Sunday, February 26, 2012

Phantom Troublemaker’s 2012 Oscar Picks

Holy crap, I totally forgot about the Oscars.

So in that case, welcome to a Very Special Sunday Edition of Needless Things!

I’m not trying to sound all cool or anything, but I really don’t give a crap about the Academy Awards. I know what I like in movies and I certainly don’t need a bunch of stuffy old Hollywood douchebags to tell me what’s good and what isn’t. Mostly because I either don’t agree with said douchebags, will never see most of the movies they nominate, or have never even heard of said movies.

I am firmly in the Eric Cartman camp regarding movies about gay cowboys eating pudding. It may not be a particularly classy place to be, but it sure is a lot more fun.

That being the case, buckle up and grit your teeth for my slapdash, uninformed picks as to which gay cowboys will win the pudding tonight at the 84th Annual Academy Awards. I promise to be entirely irrelevant, as I usually am.

Last year I made the mistake of starting with the award for best picture and working my way down through all 879 categories and I was absolutely fucking sick of writing about shit I had never heard of by the time I got to “Award For Best Suppression of Flatulence During An ADR Session” (Helen Mirren won for her work on The Tempest). This year I’m starting with the bottom and working my way up so I can build anticipation in both my loyal readers and myself for the nine Best Picture nominees; none of which I’ve actually seen.

As with every other year I’ve been dumb enough to do this, I am going to provide my own personal pick (by which I mean guess) followed by which movie I think the Academy will award. The two rarely intersect. I’m going to stick with my normal method of choosing the movie that sounds like it is closest in theme to the idea of gay cowboys eating pudding for the Academy’s pick.

Best Visual Effects

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2


Real Steel

Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

I’m a bad nerd and haven’t seen the final installment of the Potter franchise yet. I had planned on seeing it in the theater but just didn’t. Off the top of my head I’m not even sure if it’s out on Blu-Ray yet. Sadly, the only movie on this list I have seen is Transformers. I say sadly not because it was bad, but because I actually want to see all of the other movies nominated; I just haven’t yet.

From what I’ve seen of the other movies the effects look very impressive, but Transformers looked amazing. That battle in the city blew my mind.

My Pick – Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Their Pick - Hugo

Best Film Editing

The Artist

The Descendants

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo



I haven’t seen any of these, but I do want to. Except for Moneyball. I just don’t care about that one. At least I’ve heard of all of them. And I must say I’m disappointed the first two are not what I would hope movies with those titles would be. A Prince biopic and a movie about the punk band whose Wikipedia entry includes the word “emotional” four times would be great (although the spelling is all wrong for the latter).

As much as I think Hugo is likely to be a masterpiece (many have confirmed this to me), I’m going with Fincher on this one. Editing is his thing, if one were to say he had a single thing.

My Pick - The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

Their Pick – The Artist

Best Costume Design



The Artist

Jane Eyre


Nothing on that list jumps out at me. Actually, Hugo and The Artist are the only ones I was even aware of. My pick is The Artist because I have a feeling Hugo is going to be the movie everybody feels got robbed this year. However, I think the Academy will pick Jane Eyre because unless I’m mistaken that’s a period piece (you know – like Hark! A Vagrant) and those people love period pieces.

My Pick – The Artist

Their Pick – Jane Eyre

Best Makeup

Albert Nobbs

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

The Iron Lady

I don’t know what Albert Nobbs is. And I don’t see how challenging it could really be to make an old American lady look like an old British lady.

My Pick - Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

Their Pick - Albert Nobbs

Best Cinematography

The Artist

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo


The Tree of Life

War Horse

Since The Mist is the best black and white movie ever made I can’t very well pick The Artist. And I’m not going to pick movies about horses or trees, either. It really doesn’t matter what else is in this category though, because I’m going with Fincher again.

My Pick - The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

Their Pick - War Horse

Best Art Direction

The Artist

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2


Midnight In Paris

War Horse

As best I can tell this award is for the person who did the best job of holding together the look and themes of the movie. Maybe. It seems like the top three would be the movies with the strongest and most definable themes.

