Dear Celebs: Dear Oscars

Did you guys know the Oscars are only like days away? Maybe weeks, I’m not sure, but definitely days away. It’s almost certainly not tomorrow. Probably.

It's the gay Super Bowl.

I know this because my day job is working the front desk at a gym in West Hollywood. We sadly have few celebrity regulars (I did see Starbuck AND Helo, but not on the same day), we do get a lot of agents, producers, assistants, and the like.

Am I going to use this post as a flimsy excuse to post pictures of beautiful movie stars? You bet your ass.

Guess what? They super care about the Oscars. Which means that as a bright and smiling employee of this gym, when I’m on the clock, I care about the Oscars. Off the clock I can go home and watch Roadhouse and Tombstone to my heart’s content, but at work I have a fully cultivated opinion on every category, and which dark horse might actually win.

I don’t care, but at the same time I don’t care how many individual units come in the boxes of water I have to order every week, but I retain that knowledge because it makes life easier.

For those of you not as lucky as me to be forced into caring, here is a quick and dirty primer on the Oscars so you have something to talk about with the people you don’t like at the water cooler, or your mother-in-law who never goes to the movies, or watches anything good on TV, and yet, subscribes to every celebrity gossip magazine on Earth.

And here’s where they rewarded ‘Crash.’ God, ‘Crash sucked outloud.

Note: I wrote this intending to comment on a few things here and there, and at some point just decided to predict winners. I know nothing. Absolutely nothing. If I did, I’d be churning out Adam Sandler goes to Hawaii scripts, and not trying to make hard sci-fi movies complete with mythology. I, in no way, understand how Hollywood works. — Matt

Visual Effects

  • Alice in Wonderland
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
  • Hereafter
  • Inception
  • Iron Man 2

What in the hell is Hereafter? Exactly, so that’s out. Iron Man 2 has no chance because it’s not Batman. Apparently Alice in Wonderland grossed like a billion dollars worldwide, which is incredible considering I cannot name a single person I know that’s seen it. Who watched this movie? That’s amazing. Not even a Twilight‘s broken a billion.

Here's a picture of a dude. You're welcome, I guess.

They’re going to lose, too. Harry Potter will win next year when the last movie comes out (AKA ‘Peter Jacksoning”) so that leaves Inception. How much do executives love Chris Nolan? A lot. Here’s why: he made a superhero franchise universally beloved by both the internet and people with lives. That’s huge. Then he made a summer blockbuster that people wanted to see more than once. Dark Knight was awesome, so people saw it a lot.

Sup, crazy? No, it's cool. I dig crazy.

Inception was a headfuck for most of the population, so they had to see it over and over again to prove how smart they are. Inception’s got to be the winner. It was cool-looking, used real sets, and was made by the blockbuster golden boy.

Sound Mixing

  • Inception
  • The King’s Speech
  • Salt
  • The Social Network
  • True Grit

I have no idea. I’m not smart enough with the well-practiced ear to truly appreciate this award. The last time I commented on the sound mixing was when I saw 300 in IMAX. It was during the first time the Persians hit the Spartan phalanx and my commentary was limited to “[the sound] was so loud and so awesome, I thought I was going to die.”

Jesus Christ.

I will say this: Salt? Really? Don’t get me wrong, it’s a reliable and entertaining action movie middleweight, but what did it do to stand out from everyone else? Is this so they could invite Angelina Jolie? If so, I approve. See, Golden Globes, that’s how you invite celebrities without nominating movies no one saw.

Sound Editing

  • Inception
  • Toy Story 3
  • Tron Legacy
  • True Grit
  • Unstoppable

I high-fived several people's hands off when I hears she divorced the prince she was married to. Not sure why. Unless she wants to date the exact opposite of what she used to have.

I have no idea, but it’s weird that Tron’s here and not in visual effects, right?

Live Action Short Film

  • The Confession
  • The Crush
  • God of Love
  • Na Wewe
  • Wish 143

Shocking no one, I’ve seen none of these. Uh, the Crush, I guess?

