Thursday, January 27, 2011

Beta's Super Awesome Unofficial 83rd Academy Awards Pre-Blog

"At last I'll have the respect of my self-important peers"
This week the nominations of the 83rd Academy Awards came out.  Since I went to great lengths to watch as many movies with Oscar buzz as possible I figured I may as well write about the show as well.  There’s a lot of stuff to talk about but let me start out by admitting that I haven’t seen the vast majority of the films nominated (Mainly because I don’t go out of my way to watch documentaries but also there’s more than a few films I never even heard of until this week).  Of the ten films up for Best Picture I believe I’ve only seen six of them.  So I won’t be making any real predictions since there’s a lot of unknown factors from my point of view.  Also, as I’ve tried to imply throughout this blog, I’m really just a normal, everyday guy.  I’m not a film student or a movie expert.  Honestly I don’t know what’s supposed to go into making a good film, I just know what I like and don’t like.  So things like cinematography, editing and art direction are totally over my head.  I’ll stick to talking about the “major” awards, I suppose.
Anyway before we get into the awards themselves here are some random thoughts about this year’s show:
-As I predicted there will be no award for Anne Hathaway this year; I guess Love and Other Drugs was more “Romantic Comedy” than “Art” after all.  It’s just as well though, because now she can host the show without the baggage of also being up for an award hanging over her head.  She’s pretty charismatic and likable so I expect she’ll do a fine job as host
-Aaaaand James Franco is nominated for Best Actor.  D’oh!   As the other host he’ll totally have the baggage of being up for an award hanging over his head.  Maybe I’m a dick but I think it’s weird to be hosting the show when you yourself are among those being honored.  In general the whole notion of this award show seems self-gratifying but even more so with this debacle.
-Let Me In and Waiting for Superman didn’t get nominated at all and The Town only got a Best Supporting Actor nomination.  How the hell did that happen?  I heard nothing but amazing things about all three of those movies, especially The Town, all damn year.  Now I’m not sure if this is warranted or not, since I haven’t seen any of them, but Waiting for Superman is literally the only documentary I’ve ever even heard of from 2010 and yet it didn’t make the list.  Weird man, weird.
Best Adapted Screenplay
-I’m a little surprised to see Toy Sotry 3 on this list.  I guess Hollywood has a looser definition of “Adaptations” than I do
-Aside from 127 Hours and Winter’s Bone I’ve seen all these films.  I think as far as screenplays go I prefer The Social Network, but True Grit is an extremely close second
Best Screenplay
-Um, yeah.  I’ve only seen The Fighter and Inception.  Also I’m not sure which script I like better.  Probably The Fighter.  Yeah, let’s go with that.
-Also what the hell is “Another Year”?  I literally never heard of this movie until the nominations were announced this past Tuesday.  Am…am I too pedestrian for it?
Best Animated Feature
-Okay, first of all this entire category is a goddamn joke.  We all know that it was made to keep animated films out of the “gown-up” category.  As you likely are aware I consider animation to be just as valid as live action so I tend to get a little bummed out by this part of the Oscars.  That said what’s the point of having it at all when Toy Story 3 is also nominated for Best Picture?  Doesn’t that, you know, sort of invalidate the whole thing when one of the nominees is also considered one of the best movies of the year and the others are not?
-Both Tangled and Despicable Me were not nominated.  Okay now I’m starting to get pissed off.  Ignoring that both of those flicks were nominated for Golden Globes why in God’s name did the Academy deicide to leave them out of the category when there are only three movies listed?  That’s the lowest nomination count of any category with the exception of Best Make-Up.  I don’t know about Tangled but Despicable Me was certainly a good enough film to stand next to Toy Story 3 (Though I wouldn’t ever bet on it to win).  I genuinely feel insulted.
Best Supporting Actress
