Friday, February 23, 2007

The Oscars! 2007


As some of you may already know, we here at Stevereads have an uncanny knack for Oscar-predictions that is legendary. Since this is the first time the ceremony has come around in the short, happy life of this site, we thought we'd deviate just a bit from our usual fare long enough to predict Sunday night's winners and losers for all of you. Call it a variation on Stevesees. So without further ado, here's the 2007 version of Stevereads Annual Infallible Oscar Picks!

Best Supporting Actress: Well, since 'who gives a fuck' isn't in the running this year, we're going to pass blithely over the fourteen young women nominated for 'Babel' and pick Cate Blanchett for 'Notes on a Scandal.'

Best Supporting Actor: The Academy must already be feeling a bit of morning-after remorse for ignoring 'Dreamgirls' for Best Picture, and we here at Stevereads predict that this will manifest itself here, with the Oscar going not to the heavily-favored Mark Wahlberg but instead to none other than Eddie Murphy.

Best Actress: Rumors are deafening about a Judi Dench surge-from-behind upset in this category, and one hesitates to call anything a lock-solid certainty (except that half the nation's crtics have been calling half the categories lock-solid certainties for weeks), but nevertheless: Helen Mirren can't possibly lose.

Best Actor: Although it's HUGELY gratifying to see Ryan Gosling get nominated, and although Forest Whitaker would seem to fit the mold that usually wins the category (scenery-chewing bombast masquerading as good acting), we here at Stevereads predict the Oscar will go to Peter O'Toole. Not only was his performance the actual best of those nominated (something our old friend Locke has always maintained is immaterial), but denying him the Oscar would be the equivalent of clubbing a baby harp seal to death on live TV. Whitaker can wait another year - only the most coked-up Vegas bookies would say the same about O'Toole.

Best Director: We predict that Martin Scorsese will continue his Susan Lucci-style losing streak, and that instead of HIS stupid, manipulative movie getting him the Oscar, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's stupid, manipulative movie 'Babel' will win HIM the Oscar.

Best Picture: Well, it all comes down to this, doesn't it? Bloated, stupid 'Babel,' bloated, stupid 'The Departed,' bloated, moving 'Letters from Iwo Jima,' smart, utterly absorbing 'The Queen,' or 'Little Miss Sunshine,' which has GOT to be in here as some sort of fraternity prank.

Leaving out the 'Little Miss Sunshine' aberration, that leaves four big movies, each with a host of handicapping pros and cons. For reasons that defy human understanding, 'Babel' is currently favored to win. This is impossible - surely the Academy is still deeply shamed for having given Best Picture to 'Crash' ... they're not going to turn around and give the award to a movie in every way identical to that one. 'The Departed' was awful, but the Academy might favor it as a sop for ignoring Scorsese for director yet again. 'Letters from Iwo Jima' has Greatest Generation mojo. But in the end, we here at Stevereads have to believe the Academy will go with 'The Queen' ... it's the best-acted, best-written, and best-directed of the movies under considertion. Surely once in a while that's got to count for something.

So, to recap:

Best Supporting Actress: Cate Blanchett
Best Supporting Actor: Eddie Murphy
Best Actress: Helen Mirren
Best Actor: Peter O'Toole
Best Director: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu
Best Picture: 'The Queen.'

So now you-all know who the winners will be. But still, you should probably watch the awards ceremony anyway: some of the speeches will certainly be worthwhile, and there are always the outlandish dresses to ogle. And you'll be able to impress your friends at whatever Oscar party you attend, since you'll know all the winners beforehand.

All part of the service here at Stevereads.

25 comments:

brian said...

Steve,

I agree with you that Helen Mirren is a lock for best actress.

However, I think that the american idol girl is going to win supporting actress.

I also disagree that Mark Wahlberg is heavily favored. Clearly Eddie Murhpy is the favorite, and yet, Wahlberg will somehow pull out the victory.

Again, I agree that Peter O'toole deserves the oscar (as he has many times before), but that Whitaker will win it for his one note (albeit, it's a brilliant note) performance. Plus, when O'toole got his honorary oscar that pretty much excluded him from ever winning the real thing. Sorry.

I COMPLETELY disagree with you on best director. I'm sorry, but 'The Departed' is wildly entertaining. It's not manipulative. It's certainly not stupid! It's the only movie out of his last three (including 'The Aviator' and 'Gangs of New York') that he didn't make to simply win the oscar. It's not the best movie of the year, but, in my opinion, it's the best directed movie of the year (other than the inexplicably non-nomimated 'Children of Men').

