Getafilm is not the place to come for your awards coverage, but that doesn't mean I'm not obsessed with the Oscar ceremony, which I watch with the reverence of a monk. I don't watch it to celebrate the celebrities and the winners, but to commemorate the last year in film, which of course corresponds in many ways to the last year in my life.
Anyway, I don't cover the awards here, but there are many people who do, namely at Awards Daily, Cinematic Passions, Fataculture, From the Front Row, Inside the Gold, Living in Cinema and Strange Culture. And of course the Carpetbagger, In Contention, and The Envelope. Those are the spots where I'll be checking in over the next few months.
But in the meantime, and in the spirit of the loud buzz that is emanating from Hollywood since Thanksgiving, I have some general Oscar theories that I consider each year:
1.) A one word title is a significant advantage in the Best Picture race.
Since 2000, three Best Picture winners have had one word titles: Gladiator, Chicago, and Crash. Additional nominees since then include Chocolat, Seabiscuit, Ray, Capote, Juno, and more:
Considering this, keep an eye this year on Che, Changeling, Ballast, Doubt, Milk, Valkyrie, Hunger, and Australia. I'll also add these: WALL-E, Frost/Nixon, Happy-Go-Lucky, and W. They may not technically be one word, but close enough, right?
2.) The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) loves Clint Eastwood - like LOVES him.
Dig this: in three out of the last five years, Eastwood has been nominated for both Best Director and Best Picture. Both awards, three times since 2003! He even pulled a Best Actor nomination during that stretch, for Million Dollar Baby in 2004.
What does that mean this year? Gran Torino has to be considered a dark horse, if not a front-runner, for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actor. Barring some public relations disaster in the next two months, I could literally see it winning all three of those. Eastwood knows exactly how to play Oscar politics. He knows when and how to release his films, and he's treated like a king in Hollywood. Never count him out.
3.) Kate Winslet has to win an Oscar at some point...right?
The woman is one of the greatest actresses of her generation, having been nominated for Best Actress or Best Supporting Actress five times in the last twelve years. She just turned 33 years old. Are you kidding me?
This year, she is the only A-lister to have two possible Best Picture nominations in the race: The Reader, and Revolutionary Road, the more likely favorite that reteams her with Leonardo DiCaprio, 10 years removed from their career-making work in Titanic.
It's possible that she'll be nominated against herself for work in both of these movies, and if she still loses - wow.
Hmm, I thought I had some more but I can't remember them now. This is really the first time I've started to seriously consider next year's winners, so maybe they'll come back to me as the race kicks into high gear.
Do you have any annual Oscar theories?