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Friday, February 22, 2013

4th Annual "And The Oscar Goes To"

Gooooood evening ladies and gentleman...we are tonight's entertainment. Its been exactly 364 days since my last post and that is just unacceptable. So right here right now I am making a declaration... More Posts! More entries! More everything!

If it weren't for the Oscar's I don't know if I would have been able to muster up the brainpower to sit down and crank out a post. But god damnit it's the Oscar's. Hollywood's big night, and if you have read any of my posts in the past you know that it's my big night too. Well not really. I just sit in bed, rip a few thunderous farts and watch the Oscars. It also marks a bit of tradition as this is our 4th annual posting in which I try to predict the winners. Last year I successfully predicted 5 out of the 6 major awards, and 16 of 24 overall.

This year is particularly strong year in terms of films and thus, predicting the winners is rather difficult. However, I have a bit of an advantage. I am an avid theater going and therefore I have had some time to take in several of the films nominated for best picture. In fact I will have seen 6 of the 9 movies nominated for Best Picture. And if you don't count foreign movies or musicals, there's only 1 movie I haven't seen, Beasts of The Southern Wild, and chances are you haven't either.

The format is simple... "Who Will Win", "Who Should Win" and "Who I Want To Win". Sometimes the answers overlap, sometimes I provide three fresh predictions, you never know. I'm a little crazy like that. So no more filibustering, it's time to make the picks. As usual, you can click on the movie for a link to its trailer.

I hope you use this information wisely and enter some kind of pool. And if my predictions are terrible and you lose everything...Argo Fuck Yourself.

Best Picture - 

Who Will Win : Argo - It's amazing that a picture who's director (Ben Affleck) was not nominated for Best Director will win Best Picture. Sometimes the Best Picture winner is different than the Best Director winner, but almost ALWAYS the director of the Best Picture winner is at least NOMINATED. This movie has all the momentum having won Golden Globe, SAG, DAG, PAG and every other AG that exists. Argo is the true story of the covert CIA mission to rescue U.S. Embassy workers. It was fantastic, I thoroughly enjoyed it. It raised two thoughts on my part. 1) It's a great accomplishment when you as the viewer know how the story ends and yet you are still gripped and enthralled with the ending. 2). This movie came together after the CIA released sealed information which made me think the CIA should created a movie studio and use declassified information to make incredible movies. I mean we've gotten 4 Mission Impossible movies, 5 Die Hard movies, 6 Fast & Furious movies and god knows how many Transformers/Pirates of the Carribean/ X-Men movies. It appears that Hollywood is running out of good ideas, who better than the CIA to revive the state of movies.

Who Should Win : Argo - After careful consideration, it's just the best movie of the nominees. It's too bad for the other movies, because this is such a strong class. If any of these had been nominated when Crash or The Artist won Best Picture, they would easily have won. Lincoln, Zero Dark Thirty, Django Unchained and Silver Linings Playbook are all fantastic movies. I wouldn't be surprised if any one of them win, but I am standing firm with Argo. 

Who I Want To Win : Django Unchained - Tarantino rarely gets any love from the Oscars (only 1 win for Best Original Screenplay for Pulp Fiction and only 5 nominations), and although Inglorious Basterds may be a little better, Django is superbly acted and beautifully filmed. Overall its probably the most entertaining, and all around best movie. But due to the controversy, the violence and Tarantino involvement, it will not win.

Best Director - 

Who Will Win : Steven Spielberg - This category should have an asterisk next to it in the record books. The notable absence of Ben Affleck, Kathryn Bigelow (Zero Dark Thirty), Tom Hooper (Les Miserables) and Quentin Tarantino (Django Unchained) is simply appalling. Having said that Spielberg is Spielberg, one of the greatest directors of all time. He was able to take a potentially very boring subject (Civil War Congress members arguing about an Amendment to the Constitution) and make it engaging, fast paced and highly believable. Spielberg is the best of the class and I believe the default winner.

Who Should Win : Ben Affleck - But he's not even nominated.

Who I want to Win : Quentin Tarantino -  See "Who Should Win". How can he not be nominated?

Best Actor -

Who Will Win : Daniel Day-Lewis - He absolutely deserves this award. It was eery watching his performance. And while none of know how the real Abe talked or acted, I am very confident that it can't be much different that Daniel Day-Lewis's portrayal. Although I am getting sick of Mr. Day-Lewis. We get it, he's a great actor and only emerges from his cave once every 5 years. Having said that, he delivered an absolutely incredible performance and deserves every award and accolade. I mean just look at that picture.

