Random Oscar thoughts

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Random thoughts on the Oscar nominations:

� It’s fun that Johnny Depp got nominated for Best Actor, but does he have a snowball’s chance in Hades of winning? No sir. That’s where the Academy went, “Hee hee, let’s nominate Johnny Depp! He was really funny in that movie!” Are you going to actually VOTE for him, though? “Oh, Lordy, no.”

� Keisha Castle-Hughes, at 13, is the youngest Best Actress nominee ever. (The youngest person ever to actually win in that category is Marlee Matlin, who was 21 when she won for “Children of a Lesser God.”) Keisha’s not the youngest nominee overall, though. Justin Henry was 8 when he was nominated as Best Supporting Actor for “Kramer vs. Kramer,” and Tatum O’Neal was 10 when she was nominated as Best Supporting Actress for “Paper Moon” — an award she won, too, making her the youngest Oscar winner, period.

� I’ve seen all of the nominated acting performances, and they’re all worthy, in my opinion. No outrageous inclusions like Sean Penn’s “I Am Sam” fiasco. I’m especially delighted to see Shohreh Aghdashloo nominated for “House of Sand and Fog,” and I hope she wins.

� No acting nods for “LOTR: ROTK.” That’s too bad. Maybe the whole Academy SUCKS ROTTEN EGGS!!!!!!!!!!! (Sorry, I became a fanboy there for a minute.)

� Due to a curious Academy rule, the excellent “City of God” gets nominated for Directing, Editing, Cinematography and Adapted Screenplay, but not for Best Foreign-Language Film. Why? Because to be nominated in that category, a film must be selected as the official entry of its native country, and Brazil chose something else (something else that didn’t get nominated). Furthermore, it was eligible in this category LAST year, the year it was released in its homeland. For every other category, the determining factor is when it was released in THIS country, which is why it got those other nominations.

� Of the five Best Foreign-Language Film nominees, I’ve only even HEARD of one, “The Barbarian Invasions.” Why? Because the other four haven’t even been released in the United States yet. Voters will have to rely on screener tapes to see them — or, more likely, they’ll just vote for “Barbarian Invasions,” since they might have seen it.

� I object to songs being nominated when they weren’t featured in the film itself, but rather squoze in over the closing credits. “A Kiss at the End of the Rainbow,” on the other hand, is actually used IN “A Mighty Wind,” and actually plays a part in the film’s story, and is a fantastic song, and therefore deserves to win

� I’m a little surprised at all the love for “Seabiscuit” — not because it’s not worthy, but because it came out in the summer, and I thought memories of it had died away. The “for your consideration” ad campaigns must have paid off.

� Since “Cold Mountain” didn’t get nominated for Best Picture, Miramax’s streak is over. The company had had a film in that slot every year since 1992, often through aggressive ad campaigns (like when the enjoyable but undeserving “Chocolat” got nominated, and like when the enjoyable but undeserving “Shakespeare in Love” actually WON). In a related story, Harvey Weinstein is as fat as a house.

� Ooh, I’ve actually seen two of the Animated Short Film nominees! “Destino” is a gorgeous, awesome piece of work, inspired by a never-finished collaboration between Salvador Dali and Walt Disney. “Nibbles” is a funny French piece about a fishing expedition postponed by numerous stops at fast-food and other eating establishments on the way to the lake. (At Sundance, it played before “Super Size Me,” a feature documentary about a man who lives entirely on McDonald’s food for a month. The programmers like to pair up their shorts and features.)

� The ongoing confusion between Sound and Sound Editing. The Sound category is for the recording of actual sound — dialogue, ambient sounds, etc. Sound Editing is more for sound effects and artificially created noises. Therefore, it always seems logical that the animated film should win for Sound Editing, since the entire thing is nothing BUT sound effects and artificially created noises. But we’ll see.

� Billy Crystal would be a fine host, if this were 1920 and vaudeville were still big. I don’t care for his shtick. Bring back Steve Martin! And kill Whoopi Goldberg.

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