Friday, February 23, 2007

Academy Awards Eve

Happy Academy Awards Eve, everyone!

While I know technically, it's Academy Awards Day in the U.S., it is Academy Awards Eve here in the U.K. since the show does not begin until 1 a.m. (Monday morning).

As those who know me well will attest, I love the Academy Awards. I don't know why, but it may have something to do with the fact that I share a name with a woman who won Best Supporting Actress in 1981 for "Reds." Alas, she got to go the awards and wear a frock, but I did not. Maybe someday.

My love for the Academy Awards is deep and pure. My love is so pure that owing to time zone differences, I stay up all night long so I can watch them. My love is so pure hat for the past three years, I special ordered Sky Movies so that I can watch them.

This year, I will be joined on my sofa with my friend Anne. It'll be a sleepover!! Or, actually, an Oscar-over, since we won't be going to bed until the bitter end. (Please, God, give some of the winners the guidance that they don't feel compelled to thank every person they've ever met. Many, many acceptance speeches along the lines of Joe Pesci's, "Thank you. I'm very honored," would be appreciated.)

I plan to blog live, if Anne doesn't mind. In fact, she is witty and clever, so I imagine many of her quips will be included in this year's coverage. It's a two-for-one special at MarathonMum this year! So please join us.

To get in the spirit of things, here is a list of my predicted winners, and who I would give the Oscar to if given the power. It's been a very good year for Oscar viewing, as I've seen four out of five Best Picture nominees.

Best Picture: They say it's a battle between "Little Miss Sunshine" and "The Departed." I think "The Departed" might take it, if only because everybody likes Marty Scorsese and they feel he deserves after so many years, and so many pictures, having not won one. I really liked "The Departed", but I didn't absolutely love it. But that's just me. "Little Miss Sunshine" was my favourite picture last year, so if I was in charge, it would win. It's a fantastic, quirky film that really captures the insanity and love of families. If you haven't seen it, go.

Best Director: Martin Scorsese, for the same reasons as given above. Lots of times, it seems the Academy gives awards to people they feel they've slighted in the past, [See Judi Dench winning in 1999 for 48 seconds in "Shakespeare in Love" when she should have won for "Mrs. Brown" the year before when Helen Hunt won for "As Good As It Gets."] and it would be case of this again. It's about time.

Best Actress: To the delight of Essex girls everywhere, Helen Mirren will win for "The Queen." [Editor's note: Essex girls are London's equivalent of Jersey girls.] But personally, I thought Judi Dench was better in "Notes on a Scandal." But she's won before, and Helen has not, so it'll go to Helen.

Best Actor: It's a battle between the oft-nominated but never victorious Peter O'Toole in "Venus" and Forest Whitaker in "The Last King of Scotland." I like Peter O'Toole and all, but if he wins, it'll just be an honorary Oscar. To be fair, I haven't seen Venus, but I doubt it could be as good as "The Last King of Scotland." Forest Whitaker should most definitely win because he is phenomenal. He is also one of those actors who's just good in everything (See: Morgan Freeman, Catherine Keenar, Philip Seymour Hoffman.)

Best Supporting Actress: It should be said up front that the Best Supporting categories are ALWAYS the wild card (See Marisa Tomei winning for (ahem) "My Cousin Vinnie") or the consolation prize (See George Clooney winning this rather than Best Director last year).

Oh. Give me a minute. I'm imagining myself winning the Best Supporting Actress this year so that way George Clooney will hand me Oscar and THEN give me a smooch. Sigh.

OK. I'm back. I'm going out on a limb here and I'm going to say that Jennifer Hudson isn't going to win, even though everyone thinks she will. I think the Academy still feels incredibly guilty that Cate Blanchett didn't win for "Elizabeth" (instead giving it to Gwenyth Paltrow) so they'll give it to her. Even though she's won since then for "The Aviator."

Best Supporting Actor: This is a toughie. I'd like to see Alan Arkin win for "Little Miss Sunshine." As this is always a wild-card winner, that would make sense, but it could just as well go to any of the other four. It would be an interesting moment in history to have a New Kid on the Block win an Oscar, so maybe Mark Wahlberg will take it (I hope he remembers to wear a belt). I'm going to go with Alan Arkin.

Best Animated Feature: Sadly, this is the category with which I could speak with the most authority for the past few years. I much as I love Pixar and "Cars," as does everyone else in my family, I think "Happy Feet" is going to win. However, both Thing One and Thing Two think that "Cars" will win it, so someone in the house is going to be right.

See you all in a few hours. I will be wearing my most fabulous frock, or at the very least, my most comfortable sweats.

Please check in regularly if you're watching the Oscars too.

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