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Oscars 2006

Gold Standard

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

JANUARY 23, 2007: This is the list of Oscar nominations, accompanied by my personal vote, were I given one as of this morning. I also listed a few "unfairly overlooked" items, off the top of my head. I will get to my predictions soonish, as well as filling in the blanks of a couple of leftover films I didn't see.

As for comments, I was pleasantly surprised to see both Pan's Labyrinth and Children of Men -- both of which I liked -- get more nominations that I expected, with six and three, respectively. I was also pleasantly surprised to see Dreamgirls -- which I didn't like -- get fewer nominations than I expected. (It leads the pack with eight nods, but three of those are in Best Song.) Four of the five Best Picture nominees are actually good films, which is an unusual development. And a couple of my dark horse favorites wound up with nominations, Marie Antoinette for Costume Design and The Black Dahlia for Cinematography. (Art School Confidential and Inland Empire came away with nothing.)

I was also very happy to see the animated short The Little Matchgirl, released on Disney's The Little Mermaid DVD, get a nomination. It's a heartbreakingly lovely little film, and I'm rooting for it very strongly.

The Oscars will be announced February 25th. More later...

FEBRUARY 25, 2007: Some happy wins and some disappointments, but more good choices than not. Two of the year's best films, The Departed and Pan's Labyrinth led the night, with 4 awards and 3 awards, respectively, though Pan's Labyrinth lost the Best Foreign Film award to the more award-friendly The Lives of Others (a film no one will ever remember or ever want to see again). The overrated Dreamgirls took two awards, and five years from now people will wonder why, just as they did with Roberto Benigni. As for silver linings, the wonderful Happy Feet beat out the more conventional Cars and Sofia Coppola's under-appreciated Marie Antoinette picked up a surprise award for Costume Design. Even Clint Eastwood's Letters from Iwo Jima picked up a single Oscar for Sound Editing. But the most important pair of awards went to An Inconvenient Truth. Let's hope they inspire even more people to see it and to take its warnings to heart. As for my predictions, I got a lousy ten right, which has to be my worst year ever. Just wait till next year...

