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Rick’s 2006 Academy Award Oscar Picks

Hollywood’s big day unveils itself on Sunday, March 5, and your good buddy Rick here will be hosting his annual Oscar bash.

This year like the last few years seems to be a big year for “indies” that were lucky enough to find distributors. So what will this years Academy Awards look like? There is all the hoopla surrounding “Brokeback” and political controversy around Spielberg and “Munich. But this is all good and planned. Oscar and Hollywood loves controversy and would have created some if there weren’t any already.

So let’s take a look at the nominees and try to pin down their real chances for taking home a statue.

Best Actor In the best actor category we have:

Philip Seymour Hoffman in “Capote”

Terrence Howard in “Hustle & Flow”

Heath Ledger in “Brokeback Mountain”

Joaquin Phoenix in “Walk the Line”

David Strathairn in “Good Night, and Good Luck.”

Terrence and David turn in very nice performances indeed and deserve the Oscar nod. Heath gives us a powerful performance as a man struggling against his sexuality. Hollywood loves to snub an actors first piece of really good work as if to say, “Oh yeah? Let’s see if you can pull another performance out of your ass”. Look at Cher in “Silkwood” and Whoopi Goldberg in the color purple.
Joaquin, as Johnny Cash? This is a definite possibility. A wonderful performance full of tears, drug addiction and songs sung by Phoenix himself. Not to mention you know how Oscar just loves biopics of great entertainers.

My money goes to Philip Seymour Hoffman (who I personally believe to be “family”). The Tony nominated actor, Phillip, has long been known as one of the best actors around today. It is his time.

Best supporting actor

George Clooney in “Syriana”

Matt Dillon in “Crash”

Paul Giamatti in “Cinderella Man”

Jake Gyllenhaal in “Brokeback Mountain”

William Hurt in “A History of Violence”

Hollywood has always loved William. Matt? Oh, please. Jake is young and will get more nominations. Hopefully.

That brings us to Paul Giamatti, whom a lot of people thought got snubbed by Oscar last year, (I personally thought the movie, and his performance in it, was a piece of crap) and George Clooney. Hollywood loves Rosemary’s baby nephew. I have never seen the attraction.

This is probably a toss-up. Ah hell, let’s say George Clooney. More star power and a slightly better actor.

Best actress

Judi Dench in “Mrs. Henderson Presents”

Felicity Huffman in “Transamerica”

Keira Knightley in “Pride & Prejudice”

Charlize Theron in “North Country”

Reese Witherspoon in “Walk the Line”

This is probably one of the tightest races. Let’s get rid of who’s NOT going to win. No to Charlize, Good but not good enough. Although Oscar loves repeats. Kiera… a good piece of work, but still on the ho-hum side.

Now that brings us to Judi. This woman has never given a bad performance in her life. In fact, she’s so good that it doesn’t look like acting. She’s also wonderfully British, but unfortunately is in a movie that no one knows much of anything about. They may shut her out because of that. Felicity is a fantastic actress. She even looks transgendered… always. I have a feeling when she dies we’re going to find out that she may have secretly been a man all along. Her chances may be a little shaky. We have already had Hilary Swank in “Boys Don’t Cry doing the confused sexuality bit and Charlize Theron as the freaky looking lesbian in “Monster”. Then there’s the whole “Brokeback Mountain” thing”. I say probably not.

That leaves us with Reese, Hollywood’s darling of the moment. She is a very good actress and appears to be an all around genuinely good person on screen as well as off. My bet is on Reese, but you know I love Judi.

Best supporting actress

Amy Adams in “Junebug”

Catherine Keener in “Capote”

Frances McDormand in “North Country”

Rachel Weisz
in “The Constant Gardener”

Michelle Williams
in “Brokeback Mountain”

Amy? Too little too late. Frances, not strong enough. Catherine gave a very nice performance in a thankless role. I don’t mean I need to see actresses roll across the screen and foaming at the mouth, but give the girl something to do. There is a lot of buzz surrounding Rachel. I’m just not feeling it.

Michelle Williams plays a woman whose marriage is crumbling in such a way that she doesn’t know what to do about it. Good bet. I have a feeling that they will give it to her not just because of her outstanding performance but because they want someone in that family to go home with a statue. Michelle is Heath’s real-life wife.

Best Picture

Brokeback Mountain



Good Night, And Good Luck


“Crash” is too disjointed, “Good night” is not commercial enough, “Munich” is boring, and “Capote” is too long and only salvageable by Phillips performance.

That leaves us with Brokeback Mountain of course. It’s not the best movie I have ever seen. I mean it could never win opposite “Chicago” for instance. But it’s not up against “Chicago” it’s up against a bunch of just “okay” movies and Hollywood loves a controversy. They love to get in there and shake things up. Also, personally, I don’t feel the best movie contenders are as good as the actors themselves.

This year I feel the actor’s have done a good job of rising above the pictures they are in. Good job guys!


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