My 2006 Academy Awards Recap

The Oscars were really good this year (definitely much better than last year’s show.) Where to begin?

The opening montage of every classic moment/actor digitally animated… wow. For a classic film freak like me, it was fun trying to see how many movies I could name. Then the comedy bits started. I loved it when Jon Stewart woke up in bed with George Clooney. “Is this a dream?” “No.” Great way to start the show.

Stewart’s first few jokes completely bombed but after that he picked up steam. Then he lost it again. That’s okay. Nothing can stop me from loving Jon Stewart. I loved the tribute to Westerns and the innuendos. “The gayest genre” according to Stewart if you watched Oprah today.

Best Supporting Actor goes to… George Clooney, as predicted. He gave a great speech. “All right, so I’m not winning director.” Then he added, “I’m proud to be out of touch”.

March of the Penguins won best documentary, although it should’ve gone to Enron. Still a great movie nonetheless and I loved how the director (I forget his name) dedicated the award to all the children who saw the film and how hopefully it could influence then when they’re making the important decisions (with environmental issues and such) by 2041.

Rachel Weisz winning was awesome and she looked gorgeous for being 7 months pregnant. In her speech she thanked those who do the humanitarian work like her character did in The Constant Gardener.

I guess the old fart’s don’t run Hollywood afterall. I mean, 36 Mafia won for best song. By far the most excited (and more shocked than the cast of Crash) to win.

Robert Altman, director of M*A*S*H and Nashville, received the honorary oscar. Well-deserved. He’s been denied too long. His next feature is A Prarie Home Companion. Meryl Streep and Lindsay Lohan star in a great ensemble cast.

Philip Seymour Hoffman won Best Actor for his role as Truman Capote in Capote. And he dressed for the occasion.

Another shocker. Reese Witherspoon won.

Love Ang Lee. Great director. He deserved it for Brokeback Mountain.

But the best moment of the evening had to be when Crash pulled the biggest upset in recent year’s. Yes, I was expecting that it could happen and as the night went on, it was becoming a little more clear to me that it could, but stilll I was shocked. My jaw literally hit the floor. And then I was pissed. Why? The acceptance speech was cut off. Come on now. They make this big deal during the show to promote great Oscar moments and the producer ruin one by turning off the mic.

I’ll respond to the controversy surrounding this win tomorrow.

The Crash posse

Other great moments:

  • The mock political campaigns fro Best Actress. “Keira Knightley, acting while pretty.”
  • Lauren Bacall. Need I say enough.
  • The montage tributes to epics, film noir, and biopics.
  • Itzhak Perlman, playing selections from each nominated score.
  • Stewart, ” “‘Good night and good luck’ — the line that Mr. Clooney ends all of his dates with.” The look on Clooney’s face… priceless.

Overall a great night at the Oscars. Can’t wait until next year. I’m thinking Scorcese could finally win.

Review: Capote (2005)

The opening sequence of first-time director Bennett Miller’s Capote is of a quiet farmhouse in Kansas. A teenage girl walks into the house only to discover that her best friend has been brutally murdered. Meanwhile, in New York City, author Truman Capote (Philip Seymour Hoffman) is doing what he does best: drinking, partying, and telling stories. The next morning he opens The New York Times and reads about the murder of the Clutter family in Kansas. He decides that this will be the focus of his next piece for The New Yorker.

Along for the ride is the always magnificent Catherine Keener as Harper Lee, the author of To Kill a Mockingbird. She joins her childhood friend as a research assistant and is the person who keeps him grounded.

To say that Capote is just a good movie would be a major understatement. Philip Seymour Hoffman dives into the role of Truman Capote head first and delivers the greatest acting performance in recent years. From his voice and insecurities to his facial expressions, sense of humor and undeniably charming personality, Hoffman nailed the eccentricities of Truman Capote.

While this movie is about a brilliant author and his landmark literary achievement (In Cold Blood was the first nonfiction novel), it is also about Truman Capote’s faults and unlitmate demise. The author develops a close relationship with convicted murderer Perry Smith (played perfectly by Clifton Collins Jr.) and this relationship becomes the death of Capote, figuratively and literally. After the publication of In Cold Blood, Capote never completed another novel. Watching Philip Seymour Hoffman portray this literary icon in the best years of his life entering a sudden decline is a treat to watch. It is safe to say that Hoffman will win the Best Actor statuette.

Updated October 10, 2010

Oscars 2006: Let the Games Begin

The LA Film Critics Association have set the bar, announcing their picks for the best pictures and performances of 2005.

They are:

Best Director: Ang Lee, Brokeback Mountain
Runner-up: David Cronenberg, A History of Violence

Best Actor – Philip Seymour Hoffman, Capote
Runner-up: Heath Ledger, Brokeback Mountain

Best Actress – Vera Farmiga, Down to the Bone
Runner-up: Judi Dench, Mrs. Henderson Presents

Best Screenplay: Capote, Dan Futterman, and The Squid and the Whale, Noah Baumbach (tie)

Best Supporting Actress: Catherine Keener, Capote, The Ballad of Jack and Rose, The 40 Year Old Virgin and The Interpreter.
Runner-up:  Amy Adams, Junebug

Best Supporting Actor: William Hurt, A History of Violence
Runner-up: Frank Langella, Good Night, and Good Luck

Foreigh language film – Cache, dir. Michael Haneke
Runner-up – 2046, dir. Wong Kar Wai

The LA Film Critics Awards will be presented at a January 17 ceremony.