Who Should Win : Daniel Day-Lewis - Seriously though, did you see Lincoln? He was amazing.

Who I Want To Win : Denzel Washington - While I very much enjoyed Bradley Cooper in Silver Linings Playbook I think the easy runner up in this category is Denzel. Without him I don't even know if Flight gets made. Denzel absolutely carried this movie and every time he was on screen he commanded your attention. I think Flight is a good movie that seems great simply because of how good Denzel is in it.

Best Actress -

Who Will Win : Jennifer Lawrence - She is fairly young by Academy standards (22 years old) this is her second nomination for Best Actress (2010's Winter's Bone). Despite her age, she couldn't be any hotter, both physically and performance wise. She was outstanding in Silver Linings Playbook and if you can stand out when acting with Robert DeNiro and Bradley Cooper you must be doing something right. Originally Harvey Weinstein did not want Lawrence to play the role of Tiffany because he thought she was too young. Well it turns out she will most likely win the Oscar, so good call Harvey.

Who Should Win : Jennifer Lawrence - There's been a lot of talk about Jessica Chastain but I thought she was just average in Zero Dark Thirty. Don't get me wrong she was good, but it wasn't that big of a part and it didn't have nearly the range of emotions that Lawrence's performance had.

Who I Want To Win : Jennifer Lawrence - She's hot and she delivered an excellent performance. Those two factors have earned my vote, even though I don't have one.

Best Supporting Actor -

Before I provide my breakdown of this category, I want to take a second to recognize the nominees (man I sound like a stiff who's presenting an award). This is the first time in the history of the Academy Awards in which all 5 nominees in an acting Category have previously won an Acting Oscar (DeNiro - Godfather II, Raging Bull , Tommy Lee Jones - The Fugitive, Alan Arkin - Little Miss Sunshine, Phillip Seymour Hoffman - Capote and Christoph Waltz - Inglorious Basterds). 

Who Will Win : Robert DeNiro - This is the hardest category to predict. I am going with DeNiro as the sentimental winner. He hasn't had a great role in nearly 15 years and his return to dominance should be enough to steal the statue. He plays an addictive father who's compulsive fandom of the Eagles causes problems with his personal life.

Who Should Win : Christoph Waltz - The ONLY reason I think he won't win is that this role is so similar to the role that earned him this exact award for Inglorious Basterds. However, among the nominees he did have the best performance. It was funny, endearing and memorable and performed in only a way the Waltz can pull off. He should win this award, but it will be interested to see if the Academy thinks its too similar to Hans Landa. Tommy Lee Jones is the sleeper here, and depending how much credence the academy give Lincoln, he could sneak in and win his second Oscar.

Best Supporting Actress -

Who Will Win : Anne Hathaway - This is her second nomination and her turn as Fantine, the prostitute in Les Miserables will bring her the trophy. Now I did not see this movie, so I can't comment on her performance. However, based on her ability to sing and the emotion that she brought to the famous "I Dreamed a Dream" song it seems like a no brainer.

Who Should Win : Anne Hathaway - I mean really, the other nominees feel like they were given pity nominations for being in such good movies. Sally Field in Lincoln? Really?!?! She was in it for like 5 minutes. Amy Adams got the nomination for giving the best (and maybe only) Over-the-Pants-HJ in the history of film. Jacki Weaver also was barely in Silver Linings Playbook. She got nominated so the whole starring cast could say they were nominated. And Helen Hunt in the Sessions? Be happy with your win in As Good As It Gets because that was more than just a movie title, it was a metaphor for your acting career.

Who I Want To Win : Anne Hathaway - Again, look at the picture. She's a smokeshow. Don't you dare disagree.


FULL LIST OF PREDICTIONS

Best Picture - Argo
Best Director - Steven Spielberg
Best Actor - Daniel Day-Lewis
Best Actress - Jennifer Lawrence
Best Supporting Actor - Robert DeNiro
Best Supporting Actress - Anne Hathaway
Cinematography - Life of Pi
Costume Design - Anna Karenina
Animated Feature - Frankenweenie
Animated Short - Paperman
Documentary Feature - Searching For Sugar Man
Documentary Short - Open Heart
Short Film Live Action - Death of a Shadow
Film Editing - Argo
Foreign Language Film - Amour
Make-up - The Hobbit
Original Score - Life of Pi
Original Song - Skyfall
Production Design - Les Miserables
Sound Editing - Zero Dark Thirty
Sound Mixing - Les Miserables
Visual Effects - Life of Pi
Original Screenplay - Django Unchained
Adapted Screenplay - Lincoln 



So there you have it folks. Hopefully we can at least producte the same percentage, if not better, than last year. Sit back and enjoy the Oscar's on Sunday and hopefully my picks can help you win some money.

