Who gives a rat’s ass? I mean, seriously. We’ll do the 2011 round-up shortly here at the Bitmaelstrom but it feels like more than ever, the nominations just go to the films with the right pedigrees/marketing plans. I mean, it’s always been this way to some degree, but the nomination process seems less and less likely to include anyone or anything surprising.
Ten slots for best picture and no nom for a Harry Potter or a Win Win? We have room for the widely panned Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close because, you know, it’s important and has Tom Hanks in it. Moneyball is a trivial film but Aaron Sorkin wrote it, so, yeah, give that puppy an award. War Horse? Really?
It’s worse in the writing department: Both the murky Margin Call and the risible Ides of March are nominated. I guess I should be grateful neither Cars 2 nor TinTin made it into the animation category.
UPDATE: Wow, my worst set of guesses ever 1/10! I guess I really am out of touch with Hollywood these days!
OK, enough grousing. My annual guesses follow:
Will win: The Help
Should win: The Help
Observation: The beauty of The Help of course is that it didn’t happen, which sort of makes it a pleasant lie celebrating the fiery, liberated white woman journalist.
My pick: Normally, I do a big thing where I list all the movies and whittle them down and mull, but I really don’t have to this year: Machine Gun Preacher was, hands down, the most interesting, challenging and dramatic film of the year.
Possible upset: The Artist, which is at least as good a movie as The Help, but has the Weinstein Oscar machine behind it. This is why Shakespeare In Love has an Oscar.
Will Win: Gary Oldman
Should Win: Demien Bechir
Observation: It’s not that Oldman is so great in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. He’s great in everything. And Smiley is not exactly a broad character—it’s not Sean Penn screaming IS THAT MY DAUGHTER IN THERE!? seventeen times, which is what Oscar loves. So why Oldman? Simple: He doesn’t have an Oscar yet. Clooney and Pitt? Really? You know, these categories used to be dominated by acting giants, not just people in the “in club”. (That’s not true at all but it makes for a great rant.)
My pick: Demian Bechir would definitely be on my short list, along with Paul Giamatti. But I’d probably give the best actor nod to Gerard Butler (Machine Gun Preacher) or Robert Wieckiewicz (In Darkness) or…
Possible upset: Jean Dujardin. What he did was nothing short of astounding in The Artist. It’s all very well to create a narrative of a charming movie heartthrob, and another thing to portray it so convincingly.
Will Win: Glenn Close
Should Win: Sure, why not.
Observation: I pick Close for the same reason I picked Oldman: She doesn’t have an Oscar yet and she probably should. For Fatal Attraction, if nothing else. And, truth be told, she was quite good in Albert Nobbs. Not at pretending to be a man, which she doesn’t really. But just being a compelling character.
My pick: Er…uh…Have you noticed there aren’t a lot of great roles for women in American movies? I’m having a hard time thinking of any really standout performances this year. Judi Dench and Mia Wasikowski in Jane Eyre were good. The French had a bunch of ‘em, like Margueritte in My Afternoons With Margueritte and the Hedgehog in The Hedgehog. In Darkness had a bunch of great female parts. Michelle Monaghan was excellent in Preacher.
Possible upset: Michelle Williams. She allllmost pulled off Marilyn. Seriously, though, while I’ll be kinda pissed if Clooney or Pitt win for actor, all of these women did a worthy job.
Will Win: Jonah Hill
Should Win: Christopher Plummer or Max von Sydow
Observation: Plummer and von Sydow will split the old guy vote delivering the tropy to Hill, who is playing the first likable person in his career.
My Pick: Christopher Plummer. But for The Man In The Chair, not the gay movie. (Which was fine, but Chair was a better role.)
Possible Upset: The only thing I can think of is that neither Sydow or Plummer will rack up enough votes for their movies that no one saw to not split the vote. Beginners in particular is fairly obscure. But it’s got the gay cachet. Is that still brave? They both have two noms and no Oscars, and both are in their ’80s. The Academy doesn’t want another Ray Walston on their hands.
Will Win: Melissa McCarthy
Should Win: Sure, why not
Observation: See previous rant on actress roles. This is the comedy ghetto, award speaking, and McCarthy doesn’t exactly fit the preconceived notion of a Hollywood starlet, so if she wins, there’s lots of fodder for the women’s media about how it’s not all about the skinny girls any more. (See America Ferrara, Kathy Bates, Camryn Manheim, Oprah Winfrey, etc.)
Will Win: Terence Malick
Should Win: Terence Malick
Observation: I’ve never seen Tree of Life or any other Terence Malick film. I just don’t see Michel Hazanavicius winning for The Artist and the other three movies sucked. OK, maybe not sucked, but at least weren’t particularly impressive. Tree of Life has scope.
Possible Upset: Michel Hazanvicius
Will Win: Rango
Should Win: Rango, I guess. Not a great year for the ‘toons.
Will Win: In Darkness
Should Win: In Darkness. A Separation was good, too. But Nazis are people pleasers. At least as movie topics.
I’m done guessing. A Separation should win this.
Mehhhhhhh….Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. Moneyball was more enjoyable, but the former was a nigh impossible task. Points for difficulty.
Aaaand…already bored. Like I’m gonna watch this slow-mo train wreck? I don’t think so.