With the 78th Academy Awards only hours away, it's time to announce the Major Oscar Picks Based on Their Connections to Cloud 9.
Only weeks ago, all Hollywood was buzzing over their lattes about the uncanny, eerie similarities between Cloud 9, the hilarious beach volleyball comedy starring Burt Reynolds and written and produced by Burt Kearns and Brett Hudson of Frozen Pictures and last year’s Best Picture Oscar winner (Million Dollar Baby), Albert S. Ruddy, and this year's Best Picture nominee, Crash.
This da Vinci Code-like revelation was followed by the amazing two or less degrees of separation between Cloud 9 and every single one of this year’s major Oscar nominees (and a nostalgic look back at the two-or-less degree links between the Fox DVD and every Academy Award Best Picture of the past ten years).
Well, time for the Big Night. The Two Degrees or Less of Separation chart is now being used it to forecast the winners of this year’s Oscars.
These predictions are based on their proximity to Cloud 9 (which missed out on Academy Award consideration only by a matter of days and format— it was released January 4th on DVD). Some go far afield of conventional wisdom. But that's what happen when you stir up an incomprehensible blend of science and Hollywood magic. Here goes:
PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
Philip Seymour Hoffman (Capote) worked with Burt Reynolds in Boogie Nights; Heath Ledger (Brokeback Mountain) co-starred in Four Feathers with Brett Hudson’s niece, Kate; Joaquin Phoenix (Walk The Line) showed up at the West Coast party for Burt Kearns' book, Tabloid Baby; and David Strathairn (Good Night, and Good Luck) worked with Cloud 9 movie-stealer Gary Busey in The Firm. BUT…
Terrence Howard (Hustle & Flow) appears in Crash with Cloud 9’s Ken Garito and Tony Danza!
CLOUD 9 BEST ACTOR PICK: TERRENCE HOWARD, HUSTLE & FLOW
PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE
Judi Dench (Mrs. Henderson Presents) starred with Anthony Hopkins, who plays a key plot role in Cloud 9, in 84 Charing Cross Road; Felicity Huffman (Transamerica) is married to William H. Macy from Boogie Nights; Keira Knightley (Pride & Prejudice) played an ex-stripper and performs a lap dance—a la Cloud 9’s Angie Everhart-- in Domino; Charlize Theron (North Country) appears with Mel Gibson (whose ficus tree is a plot point in Cloud 9) and Anthony Hopkins in Cinema Mil, and was nominated for a Razzie the same year Burt Reynolds and Sylvester Stallone were nominated as Worst Screen Couple. BUT…
Reese Witherspoon (Walk The Line) starred in Legally Blonde with the dog named Moonie, who appears as Gary Busey’s dog in Cloud 9!
CLOUD 9 BEST ACTRESS PICK: REESE WITHERSPOON, WALK THE LINE
PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
George Clooney (Syriana) appeared with Cloud 9 costar Paul Rodriguez on the TV special, Playboy’s 50th Anniversary Celebration and with Tony Danza in the TV series Baby Talk; Paul Giamatti (Cinderella Man) played Pig Vomit in Private Parts, starring Howard Stern, who dated Cloud 9 star Angie Everhart; Jake Gyllenhaal (Brokeback Mountain) starred in Day After Tomorrow, which featured KTLA show biz correspondent Ross King, who was in the running for the Tommy Z role in Cloud 9; and William Hurt (A History of Violence) and Burt Reynolds were in the documentary, Sex at 24 Frames Per Second. BUT…
Matt Dillon (Crash) appeared in Crash with Tony Danza and Ken Garito from Cloud 9!
CLOUD 9 BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR PICK: MATT DILLON, CRASH
PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Catherine Keener (Capote) starred in Death to Smoochy with Vincent Schiavelli, star of The 4th Tenor, directed by Cloud ‘s Hary Basil; Frances McDormand (North Country) appeared with Barbra Streisand (whose “home” and chair are featured in Cloud 9) and Mel Gibson at the 69th Academy Awards; Rachel Weisz (The Constant Gardener) appeared with Cloud 9 star Tom Arnold on Late Night with Conan O’Brien on February 22, 2005; and Michelle Williams (Brokeback Mountain) and Cloud 9 actor Jeff Altman appeared on Baywatch. BUT…
Amy Adams (Junebug) has wrapped a new movie, Standing Still, which also stars Cloud 9 starlet Marne Patterson.
CLOUD 9 BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS PICK: AMY ADAMS, JUNEBUG
ACHIEVEMENT IN DIRECTING
Ang Lee (Brokeback Mountain) co-wrote the screenplay for Tortilla Soup, which starred Paul Rodriguez; Bennett Miller (Capote) attended NYU Film School, where Albert S. Ruddy thought “beach volleyball” upon seeing a Gabrielle Reece poster on his son’s dorm room wall; George Clooney (Good Night, and Good Luck) appeared with Gary Busey in the TV special, Inside The Playboy Mansion; and Steven Spielberg (Munich) directed Minority Report, which featured Cloud 9’s Paul Wesley, and 1941, featuring Cloud 9's executive producer Gray Frederickson as Lt. Bressler. BUT…
Paul Haggis (Crash) wrote the screenplay for Million Dollar Baby, the film that won a second Best Picture Oscar for Albert S. Ruddy, and worked with Ruddy on the TV series, Walker, Texas Ranger.
CLOUD 9 BEST DIRECTOR PICK: PAUL HAGGIS, CRASH
And click here for the uncanny similarities between Crash and Cloud 9.
CLOUD 9 BEST PICTURE PICK: CRASH
There you have it.
Direct from Cloud 9’s Magic 9 Ball:
ACTOR: Terrence Howard, Hustle & Flow
ACTRESS: Reese Witherspoon, Walk The Line
SUPPORTING ACTOR: Matt Dillon, Crash
SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Amy Adams, Junebug
DIRECTOR: Paul Haggis, Crash
(And let's throw in:
ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: Crash
ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: Munich (cowriter Eric Roth is Brett Hudson's pal-- he also wrote Ali, which starred Cloud 9's Paul Rodriguez.)