Tonight, theAcademyofMotion Picture Artsand Sciences will hand out the Academy Awards tonight, and, like everyone else, I have an opinion, damn it. This year's nominations are a little easier to predict, quite frankly, because the poll of films is so diluted by garbage. I mean, "Crash" is nominated for something like four or five Oscars, including Best Picture. In any other year, it would barely make it onto critics' top 10 lists, let alone get nominated for that many awards. This is also the first year is something like 21 years in which the Best Picture nominees correlate with the Best Director nominees. That makes things a little easier, as well.
Ultimately, this can make for a very predictable awards show -- or one that is totally devoid of common sense. For months, all we've heard is how "BrokebackMountain" will win the Best Picture Oscar. But over the last week or so, "Crash" has been getting quite the push. How this is possible is beyond me, but it highlights the nonsense that this awards show is. Yes, it might be the most reputable of all the major awards shows, but the Academy rarely gets things right the first time -- Russell Crowe should have won Best Actor for "The Insider," however he was beat by Kevin Spacey in "American Beauty" only to win the following year for "Gladiator," a film that was fun but in which Crowe didn't light up the screen.
So who knows. Anyone that says that they know all the answers is a liar -- unless, of course, they work for the accounting firm that tallies the votes. But for what it's worth, here are my predictions for what will win tonight. No justification is needed for most (simply look back at my best films of 2005 list for that), but a few cases need some explanation.
Best Picture What Will Win: Brokeback Mountain What Should Win:Munich
Best Actor Who Will Win: Philip Seymour Hoffman Who Should Win: Philip Seymour Hoffman
Best Actress Who Will: Reese Witherspoon Who Should: Reese Witherspoon
Best Supporting Actor Who Will: George Clooney Who Should: George Clooney
Best Supporting Actress Who Will: Rachel Weisz Who Should: Catherine Keener
While I think Catherine Keener could get this award in recognition for her amazing work thus far, a kind of de facto Lifetime Achievement Award, and she would certainly deserve it for her heartbreaking, nuanced portrayal of Harper Lee, Rachel Weisz is likely going to win thanks to her Golden Globes win.
Best Director Who Will: Ang Lee Who Should: Steven Spielberg
Steven Spielberg should win simply for the growth he displayed in "Munich," but he won't. It would be amazing, though, if George Clooney won this award; he certainly deserves it more than Paul Haggis.
Best Original Screenplay Who Will: Crash Who Should: Match Point
This is one of those awards given to movies that won't win anything else. Because "Crash" is nominated for some big awards -- and won't win any of them -- the Academy will feel obligated to give it something. Matt Dillon would be a better recipient of an award (for Best Supporting Actor) than Haggis and co-writer Bobby Moresco -- especially given how poor this screenplay is in comparison to the other nominees. But Dillon won't win, and this will -- although the acerbic, black-as-night script for "Match Point," written by the usually-hilarious Woody Allen, should take the honor.
Best Adapted Screenplay Who Will: Brokeback Mountain Who Should: Capote
Best Animated Film What Will: Wallace & Gromit in the Curse of the Were-Rabbit What Should: Corpse Bride
Best Cinematography Who Will: Brokeback Mountain Who Should: Good Night, and Good Luck
Best Editing Who Will: Munich Who Should:Munich
Best Original Score Who Will: John Williams, Munich Who Should: Williams,Munich
Best Art Direction: Pride & Prejudice Best Costume Design: Memoirs of a Geisha Best Original Song: Dolly Parton, "Travelin' Thru" Best Makeup: Narnia Best Sound: War of the Worlds Best Sound Editing: War of the Worlds Best Visual Effects: King Kong Best Foreign Language Film: Paradise Now Best Documentary, Feature: March of the Penguins Best Documentary, Short: God Sleeps in Rwanda Best Short Film, Animated: Badgered Best Short Film, Live Action: Six Shooter