Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Your Winning Oscar Ballot - Part 1

Saluting you today, Miss Shirley Temple.  Here she is with her honorary Oscar.   Somebody tell her it's not a microphone.

Well, it's back to our Oscar pool, gang.  Regular readers know that I'm in an annual pool with New York buddies Lorraine and Dennis.  At stake is a dinner in a swanky Manhattan restaurant.   I've won a couple of years in a row and the steak with sauteed mushrooms was delicious, thank you very much. 

Our competition started with the announcement of the nominees.  After that, I find myself three points behind the leading Lorraine.  Dennis is two points behind me and clearing some room on his Visa card.  Now we are entrusted with picking the winners in each and every category this Sunday night.  I have ground to make up and will need to do exceptionally well on those smaller categories.   You know the ones.  The awards that are meaningless to you unless you're in an office pool.  The rest of America uses that time to pay the pizza delivery guy.  

Today, I will give you my predictions for some of the lesser categories.   I'm determined to come from behind, folks!

FILM EDITING:   As if any Hollywood release these days actually cuts footage.   Movies are way too freaking long.   But, I digress.  It is one of a bunch of Oscars that "Gravity" will gobble up this weekend.   The Academy, now growing younger and younger, is in love with this film/video game.   I don't quite get it, but, then again, I don't exactly have a vote.   The winner is GRAVITY.

CINEMATOGRAPHY:  Okay, I will admit.   It was dazzling to look at.  The camera work helped to keep your mind off the hackneyed story attached.  The winner is GRAVITY.

PRODUCTION DESIGN:  I'm looking at the five nominees and I could make a case for all of them.   "Her" cleverly depicted Los Angeles five years from now and even the new subway was finished.  "12 Years A Slave" showed us the same South we have seen over and over since Ken Morton first starred in "Mandingo" back in the 70s.  "American Hustle" reminded us of the seventies and, frankly, that's not a good thing.  "Gravity" made us think we were in outer space and no one could argue with the authenticity since about five of us have actually been up there.  But, at the end of the day, I'm thinking that Hollywood is going to try and recoup some of the bucks they wasted on making that bloated adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic.  The winner is THE GREAT GATSBY.

COSTUME DESIGN:  "American Hustle" is nominated, but do we really want to give an Oscar to Denney Terrio's closet.  The winner is THE GREAT GATSBY.

MAKE-UP AND HAIR STYLING:  There are three laughable nominees.  "The Lone Ranger?????????"   "Jackass Presents Bad Grandpa??????!!!!!!"  By complete default, the winner is DALLAS BUYERS CLUB.

VISUAL EFFECTS:  What the fluck?   "The Lone Ranger" actually got another nomination?????  It makes no difference.   In this juggernaut year, the winner is GRAVITY.

SOUND EDITING:  A lot of good sound editors sure did pick the wrong year to get nominated.  The winner...again...is GRAVITY.

SOUND MIXING:  A lot of good sound mixers sure did pick the wrong year to get nominated.  The winner...again...is GRAVITY.

ORIGINAL SCORE:  I am looking at the nominees and I am heartened to see "Saving Mr. Banks," which was one of my favorite movies of the year.  But it's still not time for Hollywood voters to come down to earth.  The winner...ad nauseum...is GRAVITY.

ORIGINAL SONG:  Usually the only song that can top a Disney-animated ditty in this category is from a James Bond movie.  Sorry, no 007 this year.  Plus there's a sing-along version of the film currently making the rounds.  The winner is "LET IT GO" from FROZEN.

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM:  According to the Los Angeles Times, only one of the nominees is currently making the rounds of the local movie houses.  The winner is...from Italy...THE GREAT BEAUTY.  I'm hoping it's all about Sophia Loren.  Salut!

ANIMATED FEATURE:  I never got around to seeing it, but I hear it's quite charming and enjoyed by both kids and adults.   The winner is FROZEN.

ANIMATED SHORT:  Lorraine and Dennis actually go to see all the short nominees.  Me?   I guess.  And, as soon as I heard that this one was a 3-D rendition of Mickey Mouse, I decided that the winner is GET A HORSE!    You gotta go with the mouse.

DOCUMENTARY SHORT:  Rule of thumb:  never pick against AIDs, the Holocaust, or anything South African.  I see one of these nominees is about a 109-year-old piano-playing Holocaust survivor.   Bingo!   The winner is THE LADY IN NUMBER 6: MUSIC SAVED MY LIFE.

LIVE ACTION SHORT:   If it were up to me, the winner in this category every year would be the Little Rascals.  But they stopped making shorts about sixty years ago.   Here I am throwing a dart.   Shooting fish in a barrel.  Making it up as I go along.  The winner is THE VOORMAN PROBLEM.  Why?  I have no clue.   Go check to make sure your pizza came with sausage on it.

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE:  Ah, Len finally has a rooting interest on Oscar night.  The one documentary nominee that I saw was a marvelous look at legendary back-up singers in Hollywood.  If we're lucky, this will win and they will all come to the stage and do a couple of numbers.   The winner is 20 FEET FROM STARDOM.  And it better be.

Come on back Thursday for the big categories!

Dinner last night:  Chicken sausage, red cabbage, and corn.

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