Friday, February 25, 2011

Phantom Troublemaker’s 2011 Oscar Picks

I don’t know what makes me think I’m qualified to make any kind of Academy Awards predictions year after year. I’ve never seen more than a couple of the movies and I am not by any stretch of the imagination a movie aficionado.
But since I am at work and have nine more hours before I can leave, here are the nominees and – least importantly – my picks for the winners!
I’m going to list my personal favorites, followed by who I actually think will win. Since the Oscars are determined by criteria I do not understand and standards I do not even pretend to uphold, I usually make my predictions based on two things:
  1. How unknown the nominee is to me. The more I have to struggle to recall it/them, the more likely it is as a winner.
  2. How gay the nominee is. When all else fails, I choose based on how much I think homosexuals will enjoy it/them. I don’t mean that disparagingly or in any kind of mean or negative manner, I just find it to be a reliable measure of what the Academy will choose more often than not.
Note: We have this new guy at work who types. Not nearly as much as I do, but some. He is irritating the shit out of me because he is sitting right next to me while he trains and he can actually type. Like, properly. I never learned to type, but I do the fastest hunting and pecking you’ve ever seen in your fucking life. People who see it are legitimately amazed. This guy knows how to type “properly” and it bugs me. Just thought I’d mention that.
I’ve actually seen two of the Best Picture nominees (Inception and Toy Story 3), and that might be a record. I very badly want to see True Grit, I just can’t ever make it to the theater anymore. I guess I’ll see The Social Network someday because I really love David Fincher and Trent Reznor, and I like the Eisenberg kid too. Mrs. Troublemaker wants to see Black Swan and I’m down with that. Everybody should watch a movie that makes you want to kill yourself from time to time and Aronofsky is a reliable source of those.
I absolutely loved Inception. It truly seems that Christopher Nolan can do no wrong. If it were up to me, that would win. Toy Story 3 was beautiful but fundamentally flawed. I can’t get past the overdone drama at the end, no matter how many times I watch it. Maybe I wouldn’t feel so strongly if it didn’t bother my son to the point that he won’t watch the movie.
So my personal pick is Inception. It was by far the best movie I saw last year.
Anyway, my pick to actually win is Winter’s Bone. It’s the one I know the least about, which means it held the least interest for me (I only vaguely recall writing about it in one of my Preview articles).
Note: My dark horse pick is The Fighter. After initially being somewhat interested in the movie, I couldn’t help but laugh every time I saw the trailer on TV. It just looked so stupid. It almost looked like a brilliant comedy the acting looked so bad and over-the-top; like a parody of Rocky or something. Anything this ridiculous has to be considered a contender.
Best Actress: Annette Bening, "The Kids Are All Right"; Nicole Kidman, "Rabbit Hole"; Jennifer Lawrence, "Winter's Bone"; Natalie Portman, "Black Swan"; Michelle Williams, "Blue Valentine"
I haven’t seen any of these and Black Swan is the only one I am likely to. Coincidentally, Natalie Portman is my favorite of those actresses, so I think she should win.
My pick to actually win is Jennifer Lawrence because I have no idea who she is.
Best Actor: Javier Bardem, "Biutiful"; Jeff Bridges, "True Grit"; Jesse Eisenberg, "The Social Network"; Colin Firth, "The King's Speech"; James Franco, "127 Hours"
I think this is the weirdest fucking Best Actor list I’ve ever seen. I don’t even know who I’d pick from that bunch of oddities. I guess I like Jeff Bridges the most, but I really like Eisenberg and Franco too. And Bardem from what I’ve seen of him. I'm going with Bridges.
Which means the Academy's pick to win is Colin Firth. I’m not even entirely sure who he is, and I certainly can’t picture him. Apparently the ladies like him, though. Not sure I get that.
Best Supporting Actress: Amy Adams, "The Fighter"; Helena Bonham Carter, "The King's Speech"; Melissa Leo, "The Fighter"; Hailee Steinfeld, "True Grit"; Jacki Weaver, "Animal Kingdom"
I really want to like Amy Adams, but she keeps starring in movies that look terrible to me. I thought she was awesome in Enchanted (a great movie right up until the end), but I haven’t seen her in anything else yet. Helena Bonham Carter is pretty great in everything. I don’t know who any of those other people are.
My personal pick is Bonham-Carter because I enjoy watching her crazy ass. I know that picture isn't from The King's Speech, but fuck that movie.
My actual pick for the Oscar is Jacki Weaver because I haven’t heard of her or her movie.
Best Supporting Actor: Christian Bale, "The Fighter"; John Hawkes, "Winter's Bone"; Jeremy Renner, "The Town"; Mark Ruffalo, "The Kids Are All Right"; Geoffrey Rush, "The King's Speech"
Apparently I really need to see The Town. I keep hearing how good it is. This is a weird category because I am torn on my actual pick and one of the actors I might choose is also my personal pick – Geoffrey Rush. He’s awesome in everything. Granted, I haven’t and probably won’t see The King’s Speech, but I’m sure he’s great in it.
