Oscar and Grouch Part 7 or 8….not sure, I’ve lost count.
The 83rd Academy Awards (AKA The Oscars) are coming up. This year was a record year for me I must say. I saw every nominated film in all the big categories and most in the smaller ones. This is a first for me and I am very excited about this.
I only saw one documentary this year and no it wasn’t “Waiting for Superman”, which I’ll bite my tongue…didn’t get nominated. This brings me to this year’s theme and also the color of most of the actresses’ dresses I’m assuming: White.
This year, the Academy has decided that they didn’t want to hear as many speeches about thanking god and would much prefer a white person ranting about Egypt. Actually, this year, a British white man ranting about Egypt. Therefore, there was nobody of any color but white nominated for an Oscar.
On February 27 I hope you all take a few hours out of your evening. These Oscars are as obvious as a non-profit manager having no clue how to use Excel, but even still, it’s fun to go through them and pick them apart.
Best Actor AKA Obviously Colin Firth
Javier Bardem for “Biutiful”
If ever I wanted to get up from a movie and walk out, this could be it. However, I just can’t ever really seem to do that (even for Meet Joe Black) because I always feel like something is bound to happen in the movie that makes sense; that gives a point to the whole thing. While this movie was one of the most depressing ones I’ve seen in a long time, Javier Bardem did a bueno job and he does deserve a nomination. It just makes me sad that movies like this have to be made. It was just so heartbreaking and I don’t always want to see unhappiness. I think my mom said it best, “Schindler’s List was more uplifting than that movie.” He won’t win. Colin Firth will win.
Scene they will show if they finally show scenes again for the love of god: when he is telling his daughter he is going to die
Jeff Bridges for “True Grit”
I was all for Jeff Bridges last year when he won for Crazy Heart. I even accepted the fact that he got a standing ovation because it was a first time win. But I wildly disappointed in this year’s nomination. I thought the movie was just ok in most parts. It’s not that Bridges didn’t do a good job, I just couldn’t understand anything he was saying. I needed subtitles for his lines. (Kind of like how I need them for every Dustin Hoffman movie made since Rainman). I have no idea why Ryan Gosling or Aaron Eckhart weren’t nominated and he was. But it doesn’t matter. He won’t win. Colin Firth will win.
Scene they will show if they finally show scenes again for the love of god: When he first meets the girl in the courthouse
Jesse Eisenberg for “The Social Network”
I think Eisenberg did a very impressive job. From the first scene to the last, he captured the “Zuckmerman” mannerisms even if it wasn’t exactly 100% based on truth. You hate him. You think he has autism. You feel for him. You get angry with him. Then, at the end when the money comes up, you wish you were him. For that, he most definitely deserves this Oscar nomination. He won’t win. Colin Firth will win.
Scene they will show if they finally show scenes again for the love of god: When he tells the lawyer why he doesn’t want to answer a certain question
James Franco for “127 Hours”
If there ever was a year that there should be a runner-up for best actor, it should be this year with James Franco and I’m not talking about his work on General Hospital, which I can only assume is amazing. James Franco had my attention for the entire film. You could really feel for him down there in that canyon. It wasn’t a movie just about cutting off your own arm. It was about survival. I love the scene when he remembers he left his orange Gatorade in his truck. He did an incredible job. Way to go Franco. He won’t win. Colin Firth will win.
Scene they will show if they finally show scenes again for the love of god: Considering the whole movie is him stuck with his arm in a canyon, probably a scene when his arm is stuck in a canyon
Colin Firth for “The King’s Speech”
There is no doubt in my mind that he deserves this nomination and this win. I really loved this movie. You might not know the story and you might think to yourself, “how does a movie about a guy with a speech impediment sound interesting?” But, it was. Acting is about speaking and facial expressions and being able to feel for the character regardless about whether you believe in that person or not. Colin Firth did just this. Everyone I know has something about themselves that makes them vulnerable and you just wanted to cheer for him at the end.
Scene they will show if they finally show scenes again for the love of god: When he is explaining to his therapist about his father.
Actor who got screwed because he wasn’t white: Were there any parts for non white actors this year? I mean besides Samuel L. Jackson in The Other Guys and Denzel Washington in that train movie?
