Jon Stewart to host the Oscars!!

According to Oscarwatch, anyway. Here’s what they post:

I’m very very happy. I’m an Oscar whore and generally will have seen most if not all of the nominated films in the Top 8 categories prior to nomination day. This year will be great for me. My favorite movie of the year, Brokeback Mountain, is the frontrunner and almost everyone is certain it will win, and now Jon as the host…I CAN’T WAIT!
Btw, Academy Award nominations come out Tuesday January 31, while the Oscar show is on Sunday March 5.

Perfect! I’ve actually been anticpating the Acadamy Awards this year, just on the strength of the competition.

Having Jon Stewart host is a big fat cherry on top. Sweet.

I’d watch that. Although I guess the last talk-show host who took that gig didn’t do very well.

Same here. I think it’s been a very good year for movies, and there isn’t one on the “possibles” list that I disliked, though of course I liked some more than others.

I might as well make this into an Oscar thread. This can be skipped if people don’t want to hear me talking out my ass.

Based on early indicators, here are my prediction of possible Oscar nominatons:

Brokeback Mountain (a take-it-to-the-bank LOCK for nomination and win)
Crash (probably a lock)
Walk The Line (probably a lock)
Good Night, and Good Luck (iffy)
Munich (very iffy)

I’d love to see King Kong in there, but I’d rather see it knock out the average/good Walk The Line instead of the very good GN,aGL or the excellent Munich (all opinions are IMHO of course). Walk The Line will definitely get nominations for Best Actor (Joaquin Phoenix) and Best Actress (Reese Witherspoon), with an almost certain Best Actress win (unless Felicity Huffman upsets).

Other contenders for Best Picture nominations:
Capote (Philip Seymour Hoffman will win Best Actor in any case)
Cinderella Man (Russell Crowe and Paul Giamatti should be nominated for Best Actor/Best Supporting Actor)
The Constant Gardener (Might get Director and Screenplay nominations)
A History of Violence (Might get Director and Screenplay nominations)
Syriana (Should get Clooney a Best Supporting Actor nomination)

Could surprise:
The New World (never count out Terrence Malik)
Match Point (ditto Woody Allen)
Animated nominations will probably go to (there will only be 3 nominations):

Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (likely winner)
Tim Burton’s The Corpse Bride
Howl’s Moving Castle (they loved Spirited Away by the same director)

I keep track of Guild Awards, which are far more important when trying to glean what the AMPAS members are thinking (not all Guild members are AMPAS members, but almost all AMPAS members are Guild members–those in the crafts anyway). Out of 10 Guilds, only 2 have announced their nominations (Producers Guild and Writers Guild) with 2 more coming tomorrow (Screen Actors Guild and Directors Guild) with the rest coming in the next 2 weeks.

The Producers Guild nominees:

= Theatrical Feature =

Brokeback Mountain
Good Night, and Good Luck
Walk The Line

No Munich!! That’s beyond Shocking. No screeners were sent out, but you’d think Producers would go out of their way to see it. The Producers Guild usually go for big-budget movies. The combined total of the budgets of all these movies don’t even total the budget of one Hollywood blockbuster. The Producers Guild might be sending a “message” but why? They don’t have to, and it’s probably in their best interests not to.

= Animated Feature = (will not factor for Best Picture nominations)

Chicken Little
Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride
Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit


Writers Guild nominees:

= Original Screenplay =

Cinderella Man
The 40 Year-Old Virgin
Good Night, and Good Luck
The Squid and the Whale

No Match Point is a blow to Woody Allen. I haven’t seen MP (I will this Friday) but it’s supposed to be Allen’s best movie in years, with a brilliant screenplay.

= Adapted Screenplay =

Brokeback Mountain
The Constand Gardener
A History of Violence

No Munich is a blow to Spielberg, but no screeners were sent out and it’s still in limited release. No screeners of King Kong were sent out either, but it’s playing everywhere. I didn’t expect it to get Screenplay nominatons anyway.

