Feature Blogs

Matt's 2001 Oscars Gambling & Awards Summary

Created on Tuesday, 27 March 2001 21:00
Written by Matthew Toomey
 
To quote a line from The Simpsons, "well, when you're right 52% of the time, you're also wrong 48% of the time."
 
Well that line isn't far from being correct.  I picked 10 out of the 19 winners which if you do the math, is 52.6%.
 
It certainly was a night of upsets but that was always expected given the closeness of the competition.  Marcia Gay Harden's win in Pollock was the clearest shock given she was the longest shot in the field at 25-1.  In winning she becomes the first winner to be not nominated at both the Guild and Golden Globes and yet still walk away with the Oscar.  Sadly, her upset caused the demise of Kate Hudson who was my big bet of the night and I walked away $250 poorer.  Even so, I like Harden as an actress and I have just finished watching her press conference speech at the Oscars website and she had some great things to say.
 
Things didn't fair much better in the best picture race.  As expected, Gladiator won the top prize and I'm sure in future years, it will be regarded as one of the worst best picture winners in Academy history.  The film was very good but if it is considered worthy of the year's best, then there is no justice.  With Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon disappointing me, I lost another $100.
 
Russell Crowe walked home with the best actor prize and I was glad to see him win despite having a $20 on Ed Harris at 10-1.  Julia Roberts continues to frustrate me with her victory and provided both the worst and longest speech of the night.  Benecio Del Toro took away the best supporting actor prize as was expected.
 
Given the heavy financial losses I was suffering, I managed to save some face with a last minute (and highly unexpected win) on Steven Soderbergh for Traffic.  I had a measley $30 on him at 7-1 as a rough speculator and he took the coveted best director prize and netted me $210 in the process.
 
So, in all, I lost $190 but I can consider myself very, very lucky.  Soderbergh's win, I felt, was the most unlikely so I guess it shows that not everything goes as expected.  Given the loss, at the end of year 6 of my Academy Award betting splurges, I have a net profit of $1,030 which I guess I can't complain about. I've won in 3 years (1996, 1997, 2000) and lost in 3 years (1998, 1999, 2001). Looks like I'll have to study the form a little harder for next year.  That's it, I'm off to the movies right now!
 
To amuse those out there that have read this far, I have attached at the bottom of this message, three photos taken from my Oscars soiree last night.  The first picture is my shocked reaction after Marcia Gay Harden won the supporting actress Oscar.  The second photo is my equally shocked reaction to Steven Soderbergh's win for Traffic (a happier moment).  The final picture shows me trying to hide the massive disappointment I felt at seeing Gladiator win best picture.
 
It is 12:30 in the morning and I soon must retire given that I have work tomorrow. Importantly, I have to reveal the results of the Pick The Oscars contest.  The lucky winner was Matt Gordon who correctly identified 4 correct answers.  He wasn't alone.  Craig Rogers and Nathan Lee also picked 4 answers and so it came down to the tie-breaker question.  I don't think anyone expected Julia Roberts to yap on for that long.  Her 3 mins 40 sec was more than any single entrant anticipated. Matt had 1:48, Nathan had 1:24 and Craig had 1:09 which gave Matt the win by a 24 second margin although it was very close.  Incidentally, David King had the closest to the actual time with his 3:30 estimation and Kathryn Toomey was next best with 3:00.  I'm glad that most people didn't take my advice.  My own picks in those 5 categories netted me just 1 correct answer which I guess shows that I expected those categories to be difficult.  The most humourous entry had to go to Shane Donovan who submitted Thomas And The Enchanted Railroad as his tip for the best picture, Universal Solider: The Return has best screenplay, and Soldier as best score.  He also suggested Julia Roberts would be "gone in 60 seconds".
 
For the record books, the final winners were -
 
Best Picture  -  Gladiator
Best Director  -  Steven Soderbergh (Traffic)
Best Actor  -  Russell Crowe (Gladiator)
Best Actress  -  Julia Roberts (Erin Brockovich)
Best Supporting Actor  -  Benecio Del Toro (Traffic)
Best Supporting Actress  -  Marcia Gay Harden (Pollock)
Best Original Screenplay  -  Cameron Crowe (Almost Famous)
Best Adapted Screenplay  -  Stephen Gaghan (Traffic)
Best Foreign Language Film  -  Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Best Original Score  -  Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Best Original Song  -  "Things Have Changed" from Wonder Boys
Best Visual Effects  -  Gladiator
Best Film Editing  -  Traffic
Best Sound  -  Gladiator
Best Sound Effects Editing  -  U-571
Best Cinematography  -  Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Best Art Direction  -  Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Best Costume Design  -  Gladiator
Best Make Up  -  The Grinch
 
In a widely spread evening, Gladiator took home 5 and Traffic and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon tied for second place with 4 wins each.  No other film managed more than 1 award.
 
This will be my Film Pie Newsletter for this week and the next issue will follow next Tuesday.  I need time to calm down and go back and watch Marcia Gay Harden's frightened reaction again.