Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Five sure fire ways to win an Oscar

OK, I have a confession to make. I'm a bit of an Oscars junkie. So, as it's heading up to Oscar time, I thought I'd offer this post on five sure-fire ways to win an Oscar. Most of my examples are from the last decade or so as my knowledge past then is much more patchy. Here goes:

1. Play a real life character. Avoid simple mimicry or imitation, and try to "channel" the essence of the person. It worked for winners Jamie Foxx (Ray Charles), Reese Witherspoon (June Carter), Nicole Kidman (Virgina Woolf), Cate Blanchett (Katherine Hepburn), Ben Kingsley (Ghandi), Judi Dench (Queen Elizabeth I) ... the list is too long ...

This year's tip: both Helen Mirren for playing Queen Elizabeth II in The Queen and Forest Whitaker for playing Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in The Last King of Scotlad, are tipped to take out the top acting honours.

2. Alter your appearance. Go a step further and become unrecognisable. Perhaps even change your sex. It worked for winners Hilary Swank in Boys Don't Cry (a girl as a trans-gender man), Hilary Swank again in Million Dollar Baby (extra muscle bulk), Nicole Kidman in The Hours (that prosthetic nose and just the way she walked!), Charlize Theron in Monster (beautiful-turns-ugly). It almost worked for nominees Felicity Huffman in Trasamerica (woman-plays-man-playing-woman) and, conversely, Dustin Hoffman in Tootsie (man-playing-woman).

This year's tip: those tight grey curls and huge glasses on Helen Mirren make her virtually unrecognisable, and it's difficult not to think of her as the Queen herself.

3. Sing. Musicals are coming back into fashion, and think how many Oscar winners in recent years have belted out some cool tunes. It worked for winners Reese Witherspoon (Walk The Line), Jamie Foxx (Ray), Catherine Zeta-Jones (Chicago). It almost worked for nominees Nicole Kidman (Moulin Rouge), Joaquin Phoenix (Walk the Line), Renee Zellweger (Chicago), John C Reilly (Chicago), Queen Latifah (Chicago).

This year's tip: the big musical offering this year is Dreamgirls and both Jennifer Hudson (a former American Idol contestant) and Eddie Murphy are tipped as strong possibilities in the supporting categories for that movie.

4. Play someone with a mental illness or condition, serious disability or low IQ. It worked for winners Geoffrey Rush (Shine), Angelina Jolie (Girl, Interupted), Tom Hanks (Forest Gump) Daniel Day-Lewis (My Left Foot), Dustin Hoffman (Rainman), Jack Nicholson (One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest). It almost worked for nominees Russell Crowe (A Beautiful Mind) and Leonardo Di Caprio (The Aviator).

This year's tip: Idi Amin's irrational fits of rage in The Last King of Scotland - mental illness perhaps? Japanese actress Rinko Kikuchi should pick up a nomination this year for playing a deaf-mute girl in Babel.

5. Be an Australian (or an Australasian). Hollywood loves Aussie actors at the moment. Considering our population and relative world cultural importance, we have been over-represented at the Academy Awards in recent years. Think of winners Geoffrey, Russell, Nicole and Cate and nominees Naomi, Toni and Heath. And lets not forget our cousins on the other side of the Tasman. The big success story of course is Peter Jackson and his hordes of Kiwi technical and artistic gurus who swept the field 3 years ago for Lord of the Rings. It also helps if you're a young teenage Kiwi girl - it worked for winner Anna Paquin (The Piano) and almost worked for nominee Keisha Castle-Hughes (Whale Rider).

This year's tip: probably not our year this year in the acting categories, although Cate is almost certain to get a nomination for Notes on a Scandal. Our biggest hope is in the animation category with Happy Feet (a quasi-Australian movie - it's made with Hollywood studio money, but was animated in Sydney, directed by Aussie George Miller and includes the voices of Nicole Kidman, Hugh Jackman and, would you believe, Steve Irwin).


Of course, if you can combine the above factors, you've got added chances of success. Arguably Nicole Kidman's win in The Hours fits into all of categories 1, 2, 4 and 5 (and some say also 3 because the Academy was equally rewarding her for her near miss the year before where she was nominated for singing her heart out in Moulin Rouge).


Nixter said...

Man you are good, you got a lot of those right.

ps My name is Nixter and I am a Oscar junkie too. Actually I like most award shows - my hubby however doesn't!

Andy M said...

What do you mean got a lot of them right?? They should all be right I think!

Nixter said...

I was thinking of the Golden Globes when I wrote this - DOH! But yeah I think you could be on to some winners there.

We shall see, maybe you could post a "Five Oscar predictions I got right?", I guess the whole 5 thing might not work 1. If you don't get 5 right and 2. If you get more than 5 right!!!!!