Until next time, as always...STAY SWEET!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

3rd Annual "And The Oscar Goes To"

Welcome to our 3rd edition of the Oscar predictions. While this is (astoundingly) the 4th year of the blog, we have only been prognosticating the Oscars for 3 years. Last year our performance spoke for itself as we correctly predicted 18 of the 24 categories. Very respectable if you ask me. Our only major blunder was on the Best Director category in which I was convinced David Fincher would win the trophy. But I should have stuck with my rule of thumb in that the winner of Best Director is 9 times out of 10 the director of the film that will win Best Picture. That rule proved true as Tom Hooper of The King's Speech took home this award and The King's Speech grabbed the Best Picture trophy.

This year, we are more prepared. We have done more research and homework than many years past. But I must say, I'm slightly concerned about the major awards. Overall I think it was a down year for movies and there's not really a candidate that jumps out to me as a lock, especially in the Best Picture category. So let's get right to the breakdowns. If you have read past editions of the Oscar breakdown I analyze each of the major categories into 3 aspects - "Who Will Win", "Who Should Win" and "Who I Want To Win". Obviously in some categories there will be some overlapping, but once all is said and done I will give you the full list of predictions for all 24 categories, and you can TAKE THAT SHIT TO THE BANK.

Best Picture - 
Who Will Win : The Artist - I've gone back and forth on this one a number of times. Generally speaking this comes down to the two films with the most nominations, in this case that's Hugo and The Artist (with 11 and 10 nominations respectively). I picked The Artist because it has garnered the most overwhelming reviews and seems to have captivated the movie going world. It's quite a feat considering where we are in modern film, to have a mostly silent, entirely black and white film win over audiences and possibly the Best Picture award.

Who Should Win : The Artist - Like I said above, any movie that is almost entirely silent and shot in black white that has earned this much regard has to have something going for it. Hugo has a very solid chance, mostly because Scorsese achieved great success in a genre that he has never done before. But this award is The Artist's to lose.

Who I Want To Win : Midnight In Paris - It doesn't stand a chance, but this was one of my favorite movies of the year. It's extremely creative and well written, but let's be honest, its not going to win.

Best Director
Who Will Win: The Artist, Michael Hazanavicius - This is mostly because I believe that The Artist will win best picture. I got screwed last year by picking a different director, but I won't make the same mistake this year.

Who Should Win : Hugo, Martin Scorsese - While I did not see this movie in theaters, and thustly taken advantage of the 3-D work, from the trailer and clips I have seen so far Scorsese is up to his usual tricks. But instead of directing criminals and mob bosses, Scorsese tells a fascinating tale of a young boy in 1930s Paris.

Who I Want To Win: Martin Scorsese - I did not see this movie, but I love Scorsese and it would be nice to see him win a second award because he probably should have 5 by now. And I also hope that Kristen Wiig's Bridesmaids Drinking Game catches on. Basically you drink anytime someone says "Scorsese". And how can you not like a guy who looks like this.

Best Actor
Who Will Win: Jean Dujardin, The Artist - Are you picking up on a theme? I just think this is The Artist's year and they are going to take home most of the major awards. Sure he doesn't speak during the movie, but he dances, and he dances A LOT.  I like this SNL sketch with a cameo by Dujardin.

Who Should Win : George Clooney, The Descendants - Although Clooney has already won an Acting Oscar (supporting Oscar in Syriana) he could very well grab his second award on Sunday. Without Clooney I suspect this movie is nowhere near as successful as it has been. He is one of the few actors that can carry a movie all by himself and let's be honest, he's George Clooney. Everyone likes him so he could steal votes just by his charm.

Who I Want To Win : Brad Pitt, Moneyball - Not that I thought Pitt was overly outstanding in this role, but I think it would be more of a recognition for his excellent body of work throughout the years. He's only been nominated twice before (Benjamin Button & Twelve Monkeys) despite excellent work in Inglorious Basterds, Fight Club, Se7en and Legends of the Fall to name a few.

Best Actress
Who Will Win : Viola Davis, The Help - This movie has dominated the acting awards this season from the Golden Globes to Screen Actors Guild and Davis delivers the best performance of anyone in the film. The movie did score a Best Picture nod, but like The Descendants I think The Help got the nomination due to the acting performances. The Academy is also a big fan of her's as her only other nomination came from Doubt in which she was only on screen for 11 minutes, so she must be good. Her competition comes from Meryl Streep (that phoney baloney) who's been nominated 17 times (when is enough enough) and Michelle Williams, who's been nominated twice and won the Golden Globe this year for her work in My Week With Marilyn.

