AWFJs Oscars 07: Picks and Wishes

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Who will win? Who should win? AWFJ members weigh in.

SUSAN WLOSZCZYNA:

FILM: Babel will win, because it’s most Crash-ish. The Departed should win, because it’s Marty back at what he is good at.

DIRECTOR: Scorsese for The Departed should and will win because he deserves it

ACTOR: Peter O’Toole should win for Venus, because after all this time, he still has it. Forest Whitaker will win for Last King of Scotland, because he’s an unsung talent who persuasively has transformed his teddy bear persona into a raging mad man. ACTRESS: Helen Mirren for The Queen should and will win– who else has had three great performances on TV and in movies in one year, and two as queens? SUPPORTING ACTOR: Jackie Earle Haley for Little Children should win, because what a comeback. Eddie Murphy in Dreamgirls will win because he humbles himself well and gives a soulful swaggering performance

SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Jennifer Hudson in Dreamgirls should and will win– she’s one of the finds of the year.

FOREIGN FILM: The Lives of Others will win– it’s a true achievement. Pan’s Labyrinth should win– the voters are shy of fantasy but this is pure brilliance. DOCUMENTARY: An Inconvenient Truth should and will win– Gore is personable about one of the scariest issues of our time.ELEANOR RINGEL:MOVIE: I have no idea what WILL win, (at least not at this point) but the SHOULD win is, for me, a tie: Little Miss Sunshine –because it’s the funniest and most perceptive movie of the year, but also because a woman co-wrote/co-directed it and she knows how to do fully-drawn male and female characters. The Queen– A truly complex and humane exploration of an older and quite powerful woman.

DIRECTOR: Martin Scorsese will and should. The female lead was the worst-conceived character in the movie, but it’s Marty! He’s due. Overdue.

ACTOR: Forest Whitaker will and should. In the best of worlds, he and O’Toole would tie, but this really is a career-defining performance.

ACTRESS: Helen Mirren will and should. Streep should be in the supporting category and Dench already has an Oscar. Otherwise, a three-way tie!

SUPPORTING ACTOR: Eddie Murphy will because it’s a great come-back performance and he’s paid his dues. Mark Wahlberg should because he’s the best of the nominess, though the REAL best supporting performances were given by Michael Sheen in The Queen and James McAvoy in Last King of Scotland.

strong>SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Jennifer Hudson will. It’s inevitable. And it’s a great underdog story. Cate Blanchett should. This is the role she should win an Oscar for, not The Aviator.

FOREIGN FILM: Water will and should. It’s waaaayyyy better on women’s issues and it’s quite a remarkable movie, but it’s not as imaginatively done.

DOCUMENTARY: An Inconvenient Truth will and should because Gore wuz robbed in 2000

CARRIE RICKEY:

FILM: Babel will, The Queen should.

DIRECTOR: Scorsese for The Departed will, Stephen Frears for The Queen should.

ACTOR: Forest Whitaker for Last King of Scotland will and should ACTRESS: Helen Mirren for The Queen will, should.

SUPPORTING ACTOR: Eddie Murphy in Dreamgirls will, should.

SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Jennifer Hudson in Dreamgirls will, should. FOREIGN FILM: Pan’s Labyrinth will, Water should.

DOCUMENTARY: An Inconvenient Truth wil, Deliver Us From Evil should.

MARCY DERMANSKY:

FILM: Babel will win– but I hated it, because the two-and-half-our-long experience of watching all that suffering for no valid reason made me livid. I had a similar reaction last year to Crash, so I think a precedent has been set. The Queen should win– it’s the best film of the bunch, and Best Picture-worthy.

DIRECTOR: Scorsese for The Departed will win for obvious sentimental reasons. Of the group, I’d say Frears should win, but in the ideal film awards, I’d give this prize to Guillermo de Toro for Pan’s Labyrinth or Pedro Almodovar for Volver.

ACTOR: Peter O’Toole will win because the academy is sentimental and every year one underdog gets the prize. (Sorry, Forest Whitaker!). Ryan Gosling should win. I wish Clive Owen had received a nomination for Children of Men.

ACTRESS: Helen Mirren will and should win, but I’ll put Penelope Cruz at a close second. And, I’d love to have seen nominations for Gretchen Mol (Notorious Bettie Page) and Maggie Gyllenhaal (Sherrybaby).

SUPPORTING ACTOR: Eddie Murphy will win, although I have a genuine loathing for musicals. I’d be pleased to see Alan Arkin get an Oscar.

SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Jennifer Hudson should and will win. I don’t understand all the fuss about Rinko Kikuchi’s performance; she was naked and angry. I wish her father could have wrapped his coat around her in her final scene. I’d give this award to Shareeke Epps for Half Nelson or Ivana Baquero for Pan’s Labryrinth.

