so instead of writing about politics or gay issues, i’m gonna write about something that doesn’t matter whatsoever in the scope of the world and what’s important: my picks for the Oscars.
if you know me, you know i love movies.
and if you know me well, you know that for me Oscar night is bigger than the Super Bowl, the Grammys, Miss Universe, or a Lord of the Rings Movie Festival.
as usual, the frenetic pace of my life prevented me from seeing all the pics and that frustrates me. i actually only saw 3 of the 9 best pic nominees this year–1 more than i saw last year. i kept meaning to spend an entire Saturday catching up on these and some of the nominated perfs at the art movie house in Dallas but never seemed to get a free saturday. tried to see Hugo once but the boys weren’t interested; could’ve rented Midnight in Paris but i just didn’t take the film seriously–it is woody allen but something about owen wilson? i dunno.
ok so here goes:
of the 9 nominated, i only saw Tree of Life, The Descendants, and The Help. The Artist will win this–just the type of fare Hollywood loves, and i can’t wait to see it. Poor Hugo…Hollywood wanted to love this too.
Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
tough call for me: do i go with CW and go with Jean Dujardin, The Artist or do i go with the perf that finally convinced me that George Clooney is a serious actor in The Descendants (Syriana was awesome and i loved him in Up in the Air). Clooney running down the street just cracked me up and made him seem “not so perfect” to me. having not seen The Artist, it will be hard to judge.
This will go down to the wire for me and will have to wait until my final ballot is due to call it.
(Can’t wait to see A Better Life.)
HANDS DOWN: Viola Davis, The Help. LOVE YOU Meryl, so much, for so many great performances. But Viola deserves this for her honest performance, as much as she did for the supporting statue she should’ve gotten playing opposite you in Doubt. Again, her perf was understated, emotionally evocative, and authentic. Just beautiful. Streep will have to enjoy her Golden Globe this year. I look forward to much more grand work from these women, as well as the others in this category. (And can’t wait to see Albert Knobbs. When will Glenn Close get her due?!)
Best Supporting Actor
Subject-matter alone, Christopher Plummer, Beginners, is my fave here. Of course who doesn’t love Captain Von Trapp?!! this is a movie i anticipate owning. (blog post about this movie forthcoming.) Saddish for vonn Sydow, also 82, because as this category often honors a career, he’s deserving too.
Best Supporting Actress
Best Original Screenplay
Ok, i get it. yes, Woody Allen is brilliant. yes, I will see it (even tho I think i will agree 100% with my theater-educated baby brother on his appraisals). and this one will go to Woody Allen for Midnight in Paris.
Best Adapted Screenplay
The Descendants, adapted from the Hemmings’ novel, was really enjoyable to me and deeply affecting without being contrived. i hear Moneyball‘s adaptation was pretty smart along with Clooney & co’s Ides–both movies i really want to see. that said, i can’t think of a smarter adaptation i’ve seen than Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy–but maybe that’s due to the source material. (wow–what an excellent movie and if you haven’t seen it, you should!)
in the end, i’m going with Alexander Payne, Jim Rash, and Nat Faxon for The Descendents as a way to honor the film since it won’t win BP.
Hands down: The Tree of Life. despite not completely understand most of what i was watching and making fun of myself with Pam after we watched it one night, both refusing to comment or make a joke because we were each afraid the other was getting it and we didn’t want to feel stupid–the movie was sumptuous and brave and just gorgeous. here’s where it will get a little Oscar history. (Malick’s nomination was its other award.)
Best Costume Design
I agree that The Artist will win here, too.
Best Art Direction
This (and the other technical categories) is is where Hugo will get some Oscar love.
Best Original Score
The Artist. the excerpts i’ve heard are beautiful and i’m sure it’s a perfect homage to the era it depicts.
Best Original Song
uhm, excuse me: where-the-heck are the songs from Sir Elton John, Madonna, and Mary J??? of the 2 nominees, i’m going with Man Or Muppet from The Muppets.
Seems to be little disagreement: The Iron Lady, though i’d love to see Harry Potter get some Oscar gold.
Best Sound Editing
Best Sound Mixing
Best Visual Effects
Rise of the Planet of the Apes though my heart is with Harry Potter.
Best Foreign-Language Film
A Separation. This is showing in Dallas now and every time i see the preview, i tell myself i’m going to see it…! It will win and then i can go see it.
Best Documentary Feature
I think it comes down to Undefeated and Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory. I love stories like Undefeated (despite its odious Diddy connection) as well as Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory, about the West Memphis Three.
Best Animated Feature
Rango, but my heart is with Chico & Rita.
Best Animated Short
i saw all the nominees in this category.
Diamanche/Sunday (Canada) featured sublime animation but for me, an unsatisfying story. A Morning Stroll (based on “The Chicken”) (UK) was quite a trip and is a MUST see. Try to find the whole thing. Wild Life (Canada) felt like watching a painting…it was just so beautiful. La Luna (US), from animation powerhouse Pixar, was wonderful. Not only was its animation lovely and story delightful, the pay-off was just precious.
But my pick of the bunch is The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore (US). In just a few minutes, this short celebrates the love of books. the joy of reading. the fulfillment of creation. and is very timely for me personally. and the animation–oh yeah: beautiful, ESPECIALLY the page turning scenes.
Pixar may steal this but Lessmore deserves it.
Best Live-Action Short
i was also able to see all of these and for me, predicting the winner is tough. some critics are going with The Shore (N. Ireland); i liked it but felt the acting was a bit…well…college course or community theater–i dunno. Others are going with Raju (Germany/India)–powerful, deeply impactful and touching, and very, very well acted all the way around. Pentecost (Ireland) was funny and relatable with its religious setting, but no where near as as year’s religion-themed nominated short, The Confession which is still haunting. (Incidentally it lost to God of Love by that fro-headed white dude Luke Matheny who i bet has a big future ahead of him). Time Freak (USA) was fun, funny, and got a great audience response.
Best Documentary Short
This is tough, too, having to go with my gut only. Saving Face or The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom….. both gripping stories. (Do want to see God is the Bigger Elvis, though!) Will make this call before my official ballot is due.
and there you have it. need to go make cookies for the event and search my heart before i turn in my final ballot. good luck!
(oh and if you text/tweet/FB message me during the telecast, don’t be offended if i don’t return your message. this is very serious stuff.)