It is 3:30am and I got home not long ago from a full day of covering the SuperSkillz event at The Opera House in downtown Toronto, a talent show organized by Filipino Student Associations across the city. It was a great event, especially with the ever-energetic PJ Phil Guerrero mastering the ceremony. Our (HMC) interview with him will always be engraved into my memory due to the sheer hilarity and genuineness of “Sir” Guerrero’s personality. But more on that in my next post.
In around 15 hours, the festivities for the 82nd Annual Academy Awards will commence. Needless to say (if you saw my recent, and first, video blog), that my Oscar Fever is reaching its highest temperature. I was so ready to write my predictions throughout the day at SuperSkillz, and watching Garron and Alison post theirs only increased my anxiety. But finally I get to, at 3am in the morning.
Let’s start off with the main categories that no one really talks about:
Best Adapted Screenplay
Winner: Up In The Air written by Jason Reitman & Sheldon Turner
Banana’s Choice: Up In The Air written by Jason Reitman & Sheldon Turner
Runner Up: Precious written by Geoffrey Fletcher
I won’t be too shocked if Precious got a surprise win in this category, but if any other of the nominees wins, there’s something wrong. First of all, District 9 is an adaptation of Neil Blomkamp’s earlier short film which has the same plot. Secondly, Up In The Air was just a better executed film than the rest, as intense as Precious was.
Best Original Screenplay
Winner: Inglorious Basterds written by Quentin Tarantino
Banana’s Choice: The Hurt Locker written by Mark Boal
Runner Up: The Hurt Locker written by Mark Boal
Sorry, everyone knows I am 100% a Hurt Locker supporter, but it seems Tarantino’s multinational/borderline-stealing filmmaking style is likely to take this one. To be fair, he hasn’t written a captivating script since Pulp Fiction, not to say Basterds was better than Pulp Fiction though. I find that in the original screenplay category, great dialogue more often than not wins you the little golden man. Second to that, is to have something intriguingly original, such as Charlie Kaufman’s Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (I’ll love that movie until that memory-surfing technology is invented and tested, on myself…to erase Eternal Sunshine from my memory?).
Best Animated Feature
Winner: Up by Pete Doctor
Banana’s Choice: Up by Pete Doctor
Runner Up: No such thing
Up is going to win. Just like how WALL-E was destined to win last year. Like Garron said, Up is nominated for Best Picture, so it’s kind of default that it wins this category. Still bitter that Wallace & Gromit won 4 years ago, Miyazaki got ROBBED! Howl’s Moving Castle ftw! C’mon!!
Best Supporting Actress
Winner: Mo’Nique as Marry Lee Johnston in Precious
Banana’s Choice: Mo’Nique as Marry Lee Johnston in Precious
Runner Up: Vera Farmiga as Alex Goran in Up In The Air
Mo’Nique essentially began, and still is, a comedic actress, and look what she pulled out of her bag of talent. I think the defining factor for myself is the clear distinction between her humorous persona, and the disturbingly pitiful character she put on for Precious. I mean, it was frighteningly unreal how sinister and foul her character was, but somehow she found a way to get the audience to sympathize with her. Amazing. Also Vera Farmiga was friggen smokin’, and yes, her performance was very convincing.
Best Supporting Actor
Winner: Christoph Waltz as Col. Hans Landa in Inglorious Basterds
Banana’s Choice: Christoph Waltz as Col. Hans Landa in Inglorious Basterds
Runner Up: Not even a little close.
To quote Matt Damon on the David Letterman two nights ago – “not a chance in hell”. That’s right. Not a chance in hell that Sir Christoph Waltz won’t win this category. Its almost on par in saying Heath Ledger wouldn’t win Best Supporting Actor last year. Never have I seen a villain in a film show so little physical and facial intimidation, and yet, inject so much malice and fear. The Joker and Hans Landa = top two movie villains of the decade.
