It’s that time of year again, Oscar season. Bryan is a bundle of nerves, bursting with fruit-flavor and jonesing for any and all obscure nominations he can find, like a junkie going through withdrawals. I can just picture him now, mouth agape in abject terror as he sits in front of his computer, desperately trolling the interwebs for that last short that’s alluded him. And I take comfort in that. Is that wrong?
Meanwhile, for me, Oscar season is more a time of ambivalent annoyance. It’s hard to care about or put much stock in an organization that, among other things, gives Jennifer Hudson an award the first time out (essentially for playing herself), but neglects to acknowledge Martin Scorsese‘s genius for decades. Anyway, Bryan is a man obsessed; I’ve found that it’s best to placate him and go along with his Oscar obsession. So, in preparation for the Academy Awards this Sunday, we go over our picks for what we think should win versus what we think will win.
BP: I have been tirelessly trying to watch all the nominees but that doesn’t always help prognostication. How many of the nominees have you seen?
AS: Uh… I’ve seen all the main categories, two of the foreign films.
BP: So, you’re pretty well caught up, even if the Oscars “aren’t really your thing.”
AS: Yup, on both counts.
BP: Okay… so zesty today… Well let’s just dive in and start at the top…Best Picture. First off, what do you think should win?
BP: I had a feeling you might say that. You do love your psycho-sexual ballerina horror flicks.
AS: Wait, there’s another one?
BP: I’m sure there’s an XXX parody out there somewhere.
AS: I wonder what it would be called…
BP: 13 inches of black swan?
BP: Well, as much as I loved that film, I would go with Inception.
AS: Not a surprise… you’re such a whore for Nolan.
BP: What!?! What are you talking about? That’s not true. I would never…
AS: How many times did he pop up on your top 20 of the decade?
BP: 3… in the top 10
AS: Anyone else have that many films on your list?
BP: No… Okay, but you loved Inception too…
AS: I did, but not as much as Black Swan. And I’m not as big a whore for Nolan as you are.
BP: Sure, like you haven’t already planned on how you’re going to see The Dark Knight Rises.
AS: In a theater…
BP: Shut UP! Moving on… a little more tricky here, what will win best picture?
AS: I honestly couldn’t say… as long as it’s not The Kids Are All Right, I’m cool. The Academy has never made sense to me.
BP: But you have to give a best guess.
AS: Why do I have to go first? You’re Mr. Oscar OCD, you tell me.
AS: It’s easier for me to form my opinion when I can base it off yours. Like when I picked which team to root for during the Super Bowl.
BP: Hey now, that’s still a touchy subject. But, yeah King’s Speech… It has Nazis, monarchs, and is the most emotional out of the bunch, save for Toy Story 3 but they’re never giving it to an animated film.
AS: Unfortunately, I can’t play the “pick the opposite of whatever Bryan picks” game this time. I think you’re right.
BP: Man that’s gonna suck.
AS: However, I can say that I wouldn’t mind if The King’s Speech won, because I really liked it and think you’re crazy, even more so for liking Another Year more than it…
BP: Am I really the only one? Lay off Another Year, that film is great.
AS: No, it isn’t. And Leslie Manville’s character is annoying as hell.
BP: A little, but she becomes sad and endearing
AS: No, not really, just a whiny, pitiful mess. Anyway, is that even nominated for anything, or are we straying?
BP: We’re straying, and we’ve got a lot to cover so moving on
AS: Best Director?
AS: This is tough…
AS: As far as who I want to win…
AS: Aronofsky, Russel and Fincher… all I can say is, “Please, sir, may I have another?”
BP: I assumed you’d agree with me, Darren Aronofsky.
AS: I do want Aronofsky, yes. But I want Fincher and Russell to win too, at some point, if only for previous work.
BP: I look at it this way. The Fighter is good more because of the acting. , a lot of that is the script, but Black Swan is nothing without Darren.
