By AMY NICHOLSON
By ALAN SCHERSTUHL
By CAROLINA DEL BUSTO
By AMY NICHOLSON
By STEPHANIE ZACHAREK
By R. Scott Moxley
The nominees will be: Dench, Huffman, Knightley, Witherspoon, Zhang
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Here we have a slew of veterans—and JAKE GYLLENHAAL—doing their craggy but lovable thing in order to gruffly endear the voters. We got us some GEORGE CLOONEY, Syriana (he gained weight, plus he directed Good Night, and Good Luck, plus he was cute on Roseanne); MATT DILLON, Crash (he still makes my motor rev); DON CHEADLE, Crash (he's the one who wasn't Matt Dillon); BOB HOSKINS, Mrs. Henderson Presents (though I feel his cornball shtick should probably get a Razzie); WILLIAM HURT, A History of Violence (managed to sneak incestuous hints into his brotherly rage); ED HARRIS, A History of Violence(one eye was poked out by barbed wire, but the other one did great); PAUL GIAMATTI, Cinderella Man (it's not too soon to make up for Sideways); DANIEL CRAIG, Munich (the name's Craig. Daniel Craig); GEOFFREY RUSH, Munich (the name's Sellers. Peter Sellers); CLIFTON COLLINS JR., Capote (he slayed two fruits—Truman and moi); FRANK LANGELLA, Good Night, and Good Luck (his Paley was even more imposing than his impaler in Dracula); and of course Mr. Gyllenhaal for Brokeback Mountain (if he's supporting, then I'm RACHEL MCADAMS, but that's what they're promoting him as, so let's ease their pain and go along with it).
The nominees will be: Clooney, Dillon, Giamatti, Gyllenhaal, Langella
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
The choicest choices seem to include ladies playing scorned babes and vengeful bitches, just the way we like 'em, though some were better at it than others. Among the most hopeful are MICHELLE WILLIAMS, Brokeback Mountain (the role made you expect heart-wrenching histrionics and critics generously assumed she provided that); CATHERINE KEENER, Capote (conversely, her part didn't go much of anywhere, but she imbued it with lots of life, plus she was in everything else this year from The Interpreter to The 40-Year-Old Virgin); various people from Pride & Prejudice (one of whom is the director's girlfriend); MARIA BELLO, A History of Violence(it's not too soon to make up for The Cooler); FRANCES MCDORMAND, North Country (it's not her fault it tanked); SHIRLEY MACLAINE, In Her Shoes (she almost hijacked the film and turned it into In Her Orthopedic Shoes); GONG LI, Geisha (similarly, she made this into The Gong Show); Scarlett Johansson, Match Point (the ball's in Oscar's court); RACHEL WEISZ, The Constant Gardener (maybe she'll wear her Frank-N-Furter getup again); AMY ADAMS, Junebug (let's hope her chances don't get swatted); ANNE HATHAWAY, Brokeback Mountain (if only the award was for best hairdo).
The nominees will be: Adams, Bello, Keener, Weisz, Williams
I don't even care to speculate on what will be nominated here, but I do have to say I'm fed up with all those tunes written expressly for the closing credits just so they'll get noticed by the Academy. These slipshod excuses for music serve to accelerate your journey to the exit so they can refill the theater while nabbing that nomination, which they always irritatingly manage to do, as if by law. Otherwise, this whole Oscar process is completely ethical and supremely worthy of your time and energy. Come on, we all know how important and life-changing a nomination can be. (Sophie what's her name, anyone?) See you on the 31st when the nominations come out. I'll be in intensive care.
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