FOREIGN FILM: Pan’s Labyrinth will win, should win. I’m happy about that. DOCUMENTARY: An Inconvenient Truth will win. It’s a fine film; I’m all for spreading awareness about global warning. I wish, however, that Jesus Camp would get the Oscar. It’s a mind blowing, incredibly well made and researched film of equal import – though I supposed an army of religious child zealots doesn’t possess the strength of melting ice caps.

JOANNA LANGFIELD:

FILM: The Departed will (it’s one for Scorsese). Letters from Iwo Jima should (phenomenal, but too much Clint– they think– already)

DIRECTOR: Scorsese for The Departed will (give the man his due), Eastwood for Letters from Iwo Jima should (incredible and in a foreign language!!!!)

ACTOR: Forest Whitaker for Last King of Scotland will and should (holy you-know-what!!!!)

ACTRESS: Helen Mirren for The Queen will and should (phenomenal, amongst towering competition).

SUPPORTING ACTOR: Eddie Murphy in Dreamgirls will and should (great work, from a baby boomer beloved)

SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Jennifer Hudson in Dreamgirls will and should (got to!)FOREIGN FILM: Days of Glory should (haunting stuff), Pan’s Labyrinth will (probably the only one A voters will watch)

DOCUMENTARY: An Inconvenient Truth will (political message irresistible), My Country My Country should (better film than AIT)

JENNIFER MERIN:

FILM: The Queen should and will win. It’s a flawless and fascinating film, with tremendous depth and exquisite performances.

DIRECTOR: Martin Scorsese will because it’s his turn. Paul Greengrass should for his extraoridnary skill and the integrity with which he handled United 93, dealing with such an emotionally explosive subject in a balanced, unsentimental, brilliant way.

ACTOR: Forest Whitaker should and will win. Performances by O’Toole and Gosling were brilliant, too. But Whitaker nailed the most challenging role.

ACTRESS: Helen Mirren should and will. From the opening moment when she looks into the camera, you know you’re in for a no-holds-barred wrestle with greatness. Mirren’s powerful, complex and compelling characterization is amazing.

SUPPORTING ACTOR: Eddie Murphy will win– at least that’s what the buzz wisdom would have you believe, and his extraordinary talent slices through Dreamgirls. But I’d rather see Alan Arkin win for his boldly honest, love-brimming, very quirky characterization in LMS or Jackie Earle Haley for his brutally honest performance as the self-loathing, utterly hateful, yet helpless pedofile in Little Children.

SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Jennifer Hudson will because her enormous talent and presence leap off the screen and rock you. Abigail Breslin should for LMS. Her performance was remarkably mature, subtle and smart, and it perfectly served the film.

FOREIGN FILM: Pan’s Labyrinth should and will win because it’s perfect, and smarrt and it sinks into your psyche with images that influence how you see the world.

DOCUMENTARY: An Inconvenient Truth will win because it delivers an important and compelling message, and because Gore’s persona is sympathetic and convincing. The film’s message (and Gore’s) is extremely important, and hopefully an Oscar nod will help spread the word. But, Jesus Camp should win because it’s a better film with an equally alarming message, and an even more controversial and provocative edge. And, it succeeds without the celebrity centerpiece to draw attention to it’s issues.

KIM VOYNAR:

FILM: Babel should, Letters from Iwo Jima will. I’m betting the gray hairs that make up most of the academy’s voting block will go for the WW2 flick over The Departed. Babel is too confusing and inaccessible for a lot of people. The Queen, while I liked it a lot, rides too solidly on one performance (although it could sneak in for a win), and Sunshine, while it has great appeal overall and one of Alan Arkin’s best performances ever, is too light for a Best Picture Oscar. I’m feeling grumpy about this category anyhow, though, since my fave film of 2006, Children of Men, got shut out of it.

DIRECTOR: Scorsese for The Departed will, Paul Greengrass for United 93 should. Scorsese has been wisely keeping pretty mum. You know he wants the Best Director statue, but he’s not going to show it. I don’t think they’ll give him Best Picture, but they may finally toss him a Director bone. Eastwood might sneak in there again — the Academy likes him — and if he wins this one look for him to take the Best Director-Best Pic double whammy. Paul Greengrass probably deserves a win on this for his sensitive handling of 9/11 subject matter, but I don’t think they’ll give it to him.

ACTOR: Peter O’Toole for Venus will, Ryan Gosling for Half Nelson should. This will finally be O’Toole’s year. He’s getting old, his health is failing, and the Academy knows this is very likely the last Oscar-caliber performance from him. They’re largely getting old too, and I’m betting the Oscar voters will toss the Oscar to O’Toole here, even though it’s not the strongest of the performances in this category. Whitaker’s performance as Idi Amin was amazing, and if anyone sneaks by O’Toole for the win, it’s likely to be him. My personal pick would be Gosling’s turn as the crack-addicted teacher in Half Nelson, but that subject matter may be a little too raw for the Academy voters.