Actor who got screwed even though he is white: Tie for Ryan Gosling for “Blue Valentine” and Aaron Eckhart for “Rabbit Hole”
Best Actress AKA…The Upset (especially from me if Benning wins)
Annette Benning for “The Kids Are All Right”
All right. All right. We get it. She has been nominated four times before and has lost twice to Hilary Swank and what a shame it would be to lose to Natalie Portman so give it to her right? Not all right! I was so excited about this movie because who doesn’t love a movie about hot lesbians? And by that I mean Julianne Moore. However, this movie was just a big disappointment. Annette’s character was cliché and trite down to the pant suits she wore and her spiky haircut and her drinking of red wine. I won’t get started here on the sex scenes because I’ll leave that to best movie category. However, let me just say that Annette did an all right job and I think she is nominated only because she played a lesbian. And if this is the case, I should win the Oscar and I don’t even wear vests or ties. And if she does win this, you will hear me sigh all the way through her 2 minute Oscar speech about equal rights and her love of Julianne Moore who she couldn’t have done this movie without. No doubt. I have a little fear she could take it but I am going to say she won’t.
Scene they will show if they finally show scenes again for the love of god: When she is yelling at Julianne Moore when she finds out she was cheating
Nicole Kidman for “Rabbit Hole”
I saw this movie this past Saturday and it was my last Oscar movie to see. I loved Nicole in this movie. I think she could pull off a real upset and take her second Oscar with this performance. She was magnificent. The movie, while it had a sad theme, was more about the how the couple dealt with their lost in their own way. Nicole’s scenes were she cried out and yelled at her husband were very powerful. However, it was the quitier scenes when she is sitting on a park bench or in her car that really portray her agony. I loved her in this movie.
Scene they will show if they finally show scenes again for the love of god: When she asking her mother if the pain ever goes away
Jennifer Lawrence for “Winter’s Bone”
This movie I don’t understand at all. I guess because it is so artsy it belongs in the Oscar world but honestly, I just thought it was boring and depressing. I mean, don’t get me wrong, Jennifer Lawrence’s lips were really hot in this movie, (which is awful because she played a 17 year old girl I think) but that’s okay. And it was kind of hot when she skinned the squirrel but that’s about it. Her acting was fine. It was another slow, depressing, heartbreaking film and I guess this year, I was just over that.
Scene they will show if they finally show scenes again for the love of god: When she is talking to her uncle the first time at his house
Natalie Portman for “Black Swan”
Did I just say I was over slow, depressing, heartbreaking films? Let me take that back for one second because Black Swan was the exception for me. I think she should win for this based on the fact of what she had to do to prepare for the role. All Annette Benning had to do to prepare was watch gay male porn and learn how to shop at Express for Men. Natalie Portman’s acting was amazing. She didn’t have too many lines but it was her facial expressions and movements that really captured her in this movie. I am going to go out on a limb here and say she will win.
Scene they will show if they finally show scenes again for the love of god: When she is telling the director that Lily is against her or when she is dancing turning into the black swan
Michelle Williams for “Blue Valentine”
I really liked her in this film. I know she basically played the same character as she did in Brokeback Mountain but that is okay with me. This was a story about a real relationship. I have no idea why Ryan Gosling wasn’t nominated as well except Jeff Bridges was and took his place. Regardless of how you feel about this character, there is no doubt that she played it really well. But she has less than zero percent chance of winning.
Scene they will show if they finally show scenes again for the love of god: When she is in the kitchen at the end yelling at her husband
Actress who got screwed because she wasn’t white: Halle Berry for “Frankie and Alice” (but lets face it nobody could stand to hear that speech again anyway) and according to Ebony Magazine she is black.
Actress who got screwed even though she was white: Halle Berry for “Frankie and Alice” (she seems to decide her color based on who is asking anyway)
Best Supporting Actor: AKA We know it’s going to be Christian Bale but we needed to have 4 others to make it fair
Christian Bale for “The Fighter”
Christian Bale did an amazing job in this film. Never mind that an English actor had to play a blue collar guy living in Lowell, MA, but he also had to play a real life character. You could really feel for his character when you found out the documentary was going to be about drug abuse and to see his recovery was like watching a real episode of Intervention. You didn’t once think watching this movie, “I wonder when the new Batman is coming out” because he was able to take you so far away from his other roles that you forgot it was him. He will win.
