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OSCAR PREDICTIONS-2006
2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006
The Academy Awards are coming up and our two opinion makers "JR" & "Bo" have their predictions all set for Oscar Night. How close will they be? We'll find out Sunday.
BO'S PROLOGUE-Oscar Night we will get a show that goes about 3 hours, Jon Stewart will be funny but not Billy Crystal funny so he wont be invited back, when the salute to the fallen stars happens there will be a lot of people at home going: "hey, I didn't know he/she was dead" and as usual the Academy will continue its ridiculous policy to not allow studios to advertise upcoming films.

SUPPORTING ACTRESS:
BO-Since I haven't seen any of the nominees (but do have Constant Gardner even though I haven't watched it yet) I will predict that Rachel Weisz will win for Gardener but Amy Adams could pull off an upset for her role in the seldom seen Junebug.
JR-Michelle Williams or Rachel Weisz? I'm torn. How strong are Brokeback's coattails? Still, the closer my ear gets to the ground, the louder the whispers of Weisz's name sound. So I'll go with her, with the proviso that I won't be surprised if Williams usurps her spotlight. But for me...Amy Adams in Junebug. There may not have been a better performance by anyone, male or female this year in any movie. Unfortunately, I don't think enough Oscar voters saw this film to do her justice. Take my advice. Rent Junebug.

SUPPORTING ACTOR:
BO-Tossing out Jake Gyllenhaal for Brokeback it's a race between George Clooney in Syriana and Paul Giamatti in Cinderella Man. Clooney gained weight and grew a beard for Syriana then got sick afterwards so with that in mind I would give him the nod adding in that the film wasn't nominated for Best Picture. That said, I wouldn't be sad if Giamatti got it since he was outstanding in his role. William Hurt was brilliant in A History of Violence but he isn't in the film very long.
JR-George Clooney. With apologies to Paul Giamatti, Clooney is just too popular not to win something. And this is his most likely category. This has been in a lot of ways, the year of George Clooney. With two politically charged films, one of them written and directed by Clooney, he proves that he is not going to rely on movie star looks to drive his career.

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY/ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY:
BO-Adapted Award should go to the team on Munich: Tony Kushner and Eric Roth. Kushner is a Tony winner and Roth I believe won for Forrest Gump. I know there is an expectation for the award to go to Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana for Brokeback Mountain but they adapted a short story and there has been a buzz that they didn't do the story justice. Of the 5 nominees the job they were given was the easiest of the bunch so Munich gets my nod. Original goes to Crash writers Paul Haggis (who won last year for Million Dollar Baby) and Bobby Moresco.
JR-Adapted: Brokeback Mountain, Original: Crash

ORIGINAL SCORE/BEST SONG:
BO-Since John Williams is competing with himself due to Munich and Memoirs of a Geisha Gustavo Santaolalla gets it for Brokeback Mountain (which I have not seen but more on that later) and the Song award will go to It's Hard out Here for a Pimp from Hustle & Flow.
JR-Score: Memoirs of a Geisha by John Williams. This will be John Williams 967th win. Not really, but seems like it. He is the Energizer Bunny of film scorers, and one of the industries finest. Song: "In the Deep," Crash

ACTRESS:
BO-The pickings were a bit slim this year but using the fact that I have only seen one of the performances I go with Reese Witherspoon for Walk the Line. Judy Dench has enough Oscars, Charlize Theron won for Monster, Keira Knightley is too young and she was in another British snooze fest and Felicity Huffman is playing a transsexual in a time when no one really cares. Witherspoon shows depth, steel and grit as a woman who makes her man get his stuff together.
JR-Reese Witherspoon. Some people think Felicity Huffman, because she's playing the kind of oddball that the Academy loves and because her TV show is hot. But my money's on Witherspoon. I think Witherspoon's likabilty and the good feeling for June Carter Cash will carry the day. She's every bit a match for Joaqim Phoenix's star turn as Johnny Cash and then some.

ACTOR:
BO-Toss out Ledger (and all reports I have seen say he isn't that amazing )in Brokeback and David Strathairn in Good Night and Good Luck. In the case of Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman they are playing real people and Jamie Foxx won doing that last year. Terrence Howard takes a role that could have been a major stereotype in Hustle & Flow and turns in one of the best performances of the year. He could have been just another guy playing a pimp but in Flow he wants to be something more and leave that life behind. Having not seen Capote I can's say how good Hoffman is but he is incapable of turning in a bad performance. Smart money says he will win but Howard could pull off the upset.
JR-Phillip Seymour Hoffman. It's a strong field, comprised mainly of actors playing real (dead) people. My preference might have been David Strathairn, but I have no problem with Hoffman taking home the statue for playing Harper Lee's best pal. No one seems to be predicting any differently, so consider this another slam-dunk.