My Pick – The Artist

Their Pick – War Horse because girls love horses

Best Sound Mixing

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo



Transformers: Dark of the Moon

War Horse

Okay, my guess is that sound mixing is the process of combining all the sounds for a movie. And Transformers had a shitload of sounds. Just the “choo-chi-choo-cha-chook” sound of the Transformers transforming is awesome enough, but all the explosions and buildings falling over and stuff was rad. I’m not sure how a horse or even Jonah Hill could compare with that. I’d imagine Fincher’s movie sounds pretty awesome (I keep calling it “Fincher’s movie” because I don’t want to keep typing or even copying and pasting The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo over and over again) though.

My Pick - Transformers: Dark of the Moon because that guy probably had to listen to that fucking Linkin Park song like a million times and deserves an award for that. If he didn’t shoot himself.

Their Pick - War Horse

Best Sound Editing


The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo


Transformers: Dark of the Moon

War Horse

Assuming I’m correct about the last category, I guess this is the guy that actually makes the sounds. Well, creates and designs them. I wasn’t trying to say it was somebody like the guy from the Police Academy movies literally making all the sounds, awesome as that would be. There should be a Police Academy Awards show and it should be hosted by Steve Guttenberg every year with special musical guest Bobcat Goldthwait.

My Pick - Transformers: Dark of the Moon again for obvious reasons. choo-chi-choo-cha-chook

Their Pick - War Horse cloppity-cloppity-cloppity-clop

Best Original Song

“Man or Muppet” from The Muppets

“Real In Rio” from Rio

Not a lot of choices here. “Man or Muppet” was almost too weird for me, but I’m certainly not going to pick some fucking bird movie.

My Pick – Muppets. Always go with Muppets.

Their Pick - Rio

Best Original Score

The Adventures of Tintin – John Williams

The Artist – John Williams

Hugo – John Williams

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy – John Williams

War Horse – John Williams

I don’t even need to explain this one. John Williams scores every movie made in Hollywood and they’re all awesome. Star Wars, Superman, Jaws, Indiana Jones, Gidget Goes to Rome. Done.

My Pick – John Williams

Their Pick – John Williams

Best Animated Short Film


The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

La Luna

A Morning Stroll

Wild Life

My Pick – Fuck all of those, even La Luna. I know it’s Pixar, but where the fucking shit is Toy Story: Small Fry bitches!?! That was awesome.

Their pick – Dimanche because it sounds like it could be the word for the thing where you drink a Coke and then accidentally take a nap for a little while without brushing your teeth and wake up with that thick, nasty taste in your mouth and your teeth hurt.

Best Live Action Short Film



The Shore

Time Freak

Tuba Atlantic

Ooh, this is actually tough. Time Freak sounds kind of cool until you think of Mind Freak. Relating Chris Angel to anything instantly makes that thing about seventy percent less cool. Tuba Atlantic sounds like it could be the name of a documentary about a certain cartoon waterfowl traveling to find his mother. And Raju sounds like a Japanese horror movie. Or maybe Indian. I dunno.

My Pick – Raju

Their Pick - Pentecost

Best Documentary – Short Subject

The Barber of Birmingham: Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement

God Is the Bigger Elvis

Incident In New Baghdad

Saving Face

The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom

Hollywood loves civil rights and if Incident in New Baghdad is at all anti-American (I don’t know) they’ll love that, too. Heck, the tsunami thing could do well if it shows enough hungry people being miserable. They sure as heck aren’t going to pick the second entry because Hollywood loathes the idea that God is bigger than anything.

My Pick – God Is the Bigger Elvis only because now I’m really curious about what the heck it is and I doubt Saving Face has anything to do with Dirk Benedict.

Their Pick - Saving Face because it probably doesn’t have anything to do with Dirk Benedict, star of Body Slam.

Best Documentary - Feature

Hell and Back Again

If A Tree Falls: The Story of the Earth Liberation Front

Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory



Why am I doing this? I don’t know anything about any of this crap. Wait… what’s that? Paradise Lost! I know that! It’s the one where this creepy old guy murders some little kids and then blames some Metallica fans, and the town believes it because Metallica had just put out those shitty Southern rock albums and people were pissed. But then Henry Rollins makes an album about the whole thing and bails the kids out of jail and then chases Charlie Sheen in a cop car. That movie was awesome, but that Damian kid was really creepy. I think he was in one of the Children of the Corn sequels too. Or prequels; whatever. It doesn’t matter because Metallica is awesome again now.