Nominees Jeff's Take
Best Picture
  • Babel
  • The Departed
  • Letters from Iwo Jima
  • Little Miss Sunshine
  • The Queen
  • The Winner: The Departed
    My Prediction: Little Miss Sunshine
    My Vote: The Departed
    Unfairly Overlooked: Children of Men; Inland Empire
    Best Director
  • Clint Eastwood, Letters from Iwo Jima
  • Stephen Frears, The Queen
  • Paul Greengrass, United 93
  • Alejandro González Iñárritu, Babel
  • Martin Scorsese, The Departed
  • The Winner: Martin Scorsese
    My Prediction: Martin Scorsese
    My Vote: Martin Scorsese
    Unfairly Overlooked: Guillermo Del Toro, Pan's Labyrinth; Alfonso Cuarón, Children of Men; David Lynch, Inland Empire
    Best Actor
  • Leonardo DiCaprio, Blood Diamond
  • Ryan Gosling, Half Nelson
  • Peter O'Toole, Venus
  • Will Smith, The Pursuit of Happyness
  • Forest Whitaker, The Last King of Scotland
  • The Winner: Forest Whitaker
    My Prediction: Forest Whitaker
    My Vote: Peter O'Toole
    Unfairly Overlooked: Clive Owen, Children of Men; Denzel Washington, Inside Man
    Best Actress
  • Penélope Cruz, Volver
  • Judi Dench, Notes on a Scandal
  • Helen Mirren, The Queen
  • Meryl Streep, The Devil Wears Prada
  • Kate Winslet, Little Children
  • The Winner: Helen Mirren
    My Prediction: Helen Mirren
    My Vote: Meryl Streep
    Unfairly Overlooked: Lee Yeong-ae, Lady Vengeance; Laura Dern, Inland Empire
    Best Supporting Actor
  • Alan Arkin, Little Miss Sunshine
  • Jackie Earle Haley, Little Children
  • Djimon Hounsou, Blood Diamond
  • Eddie Murphy, Dreamgirls
  • Mark Wahlberg, The Departed
  • The Winner: Alan Arkin
    My Prediction: Djimon Hounsou
    My Vote: Alan Arkin
    Unfairly Overlooked: Jim Broadbent, Art School Confidential; Bill Nighy, Notes on a Scandal; John Hurt, The Proposition
    Best Supporting Actress
  • Adriana Barraza, Babel
  • Cate Blanchett, Notes on a Scandal
  • Abigail Breslin, Little Miss Sunshine
  • Jennifer Hudson, Dreamgirls
  • Rinko Kikuchi, Babel
  • The Winner: Jennifer Hudson
    My Prediction: Jennifer Hudson
    My Vote: Abigail Breslin
    Unfairly Overlooked: Sandra Bullock, Infamous; Meryl Streep, A Prairie Home Companion; Robin Tunney, Hollywoodland; Jodie Foster, Inside Man; Gillian Anderson, The Last King of Scotland
    Foreign Language Film
  • After the Wedding (Denmark)
  • Days of Glory (Algeria)
  • Pan's Labyrinth (Mexico)
  • The Lives of Others (Germany)
  • Water (Canada)
  • The Winner: The Lives of Others
    My Prediction: The Lives of Others
    My Vote: Pan's Labyrinth
    Unfairly Overlooked: Three Times, The Death of Mr. Lazarescu, Lady Vengeance
    Adapted Screenplay
  • Sacha Baron Cohen/Todd Phillips, et al, Borat
  • Alfonso Cuarón/Timothy Sexton, et al, Children of Men
  • William Monahan, The Departed
  • Todd Field/Tom Perrotta, Little Children
  • Patrick Marber, Notes on a Scandal
  • The Winner: The Departed
    My Prediction: The Departed
    My Vote: Children of Men
    Unfairly Overlooked: Daniel Clowes/Terry Zwigoff, Art School Confidential
    Original Screenplay
  • Guillermo Arriaga, Babel
  • Iris Yamashita, Paul Haggis, Letters from Iwo Jima
  • Michael Arndt, Little Miss Sunshine
  • Guillermo Del Toro, Pan's Labyrinth
  • Peter Morgan, The Queen
  • The Winner: Little Miss Sunshine
    My Prediction: The Queen
    My Vote: Pan's Labyrinth
    Unfairly Overlooked: Rian Johnson, Brick
    Animated Feature Film
  • Cars
  • Happy Feet
  • Monster House
  • The Winner: Happy Feet
    My Prediction: Cars
    My Vote: Happy Feet
    Unfairly Overlooked: A Scanner Darkly
    Cinematography
  • Vilmos Zsigmond, The Black Dahlia
  • Emmanuel Lubezki, Children of Men
  • Dick Pope, The Illusionist
  • Guillermo Navarro, Pan's Labyrinth
  • Wally Pfister, The Prestige
  • The Winner: Guillermo Navarro, Pan's Labyrinth
    My Prediction: Emmanuel Lubezki, Children of Men
    My Vote: Emmanuel Lubezki, Children of Men
    Unfairly Overlooked: Pin Bing Lee, Three Times; Lance Acord, Marie Antoinette
    Art Direction
  • Dreamgirls
  • The Good Shepherd
  • Pan's Labyrinth
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
  • The Prestige
  • The Winner: Pan's Labyrinth
    My Prediction: Dreamgirls
    My Vote: Pan's Labyrinth
    Unfairly Overlooked: Marie Antoinette, The Fountain
    Sound Mixing
  • Apocalypto
  • Blood Diamond
  • Dreamgirls
  • Flags of Our Fathers
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
  • The Winner: Dreamgirls
    My Prediction: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
    My Vote: Flags of Our Fathers
    Unfairly Overlooked: Inland Empire
    Sound Editing
  • Apocalypto
  • Blood Diamond
  • Flags of Our Fathers
  • Letters from Iwo Jima
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
  • The Winner: Letters from Iwo Jima
    My Prediction: Letters from Iwo Jima
    My Vote: Letters from Iwo Jima
    Unfairly Overlooked: Inland Empire
    Original Score
  • Gustavo Santaolalla, Babel
  • Thomas Newman, The Good German
  • Philip Glass, Notes on a Scandal
  • Javier Navarrete, Pan's Labyrinth
  • Alexandre Desplat, The Queen
  • The Winner: Babel
    My Prediction: The Queen
    My Vote: none
    Unfairly Overlooked: Alexandre Desplat, The Painted Veil
    Original Song
  • "I Need to Wake Up" from An Inconvenient Truth, Melissa Etheridge
  • "Listen" from Dreamgirls, Henry Krieger, Scott Cutler, Anne Preven
  • "Love You I Do" from Dreamgirls, Henry Krieger, Siedah Garrett
  • "Our Town" from Cars, Randy Newman
  • "Patience" from Dreamgirls, Henry Krieger, Willie Reale
  • The Winner: "I Need to Wake Up," Melissa Etheridge
    My Prediction: none
    My Vote: none
    Unfairly Overlooked: "Put Your Records On" from Venus, Corinne Bailey Rae
    Costume
  • Curse of the Golden Flower
  • The Devil Wears Prada
  • Dreamgirls
  • Marie Antoinette
  • The Queen
  • The Winner: Marie Antoinette
    My Prediction: Dreamgirls
    My Vote: Marie Antoinette
    Unfairly Overlooked: Three Times
    Documentary Feature
  • Deliver Us from Evil
  • An Inconvenient Truth
  • Iraq in Fragments
  • Jesus Camp
  • My Country, My Country
  • The Winner: An Inconvenient Truth
    My Prediction: An Inconvenient Truth
    My Vote: An Inconvenient Truth
    Unfairly Overlooked: 49 Up, Romantico
    Documentary Short
  • The Blood of Yingzhou District (Ruby Yang)
  • Recycled Life
  • Rehearsing a Dream
  • Two Hands
  • The Winner: The Blood of Yingzhou District
    My Prediction: n/a
    My Vote: n/a
    Unfairly Overlooked: n/a
    Film Editing
  • Babel
  • Blood Diamond
  • Children of Men
  • The Departed
  • United 93
  • The Winner: The Departed
    My Prediction: United 93
    My Vote: Children of Men
    Unfairly Overlooked: Inside Man, The Fountain
    Makeup
  • Apocalypto
  • Click
  • Pan's Labyrinth
  • The Winner: Pan's Labyrinth
    My Prediction: Pan's Labyrinth
    My Vote: Pan's Labyrinth
    Unfairly Overlooked: Find Me Guilty
    Animated Short
  • The Danish Poet
  • Lifted
  • The Little Matchgirl
  • Maestro
  • No Time for Nuts
  • The Winner: The Danish Poet
    My Prediction: n/a
    My Vote: The Little Matchgirl
    Unfairly Overlooked: n/a
    Live Action Short
  • Binta and the Great Idea
  • Éramos pocos
  • Helmer & Son
  • The Saviour
  • West Bank Story
  • The Winner: West Bank Story
    My Prediction: n/a
    My Vote: n/a
    Unfairly Overlooked: A Perfect Place, Peter's Price, Whitebread and Goatman
    Visual Effects
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
  • Poseidon
  • Superman Returns
  • The Winner: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
    My Prediction: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
    My Vote: Superman Returns
    Unfairly Overlooked: The Prestige, The Fountain

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