I’ve seen all the movies mentioned above except for Robots (which I missed), Match Point and The New World (which haven’t opened in Chicago yet, both of which I’ll see on opening day).

“are my prediction”? I’m such a dork. …are my predictions…

Actually, I’ll be surprised if King Kong doesn’t get a Best Adapted Screenplay nomination. It’s a very clever adaptation, in ways that I would expect movie folks to appreciate more than your average moviegoer. No chance for the win, of course – the competition is just better.

For Best Actress, I’m rooting for Judi Dench in Mrs. Henderson Presents. She is spectacular. (Perfect movie all around, really – I’m sure it will pick up some broader category nominations as well, when it gets some more exposure.) My second for Best Actress is Gwyneth Paltrow in Proof. Jake Gyllenhaal has a damned fine supporting role there, too – but I guess the limelight is on Brokeback Mountain.

I think Ralph Fiennes has Best Actor locked up for The Constant Gardener. Just for that one scene. You know the one.

I liked the screenplay too, but yeah, the competition is tough. It could still surprise by getting in. AMPAS doesn’t always go along with the Guilds, but it’s usually close.

**Mrs. Henderson Presents hasn’t opened in Chicago yet. It’s the 3rd major one I’m waiting for (after MP and TNW). I’m certain I’ll love it. I missed Proof when it played so if Gwyneth and Charlize Theron (North Country, which I also missed) get nominations my record of the last few years for seeing all the nominated films will be shot, unless a Chicago theater brings them back sometime between nomination day and Oscar day.

I didn’t remember that Jake G was in Proof! I really wanted to see it but kept putting it off, thinking, oh it’ll be there next week, over and over, until it disappeared. I think he deserves a nomination for BBM anyway though. The 2nd time I saw Brokeback Mountain I paid special attention to his character, and he was subtly astonishing. Jack conveyed far more emotions than Heath Ledger’s character (another astonishing performance) and was perfect at all of them (happiness, sadness, wariness, anger, hopefulness, bitterness, longing, resentfulness, love). Jack wore his heart on his sleeve as opposed to bundled up in a hankerchief, wrapped in foil, and buried in his pocket like Ennis.

The most recent movie I’ve seen with Fiennes was The White Countess as a blind club owner in Shanghai in the 1930’s, so whenever I try to think of Ralph in a scene, bits of that movie keep coming back (or as Voldemort). I really liked TCG but I only saw it once. I’m sure I’ll know that scene if I think about it more (or if you tell me). Otherwise all I’m picturing is the very end scene. I’m confident RF will get a nomination for one of those two movies, but not a win. Hoffman is a lock.

Argh, why do I not Preview?!

I expected to like it, but I didn’t expect to be so thoroughly blown away. I’m stuck on the thirties and forties, so maybe I’m a bit prejudiced, but it rocked my socks. It’s not only Judi Dench’s incredible performance that makes this movie – it’s perfect. Extremely funny, poignant, tragic, uplifting without being trite – every note is perfect. That reminds me: the music! Holy crap. Great versions of “Babies of the Blitz” and “Goody Goody” stand out, but the big surprise for me was Will Young’s extraordinary rendition of “The Girl in the Little Green Hat,” which I never would have believed could have been delivered with more charm than Mae Questel managed. Wow. Dead cert for a BAFTA for music. (Sneak that in there since I doubt we’ll have a BAFTA thread, and there’s no applicable AA.)

I still haven’t seen Brokeback Mountain – or Capote, Match Point, or Munich. BBM and Munich are at the top of the list. I really have a lot of admiration for Jake Gyllenhaal, and not just because Donnie Darko instantly made it onto my shortlist of best movies ever.

Sorry to be cryptic. The wordless scene by the french doors when he goes back home to London. It made me totally lose my shit, (he says, hoping to compensate for any perceived girliness with a cultivated lack of gentility.)