My Pick - Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory

Their Pick - If A Tree Falls: The Story of the Earth Liberation Front because it’s about a bunch of tree-hugging fruit booties and Hollywood loves that shit. Just see if they don’t.

Best Foreign Language Film



In Darkness

Monsieur Lahzar

A Separation

J'aime un peu le Chabot de Rivière parce qu'il me rappelle cette bande d'Atlanta, la tape de Chabot de Rivière, qui jouait tout le moment où j'ai travaillé à la Mascarade. L'apostille devrait être la suite à libre, mais au sujet du commis au tribunal et de sa lutte avec son penchant à la philatélie. Dans L'obscurité semble plus rampant et plus intéressant qu'elle est probablement. Je souhaite avec tout mon coeur que Monsieur Lahzar ait été un documentaire français au sujet de Dieter Laser, étoile de Centipède Humain, mais moi connaissent sacrément le puits qu'il n'est pas. Et en conclusion, Une Séparation est évidemment au sujet de l'extrémité du Centipède Humain.

Ma Sélection - Chabot de Rivière

Leur Sélection - Apostille

Best Animated Feature

A Cat in Paris

Chico and Rita

Kung-Fu Panda 2

Puss in Boots


I can’t believe Kung-Fu Panda 2 is nominated, mostly because I can’t believe that it is any better than the original; which I enjoyed about as much as I would a croissant topped with mouse turds. Then again, I have heard Puss in Boots actually surpasses the quality of the last seventeen Shrek movies and is quite good on its own. So who knows? The first two nominees up there are irrelevant because I have never heard of them. Actually, they are all irrelevant because Rango is the shit.

My Pick – Rango

Their Pick – Chico and Rita because it sounds foreign

Best Writing – Adapted Screenplay

The Descendants


The Ides of March


Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

I’m gonna surprise you with this one. I picked Moneyball because I’m sure so many people went to see it because they assumed there was a typo and it was actually an adaptation of the popular video game franchise, but still went away happy even though it’s really a movie about the most boring thing ever to happen to human civilization – baseball. Nobody wants to watch a movie about baseball. That’s why all baseball movies are actually about fucking or ghosts.

But just imagine Brad Pitt in a Monkeyball movie.

My Pick – Moneyball

Their Pick – None of these movies seem lame enough for the Academy to pick except for Moneyball, but I can’t agree with those people. So their pick is Scary Movie 7.

Best Writing – Original Screenplay

The Artist


Margin Call

Midnight in Paris

A Separation

Seriously, Academy? You really expect us to believe a movie for regular people like Bridesmaids is going to win? Shut up. Just shut up.

My Pick – Bridesmaids

Their Pick – Margin Call because I have no idea what that is. Bridesmaids. Good one, Academy.

Best Supporting Actress

Bérénice Brejo – The Artist

Jessica Chastain – The Help

Melissa McCarthy – Bridesmaids

Janet McTeer – Albert Nobbs

Octavia Spencer – The Help

Okay, Academy – now you’re just being a dick. Making that poor girl think she might win an Oscar. Her character didn’t even have a drug addiction or get raped or oppressed or anything.

My Pick - Bérénice Brejo because she has the most accents in her name.

Their Pick - Janet McTeer because you can nominate them all you want, but you just don’t hand gold trophies out to the help.

Best Supporting Actor

Kenneth Branagh – My Week With Marilyn

Jonah Hill – Moneyball

Nick Nolte – Warrior

Christopher Plummer – Beginners

Max von Sydow – Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

There are four people nominated in this category that I really like and one that I am severely burned out on. And my pick isn’t going to make any damn sense to you. Well, not any more than the Best Score pick, anyway.

My Pick – Kenneth Branagh because he directed Thor and because Michelle Williams is in that movie with him and ever since the days when she played drunk-ass Jen with her stupid hats on Dawson’s Creek I’ve always thought she was hot and, more importantly, interesting. Not that I ever watched Dawson’s Creek.

Their Pick – Jonah Hill

Best Actress

Glenn Close – Albert Nobbs

Viola Davis – The Help

Rooney Mara – The Fincher Movie

Meryl Streep – The Iron Lady

Michelle Williams – My Week With Marilyn

Ladies and gentlemen, I am proud to bring to you your 84th Annual Academy Awards Maaaaain Event!