So, we come down to the movie I haven't seen yet, the one I'm planning on watching tonight. Ok, I haven't seen 'Letters...' or 'The Queen' either. Babel. Somehow, This is going to win Best Picture even though my heart lies with 'The Departed'.

I agree that 'Little Miss Sunshine' being nominated is sort of a joke, but still, it had a lot of heart. It's not weighty by any means (nor is 'The Departed'), but does the Best Picture really have to have weight? I mean, didn't 'Crash' win last year?

Gianni said...

Legendary. Right. That's one way of wording it.

Little Miss Sunshine was a fantastic movie, and DESERVED it's nomination, unlike "Letters". Although Eastwood is labeled the director, co-producer Spielberg's grubby little fingers are all over this cliche-ridden mess. There are great acting performances, especially from lead Ken Watanabe, but one must wonder how much better a film this would have been if it had been made by a Japanese crew. Sunshine, however, was a smart, sassy, unpredictable and completely hilarious movie, and it would have been a crime for it NOT to be nominated, although I agree that Queen will almost certainly take home the top prize. The academy just doesn't appreciate comedies much.

Still, you realize you've jinxed both Eddie Murphy AND Peter O'Toole, right?

steve said...

OK, first: this 'Brian' person must not grasp the meaning of the word 'infallible' .... we weren't offering up our picks as ONE POSSIBLE version of how things might break .... we were TELLING the rest of you what's GOING to happen ... geez....

steve said...

And: OK, Giovanni, I don't know what (obviously Italian) weed you're ingesting, but a) only an Irish bog-trotter would believe in 'jinxes' and b) 'Little Miss Sunshine' was a crappy movie, not one wit better than footage I could upload to Youtube of my fat, gassy, stupid basset hound.

If I HAD a fat, gassy, stupid basset hound, that is - instead of the two statuesque German Shepherds I currently possess, both of whom have completed Master Class Sudoku ....

Gianni said...

Are you sure you even saw Little Miss Sunshine? Because I'm not sure we're talking about the same movie here. I'll admit, I wasn't sure what I was getting into when I went to the theater, but it's a funny, sweet movie with great acting from Toni Collette, Steve Carell, Alan Arkin and your "American Idol" Abigail Breslin. Anyone who watches the scene where the family pushes the van down the road and doesn't burst out laughing is one of those humorlous Irish bog-trotters you were so fond of mentioning before.

Sam Sacks said...

Steve, you couldn't upload a movie to YouTube if you were offered part ownership of YouTube for managing to do so.

And while I agree that "The Queen" is a great movie and deserving of awards, there is NO CHANCE "Letters from Iwo Jima" won't win best picture: Academy members have already been conditioned to vote on reflex for Clint Eastwood, the movie's got the WWII mojo you mention, it's a classic example of Spielbergian "realism," and most of all, it's perfectly politically correct, big-heartedly multicultural in the way America fancies itself (or else yearns) to be. It would beat "Citizen Kane".

Gianni said...

Really? Letters from Iwo Jima? Uh... no chance. Despite your arguments, I just can't see the WWII mojo going for it. The Greatest Generation mention Steve made? That would be accurate, if the Greatest Generation applied at all to the Japanese, which it usually doesn't. The Greatest Generation is almost always used in reference to the American soldiers, who in this movie are portrayed as the "savage invaders" that most WWII movies stick on the Germans. People are getting sick and tired of hearing about the Greatest Generation, what with movies, TV shows and video games bombarding us and showing us scene after scene of D-Day or some other such battle. It might have been impressive enough to get nominated, but in this case Steve's right: It's The Queen, all the way.

steve said...

Um, AHEM: 'Steve's right' about ALL his picks.

Geez, don't ANY of you know the meaning of the word 'infallible'?

Gianni said...

Two words: Tobey Maguire. Third Word: Seabiscuit. Ring any bells?

lockep said...

gianni, i'll see your Tobey McGuire and Seabiscuit and raise you Jake Gyllenhall and Jarhead...

lockep said...

I'm not sure in what alternate reality or Earth 4 Mark Wahlberg was EVER "heavily favored". but it certainly wasn't this one... it's always been Murphy's race to lose (not that he hasn't tried to... ah, Norbit...)

Cate Blanchett would seem a safe guess, but yes it will be that "American Idol girl," although the "Little Miss Sunshine Girl" could be an upset... the Dreamgirls backlash was growing just before the ballots were due, but I don't think it'll pull Hudson down

Again, the deafening Judi Dench "rumors" are only being heard in Steve's head... Mirren is such a lock that supposedly bookies in the UK were ALREADY paying out to the punters last week...

