Award Winning Commentary: Your 2010 Oscar Nominees
Best Supporting Actress
Penelope Cruz - Nine
Vera Farmiga - Up in the Air
Maggie Gyllenhal - Crazy Heart
Anna Kendrick - Up in the Air
Mo'Nique - Precious
Every time I write Mo'Nique's name, I want to put the apostrophe in a different place. Anyway, this category is pretty much her and then, about eleven miles back, the other nominees. She's had this one locked up since last year's Sundance, so... you know... good for her. Sister is a LOOOONG way from Soul Plane. Also, it bears mentioning that I would like to arrange a big naked pig pile between myself and all these ladies (Mo'Nique included, as C-dog has jungle fever). I'll bring the beer, y'all bring the scented oils and the number of a quality grief counselor! Women find it helpful to talk to someone after sleeping with me...
Best Supporting Actor
Matt Damon - Invictus
Woody Harrelson - The Messenger
Christopher Plummer - The Last Station
Stanley Tucci - The Lovely Bones
Christoph Waltz - Inglorious Basterds
I still think that Matt Damon should have won the Oscar way back in the day for The Talented Mr. Ripley. Very underrated flick, and the dude's never really done anything acting-wise as nimble and exciting since. I mean, he was Jason Bourne and for that he will always smell pleasant and pleasing, but you know what I mean. Anyway, he's not going to win for Invictus because literally no one cares about that movie at all, even Nelson Mandela and it's ABOUT him. Also, rugby is full of toothless Aussies that smell like balls. Big ups to Harrelson and Tucci, though; I like both of them and it's nice to see them get a little industry love (although Harrelson is a bit tiresome with the whole vegan/hippie/let's wrap the world in a hemp poncho thing). The bottom line on this category, though, is Christoph Waltz being the scariest motherfucker in the room in Inglourious Basterds. He's this year's Anton Chigur.
Sandra Bullock - The Blind Side
Hellen Mirren - The Last Station
Carey Mulligan - An Education
Gabourey Sidibe - Precious
Meryl Streep - Julie & Julia
Betting against Meryl Streep in an Oscar race is like betting against the black guy in a boxing match, however I really don't think this is her year (because Julie & Julia sucked nards). Personally, I'd like to see it go to Sidibe, if only because it couldn't have been fun to have your big break come because you look gross and that's what's required for the part. Not that I'm one to talk, of course... if anyone's casting for a feature-length biopic of Fatty Arbuckle, please contact me in the comments section. I'll bring my own Coke bottle! (obscure 1920's scandal joke!) Sandra Bullock will probably win this one though, based on the near-toxic levels of sass that she emitted through most of The Blind Side. Which... okay, technically, I haven't seen, but that's SO not the point. I'm a pretty good judge of things I know nothing about, and I deem her performance... based entirely on the trailer... hammy, bad dye job-ish, and an attempt to pass of moxie as acting. HOWEVER... she was good in Speed and, to a lesser extent, Demolition Man (which is still the greatest Taco Bell commercial ever made), so I'll allow her to win with only a small hissyfit.
Jeff Bridges - Crazy Heart
George Clooney - Up in the Air
Colin Firth - A Single Man
Morgan Freeman - Invictus
Jeremy Renner - The Hurt Locker
The big deal about this category... for me, anyway, which is what this along with everything else is really all about... is Jeremy Renner. I remember watching his performance as our nation's favorite gay cannibal serial killer in Dahmer and thinking, "This kid is going places. As soon as he stops eating that guy." Sure enough, after a detour fighting LL Cool J in S.W.A.T. (it happens), here he is getting his Oscar nomination on like a total swinging dick. The Hurt Locker is an excellent flick, don't get me wrong, but a lot of why it was good was homeboy's performance. He owned, plain as day. But he's not going to win, as Jeff Bridges hasn't EVER won (not even for Starman) and that's a debt Hollywood intends to pay this year. Not that I mind, of course... Jeff Bridges is an old-school bad ass and, from what I hear, he's really fantastic in Crazy Heart. So next year, Renner... next year. The C-dog abides.
Screenplay - Original
The Hurt Locker
A Serious Man
I've been on a Tarantino kick lately, for whatever reason... Death Proof, by the by, is just a solid fucking picture; it kind of got overshadowed by the whole Grindhouse thing, but it really is one of his best (and, for the record, I am still the only person in the world who thought Kill Bill sucked)... but yeah, it would be cool if Tarantino won for Basterds. He's won before, but he had to share the credit with Roger "I Killed A Guy With My Car" Avery. This one would be all his. And the Coen brothers are always good, too, even though I didn't see this particular one. However, it'll probably be The Hurt Locker because, well, the movie was awesome and awesomeness deserves a bounty of riches. Oh, and P.S., if Up wins I'll be totally pissed; great movie, but that opening sequence was pure, uncut, not-even-trying-to-be-subtle sadness porn and it made me cry like an Italian woman at her husband's funeral. MAKING ME CRY SHOULD NOT BE REWARDED!!!
