Tuesday, January 23, 2007

More Oscar Cold Sweats and Hot Flashes

Helen Mirren is the only leading actor representing a Best Picture. Very very rare.

One day Edward Zwick (who holds the strange distinction of being one of my most hated and most loved directors --hate all of his movies / love all of his television) will have an Oscar sweeper. It seems obvious. His annoying, simplistic romantic adventure/racial drama movies always seem to be in the mix, even if they have no business being in a "best" discussion. Still they always seem to get play. Glory got 5 nominations and 3 wins. Legends of the Fall 3 nominations and 1 win. The Last Samurai received 4 nominations and 0 wins. And this year Blood Diamond got 5 nominations... most of which truly test my patience. I fear the day when he finally makes it into the lineup himself and I only pray that on that fateful day they accidentally run out of Oscars and have to hand him an Emmy instead. They're both gold, right? I'll mold it myself if they need help. Give him an Emmy. Those he deserves. (See also: thirtysomething, Once & Again, Relativity and My So Called Life.)

Pénelope Cruz is, I think (research!?? get me research!), the first Spanish actress nominated -- the other lead female Hispanic nominees have both been in the past 5 years: Colombia's Catalina Sandino Moreno for Maria Full of Grace and Mexico's Salma Hayek for Frida .

Lots of Other People Talking Oscar!
Kris Tapley thinks Iwo Jima will win (er...)
Eric Beck walks us through a history of snubees at Oscar Watch: should've seen Dreamgirls snub coming?
Daniel Kennealy of Oscar Watch thinks all bets are off (well, except for Mirren)
Dave Carr of the NY Times discusses Oscars racial diversity this year
Jeffrey Wells on the Greengrass nomination
ModFab is pissed about the Dreamgirls snub and wonders why Eastwood didn't nab a Best Actress spot, too.
Nick Davis offers very brief notes on many scandals
JA says "bah!" but stops short of "humbug" due to Pan's and CoM nods.
Joe Reid sure likes the stats. sports. american idol. oscar predictions, too.
Ali breaks down the reaction categorically. No no, not by category...
Tom O'Neil on the snubbed... the oh so very snubbed
The Felixes or 'the anti-Oscars' are jokin' around again
film freak goes with "professional" commentary

Aren't you glad that nomination day is over?


Paxton Hernandez said...

It is the first Spanish actress in being nominated. But she isn't the first actress in being nominated for a role ENTIRELY spoken in Spanish. She's THE second.

That privilege would go to my girl, Catalina Sandino Moreno.

Kris said...

Why the "er?" Anything can win this race. Foolish to think otherwise.

You REALLY let your incomprehnsible Clint hatred get in the way sometimes.

adam k. said...

But really?

4 nominations?
$2.5 million?

Don't get me wrong, it has as much of a chance as anything else, but it'd certainly be a first.

adam k. said...

I guess what I mean is, you don't have to hate Clint to doubt its chances.

Paxton Hernandez said...

And you are all forgetting that REALLY it is too soon

Kris said...

Fair enoug, Adam. The fac tthat it had the base to get in says a lot to me, though. A LOT. And now, more and more people will actually watch it. It's more a gut thing than anything else, but I've felt since the moment I saw it that this was a Best Picture winner. Nothing else really feels right. Not even "Babel." And "Little Miss Sunshine" has the uphill battle of lacking a director nod.

But this year, it's all tossed out the window. It'll be an INTERESTING month.

Jason Adams said...

That picture of Penelope is freaking me out.

That is all.

Anonymous said...

Kris Tapley is annoying and consistently on the defensive, but in this case, I happen to agree with him -- if LFIJ has made it this far with minimal guild support and infinitesimal box office, with only the HATED critics behind it, then AMPAS watched it and LOVED it. That's the only explanation. And if that's the case...it sho nuff has a big big big shot at BP.

Paxton Hernandez said...


You forget that the guilds are also AMPAS. Now everyone gets to vote, and certainly the guilds who didn't love it in first place, will continue to be so unsupportive.

Hell, even the actors didn't like it. NO acting nominations.

Kris said...

I might be annoying (but who isn't in the eyes of SOMEONE), but consistently defensive? Hardly.

But if we can do without getting personal, then that'd be peachy.

Anonymous said...

But how often have the awarded a director's film a third best picture win two years after his last one? I'm sure it happened back in the day (with Capra or Huston or someone), but I imagine that's sort of thing hasn't happened in decades.

Plus, I don't really see what else it would win. They almost certainly won't give Clint another directing award (that sound is my head exploding if they do), and, especially given the competition, I can't see Haggis winning again. Maybe best sound editing, but really... a movie winning only Best Picture and Best Sound Editing?

