Oscar Pick Generator v. 2.006

Alright folks, strap yourselves in for the most accurate analysis of the Oscars you'll find in the entire world. Okay, it's really not that good. I was 60% right on last years picks, but most of the ones I screwed up were the smaller technical awards. I did get 7 of the top 8 categories correct, with Cate Blanchett's win for The Aviator catching me off guard. Click here if you want to see all of last year's picks.

This year, I've seen all the nominees in every major category. I will not include Live Action Short Film, Animated Short, Foreign Language Film, or Documentary Short. For Documentary Feature, I've seen 3 of the 5 nominees, so I'll take a guess on that one. I'll post my picks for who will win, and who should win, but if you're betting, go with the will win. Here we go.

Costume Design

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Memoirs of a Geisha should win and will win
Mrs. Henderson Presents
Pride & Prejudice
Walk the Line

An easy one to start us off. Colleen Atwood's work on Memoirs was maybe the best part, and she will be rewarded as such. I did dig Charlie's costumes, but its too kiddie to win the big one.

Documentary Feature

Darwin's Nightmare
Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room
March of the Penguins will win
Murderball should win
Street Fight

A tough one to call, since I haven't seen the red ones. I think popularity will win out, and the Penguins will take it. Murderball affected me very deeply, and I feel it was one of the best movies of the year, I just don't think enough people saw it.


Batman Begins
Brokeback Mountain will win
Good Night, and Good Luck
Memoirs of a Geisha
The New World should win

These are all beautifully shot films, and I would not be surprised if any of them won. The New World was maybe a little slow, and maybe a little revisionist, but the scenery and shot selection was spectacular. Brokeback, however, is going to be the big winner this year, as you'll see if you read on, so I think it'll pick up this one.

Film Editing

Cinderella Man
The Constant Gardener should win
Crash will win
Walk the Line

I'll be the first to admit that I don't know much about editing, and what makes a film an editing nominee. Crash will win, I think, as it has a flashy way of cutting between the interwoven storylines, and voters will remember that. My heart has to go with Gardener, though, just because I'm still bitter that City of God didn't win any Oscars, and Meirielles deserves something for being cool.

Sound Mixing

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe should win
King Kong will win
Memoirs of a Geisha
Walk the Line
War of the Worlds

Again, I just want Narnia to win something, so this is their best shot. I don't think the Academy has forgotten their love affair with Peter Jackson, though, so Kong will take home a couple technical awards, this being the first.

Sound Editing

King Kong should win and will win
Memoirs of a Geisha
War of the Worlds

Kong again. I really did believe what I was hearing during the film, even though nothing really existed, so it is a worthy champion.

Animated Feature

Howl's Moving Castle
Tim Burton's Corpse Bride should win
Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit will win

This is the absolute hardest pick for me, since I loved all 3 of these films. Howl's is Miyazaki, whom I love, but it wasn't quite as good as previous winner Spirited Away. It's also lower profile. Corpse Bride is great, but Wallace & Gromit has broader appeal and more critical acclaim. It'll be close.

Original Song

"In The Deep," Crash
"It's Hard Out Here For a Pimp," Hustle & Flow
"Travelin' Thru," Transamerica should win and will win

Wow, I really don't care. I didn't particularly like any of these songs, so I'll guess Dolly Parton's "Travelin' Thru." I don't know why. I just want them to get Charlton Heston to be the presenter for this category, so I can hear him say "And the nominees are: "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp," Hustle & Flow." Imagine that in Heston's voice. Or Walken's.

Original Score

Brokeback Mountain, Gustavo Santaolalla will win
The Constant Gardener, Alberto Iglesias
Memoirs of a Geisha, John Williams should win
Munich, John Williams
Pride & Prejudice, Dario Marianelli

As simple as it is, Brokeback's score is instantly memorable, and haunting in an annoying sort of way. Geisha's music was much more interesting and complex, but voters have probably forgotten it by now. Besides, it's Brokeback.

Art Direction

Good Night, and Good Luck
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
King Kong should win
Memoirs of a Geisha will win
Pride & Prejudice

I'm terrible at picking this one, since The Aviator won last year, and I was taken by surprise. How is Charlie and the Chocolate Factory not nominated in this category? Anyway, barring an out-of-left-field shocker, this is a two horse race. I think Geisha will edge Kong, but by a nose.


The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe
Cinderella Man
Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith should win and will win

Another category where I wish Charlie was nominated, but oh well. Since its only nominated in this category, Sith will take this one. Even though I never really quite bought into disfigured Palpy or crispy Vader, it'll win.

Visual Effects

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe
King Kong should win and will win
War of the Worlds

While I love Narnia, and War of the Worlds was the good ol' Spielberg magic, Kong will easily take this one. The whole movie would have seemed ridiculous if Kong himself was not a 100% believable entity, but WETA Digital pulled it off. Maybe one day the Academy will give Andy Serkis an honorary Oscar for being the forerunner of digital acting.

Adapted Screenplay

Brokeback Mountain, Larry McMurtry & Dianna Ossana should win and will win
Capote, Dan Futterman
The Constant Gardener, Jeffrey Caine
A History of Violence, Josh Olson
Munich, Tony Kushner and Eric Roth

Brokeback's dialogue is iconic, lines will be quoted from it for years to come. Now, that does not necessarily a good screenplay make, but out of these nominees, I feel it was the best. A History of Violence was one of my favorite movies of the year, but I'll admit that the screenplay wasn't Oscar worthy.

Original Screenplay

Crash, Paul Haggis & Bobby Moresco will win
Good Night, and Good Luck, George Clooney & Grant Heslov
Match Point, Woody Allen
The Squid and the Whale, Noah Baumbach should win
Syriana, Stephen Gaghan

I loved Squid, but I know it won't win. It's too quirky, and after Eternal Sunshine's win last year, the voters will move in a different direction. I don't think Crash is as good a film as most everyone else does. It seemed to me like Haggis was trying too hard, attempting to be controversial, for controversy's sake, pushing buttons too hard. The voters will pick it, though, and overlook two superior scripts in Match Point and Squid.

Supporting Actress

Amy Adams, Junebug should win
Catherine Keener, Capote
Frances McDormand, North Country
Rachel Weisz, The Constant Gardener will win
Michelle Williams, Brokeback Mountain

Let's start by eliminating Keener and McDormand, as they have zero chance. Williams will get some of the Brokeback vote, but after her Golden Globe win, I believe Rachel Weisz has the inside track on this one. Plus, the Academy loves giving awards to pregant women, and she definitely qualifies. While I enjoyed her performance in Gardener, I would want to statue to go to Adams, who created an amazing character in Junebug. She brought so much energy and life into a role that could have easily been very grating in the wrong hands. Unfortunately, I just don't think enough voters will go for a relative unknown.

Supporting Actor

George Clooney, Syriana will win
Matt Dillon, Crash
Paul Giamatti, Cinderella Man should win
Jake Gyllenhaal, Brokeback Mountain
William Hurt, A History of Violence

Every year, the same thing happens. I expect Paul Giamatti to win, and he never does. I don't expect this year to be any different, mainly due to the Academy's lukewarm reception to Cinderella Man, and the fact that he's Paul Giamatti. I loved Hurt in A History of Violence, but he wasn't on screen enough. Ditto Matt Dillon, who I saw as basically a cog in Crash's ensemble machine. That leaves us with Clooney and Gyllenhaal, and while Brokeback is the popular choice, I think George will get the nod, maybe as a consolation prize for Good Night, and Good Luck's zero wins.


George Clooney, Good Night, and Good Luck
Paul Haggis, Crash
Ang Lee, Brokeback Mountain will win
Bennett Miller, Capote
Steven Spielberg, Munich should win

This one's tough for me. Ang Lee will win, but I'm not really sure who I want to win. In crazy Brent land, this list would look very different, with David Cronenberg, Woody Allen and Robert Rodriguez replacing Clooney, Haggis and Miller. But that's just me. I guess my vote goes to Spielberg, for making a very unique action-comedy-drama-revenge-thriller in Munich. Lee's direction of Brokeback obviously moved the film from indie curiousity to frontrunning blockbuster, but I didn't find myself emotionally involved in the story like I did with Munich.


Judi Dench, Mrs. Henderson Presents
Felicity Huffman, Transamerica should win
Keira Knightley, Pride & Prejudice
Charlize Theron, North Country
Reese Witherspoon, Walk the Line will win

Another category where we can elimate people right off the bat: Dench, Knightley and Theron will not win, period. Felicity Huffman's performance in Transamerica was so complex and point-perfect that I don't think I'll ever forget it. As an actress playing a man who is changing into a women, she basically does the acting equivalent of jumping the Snake River Canyon, and she lives to tell the tale. I do think she'll be passed over, though, by Witherspoon, and I guess I'm okay with that. I enjoyed Walk the Line immensely, and while both her and Joaquin Phoenix's performances were exceptional, I never quite forgot that they were actors, like I did with Jamie Foxx in Ray last year.


Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Capote should win and will win
Terrence Howard, Hustle & Flow
Heath Ledger, Brokeback Mountain
Joaquin Phoenix, Walk the Line
David Straithairn, Good Night, and Good Luck

Any other year, and Straitharn would be my pick. His portrayal of Edward R. Murrow was spot-on, and not just an imitation. Same for Phoenix and Howard, who both turned in great performances. This is again, though, a two-man race, and while it's not as assured as last year's Foxx win, I think Hoffman should start clearing a space on his mantle. Well deserved, too, for an actor that had kind of fallen through the cracks in Hollywood. I can't wait to see what he does in MI:3. Ledger is the other contender, and he was great, but not Oscar great. Hoffman was.

Best Picture

Brokeback Mountain will win
Capote should win
Good Night, and Good Luck

I've become accustomed to the fact that Brokeback is going to win. I accept that. The competition just isn't that strong. I picked Capote as my choice, just because that's the movie of these 5 that I enjoyed the most, but overall, it's still flawed. I'm not a rabid fan of any of these choices. If I could pick any movie, it would probably be A History of Violence or Jarhead. All that aside, I'll be very, very surprised if Brokeback doesn't win. I guess, though, as a barometer of film in 2005, it is a worthy winner. I don't think it was the end-all, be-all best movie ever, even if, as a nutty left-winger, I'm supposed to, but I didn't think Million Dollar Baby was all that great either (Mystic River was far superior.)

So that's it, those are my picks. If everything works the way I think it will, Brokeback will take home 5 Oscars, Kong will pick up 4, Memoirs of a Geisha and Crash will each win 2, and everything else will be scattered. Almost assuredly, though, I'm going to get some things wrong. Let just hope they're not things that make me want to throw a heavy object at my TV.

Happy watching!


Blogger Maxx said...

After reading through your choices and explanations, I'm just gonna use your answers for the Oscar contest they're gonna have here. Quite convincing. Oh and mark down "Six Shooter" to win live action short. At least it better.

8:19 PM  

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