Well, I whiffed the Best Picture category both times, first in my initial guess of Babel and later for my last minute hunch that Letters might be in the envelope. But I pretty much nailed everything else, including the Best Supporting Actor going to Alan Arkin and Best Animated Film going to Happy Feet, which means I nailed most of the surprises. So overall I feel pretty good about my continuing ability to do Oscar predictions.
A couple of thoughts:
* I guess the Academy voters decided they didn’t actually like Dreamgirls after all. Going with Arkin over Murphy is one thing; not giving the film the Oscar in the Best Original Song — in which it had three nominations — is another. I suspect Melissa Etheridge was probably the most surprised winner of the evening.
* Likewise, Babel walking out the door with just the Original Score Oscar is a bit of a poor showing for a Best Picture nominee touted as front runner going in (Letters got just Sound Editing, but no one except crazy people thought it was going to win). I guess this is the Academy saying “we had our spinach last year,” because while The Departed is many things, “spinach” ain’t one of them.
* Having said that, no one’s under the illusion The Departed winning Best Picture is anything more than the Academy deciding to make the drapes match the carpet, right? Apparently enough voters in the Academy went “well, as long as we’re giving Scorsese Best Director…” and then scribbled The Departed into the Best Picture line on the ballot. It’s not to say it’s not a good film, merely not the best picture on the slate. But, eh. It was “Let’s make it up to Marty” night. There are worse things.
* Mildly surprised that Pan’s Labyrinth didn’t get Best Foreign Language film (although The Lives of Others has been steadily building buzz, so not too surprised), but inasmuch as the film walked out the door as the second most Oscar-honored film of the night, including as the winner for Best Cinematography, I don’t think anyone should complain too much.
* Just as technical note, Al Gore himself did not win the Oscar for An Inconvenient Truth, it went to director Davis Guggenheim. The clock for rabid foaming conservatives to try to nab him in an either real or imagined “I invented the Internet” moment regarding to whom the Oscar belongs to starts… now.
Your post-Oscar thoughts?