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Oscar Rant

It’s the most over-hyped awards show for the medium of film there is. The 77th edition of the Academy Awards is where Hollywood congratulates itself for another year of mediocre filmmaking. But despite rewarding the some of the most undeserving candidates, the academy sometimes gets it right. IONCINEMA takes a look into the should have, could have and would have of the event – looking at the noms, the winners and those who should been there for the big party. Log on after the awards are given out for one hell of a rant by someone who cares a little too much for the movies.

Cheers…

10. National Film Board win for RYAN…
9. The David Letterman manner in which to pass off the awards…
8. Chris Rock’s rock solid opening with PG stand–up material – no need for 5 second delay button …
7. The Lumet Gallery…
6. Kaufman’s teleprompter comment…

5. Hilary Swank’s back cleavage…
4. Robin Williams’ intro…
3. The Incredibles’ Edna Mode helping out 007…
2. Post-Michael Moore: Nominees are all up on the stage…
1. Jamie Foxx’s speech.

…and Jeers

10. The show’s Hoffman narration intro: (yawn) I miss the Billy Crystal openings…
9. Hilary Swank very long don’t forget to thank Chad Lowe speech…
8. Beyonce sings in French?…
7. No clips for best animated short category. How else would the chubbchubbs (last year) become a household name…
6. One too many reaction shots reserved for Jay-Z.
5. Stupid Focker: Barbara Streisand’s mangles the night’s most important award announcement…
4. Not enough Bush bashing or political speeches.
3. We don’t get to hear Paltrow speak 5 different languages…
2. Million Dollar Baby wins best picture…
1. No Oscar for Scorsese.

List Order: From 1st to last award handed out.

Achievement in Art Direction

Noms:
THE AVIATOR
FINDING NEVERLAND
LEMONY SNICKET’S A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS
ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER’S THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA
A VERY LONG ENGAGEMENT
Winner: THE AVIATOR
Should have won: THE AVIATOR
Missing among the mix: HOUSE OF FLYING DAGGERS
Rant: Scorsese’s epic production gets high marks in many facets – perhaps this category is where the film merits the most accolades.

Best Supporting Actor
Noms:
Alan Alda for THE AVIATOR
Thomas Haden Church for SIDEWAYS
Jamie Foxx for COLLATERAL
Morgan Freeman for MILLION DOLLAR BABY
Clive Owen for CLOSER
Winner: Morgan Freeman
Should have won: Clive Owen
Missing among the mix: Peter Sarsgaard for KINSEY
Rant: Owen’s performance had more range – but, you’ve got to feel good for 1st time winner Freeman.

Best Animated Feature Film
Noms:
THE INCREDIBLES
SHARK TALE
SHREK 2
Winner: THE INCREDIBLES
Should have won: THE INCREDIBLES
Missing among the mix: POLAR EXPRESS
Rant: This is Pixar’s best picture to date, but I wonder why Polar Express wasn’t added to the mix of noms.

Achievement in Makeup
Noms:
LEMONY SNICKET’S A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS
THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST
THE SEA INSIDE
Winner: LEMONY SNICKET’S A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS
Should have won: Not Sure.
Missing among the mix: Can’t think about anything else.
Rant: Moving Along.

Achievement in Costume Design
Noms:
THE AVIATOR
FINDING NEVERLAND
LEMONY SNICKET’S A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS
RAY
TROY
Winner: THE AVIATOR
Should have won: A Very Long Engagement
Missing among the mix: A Very Long Engagement
Rant: The Aviator certainly takes it in this category, but the stuff in the French film was overlooked.

Best Supporting Actress
Noms:
Cate Blanchett for THE AVIATOR
Laura Linney – KINSEY
Virginia Madsen for SIDEWAYS
Sophie Okonedo – HOTEL RWANDA
Natalie Portman for CLOSER
Winner: Cate Blanchett
Should have won: Cate Blanchett
Missing among the mix: Laura Dern for We Don’t Live Here Anymore
Rant: Blanchett was Hepburn. End of story.

