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Dave’s 2006 Oscar Preview: The Value of Broke Mac Mountain

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You know what I really remember about Revenge of the Sith

Makeup

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
Cinderella Man
Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith

Will Win: Chroni-What-Cles
Should Win: Fantastic Four, Transamerica, take your pick…

As usual, with last year being a rare exception, the Academy chose to ignore some of the more obvious achievements in make-up. Well, I guess they managed to make that guy who used to play Jack Dalton look pretty old in Cinderella Man.

Anyhow, as often as not, this award goes to the next most obvious achievement, which in this case I suppose would be a tie between Chronicles and Sith, although the whole deal with Sith is that just about everything is computer generated anyway, so maybe this is for how old they made the Emperor look?

Seriously, though, do you think there was some conversation among the nominating committees for all the technical awards that went something like this:

“Hey, don’t vote for Star Wars. Pass it on!”

…later…

“Done.”
“Great. Did you tell make-up?”
“What? Oh, shit!”

And this is why I don’t think you’ll see a sympathy vote for Sith. At least, not one large enough to beat Narnia.

Fantastic Four was not a great film. It was not even a good film. It was…a film. However, the make-up on Thing was flawless.

Transamerica was a good film and Felicity Huffman gave an outstanding performance that was enhanced by fantastic makeup.

Just saying.

Costume Design

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Memoirs of a Geisha
Mrs. Henderson Presents
Pride & Prejudice
Walk the Line

Will Win: Memoirs of a Geisha
Should Win: Walk the Line

The Costume Design Award was practically invented for a film like Pride & Prejudice. However, the Costume Designer’s guild didn’t even nominate it for their awards and, for what it’s worth, Memoirs won the same award at the BAFTAs with near identical competition.

Walk the Line manages to make country singers look cool in the age of hip hop. That’s as much of an accomplishment as the lavish designs of Charlie, my second pick, because, well, Johnny Depp already looks cool.

Art Direction

Good Night, and Good Luck
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
King Kong
Memoirs of a Geisha
Pride & Prejudice

Will Win: Memoirs of a Geisha
Should Win: King Kong

As goes Costume, so goes Art. It also helps that the Art Director’s Guild (Local 800, if you’re keeping score) agreed with their Period or Fantasy Award (Contemporary went to Walk the Line, and I’ll let you do the math on that later).

The second most amazing technical achievement in Kong is the recreation of 1930′s New York. The look of Skull Island doesn’t suck, either.

Music (Score)

Brokeback Mountain
– Gustavo Santaolalla
The Constant Gardener Alberto Iglesias
Memoirs of a Geisha – John Williams
Munich – John Williams
Pride & Prejudice – Dario Marianelli

Will Win: Brokeback Mountain
Should Win: Brokeback Mountain

Not all that much rhyme or reason to what wins here, but don’t think you can count out Williams just because he could split his own vote. He’s the only veteran here, and of the forty-five nominations and five wins he’s accrued, one of those wins was over himself. In 1978 he won for Best Score with Star Wars beating the score he wrote for Close Encounters. Of course that was Star Wars and Close Encounters. I can still hum those. Can you hum Munich? How does Memoirs go?

The memorability factor might be an edge here. When I was writing the Globes preview, I couldn’t recall the Brokeback theme, but now that there have been countless parodies on the interwebs, I can’t get rid of it.

And it’s a pretty theme.

More weird Williams trivia. He’s been a busy boy this year. He also did Star Wars and Harry Potter. No real surprise that he didn’t get a nod for Star Wars as none of the new trilogy has secured that nod. And as for Harry Potter, for some reason, only the odd numbered sequels get music nods.

Music (Song)

“In the Deep” from Crash – Kathleen “Bird” York and Michael Becker
“It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp” from Hustle & Flow – Jordan Houston, Cedric Coleman and Paul Beauregard
“Travelin’ Thru” from Transamerica – Dolly Parton.

Will Win: “Travelin’ Thru”
Should Win: “In the Deep”

First, let us thank whatever obscure rule change has resulted in only three nominated songs and, therefore, only three times Beyonce will have to perform; although I am looking forward to hearing her say “pimp”.

As far as who will win, the Academy has gotten increasingly loopier about how they’ll swing. Used to be all you had to do was be sung by an animated character, preferably Disney, to win. But as fewer animated films made the cut, everyone from Eminem to whoever sang that Motorcycle Diaries song had a shot.

So really, it’s a game of pick your justification. Will the song from Crash win because, as everyone involved in the movie will tell you, it’s the most affecting movie nominated for Best Picture? Will “Travelin’ Thru” win because nothing from Brokeback got nominated and country music reminds them of cowboys? Will the hip hop song win because they, too, want to hear the word “pimp” uttered as many times as possible during the broadcast?

I’m gonna go with a sympathy vote for Parton since she lost for the far superior “Nine to Five” back in ’80.

As far as what should win, you’d think I’d go for the hip hop. I prefer it as a genre to country or whatever-the-hell the Crash song is. What’s more, 17 years ago Big Daddy Kane shocked the world with the revelation that pimpin’, contrary to popular belief, was not easy. Still, the world refused to listen until a group of artists reminded them last year with a nominated song (originally titled “No, Really, You Don’t Get It, the Act of Selling Ho’s and Taking They Money Is Unusually Difficult, Especially in an Economy with Low Consumer Confidence”).

Still, of all the songs on the Hustle & Flow soundtrack, that one’s probably my least favorite. If they’d nominated, “Whoop That Trick” however, fuggedaboudit.

“In the Deep”, on the other hand, is actually pretty good. It’s not the best nominated song I’ve ever heard, but it beats most.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: this (a Saturday Night Live parody of the Chronicles of Narnia) is the only song that should be under consideration.

Foreign Language Film

Don’t Tell – Italy
Joyeux Noel – France
Paradise Now – Palestine
Sophie Scholl — The Final Days – Germany
Tsotsi – South Africa.

Will Win: Tsotsi
Should Win: Tsotsi

Usually, you can count on the nominated film with the most critical buzz to nab this one. This year, that’s Paradise Now. Three critic’s circles to Tsotsi‘s one, and that’s including a Golden Globe. However. There are many Academy members who might be hesitant to vote for a movie about suicide bombers. Especially when there’s a Holocaust film (from Germany no less) ripe for the picking. My guess is that Paradise Now and Sophie Scholl will split votes, leaving the door wide open for Tsotsi, the next hottest ticket.

Still, the smart money’s probably on Paradise Now. Watch for the squirming during the acceptance speech.

I’d be very happy to see my hunch pay off, though, since Tsotsi is outstanding.

In our next installment: Movies have writers?

About David Dylan Thomas