BP: The others are great but I gotta go with him.
AS: Touche. I concur.
BP: And now who will win?
AS: I think he actually could.
BP: I’m holding out hope for a split and think David Fincher will steal away a prize from The King’s Speech.
AS: You think?
BP: That’s what I’m going with.
AS: I think Aronofsky can pull it off. Also, as much as I like The Social Network, I don’t think it’s on par with Fincher’s other work. Good, yes, but no Se7en… no Fight Club.
BP: Yeah, but this is will not should.
AS: Right, I think that will sway the vote.
BP: What does the academy think? They might see it as a chance to reward him for the films you mentioned.
AS: That would just further cement my already firmly held notion that the Academy is on crack. How many years did it take for them to give Scorsese an Oscar?
AS: It baffles the mind.
BP: So what’s your pick?
AS: Aronofsky, for the win… Russell could be a surprise. Just saying
BP: Way to leave yourself an out. Don’t be a pussy. We’re all in here.
AS: I think Aronofsky will win, but I think people underestimate Russell’s chances. If anyone would sneak in on a split, I think it’s Russell.
BP: Well I think The Fighter could win picture, but I’m trying to get to more categories so let’s have it… Best Actor?
AS: I thinkshould win. And if he weren’t hosting, I’d say he would.
BP: It’s easily his best work.
AS: Still, I’m tempted. What are the odds? Has a host of the show ever won an award? While hosting?
AS: Why not?
BP: Jesse is too young and many think he’s just playing himself, which he’s not. Franco hosting does kill his chances. Bardem won recently, as did Bridges.
AS: Well, I’m going with the long-shot and saying Eisenberg will win.
BP: That’d be awesome, but I’m sure readers can see where your picks are coming from.
AS: Whatchoo talkin’ bout Parrill? I want Franco to win.
BP: Dude, Firth is winning, but good luck anyways.
AS: I love Colin Firth, but he’s always so… Firthy. I think Eisenberg could win because of Academy members unfamiliarity with him, in spite of the popular consensus. Firth is Firth, unless it’s a Bridget Jones movie, and then he’s a dick.
BP: Okay, whatever you say… let’s move on shall we? Best Actress…this should be easy for us… Should/Will – Natalie Portman.
AS: Done and done.
BP: Right…and another easy one, Best Supporting Actor… Should/Will…. Christian Bale.
BP: And then on to a tough one… Best Supporting Actress. I think Melisaa Leo should win.
AS: Same here. She and Bale owned The Fighter.
BP: But she’s kind of railroaded her chances with her own FYC ads. And I do think Amy Adams will take some votes away. So, I’m picking Hailee Steinfeld to beat her.
AS: Jackie Weaver even in the game?
BP: No… nomination is her win… but HBC could show up if The King’s Speech is really so beloved.
AS: Yeah, I’m putting my money on Helena Bonham Carter.
BP: Not a bad pick… we shall see. Okay, Screenplay, let’s start with Original… Should/Will? I will continue my affair with Nolan and say he should win.
AS: Inception, all the way. Yeah. No argument here. You may be a whore for Nolan, but he’s a mad-genius for writing that film.
BP: But again, The King’s Speech love fest will most likely continue with a win here.
AS: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. I say Inception. Inception should and will win.
BP: Let me remind you, Gosford Park (zzzzzzz) beat Memento 10 years ago in the same category. I’m still a little dead inside from that one.
AS: I’m sticking to my guns on this one. Inception, all the way.
BP: I hope you’re right… How about adapted? Should/Will – The Social Network. Although I think Toy Story 3 is close for both, the screenplay is the first thing people talk about with The Social Network, and for good reason.
AS: I guess I’m just a heartless bastard, cause I really don’t see what all the fuss is about with Toy Story 3.
BP: Here comes the hate mail. So what are you going with?
AS: The Social Network makes the most sense, but I feel like 127 Hours is a strong contender.
