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If We Picked ĎEm

Oscar 2001 Edition

-by Andrew Goletz, Erich Schoeneweiss and Shnooka de Err

Andrew: People often tell Erich and I that we donít know anything about movies and that itís evident in our reviews, so we decided to include a very special guest this year for our Oscar picks. Shnooka admittedly doesnít know anything about movies, but his message board posts have been so entertaining and so well received that we had to include his picks along with ours.

Erich: As an added bonus, I have a feeling Shnooka may rip into ĎDrew a little as well, thus allowing me to concentrate on the Awards.

Andrew: The frightening thing will be if Shnooka wins.

Erich: I thought we were doing this for fun, I didnít realize you wanted to get embarrassed again by making this a competition.

Shnooka: Iím ready for a challenge, bring it on

Best Documentary Feature

Andrew: Scottsboro: An American Tragedy. Itís the most Oscar sounding of the 5 nominated films.

Erich: Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport  It has Oscar pedigree (one of the directors has previously won for best Documentary Short), and the Academy loves stories like this.

Shnooka: I havenít seen any of these, my top choice would be G-String Divas by HBO, but unfortunately the academy hasnít yet accepted strippers as actresses. But Iím going to go with Sound and Fury, only because I get this every time I run to the bathroom after a long car ride.

Best Documentary Short Subject

Andrew: Big Mama. Martin Lawrence was fantastic in this. Oops, sorry. Wrong film. I go with Curtain Call, because Iíve actually heard of this one.

Erich: Curtain Call as well, I think the Academy members are most likely to watch this one.

Shnooka: Dolphins, I can always watch good National Geographic film

Live Action Short Film

Andrew: By Courier. Once again, this is the only one of the nominees that Iíve heard about.

Erich: One Day Crossing.  Again, an Academy favorite subject, and I just canít see a movie about a kid with special soccer powers winning.

Shnooka: These categories suck, who the hell goes and watches these stupid films, my guess is Survivor, Richard Hatch played this for all its worth.

Animated Short Film

Andrew: Rejected. Having heard nothing about the 3 nominees, I think this one sounds like it could be the most interesting.

Erich: From the little Iíve seen, The Periwig-Maker looks like a winner.  

Shnooka: I hate it when someone wins a award like this and people in the audience stand up cheering, no one knows who the hell this guy is, they try to act like theyíre so into cinematography, just bring on the main shit for crying out loud

Original Song

Andrew: Things Have Changed, by Bob Dylan for Wonder Boys. The Golden Globes did it right. Dylanís music embodied the film and offered the best representation for this category.

Erich: 14 nominations and still hasnít won.  Iím going with Randy Newman for his song from Meet the Parents.  Guy has to win someday.

Shnooka: Ill go with Erich, he sounds like he knows what heís talking about

Original Score

Andrew: Hans Zimmer for Gladiator. Iíll be hoping for John Williamsí name to be called since his score for The Patriot was perfect (The Patriot is a better film than Gladiator anyway), but Iím here to predict the Academyís thinking and everyone is talking about the score of this film.

Erich:  I love the Gladiator score, I have the cd and listen to it often; however, the score for Crouching Tiger really helped drive the movie.  Crouching Tiger will win.

Shnooka: This Andrew guy is really starting to piss me off; The Patriot was the American version of BraveHeart. Gladiator at least was ORIGINAL. Put me down for Gladiator, Big E

Sound Editing

Andrew: U-571. Only 2 nominees in this category? Why are they even bothering with it?

Erich:  Hmmm?  The quiet of space or the quiet of a WWII U-Boat?  Andrew, Iím agreeing with you again.  U-571. (LOOK!! Hell just froze over.)

Shnooka: True, Ill go with U57129874B7

Sound

Andrew: U-571. Itís the only movie to be nominated in both sound categories. The voters obviously are keeping this film in mind for those awards.

Erich:  Once again Andrew has a valid point.  These awards tend to go together as well.  What the hell, I know itís not fun when we agree but Iím siding with ĎDrew and choosing U-571 again.

Shnooka: Isnít this the same, True, Iíll go with U57129874B7

Costume Design:

Andrew: Janty Yates for Gladiator.

Erich: Reality tends to beat out fantasy in these categories.  Gladiator.