I think Letters is the weakest link here. Little Miss Sunshine could win despite the lack of a directing nom, especially because it could win in most of its other categories, but I doubt that, too.

The way I'm reading it, it's a three-way race between The Departed, The Queen, and Babel. Neither of those would surprise me.

Could be way off the mark, though. Truth is, all five movies have at least a reasonable chance.

My guess (mostly because I want it to happen so bad and my pick so very rarely lines up with the Academy's)? The Departed. Fingers crossed, anyway.

RC said...

ah, i hadn't tought of Moreno and that awesome movie...thanks for the reminder.

There's a "something" missing from Zwick's films...but I tend to like them and wish they had the "umph" that would make these films be great.

--RC of strangeculture.blogspot.com

adam k. said...

I actually am inclined to agree with Kris. If for no other reason that the big SURPRISE factor, it'll be on everyone's lips in the coming weeks. And yeah, nothing else feels quite right as a winner.

But still.
4 nominations.
$2.5 million.

I have my doubts.

The Departed still has everything needed to win.

Anonymous said...

Regarding Ed Zwick, well, he already has an Oscar. He was one of the five Shakespeare In Love producers.

Glenn Dunks said...

Adam, add what Steve was saying to that list of cons. Surely the Original Screenplay prize is going to Arndt or Morgan (or, hell, Ariaga?) and director is surely going to Scorsese. Right?

And, as these things go, I can't imagine it winning Sound Editing either.

...if it only won Best Picture it'd be the first since Grand Hotel in the '30s to do just that.

Glenn Dunks said...

Fact: PAUL HAGGIS is a five time Oscar nominee... in the span of three years. How majorly screwed up is that?!

I didn't even think Haggis' name was on the Screenplay cards for Iwo Jima.

Anonymous said...

Nate, you hate Glory? Whyyyy?

adam k. said...

Well I don't know how much sound editing is involved in Letters, but I could see it winning there just cause it's a best pic nominee.

And since when is Paul Haggis one of the writers on Letters? I thought it was only the Japanese guy. I think that actually hurts Letters' chances to win there, since nobody wants to give Haggis a second screenwriting oscar in two years... do they?

And finally... Edward Zwick is the guy behind Once and Again and My So-Called Life? The same Edward Zwick who directed Blood Diamond and The Last Samurai? REALLY??? That's f***ed up.

Was he like the show runner, or creator, or did he just direct some of them? Cause I honestly don't understand how this is possible.


he was the executive producer and sometime director on all those shows from my understanding. that's where i learned his name at any rate. it was always on those shows of which i have loved every damn one.

i shouldn't say i hate Glory as I barely remember it but i'm not a fan of his films, no.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Fernanda Montenegro isn't Hispanic.
She is Latin, but definitely not Hispanic. That's how you guys call us Brazilians?

Nice blog.


wait i thought the correct term for the all encompassing term for people of spanish origin whilst latino gets more specific for latin america?

am i wrong
please correct me if i'm wrong. hate getting stuff like that wrong.

Anonymous said...

Penélope Cruz is the first Spanish (when I say Spanish, I mean born in Spain and not a Latin-American) Actress to be nominated for a best actress award. However, she is not the first Spanish performer to be recognized with an acting nomination. Javier Bardem was nominated for Before night falls (and should have won that year in stead of Russell Crowe), but that was not a Spanish movie (there were even some bits in English, as far as I can remember) as Volver is.

The only two foreign actors to have won an acting Oscar in a foreign language film were Sofia Loren (La Ciociara) and Roberto Benigni (La vita è bella). However, there have been some other foreing nominees like Isabelle Adjani, Catherine Deneuve, Fernanda Montenegro or Gérard Depardieu for foreign language films.

ed gonzalez said...

Hey, Nathaniel. You're right, Hispanic is the correct term for people of Spanish origin, but Montenegro is Brazilian, so her ancestors are Portuguese. (Brazilians are understandably touchy about being lumped together with us.) "Hispanic" is easily explained; "Latino" not so much. The court is still out (and will never be in) on which countries and cultures the term covers. Anyway: Go Cruz!

Paxton Hernandez said...


Latin America compasses Hispanic countries (Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Dominican Republic, Uruguay and big etc.), a Portuguese country (Brazil), two French countries (Haiti, Guyanna), one British (Belize), and a Dutch one (¡) (That would be Surinam).

But yeah, Brazilians aren't Hispanics due to the fact that they don't have Spanish ancestors. Mostly Portuguese.


thanks for helping a white boy through his ignorance --

so just to be clear:

hispanic AND latino are correct terms for puerto ricans and mexicans?

only latino is correct term for brazilians?

and only hispanic is correct term for spaniards?

is this correct?

Paxton Hernandez said...

