Early Best Picture Predictions
It's that time of the year again...the time of year when studios unveil the best of the best...the movies deemed worty of vying for the attention of Oscar.
Many of these will turn out to be disappointmens, many will be resounding successes. But no other time of year compares to this for me...this is my football season - the annual Academy Award Gold Derby - and the ceremony itself is my Super Bowl.
Each weekend from here till January is packed with films I can't wait to see, while smaller, art-house films are expanded each week.
Who will be nominated for the Big One this year? Who will be crowned Best Picture of 2006? Will voters get it right, or will Hollywood politics win the day?
Much ballyhoo is being made about Dreamgirls right now as being the Oscar front-runner. Here's the problem...no one has seen it yet. The Phantom of the Opera was touted as a frontrunner two years ago, as was Rent and The Producers last year. And let us not forget that before anyone had seen it, Alexander was the one to beat in 2004 (HA!). So it's still up in the air.
There is some controversy about whether or not Clint Eastwood's Flags of Our Fathers will make it into the top five. I honestly can't imagine how it couldn't. If Academy memebers can't recognize the greatest film of the 21st century so far, then it's gone to the dogs. If ever there was a movie deserving of Oscar, it's this one. Mystic River and Million Dollar Baby made it in, and they don't hold a candle to Flags. And the Academy LOVES World War II. This one will make it four for Clint.
So as of today, October 31, 2006, here are my current predictions for Best Picture nominations (which will probably change as we get closer to Ballot time):
It's the year's big ensemble piece. There's always one.
How can they ignore this one? It will be the lone blockbuster of the pack.
FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS
Clint Eastwood + WWII = Oscar gold.
THE GOOD GERMAN
The wild-card slot. Steven Soderbergh and George Clooney are a killer combination, and the black and white photography will add class (a la Good Night, and Good Luck, and Schindler's List). The fact that they're setting themselves up with that poster to be compared to Casablanca means they may have something great on their hands. But no one has seen it yet so...this could very well go another way. Volver, Little Children, and Dreamgirls are also distinct possibilities.
This one will be the requisite "art house" entry. It's just too highly praised and too well-liked to ignore.