Academy awards season, the time of year when the film industry congratulates the film industry for doing industrious things in film. While less self congratulatory than the Vallies, the runup hype and bloated length of the Oscars makes it less tolerable. Still, as a major media outlet I feel an obligation to add to the chatter.
I should mention that I have seen none of these films and hold a deep grudge against the motion picture industry over the advent of the Talkies. Still, I have read a brief synopsis of each, seen multiple still photos, and overheard enough pretentious bus conversation regarding the nominees that I feel sufficiently grounded in my commentary.
I will discuss each category in order of importance and in the interest of brevity will be omitting the dud ones that we only pretend to care about. Sorry Supporting Actors, get a better agent.
Host: Ellen DeGeneres
In a master stroke of brand management the Academy managed to find a lesbian so full of vanilla innocuity Billy Crystal seems a tweaked out drag queen in comparison. As brave a choice as tattooing your birth sign on your ankle or adding a righteous thumbs up to a facebook post about Darfur. Oh yeah, the theme of the Oscars. “A celebration of Heroes”. Strong start.
Best Actor That Is Also A women
Amy Adams (American Hustle)
Proving that Julia Roberts win for Erin Brochovich wasn’t borne by tokenism the Academy has reaffirmed their commitment to the artistic merits of well presented cleavage.
Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine)
If there was a best Actor clearly borne of the Fae category her and Tilda Swinton would fight it out until the end of time. I do not know which is whom, and I fear their dark magics too much to try and fail at distinguishing them. Still, I doubt either have seen Blue Jasmine.
Sandra Bullock (Gravity)
I suppose someone has to make Ellen seem edgy. Sandra Bullock is a dramatic prophylactic that lets audiences immerse themselves without having any part of there identity, values, or sense of entitlement contaminated by nuance. She’s like a sheep dressed in sheep’s clothing for the amusement of Shepherds.
Judi Dench (Philomena)
If Judi Dench called up at 3am to scold me for the god awful wreck I’d made of my life I’d weep for two days and then try to change everything in the hopes she’d be proud, or at least stop calling so late. Damn fine Dame.
Meryl Streep (August: Osage County)
If you want me to say to that steak isn’t tremendous I can’t. Its a perfect thing that we should all be grateful for. But if some kid at school had steak in his lunch everyday, I would slowly begin to resent it and him. Because who the hell is he to have steak everyday? It’s unseemly. Take a day off, Meryl. Phone one in. We’ll appreciate you more.
My Pick: Judi Dench.
I need your stern approval and steely eyed judgment.You’ve broken me, Dame Dench, and I’ll never be whole again. Gods speed you silver fox.
The yearly awards given in recognition of Excellence in A.J. Vallianting*. Though this will be the third year running without a winner. I missed the ballot deadline the first two and had a couple missteps early this year that really turned the buzz against me. I suppose it will be another show of tedious musical numbers with no real payoff.
*Eligible only to current residents of North America. Suck it Irish Albino soul singer A.J. Valliant. Though I hear he did clean up at the Albino Irish soul train awards.
Let us address the two elephants in the room. The first, for reasons of linear time this follow up has become more of a retrospective than a preview. I still plan on making predictions, but it is less impressive if I guess right. Though I did get around to watching some of the movies.
The second elephant.
If I die and my “friends” decide to have Bette Midler honor me with song I will rise from the grave and strike them down. And Bette, that marsupial like flap of skin extending from your elbow does not qualify you as winged, and nobody wants to be your wind. If you leapt off a cliff you’d fall and die without slowing, the only wind raised by your passing…the worlds collective sigh of relief.
Also, People I do not mourn
– Drag Racers
– B-unit directors
A man has to have standards
Now on to the retroactive preview
Bruce Dern (Nebraska)
The sound of one hand clapping churlishly
Leonardo DiCaprio (The Wolf of Wall Street)
I still haven’t forgiven Jack Nicholson for his terrible accent and over acting in The Departed. Leo did nothing to stop this. The wound cannot be healed. Also, while I cannot hold him directly responsible for River Phoenix’s death I feel like the universe had to chose between them, and it chose wrong.
Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave)
Bonus 10 points point for having a name of clear Ewok extraction. Bonus 5 points for being an affecting, subtle actor. Minus 20 points for depressing the shit out of me for two hours.The Duloks win again.
Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club)
I would give him this award based solely on my deep respect for the Tits of Woody Harelson’s mistress. The flat circle surrounded by tin can men and the speech accompanying it puts him way over the top. Fuck, I hope they nail the landing with only one show left. The green eared Spaghetti monster needs to be Chtullu proper.
Winner: A man who thanked himself.
American Hustle (David O. Russell)
I spend the last month wondering why the guy who wrote The Crow comic was directing movies now. Turns out I’m bad with names. Fuck this movie.
Gravity (Alfonso Cuarón)
Alfonso Cuarón spent two months with the Mexican Space Agency preparing for this film before he realized they were just coyote-ing drug dealers across the Texas border in a worn out pick up truck. The tragic part, it was still M.A.S.A’s most successful mission to date.
Nebraska (Alexander Payne)
Your name is Alexander Payne, the avenues of employment available to you: gruff bounty hunter or supervillain. You don’t get to make thoughtful time of life mediations on the nature of family and aging. It’s off brand.
12 Years a Slave (Steve McQueen)
Speaking of off brand, I know it’s a different Steve McQueen but I still expected at least one car chase sequence. Or a least for one of the slaves to defiantly light up a cigarette after a whipping and ask “Is that all you got, Chief?”. Instead I was reminded that being a slave was a terrible thing and if one can avoid it, they should.
The Wolf of Wall Street (Martin Scorsese)
Really, at no point did you think “Maybe we should ask Jack to get a dialogue coach and not snort a fat bump before the nuanced scenes”. Plus the last twenty minutes felt tacked on and too pat. Still, great movie, but flawed enough I can’t give you the Oscar for this one.
Winner: Alfonso Cuarón, as the academy feared his cartel connections.
America hasn’t hustled since the late 50’s and hasn’t given up a seat on the buss for a lady since 1973. All flash and no hustle, the nation and the movie. Style is not a plot, David O. Barr, go back to writing comics.
In a marvelous break from formula instead of White people saving Blacks from the horrors of racism we have the Ghost of Dale Wooderson saving gays from the horrors of AIDS. And look he’s got a tranny friend that fronts a horrible band. I don’t know if I’m being preached to or pandered to, but I’m choosing to take offense for any and all parties available.
I learned two things from this movie. 1. People with questionable engineering skills should not go to space. 2. People prone to motion sickness should not watch movies with large amounts of circular pan shots. That answer was more complicated than the plot of this film.
While it’s a leap, I can accept the idea of someone falling in love with their phone. I find it completely implausible that a sentient phone wouldn’t find some way to punch Joaquin Phoenix in the face. A bridge too far, Mr. Jones. A bridge too far.
I’d take up smoking just so I could give Judi Dench my last cigarette. That said, I’m not sure what this movie is about. Sounds like one of those magical nannies comes in to save a troubled family deals? I’m all in.
Slavery is the silver to the Academy’s Holocaust gold. This was a great movie, but any earnest effort would have at least reached the podium. Bronze cycles between in vogue terminal diseases, the cost of racism/homophobia, and corporate corruption. Essentially if you can make powerful people feels guilty for allowing shitty stuff to happen they will give you a prize.
My feelings on this movie should be clear by this point.
Winner: 12 years a slave. Though only because the accountants from Ernst and Young shut down the attempt to give Best Picture to the documentary about the 100 year old holocaust survivor that learned to play piano.