Friday, February 20, 2015

Your Winning Oscar Ballot, Part 2

Hattie McDaniel's big night.  Winning the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for Gone with the Wind.   Legend has it they made her sit right next to the kitchen during the actual ceremony.

Yesterday, I gave you your winning Oscar office pool ballot for the smaller categories.   Today, let's tackle the really big stuff.

BEST DIRECTOR:  I tipped you off on this one yesterday.   The Cinematography award usually matches up to the winner of the Director Oscar.  It's supposedly a tight race between Richard Linklater for Boyhood and that Scrabble fifty-pointer, Alejandro G. Inarritu for Birdman.  The latter won the DGA award.   The winner is INARRITU FOR BIRDMAN.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS:  The Supporting categories are where inexplicable surprises have happened.   Remember Marisa Tomei?  Hello?  Marisa Tomei???  Well, not so this year.   These awards were sealed and delivered months ago.  For the incredibly overrated Boyhood, Patricia Arquette acted a single role over a twelve year period.   Not necessarily a wise career choice, since you can watch the actress herself age.   In Arquette's case, she ages badly.   But the Academy will be impressed by this.   I just hope she takes the time in her acceptance speech to acknowledge her grandfather, Charlie Weaver.   The winner is PATRICIA ARQUETTE FOR BOYHOOD.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR:  I was one of the earliest advocates for the wonderful Whiplash.   As perhaps one of the meanest men ever depicted on screen, I said, months ago, that JK Simmons was not only a nomination lock, but a certain winner as well.  Everybody agrees with me now.   And that's how it should be.  The winner is JK SIMMONS FOR WHIPLASH.

BEST ACTRESS:  The Academy has been waiting patiently to bestow accolades on Julianne Moore.  This year is the brass ring for her.   All she had to do was land a role with that surefire award gimmick---an affliction.   Here she plays a housewife with the early onset of Ahlzeimer's.  I haven't seen Still Alice yet, but I am sure Moore is fine.   How can an actress not hit a homerun when the fast ball is right across the plate?   In the movie, the housewife is married to a character played by Alec Baldwin.   Some might argue that might provide a good reason to forget.  The winner is JULIANNE MOORE FOR STILL ALICE.

BEST ACTOR:  An amazingly tight race and the only one among the acting categories that could surprise.   It's between Eddie Redmayne as Stephen Hawkings and Michael Keaton as Birdman.    We have, in this competition, again the almost-award-slamdunk of illness and affliction.   Redmayne plays somebody with ALS.  Keaton plays somebody who is frankly insane.   I am guessing that voters will choose ALS over insanity, since they already know so many of their actor friends who are...well...nuts.   Being a lunatic thespian is nothing new in Hollywood.  The winner is EDDIE REDMAYNE FOR THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING.

BEST PICTURE:  This year, there are eight nominations.   I'd be quite happy if the Oscar went to either Grand Budapest Hotel, American Sniper, The Imitation Game, or (my favorite picture of the year) Whiplash.   But, for some reason, the industry is in love with the gimmick-laden Boyhood and Birdman.   Personally, the former was three hours of nothing-happens.   The latter was two hours of a-lot-happens-but-nobody-understands-it.  Hmmm.  How to choose?   This race might be as much of a toss-up as Best Actor.   There seems to be a late backlash against Boyhood.   Perhaps more people saw it via screeners.   And promptly fell asleep on their couches.   While I still have no clue what it was about, Birdman never ever lulled me into a nap.   It might be thoroughly confusing but I sure couldn't take my eyes off the screen.   The winner is BIRDMAN.

Let me know how you do in your office.  And there's no charge for this premium service of the Len Speaks blog.  

Dinner last night:  Flank steak at Palomino.


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