The Oscars / Academy awards, too predictable?

Billy Crystal made the gag last night that in a bad economy, nothing cheers people up more than millionaires handing out gold statues to themselves, or something along those lines. That, in a nutshell is the academy awards, aka, the Oscars. Well from a certain point of view anyway. The Oscars are good at highlighting a selection of the best films around via the nominations, although this is often an arguable point, there is a certain amount of snobbishness there. The winners most certainly have a career highlight. Are they always the most deserved? Well also an arguable point. The chosen winners, well they often seem a little more political, within the confines of the Oscars, and usually, a bit more predictable. In yesterdays post these were my predictions for the main awards. I have added whether correct, or with the actual winner:

Best picture The Artist – Correct
Best director: Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist) – Correct
Best actorGeorge Clooney (The Descendants) – Incorrect, winner was Jean Dujardin, “The Artist”
Best supporting actorChristopher Plummer (Beginners) – Correct
Best actress: Meryl Streep (The Iron Lady) – Correct
Best supporting actress: Octavia Spencer (The Help) – Correct
Best foreign-language film: A Separation – Correct
Best documentaryPina – Incorrect, winner was, Undefeated
Best original screenplay: The Artist – Incorrect , winner was,  Woody Allen, “Midnight in Paris”

Out of the nine categories listed here, I got six correct, or two thirds, for those a little poor on the maths front. I also noted yesterday that I would be attending a fun oscars party where you had to predict each award on the broadcast, and maybe win a small cash prize. I got a total of fourteen of these correct and lost the overall party competition on a tie breaker (which was length of ceremony). This was to my wife though, so a win really. This is even more incredible, mad, or however you want to describe it, because, as I pointed out yesterday, I had not seen a single one of the films in contention. That’s right, none of them. My wife had seen about half of “the help”.  Nothing more than a trailer or TV preview for the rest. I just based my predictions on a little reading up on what the films were about and compared with a couple of critics, adjusting for where I thought they may go wrong. My wife and I then shared our list. Where we were unsure we each took a different choice with two going in here favour and two in mine, with us both ending with the same score. Pretty good huh?

Some other thoughts on the ceremony:

  • Billy Crystal, was a safe choice as host but a decent one. The opening film was funny, the gags were good but not over the top. The Oscars is a safe ceremony with few real surprises, so he fit in perfectly in that regard. He was definitely an improvement over Anne Hathaway and James Franco from the previous year, who had no chemistry, and an overdose on auto cue blandness. Both pretty good onscreen and pretty poor as Oscar presenters.
  • Christopher Plummer seems to have a good sense of humour. I liked his speech the best.
  • The Martin Scorsese running gags were mildly amusing.
  • Despite the mention of Warhorse, there was a refreshing lack of Spielberg schmaltz.
  • And George Clooney smugness (sorry George, like you on camera but…)
  • The show was mildly entertaining but not too memorable. I’m struggling to remember much of it this morning. In fact the most memorable parts were not directly the show itself (see below).

What I learnt this weekend:

  • Jennifer Lopez’s nipple (or areola) is now more interesting than she is. I can remember that “event”, but I’ve no idea what award she was presenting.
  • Billy Crystal to look at, is slowly starting to resemble someones grandma.
  • I should make more Oscar predictions when having seen nothing, especially when it wins me enough cash to pay for an Anaheim Ducks ticket this wednesday
  • I need to see some of the films.
  • Maya Rudolph is Minnie Riperton’s daughter.
  • Liverpool FC still like to do things the hard way. Hopefully winning the Carling cup will be a stepping stone to greater things.
  • Related to the above point, there are unconfirmed reports that Charlie Adam’s penalty kick might finally have landed.

Lexicon word of the day: Tautology.

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