Before I get started on my fifth annual attempt at predicting the Oscar winners, let's start with some background information. As I state each year, I don't watch or rent movies anymore.
I pretty much stopped watching movies and DVD's when Hollywood studios began trying to out “special effect” each other in order to overcompensate for bad writing and a lack of original ideas, a/k/a "the George Lucas syndrome."
My formula for predicting the Academy Award winners despite not ever watching movies is simple. I use a combination of word of mouth, watching movie trailers, reading movie posters, and my own personal analysis of how Hollywood works.
Ironically, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has been proven remarkable inept at casting somebody with the stage presence and comedic wit to host their own major awards show.
...Save for the 12-13 times that the Academy has gone to the well for Billy Crystal.
That has lead to sagging ratings, as well as last year's disastrous paring of red carpet darling Anne Hathaway and the talentless James Franco in attempt to draw a younger audience.
Cue this year's host, Seth McFarland, who's a natural choice given his pension for writing and singing Broadway-esque scores on his show The Family Guy, an ability to see humor in pop culture, and a quick wit that he's demonstrated during various celebrity roasts.
Then again, McFarland has admitted that he plans to start drinking whiskey before the show, and with his propensity to push the envelope of good taste, the politically liberal but socially conservative Academy should be crapping in their Depends.
Throw in a rare live performance by Barbara Streisand, who's known to have stage fright, and we could have the recipe for a disaster of epic proportions.
Nonetheless, the Academy will still be getting the ratings spike that they've been craving, whether it be for better or worse.
So without further ado, let's pray to God that the Academy's decision to reach out to the masses doesn't include Steven Spielberg, and rank the nominees for Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Picture:
5. Joaquin Phoenix - The Master: In The Master Juaquin Phoenix played a character who indulged his every appetite, whether it involved drink, sex or violence. That is, until he stumbled upon June Carter...I mean a shady cult leader. Fortunately, he beat the shit out of Carter before she could go on to brainwash most of Hollywood in this thriller based upon the origins of the Church of Scientology in a parallel universe.
4. Denzel Washington - Flight: Denzel Washington plays a professional who emerges as a reluctant hero, but has substance abuse issues that come back haunt him. Sorry...But I've been there and done that. If Mathew Fox didn't win a Emmy for playing Jack Shephard in Lost, Denzel Washington certainly isn't winning an Oscar for his role in Flight.
3. Hugh Jackman - Les Miserables: Don't get me wrong, Hugh Jackman has a beautiful voice and great stage presence, but he'll take home a Tony long before he takes home an Oscar.
|And based on this photo, Hugh Jackman will take home his Les Miserables co-star Amanda Seyfried long before he takes home his wife, Deborra-Lee Furness.|
2. Bradley Cooper - Silver Linings Playbook: Bradley Cooper may have screwed himself forever in the eyes of the Academy in 2010 when he guest hosted an episode of WWE's Raw. However, as People Magazine's "Sexiest Man Alive," the Academy will gladly use him to hype up their red carpet ratings.
|And with chiseled abs and an edgy tattoo, Bradley Cooper is Academy's new George Clooney.|
1. Daniel Day Lewis - Lincoln: Daniel Day Lewis is in a position to potentially win a record breaking third Oscar for Best Actor, which would distinguish him from the likes of Spencer Tracy, Gary Cooper, Marlon Brando and Tom Hanks.
And if your guess was Tom Hanks, you win!
5. Emmanuelle Riva - Amour: The oldest nominee for Best Actress in Oscar history at 85, Riva plays an octogenarian with rapidly declining health who is determined to stay out of a nursing home. And while she is said to play that role remarkably well, an 85-year-old lady playing the role of somebody who craps herself is about as impressive as Tom Cruise playing a cocky rule breaker who overcomes his personal deamons to save the day.
4. Naomi Watts - The Impossible: In The Impossible, Naomi Watts' plays the haunting role of real life super model Petra Nemcova, who lost her boyfriend in the devastating tsunami that hit Thailand in 2004. Not only did Nemcova miraculously survive that tragedy, but she coined the term "Tsunami chic" when she was found clinging to a tree to stay above the tidal wave with one hand, while smoking a cigarette and drinking a Diet Pepsi with the other when rescuers finally found her.