For my actual pick, I have this strange feeling that Jeremy Renner is going to win, but also favor Geoffrey Rush. I’m going with Renner because my personal picks never win. For the sake of The Avengers movie I sure hope Mark Ruffalo doesn’t win, because he’ll almost certainly pull out if he does. Just sayin’. (Shit. I just saw while looking for a picture that Renner is Hawkeye. I totally forgot that. Sorry, Joss. You're losing somebody.)
The Academy's winner will be John Hawkes because who the hell is he?
Best Director: Darren Aronofsky, "Black Swan"; David O. Russell, "The Fighter"; Tom Hooper, "The King's Speech"; David Fincher, "The Social Network"; Ethan Coen and Joel Coen, "True Grit"
Another tough one. I feel like Aronofsky will win because all of his movies make you want to kill yourself and the Academy loves that. BUT he is also directing the follow-up to the abominable shit stain that was the Wolverine movie for his next project. I can’t imagine those shitheads will give an award to somebody involved in such a low medium of entertainment as a comic book movie. I can’t wait to see a Wolverine that is even more emo than he was in the last movie. “Can Logan’s healing factor fight off the combined threat of a heroin addiction and HIV? Find out next time!”
Also in contention is David Fincher, who I think is great. Everybody thinks he’s great. Everybody thought The Social Network was great. These are all prime reasons for why the Academy will not give him the award.
My personal pick is the Coens because I love them so much, even after being disappointed by No Country For Old Men (well, the end, anyway).
My actual pick is Tom Hooper, for the usual reasons.
And I think it is a fucking crime that Christopher Nolan was ignored.
Best Animated Feature: "How to Train Your Dragon," "The Illusionist," "Toy Story 3"
I have never even heard of an animated feature called The illusionist. And I absolutely hate to have to pick between Toy Story 3 – an admittedly amazing movie that deserves all kinds of credit for being absolutely spectacularly executed – and How to Train Your Dragon, which I loved immediately once I saw it. Like, far more than I loved Toy Story 3.
My personal pick is Toy Story 3. Despite personal issues with the movie, I can’t deny how outstanding it is. A true accomplishment to be proud of.
My actual pick is also Toy Story 3. Regardless of my loathing for the Hollywood douchebags that decide these things, I cannot imagine them choosing The Illusionist over Toy Story. And Dragon was just too wonderful and entertaining for them to award.
Best Screenplay: "Another Year," "The Fighter," "Inception," "The Kids Are All Right," "The King's Speech"
Personally I pick Inception. Because any time you can hide a love story inside a whole bunch of awesomeness, I’m impressed.
My actual pick is Another Year, because I don’t even know what that is.
Best Adapted Screenplay: "127 Hours," "The Social Network," "Toy Story 3," "True Grit," "Winter's Bone"
What, exactly, is Toy Story 3 adapted from?
I’m picking True Grit because, you know, Coens.
I think the Academy is going to go with 127 Hours. I know that goes against my obscurity rule, but I just have a feeling. Is it just me or does that picture kind of look like a vagina?
Best Foreign Film: "Biutiful," "Dogtooth," "In a Better World," "Incendies," "Outside the Law"
I can’t even pretend to care about these.
Me: Dogtooth because I like the name.
Academy: Incendies because I hate the name.
Art Direction: "Alice in Wonderland," Robert Stromberg (Production Design), Karen O'Hara (Set Decoration); "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1," Stuart Craig (Production Design), Stephenie McMillan (Set Decoration); "Inception," Guy Hendrix Dyas (Production Design), Larry Dias and Doug Mowat (Set Decoration); "The King's Speech," Eve Stewart (Production Design), Judy Farr (Set Decoration); "True Grit," Jess Gonchor (Production Design), Nancy Haigh (Set Decoration)
I haven’t seen Alice yet, but I’ve seen enough to know it looks beautiful. I’m sure Potter looked wonderful as well (I’ll see it when it hits home release). Inception was nearly flawless visually and I loved it (which you can probably tell by now). I have no doubt True Grit deserves the nomination and I really don’t know much about The King’s Speech.
My pick is Alice in Wonderland. Despite my blind love of all things Nolan and most things Coen, every bit I’ve seen of Alice was just so bold and visually striking. Truly memorable.
I think the Academy’s pick will be The King’s Speech. Usually the winner of this award mystifies me more than any of the others.
Achievement in Cinematography: "Black Swan," Matthew Libatique; "Inception," Wally Pfister; "The King's Speech," Danny Cohen; "The Social Network," Jeff Cronenweth; "True Grit," Roger Deakins
Speaking of being mystified, I don’t even know what this means. What a vague sounding award.