Scene they will show if they finally show scenes again for the love of god: When he is talking to his brother’s girlfriend during his recovery at the end
John Hawkes for “Winter’s Bone”
Again with this movie. Okay, let me see. I suppose he did a good job. I mean, the guy was a real scumbag for pretty much most of the movie so even though I didn’t like the character, I can see that he did a good job playing it. I just think they threw him in there for some artistic quality or something. Again, doesn’t matter, Christian Bale will win.
Scene they will show if they finally show scenes again for the love of god: When he comes to his niece’s house at the end
Jeremey Renner for “The Town”
I’m pretty sure the only reason this guy is up for this movie is because The Town didn’t get any other nominations and they thought for sure that they were going to get a bunch when it was made. I am not saying he did a bad job, he just did a good job. It wasn’t an Oscar worthy performance the way it was last year when he should have won for The Hurt Locker. But it doesn’t matter anyway because Christian Bale will win.
Scene they will show if they finally show scenes again for the love of god: When he is talking to Ben Affleck at the park in front of the fence
Mark Ruffalo for “The Kids Are All Right”
No. Don’t get me wrong. I like this guy. I’ve liked him since he showed up at Sundance with You Can Count On Me and I forgave him for Zodiac but I am not sure this was an Oscar worthy performance. He did a great job in the movie and in my opinion was the only character I really could feel for in the end, but he did his usual. He was charming and cute. But it doesn’t matter anyway because Christian Bale will win.
Scene they will show if they finally show scenes again for the love of god: When is on the phone learning talking to his sperm daughter for the first time
Geoffrey Rush for “The King’s Speech”
I think if anyone could possibly upset Christian Bale for the win it could be Geoffrey Rush. You could just feel the friendship and the bond that formed between the King and the therapist and for that he definitely worthy of a nomination and a win if he gets it, which he probably won’t because let’s hear it everyone….Christian Bale will get it.
Scene they will show if they finally show scenes again for the love of god: When he meets with Colin Firth for the first time
Actor who got screwed because he wasn’t white: Ken Watanabe for “Inception”
Actor who got screwed even though he was white: Andrew Garfield for “The Social Network”
Best Supporting Actress AKA Usually The Category That Throws You Off
Amy Adams for “The Fighter”
Does she have to be nominated every other year for something just for the sake of it? I like Amy Adams and yes she did play a completely different character than her other more airy and flighty roles, but I am not sure this was an Oscar performance. She got the accent down and the clothes and the attitude but that was what she was supposed to do. She didn’t do anything other than that for me. Now if they nominated the sisters as a whole for this part, now that would have been something!
Scene they will show if they finally show scenes again for the love of god: When she tells Mark Walhberg that she believes in him (wait, wasn’t that the whole movie? Yes.)
Helena Bonham Carter for “The King’s Speech”
So I am going to say I don’t really understand this nomination. I think it was maybe thrown in there because it is going to win best actor and movie and maybe they felt like she had to get it too. Pretty much the same reason Amy Adams got nominated. This must have been a slow year for supporting actresses for women but I think I would have even rather seen Dianne Wiest nominated than her. Again, excellent movie and great job by the Queen (and not the Queen of Hearts which in hindsight might actually have made more sense for a nomination). However, we all love to see what her hair will look like on Oscar day so I guess it’s worth it.
Scene they will show if they finally show scenes again for the love of god: When she meets with the speech therapist for the first time
Melissa Leo for “The Fighter”
I will bet money that she will win for this role. I don’t think it was the best acting that any woman has ever done in a movie, but this was a slow year for the supporting woman so I understand all the hype about why she would win. She had to play a character much older than herself and the character was a bit of a shocker. I can’t imagine being or having a mother like the one she played. And she pulled off white pants so you got to give her some credit for that.
Scene they will show if they finally show scenes again for the love of god: when she is talking to Mark Walhberg in his house about not quitting
Hailee Steinfield for “True Grit”
She was the only thing I thought was great in this film. I love stories about tough chicks in history, especially during a time when women weren’t considered strong. For a young actress, she has made a name for herself with this role. If she won, I would be happy with it. But I don’t think she has gotten enough hype to pull it off against Leo.
