Oscar Mayer Winners
by Rusty W. Spell

For the record, I don't really care about the Academy Awards (don't watch them, don't think they mean anything, etc.), but this is a media site and I do have some things to say about the movies in question, so I'll give a little run-down of some of the major awards: picks, predictions, and general discussion. Eat popcorn while reading.

Okay, and in red I'm writing comments about my comments now that the Oscars are given out. I normally don't do this sort of thing.

Best Documentary

Errol Morris's The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons in the Life of Robert S. McNamara is what deserves to win (hell, it should be up for Best Picture), but Andrew Jarecki's Capturing the Friedmans will probably win, which is fine since it's good enough--even if it's just a Morris rip-off.

After actually seeing Capturing the Friedmans, I was really hoping it wouldn't win because the more I thought about the movie, the more I was annoyed by it. I still don't think it's a bad movie, but it's got some really annoying things about it. At any rate, it was great to see my hero Errol Morris accepting his award. I'm happy for him.

Best Animated Feature Film of the Year

Les Triplettes de Belleville should win just because it's different. Brother Bear was thrown in because there wasn't much else. Finding Nemo will win. There.

Of course I was right.

Best Achievement in Visual Effects

The Return of the King will win. The only other possibility is that Master and Commander will win because the Academy will reason, "Well, King and Pirates of the Carribean both did the same skeleton-ghost effect; I guess this ship movie was the only one being different." They think dumb thoughts like that sometimes.

Of course I was right.

Best Achievement in Sound Editing / Best Achievement in Sound

Master and Commander will win in sound editing. The Return of the King will win in sound. Don't ask me how these things work.

Of course I was right, even if I still don't want you to ask me how these things work.

Best Original Song

"A Kiss at the End of the Rainbow" from A Mighty Wind should win, but it won't because no one will take it seriously. It will either be Sting's stupid Cold Mountain song or -- in a surprise victory -- "Les Triplettes of Belleville."

Hey, look--the winner was nowhere in my discussion. I'm happy: the Annie Lennox song is pretty (though I'm even more of a sucker of "The Road Goes Ever On" from the first movie).

Best Original Score

Howard Shore should and probably will win for The Return of the King.

Of course I was right.

Best Achievement in Art Direction / Costume Design / Makeup

I know the viewers of the award show are always chompin' at the bits to see who will win these. It will be Girl with a Pearl Earring, Girl with a Pearl Earring, and Pirates of the Carribean, respectively.

Okay, so they gave all these to Lord of the Rings. I believe the Academy just decided to give whatever they could to Lord of the Rings to make up for lost time.

Best Achievement in Cinematography / Editing

Girl with a Pearl Earring and The Return of the King. Possibly Seabiscuit for the hell of it.

Wrong about Girl, right about King.

Best Screenplay

American Splendor will surprisingly beat out The Return of the King (the entire trilogy deserving to win this award for besting Tolkien himself) for best screenplay based on previous material, at which point Peter Jackson and Tolkien fans will turn off their TVs and pout. The best original screenplay will be rightfully given to Sofia Coppola for Lost in Translation.

I hadn't seen American Splendor when I said this, or I'd have realized how average it was (not that that's stopped anyone before). Happy for the Jackson crew again. Happy for Sofia, who I was right about.

Best Performance by an Actor / Actress

Are we still making these gender distinctions? What are we, in Kindergarten? Sean Penn (worthy enough) will beat Bill Murray (worthy, but too funny), Johnny Depp (too piratey), Ben Kingsley (too good), and Jude Law (too handsome). Charlize Theron will win best actress because no one expected she could play an ugly murdering lesbian; she will beat Keisha Castle-Hughes (too "who's that?"), Diane Keaton (too old), Samantha Morton (too see Castle-Hughes), and Naomi Watts (too "You already had your break with The Ring"). As always, no one cares about supporting actors and actresses, so I too will skip those.

Of course I was right. And I really do believe I was right for these reasons: Bill Murray was too funny to be taken seriously and Charlize Theron "proved" she could act by turning ugly. Shouldn't this Monster movie have won best makeup for that reason?

Best Director

No one can pronounce Fernando Meirelles' name, so he won't win. Peter Weir has no friends, so he won't win. The Academy is still too scared to give Peter Jackson his genius credit (my pick, but I'm biased), so he won't win. They already gave the screenplay award to Sofia Coppola, so she won't win. So Clint Eastwood it is. I guess he's feelin' lucky, punk.

I was happily wrong about my prediction. Jackson rulz.

Best Motion Picture of the Year

Try to say Seabiscuit without laughing. Sorry, horsey. If they hadn't decided to call the movie Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, it would have had a better chance at winning (thought it still wouldn't have) and it would have made more money since people wouldn't be embarrased to ask for a ticket. Ship go sinkey. Mystic River gave Clint Eastwood his butt-hole award, so that's all they gotta do there. Go do a Riverdance, why don't you? The Return of the King? We're sorry, but it just scares people. One day Peter Jackson will get his "Best Trilogy of All Time" Acadamy recognition or something like that, but until then... go back to your Hobbit hole. So Lost in Translation wins and everyone breathes a sigh of relieved apathy. Everything is normal in the world.

Well, I really underestimated the whole thing. I didn't think people would "look past the trolls and elves" as Jackson said when he accepted the trophy. Every category they were nominated in. Wow. "Wow" meaning, "Wow, if you care about Oscars to begin with."

So the final tally (out of 17):
Number of correct predictions: 9
Number of Rusty's favorites that won: 12.

I'd rather be happy than correct.

My Favorite Movies of the Year

The usual suspects are already here: The Return of the King, Lost in Translation, and The Fog of War. What's missing? Um, anyone remember Kill Bill: Vol. 1? Well, I do, and if anything's going to beat out that ring movie in my mind, it's this. I guess no one appreciates a beautiful gal in yellow cartoonily-yet-touchingly spewing fake blood all over the floor. Maybe Vol. 2.


So that's it. Oscars suck, but even a jerk like me feels the need to talk about them at least a little. I've done my community service for the mediaworld. I guess I'll go check that Razzies site now and see what favorite movies of mine they're picking on this year.

Bonus Reading: Horrible/Disappointing Movies of 2003

That I've Seen:

  • Bruce Almighty -- Please stop Jim Carey from making un-funny preaching movies.
  • House of 1,000 Corpses -- Worst movie of the year, ladies and gentlemen!
  • Intolerable Cruelty -- Was this really a Coen Brother movie? Oh my, how sad.
  • Once Upon a Time In Mexico -- Someone stop Rodriguez.
  • Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over -- Someone really stop him. I'm not sure this actually qualifies as a movie.

That I Haven't Seen But Know Were Horrible:

  • The Cat in the Hat -- The Grinch 2, and sequels are always worse (belie' dat).
  • The Guys -- More 9-11 crappy crap crap.
  • In the Cut -- Okay, we get it: Meg Ryan wants to jump the cute actress ship before it's too late.
  • The Matrix: Reloaded -- What's worse than this?
  • The Matrix: Revolutions -- This.
  • Spun -- Some eleven-year-old thinks this stuff is far-out.

Copyright 2 Feb 2004 / 1 Mar 2004 We Like Media.
You may email Rusty W. Spell.