Screen Actors Guild nominations:

Best Actor:

Russell Crowe - CINDERELLA MAN

Philip Seymour Hoffman - CAPOTE


Joaquin Phoenix - WALK THE LINE

David Strathairn - GOOD NIGHT, AND GOOD LUCK
Best Actress:


Felicity Huffman - TRANSAMERICA

Charlize Theron - NORTH COUNTRY

Reese Witherspoon - WALK THE LINE

Ziyi Zhang - MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA (wha…?)
Best Supporting Actor:

Don Cheadle - CRASH

George Clooney - SYRIANA

Matt Dillon - CRASH

Paul Giamatti - CINDERELLA MAN

Best Supporting Actress:

Amy Adams - JUNEBUG (YES!!)

Catherine Keener - CAPOTE

Frances McDormand - NORTH COUNTRY


Michelle Williams - BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN
Best Ensemble Cast:







Directors Guild nominees

George Clooney

Paul Haggis

Ang Lee

Bennett Miller

Steven Spielberg

And the Brokeback Mountain love continues. I couldn’t be happier! (well, I could, if I’d seen North Country and Hustle & Flow when they were in the theaters, and if Mrs. Henderson Presents had opened already. bangs head against wall!)

Ziyi Zhang and the H&F Ensemble nominations came out of nowhere. I don’t think too many people were predicting them. Amy Adams seemed like a longshot, but her character is so lovable and so tragic she was hard to forget. Munich is finally getting some well-deserved attention, and Capote is the little movie that COULD. I love the George Clooney nomination from his fellow directors, and I also love that Russell Crowe wasn’t forgotten. It was yet again, a great performance in an ok movie. Good for Paul Giamatti too.

Big snubs for (in no particular order)…

Naomi Watts for King Kong (that’s my wishful thinking though)
Eric Bana for Munich
Claire Danes for Shopgirl
Diane Keaton for The Family Stone
Sarah Jessica Parker for The Family Stone
Thandie Newton for Crash
Bob Hoskins for Mrs. Henderson Presents
Keira Knightley for Pride & Predjudice
Scarlett Johannson for Match Point
Terrence Howard for Hustle & Flow (expecially odd because of the Ensemble nod)
Gong Li for Memoirs of a Geisha
Gwyneth Paltrow for Proof
Joan Allen for The Upside of Anger
Jeff Daniels for The Squid and the Whale
Laura Linney for The Squid and the Whale
Shirley MacLaine for In Her Shoes
Ralph Feinnes for The Constant Gardener or The White Countess
Viggo Mortenson for A History of Violence cry
Maria Bello for A History of Violence
William Hurt for A History of Violence
Syriana for Ensemble
Munich for Ensemble
Walk the Line Director (James Mangold)
A History of Violence Director (David Cronenberg)
Match Point Director (Woody Allen)
King Kong Director (Peter Jackson…wishful thinking again)

The next Guild nominations don’t come out until next week, when the Visual Effects Society nominations come out. Finally we’ll be seeing some massive King Kong love.
Larry, one of the reasons I’m so looking forward to Mrs. Henderson is the music. I love it already and I haven’t heard a note!

Hey, it just occured to me that there are a couple of titles that are conspicuous by their absence:

Jim Jarmusch’s Broken Flowers. I figured it was Oscar-bait, for sure. Maybe a token nomination for original screenplay. It’s a great movie, and Bill Murray does a great job with it. (Not the kind of performance you expect awards for, though – his character displays a totally flat affect throughout. You mainly see his brain ticking over as he tries to work out what he feels, if he feels anything other than spectacularly depressed.)

I’m guessing people feel it’s too similar in structure and feeling to to a pan-American Lost In Translation, but IMHO its script and direction are much better.

Also, Prime - but I guess Meryl Streep has gotten enough love over the years, and took home a “Best Supporting” recently. (There were so many deserving movies this year, too. Best single year for movies that I can remember – maybe their should be a special award for that. Congratulations, 2005.)

