s kind of a sacred cow in the animation world. Now, whether that counts for anything in the Oscar world is beyond me, especially since this is only his second nom in 20 year plus career. But I think he’s due. (Yeah, cos’ that argument always works).
He gets the should because he really is that awesome.
Of course, like most of you, I’ve seen none of these films.
SHORT FILM (LIVE ACTION)
Everything in this Country Must
7:35 in the Morning
Two Cars, One Night
Will Win: Little Terrorist
Should Win: 7:35 in the Morning
Again, haven’t seen any of these. Little Terrorist is about a Pakistani kid who accidentally crosses into India (across a minefield no less) and befriends a Hindu teacher. It’s hard to get more PC than that.
Although not as politically relevant (simply going on premise) 7:35 boasts, for me, the more intriguing pitch. A woman walks into a cafe and everyone is staring at their plates in silence. Creepy, no?
DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT
Autism Is a World
The Children of Leningradsky
Mighty Times: The Children’s March
Sister Rose’s Passion
Will Win: Sister Rose’s Passion
Should Win: Mighty Times: The Children’s March
Murderer’s Row (the name I give to the Short Film and Doc Awards) continues (and, in this case, concludes) with Doc Short Subject. I feel like the feature docs are getting easier to predict, so they don’t scare me as much. Besides, I’ve actually seen (or at least heard of) some of them this time. But back to the short docs.
Sister Rose’s Passion is about a nun fighting anti-Semitism in the church and, in particular, the notion that the Jews were responsible for killing Jesus. In a year where many stayed away from The Passion for that very association, this is too tempting a vote.
Mighty Times is actually part of a series that appears to be covering the civil rights movement. Another installment about Rosa Parks was nominated a few years back. Sounds like an interesting project, and I’d like to see it get some love.
Again, haven’t seen any of these.
Born into Brothels
The Story of the Weeping Camel
Super Size Me
Twist of Faith
Will Win: Born into Brothels
Should Win: Fahrenheit 9/11
Born into Brothels has gotten the most critical love here. Super Size Me might be a spoiler, but its buzz came and went earlier in the year. Tupac might make an interesting choice, but the brothers and sisters have got enough with Morgan, Don, Jamie (twice) and Sophie (not to mention Chris hosting). Let’s not go crazy here.
Michael, Michael, Michael. Don’t you realize that if you’d allowed the Academy to run this as a doc nom you’d be in? Yours is just about the only documentary any critic’s circle picked for Best Doc. You’d be a shoo-in. No one expects you to go up there and make a fool of yourself again, and given the outcome of the last election a lot of people in the audience might welcome it.
If you need a “should” from this list, though, I’ll go with Super Size Me since it’s the only one I’ve seen and it’s really, really good. And shame on me for not seeing most of the others since they’re out on DVD now.
I got a long Netflix queue. Whaddaya want?
The Polar Express
Will Win: Spider-Man 2
Should Win: The Incredibles
In case you’re wondering, the difference between sound editing (sometimes called “sound effects editing”) and sound mixing? No idea. But I think sound editing has to do with sound added later (like sound effects) and sound mixing has more to do with live sound. No idea if that’s true.
Anyhoo, this award usually goes to a very popular film. Here we have two, but Spider-Man made more money, so, why not?
I’d give The Incredibles just about anything it can take.
The Polar Express
Will Win: The Aviator
Should Win: The Incredibles
Okay, since The Incredibles is up for this award, I guess my “live sound” theory goes right out the window, huh? Um, yeah. Maybe there’s just a lot of sound guys working in Hollywood.
This award tends to draw in the more “serious” films, namely, films nominated for Best Picture. And if they are nominated for the grand prize they have a better chance here. That leaves us with The Aviator and Ray. The Cinema Audio Society, comprised of a lot of those aforementioned sound guys, gave this award to The Aviator.
I don’t remember anything cool about the sound in any of these films. So I’m just gonna go with The Incredibles again.
Tomorrow, Harry Potter vs. Lemony Snicket.