I made some predictions for the Academy Awards nominations on the Friday before the nominees were announced. How did I do? Not too bad, but I would have done a lot better if Dreamgirls hadn’t gotten snubbed in two big categories. I predicted a Best Picture and Best Actress nomination and neither happened. Big shock.
On the other hand I nailed Best Director, getting all five right, including Paul Greengrass for United 93. I also picked that movie for Best Picture because I figured at least one of the 9/11 themed movies was a lock. Neither United 93 nor World Trade Center took controversial approaches to the subject and both were quite effective and well made movies and we all know how Oscar loves to award subject matter even when execution sucks; when subject matter is honorable and the execution is well done as in those two cases, I mean come on. Instead, for some bizarre reason I will never understand, Little Miss Sunshine got a nod. Why is this film considered Oscar-worthy? For a comedy it’s not that funny and as an indictment of the exploitation of little girls it doesn’t hold a candle to Donnie Darko, a film that treated the subject in a subplot. For crying out, Little Miss Sunshine is a movie that spends almost two hours leading up to its “climax” on the subject and Donnie Darko sparkle dances rings around it in just a few scenes.
I’m also proud of my correct choice of Jackie Earle Haley for Little Children; he could easily have been overlooked. When you take into consideration that I went out on a limb with my picks for Maggie Gyllenhaal for Best Actress and Shareeka Epps for Best Supporting Actress and then consider that I got Leonard DiCaprio right but for the wrong movie for Best Actor, I really didn’t do terribly bad. Still, I can’t help but feel nobody was screwed over more than me for the Dreamgirls snubs. Well, I guess maybe the produces and Beyonce Knowles, but after them, I think I have the biggest right to complain. I also made the mistake of thinking that the staid Academy would give in to public pressure and reward Sascha Baron Cohen with a Best Actor nomination; instead, he gets nominated for…Best Screenplay? Um, wasn’t most of Borat made up on the spot? What’s with the Best Screenplay nomination? Oh, yeah, the Academy doesn’t have the balls to give him a Best Actor nomination so we’ll give him a carrot in the form of a nomination that most people don’t even care about.
Ah well, I feel vindicated at least for getting Paul Greengrass and Jackie Earle Haley right. If I had been a betting man I think I could have made enough to pay for a new refrigerator at least by putting money on Greengrass. All in all, not too shabby considering the surprises, tweaks and my own real longshot predictions.
Oh, and just in case you were wondering, no, I’m not the Timothy Sexton nominated for Best Screenplay. Different initials, don’t you know.