Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Goodbye 2005

Whether it be Harvey Weinstein and all the corporate bigwigs who saw box-office plummet, the film lovers who saw such a large amount of underwhelming flicks, or the mass of Brokeback fans that saw their film pipped at the final hurdle, I don't think anybody will be particularly devastated to see the back of the cinematic year that was, 2005.

Indeed, there really is very little to take out of this year. Perhaps the emergence of young talent such as Cillian Murphy and Rachel McAdams. Perhaps the return to form of the legendary Woody Allen. Perhaps the vast quality of the year's actors. Perhaps. Perhaps. Perhaps.

It's been clear for a while that 2005 was not your usual year. After all, this is a year where, a picture without a Globe or a SAG nomination can manage a Best Picture nod. A year where a film released in Early May with virtually no precursor wins whatsoever can walk away with the biggest prize in cinema. For all the mild interest in seeing who would grab the last two tight Picture spots, nearly every awarding body agreed on the winner except the one that mattered.

I think though, the main thing to learn from 2005: Timing is everything. Last year's Million Dollar Baby similarly stole in, though perhaps not as surprisingly, to grab the big prize from The Aviator. Although I am not the film's greatest fan (an understatement if ever there was one), I remember at the time saying that MDB was a very admirable pick for Best Picture, given that it showed that they voted with their hearts rather than anything else. I now retract every single bit of admiration. The decision to award Crash is safe, conservative, shallow, and is thoroughly down to the last two months of media hype, trying to create competition for the seemingly invincible Brokeback Mountain. Had BBM had even the remotest amount of competiton, and not have been in such an unasailable lead, it would be Best Picture Winner 2005. Nobody likes a frontrunner -- especially when it's a gay cowboy movie.

As for the acting, well that is similarly boring. Does it take more than one Oscar bait/Overdue/Raved about/Biopic/Popular nominee in the same category to make the Oscar race close? Is it such a stretch for people in Hollywood, or anywhere else for that matter, to disagree? Debate is healthy. I actually like the four acting winners, something very alien to me. But it doesn't stop 2 of the 4 being the favourites since November. I sincerely hope that next year, we can have a decent race in at least one of the leading categories. The last 3 years have been too predictable.

As the Oscars are over for another year, I will be making beginning of year predictions at the end of the week (and the race starts here -- yay) . But first, the good, the bad, and the downright TERRIBLE of Oscar's Awards, Moments, and Fashion.

  • Reese Witherspoon winning a thoroughly deserved (and six years overdue) Best Actress win. I got a very last-gasp attack of nerves that Felicity Huffman might take it. In retrospect it was just paranoia, but I was so overjoyed. Well done Reese.
  • Ang Lee winning Best Director - I may have killed myself if he had lost. He doesn't have a bad word to say about anybody. God bless him.
  • The host Jon Stewart. I suspect he's too liberal to bring back but I loved him.
  • Meryl Streep and Lily Tomlin presenting Altman's Oscar. Better acting than most of the Actress nominees.
  • 'It's Hard Out Here For a Pimp' winning Best Song. It was by far the best. Great choice.
  • The Actress Ads. Charlize's one was so accurate.

The BAD:

  • Obviously, 'Crash' winning Best Picture. I've said enough about that. I actually don't mind it winning screenplay. Bizzarely, it's my 2nd fave of the nominees. Just not Oscar worthy.
  • The montages of films. What on earth is the point?
  • The music playing while speeches are delivered. Totally and utterly disrespectful.
  • Lack of tears. More people should have cried.

Fashion Winners:

  • Keira Knightley (as ever). Wonderfully complimentary dress. Divine colour. Smoky eyes. Perfect.
  • Salma Hayek. Stunningly fiery. Hot. Hot. Hot.
  • Jennifer Aniston. Brad who?

Fashion Losers:

  • Michelle Williams. Awful awful awful mustard coloured dress.
  • Charlize Theron. What the....?
  • Naomi Watts. Too puffy.

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