3. Quvenzhane Wallis - Beasts of the Southern Wild: Not only is Quvenzhane Wallis the youngest Best Actress nominee ever at the age of 9. In fact, this year there is a 76 year age difference between the oldest (Emmanuella Reva) and the youngest nominees. The only problem fro Wallis is that Beasts of the Southern Wild was filmed with non professional, i.e., non union actors, meaning that as a "scab" she doesn't have a chance in Hell of winning accolades from the liberal Academy...Even though she was only 6 when Beasts of the Southern Wild was filmed.
2. Jennifer Lawrence - Silver Linings Playbook: Jennifer Lawrence portrays a young widow with an affinity for dancing. It's kind an on-screen adaption of Casey Anthony's post parental life...Wait a second, that's not "widow" means, is it?
1. Jessica Chastain - Zero Dark Thirty: Jessica Chastain plays a female CIA agent who overcomes internal sexism and uses her interrogation skills to track down one of history's most notorious killers in the latest installment of Silence of the Lambs, much to Jodie Foster's chagrin.
9. Django Unchained: Let's look at Quentin Tarantino's Oscar chances for Best Picture in the form of an analogy. "Woody Allen is to the Oscars as to Quentin Tarantino is to ______."
And when I tell you that the blank is "Golden Globes," you quickly realize why Tarantino's Django Unchained is ranked #9 out of nine films in the running for Best Picture at this year's Oscars.
As a side note, after his outburst backstage at this year's Golden Globes, Tarantino has now gotten away with saying the "N-word" more times without getting his ass kicked other than any other white guy in the history of Hollywood who's not named Mel Gibson.
8. Les Miserables: A big screen adaptation of a classic literary and musical work. And while casual fans of the big screen seem to love Anne Hathaway and her outgoing lady parts, true fans of both the literary and musical versions seem to consider this variation a steaming pile of shit.
7. Amour: A foreign drama about love and aging as an elderly couple deals with the wife's failing health. The movie was considered a surprise success, mainly because the two lead characters, both well into their 80's, made it through filming without dying...Take that Larry Hagman!
6. The Life of Pi: It's like the producers of this film decided to remake the film Cast Away about being stranded on a beach with no modern amenities, only with Asian people. Unfortunately, Ang Lee didn't realize that a TV show called SURVIVOR has been telling the same story about Asian people nearly every week for the past 12 years.
5. Beasts of the Southern Wild: An art house film about a little girl living in a waterlogged post apocalyptic landscape following a catastrophic hurricane in Louisiana.
Rumor has it that Kevin Costner was in line to reprise his role in this Waterworld sequel until the film went in more of an art house direction with a cast of non-professional actors.
And while it appears as if super villain George W. Bush dies at the end of the movie, just enough doubt was left that he could return in third and final film in what is sure to be a trilogy of Waterworld masterpieces.
4. Zero Dark Thirty: Kudos to Kathryn Bigelow for beating Morgan Spurlock of Super Size Me fame to the punch in finding Osama bin Laden. In fact, she desperately needed the $25 million reward for finding him after The Hurt Locker flopped so bad at the box office.
3. Silver Linings Playbook: This film as a lead actor in Bradley Cooper who's bipolar, a lead actress in Jennifer Lawrence who's a depressed sex addict, and a supporting actor in Robert De Niro who's OCD. And while any of those roles would typically favored to win an Oscar in their respective category, this film is like the Kim Kardashian of films when it comes to trying too hard...Or at least any film that doesn't involve getting peed on by Ray J)
2. Lincoln: I know that Hollywood likes to look the other way when Directors take creative liberties with movies loosely based in historical fact, but I think Steven Spielberg went a little too far when he made Abraham Lincoln a vampire hunter.
1. Argo: Argo is an exciting Hollywood adaptation about a historical event that was relatively boring in real life. In short, any time where you can take a relatively boring historical event involving white people and take liberty with the facts to make the finish exciting, Hollywood loves it!..Kind of like the movie Hoosiers.