BP: Boyle just won so many awards though.
AS: It’s not like I hated Toy Story 3, but everyone’s touting it like it’s the be-all/end-all, and I just thought it was ok. I prefer Wall-e.
BP: Me too. I prefer UP.
AS: Didn’t cry during that either… again, heartless apparently. Anyway, I agree with The Social Network should and will win.
BP: Alright, let’s do some craft categories… Best Art Direction… should win: Inception.
AS: Why wouldn’t it win? I think it should and will win.
BP: Well, an interesting stat, no Tim Burton movie has ever been nominated here and lost. Sweeney Todd beat There Will Be Blood for goodness sake.
AS: What!?! Screw Alice’s amazing Technicolor acid trip from hell!!!
BP: I agree and I think the Academy will not want to give that awful film anything… so they’ll go with The King’s Speech. It’s a period piece with lots of indoor sets and they love the movie. I don’t think they’ll appreciate the fine detail of Inception.
AS: Inception has amazing variety, and I think that will get it the win.
BP: Again, I hope you’re right, but you might be picking with your heart too much, or maybe I’m over thinking it. How about Costume Design?
AS: Even though I haven’t seen the film, I’m thinking The Tempest.
BP: Remember now, they don’t have to see the film to vote in these categories.
AS: Ok… I’m still thinking The Tempest should/will win, in spite of the fact that the film is supposed to be horrible. It’s Julie Taymor… design is her thing.
BP: Designing disasters… Turn Off the Dark anyone?
AS: Nobody had both wrists broken or received a concussion during The Tempest.
BP: Well, I think True Grit should win for Pepper’s outfit alone. But I think Alice has the most costumes, which they like, but they should hate the movie like me, so just like Art Direction, I think they’re gonna go with King’s Speech, I’m tired of saying that title.
AS: You’re tired of it? I feel like Prince Humperdink, “Stop saying that!” Moving on…
BP: Best Animated Feature should be easy – Should/Will – Toy Story 3
AS: I know… I don’t know why, but I know.
BP: Best Foreign Film is more difficult because so few of the films have been seen. And the voters have to see all five to vote. I’m going to abstain from a should at this point, but from what I’m hearing, In a Better World will win.
AS: Well, I think Dogtooth should win.
BP: And your guess for what will?
BP: Star power doesn’t always mean anything in this category.
AS: I’m not going with star power.
BP: Then what?
AS: I thought Biutiful was good and relevant and it looked stunning.
BP: If you say so. It’s so hard, without Nazis, to know what they’ll pick.
AS: And it’s Innaritu.
BP: Pan’s Labyrinth lost to Lives of Others and that was Del Toro.
AS: Del Toro isn’t Innaritu.
BP: Amelie lost to a crappy Serbian film and that was Jeunet.
AS: Well, as I’ve said, the Academy is on crack. Moving on…
BP: Original Song…Should/Will… Tangled.
AS: If you say so…
BP: None of them are amazing, but Tangled plays over the best looking scene.
AS: Again, if you say so… didn’t see Tangled or Country Strong and haven’t heard the songs from either.
BP: So you’re abstaining from a should? What’s your will then?
AS: I defer to your more informed opinion on the matter.
BP: So Best Score… should win BWAHHHHHHHHH!
AS: Yeah. Hans Zimmer’s Inception score is my favorite.
BP: But alas, I think The King’s Speech will steal another one.
AS: Stop saying that! Really? I don’t even remember the score from King’s Speech.
BP: There is still hope for Inception or Social Network, but I think they remember the classical music from Speech more. They think Beethoven and Mozart did the Speech score.
AS: Meh… I think Inception will win… it’s too powerful not too… I think the Academy should be afraid that if they don’t pick it, Zimmer’s ominous horn section will get ’em.
BP: BWAHHHHHHHHHH. “Oh shit what was that! Just Run damn it!!!!!!” Right then, sorry about that… Best Documentary… maybe one of the toughest categories.
