By AMY NICHOLSON
By ALAN SCHERSTUHL
By CAROLINA DEL BUSTO
By AMY NICHOLSON
By STEPHANIE ZACHAREK
By R. Scott Moxley
And the Emmy for the gayest upcoming awards show goes to . . . not the Tonys this time, but the Oscars, which will finally have the theater queens out-bitched and out-swished! Yes, this year's Academy Awards—just like the Globes—will be a lavender-tinted celebration of homo love, even if the cowpokes are gloomy, Capote barely touches his boyfriend, and the transsexual doesn't get too sexual. (She's a straight woman anyway.) It was a gay-for-pay year peopled with actors who are on the road to golden glory, especially since in actuality they're totally, certifiably—we're told for sure—straighter than the line to the Kodak Theatre. That makes their performances oh so brave and committed, don't you know, while the gays who play straight all the time (like certain movie stars in their everyday lives) don't ever get recognized for all the challenging work that takes.
Anyway, FELICITY HUFFMAN has the ultimate stunt role in Transamerica—a potent Oscar seducer, not because it's all that great, mind you, but because of the attention-grabbing gimmick behind it. See, in Monster, CHARLIZE THERON only played a lesbian and in Million Dollar Baby, I mean Boys Don't Cry, HILARY SWANK was just a woman living as a man, but Felicity is a woman playing a biological man who becomes a woman. It's Victor/Victoria, except for real. Alas, the movie's other contrivances annoy—she can't tell her young squire that (a) she's had a sex change and (b) she's his father, because then the whole thing would end in 20 minutes. But Huff is still strong in the role and would probably win if only this wasn't the year of the better drag queen, REESE WITHERSPOON!
Wait, I'm getting ahead of myself. Let me get a grip and go category by category, listing all the panting wannabes of all genders, sexualities, and hair colors and then narrowing them down to the most throbbing contenders.
The choices are heavy on the dark period pieces, many decked out in layers of taboo romance, homo or otherwise. The possibilities include: Brokeback Mountain (duh; from Spider Woman to Philadelphia to this, Oscar loves noble, doomed gays), King Kong (though it's not the big dong wielder they'd prayed for), Walk the Line (Raywith more sight, if less insight), Pride & Prejudice(but mostly pride), Match Point (they might reward Woody just for not casting himself opposite SCARLETT JOHANSSON), Capote (a gay Truman Show), Cinderella Man (the real Cinderella story would be this piece of unabashed hokum getting a nod), Good Night, and Good Luck (anyone who hates it should be blacklisted), The Constant Gardener (a popcorn movie about AIDS in Africa), Memoirs of a Geisha (I was hungry an hour later), A History of Violence (yay—a psycho hetero. And a stunning film, if too edgy for Oscar), Munich (but there's a common misconception that MEL GIBSON directed it), The Squid and the Whale (and the rabbit's foot), Syriana (no one understood one second of it, but they liked it), The Chronicles of Narnia (the lion and the witch are now fighting over their Oscar wardrobe), Crash (utter contrivance at its most compelling), Mysterious Skin (kidding. This really was the year's best movie, so forget it).
The actual nominees will be: Brokeback Mountain, Capote, The Constant Gardener, Good Night, and Good Luck, Walk the Line
Most of the front-runners play characters who grapple with heavy moral issues in manly ways, while some just grapple with other men in manly ways. They include: JOAQUIN PHOENIX, Walk the Line (Hollywood's favorite harelipped hottie); HEATH LEDGER, Brokeback Mountain (insert Down Under joke); DAVID STRATHAIRN, Good Night, and Good Luck (and hello, nomination); PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN, Capote (suddenly Seymour—Oscar finally notices the scene-stealing shlub); TERRENCE HOWARD, Hustle and Flow (but will the Academy see fit to honor a nice pimp?); CILLIAN MURPHY, Breakfast on Pluto (Felicity Huffman must have been busy when he got cast); ERIC BANA, Munich (such a cute Mossad agent); RUSSELL CROWE, Cinderella Man (don't nominate him and he'll smash your face in); VIGGO MORTENSEN, A History of Violence (like his screen wife, I found him hottest when he was crazed and shooting people); RALPH FIENNES, The Constant Gardener ("His constipated thing really worked here," says critic Jami Bernard); JEFF DANIELS, The Squid and the Whale (excellent as always, but eligible nonetheless).
The nominees will be: Crowe, Hoffman, Ledger, Phoenix, Strathairn
The most prominent choices undergo radical transformations and, more importantly, costume changes, on the road to an awakening and maybe even a nomination. The top girls include Felicity Huffman, Transamerica (she may have lost a penis, but she'll be up for a trophy); REESE WITHERSPOON, Walk the Line (hey, she can sort of carry a tune); KEIRA KNIGHTLEY, Pride & Prejudice (old-style glamour must be rewarded at all costs); JUDI DENCH, Mrs. Henderson Presents (the movie was soggy crumpets, but my gal Judi passes gas and she gets nominated); CHARLIZE THERON, North Country (but she wasn't a dyke or even a killer this time); NAOMI WATTS, King Kong (the ape was her hairiest co-star since SEAN PENN); LAURA LINNEY, The Squid and the Whale (maybe they'll forget The Exorcism of Emily Rose); JOAN ALLEN, The Upside of Anger (alas, they'll remember Yes); ZIYI ZHANG, Geisha (if this part's the yin to her yang, Oscar can provide the win to her Zhang); GWYNETH PALTROW, Proof (though at the box office it went poof).
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