I love the Academy Awards. I am also easily impressed by glitz and glamour and movies dress porn and being the best and winning things. In previous years I prided myself on seeing all the major nominated films and performances. Since we had a kid and Piranha 3-D came up dry this year, I failed on that front. And then I had a plan to watch one movie a night after the kid went to sleep, but then the flu and the life or death urge to sleep instead blew that plan to smithereens. So, armed with very little knowledge of the nominees, a baby who decided to shun naps, and no alcohol or fun snacks, I endeavoured to watch this years Oscar telecast. Here are my thoughts on the show in general and the categories that I thought I had a hope in hell of accurately predicting.
Ordinarily I do love me some Franco and I do tolerate me some Hathaway. But this, my friends, was what the Weather Network would call a fucking Natural Disaster. I guessed beforehand that they were brought in to help rustle up a younger viewing demographic. (That could have been the only reason to not repeat last years fucking epically amazing Martin and Baldwin duo.) It should have been at least mildly entertaining. In reality, it was Hathaway’s over-enthusiasm, reminding me of a high school senior doing her best to run for Hollywood Class President and be loved by all, alongside the too cool for this shit captain of the football team who would rather be ANYWHERE but beside her on stage. There is genuine “I’m happy and honoured to be here” steez, and then there is uncool. She shouldn’t have acted like me up there, drooling and spazzing over movie stars. I want my hosts to play it cool and loose. Oh, and be funny. I did not laugh once. In fact, I cringed enough to hurt my back, especially at the horrific bit where they auto-tuned scenes in nominated movies to make them appear to be “musicals.” Who wrote this garbage? Every joke and gag was fucking dead in the water from the very beginning. Franco as Marilyn? COME ON. It’s too bad. I really wanted to like them and respect the direction the Academy took with having people my age anchor this epic show, but it was just so fucking many swings and misses. It was so bad and made my face and mood so sour patch that not even the tacked on sweetness of all those Staten Island kids givin’ ‘er on Over The Rainbow could elicit a tear from me. I was dry and uncaring and disappointed.
Alice in Wonderland
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1
The King’s Speech
Who I wanted to win: Inception. I didn’t think it would take any “major” awards so it deserved as many of these “making of” awards as possible. So many scenes made my eyes pop out of my skull. That’s because of the art direction, right?
Who won: Alice In Wonderland. Everybody told me this was terrible. And I missed seeing it in 3-D in theatres. And didn’t most of it look CG? Weird.
Alice in Wonderland – Ken Ralston, David Schaub, Carey Villegas and Sean Phillips
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 – Tim Burke, John Richardson, Christian Manz and Nicolas Aithadi
Hereafter - Michael Owens, Bryan Grill, Stephan Trojanski and Joe Farrell
Inception – Paul Franklin, Chris Corbould, Andrew Lockley and Peter Bebb
Iron Man 2 – Janek Sirrs, Ben Snow, Ged Wright and Daniel Sudick
Who I wanted to win: Inception. I’ve never seen a Harry Potter movie. Well, I watched the first hour of the first movie and had to stop it because… I was having trouble following the plot. Yes, I know this is a terribly lame confession being that the stories are written for SEVEN YEAR OLDS, but it just flew all over my head. I just have to shrug this off and rest well at night knowing that I can spell really well.
Who won: Inception. For the swirling hallway fight scene alone, this was well deserved. (And why couldn’t Downey Jr. and Law have taken over the hosting duties at this point? I could listen to them banter like two sexy kittycats forever.)
Black Swan – Matthew Libatique
Inception – Wally Pfister
The King’s Speech – Danny Cohen
The Social Network – Jeff Cronenweth
True Grit – Roger Deakins
Who I wanted to win: The Fighter, but it wasn’t nominated. I loved every shot in that entire movie. This snub was a travesty.
Who won: Inception. Fine. I’m ok with this.
The King’s Speech
The Social Network
Who I wanted to win: Sigh, I would make the worst Editor in the world. Just thinking of what they have to do: wrangle multiple scenes that have to align and create a cohesive (or not) story, and all the remembering and clever use of effects, makes me start to sweat. Can they all win?
Who won: The Social Network. I imagine Fincher leaning in over their shoulders and pressing buttons, “helping.” And he couldn’t muster one hint of a smile for any of TSN’s wins? I don’t trust no-smilers.
