'Plaint of the Playwright

'Plaint of the Playwright

[ Tuesday, February 12, 2002 ]

Just got this email from Buck:

Okay, the Annual Oscar Pool is BACK! The rules are the same - pick one winner in EVERY category below. Points will be awarded as follows: 3 points apiece for Picture and Director, 2 points for the acting and writing categories plus this year's new category, Best Animated Feature, and 1 point apiece for everything else. If there is a tie in points for the winner, we will go to the tiebreaker question (see bottom of page).


Here are my answers, with my reasons. Again, this is who should win, just who I think will win.

For the other nominees click here.

BEST PICTURE (3 points)
A BEAUTIFUL MIND (Universal and DreamWorks)
A Universal Pictures and Imagine Entertainment Production
Brian Grazer and Ron Howard, Producers


My reasoning here is for the same reason behind my Best Director guess. See below.

BEST DIRECTOR (3 points)
A BEAUTIFUL MIND (Universal and DreamWorks)
Ron Howard


He's the director that's pissed off the fewest amount of people. Plus, he's good enough to legitimize a win.

BEST ACTOR (2 points)
Russell Crowe in "A Beautiful Mind" (Universal and DreamWorks)

He's the favorite, what can I say? Plus, "I Am Sam," has more or less been recognized for what it is: Shameless Oscar Bait. I'd like Denzel to win it (and there's a good chance of that), but I doubt that the Academy will want to recognise "Training Day" any more than it has.

BEST ACTRESS (2 points)
Sissy Spacek in "In the Bedroom" (Miramax)

In the Best Actress category, it usually goes to the most unglamourous performance--so that makes this Spacek's game.

(Okay, that sounds way more insulting than I wanted it to.)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR (2 points)
Ben Kingsley in "Sexy Beast" (Fox Searchlight)

The Supporting Actor Oscars typically go to the edgiest (or funniest) roles. Name me one actor this year who was edgier than Kingsley in "Sexy Beast," and I'm totally seeing that movie with you Sunday.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS (2 points)
Jennifer Connelly in "A Beautiful Mind" (Universal and DreamWorks)

Lately, it seems like the Academy decides that it's okay to vote for someone attractive for best supporting actress, and Connelly's about the most attactive actress there is.

That said, I think she's really grown and taken some chances in her career (after "Career Opportunities," can you blame her?)--She's due.

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY (2 points)
A BEAUTIFUL MIND (Universal and DreamWorks)
Written by Akiva Goldsman


Every year, there's at least one Oscar that goes to someone completely undeserving. This year, I'm thinking Akiva "Batman And Robin" Goldsman.

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY (2 points)
MEMENTO (Newmarket Films)
Screenplay by Christopher Nolan
Story by Jonathan Nolan


...but "Royal Tenenbaums" is real close behind. Ever since "Pulp Fiction" and "The Usual Suspects," the Original Screenplay Oscar usually goes to a crime drama.

I'll be honest. I want there to be a tie between "Tenenbaums" and "Memento."

This is the only Oscar I give an annual damn about.

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE (new category this year!) (2 points)
MONSTERS, INC. (Buena Vista) Nominee to be determined

I'm excited about this, I'll be honest. "Shrek" is strong, and very good, but it's too much for teens to have Oscar stamp its approval on it.

Plus, the Academy loves Pixar. Loves, loves, LOOOVES Pixar.

For once, the Academy loves, loves, LOOOVES someone who actually deserves it.

I loved "Shrek," but "Monsters, Inc" (which, by the way, had my blubbering like a little sissy girl when Sully says "Kitty has to go now.") is simply the better film.

ART DIRECTION (1 point)
AMÉLIE (Miramax Zoë)
Art Direction: Aline Bonetto
Set Decoration: Marie-Laure Valla


It's a foreign film. Period.

CINEMATOGRAPHY (1 point)
AMÉLIE (Miramax Zoë)
Bruno Delbonnel


"A foriegn fim! That means shots of countrysides! And that looks so beautiful. Sure countrysides are the easiest fucking things in the world to shoot, but still, we should stick to tradition."

In other words, I think "The Man Who Wasn't There" should win it.

COSTUME DESIGN (1 point)
GOSFORD PARK (USA Films)
Jenny Beavan


The Academy always seems to go halfway on this one. They never go for the most outlandish costumes, but they never stay too reserved, either.

There's more than one costume drama on the list here, but this year I think they'll go with this. "Affair Of The Necklace" seems to obvious to get the Oscar. Just a gut feeling.

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE (1 point)
CHILDREN UNDERGROUND A Belzberg Films Production
Edet Belzberg


"Oh, those poor, poor children. And they're underground! I must show my support."

That, and it's the first film on the list, and it sounds like something other people may have seen.

DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT (1 point)
ARTISTS AND ORPHANS: A TRUE DRAMA A Not by Chance Production
Lianne Klapper McNally


"Oh, those poor, poor children. And they're artists! And Orphans! I must show my support."

Plus, again, it's the first one on the list.

And in the words of Ron Silver, "this is the most anticipated award because whoever guesses the Documentary Short Oscar invariably goes on to win the pool."

FILM EDITING (1 point)
THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING (New Line)
John Gilbert


The idea here being that anyone who can handle that much film for one movie really deserves an Oscar.

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM (1 point)
AMÉLIE A UGC Images Production
France


It's the foreign film that everyone has heard of. Period.

MAKEUP (1 point)
THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RINGS (New Line)
Peter Owen and Richard Taylor


If it has creatures and it's nominated, it'll win.

ORIGINAL SCORE (1 point)
A.I. ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (Warner Bros.)
John Williams


Williams is the Academy's default setting, and it'd be like giving Kubrick a posthumous Oscar.

ORIGINAL SONG (1 point) (and can you remember ANY of these songs? I thought not)
"May It Be" from "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring"
(New Line)


I personally remembered (and liked) the song from "Monsters, Inc," but this award never goes to the funny song. It goes to the wispy song. I don't remember this song at all, but it was probably wispy.

Wispy.

Wispy.

Wispy.

ANIMATED SHORT FILM (1 point)
FOR THE BIRDS
A Pixar Animation Studios Production
Ralph Eggleston


Since this played in front of "Monsters, Inc.," most people have seen it.

Plus, it's Pixar, who the Academy loves, loves, LOOOOOVES.

And it kicks ass.

LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM (1 point)
COPY SHOP
A Virgil Widrich/Multimediaproduktions G.m.b.H. Production
Virgil Widrich


"Hey, I hear these kids worked in a Copy Shop just to fund this movie! Now, that's determination. Of course, I don't know that for sure, since I didn't see the movie and that's just a story in my head I made up, but that's the way I'm voting anyway."

SOUND (1 point)
THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING (New Line)
Christopher Boyes, Michael Semanick,
Gethin Creagh and Hammond Peek


This is the only category action movies ever win.

SOUND FX EDITING (1 point)
MONSTERS, INC. (Buena Vista)
George Watters II and Christopher Boyes


Hey, everybody! Who does the Academy love, love, LOOOOVE?

VISUAL EFFECTS (1 point)
THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING (New Line)
Jim Rygiel, Randall William Cook, Richard Taylor and Mark Stetson


Because if "Pearl Harbor" wins anything, Michael Bay will never shut the fuck up about it.

TIEBREAKER

For the tiebreaker question, I'm bringing back an old favorite: Of the ten women nominated for acting Oscars, which one will wear the most hideous outfit? (Correct answer to be determined by general consensus.)

Halle Berry

This is what we call a no-brainer.


If you liked me, you really, really, liked me, you'd click here.



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