Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Early Oscar buzz

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.


Anonymous said...

I f**king despise Forest Whittaker's role on The Shield, but that's what makes him so damn good, and I really do respect his acting abilities. I'd like to see him get the Oscar.

Anonymous said...

Is it that time again?

So.."Borat" - did 'irony' ever work for the Oscars, particularly played out as "ironic-anti-semitic-character- who-over-time-will-reveal-something- more-about-us- (...)"

Brad Pitt will never win an Oscar. Cloony was too recent, and that was token.

Bobby is an ensemble, too mixed up for people to nominate, even if Sharon Stone is being namechecked now. And no film with Lindsay Lohan gets Oscars (Mr. Altman).

Scorcese is more than worthy, but The Departed doesn't reflect his best editing (overblown, long) like Jack's performance, and the best thing is a minor role by Mark Wahlberg because he shifts up a level and manages it. Win for editing or cinematography etc..

I think Forrest Whittaker and Helen Mirren would be the right choices if one looks at ACTING, but can you really give the Best Actor/Actress Oscars for two roles both portraying foreign heads of state? Doesn't seem probable.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Levine (and whomever else may read this):

This is my first time ever reading this blog. I found it by wasting a good deal of time, and it turns out its pretty terrific. I have nothing to say about possible Oscar nominations (as it looks like I'll be shut out once again), but I did want to add a few questions/comments.

1. Your comment about Jeff Weaver was all too apt. Being a New York Mets fan, that was a night that resulted in a wicked hang-over. Maybe Guiermo Mota has something I could take for that.

2. Your Aaron Sorkin parody was laugh-out-loud funny.

3. Apparently trying to break into TV writing at this time in history is like trying to get ESPN to acknowledge the suspicions regarding Barry Bonds, but could you still maybe blog about that one day.

4. There are nine gazillion blogs. I bookmarked this one, but who the hell is reading all of these?!

Thank you for your writings.

Anonymous said...

Month-or-so time reader, first time typer....

Love the blog, fwd'd your List Of Shit To Keep In Mind At The Polls Next Tuesday.

Found this on youtube today. Thought you'd like it if you liked the show Sledge Hammer!

Anonymous said...

Why, Mr. Levine...

You almost seem...cynical about the orgy of self-celebration that is the award ceremony of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

But come on...what's with the "sciences?" Are these people really engaged in science of any type?

And experimental drug use doesn't count.

Guy Barry said...

Yes let Forest Whitaker get an oscar

Anonymous said...

I can't wait for BORAT. I haven't been this excited to watch something since Ian Ziering meet Tori Spelling on Celebrity Jeopardy!

Anonymous said...

Hey Ken,

This is off topic but have you seen this site? These two girls are very funny and very bitchy. It seems like something that might appeal to your twisted soul.

BTW, I too am REALLY looking forward to Borat.

Anonymous said...

I flatly refuse to see Borat for the same reason I couldn't bring myself to care about Ali G: Sacha Baron Cohen just seems so annoying.

Anonymous said...

Also, I like sitting in a tub of mud in the evenings listening to opera records played on 78 speed on the ol' close-n-play. Brother what a time! Borax can't hold my candle!

Scott Stambler said...

okay. none of these films really got to me. i'm going to mention 2 films that will both get nominated - but next year. I've seen them both, in the early, very early edits.

We Own The Night - James Gray

The Kingdom - Peter Berg

if these are any indication of films returing to high quality - or just me getting very lucky - i don't know. But I would be willing to bet the house on both of these.

my god the word verification is the entire alphabet.

Anonymous said...

If United 93 doesn't get a nomination, I'm all done with the Academy. Just as I've sworn off the Emmy clowns for stiffing Ian McShane and Forest Whittaker ...

Anonymous said...

The second comment attributed to "dhppy" is not mine. Mine would be a lot funnier.

Anonymous said...

Flags of our Fathers has got Oscar written all over it. Best cinematography, director, supporting actor. Clint did win last time but he deserves to win again on the strength of this film. But hey the 'best' film always wins at the Academy Awards right?