It’s the beginning of November and that of course means the beginning of the Oscar watch. Oscar campaigns are more important than the movies themselves. Strategists agree that the single best exposure is through a mention on this blog. So I URGE all studios to send me DVD’s of any film you feel should be under consideration. And SHORTBUS. I’m curious but not enough to pay to see it.
The LA TIMES has already begun handicapping these contenders…even though many of them have yet to be released. So I might as weigh in too, considering I have no more credibility than they do. And a couple of these movies I've actually seen.
BABEL – Brad Pitt may finally get that Oscar he deserved for TROY. Older voters might be put off by its violence and lack of musical numbers.
BLOOD DIAMOND – Leonardo DiCaprio, action, and a political message. But may be too entertaining. Voters can’t have that.
BOBBY – Studio marketing checked first and determined Bobby is the favorite of the Kennedy brothers among voters so the movie was greenlit. Lots of stars to add to the prestige like Harry Belafonte, Heather Graham, Demi Moore, Lindsay Lohan, and Sharon Stone. There’s concern that they’ll cancel each other out for Best Supporting noms.
CATCH A FIRE -- According to the LA TIMES – “voters like real struggles against Third World oppression.” Maybe that’s why JACKASS TWO has been genrally overlooked.
THE DEPARTED – Scorsese's not taking any chances. His next film is about real struggles against Third World oppression. Not sure Martin deserves it for this. Seems his single directing note throughout was: “Jack, bigger!!”
DREAMGIRLS – Musical starring Beyonce. Voters have been assured there’s no hip-hop. Billed at RAY meets CHICAGO. But it could be THE BODYGUARD meets THE PRODUCERS.
FLAGS OF OUR FATHER – No one’s going to see it and Clint won last time. Will get nominations because voters like America but no shot.
THE GOOD GERMAN – Usually academy members like movies about bad Germans. But it's got George Clooney and voters approve of his acceptance speeches so don't count him out.
THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND – Forest Whittaker is so convincing as Idi Amin voters may be afraid of him. Should not only win the Oscar but they should throw in an Emmy for his work on THE SHIELD.
LITTLE CHILDREN – Kate Winslett gets a nom for sure and Jack Earle Haley as the creepy pedophile will get a Best Supporting nod or at least join the cast of PRISON BREAK.
LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE – A well-written intelligent comedy that was a boxoffice sleeper hit? Why even bother? Same movie but set in Afghanistan and now you're talking tuxedos.
THE PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS – Feels like Will Smith’s desperate attempt at an Oscar. Sorry, Will. You shoulda played Idi. Maybe there's a Sam Cooke bio script out there for you for next year.
THE QUEEN – Helen Mirren is the new Judi Densch.
RUNNING WITH SCISSORS – Possible nominations only to fill out categories. Tepid reviews and boxoffice. However, voters may reward director Ryan Murphy (NIP/TUCK) for not having the Carver included in this movie.
VENUS – Peter O’Toole is Oscar’s Susan Lucci. Younger voters may say “who is Peter O’Toole”? Older voters may say, "Jesus, do I look that old, too?"
WORLD TRADE CENTER – Academy members hate Oliver Stone. Or maybe it’s just me.
And my guess is the movie I will like more than any other this year is none of these. It’s BORAT.