Confused Views: An idiot’s guide to the Oscars
Matt casts a wry look over this year’s Oscar nominations, and provides a few predictions for the night’s winners...
It's that time of year again. Oscar season is upon us. And what a special time it is. A time when we can get together with the family to speculate on what people we don't know think about films that, for the most part, we haven't seen.
It's all subtitled masterpieces about sexually confused old men with 19-year-old girlfriends that spend all their time walking while looking thoughtful (here's a hint, filmmakers: books are for reading, films are for seeing at).
All the while, Michael Bay continues to be shunned, year after year.
Then there's the red carpet. The pre-Oscar shows mean that we can marvel over the latest wonderworks from the best that the worlds of fashion and plastic surgery have to offer. We've now reached a point where, regardless of what award is being accepted, the only thing less genuine than the speech being given is the face that it's tumbling out of.
Like many of you, I'll be sitting up well past my bedtime so I can peek in on this freak show. Through tired eyes, I often find myself wondering just what the shitting hell is going on. Because I'm so compassionate, I've decided to assemble this guide for you all to refer to, so none of you get confused during the ceremony. Maybe bored, but not confused.
Before we kick off, I would like to take this opportunity to mention that I haven't actually seen any of the films that are nominated for any of the awards this year. Not one of them. That being said, I know how to pick a winner, so this guide will be no less cowabunga for it.
The Kids Are Alright
Paranormal Activity 2
The Social Network
Toy Story 3
The significance of the best picture award cannot be overstated. This is the biggest award of the night. It's awarded to the best film of the year. Previous winners have probably included some real classics, like Die Hard and Lethal Weapon 2. Big Trouble In Little China has almost definitely won this award before. I mean, there's no way that Big Trouble In Little China wasn't the best film in the year it came out.
So, what will win this year? Look carefully at the wording of this category. It doesn't say best film, it says best picture. I downloaded some pictures from Black Swan that were really, really brilliant. I've spent absolutely ages looking at them. So, so good.
I'm sure that the Academy will have seen these pictures too, and so I'm tipping Black Swan to take this one. Those pictures were at least as good as Big Trouble In Little China.
Javier Bardem (Biutiful)
Jason Statham (The Expendables)
James Franco (127 Hours)
Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network)
Jeff Bridges (True Grit)
Best actor is an interesting category this year. Many people will be looking to Jesse Eisenberg to take home the trophy for his portrayal of the website Facebook, which apparently the Academy 'liked'.
Perhaps the most impressive thing Eisenberg achieved this year was a name change, as he is no longer being referred to as 'Not Michael Cera'. Unfortunately for Michael Cera, he's now being referred to as 'Not Jesse Eisenberg'. The world can be a cruel place.
Who will win the best actor gong? Well, who gave the most committed performance? James Franco apparently cut his arm off for 127 Hours. I've no idea why, but I'm guessing that 127 Hours was probably a bit like Jackass 3D. Hey, why isn't Johnny Knoxville nominated for this thing? Did you see the bit where he got shocked? That was hilarious!
Anyway, expect Franco to take the award home, although expect him to have trouble carrying it there.
Annette Bening (The Kids Are All Right)
Nicole Kidman (Rabbit Hole)
Martin Lawrence (Big Mommas)
Natalie Portman (Black Swan)
Michelle Williams (Blue Valentine)
This year the best actress category has been renamed the Natalie Portman award for great achievement in the field of being Natalie Portman. As such, it's a toss up between Michelle Williams and Nicole Kidman.
Not really, expect Natalie Portman to take the award home. She's been doing some terrific work as Natalie Portman recently where, as I think, and I'm sure the Academy will agree with me, some of the other actresses have really struggled at being Natalie Portman.
Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan)
David O. Russell (The Fighter)
Eric Brevig (Yogi Bear)
David Fincher (The Social Network)
Joel & Ethan Coen (True Grit)
On the set of a film, the director is the most important person. Unless for any reason the president is visiting the set, in which case the president is the most important person on the set, then his head of security and then the director. I know what you're thinking: then why isn't the president nominated? I don't know the answer to that question.
As I already mentioned, I have no idea what any of the films are like, as I haven't seen them. That being said, this is one equation that can be solved simply using maths.
The Coen brothers are two people. All of the other directors are only one person. Since they've not been disqualified for being multiple people, this award is surely heading in their direction. I wonder if they give them two trophies.
