March 2001
Guessing the Oscars : My Take on what the Oscars will Do

Scott D. Southard (Los Angeles)

GUESSING THE OSCARS : My Take On What The Oscars Will Do

I’ve always been a little embarrassed by certain aspects of the Oscars. The pure showboat of the event always seemed to depress me. You don’t have such high moments for painting and literature, do you? Picture Joan Rivers asking Toni Morrison who designed her dress and you see what I mean… But I watch the Oscars. I watch them every year. And I’m proud to note I have about an A- accuracy in guessing them. So this is how I view the evening turning out…



BEST PICTURE- GLADIATOR

Ever since I had to watch “Titanic” walk away with the award, this big prize has always made me squirm. And I’m guessing this year will be no different. I like “Gladiator,” don’t get me wrong, but I couldn’t help thinking I was watching a dumbed-down version of “Spartacus.” But I think the real sadness regarding this film is the movie it could have been. If you don’t understand what I mean, rent the DVD and watch all the outtakes.

So what would I like to see take this award? Well, two films jump to my mind - “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” and “13 Days.” But the Academy will probably give Dragon the Best Foreign Film and “13 Days” was not even nominated... Not that I’m bitter about that.


BEST ACTOR- RUSSELL CROWE

This is actually very embarrassing. It’s not that Russell Crowe didn’t do a great job, he did. Don’t get me wrong (The last thing I want is Maximus kicking in my door). But his performance in “The Insider” was by far more incredible. And when you compare the two performances, you can’t help but be more impressed with “The Insider.”

So who do I think should get the statue? Tom Hanks, no question. “Castaway” was a powerful film and mainly worked because of his performance. If you don’t believe me, close your eyes and picture another actor on the island; For example, picture Michael Richards (TV’s lovable Kramer from Seinfeld). See, suddenly, it’s a different movie. But the Academy will never give him a third Oscar, no matter what the Globes did.



BEST ACTRESS- JULIA ROBERTS

This will be the year of popular choices for award shows. Don’t believe me? Then explain how N*Sync was even nominated for a Grammy? You don’t actually think they were nominated because of their music, do you? You see what I mean? And the same will go for this category. My personal choices for this category would have been Gillian Anderson for the “House of Mirth” and Bjork for “Dancer in the Dark.” But neither was nominated….


BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR- BENICIO DEL TORO

Benicio Del Toro was the best thing about the movie “Traffic.” Unlike popular opinion, I didn’t enjoy “Traffic.” I thought it was predictable, but I digress (Since I am scared to disagree with every film critic on the face of the planet).

My own personal favorite for this award was Bruce Greenwood in “13 Days.” He WAS Kennedy. By the end of the movie, you know what our country lost because of his amazing performance- a strong, intelligent president who wouldn’t bend to the military… Sigh… Do you think Greenwood would run for President? It’s a real shame he was not even nominated… Most entertainment writers would add a sly joke here making an allusion to the Florida vote count, but I’m better than that so I’m moving on.


BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS- KATE HUDSON

Hollywood royalty will win out in this award as the daughter of Goldie Hawn makes her mom proud. I thought Kate Hudson was great in the film so I would have no problem with this victory. This will be the one award “Almost Famous” will walk away with… OK, they may get something with music. They had music in “Almost Famous,” right?


BEST DIRECTOR- ANG LEE

Wow, this is going to be an interesting category to watch. Usually, the director of the best picture walks away with the award, no question, but this time I think there will be a surprise in store. And Ang Lee definitely deserves it. He is probably one of the greatest directors Hollywood has had. Picture this; he makes “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” and “Sense and Sensibility.” How many other directors do you know who have the power to tell such very different stories? Incredible.


BEST SCREENPLAY FROM ANOTHER SOURCE- TRAFFIC

This will be a sure lock for “Traffic.” And will probably be the one they can put all their trust money into. In Vegas, it will be called a sure thing. Do I think it deserves it? I’m not going to say until I get to sit down and compare it to the British mini-series it was based on. If it was better than the mini-series, then sure, however, if the mini-series is incredibly better then shame on the filmmakers.

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY- GLADIATOR

It will be a night for “Gladiator.” And of all the films nominated in this category, this one has the most memorable lines.

So there is my take on the Oscars. After all my complaining it probably sounds like a long night, right? But have no fear! The good news everyone is Steve Martin is hosting! How cool is that? That’s worth a tape in the VCR and staying up all night in my opinion… And who knows, maybe Eminem may win best album… Opps, wrong article.