Preview: Oscars 2007

It’s that time of year again although, given the sheer number of awards already doled out — most of them to Helen Mirren — one wonders if the Oscars have lost some of their sheen. The BAFTAs certainly have ... not that they had much to begin with. But I digress. You don’t want to know what I think of awards ceremonies. You want to find out who’s going to win this year’s Oscars. Or, at least, find out my opinion as an ‘insider’ so that you can gloat when the Academy throw their usual curveballs. So I won’t do it. You can’t make me! Ha!

Ah. Right. You can’t. But, apparently the editor can, so here we go. Reputation on the line time. Call me a radical but I think that Helen Mirren is going to win the Best Actress prize. Despite my feeling that Mirren’s triumph is one of elocution and make-up rather than acting , it feels like every single voter in the world disagrees with me. Indeed, bookies have already paid out on her winning at odds of around 1-33 – ie, to make a quid, you have to bet 33. It is the biggest certainty in Oscar history. Best Actor is also seen as something of a shoe-in for Forest Whitaker in The Last King of Scotland. He is mesmerising, and far and away the best thing in an otherwise patchy film. However, the Academy does like a little sympathy vote every now and again — pretty much annually, now I come to think of it — and that’s why I wonder about Peter O’Toole’s chance. O’Toole — excellent in Venus — has been nominated seven times and never won. If he misses out again this year, that will be his eighth miss and make him the holder of the most unenviable record in motion pictures. So, while Whitaker is the favourite, there’s enough sentimentality towards O’Toole to cause an upset. I think Forest will edge it but it’s going to be close.

Best Picture is also very hard to call. Personally, on the basis I still find myself thinking about it several months on, I’d choose Babel but I can’t see it happening. It will probably be The Queen — vying for the title of year’s most overrated movie with the fun but derivative Little Miss Sunshine — but Letters From Iwo Jima is coming up fast on the outside and will, I suspect, nick it. Well, it has lots of things that Hollywood types like: its viewpoint of the war from the Japanese perspective makes it a safe, politically correct choice; and it’s a chance to give Clint Eastwood another pat on the back. Particularly as this time he won’t win Best Director.

Best Director — in a combination of sympathy and substance — will surely go to Martin Scorsese, the best director to have never won an Academy Award. If there is an upset, and I can’t see it happening, then Paul Greengrass might sneak in and get the statue. His United 93 is a triumphant piece of work, and the lack of recognisable faces means that it is very much the director’s vision. If the Academy decides to reward on true merit, Greengrass will win. But they won’t, so Martin will finally get his hands on the big prize.

And finally, a quick nod to the Best Supporting awards. Supporting Actor will either be Alan Arkin for Little Miss Sunshine or Eddie Murphy for Dreamgirls. It should go to Mark Wahlberg for The Departed but, neck on the line time ... Murphy gets it. And his co-star Jennifer Hudson will take the Best Supporting Actress prize even though Babel’s Rinko Kikuchi deserves it more. So. To recap — and so you can gloat over the errors later — I’m going for:

Best Film Letters From Iwo Jima
Best Actress Helen Mirren
Best Actor Forest Whitaker
Best Director Martin Scorsese
Best Supporting Actor Eddie Murphy
Best Supporting Actress Jennifer Hudson


Stuart O'Connor picks:

Best Film
Letters From Iwo Jima
Best Actress Helen Mirren
Best Actor Forest Whitaker
Best Director Martin Scorsese
Best Supporting Actor Alan Arkin
Best Supporting Actress Cate Blanchett
Best Original Screenplay The Queen
Best Adapted Screenplay Notes on a Scandal
Best Documentary An Inconvenient Truth

 

Jordan Brown picks:
Best Film
The Departed
Best Actress Helen Mirren
Best Actor Forest Whitaker
Best Director Martin Scorsese
Best Supporting Actor Eddie Murphy
Best Supporting Actress Rinko Kikuchi
Best Original Screenplay Little Miss Sunshine
Best Adapted Screenplay The Departed
Best Documentary An Inconvenient Trut
Best Animated Feature Monster House
Best Foreign Language Film Pan's Labyrinth

Stuart O'Connor is the Managing Editor of Screenjabber, the movie review website he co-founded with Neil Davey far too many years ago. He likes all genres, as long as the film is good (although he does enjoy the occasional bad "guilty pleasure"), and drinks way too much coffee.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please tick the box to prove you're a human and help us stop spam.

Comments

No one has commented on this page yet.

RSS feed for comments on this page | RSS feed for all comments