Animated Short Film

  • Day & Night
  • The Gruffalo
  • Let’s Pollute
  • The Lost Thing
  • Madagascar, carnet de voyage

Day & Night. Never go against the family, Fredo, and never go against Pixar. The Gruffalo is about Mark Ruffalo just having a really bad day. Seriously.

Not really.

Yup. That'll do.

Song

  • Coming Home – Country Strong
  • I See the Light – Tangled
  • If I Rise – 127 Hours
  • We Belong Together – Toy Story 3

Either 127 Hours because voters love that “actor on his own” shit or Country Strong because people still really like Gwyneth Paltrow, apparently.

What a coincidence! I also enjoy In-N-Out Burger and not wearing pants! Small world! Where are you going! Why am I yelling?! Oh God, I've done it, again!

Original Music Score

  • How to Train Your Dragon
  • Inception
  • The King’s Speech
  • 127 Hours
  • The Social Network

Inception is here because Hans Zimmer’s name on it, never mind the fact that there’s not really a memorable melody in the entire movie, except “BRAAAAAAHMMMMM” but that’s noise and everyone should know better.

I’m going to say the Social Network so the Academy can have a rockstar up there, despite him not really doing anything for the past five years.

Makeup

  • Barney’s Version
  • The Way Back
  • The Wolfman

Three? Only three? Out of all the movies made this year/voting period, only three had makeup that people paid attention to? Jesus.

Unless Barney’s Version is about Barney from How I Met Your Mother using his disguise skills to seduce women, it’s going to be Wolfman. What about Black Swan, though? Between the evil wizard and Natalie Portman’s body horror and costume changes, they couldn’t have added one more?

Hero.

Kids, this is what happens when we don’t have a major sci-fi or fantasy release every year. Superhero flicks don’t count.

Foreign Language Film

  • Biutiful
  • Dogtooth
  • In a Better World
  • Incendies
  • Outside the Law

No one cares. If they were any good, they’d have been made in ‘Merica. *eagle soars* *colors don’t run*

Film Editing

  • Black Swan
  • The Fighter
  • The King’s Speech
  • 127 Hours
  • The Social Network

The Fighter was great, but the fights looked kind of fake. Fortunately the rest of the movie’s so good, you don’t care. Sadly, thanks to boxing being on basic cable and the ubiquity of MMA, combat sports in film and television is the new uncanny valley.

I see you have a pipe. I also have a pipe. I also got JOKEZ.

I’d give it to Black Swan. I saw this movie twice, and thanks to the editing I nearly had a panic attack both times during the last 15 minutes despite knowing what was going to happen. I haven’t had a visceral reaction like that to a movie since I screamed, “Let him go! He’s so good to his mama,” at American Gangster when Gladiator was trying to arrest Training Day.

Documentary Short

  • Killing in the Name
  • Poster Girl
  • Strangers No More
  • Sun Come Up
  • The Warriors of Quigang

Is it me, or do all of these either sound like action movies or porn? The Warriors of Quingang isn’t about actual warriors, is it? It’s probably like peaceful warrior protesters, or journalists in China. Everyone who has ever made a documentary is a weiner kid.

Boob window? Boob window.

Documentary

  • Exit Through the Gift Shop
  • Gasland
  • Inside Job
  • Restrepo
  • Waste Land

I honestly have no idea. Gasland should be seen by anyone who doesn’t live in a major city. It’s about how energy companies basically shoot water, sand, and chemicals into the ground to bring up oil and other energy sources and how it is unbelievably damaging to the environment and local drinking water.

Restrepo is one of the greatest war documentaries I’ve ever seen, and is probably still on Netflix instant so watch it.

Exit Through the Gift Shop is probably the most purely entertaining documentary I’ve ever seen, being equal parts fun, contemplative, and “are you serious.” The fact that the entire thing might be a fix and pre-planned actually elevates in my eyes, as it is a documentary about art, is a piece of art, and a meditation on art, what it means, and how we assign it value.

I have not seen the last two, but any of the top three would be a deserving winner.

