Tuesday, January 23, 2007
All that glitters gets you a gold statue
"Everybody comes to HollywoodThe Academy Awards are the pièce de résistance of the awards season, where everyone involved in the film industry sits in a big room, pretends to be interested in riveting categories like Best Sound Editing and wonders how many Santeria offerings does it take to keep Jennifer Lopez perpetually RSVP'd. All in the name of a bedraggled golden gigolo who's banged any and every sleaze that's had money, given out countless, totally undeserved mercy fucks, and occasionally rubbed elbows with the truly worthy. The time has finally arrived for eager Oscar hopefuls to be roused from slumber, groggy from the remnants of coke still caked around their nostrils and hold their breath for that annual slice of 5:30 AM Pacific Time magic. The chosen few spend the rest of the day fielding carefully rehearsed reaction from press scribes far too willing to keep the golden shower of congratulations going, while the snubbed valiantly try to save face through gritted teeth since the Plan B excuse of "it's an honor just to be nominated" in the humble pie handbook need not apply.
They wanna make it in the neighborhood
They like the smell of it in Hollywood
How could it hurt you when it looks so good..." - Madonna
Here's how out of control the shameless studio campaigning has spiraled into. Dreamgirls was practically anointed as the film to beat long before curtains rose on the NY/LA/San Fran $25 preview circuit and it wound up not even in striking distance of any of the A-list categories. Diana Ross is breathing a sigh of relief that the check paid to AMPAS cleared in the nick of time.
The former frontrunners at Paramount & DreamWorks find themselves oddly juxtaposed between euphoria and being brutally rebuffed at the For Your Consideration roundtable, becoming the only Best Picture shutout to ever receive the most nominations in its year. This supposed snub is, presumably, a result of the latent prejudice of Hollywood in general. Many of these racial snubs in the past reek of bullshit by the powers that be, but this time around? Let's pipe down the paranoia. How else to explain inclusions of Forest Whitaker, Will Smith, Djimon Hounsou, Eddie Murphy, Jennifer Hudson, Rinko Kikuchi & Alejandro González Iñárritu in the same year?
If there is a disappointment, it lies in the inevitable. The script forces the most exciting character offscreen for the sake of giving marquee attraction of Ms. Knowles more camera time. Once J-Hud goes away, most of the energy fizzles out of the picture. The bland-by-numbers Beyoncé just does not and cannot measure up. At least when Hitchcock bumped off Janet Leigh early on, he left us with Tony Perkins to take us the rest of the way home.
The Oscars, like most other big award shows are celebrations of commercial achievement, with the occasional nod to artistic merit. And the award for most pervasive promotional campaign goes to Fox Searchlight for hawking that yellow school bus for 6 months. Your prize is a Best Picture nod.
Best Picture: "Babel," "The Departed," "Letters From Iwo Jima," "Little Miss Sunshine," "The Queen."
Actor: Leonardo DiCaprio, "Blood Diamond," Ryan Gosling, "Half Nelson," Peter O'Toole, "Venus," Will Smith, "The Pursuit of Happyness," Forest Whitaker, "The Last King of Scotland."
Actress: Penélope Cruz, "Volver," Judi Dench, "Notes on a Scandal," Helen Mirren, "The Queen," Meryl Streep, "The Devil Wears Prada," Kate Winslet, "Little Children."
Supporting Actor: Alan Arkin, "Little Miss Sunshine," Jackie Earle Haley, "Little Children," Djimon Hounsou, "Blood Diamond," Eddie Murphy, "Dreamgirls," Mark Wahlberg, "The Departed."
Supporting Actress: Adriana Barraza, "Babel," Cate Blanchett, "Notes on a Scandal," Abigail Breslin, "Little Miss Sunshine," Jennifer Hudson, "Dreamgirls," Rinko Kikuchi, "Babel."
Directing: Alejandro González Iñárritu, "Babel," Martin Scorsese, "The Departed," Clint Eastwood, "Letters From Iwo Jima," Stephen Frears, "The Queen," Paul Greengrass, "United 93."
Foreign Language Film: "After the Wedding," Denmark, "Days of Glory (Indigenes)," Algeria, "The Lives of Others," Germany, "Pan's Labyrinth," Mexico, "Water," Canada.
Adapted Screenplay: Sacha Baron Cohen and Anthony Hines and Peter Baynham and Dan Mazer and Todd Phillips, "Borat Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan," Alfonso Cuaron and Timothy J. Sexton and David Arata and Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby, "Children of Men," William Monahan, "The Departed," Todd Field and Tom Perrotta, "Little Children," Patrick Marber, "Notes on a Scandal."
Original Screenplay: Guillermo Arriaga, "Babel," Iris Yamashita and Paul Haggis, "Letters From Iwo Jima," Michael Arndt, "Little Miss Sunshine," Guillermo del Toro, "Pan's Labyrinth," Peter Morgan, "The Queen."
Animated Feature Film: "Cars," "Happy Feet," "Monster House."
Art Direction: "Dreamgirls," "The Good Shepherd," "Pan's Labyrinth," "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest," "The Prestige."
Cinematography: "The Black Dahlia," "Children of Men," "The Illusionist," "Pan's Labyrinth," "The Prestige."
Sound Mixing: "Apocalypto," "Blood Diamond," "Dreamgirls," "Flags of Our Fathers," "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest."
Sound Editing: "Apocalypto," "Blood Diamond," "Flags of Our Fathers," "Letters From Iwo Jima," "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest."
Original Score: "Babel," Gustavo Santaolalla, "The Good German," Thomas Newman, "Notes on a Scandal," Philip Glass, "Pan's Labyrinth," Javier Navarrete, "The Queen," Alexandre Desplat.
Original Song: "I Need to Wake Up" from "An Inconvenient Truth," Melissa Etheridge, "Listen" from "Dreamgirls," Henry Krieger, Scott Cutler and Anne Preven, "Love You I Do" from "Dreamgirls," Henry Krieger and Siedah Garrett, "Our Town" from "Cars," Randy Newman, "Patience" from "Dreamgirls," Henry Krieger and Willie Reale.
Costume Design: "Curse of the Golden Flower," "The Devil Wears Prada," "Dreamgirls," "Marie Antoinette," "The Queen."
Documentary Feature: "Deliver Us From Evil," "An Inconvenient Truth," "Iraq in Fragments," "Jesus Camp," "My Country, My Country."
Documentary (Short Subject): "The Blood of Yingzhou District," "Recycled Life," "Rehearsing a Dream," "Two Hands."
Film Editing: "Babel," "Blood Diamond," "Children of Men," "The Departed," "United 93."
Makeup: "Apocalypto," "Click," "Pan's Labyrinth."
Animated Short Film: "The Danish Poet," "Lifted," "The Little Matchgirl," "Maestro," "No Time for Nuts."
Live Action Short Film: "Binta and the Great Idea (Binta Y La Gran Idea)," "Eramos Pocos (One Too Many)," "Helmer & Son," "The Saviour," "West Bank Story."
Visual Effects: "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest," "Poseidon," "Superman Returns."
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