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23 January 2007

"Do 'The Saint'! Do 'The Waif'!"

The Neptune, Seattle, WA, 07-Oct-06

"Do 'The Child'!
That was great."

I honestly thought my interest in watching the Academy Awards ceremony had waned...until I saw this year's list of nominees.

What can I say? There are some sentimental favourites here, most notably Ryan Gosling, who is nominated in the Best Actor category for Half Nelson. (A part of me will always think of him, quite fondly, as Sean from Breaker High.) Who knows if he will win? I suppose I'd be just as pleased if Forest Whitaker took home the prize for his turn in The Last King of Scotland.

I also have a real soft spot for Meryl Streep. "The Devil Wears Prada?" you gasp, but she was brilliant as Miranda Priestly (making the "villain" the most sympathetic character in the film! for pity's sake). Again, I'd be happy if Kate Winslet won, because she is AWESOME, but they're both up against very stiff competition, what with the Dame Judi Denches and Queen Helen Mirrens and Role of a Lifetime Penelope Cruzes.

And you know what? It's nice to see Alan Arkin and Abigail Breslin nominated for Little Miss Sunshine, and Mark Wahlberg nominated for The Departed (possibly carving a niche for himself as a future character actor like present-day Alec Baldwin, who often makes me laugh simply by appearing on screen). I'm slightly disappointed that Matt Damon was ignored for his work in that film -- I mean, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed him in The Departed -- but oh well. I'll just concentrate all my psychic energy on tipping the scales in favour of Jackie Earle Haley (even though I actually haven't seen Little Children, but whoa, dudes! It's Moocher) and Jennifer Hudson, because wouldn't it be a total story if an American Idol also-ran won the Oscar ON TOP of the Golden Globe? I bet they'd list her name ABOVE the title after that.

Also, there's still some tension to be wrought from wondering whether the Susan Lucci of the Academy, Martin Scorsese, will add another empty nomination to his already extensive list. I guess that's what the "Honorary" Awards are for.

Oh yes, and Pan's Labyrinth should win for Best Art Direction and Best Makeup (the Pale Man! SO terrifying).

Ah, Oscars! I don't know who I was kidding. I'll be there once again this year, doing my best to increase your ratings, as I do every year. Just promise that you'll keep your running time under seven hours, okay? Or at least bring back Owen Wilson and whomever his best friend is at the moment for some between-award comedic bits. Thanks. See you in a month!

TRACK LISTING: Sparks, "Academy Award Performance"

[NOTE: The other side of this marquee read, "MARTIN SCORSESE / THE DEPARTED / GIVE HIM THE OSCAR".]

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