Jewish World Review Feb. 23, 2004 / 1 Adar, 5764

Media Person

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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 choices.

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 be paid.

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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 sight.

JWR contributor Media Person -- a.k.a Lewis Grossberger -- is a columnist for Media Week. Comment by clicking here.


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11/05/03: Tina "Ms. Buzz" Brown is Baaaack!
10/03/03: Cops & docs in love
09/05/03: How'd You Doodad?
08/13/03: Go West, Old Viewer
07/01/03: Nuts and Nutserer: Sometimes there's a fine line between heroism and lunacy
06/17/03: Buy, yes, but read?
06/11/03: Queasy Rider
05/28/03: How Hip Is Hop?
05/14/03: Will endorse for food
05/06/03: Kick this sick shtick
04/16/03: Important developments you may have missed because of all the war stuff clogging up the media
03/25/03: To go or not to go
03/12/03: How to talk war talk
03/04/03: Two master debaters
02/26/03: The Miracle Continues: Ask me no questions, I'll tell you no lies
02/19/03: Yanking the Franks
02/05/03: LET MY LETTERS GO!
01/28/03: Into the Pity Pit
01/15/03: Not My Cup of Joe
01/09/03: It was back in '03
12/17/02: Did you get taken?
12/05/02: Mathers of importance

© 2002, Lewis Grossberger