The Super Bowl of sports took over the streets last weekend, and now it’s time for the Super Bowl of movies – the Oscars!
Hollyweird is at it again with another slew of obscure, cerebral features and unknowns jostling for the spotlight. For weeks now, critics and voters have been fighting against all odds to bring the rightful winners to justice. But it’s time for that emotional roller coaster to wind down. We’ve voted with our dollars at the box office, now it’s time for the Academy voters to vote with their ballots. The tension is palpable!
I don’t get out too much, but I think I saw a subway ad that said Allen Degeneres will be hosting. Not sure who that is, but I’m sure he’ll do great. I don’t have any insider info as to why “Jimmy” James Franco was too busy to do it this year, but either way he needs to quit prankin’ around and get back to screens of all sizes!
There will be lots of questions in the air that night. Will someone make a political statement? Will Julia R and George C dazzle the pre-game show with their riffing? Will Soon-Yi have a wardrobe malfunction? I just love speculating on and sometimes even watching the excitement of this exclusive industry unfold. It’s gonna be great.
Okay, enough pussy footing around! Let’s get to it.
Ladies are seemingly everywhere you look in cinema – it was definitely the Year of the Woman, as women filled the titular roles in “Her” and “Philomena.” Women also crowd the Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress categories.
I guess “Diversity” is the name of the motion picture game!
It was another year of the sequel, and another year of the snub. Blockbusters like “Ronin 47” and “Hunger Games: Catch a Fire” blew out the box offices even more than they did the first time around. Remakes like “Rush” heated things up as well. However, much like the maligned holiday dessert, non-sequel “Fruitcake Station” couldn’t get any nibbles even by naming the main character Oscar. “Inside Llewelyn Davis” sounded like an adult film so I skipped that one. And I can’t help myself, but I have to give away a huge spoiler alert for “Jeff Daniels’ The Butler:” He did it – and he’d do it again.
Let’s jump into the Best Picture category with all-around fave American Russell – director David O. that is! Are there categories for coolest wig or best cleavage? If so, and I was representing “American Hustle” in a court of law I would advise them to plead “no contest!” Speaking of law, how about that Jennifer? As part of the Law acting dynasty that that includes Victoria, Joseph and Martin, she’s just gotta be a shoe-in.
You know the SAG Awards? This is more my speed.
But cinema wasn’t all jean shorts and groovy disco balls this year. If you’ve never seen a movie before, your first one may as well be “Wolf on Wall Street,” but if you have, maybe think twice. A piece of popcorn got stuck in my gum as I watched this endlessly bloated, bloviating, poorly edited, musically UNsupervised monstrosity. I thought it was a toothache so I went to the dentist (I was overdue for my checkup anyway). The hygienist removed the popcorn and my pain was relieved – but my face sure was red. I think there was a little egg on it as well (figuratively speaking, but only the hygienist knows the truth).
In sum, I think Martin “Swayze” Scorsese and Leonardo “da Vinci” diCaprio served up one for the dogs – woof! (My follow-up at the periodondist was no picnic either.) Yet it’s everybody’s sweetheart story and I’m just one person so I’ll leave the voting to the pros.
I’ve been reading “Last Night at the Viper Room,” and I can’t figure out if they mean last night as in 12-24 hours ago, or last as in final? I’ll let you know.
Speaking of, bad boy Johnny Depp eschewed his signature role this year and handed it off to Barkhad Abdi in “Captain Ron Phillips,” proving copyright laws are no joke! However, all eyes will surely be on Seinfeld’s Yul Vazquez as he walks the red carpet – let’s see if he’s wearing “the ribbon.”
As for Tom Hanks, all right already! We get it – you’re a chameleon and all around nice guy, and you wanted to reprise your role in “Saving Private Banks,” but it’s time to free up some categories for the other guys.
For this year’s contenders, the landscape of America is a recurring character. “Nebraska” takes us to Bruce Springsteen’s home state for a look at what could have been, while native Texan Matthew McConaghey takes us home to kick back a couple of cold Lone Stars, and also to contract AIDS in Richard Linkletter’s “Dallas.”
Question: if someone described you as the female Jonah Hill, would you be flattered or offended? Food for thought. P.S. Who is his dentist?
“Her” was a fine flick, with a nice performance from Mr. Oscar snubber himself Joaquin Phoenix. Et tu, Leaf? (tying it back in to the Viper Room). But for me it was all about Spike Jonze’s star turn in “The Wolf on Wall Street” that should have set tongues wagging. Break out alert! Maybe stick to your day job Spike, but maybe also make a little room in your schedule for some more moonlighting in small but memorable roles.
And of course, stars that burn twice as long burn half as bright. The starriest stars on the walk of fame of life that were extinguished will be honored in the annual death reel. I haven’t been following the obits so hopefully there are no rude awakenings when I tune in.
Now on to the rest of the best… of my picks.
Animated Feature Film
With everyone on the east coast tired of old man winter, I think “Frozen” is looking at a freeze-out. I’ll go with “The Wind Rises” because it sounds like spring is in the air.
I like “20 Feet From Stardom” because everyone loves a success story.
Documentary Short Subject
I’ll go with “Facing Fear” because I can just imagine a duo of A-list presenters like John Leguizamo and Renee Zellwegger leaning in to the mic to forever change the lives of these filmmakers.
Foreign Language Film
I’m liking Italy’s “The Great Beauty” to take home the golden man. Does anyone know if it’s a sequel to “Life is Beautiful?” I think we could ALL use a little more Roberto Bagnini in our lives.
Short Film Animated
I like “Room on the Broom” because it rhymes with “womb” and it sounds witchy, hence, The Year of the Woman, but I’m going to go with “Get a Horse!” because it has an unforgettable title. It’s anyone’s game though.
Everyone knows there’s no sound in space, so I’m going to pass on “Gravity” for this one and give it to “The Hobbit.” I mean, why not?
Let’s all pray Pharrell checks his outrageous hat at the door, and also leaves some of the limelight for U2’s version of Sade’s “Ordinary Love.”
In terms of history, slavery is a human atrocity. But in terms of adapted screenplays, it can’t be beat. I vote once, twice, “12 Years a Slave.”
Well, I could do this all day, but I just found out the Oscars don’t air until March 2nd, not this Sunday like I woke up thinking. Last week I thought the Super Bowl was this week. What’s next?