ACTRESS: Meryl Streep for Prada will, Kate Winslet for Little Children should. Mirren looked like a solid lock back in December, but it’s starting to look more like Mirren and Dench will cancel each other out, and if that happens look for Streep, always respected by the Academy, to sneak in for a win, even if Prada itself is kind of a light film for an Oscar nod. Kate Winslet deserves to win for her incredible performance in Little Children, but the role is too unlikable for a win.

SUPPORTING ACTOR: Alan Arkin for LMS will, Jackie Earle Haley for Little Children should. Alan Arkin had one of the best performances in his career in LMS, and this may be one category in which LMS takes home the gold. Jackie Earle Haley’s comeback role as a sexual offender was everything that should win an Oscar, but as with Winslet, the role itself may be too unlikable for him to pull in the win.

SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Jennifer Hudson in Dreamgirls will, Abigail Breslin in LMS should. I would love to see Abigail Breslin take this, and I hope she does.

FOREIGN FILM: Pan’s Labyrinth will and should.

DOCUMENTARY: An Inconvenient Truth will, Deliver Us From Evil should. Al Gore and An Inconvenient Truth had a big success with this film, and that’s likely to catapault it to the win, even though from a filmmaking standpoint it is by far the weakest entry in this field. Amy Berg should win for Deliver Us From Evil, which arguably had greater real-life impact than any documentary in recent memory, and maybe she’ll sneak in there. Rachel Grady and Heidi Ewing had a film on the Oscar short-list last year with Boys of Baraka, though, so this second consecutive year in the ranks might pull in the win for them.

LEXI FEINBERG

FILM: Little Miss Sunshine will win. It’s universally loved and with Dreamgirls out of the running, I think it has a real shot at charming its way to the podium. The Departed should win. It’s Marty’s best movie in over a decade…but I accept that it has no chance of winning.

DIRECTOR: Scorsese will win, unless Greengrass pulls a surprise upset. Scorsese should win because it’s his time.

ACTOR: Peter O’Toole will win. He’s never won and he’s of an age, so the potentially tear-inducing speech alone will land him a lot of votes. Ryan Gosling should win because he’s a force to be reckoned with, and his performance in Half Nelson is nothing short of spellbinding.

ACTRESS: Helen Mirren will win. That was easy! This is an incredibly strong line-up of female performances, but I’m giving the slight edge to Dench. Although she is always fantastic, something about this role really showed a different, more startling side of her.

SUPPORTING ACTOR: Eddie Murphy will win. It’s the role of his career. He’ll win and bask in the glory before falling back into his cringeworthy safety zone, i.e., Norbitt. Jackie Earle Haley should win with his impressive comeback and, hands down, he’s the best part of Little Children

SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Jennifer Hudson should and will win. I challenge anyone to watch her perform “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going” without going weak in the knees. Or sobbing. A star is born!

DOCUMENTARY: An Inconvenient Truth will win because people everywhere were shocked by the facts of global warming. And, better yet, they were amazed to discover that Al Gore has a personality. Deliver Us From Evil should win. It’s probably one of the most haunting documentaries I’ve ever seen. Certainly unforgettable, to say the least.SUSAN GRANGER:

FILM: Little Miss Sunshine will because it’s the most upbeat and entertaining and, since it won the SAG Ensemble Award, that indicates that the larges branch– the actors– favor it. Babel should because it’s the most challenging, intriguing and original cinematic experience.

DIRECTOR: Scorsese for The Departed should and will because he‘s been nominated five times and always lost; despite his aloof attitude toward Hollywood, sentiment rules this year

ACTOR: Peter O’Toole for Venus should because his performance is brilliant and he’s been nominated eight times, which will set a record for Oscar futility if he loses again. Forest Whitaker for Last King of Scotland will because he delivered an equally brilliant performance and he’s campaigned like crazy

ACTRESS: Helen Mirren should and will- no contest here.

SUPPORTING ACTOR: Eddie Murphy in Dreamgirls should and will for demonstrating his versatility.

SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Adrianna Barraza in Babel should because she delivered the most nuanced, memorable performance. Jennifer Hudson in Dreamgirls will because she’s an appealing, publicity-hungry newcomer and that often sways this category.

FOREIGN FILM: The Lives of Others should because it’s simply the best. Pan’s Labyrinth will because every Academy member got the DVD, and its acclaim and publicity campaign has been phenomenal.

DOCUMENTARY: An Inconvenient Truth should and will since global warming is timely and topical – and Al Gore will be in the audience beaming, “I told you so….”

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