Screenplay - Adapted
In the Loop
Up in the Air
Wooo!!! District 9!!! That movie just kicked so much ass all over the place, it was like watching Jackie Chan in his prime, back before he decided he was the Asian Buster Keaton (which, for the record, he isn't) and started only making ass-tastic comedies with kids and/or sassy black men. I would love to see it win, but it has NO shot against Up in the Air. Don't get me wrong, I liked Up in the Air quite a bit; it just had more to do with George Clooney's raw charisma and devilish charm than the screenplay. No biggie, though... District 9 getting a nomination here AND for Best Picture is a victory in and of itself for genre fans everywhere.
Kathryn Bigelow - The Hurt Locker
James Cameron - Avatar
Lee Daniels - Precious
Jason Reitman - Up in the Air
Quentin Tarantino - Inglourious Basterds
Again, Tarantino's my boy, so it'd be cool to see Bigelow and Cameron split the vote so much that he sneaks in all back-door style... but that's not going to happen. It's going to be either our first ever lady Best Director (who also directed Point Break, let's not forget) or James Cameron again. Honestly... both would be acceptable. The Hurt Locker is without a doubt the better movie; that's not even an opinion, that's just fact that can be proved on a home computer or with graph paper and a pencil. Avatar, though... James Cameron quite simply directed the shit out of that movie. I mean, when he discovered that the camera he needed for certain scenes didn't exist, he invented it!!! How many of the other nominees can say that? Plus, the movie looked amazing, represented the future of movie-making, the whole "blue aliens" thing wasn't as dorky as we all thought it would be, etc. etc. So I don't know. It'll be one of them, but who's to say which? Although Bigelow did win the DGA award the other night, so... you know... that might be a tip of the hand.
Since they decided to open up the category to ten slots this year, let's look at each movie individually as a way to honor the inaugural "We'll Let Anybody In" class.
Avatar - As I said in my earlier review: Visually the most impressive movie I've ever seen. But visuals alone do not a Best Picture make, or at least they shouldn't. The screenplay specifically, and the plot in general, were pretty sub-par when you get right down to it; you'll notice its lack of a nomination in that category. But it DID make a kajillion dollars and even made desperately sad people suicidal for a hot minute, so... a big maybe for Avatar. By all means, though, firehose this bad boy with technical Oscars. It does deserve them.
The Blind Side - Really? I mean, like I said, I didn't technically see it or anything, but I also don't need to drink a gallon of Karo syrup blended with melted cream cheese frosting to know it's going to give me diabetes so severe that both my feet will explode. While I'm sure watching The Blind Side makes one feel good and warm n' fuzzy and like they've helped out "the ethnics" for a little bit, it really probably doesn't deserve the Best Picture Nominee title. That kind of cornpone should be happy with raking in the cash and that's it. Also, the Ravens flamed out in the playoffs, so HAW HAW.
District 9 - WHEEEEEE!!! My nerd boner dreams involve this pulling the from-nowhere upset and beating everyone and becoming President, but that's nothing but a wish farted out the ass of a magical trickster leprechaun, so never mind.
An Education - Didn't see it, don't care.
The Hurt Locker - Seems like the momentum is swinging its way, so I'd say this is your best bet for a win. As far as all the nominated movies go, this was my 2nd favorite...
Inglourious Basterds - ...And this was my 1st. Tarantino created a new, classic epic, and he did it all without sacrificing his own unique style and vision. A masterpiece, truly, and one that will stand the test of time better than anything else on this list.
Precious - Didn't see it; looks depressing. Will probably see it before the Oscars broadcast, though.
A Serious Man - I'm usually the first in line to see pretty much anything the Coen brothers put out, but I'm fairly certain this didn't play in Arlington, TX on account of it being too "jewey" for our North Texan palates. I'll catch it on DVD.
Up - Great movie, no doubt, but if a Pixar flick was going to win the big prize, it should have been Wall-E. That was some next-level shit.
Up in the Air - Depressingly modern and of-the-moment, I think everyone thought this was a lock for a while. Then they realized that other movies happened and they didn't have to settle for merely "very good." Which is not to take away from Up in the Air; it's a small movie with a lot of deep-running emotions and it deserves the love it gets. When you put it next to Avatar, The Hurt Locker, and, Inglourious Basterds, though, it kinda gets blown off the screen.