Costume Design

  • Alice in Wonderland
  • I Am Love
  • The King’s Speech
  • The Tempest
  • True Grit

The Tempest will win. It’s Shakespeare. There are a lot of big name actors in it. It didn’t do great so here’s a way to acknowledge all those actors. It also has the best chance for showing crazy costumes on those giant screens at the Kodak.

Cinematography

  • Black Swan
  • Inception
  • The King’s Speech
  • The Social Network
  • True Grit

True Grit was a gorgeous film. Inception was slick and cool, but Grit was amazing, making every vista beautiful but lonely and foreboding. Every cabin held promise or threat. The scene where we first see Rooster Cogburn has the shot transition from shadow to light. The shootout at the end. Jesus Christ, the opening shot as it comes into focus deserves the win on its own.

If not Grit, then the Social Network for making coding, typing, and pale kids fighting over money visually interesting.

Art Direction

  • Alice in Wonderland
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
  • Inception
  • The King’s Speech
  • True Grit

I depends on what you’re looking for: Alice and Potter created new and exciting worlds but Grit and Speech got nearly every detail from their respective time periods right. It comes down to imagination versus authenticity.

I’d say True Grit just because Rooster would kick the shit out of the rest of this list.

Animated Feature

  • Toy Story 3
  • The Illusionist
  • How to Train Your Dragon

Toy Story 3 was tremendous for a few reasons. First, it was actually good. Second, it’s part of a flawless trilogy. Third, it’s the third part of a story, but not a continuation. It honors what came before, but is not beholden to them. It should get one Oscar for each accomplishment.

I do want to acknowledge How to Train Your Dragon for being the first Dreamworks movie to actually be a contender by virtue of being good, and not because it was an animated movie and was nominated due to the US’s painfully anemic animated output.

Original Screenplay

  • Another Year
  • The Fighter
  • Inception
  • The Kids Are All Right
  • The King’s Speech

The Fighter was a great movie, but I wonder how much of that was purely script and how much was Christian Bale and Melissa Leo?

There's hot, and then there's beautiful.

I honestly don’t know. No one really cares about who writes it unless it’s like a Kaufman or a Sorkin.

Adapted Screenplay

  • 127 Hours
  • The Social Network
  • Toy Story 3
  • True Grit
  • Winter’s Bone

127 Hours. I cannot stress how much people out here love the one actor commanding the screen and man against the elements thing. People talked about this movie like it was a religious experience.

If not 127 Hours, then the Social Network because everyone actually knows who Sorkin is.
Supporting Actress

  • Amy Adams – the Fighter
  • Helena Bonham Carter – the King’s Speech
  • Melissa Leo – the Fighter
  • Hailee Steinfield – True Grit
  • Jacki Weaver – Animal Kingdom

It’ll probably be Melissa Leo, but it should be Hailee Steinfield. You can see it in her eyes when she tries to be grown-up and commanding. A part of her is born to it, and knows it, and another part realizes she is just a child and could be in over her head. He very precise way of speaking is extraordinary when you consider how teenage girls actually talk. Every time I hear a teenager say something stupid, I immediately call my folks and apologize for most of my life. Every time I hear a teenage girl speak, I’m shocked I didn’t grow up to be gay or a spree murderer.

She's here because I respect her work.

Steinfield’s work is a type of acting where she disappeared into the character to the point of changing the way she spoke and reacted entirely, and that is way different than adopting an accent.

Supporting Actor

  • Christian Bale – the Fighter
  • John Hawkes – Winter’s Bone
  • Jeremy Renner – the Town
  • Mark Ruffalo – the Kids are All Right
  • Geoffrey Rush – the King’s Speech

“Good lawk catching me Mad Men! I live in Robbah Town! I’m leavin’ this whole joke in my reahview!”

Keep walking, Renner. As good as the Town was you’re out of your depth this year. It’ll come down to Bale and Rush, and they’re both great actors, but I’d love it if John Hawkes won for Winter’s Bone. Celebrated by some for his work in Deadwood, known by most as Kenny Power’s brother on Eastbound and Down, and mistaken by a few as “grown up DJ Qualls” in American Gangster, the guy is one of the best character actors out there.

