This is my first annual Oscar predictions column, for which I am uniquely qualified by not having seen a single one of the movies nominated in any category. I've never even watched an Oscar ceremony, except once when a friend called me 35 minutes into Halle Berry's acceptance speech and I managed to catch only the last 20 minutes of it.
I shall grant my awards based on the same criteria Hollywood studio executives now use to green-light movies: political correctness. Also, judging by most of the nominees this year, the awards committee prefers movies that are wildly unpopular with audiences.
The box office numbers for this year's favorite, "Brokeback Mountain," are more jealously guarded than the nuclear codes in the president's black box. Hollywood liberals want the government to release everything we know about al-Zarqawi, but refuse to release the number of people who have seen "Brokeback Mountain."
I shall summarize the plots of the five movies nominated for best picture below:
-- "Brokeback Mountain" (gay)
-- "Capote" (death penalty with bonus gay lead)
-- "Crash" (racism)
-- "Good Night, and Good Luck" (McCarthyism)
-- "Munich" (Jew athletes at Munich had it coming)
Everyone says it's going to be "Crash," but I think "Crash" is too popular with filmgoers. Moreover, Hollywood feels it has done enough for the blacks. Hollywood can never do enough for the gays. Gays in the military, gays in the Texas Rangers, gays on the range. It's like a brokeback record! As Pat Buchanan said, homosexuality has gone from "the love that dare not speak its name" to "the love that won't shut up."
Is the idea of gay cowboys really that new? Didn't the Village People do that a couple of decades ago? Am I the only person who saw John Travolta in "Urban Cowboy"?
Movies with the same groundbreaking theme to come:
-- "Westward Homo!"
-- "The Magnificent, Fabulous Seven"
-- "Gunfight at the K-Y Corral"
-- "How West Hollywood Was Won"
OK, back to predictions. The best director award will go to ... Ang Lee, director of "Brokeback Mountain." (For analysis, see above.) Also, this is gays directed by an Asian, which should satisfy the gaysians. Hands down: Ang Lee.
The nominees for best actor in a leading role are:
-- Philip Seymour Hoffman, "Capote"
-- Terrence Howard, "Hustle & Flow"
-- Heath Ledger, "Brokeback Mountain"
-- Joaquin Phoenix, "Walk the Line"
-- David Strathairn, "Good Night, and Good Luck"
The winner in this category will be ... Philip Seymour Hoffman. The awards committee can't give everything to "Brokeback Mountain," and at least Truman Capote was gay (though not a cowboy). I personally would have chosen the lion in the Narnia movie, but he wasn't even nominated.
The nominees for best actress in a leading role are:
-- Judi Dench, "Mrs. Henderson Presents"
-- Felicity Huffman, "Transamerica"
-- Keira Knightley, "Pride & Prejudice"
-- Charlize Theron, "North Country"
-- Reese Witherspoon, "Walk the Line"
I gather Reese Witherspoon is very good in "Walk the Line," but that's irrelevant -- this is the Oscars! Felicity Huffman plays a pre-op transsexual in "Transamerica." That strikes a chord in Hollywood. It's not exactly gay, but close enough! I say Huffman wins.
For best actress in a supporting role, Rachel Weisz ought to win for "The Constant Gardener" because it's about how drug companies are evil, which to me is the essence of quality acting. Plus, English accent equals good acting. But Michelle Williams ("Brokeback Mountain") is engaged to Heath Ledger, who played a gay guy in "Brokeback Mountain." So I pick Weisz, with Williams as the dark-horse favorite.
The best original screenplay will be "Good Night, and Good Luck" as Hollywood's final tribute to the old Stalinists (Hollywood's version of "The Greatest Generation"). George Clooney has been mau-mauing the awards committee by going around boasting that conservatives have called him a "traitor," although I believe the precise term was "airhead."
Finally, my favorite category: best foreign language film. The nominees are:
-- "Don't Tell" (Italy)
-- "Joyeux Noel" (France)
-- "Paradise Now" (Palestine)
-- "Sophie Scholl" (Germany)
-- "Tsotsi" (South Africa)
After consulting with the Yale admissions committee, the awards committee will give the Oscar to ... "Paradise Now," a heartwarming story about Palestinian suicide bombers. How good is it? Al-Jazeera gave it 4 1/2 pipe bombs. It's Air Syria's featured in-flight movie this month -- go figure! I don't want to spoil the ending for you, but let's just say there won't be a sequel.
Normally, the smart money is on the Holocaust movie, so any other year, "Sophie Scholl" would have been the clear favorite. Unfortunately for the makers of "Sophie Scholl," their Holocaust movie came out the same year as a pro-terrorist movie, so they lose.
As a final prediction, for the second year, there will be no mention of Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh, who was brutally murdered by an angry Muslim a little over a year ago on the streets of Amsterdam. (Now that's blacklisted!) I also predict this will be the lowest-rated Oscars ever. Remember to turn off your cell phones, no talking ... or sleeping.