Shnooka: Ill go with the Grinch, Anybody can throw a loin cloth on, and that fighting sequence with Crowe fighting the guy with the tigers wearing that chrome mask was a total miss, no fighter would wear that mask in battle.

Makeup

Andrew: Dr.Seussí How the Grinch Stole Christmas. I canít believe this film will have the ĎAcademy Award Winnerí banner across its logo when it comes out on DVD, but the makeup was better than the other two nominees.

Erich:  Aaah, finally something for us to disagree on.  As I said, reality tends to beat out fantasy in these categories. Shadow of the Vampire wins out for itís more realistic approach to the make-up, not to mention itís over the top use of make-up to portray the silent film era.  Grinch for all itís yellow contacts, green fur, and dumb pig noses was nothing extraordinary.

Shnooka: Ill go with Andrew on this one

Art Direction
Andrew: Gladiator. The film is larger in scope than the others in the category and will be rewarded for it.

Erich: Gladiator presented a challenge in having to plan for scenes in Germania, Rome, and North Africa.  All presenting very different looks.  Plus, itís Maximusí night and these awards tend to go your way when youíre in the zone.

Shnooka: Im proud to see Andrew is starting to see the light

Visual Effects

Andrew: Hollow Man. The effects in this movie were simply amazing.

Erich:  One of the toughest effects to create is realistic looking water.  Effects gurus have been struggling with it for years (one of many reasons Waterworld was so expensive). The waves in Perfect Storm were incredible, a character themselves.  For this Iíll give my vote to Perfect Storm. 

Shnooka: Gladiator, To recreate Rome took a lot, Gladiator will win hands down and my bare ass towards both of you

Editing

Andrew: Traffic. There was so much going on in this movie at any given time. The voters are aware of it and will reward accordingly.

Erich: Maximus is in the zone, people have watched this sucker over and over again on DVD (incidentally, many voters requested that the preview copies of the movies the studios send them to view prior to voting be DVD rather than VHS)ÖGladiator takes yet another one.

Shnooka: Traffic, This movie gave me a damn headache with all the scenes and coloring changes, they freaking butchered this movie to death. They get my score

Foreign-Language Film

Andrew: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. This is going to play out just like a couple years back when Life is Beautiful got everyone thinking a foreign language film could take Best Picture. Wonít happen, but theyíll pass a deserving award here.

Erich: I agree, the martial arts masterpiece is a winner, hands down.

Shnooka: I agree for all the same reasons as Andy and E, this is the only foreign movie I saw

 

Cinematography

Andrew: The love fest with Gladiator continuesÖat least for this part of the evening.

Erich: While I would have liked to have scene Traffic nominated here (could the snub have something to do with Soderbergh acting as his own DP?) alas it wasnít.  The worriors duke it out with the Crouching Tiger just beating the Gladiator.

Shnooka: Gladiator will win, I heard the network is going to give Russel Crowe a seat on the stage by himself next to the podium so the TV Station can air more commercials so Russel doesnít have to keep walking up to the stage to accept the award, That would be really funny

Screenplay (Adapted)

Andrew: Steve Kloves for Wonder Boys. The Academy apologizes for snubbing this film in the big categories with an award for Kloves.

Erich:  Still not enough people saw Wonder Boys, Iím going with Traffic.

Shnooka: Chocolat, just a guess

Screenplay (Original)

Andrew: Cameron Crowe for Almost Famous. Ditto.

Erich:  Hereís the token award for the best movie of the year.  Crowe for Almost Famous. Unfortunately, this wonít happen.  The award goes to the indie favorite You Can Count On Me.

Shnooka: Almost famous

Supporting Actress

Andrew: Kate Hudson for Almost Famous. The Academy loves to screw with the Supporting categories, so I donít think anything is a sure thing here or in the Supporting Actor race, but if I have to root for someone, might as well be Hudson.

Erich:  Almost Famous was my favorite movie of the year, Iíd love to see it receive something but itís not going to happen here.  The Academy loves Judi Dench and I expect that love fest to continue here.

Shnooka: Im going to go with Judi in Chocolate, God I hope Kate Hudson doesnít win, I canít stand her.

Supporting Actor

Andrew: Benicio Del Toro for Traffic. Several years ago, Benicio was snubbed for his star turning part in Excess Baggage. Now is the time for him to get his fair shake. Kidding. Benicio is one of the coolest actors working today and he had the best part in a fantastic film.