You are more than welcome, Nathe.

I guess,

-Latino AND Hispanic are both right for Puerto Rico and Mexico, since both of them have Spanish ancestors.

-Latino would be the right term for Brazilians, yep. Both Portugal and Spain being Latin countries.

-About Spaniards, they like to be called well, Spanish, so they may not be confuse with their Hispanic american cousins.

Anonymous said...

hilarious post from "milestogo" over at Poland's blog that I thought everyone over here would enjoy:

"Marty has already made his peace with this Oscar business. To me, The Departed is an allegory for the 2004 Oscar race with Matt Damon (Eastwood - the biggest oscar whore since Beatty '75-'81) staring longingly at the Boston Statehouse golden dome (alot like Oscar's cranium). DiCaprio (Scorsese) goes undercover for lunatic Frank (Weinstein) and starts being uncomfortable in his own skin. He sees Annette Bening thrown off the roof by Hilary Swank and starts to worry about his chances. Scorsese tells himself M$B is nothing but a few fancy lighting tricks. There's a mentally challenged guy saying the N-word. And Maggie's family, holy crap, Maggie's family, how can people vote for that? He convinces himself he's won, then suddenly loses (gets shot). Scorsese was probably told by hundreds of academy voters in 2002 and 2004 that they had his vote, but they're all rats in Hollywood. Lying two-faced rats. Only Ray Winstone (Thelma Schoonmaker) can be trusted. The movie ends with a rat and the Oscar.

Maybe Scorsese will get to play Wahlberg's role this year. Maybe not. Maybe @#$* yourself."

Anonymous said...

and to return to the real topic, as a Colombian American, I wouldn't describe Cruz as "Hispanic" OR Latina, she's just Spanish or White. "Hispanic" as a race/ethnicity generally implies being the possibility of being mestizo, which Spaniards are not.

Adam Luis said...

Yeah, for the most part, Spaniards consider themselves White Europeans. It's pretty much the media that jumps at their Spanish surnames and label them Hispanics/Latinos, but really, they are not.

Also, the use of Hispanic/Latino is dependent on where you live in the United States. Here in Texas, we use the term Hispanic in newspapers and official documents, but in California, especially LA, they have adpopted the use of Latino, because supposedly its more culturally encompassing.

Either way, Fernanda Montenegra is not Hispaic. She could be described as Latino because she hails from a Latin American country.

Catalina Sandino Moreno and Salma Hayek would fit both terms.

Penelpe Cruz is just a Spanish speaking European, although under the broadest of definitions, she could be Hispanic.

Anonymous said...

Does Kate WInslet now have the record for youngest person to have five acting nominations?

Anonymous said...

Does Kate WInslet now have the record for youngest person to have five acting nominations?

Anonymous said...

Also about Hispanic actresses, Adriana Barazza would fall into the category too.

Anonymous said...

Enough with the Clint hatred already. I loathed MILLION DOLLAR BABY (Haggis will be the ruin of Clint yet...) but LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA is an exquisite piece of filmmaking. Adult, non-pretentious, moving and fully in control of a delicate tonal balance. And it's a far better film than THE DEPARTED... or any of the other BP nominees, for that matter. I think the key word there is "adult." I, for one, am tired of the nauseating fluff worship for such crap as THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA and LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE.

Ok. I've said it. Glad to get that off my non-trendy chest.

Joe R. said...

Yeah, it's not at all sad when someone describes his/herself as "non-trendy." You freethinking rebel, you!


Kris if you're still around you say: "you REALLY let your incomprehensible Clint hatred get in the way sometimes." but as I recall I'M the one, not the myriad Clint supporters and Oscar chatterers, who foresaw his nomination this year --most people were saying he wouldn't make it. Didn't you say he'd be shut out for Iwo Jima?

I don't hate Clint Eastwood at all. I hate the ORBIT around him: the way the media, critics, and fans treat him. That's what rubs me entirely the wrong way.

But, yeah, Letters is good. I also think it's better than Dreamgirls. But lets be honest: It's not nominated because it's better than Dreamgirls. It's nominated because it's by Clint Eastwood. There's no other way a film without precursor support, guild support, and 2.5 million in the bank could've pulled that trick.

Alanna said...

People of Latin American origin who now live on the West Coast of the US often prefer Latino/a, while people on the East Coast often prefer Hispanic. Often, but not always.

Spaniards, Brazilians, and Portuguese are NOT Latino/a or Hispanic.

And technically, anyone from a Romance language-speaking country is "Latin."

Anonymous said...

