Thursday, January 10, 2013

All That Glitters...

Academy Awards - Oscars
       On Sunday, February 24, the Academy Awards will be handed out.

A long time ago I realized that predicting who’s going to get nominated for the Oscars is like trying to predict where that little disc in Plinko is going to fall. You can put that sucker in the middle, on the left or the right side and it’s still going to do whatever it wants. I stop trying to predict who’d get nominated years ago. Every year there’s someone/some film that should’ve been nominated that gets left out and someone/some film that shouldn’t win, but it does.

I'll prove it. Let’s play the “do you remember game” shall we. Do you remember Ed Wood? Do you remember Martin Landau in Ed Wood? Even better, do you even remember who the hell Martin Landau is? (“No” would be a totally reasonable answer to all three of those questions by the way.) Do you remember Pulp Fiction? How about Samuel L. Jackson’s role in Pulp Fiction? Not only can you probably name Jackson's character, you can probably give me more than a few lines of dialog from him in that movie. I tell you that to tell you he didn’t win the Oscar that year. Jackson lost best supporting actor to Martin Landau. Neither did Denzel Washington for Malcolm X, but don’t worry, I’ll give you another chance. Do you remember Saving Private Ryan? It’s only the greatest WWII movie ever made and it arguably has the greatest opening sequence in movie history. (When WWII vets of D-Day saw it, the opening beach assault that is, it was said that some started to cry and have flashbacks. Now that's movie making.) Well that movie didn’t win best picture. Neither did Citizen Kane. Too far back you say? Okay, lets do something more "recent". Do you remember The Iron Lady? How about The Help? Do you remember Viola Davis in The Help? Well, Davis lost best actress to Meryl Streep for her lead role in The Iron Lady. And that was just last year!  Needless to say, the Oscars get it wrong sometimes. Really, really wrong. I just find it easier to do the biggest snubs and the biggest surprises of the nominations and then do the same thing to the winners weeks later.

Biggest Snubs

Ben Affleck - Kathryn Bigelow - Argo - Zero Dark Thirty - Oscar Snub
Affleck and Bigelow won't be hearing their names called.
There were a few snubs in the best picture category but I can give the Academy a pass because 2012 was a strong year for films. They have ten slots for this very reason and they STILL only used nine. Skyfall, The Dark Knight Rises, Moonrise Kingdom, and The Master come to mind right off the top of my head as films that could have garnered that tenth slot but I can still give them a pass. It’s not including Ben Affleck and Kathryn Bigelow in the best director block that got me. I get that Bigelow has won before and all that jazz, but you can’t tell me Affleck couldn’t beat out anyone not name Spielberg or Lee for a spot in the best director category this year.

Samuel L. Jackson and Leonardo DiCaprio getting left out of the best supporting actor category was a little shocking as well. Jackson I understand because he did so much "chest-beating" about how he was going to win, that I just knew he wasn’t even getting nominated. I guess DiCaprio’s turn as the sadistic slave owner Calvin Candie was a little too "raw" for the voters. Funny, because the Academy usually loves when a “good guy” plays the bad guy.

Biggest Surprise

Beast of the Southern Wild - film - Quvenzhané Wallis
Quvenzhané Wallis is cute but she shouldn't win an Oscar.
Beast of the Southern Wild getting nominated for anything, much less getting nominated for four out of the big five; best picture, best director, best screenplay and best actress. I saw this film and I got to say it because no one else will, it sucked. I watched it two times with the hope of liking it and still nothing. Sometimes, just because something is “weird” or “offbeat” or “hard to understand” doesn’t mean it’s good. Sometimes, it’s just “weird” “offbeat” and “hard to understand” because it sucks. Also, I thought the film being released so early in the year would hurt it because I didn’t think it had the staying power to remain fresh in the voters’ eyes. I was CLEARLY wrong on that one.

Lincoln-Daniel Day Lewis-film
Greatest "one man carry the team" job since
LeBron led Cleveland to the '07 Finals.
If you ask me, it’s setting up to be a very big year for Lincoln. It has the most nominations with eleven, critics love it and it’s done very well at the box office. (Those eleven nominations can’t hurt its chances of making even more money either.) However, the most nominations doesn’t always guarantee Oscar success. Even if that movie is directed by Steven Spielberg. (See 1986’s The Color Purple.) With Affleck and Bigelow missing, best director seems to be a lock for Spielberg and without Zero Dark Thirty and Argo getting the nod at director, it seems like the best picture award is Lincoln’s to lose as well. (Not always the case as both Lee and Spielberg have walked away with best director wins with their films still losing out on the big prize. Saving Private Ryan to Shakespeare in Love. Brokeback Mountain to Crash.) Best actor is just a “show trial" this year because we all know Day-Lewis is walking away with that one. It’s this year’s “mortal lock/willing to bet my life this guy/girl wins it” category. The toughest category to call is the best supporting actor. It’s going to be really tough to pin down because it’s the first time in any category, that I can remember anyway, anyone could walk away with it and I wouldn’t be upset at all. I have no clue who wins but they all honestly deserve it.

Personally, I would not have wanted to be a voter this year. With so many great films, great filmmakers and great performances in 2012, a lot of them were undoubtedly going to get left out. I’m not going to go line-by-line and award-by-award because it’s pointless. We really don’t have a clue what’s going to happen and years later, some of the winners are going to look "funny" and others down right wrong. You know kind of like that time when everyone thought those “finger mustaches” were all the rage. (Funny.) Or in the 80s when everyone thought doing cocaine was "cool". (Down right wrong.) I say why try to stop a car that has the key broken off in the ignition and no brakes when it’s heading for a cliff. Do what I do; get a stick and a bag of marshmallows, let it crash and burn. Then just sit back, relax, enjoy the flames and have a roasted marshmallow.

Thanks for reading and don't forget to subscribe and share the blog. Join in the discussion by leaving a comment below. Follow me on twitter @ParisLay. Until next time... Enjoy the View!

1 comment:

  1. Apparently, my first comment didn't post...bummer. But anyways, I think I was saying in the prior unposted supposed comment post, that I still haven't gotten a chance to go check out Lincoln. And unfortunately, it looks like I won't get to until the DVD release. It's still in theatres here, but not at the times I'm able to check it out. I had a chance to see it but I ended up going to go see Django Unchained since it was at a more suitable time for me.

    No point to this comment...

    That is all.