Who Should Win : Rooney Mara, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo - This was, simply put, an unbelievable performance. Talk about committing to a role. Mara was almost unrecognizable as Lisbeth Salander to the point where most people were unaware that she played Erica Albright in The Social Network. But usually first time nominees do not take home the Best Actress Award so I do not suspect she will win, although I hope that she does.

Who I Want To Win: I think I made that pretty clear above. I mean just look at her picture from Dragon Tattoo and compare it to this one from The Social Network. And for anyone who saw Dragon Tattoo you realize what a challenging and demanding role that was. I can only imagine that it took her quite some time after filming before the character left her, if it even did.

Best Supporting Actor
Who Will Win : Christopher Plummer, The Beginners - This is the biggest lock of the night in my opinion.  Plummer, assuming that he wins, will be the oldest recipient of an Academy Award at the ripe age of 82. This is a man who has been acting consistently since the 50s and only has 1 other Oscar nomination. If there ever was a lifetime achievement award, this is the one. Plummer plays an old man who comes out that he is gay after being in the closet his entire life. Talk about Oscar bait.

Who Should Win : Christopher Plummer, The Beginners - When you look at the field of competition, the only possible threat is another 82 year old, Max von Sydow. Von Sydow also has an impressive career resume but I just can't see him beating Plummer.

Who I Want To Win : Jonah Hill, Moneyball - Just as with Pitt, I didn't think Hill delivered a great performance, but rather that it was so much different than what we have seen from Hill in the past. I just think it would be funny to see the guy who once said in a film "she wants my dick in or around her mouth" delivering an Oscar acceptance speech.

Best Supporting Actress
Who Will Win : Octavia Spencer, The Help - While Davis may have had the lead in this film, Spencer played the best character and the one that fans remember the most. The only thing working against is that The Help who may not win another award besides these two acting nominations would sweet the female acting categories (They have a 3rd nomination from Jessica Chastain as well). Not to mention that historically this category has been the wildcard, giving the award out to newcomers, foreigners and even comedic performances (Marissa Tomei).

Who Should Win: Melissa McCarthy, Bridesmaids - She absolutely stole the show in this movie and was the reason that this is not just a chick flick movie but instead a comedic masterpiece. Her character was so over the top and outrageous yet at the same time she was very human and easily relate-able. If you haven't seen this movie, I highly recommend it yet. And if you want a taste of McCarthy in action, check out this clip of the first time we meet her character Megan.

Who I Want To Win : Melissa McCarthy - For so many more reasons than she flat out deserves it. Because for years comedy performances go unnoticed and unrecognized. Because she very well have delivered the funniest role of anyone, male or female, in 2011. Because she was not afraid to dress her looks down to the point of awkwardness that many female actresses would never attempt. And because she took a shit in a shit, in second funniest toilet humor scene in the history of movies (Behind only Dumb & Dumber).

FULL LIST OF PREDICTIONS


Best Picture : The Artist
Best Director : The Artist - Michael Hazanavicius
Best Actor : Jean Dujardin, The Artist
Best Actress : Viola Davis, The Help
Best Supporting Actor : Christopher Plummer , Beginners
Best Supporting Actress : Octavia Spencer, The Help
Adapted Screenplay : The Descendants
Original Screenplay : Midnight In Paris
Animated Feature : Rango
Cinematography : The Tree Of Life, Emmanuel Lubezki
Art Direction : Hugo
Costume Design : Hugo
Documentary Feature : Paradise Lost 3
Documentary Short : Saving Face
Film Editing : The Artist
Foreign Language Film : A Separation
Makeup : Albert Nobbs
Original Score : The Artist
Original Song : "Man or Muppet" , The Muppets
Animated Short : The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore
Live Action Short : Raju
Sound Editing : War Horse
Sound Mixing : War Horse
Visual Effects : Hugo



Well there you have it people, my 24 picks of Oscar glory. I went back and forth for Visual Effects because Rise of the Planet of the Apes really did some amazing work, but I think they are going to throw Hugo some bones for losing out to The Artist. Also I may trip up on Cinematography. I selected Tree of Life because it was ambitious and achieved a look that no other movie had this year. But I feel like the "throwing Hugo a bone" thing will take effect in this category also. Oh well, you can't second guess, these are my picks and I'm sticking with them. I feel fairly confident in my picks and I should at least match the same success as last year despite these races being significantly more debatable.

So enjoy the Oscars and until next time, as always....STAY SWEET!