Scene they will show if they finally show scenes again for the love of god: When she is trying to get Jeff Bridges out of bed for the first time
Jacki Weaver for “Animal Kingdom”
Woah. No, this movie is not about lions and tigers on the Discovery Channel narrated by Oprah. THANK YOU! However, it was just as surprising. This is an Australian crime family movie which at times you can hardly understand and need subtitles. Jacki Weaver was only in this film for probably a total of 10 minutes but I can see why she was nominated. Judi Dench won for Shakespeare in Love after only being it in for 7 minutes so why not. She played a mother and grandmother doing such despicable things but with such a calm authority that you can’t believe that a person could be so evil. She won’t win but good for her for getting recognized.
Scene they will show if they finally show scenes again for the love of god: when she is talking to the police officer about killing her grandson
Actress who got screwed because she wasn’t white: Brenda Song for “The Social Network”
Actress who got screwed even though she was white: Dianne Wiest for “Rabbit Hole”
Best Picture AKA why bother when it really comes down to just 2 anyway.
“Black Swan” – great sound, great editing, great acting, and obviously great cinematography. This film got a lot of people interested the first weekend it opened because of the illucid “lesbian” scene but then people started to really see the actual appeal of this movie and that it was just a great thriller. Won’t win.
“The Fighter” – this was an interesting story and as a whole, the cast did a great job. It will win two acting honors because of it. But it won’t win.
“Inception” – it took me twice to realize that this was a really great movie. The story was interesting and the special effects were off the chart (and will win for that). Won’t win.
“The Kids Are All Right “– why do you have to make a lesbian based movie and then have the lead character sleep with a guy. Come on! Really? And also, I don’t know any lesbian couples where one is a spiky haired doctor and the other is hot tomboyish gardener who live in a fabulous house in California. And if that actually does exist, I want it. Won’t win.
“The King’s Speech” – This is the winner fo-fo-fo-fol-folks. This is it. The man with the speech impediment who eventually became King and brought his country together in a time of war. This movie had it all. Costumes (it will win), acting, directing, friendship, story about love and loyalty and friendship and trust. It’s a true story with a happy ending. This will win.
“127 Hours” – Great film. Danny did another movie where he took to you another world for a couple of hours with the music and the colors and the uncertainty of what is next. I watched only part of the “the arm scene” but it was done in such an artistic way that he should win something for it; editing maybe? Won’t win best picture.
“The Social Network” - I’ve now seen this movie 3 times. At first I wanted it to win best picture of the year because I think it was just a great movie. It had wonderful writing, cinematography, acting (even Justin Timberlake) and it made you think. It might not have been all true to life but it was a story and we love stories. It is between this movie and the “The King’s Speech” and I think the Speech will take it. This one will get director and that will make Oscar history in itself when a movie and director get different wins. But it happens folks...remember Shakespeare in Love and Saving Private Ryan.
"Toy Story 3" – this must be the “Up” syndrome where the best animated feature that will win is also up for best movie of the Year. It was great. I loved it. Animation was so real and the characters were so greatly drawn and acted that you could have sworn it was real life. But won’t win.
“True Grit” –Of course because it’s the Coen Brothers (who might as well be called The Righteous Brothers) since all of Hollywood for some reason swoon over them. Isn’t it enough they won for “No Country For Old Men?” Won’t win.
“Winter’s Bone”- yawn. Won’t win. Maybe in a college film festival class or something where all the students think they are so creative and wise.
To summarize for those of you who don’t want to read all my witty remarks (Joel) here you go.
Best Actor Who Should Win: Colin Firth
Best Actor Who Will Win: Colin Firth
Best Actress Who Should Win: Natalie Portman
Best Actress Who Will Win: Natalie Portman
Best Supporting Actor Who Should Win: Christian Bale
Best Supporting Actor Who Will Win: Christian Bale
Best Supporting Actress Who Should Win: Melissa Leo
Best Supporting Actress Who Will Win: Melissa Leo
Best Movie That Should Win: The King’s Speech
Best Movie That Will Win: The King’s Speech
Enjoy! Pass Around. And Enjoy the Oscars.