Winner: Meryl Streep as Julia Childs in Julie & Julia
Banana’s Choice: Meryl Streep as Julia Childs in Julie & Julia
Runner Up: Carey Mulligan as Jenny Miller in An Education
This category has certainly caused a stir in the movie world. But this also shows a distinction between the politics versus the actual quality of actors. That, or a separation in moviegoers who can distinguish a better performance, and those who just ride popularity trends. I honestly think Bollocks is only getting so much attention and recognition because this is the furthest her dramatic acting career can go. So the Board of Shadowy Figures decided to just give her the award before she surfs the inevitable typecast actor drought. But seeing as how political things can get, Sandra Bullock would probably win, but I refuse to believe it! On the other hand I chose the wonderful Carey Mulligan as the runner-up because I lover her, and that she has a great career waiting for her. This year’s Ellen Page in a way.
Winner: Jeff Bridges as Bad Blake in Crazy Heart
Banana’s Choice: Jeremy Renner as Sgt. William James in The Hurt Locker
Runner Up: Jeremy Renner as Sgt. William James in The Hurt Locker
Like Garron said, the new guy NEVER wins, unless you’re Adrien Brody and you somehow edged out Jack Nicholson. Jeff Bridges is the veteran actor and he deserves a little golden man for the many years he’s put into acting in films. But to be fair, his performance was stronger than the rest. As much as I’m rooting for Jeremy Renner, Sgt. William James isn’t too much of a diversion from Renner’s regular personality. Rugged, fearless, and dangerously logical. The other nominees, such as Morgan Freeman, I think could have executed a more convincing and powerful Nelson Mandela. Honestly, Matt Damon’s performance at times overshadowed the voice of God himself. And I think it’s about time George Clooney played a villain. I mean a real villain, not Michael Clayton. Yikes.
Winner: Kathryn Bigelow – The Hurt Locker
Banana’s Choice: Kathryn Bigelow – The Hurt Locker
Runner Up: Anyone but James Cameron
Even though I tend to have a Canadian bias, this time I really, really do not want to see James Cameron win, anything! Surely Avatar is going to take home Best Visual Effects, Sound Mixing, Sound Editing and even Art Direction, but please let it be the extent of it. I hate to be sexist here, but one thing that captivated me with The Hurt Locker was that a female director brought such cinematic force in a war movie, historically embedded as a male-dominated genre. On top of that, almost the entire cast was male. This goes to show how much outer direction she gave throughout the production of the film. In a sense, Kathyrn was embodying a character unto herself just so she can mold her actors and crew to convey the right messages. Bravo, Madame Bigelow. Bravo.
Winner: The Hurt Locker
Banana’s Choice: The Hurt Locker
Runner Up: Any film but Avatar, The Blind Side, A Serious Man
First to explain my runner up choice(s). Like I said, I don’t want Dances With Smurfahontas, I mean, Avatar to win ANYTHING except technical awards, which it deserves. The Blind Side being nominated still baffles me. There are so many other worthy nominees that could have filled the 10th spot e.g. Crazy Heart, (500) Days of Summer, Star Trek, Invictus even Julie & Julia would’ve been better. A Serious Man, if there were still 5 Best Picture nominees, this latest Coen Brothers film would have been left out. It was great in its innate art-film nature, but that’s as far as it took me.
An Education, District 9, Up, won’t win, but I still prefer them to the three films I just mentioned. The closest runner-up of the remaining three (Basterds, Precious, Up In The Air) would be Up In The Air in my opinion. I love realist, character-based movies that take the audience through the ups and downs of a slice of a character’s life. The cast was sewn compatibly together and the mockumentary-esque icing made it all the better.
There you have it, The Banana Times’ Oscar Predictions. I am honestly still bitter that (500) Days of Summer did not get nominated for anything! The Academy Awards still favors dramatic films and performances, leaving genuine comedies, romances, and even dramadies in the dust next to Thomas Haden Church and his crappy and redundant existence in the invisible third movie of the Spiderman film franchise. F*** I hate that movie so much I want to punch James Cameron right in the Piranhas.