Makin’ Moonshine

Makin’ Moonshine

The Oscars in 200 words

by Ben Kolton

It has certainly been an interesting year for nominations especially for the six big awards Picture, Actor, Actress, Supporting male and female, Screenplay Original and Adapted Screenplay. Here are my thoughts on what or who will take the statue and who rightfully deserves it.

Best Picture Nominees:
The Departed
Letters from Iwo Jima
Little Miss Sunshine
The Queen

This is one of the hardest set of nominations to decide on because it seems for the kind of year it has been that there is an even chance of any of them winning. Now that is how it should be with every year but some years there are a clear and concise winner. This year my choice for the best picture winner is The Departed.

The Reasons: Scorsese has been directing for over forty years and has seen four nominations for picture this being his fifth honor and it seems that Hollywood may finally come around to its good sense and realize that Scorsese deserves the award as a director and not for being anti Hollywood. The Upset: Anything that could really topple Scorsese’s parade is the extremely moving tale of diversity that is Babel. This was a very well received film and also won the golden globe for Best picture in a drama so it has a fair chance at winning.

Best Actor Nominees:
Leonardo DiCaprio for Blood Diamond
Ryan Gosling for Half Nelson
Peter O’Toole for Venus
Will Smith for The Pursuit of Happiness
Forrest Whitaker for Last King of Scotland

It seems for the past couple of years the academy has been recognizing leading actors for playing true to life people. You have had Ray Capote and this year it is my belief that the Oscar will go to Forrest Whitaker for Last King of Scotland.

The Reasons: Besides sweeping every leading acting category award Whitaker is a very well received actor in Hollywood and is well liked in Hollywood. The bulk of his career has been mostly supporting roles and now he has gotten the role of a lifetime. The Upset: If anyone is to stop him it will most likely be Peter O’Toole for his moving performance in Venus. The reason he would upset him is that he has been nominated several times but has never won.

Best Actress Nominees:
Penélope Cruz for Volver
Judi Dench for Notes on a Scandal
Helen Mirren for The Queen
Meryl Streep for The Devil Wears Prada
Kate Winslet for Little Children

The leading Actress is a lot harder to choose then the leading Actor except for some years where the choice is just obvious. This year it is a no contest with Helen Mirren leading the pack with her sure to win portrayal as Queen Elizabeth during one of the darkest times in the Monarchy.

The Reasons: Mirren has not lost a single award that she has been nominated for yet this year also she has shown her ability to act in a number of roles including playing the first Queen Elizabeth of England. Mirren though having some decent competition in the category there isn’t another performance that has been as highly praised as Mirren’s. The Upset: Though it may be a surprise to who would upset Mirren I would think the most likely person to upset her would be Meryl Streep. Though the performance is not her best Hollywood is in love with Streep and she is well liked by the people who vote on the Oscars.

Best Director Nominees:
Clint Eastwood for Letters from Iwo Jima
Stephen Frears for The Queen
Paul Greengrass for United 93
Alejandro González Iñárritu for Babel
Martin Scorsese for The Departed

It seems that the nominees have been mostly for a select number of movies that circle around the five Best Pictures. This year the one nomination in direction that is not following the trend of the others is Paul Greengrass for United 93. The winner for my money is going to be Martin Scorsese for The Departed.

The Reasons: Martin Scorsese has been nominated for five Oscars in the field of directing and this will be his sixth nomination and what I think his first win. Even though Scorsese has be, en doing the gangster picture for the last forty years he is clearly the best of the best to make them. His track record includes Mean Streets, Who’s that Knocking at My Door?, Goodfellas, Gangs of New York and The Departed. The Upset: If anyone would be a likely knock over it might be Green grass or Frears. Both have been recognized as master directors in the films they have done and this may be there year to shine.

Whoever or whichever picture it is that wins tune into the awards on February 25th and be sure to take a look at All my choices for the awards.