DIRECTOR:
BO-Ang Lee has already won the Director's Guild award for Brokeback Mountain and since the Academy tends to follow their lead he will get the statue here. Steven Spielberg has already won an Oscar so he is on Tom Hanks lockdown, Capote's Bennett Miller has no shot, George Clooney has a shot for Good Night and Good Luck but it's a small one. Paul Haggis is a first time director here for Crash and he would be the one to win this time around for reasons seen below.
JR-Even the people who think Crash will win Best Picture concede that Ang Lee is the odds-on favorite for Best Director. Members of the Academy might like George Clooney, but that sentiment will not be enough to stem the tide in favor of Lee.
I would love to see Spielberg win for Munich. The fact that it's his most adult film and the most un-Spielberg like film in his career coupled with the controversy of the subject matter and that it's a hell of a thriller is more than enough for me.

PICTURE:
BO-I know there is this magical expectation that Brokeback Mountain has the award locked up because people believe that the Academy wants to deliver a message even though that message was delivered years back with Philadelphia. There has also been a large amount of backlash against the film from a number of places. Some say the film doesn't go very far, some say the film is hollow inside and some say the film is boring as hell. I haven't seen it and it's not high on my list. Capote is and I will see it this week but it has no chance. I thought that Munich, Good Night and Crash were three of the best films of 2005. So of the three which one would I pick? I would choose Crash, which deals with a series of interconnected stories involving a day in Los Angeles and the many facets of racial relations that make you think, laugh and be angry at the same time. There has been a rumble about the film ever since it hit the festival circuit and the film has also connected with a larger audience that Brokeback. Crash is the one for me.
JR-I still believe that Brokeback Mountain is a lock. I know there has been a growing chorus touting an upset by Crash, but I don't see it. Every year, as the awards draw nigh, an attempt is made to inject a little excitement by talking about a "dark horse." The only recent occasion when an underdog has pulled off an upset is when Shakespeare in Love sunk Saving Private Ryan. So it could happen, but I don't think it will. Personally, I think Brokeback is not a bad choice. If I had my druthers... either Crash or Munich would get me off the couch and yelp if one of them won. A write in vote-win for Syriana (which was my #1 choice for the best film of last year) would probably give me a coronary. Won't happen.

OTHER AWARD PICK'S BY JR:
ANIMATED FEATURE: Wallace and Gromit (with apologies to Hiyao Miyazaki and his Howl's Moving Castle. Nick Park's W & G are just too much fun.)
ART DIRECTION: Good Night, and Good Luck (I love black and white. Always have...always will).
CINEMATOGRAPHY: Good Night, and Good Luck (see comment above).
COSTUME DESIGN: Pride & Prejudice
DOCUMENTARY: March of the Penguins (Not the best documentary of the year by a long shot. That was Grizzly Man. But Penguins was a huge box office hit for a doc).
EDITING: Crash
FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM: Tsotsi (Full review coming soon).
MAKEUP: Cinderella Man (Cuts and broken noses. Always a big Oscar favorite).
SOUND EDITING: War of the Worlds (Tell me those Trpod sounds are not the stuff of nightmares).
SOUND MIXING: Walk the Line
VISUAL EFFECTS: King Kong (A moment of silence for George Lucas....the first Star Wars film not to be nominated in the effects category. Frankly, I'm rather shocked by that considering how lavish the visuals in Sith were. But, it cannot be denied that Kong WAS real. After this years awards, a new award is being added to the roster, the George Lucas Slap in the Face Award).

JR'S EPILOGUE-Making these predictions has become as annual a ritual as watching the Oscars. I do both with limited enthusiasm. Some people can't understand how I, a semi-pro film critic/movie fanatic, can dislike the Academy Awards. The reason is simple: they bore me. It's not an original complaint, I know, but I'm sure I would be less resentful of the Oscars if they were trimmed down and tightened up.

For the record, my predictions have been good the last two years: 86% in 2004 (missing three) and 81% in 2005 (missing four). Typically, I'm in the 60-70% range. My goal is to hit 67%. So here are some thoughts on the major awards, then a listing of what I think will win the rest. Keep in mind that these are guesses of what I think will win, followed by what I think should win.
"Want to read some upcoming comics now? We've got a bunch of SNEAKY PEEKIES of future MARVEL, DC and IMAGE titles right HERE"

OSCAR Copyright 2006 Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. No right given or implied by Alternate Reality, Incorporated.

Article 2006 Alternate Reality, Inc.

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