Saturday, February 10, 2007

Ebert on the Oscars

Roger Ebert posted his Oscar Predictions today.

Since Ebert's regular writing, including a top 10 list, has been sorely missed for several months, this is our first glimpse into his year-end opinions. It appears that "Babel" is his favorite film of the nominees—possibly of the year. Oddly, this comes a couple days after I wrote that "Babel" was the only film of the big three Mexican directors' work from 2006 that didn't reveal its filmmaker in top form. Oh well—at least it's better than "Crash."

As I haven't posted my predictions yet, I won't directly comment on Ebert's. But I will say that his record isn't always solid. In 2001, I excitedly changed my Best Picture prediction from "A Beautiful Mind" to "Moulin Rouge"—the film I wanted to win—after seeing Ebert's prediction. I figured that if Ebert didn't even put Baz Luhrmann's kinetic musical on his top 10 list and he thinks it'll win, he must know something I don't.

Ebert thinks that Oscar will award his personal preference in all the major categories except Best Actor, Best Animated Feature and Best Director. "For reasons of tact," Ebert declines to state his choice for Best Director, presumably because he prefers Alejandro Gonzalez Inaritu's work in "Babel" to Martin Scorsese's in "The Departed." I guess he doesn't want to hurt the long-snubbed Scorsese's feelings, but it's still an odd decision. Ebert has been a supporter of Scorsese for a long time, but there's nothing wrong with believing that someone else is more deserving of the gold statuette this year.

Ebert picks and predicts both Supporting Actor and Actress for the "Dreamgirls" nominees. While Eddie Murphy's performance was the only part of the film that didn't make me want to run from the theater screaming, I don't think it compares to the work of Mark Wahlberg in "The Departed" or overlooked performances like Nick Nolte in "Clean." As for Hudson, I say don't mistake volume for quality. Oddly, Ebert's preference of Hudson snubs "Babel" in the one category it easily deserves to win: Rinko Kikuchi's subtle and heartbreaking portrayal of an alienated deaf teenager helps "Babel" overcome some of its flaws.

Hopefully Ebert will be back to writing full-time soon, so I can stop nit-picking his Oscar favorites and enjoy his reviews

1 comment:

Jessica said...

When are you posting your predictions??