GodDAMNit, Kenny!

I always thought the guy was a great actor since Deadwood but, man does he act the hell out of Winter’s Bone.

Actress

  • Annette Benning – the Kids are All Right
  • Nicole Kidman – the Rabbit Hole
  • Jennifer Lawrence – Winter’s Bone
  • Natalie Portman – Black Swan
  • Michelle Williams – Blue Valentine

Nicole Kidman did something this year? Huh. Crazy.

I’m pulling for Portman and Lawrence, and I get the feeling Natalie’s going to win. She had to do intense physical training, AND she kind of talked to herself. Again, they love that out here. Plus, she’s a young, well-spoken, educated, talented actress, and Hollywood needs to start rewarding that or we going to have a city full of Lohans, and then who will play the love interest that’s fifteen years younger than the male lead in real life?

However, just throwing this out there, Jennifer Lawrence, amazing. Winter’s Bone, amazing. Get in on the ground floor.

Actor

  • Javier Bardem – Biutiful
  • Jeff Bridges – True Grit
  • Jesse Eisenberg – the Social Network
  • Colin Firth – The King’s Speech
  • James Franco – 127 Hours

Foreigners, take notice, if you’re first language isn’t English, you’d better be prepared to go apeshit and climb all over stuff like Roberto Benigni if you win.

My grandmother, who is 100% first generation Italian was watching those awards, and when Benigni won, she put her head in her hands and said, “look at the dago, crawling over everyone. He should accept his award in a barn.” She then pretended to spit on the floor and swore in Italian.

"Which leads me to my next point. Don't. Smoke. Crack."

Anyway, it’ll be Franco.

Seriously, they act like he was actually trapped under the rock himself. Jesus Christ.

Director

  • Darren Aronofsky – Black Swan
  • David O. Russell – the Fighter
  • Tom Hooper – the King’s Speech
  • David Fincher – the Social Network
  • Joel and Ethan Coen – True Grit

I’d love it if True Grit or Black Swan won, but Swan has the better chance.

I’m amazed 127 Hours isn’t on here, as it’s in every other goddamn category. I honestly don’t know, I have my favorites, and I really think the Fighter was saved by it’s performances more than writing and directing. I’d say Swan or Speech because people are still talking about them (winning a couple of BAFTAs certainly can’t hurt Speech), and the Social Network lost a little of it’s zeitgeist by coming out before almost everything else on this list.

Best Picture

  • 127 Hours
  • Black Swan
  • The Fighter
  • Inception
  • The Kids Are All Right
  • The King’s Speech
  • The Social Network
  • Toy Story 3
  • True Grit
  • Winter’s Bone

Despite all the blue tooth headsets, Ed Hardy jackets, and men with gray hair unironically calling people ‘bro,’ and ‘dude,’ this is a town built on acting, and they do love their historical costume dramas.

Even if you’re making a movie about modern people navigating the world of love and sex or growing up, just set it three years prior for instant cred. The newest and most forward thinking movie on this list, the Social Network, takes place seven years ago.

It’s going to come down to the King’s Speech and the Social Network in terms of pure craft and the movie as a whole. It might go to 127 Hours or Black Swan if they’re looking at a single performer elevating the movie, or showing surprising depth. Not that Portman or Franco have been hurting for adulation, but they are young Hollywood, and both old enough and accomplished enough that they can reliably be called the future of the industry without a drug problem emerging or skeletons to come tumbling out of their respective closets.

*-*-*

And there we go. I apologize if some stuff doesn’t make sense as I wrote this while fighting a fever.

I want everyone to be proud of me for talking about Winter’s Bone a bunch, not making one dick joke.

Perfect place for a dick joke. Hah, that was actually a dick joke. You did it, Matt.

See you kids next week,

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About Nonstop Karate

Created by Chad Quandt and Matt Loman Lonely. Online. Angry due to being online and lonely.

Posted on February 17, 2011, in Lists, Matt Loman, Movies, Pop Culture and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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