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Saturday, February 21, 2009
And the Oscar goes to...not exactly who you might think
This is not exactly in the chick flick area but the night of the 81st Academy Awards is the most important movie night of the year, so I think dedicating a post or two to it makes sense. Expect some of my Oscar predictions in the next post, but I thought the reasoning behind my predictions might be better understood if I explained my understanding of the Academy. I'm no expert but I do have some strong opinions, facts and tidbits to share about what I think these awards are really about.
The Academy Rules:
1. Just because a actor should win doesn't mean that he or she will win. The Oscars are all based on politics. Shocking, I know. This is the reason for the "Who should win versus Who will win" list that is used by many a reviewer and critic.
2. It is unlikely for an actor to win an award with his or her first nomination. For example, Johnny Depp was nominated for Pirates of the Caribbean (2003) and did possibly the most incredible performance of his career. Instead it went to Sean Penn in Mystic River (2003), one of the most amazing actors of this age, but he also had three nominations under his belt. It was just not Johnny's time to win and now that he has three nominations under his belt, his time may be coming. It may also had to do with the fact that it was a Disney film where he played a comedic character, which does not gain points with the ever-so-serious loving academy. It wasn't that Penn's performance wasn't good enough to win; it was, but it is not all that counts in the votes.
3. It is unlikely for an actor to win if they have won the previous year. One of the most heartbreaking examples that had me, at 15, screaming in shock at the television was when Russell Crowe was robbed by Denzel Washington. This is difficult for me to talk about because it is a definite rant topic. Russel Crowe didn't win for his mind-blowing performance in A Beautiful Mind (2001), because he had won the year before for Gladiator (2000). This brings me to my next rule.
4. When an actor has been nominated many times, they like to eventually give them an award even if someone else deserves it more. Denzel Washington had been nominated four times before and because he is such a loved actor, people believed he was jipped by the Academy. He had previously won for Supporting Actor in Glory (1989) but the two categories do not seem to overlap. This also leads to the next thing I know.
5. There is known to be certain themes in the kinds of recipients that recieve the awards in a certain year or in general. The year Denzel won, so did Halle Berry for Monster's Ball, the first African-American woman to win for Best Leading Actress, as well as being the year that Sidney Portier won the Honourary Award. These people are incredible actors but it seems like the Academy was trying to make a statement more so than celebrate great work. It is also known that the Academy seems to award beautiful women who make themselves uglier: Halle Berry in Moster's Ball (2001), Nicole Kidman in The Hours (2002), and Charlize Theron in Monster (2003).
6. It is less likely that someone will will for a lone nomination. Basically, someone is less likely to win if they are the only good thing about the film and if it is not-so good and you just happen to be fantastic in it, it still makes you look bad by association. I think this might have also happened to Depp in 2003.
7. The Academy usually likes to surprise the audience with an unlikely winner just to shake up the show. So many predictions are made by reviewers and critics that it seems that just to make the show interesting they have to give the audience something unexpected. Some may think this is cruel to say but you can just wait and see. People thought that last year's Best Actress winner was going to be Ellen Page in Juno, which would have been well deserved, but she suffered from rule #2. Instead Marion Cotillard was the shocker for La Vie en Rose. There are a few possibilities for those this year as well.
All of this being said, I have stayed up to watch them every year since I fell in love with movies and will continue to do so until something catastrophic happens and my brain is rewired to change the way I am.
Coming up next are the Oscar predictions...