Best Documentary Feature
Noms:
BORN INTO BROTHELS
THE STORY OF THE WEEPING CAMEL
SUPER SIZE ME
TUPAC: RESURRECTION
TWIST OF FAITH
Winner: BORN INTO BROTHELS
Should have won: Tarnation
Missing among the mix: Tarnation
Rant: The experimental doc formula for Tarnation was its perhaps its ultimate demise; let us hope that THINKFilm will give “Born” a proper boost into many untouched markets.

Best Film Editing
Noms:
THE AVIATOR
COLLATERAL
FINDING NEVERLAND
MILLION DOLLAR BABY
RAY
Winner: THE AVIATOR
Should have won: THE AVIATOR
Missing among the mix: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Rant: Thelma rules.

Best Adapted Screenplay
Noms:
BEFORE SUNSET by Richard Linklater, Kim Krizan, Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke
FINDING NEVERLAND by David Magee
MILLION DOLLAR BABY by Paul Haggis
THE MOTORCYCLE DIARIES by Jose Rivera
SIDEWAYS by Alexander Payne, Jim Taylor
Winner: SIDEWAYS by Alexander Payne, Jim Taylor
Should have won: SIDEWAYS by Alexander Payne, Jim Taylor
Missing among the mix: Closer
Rant: Since it didn’t take best picture, then this comes across as a consolation prize for Payne’s brilliant film.

Best Visual Effects
Noms:
HARRY POTTER AND THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN
I, ROBOT
SPIDER-MAN 2

Winner: SPIDER-MAN 2
Should have won: The Blind Swordsman: Zatôichi
Missing among the mix: The Day After Tomorrow
Rant: Where’s Sky Captain? It seems like there should be more titles listed here. Spider-Man 2 is a good pick.

Best Live-Action Short Film
EVERYTHING IN THIS COUNTRY MUST
LITTLE TERRORIST
7:35 IN THE MORNING
TWO CARS, ONE NIGHT
WASP
Winner: WASP

Best Animated Short Film
BIRTHDAY BOY
GOPHER BROKE
GUARD DOG
LORENZO
RYAN
Winner: RYAN

Achievement in Cinematography
Noms
THE AVIATOR
HOUSE OF FLYING DAGGERS
THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST
ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER’S THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA
A VERY LONG ENGAGEMENT
Winner: THE AVIATOR
Should have won: HOUSE OF FLYING DAGGERS
Missing among the mix: Undertow
Rant: Tough category, House was my pick and Long Engagement would be my second, but The Aviator isn’t a bad choice either.

Achievement in Sound Mixing
Noms:
THE AVIATOR
THE INCREDIBLES
THE POLAR EXPRESS
RAY
SPIDER-MAN 2
Winner: RAY
Should have won: Not Sure.
Missing among the mix: Kill Bill: Volume 2
Rant: Lots of good stuff here – the edge would have gone perhaps to The Aviator.

Achievement in Sound Editing

Noms:
THE INCREDIBLES
THE POLAR EXPRESS
SPIDER-MAN 2
Winner: THE INCREDIBLES
Should have won: THE INCREDIBLES
Missing among the mix: Not sure.
Rant: Next.

Best Documentary Short
Noms:
AUTISM IS A WORLD
THE CHILDREN OF LENINGRADSKY
HARDWOOD
MIGHTY TIMES: THE CHILDREN’S MARCH
SISTER ROSE’S PASSION
Winner: MIGHTY TIMES: THE CHILDREN’S MARCH
Should have won: ???
Missing among the mix: ???
Rant: Next please.

Best Original Score
Noms:
Jan A.P. Kaczmarek for FINDING NEVERLAND
John Williams for HARRY POTTER AND THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN
Thomas Newman for LEMONY SNICKET’S A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS
John Debney for THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST
James Newton Howard for THE VILLAGE
Winner: Jan A.P. Kaczmarek for FINDING NEVERLAND
Should have won: FINDING NEVERLAND
Missing among the mix: Not sure.
Rant: Well deserved – it added a touch of sentimentality to the film.

