' ' Cinema Romantico: Countdown to the Oscars: Totally Unreasonable, Completely Legitimate Oscar Predictions

Monday, February 18, 2013

Countdown to the Oscars: Totally Unreasonable, Completely Legitimate Oscar Predictions

The Pick Six bet in horse racing, in which the bettor aims to select the winner of six consecutive races, is perhaps both the most lucrative and the most certifiably insane bet in sports. I mean, really, select the winner of SIX CONSECUTIVE races? But in keeping with the spirit of one of the subplots (i.e. sports gambling) of my favorite film of the year, "Silver Linings Playbook", I would like to take this opening stanza to my annual Totally Unreasonable, Completely Legitimate Oscar Predictions to announce my intention to go for the Pick Six Academy Awards-style.

This is to say I am taking all six major categories and betting on "Silver Linings Playbook." That's right. You heard me. I pick it to win Best Picture, Best Director (David O. Russell), Best Actor (Bradley Cooper), Best Actress (Jennifer Lawrence), Best Supporting Actor (Robert DeNiro), and Best Supporting Actress (Jacki Weaver).

Will this happen? Well, no. Of course, it won't happen. But it could happen. Theoretically, mathematically, it COULD happen, and, hey, not enough Oscar prognosticators have that Lewis & Clark spirit. So the hell with it. I'm layin' it all on the line. Pick Sixin' it up! Me & The Family Solitano, baby! I'll see you Oscar night, dressed in my best and prepared to go down with the ship.

Rest Of My Totally Unreasonable, Completely Legitimate Oscar Predictions:

Best Foreign Language Film: Kon-Tiki. No, I am not picking "Amour", even though I liked "Amour", because "Oslo August 31st" was the best foreign film I saw in 2012 and, thus, I am picking the Norwegian film that was nominated to represent the country that has absolutely been crushing it cinema-wise these last couple years. (Also, I really want to see "Kon-Tiki." So get your act together, Chicago, and bring it here.)

Best Cinematography: Seamus McGarvey, Anna Karenina. With all due respect to the esteemed Roger Deakins, the swooping, swirling theatricality and visual locaquiousness of McGarvey's cam-e-ra (pronunciation: Jenna Maroney) is just more my bag, baby.

Best Original Screenplay: Mark Boal, Zero Dark Thirty. For all the information it layers in, Boal's best and gutsiest decisions involve stripping away all the personal superfluousness of his protagonist that typically pervade so many screenplays and compromise the "emptiness" of the character. (More on this subject later in the week.)

Best Adapted Screenplay: David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook. Because I'm biased (see: opening paragraphs).

Best Film Editing: Dylan Tichenor & William Goldenberg, Zero Dark Thirty. Because I'm assuming they picked through hundreds of shots of Jessica Chastain just sitting at a desk or in front of a computer screen emoting and they selected the PERFECT ones to best represent her various internal feelings.

Best Production Design: Sarah Greenwood & Katie Spencer, Anna Karenina. Because the set decoration and production design work in perfect harmony with the cinematography.

Best Costume Design: Joanna Johnston, Lincoln. Because she and James Spader costumed his character, W.N. Bilbo, to reflect "a dandy in decay." As far as I know none of the other nominees designed a dandy in decay.  

Best Animated Feature Film: The Pirates! Band of Misfits. Because it doesn't seem to have a chance. And I like to bet on the ponies with the long odds.

Best Documentary Feature: Searching For Sugar Man. Because the sweetest kiss I ever got is the one I've never tasted.

Best Documentary Short: Inocente. Because it looks pretty darn good.

Best Live Action Short: Asad. Because I saw it and I dug it.

Best Animated Short: Paperman. Because it's, like, totally awesome.

Best Visual Effects: Bill Westenhofer, Guillaume Rocheron, Erik-Jan De Boer and Donald R. Elliott, Life of Pi. Because that tiger was mad dope, yo.

Best Music Original Score: Dario Marianelli, Anna Karenina. Because the music works in perfect harmony with the set decoration and production design and cinematography.

Best Music Original Song: "Who Were We?" (Written by Leos Carax & Neil Hannon and Performed by Kylie Minogue), Holy Motors. Wait. What? That song wasn't nominated? That song wasn't even one of the seventy-five ELIGIBLE to be nominated? Does the Academy not realize Kylie Minogue would win a royal rumble with the five lameass nominees in, like, 2.3 seconds? (My real pick is J. Ralph's "Before My Time" from "Chasing Ice".)

Kylie Minogue's failure to land an Oscar nom for Best Original Song is considered by most Oscar historians to be the single greatest snub since 2001: A Space Odyssey failed to land a Best Picture nom.
Best Sound Design: Paul N.J. Ottosson, Zero Dark Thirty. Because in an interview Ottosson stated he managed to acquire an actual recording of a super stealth Black Hawk helicopter used in the raid on Abbottobad to employ on the soundtrack. I don't know how he did this but it could not have been easy. Respect.

Best Sound Mixing: Andy Nelson, Gary Rydstrom and Ronald Judkins for Lincoln. Because in an interview Rydstrom said "the driving sound of this movie is the sound of the actors' voices." That ain't as easy as it sounds and, as I've intimated before, the sounds of the voices in "Lincoln" were more thrilling to me than, say, any what-have-ya in "Skyfall" (also nominated) for hoo-ha in "Argo" (also nominated).

Best Makeup/Hairstyling: Howard Berger, Peter Montagna, Martin Samuel for Hitchcock. Because they turned Sienna Miller into Tippi Hedren. Reader: "Uh, Nick? That was 'The Girl.'" 'Hitchcock' turned Scarlett Johansson into Janet Leigh." Nick: "Oh. Well. Was Sienna Miller in either of the other nominated films?" Reader: "No. I'm afraid she wasn't." Nick: "Well, fine. I pick 'Hitchcock' anyway because, well, what do I know about makeup and hairstyling? So yeah, 'Hitchcock.'"

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