I have brothers and we didn't like to share at all when we were younger. When I was 8 I got a WWF action figure of Brutus the Barber Beefcake and I didn't want to share it with my brothers. My mum insisted I did, and when my younger brother returned the action figure to me less than an hour later it had been smashed to pieces. I was reliably informed by another family member who asked not to be named that Brutus had shattered after being thrown at a tree branch. I forget why I'm telling this story.
The Coen Brothers to win.
Best Supporting Actor
Christian Bale (The Fighter)
John Hawkes (Winter's Bone)
Jeremy Renner (The Town)
Mark Ruffalo (The Kids Are All Right)
Gordon Schumway (Project ALF)
Seriously, this award means nothing. Supporting actor? I think a lamp won this once. Do yourself a favour and take a break when this comes on. Get a snack or maybe just stretch out a little bit. Maybe give your own award for best supporting cushion. Just be sure not to give the award to the main cushion. You know, the one that's actually making you comfortable.
Oh wait, hold on. No, I've misjudged this. Supporting actor is basically just a way for the Academy to give awards to people from Batman films without having to give them a proper award. As such, I'd tip Batman to take this award.
Best Supporting Actress
Amy Adams (The Fighter)
Kelly Brook (Piranha 3D)
Melissa Leo (The Fighter)
Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit)
A Giraffe (Animal Kingdom)
Basically the same as supporting actor, but considerably prettier and not Batman. In fact, correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't Amy Adams the secret identity of She-Ra?
She-Ra was created to try to appeal to girls in the same way that He-Man appealed to boys. Unsurprisingly, she was created by a man called Larry who presumably did less research on the interests of girls than I did for this column.
Seriously, if you think he wasn't just using Mattel's money to create a cartoon approximation of his greatest sexual fantasy, then you're lying to yourself. Wake up, people. Larry is a god damned pervert.
She-Ra for the gold!
Best Original Screenplay
Mike Leigh (Another Year)
Matt Edwards (Theme Park Rides Column)
Christopher Nolan (Inception)
Lisa Cholodenko, Stuart Blumberg (The Kids Are All Right)
David Seidler (The King's Speech)
This is a very important award, as without screenplays all films would seem like they were produced by Jerry Bruckheimer. Hahahahahhahahahahahaha! No, seriously though. He is terrible.
I think the obvious choice for this award is Christopher Nolan as, as far as I could tell from the trailer, he wrote the Inception script whilst hanging upside down at the centre of maze. That he was able to write the film, get down and then find his way out of the maze is very impressive, indeed.
Also, everyone seemed to be very nicely dressed in the Inception promotional materials. I've no idea if that was in the script, but it might have been. All of the other films had posters of people dressed very scruffily.
Expect Christopher Nolan to win and to look rather dapper when he accepts the award.
Best Adapted Screenplay
Danny Boyle and Simon Beaufoy (127 Hours)
Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network)
Michael Arndt (Toy Story 3)
Matt Edwards (Alternative Uses for 3D Glasses)
Debra Granik and Anne Rosellini (Winter's Bone)
Really? They're giving awards for this now?
So, these nominees have taken something that was already a thing, written a film about that thing, and now they want an award for it. If it were up to me, none of this lot would win. Whoever walks away with the award will know in their heart they haven't really won anything of value. They should be ashamed.
I would suggest Aaron Sorkin will win this one, as everyone keeps going on about how good he is all of the time. They must have some sort of idea what they're talking about, right? Because it's everyone.
Best Foreign Language Feature
Danny Dyer: A Love Story
In A Better World
Outside The Law
Yeah, we've all heard of these before.
Look, I don't know anything about any of these films. In order to give a prediction, I decided to flip a coin. It landed on heads. It was around this time that I realised that a two-sided coin would be no good in a situation with five nominees. I would need more coins.
I glued another coin to the top of my original coin. However, I still found myself with only heads and tails. So, I glued another one on top. I repeated the process eighteen times, but to no avail. In fact, at around four coins, the mass became impossible to flip. I was no closer to picking an Oscar winner, but on the bright side, I had created a really effective 'pog'.
Being incredibly resourceful and handsome, I didn't give up on my roll of coins. Rather, I painted diagonal stripes around it and invited my neighbour over under the pretence of "Oh my God, there's been an accident! Please help!"
After some unpleasantness and minor fisticuffs, I managed to restrain him on my sofa and proceeded to spin the roll of coins in front of his eyes. Within a matter of days, he was hypnotized. With his mind now open and presumably able to see into the future, I asked him who would win the Oscar for best foreign film and he suggested it would be a film called 'Please Just Let Me Go'. I'm pretty sure that's the translation for 'Biutiful', which will, therefore, be the winner.
Here's to a wonderful Oscar night, folks.
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