Back to Jon Stewart, he says:

Also from that article, one of the most ill-founded assertions ever:

Jon Stewart’s demographics are strong, and I think it’s safe to say that the core demographic of Daily Show viewers is significantly outside of people who are going to watch the Academy Awards anyway. That statement would make more sense applied to someone like Steve Martin, for crying out loud.

Up front, I admit I’ve never liked Jon Stewart.

Still, for HIS sake, he should have turned down the offer, because this is going to be the lowest rated Oscar show in years, and he’ll take the blame, even though it won’t be his fault.

Why? Because there’s not a single popular movie that has a chance of being nominated for a significant award. We’re going to see gay movies (“Brokeback Mountain”), rehashes of the McCarthy era (“Good Night and Good Luck”), America-bashing movies (“Syriana”), and anti-anti-terrorist movies (“Munich”) up for the major awards.

Now, this may be swell by Hollywood lefties who are eager to pat themselves on the back over their progressivism, but America at large is not going to tune in to hear Steven Spielberg gush about how we should try to get along better with terrorists, or to hear George Clooney congratulate himself for opposing McCarthyism more than 50 years after McCarthy became a spent force.

This year’s Oscars are going to be a Liberal Hollywood love-in, and the ratings are going to plummet. Jon Stewart will take the blame.

He’d be better off staying home and washing his hair.

Thank God, not just because I like Jon Stewart (I said I’d love to see him host back in February in fact), but because I can’t bear the thoughts of Billy Crystal singing one of his whiney unfunny songs about Brokeback Mountain to the tune of I Love Paris or about Capote to the tune of My Favorite Things or whatever.

I think this is an unlikely prediction, based on populist metrics like rottentomatoes and the imdb, which rate all of these films very highly.

Stewart! Oscars! Awesome! :slight_smile:

Wow astorian, which right-wing blowhard did you parrot all that from? Needless to say, they don’t know what they’re talking about.

Of course.

The Oscars, believe it or not, are not about ratings. It’s about peers giving awards to other peers. Sometimes they get it right, sometimes they get it wrong, sometimes they split the difference. Whether people tune in or not based on the movies nominated isn’t all that much of a concern. Oh sure, the producers would like high ratings, but it isn’t going to matter that much one way or the other. There will always be Oscars, and there will always be people who will be interested in Oscars.

The viewership of certain years rise because every now and then a movie that sparks the popular imagination is up for the big awards. The ratings of other years look bad in comparison. If this year’s Oscars have low ratings, and it will, it won’t be because of the content of the movies up for awards, it’ll be because there aren’t any massive hits like Titanic or The Lord of the Rings in contention. It’s that simple, and no matter how the right wing try to spin it, it’s as simple as that. Years when movies like Fargo and American Beauty were frontrunners had the same “problem” (I don’t see it as a problem).

I doubt you’ve seen any of these movies and can not speak of their quality. Brokeback Mountain is far more than a “gay” movie, and it’s one that anyone with an open heart could love if they let themselves. My husband and I are straight, and we both think it’s the best movie of the year. It doesn’t have an “agenda” and only tells the story about two people and their lives. It’s a beautiful, tragic love story and the genders of the main characters just happens to be male. Good Night, and Good Luck isn’t a rehash (tell me the name of the last movie you saw about Edward R. Murrow), it just tells the story of one person and his coworkers at a specific time and place. Syriana is hardly an “America bashing” movie. Which blowhard told you that? It’s about corruption. Do you think corruption doesn’t exist, or just that no movies should ever be made about it? And calling Munich an “anti-anti terrorist” movie make you look like a fool who obviously hasn’t seen the movie. It’s about how violence affects people, and it’s one of the best movies of the year. It’s anti-violence, from ALL sides. If you think it glorifies terrorism and says we shouldn’t fight terrorism, you’ve been listening to/reading the wrong blowhard. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Well first, most Americans haven’t seen these movies. They’re either still in limited release, or theaters around them won’t book them. Second, no one is going to hear Spielberg “gush about how we should try to get along better with terrorists” (which is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard. You definitely have not seen Munich) because he’s not going to win and won’t get a chance to speak. No one is going to hear Clooney “congratulate himself for opposing…” (rest of silly sentence deleted) because he’s not going to win, and won’t get a chance to speak.

