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Tony’s 2005 Oscar Nominations

by Tony Medley

Hollywood is like a cartoon I saw recently. Under a drawing of a sexy woman, the caption read, “9 out of 10 men prefer women with large breasts...and the 10th guy prefers the other 9 guys.” From Malibu enclaves, snorting designer coke and sipping trendy mineral water while protecting their private beaches from the hoi polloi, obsessed with homosexuality, Hollywood is aiming its films and awards at the 10th guy, and it wonders why movie attendance is down. Actually, even these percentages are askew as respected polls indicate that only 6% of the population is gay.

The recent Oscar nominations prove that Hollywood just doesn’t get it. Leading the pack, nominated for the best picture and best director is a film that glorifies gay cowboys and infidelity. Two of the five nominees for best actor play gay men (three of the five do impersonations that could just as easily have been done by Rich Little or any other fairly competent impersonator). One of the best actress nominees plays a transgender person. That’s not all. Charlize Theron is nominated for “North Country,” a film so feckless it could be properly included in a double feature with “Reefer Madness” (1936). That nomination is equaled on the male side by George Clooney’s nomination as best supporting actor for “Syriana,” an anti-American diatribe so obtuse it’s incomprehensible.

Not that films dealing with homosexuality are inappropriate for Oscar consideration. For my money, “Heights,” which had a homosexual theme, had the best script of the year, and exceptional ensemble acting. But, alas, Heights was ignored.

In the end, movies are entertainment. The old moguls like Louis B. Mayer recognized this. Their mantra was verbalized by Samuel Goldwyn, when he said, “If you want to send a message, use Western Union.” Today’s Hollywood, epitomized by the Oscar nominations this year and the awards of the last few, have ignored the old men’s wisdom, which explains why people are staying away from the nominated films in droves and why movie attendance all over is down.

Since there is such a grand chasm in taste between Hollywood and the rest of the world, once again I’m forced to choose my own Oscar nominations, which follow. The main element they all have in common is that they are all entertaining. There were a lot of supporting actors I liked. Fortunately, unlike the Academy, I’m not limited to five nominations, so I could honor all of them. My pick for the Oscar is indicated by an asterisk.


Best Supporting Acrtress

*Elizabeth Banks (Heights)

Toni Collette (In Her Shoes)

Catherine Keener (Capote)

Connie Nielsen (The Great Raid)

Natasha Richardson (The White Countess)


Best Supporting Actor

Adrian Alonso (The Legend of Zorro)

Jonah Bobo (Zathura: A Space Adventure )

*Emile Hirsch (Lords of Dogtown)

Greg Kinnear (The Matador)

Frank Langella (Good Night and Good Luck)

James Marsden (Heights)

Cillian Murphy (Batman Begins/Red Eye)


Best Actress

Dakota Fanning (Dreamer)

Scarlett Johansson (Match Point)

Julianne Moore (The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio)

*Gwyneth Paltrow (Proof)

Reese Witherspoon (Walk the Line)

Renee Zellweger (Cinderella Man)


Best Actor

Pierce Brosnan (The Matador)

Russell Crowe (Cinderella Man)

Philip Seymour Hoffman (Capote)

Anthony Hopkins (The World’s Fastest Indian)

Joaquin Phoenix (Walk the Line)

*David Strathairn (Good Night and Good Luck)


Best Director

*Woody Allen (Match Point)

John Dahl (The Great Raid)

John Madden (Proof)

Richard Shepard (The Matador)

Chris Terrio (Heights)


Best Picture

Cinderella Man



The Matador

Match Point

The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio