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Oscars 2005

Gold Standard

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

MARCH 5: In one of the worst years ever, the Oscars yielded a four-way tie, with four films winning three awards each. Crash caused a huge surprise upset by winning Best Picture in a year in which all bets were on Brokeback Mountain. Crash also took Best Original Screenplay and Best Editing, while Brokeback Mountain won Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Director (Ang Lee) and Best Score.

King Kong and Memoirs of a Geisha each captured three awards as well. King Kong was awarded for Sound Mixing, Sound Editing and Visual Effects, while Memoirs of a Geisha snagged Costume Design, Cinematography and Art Direction/Set Decoration.

Other unexpected upsets came in the Best Song category in which the much anticipated "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp" (from Hustle & Flow) beat out favorite Dolly Parton (from Transamerica). And though Paradise Now and Sophie Scholl dominated the Foreign Language Film category, the awful Tsotsi surprisingly won.

In the major categories, Philip Seymour Hoffman carried the one lone stamp of quality by winning Best Actor for the excellent Capote. Reese Witherspoon won for an outstanding performance in a mediocre film, Walk the Line. George Clooney and Rachel Weisz won Best Supporting Actor and Actress, respectively, for two very bad films, Syriana and The Constant Gardener.

The Best Animated Feature Film category was the best on the ballot, with three very good films competing for the award. Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit won.

In a year when Grizzly Man enchanted every critic, it was disqualified for the Best Documentary Oscar. The winner, predictably, was the banal and popular March of the Penguins.

The big hit The Chronicles of Narnia won Best Makeup. In the three short film categories, A Note of Triumph: The Golden Age of Norman Corwin won Best Documentary Short, Six Shooter won Best Live Action Short, and The Moon and the Son won Best Animated Short.

2006 looks pretty grim by comparison, but we can still hope...

One high point: Robert Altman getting an honorary Oscar. He enters the realm populated by Hitchcock, Hawks and other greats with no Oscar wins. He's a favorite of mine, and he's made quite a few damn good films, and a few great ones. I was honored to shake his hand once.

JANUARY 31: The nominations yielded no surprises; we have the usual batch of too few good movies, too many mediocre movies and several glaring omissions.

I made my predictions in the heat of the moment on Tuesday morning, and some of them are subject to change in the coming week. The Oscars will be broadcast on Sunday, Sunday, March 5, 2006.

Please also see current interviews with the nominees:

As well as past interviews with other current nominees:

Nominees Jeff's Take
Best Picture
  • Brokeback Mountain
  • Capote
  • Crash
  • Good Night, and Good Luck
  • Munich
  • The Winner: Crash
    My Prediction: Brokeback Mountain
    My Vote: Good Night, and Good Luck
    Unfairly Overlooked: A History of Violence
    Best Director
  • George Clooney, Good Night, and Good Luck
  • Paul Haggis, Crash
  • Ang Lee, Brokeback Mountain
  • Bennett Miller, Capote
  • Steven Spielberg, Munich
  • The Winner: Ang Lee
    My Prediction: Ang Lee
    My Vote: George Clooney
    Unfairly Overlooked: David Cronenberg, A History of Violence; Terrence Malick, The New World
    Best Actor
  • Philip Seymour Hoffman, Capote
  • Terrence Howard, Hustle & Flow
  • Heath Ledger, Brokeback Mountain
  • Joaquin Phoenix, Walk the Line
  • David Strathairn, Good Night, and Good Luck
  • The Winner: Philip Seymour Hoffman
    My Prediction: Philip Seymour Hoffman
    My Vote: Philip Seymour Hoffman
    Unfairly Overlooked: Bill Murray, Broken Flowers
    Best Actress
  • Judi Dench, Mrs. Henderson Presents
  • Felicity Huffman, Transamerica
  • Keira Knightley, Pride & Prejudice
  • Charlize Theron, North Country
  • Reese Witherspoon, Walk the Line
  • The Winner: Reese Witherspoon
    My Prediction: Reese Witherspoon
    My Vote: Reese Witherspoon
    Unfairly Overlooked: Radha Mitchell, Melinda and Melinda
    Best Supporting Actor
  • George Clooney, Syriana
  • Matt Dillon, Crash
  • Paul Giamatti, Cinderella Man
  • Jake Gyllenhaal, Brokeback Mountain
  • William Hurt, A History of Violence
  • The Winner: George Clooney
    My Prediction: Paul Giamatti
    My Vote: William Hurt
    Unfairly Overlooked: Jeffrey Wright, Broken Flowers & Frank Langella, Good Night, and Good Luck
    Best Supporting Actress
  • Amy Adams, Junebug
  • Catherine Keener, Capote
  • Frances McDormand, North Country
  • Rachel Weisz, The Constant Gardener
  • Michelle Williams, Brokeback Mountain
  • The Winner: Rachel Weisz
    My Prediction: Rachel Weisz
    My Vote: Amy Adams
    Unfairly Overlooked: Sandra Bullock, Crash; Scarlett Johansson, Match Point
    Foreign Language Film
  • Don't Tell (La Bestia nel cuore) (Italy)
  • Joyeux Noël (France)
  • Paradise Now (Palestine)
  • Sophie Scholl (Germany)
  • Tsotsi (South Africa)
  • The Winner: Tsotsi
    My Prediction: Paradise Now
    My Vote: Sophie Scholl
    Unfairly Overlooked: Saraband; 2046; The World
    Adapted Screenplay
  • Larry McMurtry, Diana Ossana, Brokeback Mountain
  • Dan Futterman, Capote
  • Jeffrey Caine, The Constant Gardener
  • Josh Olson, A History of Violence
  • Tony Kushner, Eric Roth, Munich
  • The Winner: Brokeback Mountain
    My Prediction: Brokeback Mountain
    My Vote: Capote
    Unfairly Overlooked: Liev Scrheiber, Everything Is Illuminated
    Original Screenplay
  • Paul Haggis, Robert Moresco, Crash
  • George Clooney, Grant Heslov, Good Night, and Good Luck
  • Woody Allen, Match Point
  • Noah Baumbach, The Squid and the Whale
  • Stephen Gaghan, Syriana
  • The Winner: Crash
    My Prediction: Crash
    My Vote: Good Night, and Good Luck
    Unfairly Overlooked: Jim Jarmusch, Broken Flowers; Miranda July, Me and You and Everyone We Know
    Animated Feature Film
  • Corpse Bride
  • Howl's Moving Castle
  • Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit
  • The Winner: Wallace & Gromit
    My Prediction: Wallace & Gromit
    My Vote: Corpse Bride
    Unfairly Overlooked: Pooh's Heffalump Movie
    Art Direction
  • Good Night, and Good Luck
  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
  • King Kong
  • Memoirs of a Geisha
  • Pride & Prejudice
  • The Winner: Memoirs of a Geisha
    My Prediction: Memoirs of a Geisha
    My Vote: King Kong
    Unfairly Overlooked: Sin City
    Cinematography
  • Wally Pfister, Batman Begins
  • Rodrigo Prieto, Brokeback Mountain
  • Robert Elswit, Good Night, and Good Luck
  • Dion Beebe, Memoirs of a Geisha
  • Emmanuel Lubezki, The New World
  • The Winner: Memoirs of a Geisha
    My Prediction: Brokeback Mountain
    My Vote: The New World
    Unfairly Overlooked: Christopher Doyle, Kwan Pun-leung and Lai Yiu-fai, 2046
    Sound Mixing
  • The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
  • King Kong
  • Memoirs of a Geisha
  • Walk the Line
  • War of the Worlds
  • The Winner: King Kong
    My Prediction: Walk the Line
    My Vote: King Kong
    Unfairly Overlooked: The New World
    Sound Editing
  • King Kong
  • Memoirs of a Geisha
  • War of the Worlds
  • The Winner: King Kong
    My Prediction: King Kong
    My Vote: King Kong
    Unfairly Overlooked: Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith
    Original Score
  • Gustavo Santaolalla, Brokeback Mountain
  • Alberto Iglesias, The Constant Gardener
  • John Williams, Memoirs of a Geisha
  • John Williams, Munich
  • Dario Marianelli, Pride & Prejudice
  • The Winner: Brokeback Mountain
    My Prediction: Brokeback Mountain
    My Vote: none
    Unfairly Overlooked: David Newman, Serenity; James Horner, The New World
    Original Song
  • "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp" from Hustle & Flow, Jordan Houston, Cedric Coleman, Paul Beauregard
  • "In the Deep" from Crash, Michael Becker, Kathleen York
  • "Travelin' Through" from Transamerica, Dolly Parton
  • The Winner: "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp"
    My Prediction: "Travelin' Through"
    My Vote: none
    Unfairly Overlooked: "I Like to Move It, Move It" from Madagascar, Sacha Baron Cohen, Erick Morillo
    Costume
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
  • Memoirs of a Geisha
  • Mrs. Henderson Presents
  • Pride & Prejudice
  • Walk the Line
  • The Winner: Memoirs of a Geisha
    My Prediction: Memoirs of a Geisha
    My Vote: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
    Unfairly Overlooked: 2046
    Documentary Feature
  • Darwin's Nightmare
  • Enron: the Smartest Guys in the Room
  • March of the Penguins
  • Murderball
  • Street Fight
  • The Winner: March of the Penguins
    My Prediction: March of the Penguins
    My Vote: Street Fight
    Unfairly Overlooked: Grizzly Man
    Documentary Short
  • God Sleeps in Rwanda
  • A Note of Triumph: The Golden Age of Norman Corwin
  • The Life of Kevin Carter
  • The Mushroom Club
  • The Winner: A Note of Triumph: The Golden Age of Norman Corwin
    My Prediction: n/a
    My Vote: n/a
    Unfairly Overlooked: n/a
    Film Editing
  • Cinderella Man
  • The Constant Gardener
  • Crash
  • Munich
  • Walk the Line
  • The Winner: Crash
    My Prediction: Crash
    My Vote: none
    Unfairly Overlooked: A History of Violence
    Makeup
  • The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
  • Cinderella Man
  • Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith
  • The Winner: The Chronicles of Narnia
    My Prediction: The Chronicles of Narnia
    My Vote: n/a
    Unfairly Overlooked: Sin City
    Animated Short
  • Badgered
  • The Moon and the Son
  • The Mysterious Geographic Explorations of Jasper Morello
  • 9
  • One Man Band
  • The Winner: The Moon and the Son
    My Prediction: n/a
    My Vote: n/a
    Unfairly Overlooked: n/a
    Live Action Short
  • Ausreißer
  • Cashback
  • Síðasti bærinn í dalnum
  • Our Time Is Up
  • Six Shooter
  • The Winner: Six Shooter
    My Prediction: n/a
    My Vote: n/a
    Unfairly Overlooked: n/a
    Visual Effects
  • The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
  • King Kong
  • War of the Worlds
  • The Winner: King Kong
    My Prediction: The Chronicles of Narnia
    My Vote: King Kong
    Unfairly Overlooked: Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith

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