Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Points of Oscar Interest

I'm bored. Here's three things to discuss. Have at it.

* In the past 4 Oscar races animated films have accounted for 4 of the 11 Sound Editing nominees. And yet this year of their 7 finalists (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, King Kong, Memoirs of a Geisha, The Chronicles of Narnia, Walk the Line, War of the Worlds, Star Wars Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith) not one animated film appears --unless you count Narnia & Kong.... but their only partially toons. So can we assume the voters just weren't enthused with this year's animated output? Or is it only the persnickety sound folks? Who have been known to make surprise calls (i.e. only one nomination in total for sound editing for the three LotR films)

* The typical critical call/response that you see annually in the critics awards has only just barely begun: After nearly a month solid of Brokeback wins, the wealth is starting to spread just as the critical associations are nearly finished with their prizes. Check out the chart in case you've missed anything. The most contentious category overall has been Supporting Actress with six different winners from the 17 organizations who've announced and very little in the way of a dominating force (Amy Adams comes closest with 6 wins w/ Bello and Keener are challenging). The second most contentious is Supporting Actor. Giammatti is clearly the leader. Like Adams he has six wins. But he has no close runner up. Nine other men have taken prizes and noone, other than Giamatti, has more than 2 (Dillon & Hurt). The lead acting categories have clear frontrunners: Hoffman (Capote) -13 wins and Witherspoon (Walk the Line) -9 wins.

* The category most likely to have the freshest Oscar roster this year? Supporting Actor. Only William Hurt (A History of Violence), Bob Hoskins (Mrs Henderson Presents), Don Cheadle (Crash), and Kevin Costner (The Upside of Anger) stand in the way of this being an all-first time nominee lineup...and all of them are in the longshot division of possibilities.


adam k. said...

I find it interesting that though critics do seem to be tring to spread the wealth now, no film other than Brokeback has won more than one award (well Munich has if you count Kansas but it's hardly a challenger).

Also interesting that Witherspoon has been wiping the floor with the critics awards when people were saying this wasn't the type of perf (too mainstream I guess) to do well there. I just saw it last night and she was fantastic. A jolt of pure energy followed a soulful rainbow of emotions. It's seeing that familiar caricature/comedy Reese persona gradually melt into a full characterization that did it for me. I am behind her 100% (though I'd love to see Allen nominated).

John T said...

The Sound Editing board-these films didn't scream nominate me the way that the technically impressive The Polar Express, nor the visually stunning Pixar films did. The Corpse Bride might have deserved a nomination in place of Memoirs of a Geisha, but otherwise, I'd have to go with those seven being the most Oscarable. I'm guessing it's King Kong vs., well, they sometimes pick odd films here, so maybe Walk the Line?

As for the critics roundup, I'm hoping and praying that Brokeback manages to have enough of a sweep to take Heath instead of Phillip Seymour Hoffman-I know you nom'd him Nathaniel, but I just thought this was more of the same from him (not a good thing, imo).

Amy Adams seems a little like Lisa Kudrow in 1998-both were widely hailed by critics, but eventually ignored by the Academy for more Oscarbait performances like Judi Dench and Lynn Redgrave.

I still don't like the idea of Giammati winning for Cinderella Man-you'd hope the Academy would want to give it to such a talented actor for a better film. I'm holding out for Jake or George Clooney.

Reese deserves the win-she's fantastic, and will finally stop the uglification awards for this category.

Finally, was the last time an acting category had all first-timers 1999's Best Supporting Actress race?


adam k -- i am behind her 100% too --unless Joan Allen gets nominated ;)

john --if it means anything to you the Hoffman nom is my 5th slotter. and the #6s are really really really really close. I think he just barely survived his tendencies towards too much with this one. But survive he did. definitely his best work at any rate (its just that the rest of his work isn't very good -magnolia excepted)

i think so on the last first timers question. anybody know anything different?

John T said...

I agree it's his best work I've ever seen him in (I, shamefully, have never seen Magnolia-let the tongue lashing commence). I've seen every other nominated Julianne Moore performance, though (what are your thoughts on the upcoming reunion between she and Haynes?). I guess I'm just saddened that Ralph Fiennes comeback is getting so little recognition-and he should have it coming.

Glenn Dunks said...

I still think Hoskins is in for Supporting Actor.

But, then I'm still saying Giamatti won't be nommed so what do I know?

None of the animated films really featured sound as their major component. Wallace, Madagascar and Robots were more laugh oriented, Corpse was musically enclined but probably not enough so, and Howls Moving Castle, well... that was never gonna happen. So, it doesn't really surprise me.

On Magnolia, I started to watch it and turned it off. I got waaay too frustrated and antsy.

adam k. said...

Does the Reese/Joan situation strike anyone else as a rehash of the Zeta-Jones/Pfeiffer situation a few years back? (i.e. previous never-winning three-time nominee who seems like any "easy get" gets shafted due to terrible campaigning, while never-nominated big star takes all). Reese/CZJ and Joan/Michelle are relatively equally deserving (though in Nate's book, the edge is to Joan/Michelle), but oddly, only the big star/awards newby is getting any awards recognition. Like, Pfeiffer, Allen gave a great performance as an unlikeable character in a decent-buit-not-great "chick flick" type film and won a few random critics awards and not much else, being shunned first and most damagingly by the globes. And like Zeta-Jones, Witherspoon stars in a very popular musical as a co-lead and steals it right out from under the true lead star (though she's a love interest and not a rival).

Anyway, I think the similarities are quite striking, and this does not bode well for Joan's chances, sadly.

adam k. said...

And to top it off, Witherspoon and Zeta-Jones both play vampy, musical brunettes while Allen and Pfeiffer both play icy, man-hating blondes with daughters who hate them.


you guys are scaring me comparing this Joan Allen to Michelle Pfeiffer. I want this to have a happier ending.

maybe i just love icy blondes whose daughters hate them?

well I do love icy blondes. I admit that right up front.

adam k. said...

No "you guys": both those comments were mine ; )

I know it's sad to think about, but aren't the similarities all too apparent?

Maybe this just proves that most awards-giving bodies don't love mean icy blondes like Nathaniel does.

But hey, prove mer wrong, AMPAS. Prove. Me. Wrong.

Glenn Dunks said...

aah! No more speak of that injustice and the one that seems almost inevitably to play out in a couple of weeks. NO MORE.