It’s Oscar time.
The Big Show is Sunday night. Every newspaper, TV station and blogger has put together a list of expected winners, so why don’t I just follow the crowd, join the bandwagon, run with the herd and anything else involving being one of many with little to say on a not-overwhelmingly-important topic.
Hopefully, the Academy Award broadcast won’t be like the Super Bowl, which compared the event to recovering from the Great Depression, winning World War II, Martin Luther King’s speech at the March on Washington and the 1969 moon landing.
I’ve seen 8 of the 10 nominees here. Didn’t get around to “127 Hours” or “The Kids Are Alright.” Nothing very appealing about a movie about a guy who gets himself in a life threatening situation because of pure arrogance. I don’t find that uplifting. And when you name a movie after a song by The Who, it immediately says the demographic is people my age, which means it’s serious, yet witty. Blah.
“Inception” and “Black Swan” were whacked out insane so they’re out of the running (but I loved them both). “Toy Story 3” is going to win the Best Animated Film, so don’t expect a two-fer, even if it was the most appealing movie of the year.
All you need to know about “Winter’s Bone”: meth labs in the Ozarks. Which actually is a very important issue, but definitely not fun for the whole family. All you need to know about “The Fighter”: crack houses in working class Massachusetts. Not an important issue, but shades of “Rocky.”
That leaves “True Grit,” The Social Network,” and “The King’s Speech.” Now “True Grit” is infinitely better than the thing John Wayne got the Oscar for all those years ago. Jeff Bridges is “The Dude” as drunken sheriff. Matt Damon is a far better LeBoeuf than Glenn Campbell was. And Hailee Steinfeld should have been nominated for Best Actress because she carries the movie. But the Coens already have a couple of Oscars, so let’s share the wealth.
And this is what it comes down to: wealth. A movie about an arrogant little prick who becomes a billionaire in his 20s while screwing over his best friend, or a movie about an old money guy with a stammer who takes over a country from an arrogant little prick who feels his enjoyment of a raucous sex life is more important that rallying people against Hitler. “The King’s Speech” it is.
Rule out Jesse Eisenberg and James Franco, because you should never reward people who try to make arrogant dillwads lovable. Javier Bardem is speaking Spanish the whole time, and we all know how much Americans love to read subtitles. Jeff Bridges won last year, but this year’s performance was better (as I’ve said, I don’t like movies where you’re supposed to feel sorry for a screw up, and last year’s “Crazy Heart” offended me just because of that). Now Colin Firth should have won last year for “A Single Man” so all indications are he’ll get it this year for being overlooked last year. Kind of like when they gave the Academy Award to James Stewart for “The Philadelphia Story” when they should have given it to him the previous year for “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.”
Why bother going through the list. It’s going to be Natalie Portman. “The Black Swan” was a totally great insane performance. I left it thinking “Did she die or was it all a hallucination?”
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
There are really only two choices here. Christian Bale and Geoffrey Rush. As much as I hated Christian Bale’s character (once again, a screw up you’re supposed to feel sorry for), he is “The Fighter.” The movie doesn’t get the attention it did without him in it.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
I really hope it’s Hailee Steinfeld, because she had “True Grit.” Please don’t give it to anyone from “The Fighter.” Those accents were driving me up the wall. And Helena Bonham Carter is fine as the Queen Mum, but she should have to pay for butchering “Sweeney Todd.”