-Oh hell no!  They did, they really did.  I prayed they wouldn’t but they did.  They nominated Hailee Steinfeld for Best Supporting Actress despite the fact that SHE’S THE F**KING LEAD CHARACTER IN TRUE GRIT!!!  As I said in my review of the film her character is clearly the protagonist and it is clearly her story that we’re following.  What the hell is the requirement for being nominated for Best Actress?  Seriously!  Apparently I don’t know so someone please explain it to me!   What about Steinfeld’s role in that flick made her a supporting character?   The only reason I can think of for all this nonsense, and this is really cynical, is that the Best Actress category was so loaded that they couldn’t fit her in so instead they shoehorned her into this one so she would still be rewarded for a job well done.  If that’s the case then that means that the Oscars are not only self-gratifying but they’re also politically motivated.  Screw Hollywood.
-Anyway ignoring Steinfeld’s shameful placement on this list Melissa Leo would have been my pick to win except that I haven’t seen two of the movies listed.  And the movie I haven’t seen always seems to win awards like this.  Amy Adams probably won’t win but if she does good for her.  She did a fine job in The Fighter
Best Supporting Actor
-Well…I sure as shit didn’t see any of the movies in this category other than The Fighter.  Huh.  Anyway Christian Bale was super fantastic in this movie, better than anyone else in any other film I saw this year, so I’ll be pretty bummed out if he doesn’t win
Apparently he and I are done professionally
Best Actress
-Well well well, I’m noticing a distinct lack of Hailee Steinfeld in this category.  Regardless like the last section I’ve only seen one of the movies listed, Black Swan, so I’m no judge of what’s what here.  So…go Natalie Portman, I guess
-I didn’t see Michelle Williams in Blue Valentine but I did recently see Michelle Williams in Incendiary.  That’s just as good, right?  Anyway does her appearance here make her the most successful actor to escape from Dawson’s Creek?
Best Actor
-Nothing really to say here other than I hope Jessie Eisenberg wins because, unless he finds a way to gain and/or showcase a greater range of acting abilities I doubt he’ll be getting another shot here.  I earnestly hope he proves me wrong.  Plus if he wins we get to watch him freak out from the attention.  Best acceptance speech…EVER
-Oh yeah, I’m actually surprised that James Franco has earned a nomination.  Not that I have any problem with him it just that the first time I ever saw him was in Spider-Man he was awful in that flick (Though to be fair he was pretty awesome in Spider-Man 3).  Assuming 127 Hours is as good as I’ve heard he may have come a long way
I heard he's some sort of cognitive genius/mutant
F'N Metal
Best Director
-Apparently there’s a list of directors who have been snubbed in this category as long as my arm.  I’m not really sure what goes in to getting nominated for this award.   I assumed, probably wrongly, that if the movie you directed was good enough to get nominated for best picture than you yourself would automatically be one of the bets directors of the year.  Meh
-I guess if I had to choose I’d pick Black Swan due to how surreal it was.  As it’s not up to me I have no idea who will actually win
Best Picture
-Have I mentioned how pretentious this whole show feels?  Not just this year but every year?  Maybe I’m just bitter because the majority of actors I’ve known have treated me like dirt.  Anyway…
-For the second year in a row ten movies have been nominated for Best Picture.  That feels bloated to me, plus I’m feel like Toy Story 3 probably wouldn’t have made it to the list without it.  Hey, I liked it alight but I don’t think it was nearly s good as most of the other movies here
-Unlike damn near every other category I have seen the majority of the films here, but I suspect that one of the few I didn’t, The King’s Speech, may be the one that ends up winning.  Now it’s not because I assume it was fantastic (I haven’t seen it, I don’t know) but it seems that there’s an enormous amount of buzz surrounding it plus it has the most nominations of any film
-If you read my Top Ten of 2010 list you’ll note that Inception was my favorite movie of the ones listed here.  But c’mon; no way that’ll win.  It’s not “artsy” enough.    I’m pulling for True Grit but I’m not sure the stars are in my favor.  Fingers crossed though
Oh.  Oh yeah, Winter's Bone.  Great film, man
(Yeah, Beta's never even heard of this flick)

The 83rd Academy Awards is currently scheduled to air February 27th 2011 on ABC.  I plan on watching and taking notes and uploading them soon after.  The Oscars are usually either really fun or really goddamn boring depending on the host and how long they spend stroking each others' egos (They’re stroking something, anyway).   If you have any predictions or thoughts feel free to leave a comment.

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