Erich: This is a tough category, but Iím rolling with Willem Dafoe for his brilliant performance as Max Shreck in Shadow of the Vampire.

Shnooka: Again Iím going to go against the grain here by saying Albert Finney, I thought he did a unbelievable job, Great actor

Actress

Andrew: Julia Roberts for Erin Brockovich. Iím tempted to go with Ellen Burstyn because the Academy loves these comebacks and they might feel the need to treat Julia like Tom Cruise. Heís been shut out for some very good work. Hell, he was robbed. Julia Roberts deserves this, but my backup pick should the Academy have their thumb up their asses would be Burstyn.

Erich: Julia.  She is Hollywood and she does what no other female actress today does, she tests new ground with varied roles and more importantly, she opens a movie.  Hell, very few male actors can do that today.  This an award for more than just her performance in Brokovich.

Shnooka: OK now, Julia Roberts is so over rated. Julia plays the same blue collar hometown girl in every damn movie. She makes 20 million per movie, you test any ground for that kinda of cash. Watch every movie she made and youíll see what Iím talking about, itís the same character. They picked her because the real Erin is like her.

Christ, this shit, Youíd think you know this Erich. Juliette Binoche Chocolat

Actor

Andrew: Tom Hanks for Castaway. Iíll use this time during the show to go to the bathroom. Russell Crowe wonít win an Oscar for a performance that Mel Gibson did even better years ago and got snubbed. And the other 3 nominees show that the Academy has a sense of humor. Iím surprised that the little basketball wasnít nominated for supporting actor.

Erich: This is a tough category.  I think it comes down to Ed Harris, Tom Hanks, and Russell Crowe.  I donít think enough people saw Pollock so Harris is out.  Do we really want to give Hanks another one, even though his performance was worthy?  And Crowe may have upset many older voters with his drinking and womanizing.  Iím going to go with Crowe, itís a Gladiator night and Croweís delivered some excellent work in the past few years.

Shnooka: Russell Crowe will win or else like E said Ed Harris

Director

Andrew: Ang Lee for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. The Academy gets to prove how much they like this film even more, without getting ballsy and giving it the award for Best Picture.

Erich: Had Steven Soderbergh been nominated for just Traffic or Erin Brokovich he would be the hands down winner.  The dual nomination will split the vote for him, and he has refused to campaign for one movie over the other.  If it is truly Gladiatorís night Ridley Scott will walk away with it, I however agree with ĎDrew that Ang Lee will win.  This was very much his movie and once again, heís delivered a vast array of terrific movies over the past few years.

Shnooka: Ill go with Ridley Scott

Picture

Andrew: I think every film in this category has at least an outside chance at winning, with Erin Brockovich having the longest odds. It was a very good movie with some outstanding performances, but not the best film of the year. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon will be honored in other categories and the voters wonít consider it here. That leaves 3. Many people would rule out Traffic, thinking that the votes will be split with Erin Brockovich, but I donít think the voters are going to consider Brockovich for this award leaving Traffic in the running. If the Miramax/Dreamworks battle goes a 3rd straight year, I think theyíre more likely to avoid being caught up in the mess and avoid casting votes for Chocolat or Gladiator. Chocolat has the most to lose and therefore, I donít think it has a viable shot. So the question is one that Iíve asked all year long. Is Gladiator that good? Is it the Best Picture of the year? Or at least, of these nominees? No. And I think the Academy realizes this, too. Best Picture goes to Traffic.

Erich: Damn you ĎDrew, weíre agreeing too much this year.  I think voters are on to Miramax and the studioís campaigning.  Chocolat canít win, it won by receiving a nomination and thus boosting a lack luster box office.  So Traffic against Gladiator in the big ring.  David vs. Goliath.  This is really a  tough call.  While I believe Traffic has a good chance to win, Iím going with my gut and Gladiator.

Shnooka: I saw Traffic and did not like this movie at all, This thing was so boring, Best picture is a a dog fight between Chrouching Tiger and Gladiator. This is a tough call, I really liked Gladiator, but when I first walked out the theatre after watching Chrouching Tiger, I said to myself this was the best movie of the year. Crouching Tiger, scores, GGGGOOOAAALLLL

Copyright©2001 GrayHaven Magazine and contributors