AS: Exit Through the Gift Shop should win.
BP: Agreed, but only barely, it’s a very strong category.
AS: It’s the only one I’ve seen, and based on the fact that it was the only one I was interested in seeing, I’m going to say that not only should it win, but it will.
BP: It could, but again this is a category where they have to watch all of them, so popularity doesn’t mean much. I think Inside Job is the most polished, but in a year that they seem to be voting with their hearts, something tells me the uplifting Waste Land is going to be the upset winner.
AS: I don’t even know what that is. And I have already spoken… Clearly, since I saw it, Exit Through the Gift Shop should & will win… I have decreed it… I’m feeling very monarch-like all of a sudden…
BP: Maybe cause I keep saying King and Speech and winner repeatedly…
AS: Mayhaps. Or perbe the Lord above decreed it… either one is possible, but I’m guessing it was the Lord…
BP: Yes, my lord… best editing…. Should/Will – The Social Network.
BP: Cause Inception isn’t nominated.
AS: Ummm… my heart’s telling me Black Swan should/will win, unless you can refresh my memory about Social Network.
BP: Well, usually Editing lines up with Picture, so think about that. Swan is more about Cinematography, for the voters anyways. And Social, even though it’s mostly cause of the script, cuts back and forth in time a lot. They love that shit.
AS: Yeah, but the editing is part of what makes Black Swan so nightmarish.
BP: And the editing of the dialogue is crisp and the movie fits a lot into just 2 hours for a reason. Agreed about Swan, but that might not be the perception.
AS: Idunno, I think it’s the pairing of the cinematography and the editing that makes Black Swan so much more successful at creating the creeping claustrophobic paranoia. I’m sticking with Black Swan should/will win.
BP: Speaking of Cinematography (segue, FTW)… should win – Black Swan… will win – True Grit
AS: I think my previous statement made it clear that I’m going Black Swan should/will win cinematography as well. It’s a package deal.
BP: Yeah, but True Grit is the only nominee with “vistas,” and they love that shit too. It’s not undeserving either.
AS: Meh… it’s a new age. The Academy needs to live in the now.
BP: Need to, but will they?
AS: Yes… Or else I’m sending Hans Zimmer’s horn section after them.
BP: Okay, winding down… Best Make-Up… Should/Will – The Way Back.
AS: Again, if you say so. I haven’t seen it. And I don’t want The Wolfman to get anything.
BP: Something tells me they don’t want to reward shitty films this year, so Wolfman would be out. And they haven’t given the award for aging make up in a while, so the deserving winner and the most well received film is left over. Now, three easy ones… Best Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, and VFX… Should/Will – Inception. Tech sweep, I say!
AS: Sounds like a nice trifecta to me.
BP: Which would leave the shorts, which I am still trying to watch. And I believe you haven’t seen any, correct?
BP: So, I’ll keep it brief, but for the sake of Oscar pools everywhere… Animated Short… Should/Will – Day&Night
AS: Go on…
BP: Live Action Short – Should????… will – God of Love is my guess at this point, but will change by Oscar night. Doc Short – should????… will win – Poster Girl.
AS: So… closing remarks?
BP: Not enough Nazis this year!
AS: No comment.
BP: But seriously, I really hope most of my picks are completely wrong this year. It would brighten my day to see The King’s Speech lose a lot of awards. Then again it’s better than Alice In SuckLand.
AS: What will you do if Nolan makes a movie about Nazis? I think your head would probably explode.
BP: Well then he’d be nominated for Best Director.
AS: What if Nolan directs Schwarzenegger’s Kindergarten Nazi movie? The one where he plays an old German soldier, ordered to kill kids, who decides to save them instead. Would you need to change your shorts? I bet you would.
BP: Anyways, that about does it. Hopefully some of this will be helpful in filling out those Oscar pools….Wait, what if The Dark Knight Rises has Nazis… I just filled the cup!