As I've read the Spanish people (I am Spanish) is the people who have born in Spain. We consider ourselves white europeans (because we really are), we doesn't have anything in common with latin people in America, just the language. In fact, we are more close to people like French, British than Mexican or any other latin american people.
On the other hand, we are totally devastated with the bad news from the Academy, the media is making up all the thing taking about Penelope. But we are all very happy there are 8 spanish people nominated. And here everybody knows that Pan's is Spanish movie made in Spain with a spanish cast, in fact, the Composer the Set Decorator and the Make Up team are spanish. I still cannot understand why the Academy let the film represent Mexico, officially it's 76% Spanish, just 24% Mexican.And there are two Spanish shorts nominated, so we can conclude this has been a wonderful year for Spanish Cinema. It would have been better year with Almodovar nominated.


amen to that last sentence.

but i believe the ruling for mexico on pan's is entirely due to the auteur theory. It is DelToro's baby through and through: script, concept, direction... and he's Mexican so therefore Mexican.

that's i suppose why they did it. but they are loosening up about this alot. see also the canadian entry --doesn't have anything to do with Canada, not in french, etc...

Paxton Hernandez said...

Alright, I'm sensing some resentment towards Water, due to the fact that Volver was snubbed.

First things first. Water is a Candian film. You should know that, Nathe. The director is Canadian, has been doing Canadian films for many years (Bollywood Hollywood anyone?) all the funding is Canadian, and under the new rules by AMPAS it certainly meets the requirements, it doesn't matter it's not in one of the two Canadian official languages. And yeah, that's all part of the "loosening a lot", nathe.

And Spanish anon,

Payback time. I always thought Pan's was more a Spanish film that was a Mexican. I screamed it out loud where I live. Did they listen? No! Did the Spanish Academy listen? No! Even your final other two runners-up were Salvador and Alatriste. So blame your Academy for not ringing the bell in time. It's too late now. If Pan's wins it will go for Mexico instead of Spain. But I don't think it'll win.

Are you sure the language is the only thing we have in common? What about things like the food, or the passion for soccer? Anyone?

Anonymous said...

great acting by Cruz... like I've been saying all year, the Spanish Academy couldn't submit Pan's Labyrinth first because it didn't qualify since most of its producers are Mexican (3/4), the director is Mexican and the writer is Mexican. And remember is not like the Spanish Academy can say okay so I will consider this and that... films actually subscribed to be considered, the producers of Pans Labyrinth of course wanted it to become Mexico's official entry because it had more chances and well it was their only option really...

great year for all hispanics...

12 noms for Mexico
5 noms for Spain
1 nom for Argentina

Glenn Dunks said...

This has been so interesting. Australia doesn't really have many hispanic/latino residents so I really had no idea about any of it. We have lots of other cultures (African-Australians is the fastest growing I think) but people from South and Central America are very absent.

Pedro said...

To Spanish anon- the only thing in common between the Hispanic countries of America and Spain is NOT only the language. Spain conquered most of America and gave us its culture, religion, foods, literature, among other things. But as you said, Spain is different from most of Latin American countries, as each Latin American country is different from each other. Although we have a lot of things in common (specially the language), we are different in lots of aspects (including the food - we Puerto Ricans do not eat very spicy foods like the mexicans, nor we consider tortillas, burritos or tacos part of our daily or regular foods).

Regarding the question about Latin, as somebody said, it technically refers to countries whose language is derived from the Latin language. It includes Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, Romania, among other european countries, as well as most of America.

Anonymous said...

A near-record. This is only the second time in Oscar history (the first one was at the first Academy Awards) where not one of the five nominated Best Actors got his nomination for work done in one of the Best Picture nominees.
And the five Best Picture nominees only yielded a pitiful 6 acting nominations! I haven't checked that, but it might also be a record low!

Anonymous said...

Hispanic, I believe, was actually a term coined by someone drafting the census (not sure of the year, quite a long time ago) to group all Spanish-speaking people together, both from Spain and from Central and South America.

adam k. said...

6 acting noms from the 5 best pictures in not really all that bad. And certainly not a record.

In 2003, the five best picture nominees amassed only 4 acting nods between them (and 3 of them were from Mystic River).

Glenn Dunks said...

It's still odd that Blood Diamond got more acting nominations as The Departed. I mean... doesn't that just sound crazy?

Paxton Hernandez said...

It's not crazy considering the lame campaign launched for The Departed by Warner. A freaking mess. I mean, Edward Zwick is a more powerful guy so they had to make sure he got all those nominations. After all, he writes them their checks.

As far as I'm concerned The Departed had the potencial to grab ¡5 nominations! in the acting nods. They blew it big time.

*Best Lead Actor - Leo
*Best Lead Ator - Damon
*Best Supporting Actor - Whalberg
*Best Supporting Actor - Either Sheen or Baldwin
*Best Supporting Actress - Vera Farmiga.