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Political Oscars 2005


This years Oscar nominations have sparked heated debate (Was Hollywood too chastened to nominate Michael Moore? Too Jewish to embrace Mels Passion? And what happened to Paul Giamatti?). In that spirit I thought it would be a good time to salute outstanding achievements in the worlds of politics and entertainment -- which have, after all, become increasingly hard to tell apart.

So, without further ado, the envelopes please . . .


Best: Shrek 2.

Worst: Bush-Cheney 2004.

Performance by a Grizzled Veteran

Best: Million Dollar Babys Clint Eastwood gets another shot at glory when he trains a female boxer to fight for all the marbles.

Worst: Kentuckys Jim Bunning gets another term in the U.S. Senate despite running a confused and incoherent campaign that leaves observers wondering if hes lost all his marbles.

Creative Writing

Best: Charlie Kaufman for his mind-bending screenplay, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

Worst: Alberto Gonzales for his morality-bending memo calling the Geneva Conventions quaint (aka, Eternal Torment of the Enemy Mind).

Freshest New Face: The Phantom's Emmy Rossum.

Scariest New Face: The Ukraine's Viktor Yushchenko, after the dioxin kicked in.

Best Performance by a Rodent

Movies: Scabbers the rat in Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban.

Politics: Tom DeLay.

Sex Exploration

Best: Liam Neesons Dr. Kinsey visits a gay bar to learn about the sexual habits of homosexuals.

Worst: Illinois Republican Senate candidate Jack Ryan visits a sex club so he can watch his wife get banged by strangers.

Mega-Buck Action Fantasy

Best: Sam Raimis Spider-Man 2.

Worst: George Bushs Democratic Iraq.

Most Over-Rewarded Lousy Performance

Movies: Vin Diesel, who received $12 million for mumbling and grunting his way through The Chronicles of Riddick.

Politics: George Tenet, who received the Presidential Medal of Freedom despite presiding over the CIA during two of the most tragic intelligence failures in U.S. history.

Art Direction

Best: Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrows simultaneously retro and futuristic color scheme.

Worst: Tom Ridges simultaneously confusing and alarming terror alert color scheme.

Most Vicious Attack

Movies: Daniel Travis bleeds to death after being set upon by hungry sharks in Open Water.

Politics: John Kerrys campaign bleeds to death after being set upon by vengeful Swift Boat Veterans in Muddied Water.

Most Excruciating Performance by Siblings

Movies: The Olsen Twins in New York Minute.

Politics: The Bush Twins in New York at the GOP Convention.

Performance by an Anchorman

Best: Will Ferrell in Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy.

Worst: Dan Rather in The Myth of Jerry Killians Memos.

Bang-for-Your-Buck Ratio

Best: The Passion of the Christ, which cost $30 million to make and has taken in over $610 million worldwide.

Worst: The Passion of the Democrats, who spent over a billion dollars on the 2004 campaign and got nothing to show for it but Barack Obama.

Performance Most Likely To Keep You Awake at Night

Movies: Tom Cruise in Collateral.

Politics: Dick Cheney in The Vice-Presidential Debate asserting three times that he was absolutely convinced that terrorists will try to unleash a nuclear weapon in the middle of an American city.

Achievement in Costuming

Best: Colleen Atwood for her whimsical, high-gothic outfits for Lemony Snickets A Series of Unfortunate Events.

Worst: John Kerry for his ill-chosen goose-hunting and windsurfing outfits in A Series of Unfortunate Campaign Tactics.

Most Ludicrous Prison Scenes

Renee Zellweger singing Madonna songs with her fellow Thai prison inmates in Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason.

Most Revolting Prison Scenes

U.S. guards torturing Iraqi prisoners in Abu Ghraib: There Goes the Moral High Ground.

\Performance as a Stepford Wife

Worst: Glenn Closes scenery chewing turn in The Stepford Wives.

Best: Laura Bushs ever-smiling turn on Inauguration Day.

Portrayal of a Memory-Challenged Character

Best: Drew Barrymore in 50 First Dates.

Worst: Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz in front of Congress for not being able to remember the number of soldiers whod lost their lives in Iraq.

Best Fight Scene

Movies: Uma Thurman and Daryl Hannahs knockdown, drag-out duel in Kill Bill Vol. 2.

Politics: Zell Miller challenging Chris Matthews to a duel on Hardball.

Most Daring Rescue

Movies: Firefighter Joaquin Phoenix braves hellish heat to save a trapped man in Ladder 49.

Politics: John Kerry braves watery doom to save Licorice, the familys pet hamster, in Humanizing the Candidate 04.

Most Romantic Location: Sideways rolling hills and wine vineyards.

Least Romantic: Bernard Keriks Ground Zero love nest.

Longest Cold Streak

Movies: Ben Affleck (Surviving Christmas, Jersey Girl, Paycheck, Gigli, Daredevil, The Third Wheel).

Politics: Bob Shrum (Kerry 04, Gore 00, Kerrey 92, Dukakis 88, Gephardt 88, Kennedy 80, McGovern 72, Muskie 72).


Best: Nicolas Cage pinches the Declaration of Independence in order to protect it in National Treasure.

Worst: Ahmed Chalabi pitches the idea of Iraqi independence to Cheney and company and pockets $30 million from the national treasury -- all while spying for Iran.

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