My pick is naturally Inception because they achieved making my brain hurt with awesomeness.
The Academy’s pick will probably be Black Swan. I don’t know why, it just will.
Achievement in Costume Design: "Alice in Wonderland," Colleen Atwood; "I Am Love," Antonella Cannarozzi; "The King's Speech," Jenny Beavan; "The Tempest," Sandy Powell; "True Grit," Mary Zophres
My pick is Alice in Wonderland for obvious reasons.
I think the Academy will go with The Tempest, and given what I have seen I can’t really argue that too much.
Best Documentary Feature: "Exit Through the Gift Shop," "Gasland," "Inside Job," "Restrepo," "Waste Land"
Whatever. Gift Shop won’t win because everybody has actually heard of it. I think the Academy will go with Restrepo because that has the most questionable pronunciation.
Best Documentary Short Subject: "Killing in the Name," "Poster Girl," "Strangers No More," "Sun Come Up," "The Warriors of Quigang"
Whatever x2. I pick Poster Girl, they pick Sun Come Up.
Achievement in Film Editing: "Black Swan," Andrew Weisblum; "The Fighter," Pamela Martin; "The King's Speech," Tariq Anwar; "127 Hours," Jon Harris; "The Social Network," Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter
My pick is Black Swan. Theirs will be the same.
Achievement in Music Written for Motion Picture (Original Score): "How to Train Your Dragon," John Powell; "Inception," Hans Zimmer; "The King's Speech," Alexandre Desplat; "127 Hours," A. R. Rahman; "The Social Network," Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross
I like Hans Zimmer, but let’s be honest – he doesn’t create the most memorable scores ever. They are certainly appropriate to each film, but nobody’s going to be humming them in the mall. How to Train Your Dragon had a wonderful score.
My pick is Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. I may not have seen The Social Network, but I did download the score and have listened to it in the car. A lot. Naturally I can’t judge from that how it fits with the movie, but it is excellent as a piece of music.
The Academy will go with Alexandre Desplat for The King’s Speech. I’m using my obscurity rile on this one.
Achievement in Music Written for Motion Picture (Original Song): "Coming Home" from "Country Strong;" "I See the Light" from "Tangled;" "If I Rise" from "127 Hours;" "We Belong Together" from "Toy Story 3"
The only one I’ve heard is the Toy Story one. It’s fine for what it is. Nothing I’d put on my Zune. My pick is I See the Light because I’ve heard the music in that movie is very good.
The Academy will go with Coming Home. I just listened to it and it's very nice. Not my thing, but very nice.
Best Animated Short Film: "Day and Night," Teddy Newton; "The Gruffalo," Jakob Schuh and Max Lang; "Let's Pollute," Feefwee Boedoe; "The Lost Thing," Shaun Tan and Andrwe Ruhemann; "Madagascar, A Journey Diary," Bastien Dubois
They don’t put Tom and Jerry cartoons in theaters anymore, so I don’t care.
I think the Academy will award Day and Night, because I found it mildly appalling. 
Best Live Action Short: "The Confession," Tanel Toom; "The Crush," Michael Creagh; "God of Love," Luke Matheny; "Na Wewe," Ivan Goldschmidt; "Wish 143," Ian Barnes and Samantha Waite
Blech. Are you even still reading at this point? I bet you aren’t. Remember that new guy? He’s been typing a lot this morning. Bugging me so much. As of right now I have seven and a half hours left, and even knowing that I don’t want to take the time to write anything about live action shorts.
Achievement in Sound Editing: "Inception," Richard King; "Toy Story 3," Tom Myers and Michael Silvers; "Tron: Legacy" Gwendolyn Yates Whittle and Addison Teague; "True Grit," Skip Lievsay and Craig Berkey; "Unstoppable," Mark P. Stoeckinger
I’m going with Richard King because he edited the shit out of that motherfucking sound.
The Academy will give the award to Skip Lievsay and Craig Berkey because I dunno.
My choice here is the Inception crew because I really liked that movie a lot.
The Academy will agree with me. I have a reason, but you’re going to have to figure it out on your own.
Achievement in Visual Effects: "Alice in Wonderland," Ken Ralston, David Schaub, Carey Villegas and Sean Phillips; "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1," Tim Burke, John Richardson, Christian Manz and Nicolas Aithadi; "Hereafter," Michael Owens, Bryan Grill, Stephan Trojanski and Joe Farrell; "Inception," Paul Franklin, Chris Corbould, Andrew Lockley and Peter Bebb; "Iron Man 2," Janek Sirrs, Ben Snow, Ged Wright and Daniel Sudick
I think you know where I’m going with this one. In-cep-tion.
But the Academy will choose……………………………………………………………
Inception as well.
Good night, ladies and gentlemen!
Until next time, stay creepy

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