The Oscars approach-eth.
And yes, I'm well aware that they are, for lack of a better term, a sack of horse shit. They are not an accurate measure of a film's worth or the strength of a performance.
But despite my high-brow, crusty exterior, I have a heart for shallow spectacle. I mean, the glitz alone is enough. Couple that with the LARGE quantities of Champagne that I will be consuming with Sleight and Paddy Sunday night and well...is there anything better?
So, here's the deal. Sunday, while under the influence of alcohol and with the help of my two guest snark-ers, I will pre-write the Oscar fashion blog.
But for now...it's prediction time. I have been printing and filling out Oscar ballots for years. Since late middle school at least. And I have to warn you: I have never lost in an Oscar pool. Ever. So, if you want to challenge me, go for it. But don't bet more than you are willing to lose. Because I will beat you.
Leanne's Oscar Ballot:
Here are the rules I place on myself for my Oscar Ballot predictions. First, I fill out a ballot ON MY OWN. I do NOT look at any outside sources. Then, after I have made my choices, I look at a few other "prediction ballots." However, I don't study them. I simply look to see where there is the most "contention." And DO PLEASE NOTE that this is one of the first times in a long time where things are not cut and dry. There are several categories that are so "tight" that not even the critics/specialists are sure who will win. A * will denote such categories.
So, in summary, these are largely my picks with only some outside influence:
Best Actor-Jeff Bridges/Crazy Heart
Best Supporting Actor- Christopher Waltz/Inglourious Basterds
Best Actress-Sandra Bullock/The Blind Side
Best Supporting Actress-Mo'Nique/Precious
Film Editing*-The Hurt Locker
Cinematography*-Avatar (P.S. This is THE closest one besides Best Picture. NO ONE knows who will win this).
Costume Design*-The Young Victoria
Original Score- UP
Original Song-The Weary Kind (Theme from 'Crazy Heart')
Screenplay Original*- Inglourious Basterds
Screenplay Adapted- Up in the Air
Documentary Feature- The Cove
Documentary Short-China's Unnatural Disaster
Animated Feature- UP
Animated Short-A Matter of Loaf and Death
Best Foreign Language Film-The White Ribbon (Although...I would like to interject that Un Prophete looks soooooo good and I can NOT wait to see it).
Best Short Film- Kavi
Directing-Kathryn Bigelow/The Hurt Locker
This last one requires a lengthy explanation. Because this year, Best Picture is a tricky little bitch. See, The Academy increased the number of Best Picture nominees this year from 5 to 10. Now, on the surface, this looks like a good decision. You effectively open the category up to contention from other "genres" of films. So instead of picking the 5 "Most Dramatic" movies and putting them on a ballot (which is how it has always been), now....a comedy, a sci-fi/action flick, or even animation could have the potential to win (this years examples: "District 9," "UP," "Avatar" are all nominated for BP).
But if you think it through, things start to fall apart. I mean, what's always the complaint when some third party/Libertarian/Ron Paul candidate funds a run for the Presidency? "He'll split the independent vote!" And, in the same way, that's what you have happening here. Because while there are 10 Nominees, there are only really two that stand a chance to win. And now, renegade voters have more distractions. If they just can't pick between Avatar and The Hurt Locker, they decide to throw a bone to Inglourious Basterds. Or they're mad that these two are getting more recognition than the film they really loved which was Up in the Air. And so on and so forth.
Tricky, right? For weeks now, Avatar and The Hurt Locker have been battling back and forth. And no one knows for sure how the voting will settle out. So, it really is anyone's game. I won't be surprised if Avatar wins. Really, I won't. But with the race this close, this may be the year to take a risk.
Which requires another explanation. If the Oscars had been a month ago, Avatar would have won. No doubt. I mean, it won best picture at the Golden Globes which is usually a pretty strong predictor for the Oscars.
But since the GG's and my Avatar post three weeks ago, there have been the BAFTA's, CAS's, WGA's, ACE's and Art Director's Guild Awards. That's a lot of really prestigious awards. And the Hurt Locker has won them all.
But here's the final problem. The Hurt Locker also just stepped in it. No really. They fucked up. They got bitch slapped by the Academy because one of their producer's started an online/internet "smear" campaign getting people to vote for "The Hurt Locker" and bashing "Avatar." And while you can certainly campaign in more secretive, subversive and nefarious ways, the Academy forbids outright solicitation. And Hollywood is a town of consequences. If you piss the wrong people off, they will let you know. Which begs the question: how will this affect the strong feelings everyone was beginning to develop for The Hurt Locker? Will they punish the film by now going back and supporting Avatar? Will they put the little film that could back in the corner for presuming it had the right to openly challenge via. internet campaign James Cameron? They have already banned the producer from even attending the awards.
The Hurt Locker is the underdog. I repeat, it is the underdog. Avatar will surely win. Because people are stupid. Really, really stupid. But sometimes, a girl HAS to dream. So here's to hoping.
Best Picture-The Hurt Locker