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  The 4th Annual Shaking Through Grover Awards

Other Grover Awards: 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002

Read our post-Oscar reaction to the evening's banalities.

 

Posted: January 29, 2005

By Laurence Station

Martin Scorsese finally gets his due. He's made the right film at the right time. Sadly, the right time is a year when there's no real competition -- this is one of the weakest Best Picture years in recent memory. Richard Linklater's minimal, sublime Before Sunset and Joshua Marston's engaging Maria Full of Grace apparently didn't have sturdy enough promotional campaigns championing their causes. Regardless, it will be nice to see Marty finally break through on the Left Coast. Respect is long overdue.

As for our ultra-low-key, broadcast-bereft Grover awards, we hitch our cart to the remaining best option, The Aviator. (For a dissenting opinion, please click here.) Enjoy our picks, and we'll see you back here the morning after the big event with our Post-Oscar reaction.

Listed below are the Oscar nominees, with our favored pick (who should win) in bold text alongside the accompanying image. The actual Oscar prediction (who will win) follows. Official winners are highlighted in red.

 
Best Picture     Best Director
   
  Martin Scorsese, The Aviator
Who Will Win: The Aviator     Who Will Win: Martin Scorsese, The Aviator
Why: Just look at the competition. Aviator may be one of Scorsese's lesser efforts, but it's still good enough to whip this group.     Why: Eastwood's got one. It's Marty's turn.
       
Best Actor     Best Actress
  Jamie Foxx, Ray
   
  Catalina Sandino Moreno, Maria Full of Grace
Who Will Win: Jamie Foxx, Ray     Who Will Win: Imelda Staunton, Vera Drake
Why: Foxx did the best job impersonating a real person. Eastwood capably inhabits the lone fictional character on the list, but he's outclassed.     Why: One of our few ballsy calls. Annette and Hilary's rematch will end in a draw, opening the door for Imelda to snatch Oscar gold.
       
Best Supporting Actor     Best Supporting Actress
  Clive Owen, Closer
   
  Laura Linney, Kinsey
Who Will Win: Clive Owen, Closer     Who Will Win: Virginia Madsen, Sideways
Why: Owen had a meatier role than the equally excellent Haden Church. And why is Alan Alda on this list?     Why: This B-movie vet gives a great, genuinely affecting performance. Blanchett has an outside shot, but Portman's still one or two strong performances away from earning her statuette.
       
Best Screenplay (Original)     Best Screenplay (Adaptation)
  Brad Bird, The Incredibles
   
  Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke and Kim Krizan, Before Sunset
Who Will Win: John Logan, The Aviator     Who Will Win: Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor, Sideways
Why: Logan's part of the winning team. Though he owes it to the army of writers who came before him on the Hughes project to at least give thanks.     Why: Sideways is a smartly crafted, dialogue-driven movie. From an Academy standpoint, Before Sunset is too unstructured and improvisational.
       
Cinematography     Film Editing
  The Aviator, Robert Richardson
   
  The Aviator, Thelma Schoonmaker
Who Will Win: The Aviator, Robert Richardson     Who Will Win: The Aviator, Thelma Schoonmaker
Why: The photography soars and is the best aspect of the film.     Why: Aviator is brilliantly edited. Also, it's been 25 years since Raging Bull and Thelma's lone win. She's earned another one.
       
Visual Effects     Art Direction
  Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Roger Guyett, Tim Burke, John Richardson and Bill George
  • I, Robot, John Nelson, Andrew R. Jones, Erik Nash and Joe Letteri
  • Spider-Man 2, John Dykstra, Scott Stokdyk, Anthony LaMolinara and John Frazier
   
  A Very Long Engagement, Aline Bonetto
Who Will Win: Spider-Man 2, John Dykstra, Scott Stokdyk, Anthony LaMolinara and John Frazier     Who Will Win: The Aviator, Dante Ferretti (Art Direction); Francesca Lo Schiavo (Set Decoration)
Why: This is a blockbuster category. Thus, the Oscar goes to the biggest blockbuster of the three.     Why: It's a great-looking film. Plus, this ties in nicely with the other technical nominations for the night's big winner.
       
Costume Design     Makeup
  The Aviator, Sandy Powell
   
  Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, Valli O’Reilly and Bill Corso
Who Will Win: The Aviator, Sandy Powell     Who Will Win: Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, Valli O’Reilly and Bill Corso
Why: Aviator won't sweep, but this will be another statuette added to its haul.     Why: Jim Carrey didn't get nominated for his acting, but his array of visually well-designed characters deserves the prize.
       
