Skip to comments.Oscars tension mounts as 'Brokeback Mountain' rides
Posted on 03/05/2006 3:24:29 AM PST by albyjimc2
HOLLYWOOD (AFP) - Tension reached fever pitch as Hollywood began the final countdown to Sunday's Oscars, with a posse of "serious" films, led by "Brokeback Mountain," set to overrun the big night.
As workers frantically put the finishing touches on preparations for the 78th annual Academy Awards, which start with the legendary red carpet celebrity fashion show, the anxious nominees are crossing their fingers.
In a year laden with small-budget movies packing weighty political or social messages, Taiwan director Ang Lee's film about gay cowboys is the frontrunner for the top awards, including best picture and best director.
"We're almost there and I think 'Brokeback' is still leading the race," said veteran Hollywood Reporter online columnist Marty Grove.
But the aching story of two macho farmhands who fall in love despite themselves and pursue an unfulfilled 20-year romance faces a last-minute challenge from a dark horse, Paul Haggis's racial drama "Crash."
"The buzz is that the threat to 'Brokeback' from 'Crash' is now very real," awards expert Tom O'Neil of the website theEnvelope.com said of the tiny independent movie that may crash Ang Lee's party.
"'Brokeback' has a passionate following, but you also have 'Capote' and 'Transamerica' this year and they may have created a gay fatigue," he told AFP.
But like other pundits, O'Neil is still betting that the offbeat Western which has swept Hollywood's awards season and led the Oscars race from the start will still rope in five statuettes Sunday.
It rides into the Oscars armed with a leading eight nominations, including best picture, director, best actor for Australia's Heath Ledger and best supporting role nods for Jake Gyllenhaal and Michelle Williams.
The movie faces off against the six-times nominated "Crash," about a group of ethnically diverse people whose lives collide in a Los Angeles car accident, and George Clooney's political drama Good Night, and Good Luck," which is also up for six awards.
Also competing for best picture are "Munich" -- Steven Spielberg's epic about the aftermath of the Palestinian massacre of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympics -- and "Capote," about US author Truman Capote, both of which are up for five Oscars.
"Capote" star Philip Seymour Hoffman is widely favoured to win the best actor Oscar for his staggering title role in Bennett Miller's biopic, facing off against the Australian star of "Brokeback," Heath Ledger, 26.
Also vying for the award is Joaquin Phoenix, who played country star Johnny Cash in the biopic "Walk the Line," nominated for five Oscars, David Strathairn, for his role as newsman Ed Murrow in "Good Night," and Terrence Howard for "Hustle and Flow."
"The Oscars upsets almost always happen in the supporting actor categories, so we may see the jaw-dropper of the evening be Jake or Michelle winning for 'Brokeback,'" O'Neil said.
Most pundits predict that Briton Rachel Weisz will win the women's award for her role as an activist fighting the pharmaceutical industry in Kenya in "The Constant Gardner," with Williams -- Heath Ledger's real-life fiancee -- trailing for her portrayal of his cuckolded wife in "Brokeback."
Also competing for best supporting actress are Frances McDormand for "North Country," Amy Adams for "Junebug" and Catherine Keener, who played writer Harper Lee in "Capote."
Heartthrob Clooney is tipped to beat out Gyllenhaal and win best supporting actor for his role as a CIA spy in the oil industry thriller "Syriana."
Clooney, who is up for three Oscars, also faces competition from Paul Giammati for "Cinderella Man," Matt Dillon for "Crash," and William Hurt for "A History of Violence."
Facing off against frontrunner Ang Lee for best director are "Capote's" Miller, Haggis for "Crash," Clooney as director of "Good Night," and Spielberg for "Munich," the only big-budget film in the major categories.
The politically outspoken Clooney is also nominated for his best original screenplay for "Good Night," the story of newsman Ed Murrow's crusade against the repression of the US and-Communist witch hunt of the 1950s.
The political current running through this year's Oscars is further stoked by the Palestinian best foreign language film contender "Paradise Now," about two friends who become suicide bombers, a nomination that infuriated many Israelis.
It competes against France's World War I story "Joyeux Noel," Italy's story of sex abuse, "Don't Tell," Germany's "Sophie Scholl -- The Final Days" and South Africa's crime drama "Tsotsi," by Gavin Hood.
"Oscar has gone very serious this year," Grove said of the nominees. "In the past, the Oscars were only about great filmmaking and entertainment, but now its about passing on an important message."
Witch hunt? Yeah, I love Coulter and I will use her as a reference, but hundreds of Communist spies within the government is hardly a "witch hunt." Russia was only pointing nuclear arms at us for 40 years and killing MILLIONS of it's own people, why can't we all be Communists and spread a Communist agenda? It frustrates me to the bone sometimes.
I am a young guy, and I find it sad that up until I read about McCarthy, I seriously thought he was a bad guy. Because that is what I grew up seeing and learning in class and the television. This crap just plain infuriates me!
Buttcrack Mountain: Where two grown men can kiss and fondle each other while stealing 2 hours of your lifetime.
Think I'll watch Russian Cable, in Russian.
Gosh, the suspense is killing me. Which film that I will never see will win the big awards? Will it be Crash or will Capote stun us all? How will I make it through the day?
" It rides into the Oscars armed with a leading eight nominations, including best picture, director, best actor for Australia's Heath Ledger and best supporting role nods for Jake Gyllenhaal and Michelle Williams. "
As much as I loved OCTOBER SKY and Gyllenhaal in it , I'm
nor sure I can ever watch it in the same light again .
"The top 5 movies nominated have only been seen by 10 percent of the population."I believe it.Hollyweird becoming irrelevant?People should simply boycott the Oscars.Would they get the message?I haven't pd to see a film for a couple yrs now,and i don't forsee that changing anytime soon.It's not just the liberal agenda/point of view of films like BB+Munich,but most of the movies they crank out are simply not entertaining.
There is not one best picture nominee here I would consider seeing.
Compare that with, say, some of the nominees for 1942, another year we were at war:
Mrs. Miniver, Kings Row, Wake Island, Pride of the Yankees, Yankee Doodle Dandy.
If we had the press and the Hollywood elite we have now in 1942, we would all be speaking German.
Hollywood seems to hold a candle not only for fascists who murder Israeli athletes, but they also celebrate the communists and atheists behind the DNC.
This is the first year that not one single movie is worth seeing. No buzz generated from the nominations, doubt there will be any buzz generated from the awards.
Chronicles of Narnia
The Great Raid
March of The Penguins
Walk The Line
The five great movies of 2005 completely SNUBBED by the fools at the "Academy."
March of the Penguins is up for best documentary. Walk the line is up for a couple of awards.
Actually, all of the films you mentioned are up for some award or another.