Pull up a chair, bring a nice hot cup of cocoa, and settle in for a bit of reading – as promised in my column, it’s time for my third annual Super-Crappy Oscar picks.
The rules are simple. Choices are made, whenever possible, based on everything except having seen the film. And as this year has been an even dryer one that last when it comes to my watching movies, there shouldn’t be any difficulty with that.
ANIMATED FEATURE FILM: The Incredibles, Shark Tale, Shrek 2.
And the winner is: Everything I’ve heard seems to indicate that Shrek can do no wrong, which is why I’m going to pick The Incredibles.
ART DIRECTION: The Aviator, Finding Neverland, Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, The Phantom of the Opera, A Very Long Engagement.
And the winner is: You can’t go wrong with a lavishly adapted musical directed by the guy who gave Batman and Robin codpieces. I’m picking Phantom of the Opera.
CINEMATOGRAPHY: The Aviator, House of Flying Daggers, The Passion of the Christ, The Phantom of the Opera, A Very Long Engagement.
And the winner is: Why isn’t Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow on this list? Based on the trailers, I’d been completely certain that it would be. Nonetheless, I’m torn between The Passion and Phantom on this, but lean towards Phantom of the Opera as I think the academy voters will avoid crazy, obsessive, nut-job directors.
COSTUME DESIGN: The Aviator, Finding Neverland, Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, Ray,
And the winner is: You usually can’t go wrong with period pieces. Unfortunately, there’s four of them in that list. So I’ll give it to
DOCUMENTARY FEATURE: Born into Brothels, The Story of the Weeeping Camel, Super Size Me, Tupac: Resurrrection, Twist of Faith.
And the winner is: I love the Documentary category, because you’re sure to have heard of almost none of the films. And if there is a film in the list that you’ve heard of, it’s sure to win. So, of course, my prediction goes with Super Size Me.
DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT: Autism is a World, The Children of Leningradsky, Hardwood, Mighty Times: The Children’s March, Sister Rose’s Passion.
And the winner is: I haven’t heard a thing about any of them, so I’ll pick Autism is a World, because it’s a topic that probably made people cry when they watched the film.
FILM EDITING: The Aviator, Collateral, Finding Neverland, Million Dollar Baby, Ray.
And the winner is: This award seems, more often than not, to attach itself to the Best Director and Best Picture categories, so I’ll give this one to The Aviator.
FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM: As It Is In Heaven, The Chorus, Downfall, The Sea Inside, Yesterday.
And the winner is: Why are there never any foreign language titles in the foreign language film category? Whatever the reason, I think it would be really funny if The Sea Inside won, but I can’t tell you why. That’s my pick.
MAKEUP: Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, The Passion of the Christ, The Sea Inside
And the winner is: Much as I hate to admit it, if the 90-minute gorefest that was The Passion of the Christ doesn’t take the award, there’s something wrong with the world.
MUSIC (SCORE): Finding Neverland, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Lemony Snicket’s a Series of Unfortunate Events, The Passion of the Christ, The Village
And the winner is: I would side with Danny Elfman as a composer any and every time he is nominated. Unfortunately he wasn’t nominated this year, so I’ll pick The Passion of the Christ instead, because it’s a little different from traditional film scores and might get noticed for that very reason.
MUSIC (SONG): Accidentally In Love (Shrek 2), Al Otro Lado Del Rio (The Motorcycle Diaries), Believe (The Polar Express), Learn to be Lonely (The Phantom of the Opera), Look To Your Path (The Chorus).
And the winner is: I actually hate this category. Hate, hate, hate, hate, hate, hate. “Songs” used in films tend to steal too much of the spotlight from the real talents – those composers who write the film’s score – and are only used to get a song on the radio in order to help promote the film. Having said that, you can’t go wrong with picking a song from a musical, so I’ll give it to Learn to be Lonely from the Phantom of the Opera.
SHORT FILM (ANIMATED): Birthday Boy, Gopher Broke, Guard Dog, Lorenzo, Ryan.
And the winner is: Gopher Broke…hee hee…go for broke…hee hee…it’s funny because it’s a play on words!
SHORT FILM (LIVE ACTION): Everything In This Country Must, Little Terrorist, 7:35 in the Morning, Two Cars, One Night, Wasp
And the winner is: Haven’t seen or heard of any of them, but I like the title Little Terrorist, so there’s my pick. Everything In This Country Must might’ve had a chance if they’d just bothered to finish their goddamn sentence. Must what? End? Improve? Go for pizza?
SOUND EDITING: The Incredibles, The Polar Express, Spider-Man 2
And the winner is: I can never figure out the difference between sound editing and sound mixing, but I’ll give this one to The Incredibles, because it was animated and so every sound in the film was kind of made up from scratch.
SOUND MIXING: The Aviator, The Incredibles, The Polar Express, Ray, Spider-Man 2
And the winner is: Ray. Why not? The film needs another award beyond Jamie Foxx’s, and this seems like as good an award as any.
VISUAL EFFECTS: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, I, Robot, Spiderman 2.
And the winner is: I shudder at the realization, but I’m gonna have to give the award to I, Robot. Damn you, Will Smith, you win this round!
WRITING (ADAPTED SCREENPLAY): Before Sunset, Finding Neverland, Million Dollar Baby, The Motorcycle Diaries
And the winner is: Million Dollar Baby – this is the big creative nod it will get when it doesn’t win Best Picture.
WRITING (ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY): The Aviator, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Hotel Rwanda, The Incredibles, Vera Drake.
And the winner is: How about a little love for Charlie Kaufman? Let’s give this one to Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
And that, my friends, is that. If you’ve read past Oscar picks, you know this might be a bit brief compared to them, but I put it off for too long and needed to do it all in one she-bang. I’ll be watching the web site Sunday night to see how close my inane predictions come to the truth.