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  The 5th Annual Shaking Through Grover Awards

Other Grover Awards: 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002

Read our post-Oscar reaction to the evening's events.


Posted: February 23, 2006

By Laurence Station

Does the Academy have the cajones to lavish Oscar gold on a gay-themed picture? Absolutely. Brokeback Mountain has proven to be a financial and critical horse with staying power. The lame, P.C.-baiting Crash might crash (sorry) the Brokeback party but it just doesn't have the buzz to overcome Ang Lee's handsomely mounted film.

Brokeback also dominates the 5th annual Grovers, though we really enjoyed Good Night, and Good Luck.

Listed below are the Oscar nominees, with our favored pick (who should win) in bold text alongside the accompanying image. The actual Oscar prediction (who will win) follows. Official winners are highlighted in red.

Best Picture     Best Director
  Brokeback Mountain
  • Capote
  • Crash
  • Good Night, and Good Luck
  • Munich
  Ang Lee, Brokeback Mountain
  • Paul Haggis, Crash
  • George Clooney, Good Night, and Good Luck
  • Bennett Miller, Capote
  • Steven Spielberg, Munich
Who Will Win: Brokeback Mountain     Who Will Win: Ang Lee, Brokeback Mountain
Why: Crash might pull the upset, but the momentum is with Lee's profitable and highly lauded film.     Why: The consensus is that this is Lee's time, and he's arrived in Oscartown riding the winning thoroughbred.
Best Actor     Best Actress
  Philip Seymour Hoffman, Capote
  • Terrence Howard, Hustle & Flow
  • Heath Ledger, Brokeback Mountain
  • Joaquin Phoenix, Walk the Line
  • David Strathairn, Good Night, And Good Luck
  Keira Knightley, Pride & Prejudice
  • Judi Dench, Mrs. Henderson Presents
  • Felicity Huffman, Transamerica
  • Charlize Theron, North Country
  • Reese Witherspoon, Walk the Line
Who Will Win: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Capote     Who Will Win: Reese Witherspoon, Walk the Line
Why: Ledger doesn't have Hoffman's stellar track record, and the latter's performance is one of those astonishing "disappearing into character" acts voters so admire.     Why: Witherspoon is adorable and well-liked, and there's no real slam-dunk obvious choice in the group.
Best Supporting Actor     Best Supporting Actress
  Jake Gyllenhaal, Brokeback Mountain
  • George Clooney, Syriana
  • Matt Dillon, Crash
  • Paul Giamatti, Cinderella Man
  • William Hurt, A History of Violence
  Amy Adams, Junebug
  • Catherine Keener, Capote
  • Frances McDormand, North Country
  • Rachel Weisz, The Constant Gardener
  • Michelle Williams, Brokeback Mountain
Who Will Win: Matt Dillon, Crash     Who Will Win: Rachel Weisz, The Constant Gardener
Why: George Clooney's best shot for Oscar gold lies in this category, but Oscar voters really want to reward Crash, and Dillon was by far the best part of that horrible film.     Why: The wonderful Adams' nomination is a "foot in the door" announcement. As with Best Actress, this is a lackluster group, with the talented Weisz taking the gold. Possible upset: Michelle Williams.
Best Screenplay (Original)     Best Screenplay (Adaptation)
  The Squid and The Whale (Noah Baumbach)
  • Crash (Paul Haggis, Robert Moresco)
  • Good Night, and Good Luck (Grant Heslov, George Clooney)
  • Match Point (Woody Allen)
  • Syriana (Stephen Gaghan)
  Brokeback Mountain (Larry McMurtry, Diana Ossana)
  • Capote (Dan Futterman)
  • The Constant Gardener (Jeffrey Caine)
  • A History of Violence (Josh Olson)
  • Munich (Tony Kushner, Eric Roth)
Who Will Win: Crash     Who Will Win: Brokeback Mountain
Why: Obligatory consolation gold goes to the weakest of the five nominated scripts.     Why: If it's Brokeback's night, this one will fall in line with the other trophies.
Cinematography     Film Editing
  Brokeback Mountain (Rodrigo Prieto)
  • Batman Begins (Wally Pfister)
  • Good Night, And Good Luck (Robert Elswit)
  • Memoirs Of A Geisha (Dion Beebe)
  • The New World (Emmanuel Lubezki)
  Cinderella Man (Mike Hill and Dan Hanley)
  • The Constant Gardener (Claire Simpson)
  • Crash (Hughes Winborne)
  • Munich (Michael Kahn)
  • Walk the Line (Michael McCusker)
Who Will Win: Brokeback Mountain     Who Will Win: Crash
Why: See: Best Screenplay (Adaptation).     Why: Crash jumps between multiple story lines and then lamely brings them together -- which might be confused for great editing and net a statuette for the film.
Visual Effects     Art Direction
  King Kong
  • The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe
  • War of The Worlds
  Memoirs of A Geisha
  • Good Night, and Good Luck
  • Harry Potter
  • And The Goblet of Fire
  • King Kong
  • Pride & Prejudice
Who Will Win: King Kong     Who Will Win: Memoirs of A Geisha
Why: The best aspect of Jackson's indulgent clout-cashing remake gets what it deserves.     Why: Suitably, a film with more style than substance wins this category.
Costume Design     Makeup
  Charlie and The Chocolate Factory
  • Memoirs of A Geisha
  • Mrs. Henderson Presents
  • Pride & Prejudice
  • Walk the Line
  The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe
  • Cinderella Man
  • Star Wars: Episode III: Revenge Of The Sith
Who Will Win: Memoirs of A Geisha     Who Will Win: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe
Why: See: Art direction. But if there were any justice, the wild psychedelic threads of Burton's Chocolate Factory would own this group.     Why: The big Christmas hit is fresher in minds of voters than Star Wars.
Sound Mixing     Sound Editing
  King Kong
  • The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe
  • Memoirs of a Geisha
  • Walk the Line
  • War of the Worlds
  King Kong
  • Memoirs of A Geisha
  • War of the Worlds
Who Will Win: Walk the Line     Who Will Win: King Kong
Why: This category's a toss-up, with Line edging ahead as the frontrunner.     Why: Because this is where Kong truly was King.
Original Song     Original Score
  "Itís Hard Out Here For A Pimp", Hustle & Flow
  • "In The Deep", Crash
  • "Traveliní Thru", Transamerica
  Brokeback Mountain (Gustavo Santaollala)
  • The Constant Gardener (Alberto Iglesias)
  • Memoirs of A Geisha (John Williams)
  • Munich (John Williams)
  • Pride & Prejudice (Dario Marianell)
Who Will Win: "Traveliní Thru", Transamerica     Who Will Win: Brokeback Mountain
Why: Hollywood embraces Dollywood, meaning Mrs. Parton takes the gold.     Why: John Williams' two nominations should cancel out, leaving the door open for winning team member Santaollala.
Best Animated Feature Film     Best Foreign Language Film
  Wallace & Gromit In The Curse of The Were-Rabbit
  • Howlís Moving Castle
  • Tim Burtonís Corpse Bride
  Sophie Scholl: The Final Days, Germany
  • Donít Tell, Italy
  • Joyeux NoŽl, France
  • Paradise Now, Palestine
  • Tsotsi, South Africa
Who Will Win: Wallace & Gromit In The Curse of The Were-Rabbit     Who Will Win: Paradise Now, Palestine
Why: Excellent choices all, but look for Nick Park to claim yet another statuette for his stop-motion artistry. Howl just wasn't seen and Burton's gloomy Bride just isn't lovable enough for voters.     Why: Paradise Now is timely, and from a region that isn't known for its filmmaking prowess. Which gives it a freshness cachet the other films lack.