Btw, do you oppose all stories being told or just the ones you find distasteful? That’s all movies are, telling specific stories of specific people in specific times and places. A story about a few weeks in the life of Edward R. Murrow causing conservatives to have fits is absolutely astonishing to me. You sound like no movie should ever be made about something that happened or people who lived in the past. Did you feel this way about Titanic or All the Presidents Men or Amadeus?

Thank goodness, but really, it’ll be more about celebrating good movies.

The “Academy” is a group comprised of people who love and work in movies. Each vote is by an individual, and there are all kinds of individuals; white, black, asian, hispanic, old, young, liberal, conservative, straight, gay, and every flavor in between. As an entity they’re called the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences but they’re all just people, ranging from Mel Gibson to Bjork, in their own homes or offices, marking the ballots as they see fit. If enough of them like the same thing, that thing wins. It’s not like they all get together via teleconferencing or email and choose what “should” win (or be nominated in the first place).

The ratings will plummet, but as I said, that won’t have anything to do with the quality or content of the movies. Stewart will take the “blame” only by the spin-meisters and the idiots who listen to them.

Wow astorian, which right-wing blowhard did you parrot all that from? Needless to say, they don’t know what they’re talking about.]

I don’t have to parrot anything. I was a right-wing blowhard when right-wing blowhards weren’t cool.

Look, if you’re a leftist and/or a Jon Stewart fan, this year’s Oscars will be just what you’ve been dreaming of for years. Enjoy them. But you won’t have much company. There won’t be a single, successful, mainstream movie up for a single major award. Hence, the ratings will plummet. Jon Stewart will take the blame, and will be mocked worse than David Letterman was. Indeed, Stewart will have to make self-deprecating jokes about his ratings for years afterward.

For those who think that a high-rating on the Internate Movie Database proves that a movie is popular, get real! The only people giving ratings to “Brokeback Mountain” and “Good Night and Good Luck” are people who went to see them, which means that, by definition, they’re people predisposed to approve of homosexuality and to loathe Joe McCarthy. In the same way, I’m sure that people who actually went to see the “Left Behind” movie loved it… but that doesn’t mean anyone who’s not an evangelical Christian would have liked it.

I have little doubt that Heath Ledger will take home a Best Actor Oscar, just as I had no doubt Tom Hanks would win an Oscar for “Philadelphia” ten years ago, and for exactly the same reason: Hollywood wants to Make a Statement.

Fine, let them Make a Statement. But when they find out nobody was listening, they’ll be awfully disappointed.

Hint: Being a right-wing blowhard isn’t cool. You old rebel you!

I’m both, and I will. But since I’ve followed the Oscars since I was a kid and have always been a movie-lover, I’ve always enjoyed them, even when I violently disagreed with their choices (“Working Girl” over “Calling You” in 1988? Man, I’m still pissed off about that!)

Successful, mainstream movies aren’t the only consideration here, and no matter what anyone thinks, never have been. I suppose you think the nominees should be:

Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
War of the Worlds
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

which were the Top 5 films of 2005? I liked all of those movies (especially Harry Potter) but sorry, I think you’re looking for the People’s Choice Awards, not the Academy Awards. Sometimes the fates align and a really popular movie is up for the majors (the previously mentioned Titanic or the Lord of the Rings films), but it actually doesn’t happen all that often. The last few years have been a fluke thanks to Peter Jackson.

Sure the ratings will plummet, but that’s not all that makes up an Oscar show. If ratings, rankings, box office, sales charts, etc. is how you measure the worth of something that’s a pretty empty measure. One of the most extraordinary singer/songwriter/musicians I know has sold less than 5,000 CDs in her entire 20+ year career. Some of the best films I’ve ever seen made less than 10million at the box office. Sales are worthless when defining quality.

