Thursday, February 21, 2013

My Fearless Oscar Predictions - Part One

Time for Oscars 2013.  People who call it that don't realize that it should be called Oscars 2012 because that's when the movies were realized in order to qualify to get an award in February 2013.  Pure confusion and always a question for the ages.  Sort of like "why do you park on a driveway and drive on a parkway."

I digress....

Well, my first fearless Oscar prediction for this year (or is it last year?) is that Bob Hope is still dead and, therefore, unavailable to host the telecast.  Instead, we will be stuck with Seth McFarlane who's about as hilarious as pancreatic cancer.  By Monday morning, everybody will be moaning and groaning over how insipid it all is.  Yet, every freakin' year, we will tune in to watch.

I tune in to see if I am getting another free dinner.  Regular readers will know that I annually participate in an Oscar pool with good friends back in NY, Lorraine and Dennis.  We start with predicting the nominations in the major categories.  I've already got 27 points.  Lorraine is at 25 and Dennis is at 24. Now we keep adding points by counting the number of correct predictions for the actual award night.  The winner gets a free meal.  It's been yours truly the past several years.  Will I be triumphant again?  Well, let's see.  

Today, I'll tackle everything but the major categories.  You know what I mean.  The stuff nobody gives a Greer Garson about.  Best Tacos Served by Craft Services for a Science Fiction Production.  Everybody yaks through these presentations but they are the ones that usually make or break you in the office pool.  So, read on and use my predictions with your own discretion.

Production Design:  The sheer name of the award makes you want to see if there's another slice of pizza left in the kitchen.  Basically, this is an Oscar given to the movie that looks like it spent the most money in the prop department.  Of the five nominees, only one movie is set in America.  It's that kind of bizarre logic that has found me not picking up a dinner check for Dennis and Lorraine in some time.  I'm not messing with past history.  The winner is LINCOLN.

Sound Editing:  Editing, my Aunt Fanny.  This is all about what movie can get the loudest.  And, since none of the nominees feature Ethel Merman, I will have to settle for James Bond.  The winner is SKYFALL.

Sound Mixing:  Mixing, my Aunt Fanny.  This is all about which movie can throw as many voices up on the screen at one time.  Of the nominees, there's an obvious choice.  Lots of actors in tattered clothes building a barricade out of old Ikea furniture in the middle of a Parisian street, all the while singing and not missing a beat.  The winner is LES MISERABLES.

Costume Design:  Tried and true Len rule.  Always go for the movie set several centuries ago in a country farthest from America.  Les Miserables is nominated, but I looked at a map and Russia is farther.  Besides everything in the former looks like it came out of a Goodwill dumpster on Pico.  The winner is ANNA KARENINA.
Makeup and Hairstyling:  Only three nominees.  Hitchcock is one of them and personally Anthony Hopkins looked more like Elmer Fudd than the legendary director.  There's the Hobbit, but I wouldn't pick that just on principle.  Meanwhile, they gave Anne Hathaway a haircut that looked worse than one you would get at Supercuts, so the winner has to be LES MISERABLES.

Visual Effects:  This is so easy I'm embarrassed even including it.  Of all the nominees, there's one movie that was nothing more than a two-and-a-half hour visual effect.  Plus the credits at the end were essentially the White telephone pages of Mumbai.  The winner is LIFE OF PI.

Film Editing:  Even though it was complete CGI, I jumped every time the tiger popped out of the bottom of the boat.  If your editing can scare Len, you deserve an Oscar.  The winner is LIFE OF PI.

Original Score:  John Williams is nominated for Lincoln but I'm guessing that, viewing his embarrassment of riches, even he doesn't vote for himself anymore.  I think that, along with the film editing, the music crescendos every time the tiger popped out of the bottom of the boat were impressive enough to merit an Oscar.  The winner is LIFE OF PI.

Original Song:  The only nominee that I remember was quite distinctive when I saw the movie.  I recall saying that it was the closest thing to a James Bond hit song since Shirley Bassey sang "Goldfinger" or Paul McCartney sang 'Live and Let Die."  Besides it was written by that Adele and she's hotter than a burrito at your local food truck for the neighborhood gardeners.  The winner is SKYFALL.

Foreign Film:  Of the five nominees, only one scored in this category as well as in the Best Picture grouping.  When that has happened in the past, the film in question always goes home with this one.  Despite it being as depressing as the last time you tried to watch an episode of "Rules of Engagement,"  the winner is AMOUR.