Post-Oscar Reaction:

14/20 for a sense-shattering 70% (A low C in certain, politically insensitive classrooms).

CRASH WINS! CRASH WINS! Racism is finished. Thank goodness for this one film to enlighten all of us on how to live in a politically correct melting pot. We will never ever say a bad word or think an ill thought about another human being, ever again. Promise. Please donít beat us up for being different.

Nice touch by the Daily Show staff for bringing political smear ads to the Oscars.

Interpretive dance should be banished forever. (No offense was meant to interpretive dancers with this cruel, insensitive remark.)

Jon Stewart did a nice job, but really didnít unload with the wicked barbs like his might have had not Crash been nominated.

Stewartís best line: The one about Three 6 Mafia having an Oscar and perennially snubbed Martin Scorsese having 0.

The show moved along at a decent clip, but perhaps there were a tad too many montages for one evening.

Finally, is it possible that a worse film than A Beautiful Mind and Million Dollar Baby could win Best Picture? Yes: Crash. We canít wait for the three-DVD deluxe set, complete with pacifier and patented color-off eraser. Those wanting to inflict bodily harm on this reviewer for daring to dislike Crash can e-mail us for a convenient time and place to do so. We promise not to resist. Have mercy, though, and let our shameful ignorance be our punishment.

Good night, and good riddance.

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 Ratings Key:
 5.0: A masterpiece
 4.0-4.9: Exceptional

 3.0-3.9: Solid fare

 2.0-2.9: The mediocrities...
 1.1-1.9: Poor
 0.0-1.0: Utter dreck
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