So, the Oscars are this weekend. What I’m going to say next should come as absolutely no surprise to anyone: I love watching the Oscars. Love it. Sure, the Academy might take themselves a tad too seriously, but goddamnit that shit is glamorous. I would be overjoyed to win an Oscar someday (for what I’m not sure), but I would be satisfied if I could just host an awesome Oscar party every year that everyone looks forward to and is super fun. I’ve only attempted this feat once, but like three people showed up (to be fair to myself, I only had like six friends in town at the time). Worse than the attendance numbers, however, was the fact that those three attendees had barely seen any of the movies. Not cool, bros. So, for now, I prefer to just watch the show by myself so I don’t have to silently judge my friends for their personality flaw of not being a movie fanatic like myself. (Seriously, what’s wrong with people who don’t L-O-V-E LOVE the movies!! I’ll never understand.)
But anyway, for the last few years, it has been my goal to see every movie nominated for Best Picture before the ceremony (geez, I have a lot of movie-related goals; I need to get a real life). It all started a few years ago when I was in law school. I hadn’t been seeing many movies because (1) I was busy studying the laws of this great nation; and (2) I didn’t know a lot of people in Milwaukee and was still too afraid to go to the movies by myself. Then, in 2008, I discovered AMC Theaters’ Best Picture Showcase. Basically, you could pay $30 or so to see all five Best Picture nominees in a row on a Saturday in February. That year the nominees were Michael Clayton, Atonement, There Will Be Blood, Juno and No Country For Old Men. I convinced my sister to go with me, and it was amazing (full disclosure: we definitely went shopping during There Will Be Blood). The following year, I had already seen Slumdog Millionare and Benjamin Button (other nominees: Milk, Frost/Nixon, The Reader), so I did not do the AMC Showcase, and I did not see all the nominees. I realized it was more fun to see all the nominees if possible.
The next year, the Academy bumped the nominees up to 10 for some ridiculous reason (read: ratings), making it much harder to see all the movies before the ceremony. Nevertheless, I almost succeeded last year. The only one I hadn’t seen at the time of the ceremony was 127 Hours because I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. This year, there was one less nominee than last year, but I did even worse. I still haven’t seen War Horse or Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close. I’d like to see the former eventually, but I have no intention of seeing the latter because it has everything I cannot tolerate: sad old men, dead dads, and 9/11. No Thank You, Tom Hanks-go back to producing HBO Documentaries about WWII, please. Of all the films that received nominations in the major categories this year, I also haven’t seen The Iron Lady, Albert Nobbs, A Better Life, Dragon Tattoo, or Warrior (some of them I wish I had seen and intend to eventually see, some not so much; I’ll let you guess as to which category they fall). But I think I did pretty good overall. In fact, I’d bet I’ve seen more of the nominated movies than at least 50% of voting Academy members.
Therefore, because I’m more qualified to vote than half of the Academy, here are my votes for who should win the major categories:
Best Picture: The Artist
Best Actor: Jean Dujardin*
Best Actress: Viola Davis
Best Supporting Actor: Christopher Plummer
Best Supporting Actress: Octavia Spencer
Best Director: Michel Hazanavicius
Best Adapted Screenplay: The Descendants
Best Original Screenplay: Midnight in Paris
*I would also be okay with Clooney in this category, but I would’ve preferred Sir Gosling for Drive. I can’t believe neither Gosling nor Drive received any noms, but if I get started on the snubs I could be here for ever. Speaking of Sir Gosling, I have to quit writing now so I can attend the first annual Gosling Fest, wherein I force some friends to watch Ides of March, Drive, and Crazy Stupid Love in one evening while drinking Gosling’s Ginger Beer. Good times.