Original Song
Noms:
“Accidentally In Love” from SHREK 2
“Al Otro Lado Del Río” from THE MOTORCYCLE DIARIES
“Believe” from THE POLAR EXPRESS
“Learn To Be Lonely” from ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER’S THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA
“Look To Your Path (Vois Sur Ton Chemin)” from THE CHORUS
Winner: “Al Otro Lado Del Río” from THE MOTORCYCLE DIARIES
Should have won:”A Waltz for a Night” from BEFORE SUNSET
Missing among the mix: “A Waltz for a Night” from BEFORE SUNSET
Rant: Next please.

Best Actress in a Leading Role
Noms:
Annette Bening – BEING JULIA
Catalina Sandino Moreno – MARIA FULL OF GRACE
Imelda Staunton – VERA DRAKE
Hilary Swank for MILLION DOLLAR BABY
Kate Winslet for ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND
Winner: Hilary Swank for MILLION DOLLAR BABY
Should have won: Annette Bening
Missing among the mix: Julie Delpy
Rant: I think out of the group Swank falls into a distant fifth. Staunton was great, but I preferred Bening’s character performance.

Best Foreign-Language Film
Noms:
AS IT IS IN HEAVEN – Sweden
THE CHORUS – France
DOWNFALL – Germany
THE SEA INSIDE – Spain
YESTERDAY – South Africa
Winner: THE SEA INSIDE – Spain
Should have won: TURTLES CAN FLY
Missing among the mix: Too many to list.
Rant: Spain’s best this year was Bad Education and not The Sea Inside.

Best Original Screenplay
Noms:
THE AVIATOR (Miramax) by John Logan
ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND (Focus Features) by Charlie Kaufman, Michel Gondry, Pierre Bismuth
HOTEL RWANDA (United Artists) by Terry George, Keir Pearson
THE INCREDIBLES (Disney/Pixar) by Brad Bird
VERA DRAKE (Fine Line Features) by Mike Leigh
Winner: ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND (Focus Features) by Charlie Kaufman, Michel Gondry, Pierre Bismuth
Should have won: ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND (Focus Features) by Charlie Kaufman, Michel Gondry, Pierre Bismuth
Missing among the mix: It unfortunate that comedies don’t fair as well as dramas – I’m glad Kaufman got a token of recognition.
Rant:

Best Actor in a Leading Role
Noms:
Don Cheadle for HOTEL RWANDA
Johnny Depp for FINDING NEVERLAND
Leonardo DiCaprio for THE AVIATOR
Clint Eastwood for MILLION DOLLAR BABY
Jamie Foxx for RAY
Winner: Jamie Foxx for RAY
Should have won: I still haven’t seen Ray!?.
Missing among the mix: Sean Penn for The Assassination of Richard Nixon.
Rant:

Achievement in Directing
Noms:
Martin Scorsese for THE AVIATOR
Clint Eastwood for MILLION DOLLAR BABY
Taylor Hackford for RAY
Alexander Payne for SIDEWAYS
Mike Leigh for VERA DRAKE
Winner: Clint Eastwood for MILLION DOLLAR BABY
Should have won: Alexander Payne for SIDEWAYS
Missing among the mix: Zhang Yimou
Rant: I wanted Scorsese to win – because a string of his other movies never have.

Best Picture
Noms:
THE AVIATOR
FINDING NEVERLAND
MILLION DOLLAR BABY
RAY
SIDEWAYS
Winner: MILLION DOLLAR BABY
Should have won: SIDEWAYS
Missing among the mix: Before Sunset
Rant: Sideways got shut-out in the acting categories – which is perfectly justified – but his cast as an ensemble, with a perfect script and dialogue should have taken the prize.

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Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist and critic at IONCINEMA.com (founded in 2000). Eric splits his time between his home base in Montreal, NYC, and is a regular at Sundance, Cannes and TIFF. He has a BFA in Film Studies at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013 he served as a Narrative Competition Jury Member at the SXSW Film Festival. Top 3 from 2016: Certain Women (Kelly Reichardt), Things to Come (Mia Hansen-Løve), Toni Erdmann (Maren Ade)

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