I don’t watch movies usually, for some reason. I often tell people it is because I have lost faith in it as an artform. I find it limited in scope and feel it fails me more often than not. Now, this could just be because I came to ripe movie watching age (college years) around the indie film boom of the 2000s, and my mix of youthful passion with films that expressed artfully that same passion, could have something to do with it. I also used to work at a video rental place of business and would nightly take home some experimental, arthouse film, reveling in my newly-minted thirst for the abstract and philosophical. Jodorowsky and Fellini were my boyz, yo. I cried as the pianist in Shoot the Piano Player searched through self-help recordings regarding his own timidity. I would pompously state, without much evidence other than my own general anxieties, that The Bicycle Thief was the greatest horror movie of all time. All Time! But for all that well-placed fervor, somehow along the way, I lost interest.
I have children now. And I will admit that this has a lot to do with my lack of interest. Now, I am not one of those cads who juts his chin outward and talks about how your priorities and interests change once children come along. “When you have kids, you just realize what is truly important.” No, kids did not have this affect on me. Children can best be described as the cutest, most lovable form of a temporal blackhole. They suck your time away from you. And don’t get me wrong, I love my sons, but that is exactly what they do. And as it turns out, free time is a necessary component of being a frequent film viewer. Now, you may say to me, “but, you clearly have enough time to write a blog post about how you don’t have free time,” and to that I say: When you have kids, you just realize what is truly important.
Needless to say, I have not seen any of this year’s Oscar nominated flicks (well very few of them), but I am not one who will allow general ignorance to prevent him from thrusting his opinion onto the world, so here, I present you my arbitrary picks for the 85th Academy Awards.
Best Picture: I will automatically exclude the following movies because they are weird and foreign-sounding, cause ‘Merica!; Amour, Argo, Django Unchained, Les Miserables, and Life of Pi. That gets the order down to a reasonable four nominees. Seems a good number. My pick: Lincoln, cause I am a fan of bearded men.
Best Actor: On the Oscars website, it states both Jackman and Cooper play characters trying to cope with life after being released from institutions (psychiatric, prison). Phoenix and Washington play alcoholics. My pick: Lewis, he plays Lincoln, a bearded man.
Best Actress: I honestly cannot decide on this one. My pick: Jessica Chastain, because everybody knows she will eventually win an Oscar. Might as well get it out of the way.
Best Supporting Actor: We see De Niro sans Stiller, so that may be actually entertaining. Arkin seems to be playing his same Arkin character, crotchety truth-speaker. My pick: Hoffman, because I thought he was the lead actor based on the trailers for The Master.
Best Supporting Actress: My pick: Anne Hathaway, but only because she reminds me of the impeccable Susan Boyle singing “I Dream a Dream,” also Selina Kyle!
Best Animated Feature: Hot Dog!! This is my category. My three year old and I have been all up in these films. WHAT?! No Rise of the Guardians?! My pick: I guess, Wreck-It Ralph, a flawed but slightly better film than The Pirates! No Pixar this year. What the heck was Brave even about?
Best Directing: My pick: Spielberg, come on. I haven’t seen this movie, but a film about Lincoln, starring Double-D Lewis, and directed by Spielberg is bound to get Spielberg the win, if nothing other than based on name recognition. This film was designed by Oscar-baiting robots who feed on tiny gold men.
Rest of the Categories: Let’s be honest, even people who have seen these films would be guessing on these categories. So here is my list based on the first name I see: Claudio Mirando, Cinematography; Jacqueline Durran, Costume Design; How to Survive a Plague, Documentary; Open Heart, Documentary Short; Dylan Tichenor and William Goldenberg, Editing; Amour, Foreign Film; Peter Swords King, Rick Findlater, and Tami Lane, Makeup; John Williams, Original Score; “Skyfall,” Original Song; The Hobbit, Production Design; Paperman, Short Film (animated); Buzkashi Boys, Short Film; Paul N.J. Ottoson, Sound Editing; Life of Pi, Sound Mixing; Life of Pi, Visual Effects; Tony Kushner, Adapted Screenplay; Quentin Tarantino, Original Screenplay.
Check back here after the Oscars on February 24th to see how truly amazing I was at picking these cinema films…