' ' Cinema Romantico: Countdown to the Oscars: Theorizing Possible Oscar Winner Reactions

Tuesday, February 04, 2020

Countdown to the Oscars: Theorizing Possible Oscar Winner Reactions

You’ve probably seen this GIF. It’s Antonio Banderas, recent Oscar nominee for Best Actor for “Pain and Glory”, in the otherwise forgotten “Assassins”, though I’m old enough to remember seeing it in the theater when I would have no idea his co-star Julianne Moore had done a movie called “Safe” the previous year. It’s a moment in which Banderas’s character, whose name I forget and isn’t important anyway, but who is, as you might have guessed, an assassin, receiving a significant wire transfer and then leaning back, not just satisfied but, sort of, coolly ecstatic, maybe even, dare I say, turned on? The AV Club describes it as a “pantheon” level GIF, a go-to for social media expression of satisfaction, whether ironically or earnestly, letting people know that, at this moment in time, you’ve got it real, real good.

If Antonio Banderas were to win the Oscar [editor: plz insert praying GIF], that’d be swell. And my movie blogging pal Amir, esteemed member of the Toronto Film Glitterati, expressed his desire that if Banderas won, it might make the moment extra swell if the Spanish legend acted out the GIF, right there, live at the Academy Awards, with his Oscar in tow. His interview with Gabriella Paiella last year, in which he acknowledged he was aware of the GIF, even if he didn’t quite understand GIFs (no hard feelings), and proceeded to act out the GIF for Paiella, suggests this is a possibility. And that, as it absolutely had to, got me to thinking. What if other acting Academy Award winners this Sunday acted out memorable moments from their oeuvre at the podium?

Joaquin Phoenix. I want Antonio Banderas to win, though I also secretly wouldn’t mind Joaquin Phoenix winning, which he will, for career achievement, especially for his sensational work in the superb “Two Lovers” (2008). And rather than take the stage and act out any one GIF, I would just want Phoenix to recreate his entire Brandy Alexander sequence from “Two Lovers” which is the greatest screen embodiment of playing it cool collapsing into social awkwardness I’ve ever seen.

Renee Zellweger. Zellweger seems poised to win her second Oscar for “Judy”, sixteen years after winning for “Cold Mountain”, meaning she will have two Oscars, yes, but no Oscars, still, for playing Dorothy Boyd in “Jerry Maguire”, her greatest performance, a virtual gallery of transplendent reactions. “Jerry Maguire”, of course, was a long time ago and I really loved Zellweger’s speech at the Golden Globes not-so-subtly nodding how swiftly the industry will turn its back on one of its ostensible own until they do something – like, make a biopic – to re-curry favor. And so when she wins, I hope she busts out her most potent “Jerry Maguire” reaction, that one during Jerry’s drunken Lord of the Living Room speech, the one above. Thank you, Academy, and then walk right off the stage.

Brad Pitt. His incessant eating in the “Ocean’s” movie has been frequently celebrated, but none of his eating moments can top the one at the very end of the first film when, possibly wearing Ted Nugent’s shirt, he waits outside prison to pick up his prominent accomplice, devouring a meatball sandwich. He devours it so passionately, in fact, that he is stricken with a moment of heartburn (see: above). And so, when Pitt wins Best Supporting Actor “Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood”, I hope he ascends the stage literally eating a meatball sandwich, which would be even more relatable than him wearing a name tag, and then acts out getting heartburn.

Laura Dern. Lula 4-Ever

No comments: