No Surprises

That was probably the biggest story of Oscar night – no upsets. Lord of the Rings swept like a broom, and in some categories I felt it was carried by its own momentum rather than its merit. I loved the books and thoroughly enjoyed the films, which I admit was an insane undertaking, and should have been recognized earlier. Perhaps if it had, maybe some more deserving nominees (IMHO) might have won. As Agent Renegade has said, the Academy loves films that put a lot of people to work, and the trilogy spread the wealth to over 25,000 people. Well, I guess I’m a lot happier for it than I was for Titanic. Here’s my take on a few categories:

Note: My reference is the Academy’s own listing.

Actor in a leading role
Hard to argue against Penn. It was a fantastic performance, but I would have been happier to see Murray win. Every once in a while, someone is given an Oscar for a role, but the subtext is that it was for a body of work (see John Wayne). Often this snubs a more deserving or memorable performance, but I’m more likely to remember Murray’s performance than Penn’s. Full disclosure: Lost in Translation was my favorite film of the year.

Master and Commander was nice, but the camerawork of City of God just felt so innovative and fresh. I would have voted for City.

I can’t argue that directing one of the most epic trilogies in history, and commanding more than 25,000 people over 6 years, scares the living daylights out of me. I’ve been a lover of student and film for quite some time now, and my only guess as to how it’s done is: hire a ton of people who’ve already done this before. Then pray your butt off that nobody screws up too badly. So as great as the others were, this had to be the toughest job.

Documentary feature
The Fog of War the only one I saw, but it was so fascinating, informative, and just plain enjoyable, I can’t see that the others had much of a chance.

Documentary short subject
All I have to say is, I’ve never seen an Oscar winner look so unhappy and/or pissed off.

Film editing
At my house, there was no 5 second delay to bleep me out when I yelled “bullsh*t!” after hearing Lord of the Rings got it. Again, I just felt City of God was so wonderfully kinetic; it was one of the few films that you watched and actually thought, “What great editing!” However, I realize from watching the extended versions of the Rings films just how much they have to cut and sculpt the theatrical release, so I admit it is deserving of some recognition.

Foreign language film
I’m not exactly sure why City of God wasn’t nominated, but I am glad it received its other noms.

Best picture
Ok, no surprise, but if we’re going by pure enjoyment and story craftsmanship, I would not have been upset to have seen Lost in Translation get it.

Adapted Screenplay
Wow, some tough calls here! I don’t think any film would have garnered scorn if it had won.

Original Screenplay
Yes! The clear winner, this was easily my pick for most deserving win. And Sophia’s single now, maybe I’ve got a shot…

Hottest Babe
Ok, so this isn’t an official Academy category (yet – wait ’til I’m a member). But I would have loved to have been a presenter for this one, and not just for the $110,000 gift basket. But without further ado, the Oscar goes to…

Jennifer Garner! Every time she smiled and those dimples magically appeared, my heart just melted. *Sigh* My second choice would have to be Angelina Jolie, and her nippl-cious, bra-shunning wonderdress. Some more photos stolen from the Academy’s huge photo gallery:

Warning: These photos are almost disturbingly large. If these actresses weren’t so amazingly beautiful, they’d probably sue over the resolution.

Garner I
Garner II
Garner III

Jolie I
Jolie II