Animated Feature:  I didn't see any of the nominees so I have to depend upon the viewpoints of younger people in my life.  I have been assured that one is "the real shit."  The winner is WRECK-IT RALPH.

Documentary Feature:  This is always where Hollywood gets to show how socially conscious they are.  Well, they're not really, but, then again, it is a town of make believe.  Films that win usually have something to do with the Holocaust or Hurricane Katrina.  Now, if somebody would do a movie about a concentration camp in New Orleans during a hurricane, they could dust off their mantel right now.   This year, there's a nominee about AIDS, almost a sure fire winner for any Academy voters living between Kings Road and Laurel Avenue in West Hollywood.  But, wait, there's one about two South Africans trying to track down their favorite jazz musician.  Short of a hurricane or a tsunami, that will do.  The winner is SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN.

Documentary Short:  Who goes to see these things?  Why, my friends Dennis and Lorraine do.   Here in LA, they always play them at the Nuart Theater near me.  There is never a long line of people outside.  The rumor is that Academy voters let their housekeepers fill out this part of their Oscar ballot, which automatically gives a leg up to any short filmed in El Salvador.  For Documentary Short, all socially conscious rules for Documentary Feature apply as well.  There's one about a homeless teenage artist in California.  That should get the voters' attention.  Not that they'll give the kid any money if he stops them on a freeway off-ramp.  The winner is INOCENTE.

Live Action Short:  These nominees also play at the Nuart.   And I still don't go.  If I'm going to see a live action short these days, it better feature either the Three Stooges or Our Gang.  The titles of this year's nominees look dreadful.    The winner will be CURFEW.  Why?  I'll be damned if I know.

Animated Short:  These nominees also play at the Nuart.  And....wait for it, everybody...I didn't go.  But now I see one of the cartoons featured Maggie Simpson.  Okay, it's not exactly Bugs Bunny or Popeye, but I always enjoy me a bit of the Simpsons.  Oh, well, I doubt it will win anyway.  I hear there's one done by a Disney animator in his spare time.  Well, that's a lot more productive than using the office computer to watch Korean porn.  The winner is ADAM AND DOG.

Cinematography:  This usually matches up to the movie featuring the Best Director winner.  Now, I'm not telling you that until tomorrow, but here's a spoiler alert.  This year, the two awards won't match up.  Even though it was almost all CGI, one film was a stunner for the eyes.  The winner is LIFE OF PI.

Original Screenplay:  I'm not nominated for 'The Memory Drawer," but I might be in 2016.  Oh, damn, now I told you what I'm doing in my spare time.  Okay, let's slice up those that are nominated this year.  Quentin Tarantino for Django Unchained?  Next.  No Academy member over the age of 40 would vote for this "pisher."  John Gatins for Flight?  Er, that was nothing more than The Lost Weekend in a 757.  Moonrise Kingdom?  Clever as hell and those scripts never win.  Amour?  Strong but weepy.  There was tons of bad press about how accurate Mark Boal's screenplay for Zero Dark Thirty was.  And, as I wrote here, it was nothing more than an episode of Homeland.  I doubt the voters care.  The winner is ZERO DARK THIRTY.

Adapted Screenplay:  Well, two months ago, Tony Kushner's screenplay for Lincoln was such a sure shot it might have been fired by John Wilkes Booth in Ford's Theater.  But, then, director Ben Affleck got screwed by the Academy and did not receive a nomination for Best Director with Argo.  Now that movie has won everything but the Nobel Prize.  Truth be told, Chris Terrio's script is incredibly taut and exciting.  Not a sympathy vote in my eyes.  The winner is ARGO.

See you tomorrow for the big stuff.

Dinner last night:  Ribeye steak at Hal's Bar and Grill.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I haven't seen it since it's about Indians, but I don't sense that much momentum for Pi.

Conventional wisdom about Academy voters is they're very old and favor the "prestige" pictures like "Lincoln" which make Hollywood look serious and not the pusher of shlock that it really is.

There could be an "Argo" upset because it delivers suspense even though we already know the ending. And wouldn't it be fun to see Spielberg's face if he doesn't win Best Picture or Director? Yeah, it would.

Len's Oscar track record can't be beat, so I'm not betting against him.