' ' Cinema Romantico: Sizing Up The Oscar Race

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Sizing Up The Oscar Race

As the Academy Awards draw ever closer it is time to re-evaluate the race for the most vital Oscars. There are only four virtual locks to win: Heath Ledger for Supporting Actor, "WALL-E" for Animated Film, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" for Art Direction, and, of course, Bruce Springsteen for Original Song. Whoops! Mr. Springsteen wasn't nominated! I forgot! You're losing one viewer during the Original Song portion of your telecast, Academy, so take that!

Let's examine the rest.

Best Actress: The following thought occurred to me just recently - Daniel Day Lewis won the Best Actor Oscar last year and, as tradition stipulates, the Best Actor from the previous year almost always presents the Best Actress Oscar for the current year. This, of course, means that the lead actor from my all-time favorite movie could possibly be handing the Oscar to my all-time favorite actress which would keep in tune with my recent run of spectacular symmetry.

I say possibly, though, because Kate Winslet seems to have dropped from clear front-runner status not only because the film for which she was nominated - "The Reader" - is getting attacked from all angles (a subject I will be addressing in the next day or two) but because she has literally become the victim of "covert" emails from rival films asking voters not to cast theirs for her. All this would make me physically ill except I cannot see how the fates could dare deny her if Hawkeye himself is presenting the award. Ah, but the Best Actor from the previous year, as stated, almost always presents it, which means it's not set in stone, and knowing that Day Lewis is a bit of an anti-social recluse (which I totally respect) who knows that he will actually be there this Sunday. I took to the web in an effort to find out only to discover the Academy, in all its infinite wisdom, is keeping its presenters secret until showtime. (Thanks! Thanks a lot! That means my Oscar night will be one giant panic attack until I actually see who walks out onstage with that Best Actress envelope!)

Therefore it all comes down to Day Lewis. If he presents, Kate wins. If he doesn't, she doesn't. Believe me, I wish it didn't have to be like this but it's just how the movie gods work. (And contrary to what industry insiders may tell you, even an email hatchet job can't upsurp the movie gods.)

Best Actor: The supposed horse race between Sean Penn for "Milk" and Mickey Rourke for "The Wrestler" may well have turned into Belmont '73 with Penn playing Secretariat due to the fact Rourke has, as Rourke will, seemingly gone off the deep end over the last month. (He has challenged a real-life professional wrestler to a match and he was rumored to have made out with his co-star Evan Rachel Wood, 31 years his junior, at the SAG Awards and he supposedly got in a knife fight with Ewan McGregor backstage at the London Film Critic Awards and he apparently groped Thandie Newton at another London awards show and he swore up a storm onstage at the British Academy Awards - and only one of those is made up!) That said, I'm definitely rooting for Rourke to win simply because I anticipate the moment during his acceptance speech when they try to play him off and he goes to the edge of the orchestra pit and performs The Ram Jam on the unsuspecting conductor.

Best Supporting Actress: Cinema Romantico's sources indicate Viola Davis is considered the front runner for "Doubt", mainly because Meryl Streep won the aforementioned Best Actress Award at SAG for the same movie which means the movie is now getting critical respect as far as awards go and that the only reason Davis did not win the SAG for Supporting Actress was because Kate Winslet was nominated in that category for "The Reader", though, as previously established Winslet is nominated for "The Reader" as Best Actress at the Oscars, therefore leaving the Supporting Actress category un-Winsleted.

Everyone still with me? Good, because this category could also fall victim to the Tomei Factor. The Tomei Factor is named, of course, for actress Marisa Tomei and takes into account that she is 1.) Charming 2.) Beguiling and 3.) The only nominee to have punched George Costanza in the face. That, my friends, is a powerful trifecta.

So the winner will be....Penelope Cruz for "Vicky Cristina Barcelona"!

I don't understand these things, either.

Best Supporting Actor: As mentioned above, the late Heath Ledger's gonna' win. In fact, because this is so foregone Cinema Romantico extended an invitation to nominee Josh Brolin plus Guest (Diane Lane?) to watch it at Cinema Romantico's apartment where we could both drink the traditional Entire Bottle Of Wine On Oscar Night which traditionally leads to Cinema Romantico staying way up his past bedtime while traditionally blasting Springsteen and traditionally writing 20 pages he'll realize the next day are junk and then delete.

Cinema Romantico has yet to receive a response.

Best Director: I hope much maligned Stephen Daldry wins for "The Reader", hops onstage and declares: "Suck it, you whittling IHOP monkeys!"

Best Picture: The question boils down to this: at what juncture was the "Slumdog Millionaire" backlash when the majority of votes were cast? At its release, it was being hailed as the Feel Good Movie Of 2008. Shortly after, however, the backlash against it began which was quickly followed by the backlash aimed at the backlash at which point the backlash against the backlash against the original backlash took effect which, in turn, was trailed by the backlash against the backlash against the backlash against the backlash only to be followed by the backlash against the backlash against the backlash against the backlash against the backlash only to be followed by....you get the gist of it.

However, one of Cinema Romantico's most trusted Hollywood sources, using a most complex mathematical formula that takes into account, over the last month, the ebb of reservations at the Ivy, the number of Yoga classes conducted throughout Hollywood, and the number of decaf skim lattes without foam as opposed to regular skim lattes with foam ordered at Starbucks stores along Wilshire Boulevard, has determined that the majority of votes would have been cast in the timeframe when the backlash against the backlash against the backlash aimed at the original backlash was occurring and so "Slumdog Millionaire" should emerge victorious.

Don't laugh as this same formula predicted Adrien Brody's upset win for Best Actor in 2003. (Though it also predicted David Lynch would win Best Director in 2002 for "Mulholland Drive". You win some, you lose some.)


Anonymous said...

Dear Nick,

The word "gonna" does not contain an apostrophe. I realize that you have been adding an apostrophe in an effort to show that you know "gonna" is a combination of the words "going to." But there is no way an apostrophe can properly substitute for the missing letters in "gonna." As such, please stop trying to add one and just let "gonna" stand as it is. Thank you.


Nick Prigge said...

I blame this on my 7th grade english teacher who chastised me for using the word gonna in a book report and wrote that if using slang I should at least add an apostrophe to words such as gonna and wanna to make it appear as if I'd actually had formal linguistics training.

Okay, I just made all that up.

Rory Larry said...

The Intrade prediction market (which is awesome by the way) has a two to one advantage over Penn. Winslett is three to one over Streep and Cruz as 4 or 5 to 1 over her competition. Slumdog has an almost 90 to 1 advantage.