Friday, February 28, 2014

Oscar Pix

Does anyone care about the Oscars this year? Did they get lost in the Olympic shuffle? We actually have a battle for Best Picture. Too many nominees, but still, no slam dunk.

As always, I pay no attention to who is wearing who or the wit of the host (good luck, Ellen).

It's all about the picks...and not only winning money, but more importantly, being right.

So, without further adieu, here are my picks for this Sunday night..


My annual plea - lets get back to FIVE nominees. Make the academy work. All the films this year are good ones, but five makes it more special.

I got out more with my wife this year and saw all but one of the nominees. The film I missed was Her.  That's okay, it's not going to win.

Captain Phillips is a good movie, and Tom Hanks shockingly is not getting his due. It won't win. 

I enjoyed Philomena and Nebraska, but they both have a Best Indie feel to it, not Best Picture. 

The Wolf of Wall Street is a half hour too long and this just isn't Marty's year. 

American Hustle felt like a Scorsese movie I've seen before. Marty did it better. The acting is great. Best Picture, it is not.  

Dallas Buyers Club will take home at least one acting award, but not the big prize. 

So that leaves just two - 12 Years A Slave and Gravity.

I just watched 12 Years A Slave, and it is an excellent film. Based on a true story, its plight is so painful because we realize how much of it is true. A very moving film. But so was The Color Purple. And it did not win Best Picture. 

So that leaves Gravity. It is a visual masterpiece. It eats up every inch of the big screen. I left in awe when I walked out of the theater. And I think it will win on Sunday night.

By the way, I picked Zero Dark Thirty over Argo last year.

My Pick: Gravity


This "who is Ben Affleck" category is a no brainer for me.

Alexander Payne is brilliant and I will see any movie he makes. Same goes for Martin Scorsese.  David O Russell's genius continues to elude me (I thought Silver Linings Playbook was bloated too).  Steve McQueen did an excellent job with 12 Years A Slave and has a great name for the movies.

I knew Ang Lee was going to win last year. Same reason that Alfonso Cuaron will win this year. Visually, it just doesn't get any better.

My Pick: Alfonso Cuaron, Gravity


This is a tough one, and Hollywood's temperature will be taken to determine the winner.

Christian Bale - nice job in American Hustle, thanks for playing.

Bruce Dern - fantastic performance in Nebraska, and if it was Supporting Actor you might have a shot. It isn't, and you don't.

Leonardo Dicaprio - excellent performance, but these days you don't win Oscars for playing guys like Jordan Belfort.

Chiwetel Ejiofor - fantastic range of character and so many masterful subtle acting moves - it could be yours. But...

Matthew McConaughey - he's got the right Oscar mix. Lost a ton of weight, AIDS victim, angry and uplifting, and True Detective is incredible (sorry, my TV side got in there). It's his year. Alright, alright.

My Pick:  Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club


Cate Blanchett. Lock. And that's with Meryl Streep and Judi Dench in the field.

My Pick: Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine


Bradley Cooper is a talented actor, but he comes in fifth here. Michael Fassbender will be nominated again, but I felt he was too much of a caricature. Barkhad Abdi is great in Captain Phillips, but I need to see him in something else. I'm rooting for Jonah Hill who nailed the Long Island schmuck I'm all to familiar with. But the recipe is right for Jared Leto - cross dressing, AIDS, love story and a tragic figure. Winner.

My Pick: Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club


This is a tough one too.

I didn't see August: Osage County, so sorry Julia. You already have a statue anyway. I wasn't taken by Sally Hawkins in Blue Jasmine - probably too captivated by Cate. 

Jennifer Lawrence is a flat out movie star who owns the screen every time she appears. But there was not enough of her in American Hustle to merit a nomination, much less win the Oscar. I love her, but not for this.

June Squibb flat out steals Nebraska.  She's funny, poignant, and perfect for the film.  I want to pick her, but...

Lupita Nyong'o as Patsy, well, that's one for the ages. The pain in her performance is so palpable. She has to take home a gold statue.

My Pick: Lupita Nyong'o, 12 Years A Slave

My pick six: Gravity, Alfonso Cuaron, Matthew McConaughey, Cate Blanchett, Jared Leto, Lupita Nyong'o

Care to wager?