Friday, January 17, 2014


Letterman is still king.
Even though I’m waaaaay behind on movies this year, let’s talk about everyone else’s favorite talking point—the Oscars!

I haven’t seen everything this year. I haven’t seen anywhere near as much as I would have liked. When all of your friends get married or move to California and you don’t have a GF to drag along to movies she probably doesn't want to see anyway, the thing that suffers the most is how many movies you actually see over the course of a year. Sunday Night Movie is pretty much dead and the Half-Assed Reviews are on life support, but we’re not here to talk about that stuff. You’re here to listen to me wax intellectual about the 2014 Oscar nominations, so let’s get to it.

The Oscars are a very flawed system - especially when it comes to the writing categories - but they're 1000 times better than the Golden Globes. That's not saying much though. Anyway...

Best Picture
AMERICAN HUSTLE – Great performances and a fun movie to watch. I completely forgot I had seen it when I woke up the next morning and I couldn’t really explain the plot if I tried. That doesn’t bode well for its longevity. But no one gives a shit about long-term, so this is going to win.
CAPTAIN PHILLIPS – My friend Casey told me it was a “steaming pile of shit” and to stay away from it. Two weeks later he asked me if I’d seen it because he thought it was really good. I don’t know, man. It’s not going to win.
*UPDATE* I saw it yesterday. I really liked it. I don't think it was "Best Picture" quality, but it was really good. Casey's first reaction was completely wrong, his second reaction was more on the nose.
DALLAS BUYERS CLUB – I want to see this win because I’m 100% on board with McConaughey’s reinvention. But I also haven't seen it, so I have no idea how good the movie itself actually is.
*UPDATE* I saw this yesterday, too. I didn't really like the movie as a whole. I don't know exactly why, but I didn't. McConaughey was great though. He'll win Best Actor, but I don't think there's any way that anyone loved this movie the way some people love AMERICAN HUSTLE or any of the others. It's on the list because it's an "important" movie, but it's not great.
GRAVITY – Somewhere, there’s an idiot watching this on his iPhone bitching about it. This is a movie that was made to be seen in a theater. It’s a fantastic experience. The movie’s not amazing, but it’s really fun to watch. In a theater. Don’t watch this on your god damn phone.
HER – Spike Jonze has never done anything wrong. I haven’t even seen this movie and I stand by that statement 100%.
NEBRASKA – I want to see this because I loved Alexander Payne’s first two movies and Bruce Dern was in THE BURBS, so in my eyes he’s good forever.
PHILOMENA – I just don’t care. Simple as that.
12 YEARS A SLAVE – I’ll see this eventually. This is the only threat to AMERICAN HUSTLE, but I’m not sure how much of a threat it is.
THE WOLF OF WALL STREET – I had a blast watching this. Every stock broker is a huge asshole and if you thought this movie in any way glorified what they were doing, you probably didn’t actually see the movie.

TOO LONG, DIDN'T READ PREDICTION: AMERICAN HUSTLE. 12 YEARS A SLAVE might sneak in if it doesn't win the Best Director award.

Best Actor – Christian Bale, Bruce Dern, Leonardo DiCaprio, Chiwitel Ejiofor, Matthew McConaughey
I’m always rooting for DiCaprio, but I think it’s going to be McConaughey. I hope it is. If I still haven’t seen DALLAS BUYERS CLUB by then, I’ll just pretend he won it for MUD which I loved. Or for Wooderson in Dazed and Confused because that’s an all-time great character.
*UPDATE* Tom Hanks should be on this list instead of Christian Bale for the last 10 minutes of CAPTAIN PHILLIPS, alone. He shouldn't win, but those 10 minutes were better than Bale's entire performance. Bale also gets knocked down a few points each time I think about his awful, awful Batman voice. No matter how good he may be in what I'm currently watching, he'll never get past that voice.

Best Actress – Amy Adams, Cate Blanchett, Sandra Bullock, Judi Dench, Meryl Streep
This is a five-way toss-up, and I say that mostly because I've only seen 2 of the 5 performances. Am I an asshole if I root for Amy Adams solely based on her amazing cleavage in AMERICAN HUSTLE? Probably! I’m doing it. No chance to actually win, but that's my vote.

Best Supporting Actor – Barkhad Abdi, Bradley Cooper, Michael Fassbender, Jonah Hill, Jared Leto
You know how sometimes you’ll meet a celebrity and they’re just a colossal asshole that’s just dripping with condescension and ego and it just ruins them forever? From that point on, you just root against that person and hope they fail over and over again. But when they don’t fail and just become more famous and popular instead, you start to hate them even more. That’s how I feel about Jared Leto. I fucking hate that guy. So he’ll probably win and I’ll have to listen to every girl I know talk about his god damn hair. Fuck.
*UPDATE* I'm officially rooting for Barkhad Abdi because of his performance in CAPTAIN PHILLIPS. He was really, really good and held his own against Tom Hanks the whole way. Also, because fuck Jared Leto.

Best Supporting Actress – Sally Hawkins, Jennifer Lawrence, Lupita Nyong’o, Julia Roberts, June Squibb
Honestly, as long as Julia Roberts doesn't win I’ll be fine with anyone else. I’ll root for Jennifer Lawrence because that will be fun and she was really good in AMERICAN HUSTLE, but she’s not allowed to win twice in a row, right? She’s not Tom Hanks, for Christ’s sake. Lawrence's movie is also the only one I've seen out of these 5, so that helps her a lot. I'm an excellent film writer.
TOO LONG, DIDN'T READ PREDICTION: Lupita Nyong'o because Wesley Morris thinks so. I like that guy

Best Director – David O. Russell – AMERICAN HUSTLE, Alfonso Cuaron – GRAVITY, Alexander Payne – NEBRASKA, Steve McQueen – 12 YEARS A SLAVE, Martin Scorsese – THE WOLF OF WALL STREET
This one comes down to Russell vs. McQueen, with Cuaron right behind them. I’m going to guess McQueen because reasons. Then again, according to the L.A Times, 94% of the Academy voters are white and most of them are over 60 years old. That means there’s a good chance that a majority of Academy voters are afraid of black people. It’s 2014 and that’s what Steve McQueen is up against.


There you have it. Those are my half-assed Oscar predictions.We'll check back in a month or so to see what else I got around to watching and what actually won.

What do you think should win, what do you think will win and what are you surprised got left out?

P.S. I didn't mention the BEST SCREENPLAY and BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY awards or how INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS got shut out, because those may be posts for another day.

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