The Academy Award nominations were released this morning. Coincidentally, the President’s State of the Union Address is tonight. Both will garner a lot of attention today and in the days ahead. While I haven’t seen the list of Oscar nominees yet, and obviously I don’t know how the speech will go tonight, but I think both events are pretty predictable.
For the record, let me just say that I think it is important for us as a society to honor and recognize those who work so hard to play their parts, even if they are directed by others and their words written by someone else and they make tons of money with very little heavy lifting. Here, then, are my predictions for the nominees for tonight’s performances:
Best Picture: This award recognizes the person who’s picture, taken during the speech, gets the most play in tomorrow’s newspapers and blogs. The favorites in this category have to be President Bush, Vice President Cheney and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (did you know she was a woman?), simply because they get the most screen time. The edge here probably goes to Pelosi, who has better hair, though other “best picture” contenders could be of Hillary scowling or Ted Kennedy passing out face first onto his desk, but since these are familiar images they might not be as “newsworthy”. I think the winner might be a surprise candidate, such as Sen. Dennis Kucinich reading a MAD magazine, or Representative Keith Ellison reading the Koran.
Best Actor/Actress: Isn’t it archaic in this day and age to have separate actor categories for men and women? If you ask me this smacks of quotas and set asides. Why not simply recognize the best performance, based on who’s the most convincing? Expected nominees include President Bush, who will try to convince us he has a plan; Speaker Pelosi, who will try to smile and applaud as the President enters; Minority Leader John Boehner, who will try to act as if he’s relevant; and Representative Jack Murtha, who will act as if he’s actually heard what was just said. A lot of people favor Barack Obama for this award for his overall performance in appearing to have substance, but I think that tonight he’ll be playing it safe and just trying not to screw it up.
Best Supporting Actor/Actress: This award goes to person who does the best job of making the President look good, even if only by comparison. This is always a heated competition, especially in the lightweight division, where Kucinich and Senator Barbara Boxer have been the front-runners. Senator Joe Biden can also be a factor — if he isn’t too busy
copying working on his screenplay. I’ve heard, however, that the Republicans are working with Fox News on some excuse to get Howard Dean into the Chamber for the evening. My money, however, is on Senator John Kerry who continues to do good work but will also garner some “lifetime achievement” support for his efforts in 2004.
Best Non-Supporting Actor/Actress: This is an unusual category but one that’s hard to ignore and that has a strong field of candidates. Nominees worth watching include the perennial John McCain, but you take your eyes off of Senators John Warner, Olympia Snowe and Chuck Hagl at your own risk. I think this will go, however, to surprise dark-horse nominee, Senator Norm Coleman.
Best Original Song, Best Original Screenplay: No nominees. Haven’t we heard it all before?
That’s all I have time for because I need to go out and buy snacks and beverages for tonight’s show now so that I don’t have to worry about being late getting to my recliner in front of the TV. I’ll leave it to others to submit your nominations for categories such as “Best Director”, “Best Animation” or “Special Effects.”