In the blue corner, weighing in at 108 pounds and hailing from Greenwich, Connecticut – the Femme Fatale who put the Fatal in Attraction and the Dangerous in Liaisons;

Glenn Clooooooooose!

And in the red corner, weighing in at 124 pounds and coming straight from the Jersey Shore – she’s the queen of comedy, drama, stage, and screen! The Prime Minister of Portrayals;

Meryl Streeeeeeeeeep!

Is it me or is this kind of a big deal? I mean, not to discount Ms. Davis or Rooney Mara or certainly not the lovely Ms. Williams; but isn’t Streep versus close fairly momentous?

My Pick – The darling Michelle Williams

Their Pick – Rooney Mara, just to fuck with the rest of them. But seriously – I’ve heard she was awesome in the Fincher Movie. I really want to see it.

Best Actor

Démian Bichir – A Better Life

George Clooney – The Descendants

Jean Dujardin – The Artist

Gary Oldman – Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Brad Pitt – Moneyball

I guess Pitt versus Oldman versus Clooney is pretty exciting too, but I wore myself out after that last one.

My Pick – Gary Oldman

Their Pick – I DON”T KNOW. It’s either going to be Démian Bichir or Jean Dujardin because they both have funny names, but I can’t decide which I think is more worthy of the Academy’s love. Let’s go with Démian Bichir since his movie sounds like it has more potential for misery.

Best Director

Woody Allen – Midnight in Paris

Michel Hazanavicius – The Artist

Terrence Malick – The Tree of Life

Alexander Payne – The Descendants

Martin Scorsese – Hugo

From everything I’ve heard each of these guys is totally deserving of this award, but you know what? Let’s give it to Woody. I’m not a fan, but he’s been around forever. He never stops doing what he loves (I’m talking about movies, pervert).

My Pick – Woody Allen

Their Pick – Alexander Payne since that’s the movie I know the least about.

Best Picture

The Artist

The Descendants

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

The Help


Midnight in Paris


The Tree of Life

Hoo, boy! What a list of movies! There are truly some fine works of movieness up there. Of course, there seems to be one glaring omission. They’ve left out what was by far the best movie Hollywood produced last year. And I’m not being facetious or ironic or any other word that might easily be misused. I’m talking about

My Pick – Captain America: The First Avenger. The best movie that came out last year and one that I’ve rewatched several times and enjoyed more each time. That is a movie. Eat it, Academy.

Their Pick – Who fucking cares when they didn’t even nominate the best movie that came out?

And don’t even get me started on the pussy little technicalities that eliminated Tucker and Dale vs. Evil from competition.


I’m so angry I might not even post tomorrow. Or it might just be because I feel like a Sunday post fulfills my obligations for the beginning of the week.

Until next year, may your visits to the theater be free of douchy movies and douchier teenagers on their fucking cell phones.



  1. I'm going to go with Gary Oldman for best actor since he's been awesome in everything I've seen with him. I stopped caring about the oscars back in the 90's, and haven't watched one minute of them since about '99.

    However, do I plan on watching the opening act because I really like Billy Crystal, but I couldn't care less about who wins what awards. Also, why are there 8 movies up for best picture? Doesn't that seem like a lot?

    Also, I saw Moneyball, and I really liked it. I have no idea why it's up for best picture, or why Brad Pitt is nominated for best actor.

    1. I don't get the expansion of the Best Picture nominees, but at the same time I really don't care all that much. And from everything I hear Moneyball truly is outstanding. I just hate baseball.

  2. I really liked Captain America, too. I never expected it to be nominated for any major awards, but I was SHOCKED that it wasn't nominated for production design or make-up! Heck, I'd even have given it a best song nomination over whatever that thing from Rio was!

    1. I didn't really expect Cap to get any recognition, I'm just so ticked off by Hollywood's continual nose-thumbing at the things that make their precious little low-profile indie flicks that nobody understands possible. You have to make money SOMEWHERE to finance your movies about gay cowboys eating pudding.
      And great point about Best Song - that montage in Cap was awesome and the song truly stuck in my head for a long time. It was perfectly executed!