Do or Do Not.

Oscar Wrapup ’08: Genius or Idiot?

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(Please pretend like I’m not lame and you’re reading this sometime Monday instead of sometime Wednesday or whenever you’re actually reading it.  I meant to write it Monday, I swear. But Guitar Hero demanded more of my attention that I had anticipated.)

This year, there was no doubt: I’m a genius, me. Last year, I went 6-for-9, but felt particularly idiotic for missing Best Picture; this year, of the nine categories for which I provided predictions, I nailed seven of them, including the “stunning upset” in the Best Actress race. It should’ve been eight-of-nine, but I talked myself out of what would have been a right call. The details:

Best Picture: What I said: No Country for Old Men. What won: No Country. Once the Coen Brothers picked up their Best Adapted Screenplay award, it became pretty clear it was going to be a big night for them. Now the Academy can safely ignore them again until 2020. Genius.

Best Actor: What I said: Daniel Day-Lewis, There Will Be Blood. Who won: Lewis. As I noted with Helen Mirren’s win last year, it’s not particularly genius of me to go with the mortal lock. However, it’s also certainly not idiotic of me, so genius it is.

Best Actress: What I said: Marion Cotillard, La vie en rose. Who won: Cotillard. Here’s where my astounding genius truly shone most brightly. No other actress had as much near-universal praise for their performance this year as did Cotillard, so I was having trouble understanding why no one thought she would win. It’s rare, yes, but not unprecedented, to bestow one of the acting awards on a foreign-language performance, and I figured that if the Academy had done it before they’d do it again for a performance that acclaimed. And they did. Genius.

Best Supporting Actor: What I said: Javier Bardem, No Country for Old Men. Who won: Bardem. Yay me, going with the prohibitive favorite. Genius.

Best Supporting Actress: What I said: Ruby Dee, American Gangster. Who won: Tilda Swinton, Michael Clayton. Yup, I blew this one, though I’m glad to have been wrong — Swinton’s a deserving winner both for what was supposed to be a fantastic performance in Clayton and for years’ worth of quality work. Plus, she seems to be my kind of weird, and anyone who mentions nipple-suited Batman in their acceptance speech gets a big thumbs up from me. I like her now even more than I did before she won. Idiot, but happily so.

Best Director: What I said: Ethan Coen and Joel Coen, No Country for Old Men. Who won: The Coens. It was fun watching Paul Thomas Anderson’s head almost explode as the Coens took all these prizes, wasn’t it? Genius.

Best Original Screenplay: What I said: Diablo Cody, Juno. Who won: Cody. This one was, to me, almost a lock since I knew Juno wasn’t going to get any of the other major awards. (Don’t worry, those of you who feel Ellen Page got shafted — she didn’t; winning lead acting awards for comedies might be even more rare than winning them for foreign-language films. And Page will have, I feel quite sure, many, many more opportunities to win one of these in the years to come.) Anyway: Genius.

Best Adapted Screenplay: What I said: Sarah Polley, Away From Her. Who won: Ethan and Joel Coen, No Country for Old Men. Here’s where my astounding genius was most obscured by the clouds of my idiocy. This one was the one I talked myself out of and shouldn’t have: the Academy’s fondness for gifting Oscars to actors who branch out into other areas was trumped this year by their fondness for gifting Oscars to the Coen Brothers, and really I can’t much blame them for that. Idiot.

Best Animated Feature: What I said: Ratatouille. What won: Ratatouille. Yay me for predicting that one of the best-reviewed movies of the year — animated or not — would win the Best Animated flick. Genius.

So there you have it… 7-2. Pretty damn genius of me, overall. Please tune in next year when I follow up this year’s genius outing by idiotically missing three of the four acting awards and Best Picture!

Written by Allen

February 27th, 2008 at 5:46 am

Posted in Movies

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