Oscar Predictions 2005

Let's face it, most of you are complete suckers. Both na�ve and experienced Oscar-watchers tend to think silly thoughts like "anybody has a chance to win" or "the best performance will take the night." This is, of course, dumber than an Everclear enema. Oscar voters are about as unbiased as lobbyists. The sad thing is, they barely understand the motivations for their votes themselves, but here are a few items of critical importance:

1. Whether a nominee has won before
2. Whether a nominee has ever been nominated before
3. Whether the nominee played a person with a physical challenge
4. How close the nominee is to being dead

Keeping these points in mind, Mr. Cranky will now correctly predict the major categories of the Oscars.

BEST PICTURE - The Aviator

Martin Scorsese might get screwed again if "Million Dollar Baby" is viewed as significantly less annoying than "The Aviator," but it's not. Savvy Oscar voters will notice that Eastwood's tearjerker (spoiler warning) essentially turns into "Whose Life is it Anyway?" Also, the anti-euthanasia crowd has come out just in time to give the movie some bad press. Martin Scorsese has never had a movie win Best Picture and Eastwood has, though Eastwood might not be alive that much longer and it's possible the Academy will feel sorry for him because he's old, but I doubt it.

BEST DIRECTOR - Martin Scorsese

See above (some publications are predicting the infrequent Best Picture/Director split this year. If it happens, which is unlikely, it'll be Eastwood's picture getting the big award and Scorsese getting this one.)

BEST ACTOR - Jamie Foxx for "Ray"

None of the characters played by Don Cheadle, Johnny Depp or Clint Eastwood has a disability, so those actors won't win. The only actor with an outside chance to beat Foxx is Leonardo DiCaprio, but nobody really believes that Howard Hughes being anal-compulsive was a greater impediment to his success than blindness was for Ray Charles.

BEST ACTRESS - Hilary Swank for "Million Dollar Baby"

The question is how sorry the Academy will feel for Annette Bening. This is her third nomination with no wins. This is Hilary Swank's second nomination and a chance to go two-for-two. Unfortunately for Bening, it was harder for Swank to play a boxer than for Bening to play an obnoxious actress. Way harder. Also, Swank played a character with a physical challenge and nobody saw "Being Julia." The Academy really likes to have somebody to torture, so you can be sure that if Swank wins, Scorsese will finally take home his Oscar because that will make Bening Oscar's new whipping girl.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR - Morgan Freeman for "Million Dollar Baby"

This is Freeman's fourth nomination and he's never won. Plus, he's old. The only person with a shot to win this category other than Freeman is Thomas Haden Church for "Sideways," but since this is his first nomination, Academy voters will consider it a fluke. Plus, Church appeared very briefly in "Monkeybone," which makes you ineligible to ever win an Oscar.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS - Cate Blanchett for "The Aviator"

Many predictions pick Natalie Portman, but as a first-time nominee, it's not going to happen. Another favorite is Virginia Madsen for "Sideways," but she's also a first-time nominee and nobody likes her brother, Michael. It comes down to a race between Linney and Cate Blanchett. Nobody saw "Kinsey" and many Academy voters recall that the real Katherine Hepburn just died, so Blanchett gets the "almost dead" points, albeit in a twisted sort of way.

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM - "The Incredibles"

This is just a stupid category. There aren't enough credible nominees to make it interesting and the only reason it exists is to acknowledge how much money these films make. If they are going to have this category, they might as well also separate out the best acting categories into "handicapped" and "non-handicapped" roles. It would be more fair that way.

BEST WRITING (ADAPTED SCREENPLAY) - "Sideways"

This category has become a sympathy category and almost always goes to the movie that people thought should have won "Best Picture." Logically, this award should go to "Million Dollar Baby" since it's either first or second in "Best Picture," but it'll end up going to "Sideways" because it's the film most people regret not voting for as "Best Picture."

BEST WRITING (ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY) - "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind"

If everyone is saying that "The Aviator" is the better film, then it's also the better screenplay, but that's not the way the Academy works. This award acknowledges creativity but also tends to go to films that Academy voters didn't understand or deemed too weird to get a "Best Picture" award. Plus, Charlie Kaufman gets all sorts of sympathy votes because everyone likes to say what a great writer he is, yet he hasn't won an Oscar. So, the Academy will just give him one.

BEST MUSIC (SONG) - Fuck if I know

This is one of the first years I don't remember one song from any movie, not that I want to or anything, but you know, after "Titanic" you remembered the music. So, if somebody had some balls, they'd just get on stage and say what I'm saying: "We didn't really have any catchy tunes this year so we're taking a pass." However, I suspect we'll see "The Phantom of the Opera" win by default. People will just mark it down because they think it must have been catchy even though they don't remember shit about it and every Andrew Lloyd Webber song sounds like every other one.

BEST MUSIC (SCORE) - "Finding Neverland"

This movie was the most over-the-top sappy, thanks in large part to the annoying habit of manipulating the audience with the music. Ergo, it will win.


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