Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Academy Noms? More like Academy Bores ...

I find myself increasingly irritated by the whole awards shebang. I used to stay up all night (during my first stint in the Blighty) watching the Academy Awards on German channels. Every time the show would go on a break, three pundits would start analysing the winner of the Best Art Direction award with such enthusiasm that even though I don't understand Deutsch beyond certain culinary words, I was watching the whole thing with eyes impossibly open at 3 in the morning.

Those days are gone. Did I grow up? Well, technically yes. But I don't think that's the issue. Am I finally seeing the superficial nature of the celebrity culture now that I have tasted what real life is all about (that Friends song is really poignant here ...)? Maybe. I didn't have an epiphany. I'm just not that interested anymore. Perhaps it's the injustice of the awards that my favourite films never win. Well, that has pretty much always been the case. I'm just not that interested in watching them anymore.

Having said that, I love the arguments and endless discussions the awards ceremonies generate. Without them, the movie business would be pretty dull. You know that's right. So, suppressing my instincts, I give in to the temptation and I present you my Ridiculously Premature Oscar Predictions Despite the Fact That I Haven't Seen Most of the Films and I Will Probably Won't See Them Regardless of Their Tally Once the Golden Bold Statuettes, Which Are Really Just Glorified Dildos, Are Handed to Some Overpaid People in the Land Called California. Not sure the last sentence made much sense, but I will trademark it nonetheless.

Let's set some rulez [sic]: To predict for a category I would have to have watched at least 2 films. For the Best Picture Category the minimum is 5. Here we go:

Should win: A Serious Man: Watched it for the second time this weekend and it's even better. No Country ... might have been depressing and dark (yet utterly mesmerising), but A Serious Man is the bleakest of their dark career. But, I know it will not win.
Should win if the above doesn't: The Hurt Locker: Bigelow's masterpiece and the best film about the Iraq War. Period.
Will win: Avatar: Sad but true ... a film that no one will ever see again will be the named best film of the year. How sad is that?
Haven't seen, but have a feeling it's awesome: An Education

Should win: Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker): Well, I've only seen Up in the Air from the other nominees. I had to pick somebody. Not that Renner isn't any good - he's fantastic. But not an Oscar-winning performance.
Will win even though I haven't seen the damned thing: Jeff Bridges (Crazy Heart): The man was robbed for Starman, wasn't nominated for The Big Lebowski ... it's time the Dude abode / abided (delete as necessary).
Haven't seen, but have a feeling it's awesome: Colin Firth (A Single Man): I know, I had to type that twice to make sure that it's actually Colin Firth.

Should win: Anna Kendrick (Up in the Air): By far the best thing in the film. I can even forgive her for being in the Twilight movies. Just.
Should win if the above doesn't: Vera Farmiga (Up in the Air): Penelope Cruz's song-and-dance in Nine might have caused a lot of stirrings in the nether parts of my body, but I would still marry Vera.
Will win even though I haven't seen the damned thinfg: Mo'nique (Precious blah blah blah): Yawn. Another reason not to watch the ceremony: you know Oprah and Tyler Fuckin' Perry will be giving a standing ovation in the front row, synching their tears perfectly the second they switch the feed to the cameras next to them.

Should win: Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker): She has always been very, very good. And this film absolutely rocks: the set-pieces, acting, tone, pace ... I would be really pissed if she doesn't win.
Should win if the above doesn't: Quentin Tarantino (Inglourious Basterds): Robbed last time around, so it wouldn't be a complete injustice if he wins.
Will win: James Cameron (Avatar): It is a great achivement and I guess he deserves something for the technology. But remember, directing is not just pointing the camera - you have to be able to tell a story while pointing the camera. Word.

Should win: Joel & Ethan Coen (A Serious Man): Yes, I have a Coens fixation. But, it's not my fault if they're geniuses, right?
Should win if the above doesn't: Quentin Tarantino (Inglourious Basterds): After a few hiccups, he was back to his pop-culture-bashing best.
Will win even though I haven't seen the damned thing: Bob Peterson, Pete Docter, Thomas McCarthy (Up): Pixar will be awared with one of the big 'uns. And this will be it.

Should win: Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Armando Ianucci, Tony Roche (In the Loop): I would love to see which clip are they going to pick that doesn't have "fuck" in it.
Will win: Jason Reitman, Shelden Turner (Up in the Air): The usual offbeat dramedy that wins one of the screenwriting awards every year.
Haven't seen, but have a feeling it's awesome: Nick Hornby (An Education): 'Nuff said.

Should win: Christian Berger (The White Ribbon): Well, it should have been nominated for Best Film, but this will do. The quite shockinly high-contrast black-and-white is a feast for the eyes as well as an amazing feat of technique.
Should win if the above doesn't: Mauro Fiore (Avatar): Well, it wasn't too shabby to look at, right?
Will win: I'm torn between The White Ribbon and Avatar. I think hype will overcome old-school and Avatar will walk away with this one too.

Should win: The Hurt Locker: It is very claustrophobic and that's due mostly for the editing. This was probably the first film where I forgot I was watching something in shaky-cam. Seamless editing definitely helped the cause.
Should win if the above doesn't: District 9: Well, I feel bad for it ...
Will win: Avatar: It will sweep all the technical awards.

Should win: The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus: I thought this was fantastic and I enjoyed every bit of it. And since it's a Terry Gilliam film, the sets and costumes were top-notch. I would be very pissed if this doesn't win.
Should win if the above doesn't: The Young Victoria: A very handsome film - this is what Elizabeth II should have been.
Will win: I have a nagging feeling that Avatar will scoop this one too. But, the Academy usually favours old school in this category.

Should win: The Young Victoria: See the above comment.
Should win if the above doesn't: Nine: Well, it was pretty disappointing. Quite how you could muck up a film that features the most beautiful women in the world is beyond me. Actually, I know the answer: if you give them shitty songs to sing. Nice costumes, though.
Will win even though I haven't seen the damned thing: Coco Before Chanel: Not a big surprise there. It does exactly what it says on the tin.

Should win: Nothing memorable from this bunch.
Will win: Avatar: Because it's epic.

Should and will win: Avatar: There is no denying the technical brilliance of Avatar, so this is a shoo-in.

Should and will win: Avatar

Should win: A Prophet: Just kidding ...
Will win: Avatar

Should win and will win: I'm torn between The White Ribbon and A Prophet. I have a feeling, though, that Michael Haneke will be victorious come the night. Wouldn't it be ironic that he goes back to a very un-Hollywood film after his short Hollywood sojourn ... and gets nominated!
Haven't seen it but have a feeling that it's awesome: The Secret of Your Eyes: the trailer looked absolutely fantastic. Besides, I can watch Ricardo Darin in pretty much anything.

These picks might change (though I sincerely doubt that) as I get to watch some of the other nominees. So much work for something I'm no longer that interested - imagine how I used to feel like back then when the nominees were announced. Phew!

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