I agree with that. IMDB rankings are useless for measuring popularity.

You must really miss the 50’s, huh? And the 1600’s. And the 1100’s. You make it sound as if it’s a bad thing to approve of homosexuality (they are as God made them), and loathe Joe McCarthy (was he a good friend of yours?).

Well first, Philip Seymour Hoffman will win, not Heath Ledger, though Heath will be nominated. If either of them won though, it would mean that, like Tom Hanks, the majority of voters thought that they gave the best performance of that particular year. Oh and, not all Academy voters live and work in Hollywood. They’re scattered all over the world. I believe Mel Gibson lives in Australia, for example. As does Nicole Kidman and Russell Crowe. There’s a whole spate of them living in New Zealand who don’t give a weta’s ass what happens in Hollywood.

The nominees and winners will live forever in movie history books, for people who like to look up trivia information like that. What will last longer and have more of an impact are the movies themselves, which people can watch for as long as people are still around to still watch movies. Like it or not, Brokeback Mountain is doing very well in the short term while it’s at theaters, will get a lot of publicity because of the awards season (the best thing about awards season is bringing attention to smaller films), and will do a rousing business on DVD. For those closeted folks who don’t want to be seen renting it at their local video store, and would prefer it to be delivered to their homes in unmarked packages, online retailers and Netflix had better stock up on an extra-large supply of Brokeback Mountain DVDs. In the end, it’ll be seen by millions of people, and your snarking about the Oscars and lying about it getting nothing but bad reviews can’t stop that. Sorry.

What “statement” would be made by Heath Ledger winning the Oscar? “The Academy Okay With Gay Characters in Movies”?

What about Frida? As Good as it Gets? The Hours? Monster? Boys Don’t Cry? Gay characters aren’t rare in Oscar nominated films. Neither are gay romances.

So the “statement” is what, exactly?

You should really make an effort to turn off the right wing radio stations once in a while. They’re not a good place for information. Your characterization for every movie you listed is false and false in a mean-spirited, dishonest way.

Brokeback Mountain is not a “gay movie” (what IS a “gay movie” anyway? A movie that’s attracted to its own genre?" Regardless of what you hear on the radio, it’s not an “agenda” film, It’s a much more nuanced and artistic piece of work than that. But what would be wrong with a “message” movie anyway? Can a movie with a message not be good? Should a message disqualify a movie from Oscar consideration? Oh, wait, you just don’t like the “message” so therefore it must be a bad movie. Tell me something, is there anything about Brokeback Mountain that you believe is dishonest, misleading or immoral? If so, what? (And please spare us the current rightie canard that the movie “glorifies adultery.” It does no such thng. I don’t care what Sean Hannity told you).

Just out of curiosity how, would you like to see homosexuality portrayed in movies?

Good Night, and Good Luck is not really so much about McCarthyism as it is about journalism (and in some ways, it’s a comment on the current state of journalism) but even it it were about McCarthyism, so what? What’s wrong with making a movie about McCarthyism? Is there some reason that a movie about McCarthyism can’t be good? Is Joe McCarthy a big hero of yours or something? Is there anything about the movie which you think is factually inaccurate or dishonest? If so, what? If not, then what’s your problem?

Your accusation that Steven Spielberg is pro-terrorist is completely baseless, really nasty and totally uninformed. Once again. I urge you not to get your information from right-wing radio. Make an effort to at least read some reviews, even if you think it woulld make you un-American (or worse…make you pro-gay) to avtually go and see the movies for themselves.

Oh…and Syrian is not “un-American.” Two of the most sympathetic characters in the movie are patriotic Americans. Making films about corporate and governmental corruption are not the same thing as “hating America.” I would think that as a Doper you would have learned that by now…or at least learned not to say it.