Friday, February 27, 2009

Oscar Votes 2009 (Rhoades)

How Did You Do On Oscar Night?

Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades

The 81st Academy of Arts and Sciences Awards – better known as the Oscars – is now a week behind us, with “Slumdog Millionaire” the clear winner with eight golden statuettes.
Each year it’s an occasion of informal betting, handicapping, and did-you-see-it conversations.
So how did you do?

I have to confess, I got tripped up once again by those obscure categories like Best Foreign Film, Best Animated Short, etc. – despite the Tropic Cinema’s wonderful little short-film festivals. Rats!

But I did do pretty well on the major categories. I got Best Picture, Director, Actor, Actress, and the like. (Okay, I admit I didn’t expect Penelope Cruz to snag Best Actress in a Supporting Role, but I can live with it.)

When one of the partiers at the Tropic Cinema’s annual Oscar gala sidled over to me at the hors d’oeuvre table, champagne glass in hand, and asked whom I thought would win, I whispered “Slumdog” with the surety of a race track gambler giving the winning horse.
She was a step ahead of me. “Yes, I agree,” she smiled. “That’s why I wore this dress.” She whirled to display a lovely sari, in keeping with the film’s Indian theme.
All that said, there were better handicapper’s among the Tropic’s chattery audience last Sunday night than me:

Ruth Yakaitis won first prize (a $600 Producer’s membership) by getting 17 Oscar winners correct on her ballot. Well done!

Dick Jones came in for second prize with 16 right answers plus a tiebreaker (winning an Ultimate Adventure for two on the Fury). And Jackie O’Neill easily took third prize with her 16 correct answers (snagging a one-month free membership to Paradise Fitness).
Four people tied with 15 correct votes: Christine Gorham, Judith Daykin, Varpu Lindstrom, and Runi Goyal.

Of these top seven people, five got all four actor awards correct. And all seven guessed Best Picture and Best Director correctly.

I must admit I felt some degree of redemption when I learned that the most commonly missed categories among the Tropic’s voters were Documentary Short Subject, Live Action Short, Animated Short, and Sound Editing

But afterward I had to check with one of the above experts, considering Oscar Night’s unique blending of Hollywood and Bollywood. My friend Runi Goyal is not only on the board of the Key West Film Society, and an experienced film producer herself, but she’s also Indian. Did she expect “Slumdog “ to thrash all the competition?

“To be honest,” said Runi with a sly smile, “I expected it to win Best Picture and Director. No surprise to me at all.”

She adds, “I thought ‘Slumdog’ was a very solid film, but not the best movie ever made. In terms of connecting with ‘my people,’ I thought ‘Water’ by Deepa Mehta (who is Canadian-Indian) was brilliant.

“My only wish is that India will someday produce great films,” concludes Runi. “They have the talent, the money and the technical expertise, but they only want to produce Bollywood pieces of crap. Maybe after seeing an Indian film take the world’s biggest prize, they will wake up. Especially because it was a non-Indian production team.”

And that’s the last word on this year’s Oscars.
[from Solares Hill]

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