Sound Mixing     Sound Editing
  The Aviator, Tom Fleischman and Petur Hliddal
  • The Incredibles, Randy Thom, Gary A. Rizzo and Doc Kane
  • The Polar Express, Randy Thom, Tom Johnson, Dennis Sands and William B. Kaplan
  • Ray, Scott Millan, Greg Orloff, Bob Beemer and Steve Cantamessa
  • Spider-Man 2, Kevin O’Connell, Greg P. Russell, Jeffrey J. Haboush and Joseph Geisinger
   
  The Incredibles, Michael Silvers and Randy Thom
  • The Polar Express, Randy Thom and Dennis Leonard
  • Spider-Man 2, Paul N.J. Ottosson
Who Will Win: The Aviator, Tom Fleischman and Petur Hliddal     Who Will Win: Spider-Man 2, Paul N.J. Ottosson
Why: Amazing sound, especially during the aerial sequences.     Why: Nice work, and it's a safe choice for the obligatory blockbuster nominee.
       
Original Song     Original Score
  "Look To Your Path (Vois Sur Ton Chemin)" from The Chorus (Les Choristes), Music by Bruno Coulais, Lyric by Christophe Barratier
  • "Accidentally In Love" from Shrek 2, Music by Adam Duritz, Charles Gillingham, Jim Bogios, David Immergluck, Matthew Mallery and David Bryson, Lyric by Adam Duritz and Daniel Vickrey
  • "Al Otro Lado Del Río" from The Motorcycle Diaries, Music and Lyric by Jorge Drexler
  • "Believe" from The Polar Express, Music and Lyric by Glen Ballard and Alan Silvestri
  • "Learn To Be Lonely" from The Phantom of the Opera, Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, Lyric by Charles Hart
   
Who Will Win: "Accidentally In Love" from Shrek 2, Music by Adam Duritz, Charles Gillingham, Jim Bogios, David Immergluck, Matthew Mallery and David Bryson, Lyric by Adam Duritz and Daniel Vickrey     Who Will Win: Finding Neverland, Jan A.P. Kaczmarek
Why: This is the most well-known of the nominees and thus the (unfortunate) likely choice.     Why: First-time nominee Kaczmarek did solid work. Neverland just avoids a shutout.
       
Best Animated Feature Film     Best Foreign Language Film
   
  The Chorus (Les Choristes), France
  • As It Is in Heaven, Sweden
  • Downfall, Germany
  • The Sea Inside, Spain
  • Yesterday, South Africa
Who Will Win: The Incredibles     Who Will Win: The Chorus (Les Choristes), France
Why: Primarily because it's far and away the best of the three. Shark Tale's nomination must be a mistake or someone's idea of a really bad joke.     Why: The smart money may be on The Sea Inside, but with lead Javier Bardem not even getting nominated, look for this sentimental French effort to take the prize.

Post-Oscar Reaction:
10 out of 20, a staggeringly average 50 percent correctly pegged. Down slightly (cough, cough) from last year’s Rings-powered 80 percent.

Trivial & Embarrassingly Petty Observations:
  • Million Dollar Baby is the worst best picture winner since… A Beautiful Mind, not so long ago.
  • Chris Rock was straightjacketed but still got in a few decent zingers.
  • Antonio Banderas’ rendition of Oscar winning song "Al Otro Lado Del Río" was William Shatner bad. The key difference: Shatner’s in on the joke. Shame Beyoncé was tied up in a costume change, as she did fine work on three of the other nominated tunes.
  • Hilary Swank’s acceptance speech line about being a "girl from a trailer park who had a dream" out-clichéd her character, also from a trailer park who had a dream of being euthanized by Dirty Harry.
  • Hilary Swank now has 2 more Oscars than Martin Scorsese. What's wrong with this picture?
  • Marty, when they offer you a conciliatory lifetime achievement Oscar in a few years, tell them you'll accept only if they move the ceremony to Little Italy and let you direct the show.

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 5.0: A masterpiece
 4.0-4.9: Exceptional

 3.0-3.9: Solid fare

 2.0-2.9: The mediocrities...
 1.1-1.9: Poor
 0.0-1.0: Utter dreck
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