This year, I've decided to tone down the "glitz and glamour" of the Snubbie awards by removing the red carpet. Also, I'm not dressed in a tux...I'm in a t-shirt and jeans. Ha! So welcome to the 4th Annual Snubbie Awards. The Snubbie is an award given by me (Andrew) to the movie that should have won the Oscar. I also bestow several Honorary Snubbies on movies and people who were cheated out of nominations. So here we go...
Salma Hayek, Frida – Don't get me wrong, I love Nicole Kidman, but this was by no means her best performance. In a movie with an exceptional cast, Kidman was the least impressive. So what if she wore a fake nose? Salma Hayek, on the other hand, produced her dream project. A film about disabled artist Frida Kahlo, Hayek's title role was the best of her career. She played each devastating moment so beautifully that you really felt her pain and anguish.
Best Supporting Actress:
Meryl Streep, Adaptation – Yes, Chicago was the surprise hit of the year. Yes, Catherine Zeta-Jones had as much of a leading role Renee Zellweger. No, that doesn't mean that just because she was nominated in the wrong category she deserves to win. Meryl Streep's star shone brightly in a rare comedic role. Known mostly for drama and melodrama, Streep deftly pulled off a tough, multifaceted comedy. She deserves the Oscar, which would be her third. Not to mention the fact that she SHOULD have had another nomination this year (we'll get to that later).
Best Adapted Screenplay:
Adaptation by Charlie and *snicker* Donald Kaufman – Again, it's not that I have anything against the winner: The Pianist was an amazing movie. It was amazing however, because of Adrien Brody and Roman Polanski, not because of the screenplay. Somehow, the most original movie of the year comes from an adapted screenplay: Adaptation. The brilliance of this movie happens on so many levels that it would be impossible to do it justice here. Let's just say every line of dialogue and moment of action happens for a reason. Usually that reason is a really great payoff later in the film. And to further blur the line between reality and art, Charlie Kaufman invented a twin brother screenwriting partner who he shares this award with. Aren't the screenplay awards supposed to be about creativity and thinking outside the box?
Frida – The costumes in Frida were creative adaptations of beautiful Mexican garbs. Chicago's costumes are the same ones that have been lying around the studio costume closet since the last musical won Best Picture in 1968.
Best Film Editing:
The Hours – The perfectly crafted opening sequence is just an example of how well film editors spliced this film together. Working with three different time periods isn't easy, and trying to make them flow is even harder. The Hours however, passes the test with flying colors.
Since technically I can only give Snubbies to movies that were nominated, it seems necessary to also honor the ones who were cheated out of even a nomination.
- Best Picture: Adaptation deserved the nomination far more than Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers. Besides the fact that LOTR didn't have a chance in hell of winning in its middle movie (many voters have admitted they're waiting for the last installment to give it their vote), it was nowhere near as good as Adaptation. The problem (is this really a bad thing?) is that there were just too many good movies this year to pick only five...something has to give. I would also bump Gangs Of New York out of this category in favor of Far From Heaven. Far From Heaven was one of my favorite movies this year, plus it had a plot...the same can't be said for Gangs Of New York.
- Best Actor: I give Richard Gere major credit for taking on the role of Billy Flynn in Chicago. Musicals haven't been all that successful lately (and where did Ewan McGregor disappear to after making Moulin Rouge? Some sort of black hole?) but Gere excelled in the role. While not too many people realize Gere does have a background in musical theatre, this part was very much playing against type for the actor best known for his reserved roles in romantic comedies or light dramas. Voters also should have considered Dennis Quaid's performance as over-the-hill pitcher Jim Morris in The Rookie. While I'm well aware he wouldn't have had a chance against Jack or Nic Cage, he still deserved his shot.
- Best Supporting Actor: This category is a difficult one this year...there are so many great male performances. First of all, I strongly considered Andy Serkis's schizophrenic role as Gollum/Smeagol in Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers, but decided he was disqualified for never actually appearing on the screen. Next I considered Richard Gere's brief but interesting role in Unfaithful but decided it was too brief. The "winner," therefore, has to be Dennis Quaid for Far From Heaven who really showed his enormous skill. He played the closeted husband so subtly that you never suspected a thing until the moment Julianne Moore walked into his office to find him necking with a man. The role had the potential to become a stereotype, but (pardon the bad pun) Quaid played it so straight that you couldn't laugh, you just had to feel sorry for this man trapped in a loveless marriage. (And even more sorry for Julianne Moore, trapped in 2 loveless marriages in 2 movies set in the 1950's: Far From Heaven and The Hours.)
- Best Foreign Language Film: Spain's stupidity this year is one for the record books. Here's the stupid out-dated way that the Foreign Language category works: Each country gets to submit one film for consideration for this award. Only one. Spain chose another film over the far superior Talk To Her (Hable Con Ella). Why? Who knows, but thankfully Talk To Her got nominated in two other categories. Though very few thought Pedro Almodovar had a chance at Best Director, Talk To Her certainly would have won this award.
- Best Makeup: This one is a tie between The Hours and Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers. The Hours not only had Nicole's prosthetic nose (which looked so real I had to cover it with my hand before I would believe that it was actually the gorgeous Nicole Kidman on the screen), it also had Julianne Moore aged 50 years. Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers had its usual host of creatures, from Hobbits and wizards, to Orcs there were some very cool makeup techniques used in this film.