Wednesday, February 03, 2010
The 82nd Academy Awards
Oh you 8.something pound little statue. You little golden idol of, voted by members of the Film Academy, of self-adulation. Oscar… I see you have returned. I knew that you would be back. Here is what you are bringing this year as per Harry Knowles: http://www.aintitcool.com/node/43846. (I got the data for this blog from Harry’s site. I could have gotten it from somewhere else but I didn’t.)
To pick who goes home with the little golden guy one must think like the Academy. That is NOT to say that the best picture in any given category goes home with Oscar; no. It means that one must channel and consider to think how the Academy thinks to truly pick who is gonna win. The last few years I have beat Oscar in the big categories in a blow-by-blow match of fisticuffs. All right, you little 8.something pound golden idol – let’s do this… let’s dance.
THE HURT LOCKER
A SERIOUS MAN
THE BLIND SIDE
UP IN THE AIR
Now, let me just say there are some GREAT films in this category. Seriously. The announcements came in the day before yesterday and for the first time since “Casablanca” was in the theaters there are TEN, yep that’s right, TEN possible entries in the “Best Picture” category. This should open things up for a more, dare I say, fair and balanced campaign and selection. I hope that it works. I should also say that I have not seen all of the pictures in this category. Still, putting oneself into the mindset of the Academy one can make a postulation; who should win vs. who will win. I would love to see “Up” take it. It won’t because the Academy will view it as an “animated film” (which it is also listed as a nominee) and write it off. Meanwhile, “Up” is one of the finest films EVER made about the grief process. Heartfelt and touching, “Up” should win. That being said I’d be happy as a clam if “Inglorious Basterds” or “District 9” or “Avatar” won as well. The Academy will either go with “The Hurt Locker” or “Up In the Air”. …And the winner is… “The Hurt Locker”.
Jeff Bridges, CRAZY HEART
George Clooney, UP IN THE AIR
Colin Firth, A SINGLE MAN
Morgan Freeman, INVICTUS
Jeremy Renner, THE HURT LOCKER
Good actors, good performances. …And the Oscar goes to… Morgan Freeman for “Invictus”!
Best Supporting Actor:
Matt Damon, INVICTUS
Woody Harrelson, THE MESSENGER (and ZOMBIELAND ahem)
Christopher Plummer, THE LAST STATION
Stanley Tucci, THE LOVELY BONES
Christoph Waltz, INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS
…And the winner is… Christoph Waltz for “Inglorious Basterds”! If Mr. Waltz does not walk away with that little golden icon then there is something completely and utterly wrong with the entire institution; so much so, I dare say, that THIS would be the last blog entry I’ll ever contest between Oscar and myself that I ever document. I feel that strongly.
Sandra Bullock, THE BLIND SIDE
Helen Mirren, THE LAST STATION
Carey Mulligan, AN EDUCATION
Gabourey Sidibe, PRECIOUS
Meryl Streep, JULIE & JULIA
It’s getting tougher… Streep has her share of Oscar gold and it may be time for the Academy to try to show that they are in touch with the common, ordinary movie attendee. Hmm… And the winner is… Sandra Bullock for “The Blind Side”.
Best Supporting Actress:
Penelope Cruz, NINE
Vera Farmiga, UP IN THE AIR
Maggie Gyllenhaal, CRAZY HEART
Anna Kendrick, UP IN THE AIR
Tough. My, my, my… let’s see here… And the winner is… Maggie Gyllenhaal for “Crazy Heart”.
AVATAR, James Cameron
THE HURT LOCKER, Kathryn Bigelow
INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS, Quentin Tarantino
PRECIOUS, Lee Daniels
UP IN THE AIR, Jason Reitman
I would love to see Quentin Tarantino walk away with the Oscar for the tour de force that is “Inglourious Basterds”. He won’t. Instead it is going to be between Cameron and Bigelow, which is interesting since the pair of the use to be married. I’m pretty sure these circumstances don’t happen too often – even for Hollywood. …And the winner is… Kathryn Bigelow for “The Hurt Locker”.
Best Visual Effects:
AVATAR, Joe Letteri, Stephen Rosenbaum, Richard Baneham & Andrew R Jones
DISTRICT 9, Dan Kaufman, Peter Muyzers, Robert Habros & Matt Aitken
STAR TREK, Roger Guyett, Russell Earl, Paul Kavanagh & Burt Dalton
…And the winner is… “AVATAR”. If it does not then something is terribly awry in Mudville. This film completely raised the bar for all films to come. Seriously.
Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay):
DISTRICT 9, Neill Blomkamp & Terri Tatchell
AN EDUCATION, Nick Hornby
IN THE LOOP, Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Armando Iannucci & Tony Roche
PRECIOUS, Geoffrey Fletcher
UP IN THE AIR, Jason Reitman & Sheldon Turner
I would love to see “District 9” take the honors but they won’t. …And the winner is: “Up in the Air”. It’s just how the Academy thinks.
Best Writing (Original Screenplay):
THE HURT LOCKER, Mark Boal
INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS, Quentin Tarantino
THE MESSENGER, Alessandro Camon & Oren Moverman
A SERIOUS MAN, Joel & Ethan Coen
UP, Screenplay by Bob Peterson, Pete Docter. Story by Pete Docter, Bob Peterson, Tom McCarthy
“Up” is pure brilliance but I would LOVE to see “Inglorious Basterds” win this category. Quentin Tarantino has a knack for writing some of the best dialogue in the business along with some of the finest storytelling around today. It should go to him. It won’t. The Academy will tell themselves that he has already won for “Pulp Fiction” and they will give the Oscar to… “The Hurt Locker”.
So there it is; 9 of my favorite categories. Let’s see who breaks even Oscar or Evil Chicken. If Oscar gets more than yours truly in these categories then he has won. I win if the converse is true. Also, I am dead serious about Christoph Waltz winning the Best Supporting Actor category. If he does not win, quite frankly, then the Oscars are just not worth covering on this blog anymore. His performance is that good.
And that, Gentle Reader, “That’s a BINGO!” (go rent “Inglorious Basterds”).