Jewish World Review Feb. 23, 2004 / 1 Adar, 5764
Oscar de la Rentals
As you surely must know by now, Media Person's Annual Oscars Prediction
Column is the only honest Oscars prediction column written anywhere in the world
today. This is because MP admits right up front that his picks are based purely
on personal prejudice, ignorance, and wishful thinking. Facts are given no
consideration whatsoever, nor are any kind of objective, rational or coherent
analysis or thought.
And there is no point in asking how Media Person's previous predictions have
stacked up, since he has never once looked back afterwards to find out.
Indeed, within minutes of sending off this column, MP will have forgotten his own
Ditto for who ends up winning on Oscar night. With the Oscars, for some
reason, who might win is always more interesting than who did win. Maybe it's
because after sitting through four hours of the bloated, over hyped and
meaningless production, you have begun to question the entire underpinnings of Western
Civilization. And so…
Picture: Horses are lousy actors at best and the one in Sea Biscuit, aka
Rocky On Four Legs, couldn't even do dialogue, like Mr. Ed or Francis the Talking
Mule. Besides, who would want to eat a sea biscuit? What is that, a mussel
baked into a Ritz cracker? Lost in Translation was great for a half hour, and
then…and then…nothing happens. Enough anomie, alienation, angst and ennui
already. Will you two quit teasing us and get it on? There's nothing really wrong
with Mystic River, but Media Person feels like he's seen all these beaten-down
yet macho, blue-collar guys before and frankly, he's tired of them. So your
daughter gets killed; big deal. For once, let the cops handle it, you jerk. Media
Person didn't bother seeing the third Ring thing. Come on, how much of this
hobbit crap are we supposed to put up with? The winner? Master and Commander:
The Far Side of the World, because, as Russell Crowe once said during a typhoon
off Minorca: "Furl the fore topgallant staysail and be quick about it, you
rum cove, or I'll keelhaul every manjack on the larboard beam of the poop!"
Actress: Charlize Theron, Monster. Glamour girl deglams, turns herself into
fat, pimply, trailer-trash killer. Wow, an actress who can act! Nobody
(including MP) wants to see this downer but everybody loves the concept. Otherwise it
would go to Diane Keaton for showing (in Something's Gotta Give) that an old
lady (Hollywood definition: anyone over 19) can be sexy. If only she'd murdered
Jack Nicholson's obnoxious character, she could've won.
Actor: Ben Kingsley, Jude Law and Johnny Depp all gave fine performances.
Sean Penn gave a great performance. But Bill Murray is the most loved man in
America so he wins. Also--and this is no small thing--Bill Murray invented the
very Oscar-predicting shtick that Media Person is now ripping off! Tribute must
Supporting Actress: The only one Media Person has seen was Renee Zellweger in
Cold Mountain and though she did the best country gal since Marjorie Main in
the much underrated Ma and Pa Kettle Peel a Rutabaga, Media Person has to go
with Holly Hunter for Thirteen because she was so good in Broadcast News and
The Piano, she can't ever get enough Oscars, as far as he's concerned.
Supporting Actor: Alec Baldwin and Tim Robbins can't win because the Academy
is afraid they'll get up there and yell, "U.S., out of Iraq now!" Djimon
Honsou and Ken Wattanabe--be serous, no way. That leaves Benicio del Toro, for 21
Grams, a total mess of a movie, but ever so earnest.
Director: Fernando Meirelles, wins in a walk for City of G-d. Kidding,
kidding! Not a chance. Sofia Coppola, no, sorry. MP still hasn't forgiven her for
Godfather III. Clint Eastwood, nope. Still haven't forgiven him for Dirty Harry.
Peter Jackson, get out of here with that stupid hobbit crap. Media Person is
not buying the hype. The winner: Peter Weir, for Master and Commander. Sir,
there's a Spanish xebec, hull-up, five points off the leeward bow! Clear for
action! Heave to or I'll batten your futtock and blood will run in the scuppers!
Foreign Language Film: Media Person is going with the Canadian film, The
Barbarian Invasions, for the irrefutable reason that it's the only one of the
foreign nominees he saw. It's a really depressing movie but an intelligent one,
which these days is a rarity, because the barbarians really have invaded, and
they are winning.
Visual Effects: The House of Sand and Fog is the winner here. Never has Media
Person ever seen such realistic-looking sand or fog on a movie screen. And
that house! It looked exactly like a real house. Who would believe that all of
it was computer generated? Wonderful. And best of all, not a single hobbit in
JWR contributor Media Person -- a.k.a Lewis Grossberger -- is a columnist for Media Week. Comment by clicking here.
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© 2002, Lewis Grossberger