The winners of the 77th Annual Academy Awards have been announced! See how Silver Chips Online's predictions--and yours--chalk up to the list of real winners.
BEST MOTION PICTURE OF THE YEAR
SCO Prediction: "The Aviator"
Actual Winner: "Million Dollar Baby"
Perhaps Silver Chips Online gave more credit to "The Aviator" than was due. We felt as though the film was a shoo-in for Best Motion Picture of the Year. The film garnered a whopping 11 Oscar nominations and it took home five last night (Best Supporting Actress, Best Cinematography, Best Costumes, Best Art Direction and Best Editing). "Million Dollar Baby," however, took home the biggest honor of the evening: Best Motion Picture of the Year, along with several of the other major awards including Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor and Best Directing. Though it was expected that the two films were the top contenders for the title, it came as a bit of a surprise that "Million Dollar Baby" edged out "The Aviator" for Best Picture, especially after the results of the Golden Globe Awards. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
SCO Prediction: Jamie Foxx for "Ray"
Actual Winner: Jamie Foxx for "Ray"
Jamie Foxx was a pretty safe bet for leading actor this year at the Oscars. He had more buzz surrounding his role than any other actor. Also, Foxx was up for two nominations this year (he also grabbed one for Best Supporting Actor for "Collateral"), so it was doubtful that he would walk away empty-handed. Audiences and Academy members alike were shocked at Foxx's turn as a taxi driver in "Collateral" and as the legendary Ray Charles in "Ray." Foxx showed a depth of acting never expected from him before and was rewarded justly.
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE
SCO Prediction: Kate Winslet for "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind"
Actual Winner: Hilary Swank for "Million Dollar Baby"
Despite Hilary Swank's win in one of the most prestigious awards for female acting, Kate Winslet, who starred as the colorful Clementine in "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" ("ESOTSM"), should have been awarded an Oscar last night. Not to say Hilary Swank did not necessarily deserve an award for her profound performance as a struggling boxer in "Million Dollar Baby," but the Academy should have recognized Winslet's myriad talent in "ESOTSM." Winslet marries heart, insanity and flamboyance all into one strong, dynamic character, something an audience rarely gets to see these days. Without Winslet, Clementine would be an unsympathetic nutcase, whose relationship issues would go unnoticed, defeating the essence and plot of "ESOTSM." In a sense, Winslet has been the rose in a field of sappy, blasé and unimaginative flowers for filmgoers in the past year. Winslet's dynamic performance and sheer talent should have earned her an Oscar. In fairness, Winslet had tough competition, a.k.a. the talented Hilary Swank, whose performance knocked out the Academy, resulting in her Oscar win. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
SCO Prediction: Morgan Freeman for "Million Dollar Baby"
Actual Winner: Morgan Freeman for "Million Dollar Baby"
Finally, Morgan Freeman is appreciated! Freeman was nominated twice before, once for "Driving Miss Daisy" and once for "The Shawshank Redemption." Do not forget Freeman's awesome performances in the popular movies "Seven" and "Glory." In total, Freeman deserves this Oscar, especially for his performance in "Million Dollar Baby," where he transforms an otherwise pathetic janitor into the model of Swank's blossoming boxing career. Freeman's other contenders, including Clive Owen for "Closer" and Jamie Foxx for "Collateral," were snazzy critic's hopefuls who simply had to lose to Freeman's outstanding performance.
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
SCO Prediction: Sophie Okenedo for "Hotel Rwanda"
Actual Winner: Cate Blanchett for "The Aviator"
Sophie Okenedo's loss was not as surprising as veteran actress Cate Blanchett's win. Not only did Blanchett defeat promising newcomers like Okenedo ("Hotel Rwanda") and Virginia Madsen ("Sideways"), but she also overcame seasoned actresses Natalie Portman ("Closer") and Laura Linney ("Kinsey"). Okenedo may have been a cute smiling lady at the Oscars, but she portrayed a serious, powerful woman in "Hotel Rwanda." As Tatiana, the wife of Paul Rusesabagina, Okenedo was essential to the moving, yet seat-grippingly suspenseful, atmosphere of "Hotel Rwanda." Although Okenedo did not get an award for her performance, it is an honor nonetheless for Okenedo to be nominated among such glamorous, talented starlets.BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN DIRECTING
SCO Prediction: Martin Scorsese for "The Aviator"
Actual Winner: Clint Eastwood for "Million Dollar Baby"
The biggest upset of the year was probably when Clint Eastwood was awarded the Best Directing Oscar over the much-favored and oft-jilted Martin Scorsese. Eastwood's gritty boxing drama "Million Dollar Baby" was in fierce competition with Scorsese's "The Aviator" all night. Though "Aviator" took home more statues (five to be exact), "Baby" won out overall with the more important Oscars (Best Supporting Actor, Best Actress and Best Picture). Though we at Silver Chips Online agree that "Baby" was a better film than "Aviator," we all were pushing for Scorsese to win because the legendary director has never won an Oscar, despite having been nominated four times previously
BEST WRITING, SCREENPLAY WRITTEN DIRECTLY FOR THE SCREEN
SCO Prediction: Charlie Kaufman, Michel Gondry, Pierre Bismuth for "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind"
Actual Winners: Charlie Kaufman, Michel Gondry, Pierre Bismuth for "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind"
Hooray for Charlie Kaufman! This Oscar stands as the vividly imaginative and quite strange writer's first. Alan Ball's screenplay for "American Beauty" defeated Kaufman in 2000, while the screenplay for "The Pianist" defeated Kaufman's "Adaptation" screenplay in 2002. "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind," which was co-written by director Michel Gondry and Pierre Bismuth, revolves around the relationship between central characters Clementine (Kate Winslet) and Joel (Jim Carrey). What first begins as a wily romantic comedy soon transforms into a zany and touching film about lovers who hate each other so much they erase their entire history together only to realize they love each other so much that they must save their precious memories. With movies like "ESOTSM" and "Being John Malkovich," Kaufman and his team have nearly saved audiences from boring, typical cinema. If there were any people who earned and deserved their award this Oscars, it was definitely Kaufman and his writing team. BEST WRITING, SCREENPLAY BASED ON MATERIAL PREVIOUSLY PRODUCED OR PUBLISHED
SCO Prediction: Alexander Payne, Jim Taylor for "Sideways"
Actual Winners: Alexander Payne, Jim Taylor for "Sideways"
Alexander Payne's and Jim Taylor's wins for "Sideways" brought a surprise this year to the Academy Awards. As the writer and director of other popular films such as "Election" and "About Schmidt," Payne was the obvious choice over other contenders, including a nomination for the screenplay of "Million Dollar Baby." Because movies like "Million Dollar Baby" are only great because of the acting and not as much for the intricate plot, their stories don't deserve Oscars. But films like "Sideways" rely on plot twists, complexities and wit in order to shine, which Payne matter-of-factly did.
BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN MUSIC WRITTEN FOR MOTION PICTURES, ORIGINAL SCORE
SCO Prediction: John Williams for "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban"
Actual Winner: Jan A.P. Kaczmarek for "Finding Neverland"
"Finding Neverland" did not leave empty-handed last night, though SCO expected that it would. Though a fantastic film, SCO didn't think it was truly Oscar-worthy material. However, it seems as though those at the Academy thought its score definitely was. Jan A. P. Kaczmarek, the composer of the film's music, came to the Oscars last night as a rookie newcomer and landed not only his first nomination but his first Oscar win.BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN VISUAL EFFECTS
SCO Prediction: John Dykstra, Scott Stokdyk, Anthony LaMolinara, John Frazier for "Spiderman 2”
Actual Winners: John Dykstra, Scott Stokdyk, Anthony LaMolinara, John Frazier for "Spiderman 2”
Here at SCO we were wondering what "I, Robot" was doing anywhere near the Oscar ceremony last night. It's a good thing we didn't have to eat our words; the visual effects wizards of "Spiderman 2" deservedly took home the Oscar for Best Visual Effects yesterday evening.
BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN COSTUME DESIGN
SCO Prediction: Bob Ringwood for "Troy”
Actual Winner: Sandy Powell for "The Aviator"
Here, unlike in the Best Picture category, SCO underestimated the power of "The Aviator." Though Bob Ringwood's costumes for the film "Troy" seemed grandiose, epic and utterly Oscar-worthy to us, the era-perfect costumes that Oscar veteran Sandy Powell designed and crafted for "The Aviator" won the esteemed recognition of the Academy.
BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN ART DIRECTION
SCO Prediction: Rick Heinrichs and Cheryl Carasik for "Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events"
Actual Winners: Dante Ferretti and Francesca Lo Schiavo for "The Aviator"
There was fierce competition for the Oscar for art direction this year. All of the films nominated were beautifully done, though it was a bit of a surprise when "The Aviator" defeated "A Series of Unfortunate Events." The latter film was the subject of many articles and much praise for the unique way in which it was filmed (entirely on soundstages). However, "Aviator" had beautiful aerial shots and scenes glamorizing the Golden Age of Hollywood that won out overall. Silver Chips Online would have liked to see the Oscar go to "Lemony Snicket" if not simply for the quirky sets and beautiful colors that lent themselves fabulously to the eccentric plots and characters of the film.BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM OF THE YEAR
SCO Prediction: "The Incredibles”
Actual Winners: "The Incredibles"
SCO felt like this one was a no-brainer. "The Incredibles" was easily the best animated film of the year, effortlessly transcending its competitors "Shrek 2" and "Shark Tale." With its clever plot, refreshing characters and dazzling animation, "The Incredibles" was the clear winner in this category. A critic at the New York Times went so far as to suggest that "Incredibles" should be nominated for Best Picture, though we at SCO probably wouldn't go that far.
BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN CINEMATOGRAPHY
Winner: Robert Richardson for "The Aviator"BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN EDITING
Winner: Thelma Schoonmaker for "The Aviator"
BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN MAKEUP
Winner: Valli O'Reilly, Bill Corso for "Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events"
BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN SOUND MIXING
Winner: Greg Orloff, Bob Beemer, Steve Cantamessa, Scott Millan for "Ray"
BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN SOUND EDITING
Winner: Michael Silvers, Randy Thorn for "The Incredibles"
BEST DOCUMENTARY, FEATURES
Winner: Zana Briski, Ross Lauffman for "Born Into Brothels: Calcutta's Red Light Kids"BEST SHORT FILM, ANIMATED
Winner: Chris Landreth for "Ryan"
BEST SHORT FILM, LIVE ACTION
Winner: Andrea Arnold for "Wasp"
BEST DOCUMENTARY, SHORT SUBJECT
Winner: Robert Hudson, Bobby Houston for "Mighty Times: The Children's March"
BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN MUSIC WRITTEN FOR MOTION PICTURES, ORIGINAL SONG
Winner: Jorge Drexler for "Al Otra Lado Del Rio"
BEST FOREIGN FILM
Winner: Spain's Alejandro Amenabar for "Mar Adentro" ("The Sea Inside")
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