Best Actor -- this is the one place I would LIKE to see Steve's hope come true, but I'd be afraid to bet against Whitaker... O'Toole HAS his Oscar... again, the seeming public Zeitgeist and Industry "insistence" that O'Toole will win or it will be a travesty is only in Steve's head -- no one saw Venus, no one cares, no one feels any obligation to O'Toole, and Middle America will merely be surprised that he's still alive

The director race is ONLY between Marty and Clint -- no one else is in it. and yep, scorcese will finally win it... bit whoop...

best picture could be the most painful for for Steve -- while his hated Departed is the frontrunner, there are those predicting a Miss Sunshine upset... The Queen and Iwo Jima are NOWHERE on the radar (and forget about Babel -- it already got its Oscar last year, when it was called Crash... won't get fooled again...)

but Steve knows all this very well... he only tosses out this ridiculous predictions because he can't lose -- when he's wrong (as he usually is) people just say "boy that Steve sure don't know what he's talking about" and move on (which is why, Gianni, we must never forget McGuire and Gylenhall), and then when, every couple of years, he lands a lucky punch (like Adrian Brody for the Pianist) he looks like a visionary...

oh, and, some of you may not be aware of this, but Steve kinda likes to push buttons...

locke said...

"As some of you may already know, we here at Stevereads have an uncanny knack for Oscar-predictions that is legendary."

Ah, see what Steve did there? he never said he was legendary for making CORRECT picks -- only legendary for making wacky picks that cause everyone to scratch their head in bemused annoyance...

Yes, they are "Stevereads Annual Infallible Oscar Picks!" -- they are infallibly HIS and they are indeed for the Oscars...

But hey, I'm being a little hard on the Beav tonight, so I'll toss him a bone (untagle THAT mixed metaphor, you pervs!): I finally caught up with Flags of Our Fathers last night on dvd and I'll say this: Paul Walker was REALLY likeable and compelling and interesting in it for the few minutes he was onscreen t6. I won't go so far as yet to say he was "good" (most of his role -- most of everyone's role -- consisted of running around with teeth gritted, shooting things and inevitably getting shot), but I found myself wanting to see more of him and his character.

So we'll give Steve that...

locke said...

"The Academy must already be feeling a bit of morning-after remorse for ignoring 'Dreamgirls' for Best Picture"

just the opposite, in fact -- the film has continued sinking in most Industry folks' estimation -- putting Hudson and Murphy's frontrunner statuses and trophies at risk

as I said before, much to Steve's dismay, it's Little Miss Sunshine that has been making the late-inning push and gaining ground for what some see as a possible repeat of the Shakespeare In Love upset (or travesty, depending on your taste)... I'm not buying it, but if my run at the Oscar pool tomorrow night is going to get torpedoed again this year (damn you, Crash!), it's LMS I fear the most... (and I LIKED the film... Departed, too...)

brian said...

I finished watching 'Babel' this morning and I completely agree with Steve on this one. It was "bloated" and "stupid". It wasn't full of characters so much as types. These "characters" repeatedly did stupid things in service of the "plot". However, since it's "message" will resonate with academy members I'm sticking with it to win Best Picture. Locke was right when he called it "this years 'Crash'".

brian said...

Oh, and Steve? I guess I must not know what 'infallible' means.

Beepy said...

Yeah Brian, there's been a big old recall this morning on every dictionary ever published. It seems there's some problem with the definition of "infallible".

(That Helen Mirren must reaaly be some kind of actress to manage to survive Steve's Oscar curse.)

Kevin Caron said...

Infallible (in-fal'u-bul), —adj. : almost completely wrong; incapable of accuracy (except in the case of a one relatively obvious prediction).

beepy said...

Steve, I know that you promised us a stone cold super hottie photo, but who knew you'd go to all the effort of standing on a pedestal and being gilded. That's pure dedication to your fans, boys.

Jeff E. said...

Seriously. Nice pecs!

Gianni said...

I just want to say that in all the years of Steve's plausible deniability in relation to his Oscar picks, I believe this is the first time they've ever been recorded in something so official as an online blog. It's all official now!

steve said...

Mistakes appear to have been made. The evil-doers responsible will be found and brought to justice.

Total victory in '08!

Beepy said...

Ok, Steve, you're just boring me now. Get on with the blog!

Beepy said...

Sorry, I get cranky with no sleep and no Steve.

But I stand by my opinion.

beepy said...

Maybe Joyce Carol Oates has a blog...

Sam Sacks said...

Joyce Carol Oates doesn't even have an effing computer. Those reams and reams of writing she turns out every year: all done on a typewriter.