Alice in Wonderland – Colleen Atwood
I Am Love – Antonella Cannarozzi
The King’s Speech – Jenny Beavan
The Tempest – Sandy Powell
True Grit – Mary Zophres
Who I wanted to win: Antonella Cannarozzi. Did you see Swinton in I Am Love? Because anybody who can make her, a perfectly androgynous robot Brit, look curvy and sensual, deserves 12 Oscars.
Who won: Colleen Atwood. If you whip out a tattered folded scrap of toilet paper to read your speech off of, I hit fast forward on the PVR. Period.
Barney’s Version – Adrien Morot
The Way Back – Edouard F. Henriques, Gregory Funk and Yolanda Toussieng
The Wolfman – Rick Baker and Dave Elsey
Who I wanted to win: Barney’s Version because a) it’s Canadian, b) I’ve never heard of The Way Back and c) they simply cannot throw a bone at the abominable Wolfman, no matter how much I want to snuggle with Benicio Del Toro.
Who won: The motherfucking Wolfman! And Rick Baker’s impeccably groomed (SHUDDERS x 1 million) long white ponytail. If I drank, here’s where I’d slam a kegger of beer to get his weird speech patterns out of my head. Twenty high fives to Cate Blanchett’s exclamation of “gross” after they showed the Wolfman transforming.
Animated Feature Film
How to Train Your Dragon – Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois
The Illusionist – Sylvain Chomet
Toy Story 3 – Lee Unkrich
Who I wanted to win: Even though TS3 was just as it should have been, it didn’t blow my mind or even make me cry profusely, which Pixar has pretty much patented. The trailer for The Illusionist, however, made my heart swell a little bit, in a perfectly healthy way, so I would have loved for that to win.
Who won: Toy Story 3. I guess you just can’t fuck with Pixar.
Foreign Language Film
Biutiful – Mexico
Dogtooth – Greece
In a Better World – Denmark
Incendies – Canada
Outside the Law (Hors-la-loi) – Algeria
Who I wanted to win: Biutiful because it has the craggiest dude in Hollywood at the helm, Mr. Javier Bardem.
Who won: In A Better World. I got nothin.’
Exit through the Gift Shop – Banksy and Jaimie D’Cruz
Gasland - Josh Fox and Trish Adlesic
Inside Job – Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs
Restrepo – Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger
Waste Land – Lucy Walker and Angus Aynsley
Who I wanted to win: Exit Through The Gift Shop. Eff, why haven’t I seen this yet? I’ve heard it’s crazy excellent and I just flat out really really wanted to see what would happen if Banksy won. Would the camera pan back to see Jack Nicholson covered in an ironic graffiti tag?
Who won: Inside Job. Bad American businessmen swindling money. Forgive me if I’m not rushing to see this.
Music (Original Score)
How to Train Your Dragon – John Powell
Inception – Hans Zimmer
The King’s Speech – Alexandre Desplat
127 Hours – A.R. Rahman
The Social Network – Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross
Who I wanted to win: Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, despite Zimmer’s hard as f*ck score for Inception. The Social Network was as good as it was because of the unique musical choices made by these two gentlemen. And if those retards in Three 6 Mafia can win an Oscar, so too can a guy that snarled, “I want to fuck you like an animal.”
Who won: Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. Yes.
Music (Original Song)
Coming Home from Country Strong – Music and Lyric by Tom Douglas, Troy Verges and Hillary Lindsey
I See the Light from Tangled – Music by Alan Menken Lyric by Glenn Slater
If I Rise from 127 Hours – Music by A.R. Rahman Lyric by Dido and Rollo Armstrong
We Belong Together from Toy Story 3 – Music and Lyric by Randy Newman
Who I wanted to win: Anybody but A.R. Rahman, who I hope eternally burns in the Face-Rape section of Hell because of a little ditty called Jai Ho that will never leave my skull. Even Newman, who is now more of a parody of himself than an actual artist, would be satisfactory.
Who won: Randy Newman. And despite a rumpled appearance, no upper lip to speak of and that cruel voice, he gave a rad speech. Colour me impressed.
127 Hours – Screenplay by Danny Boyle & Simon Beaufoy
The Social Network – Screenplay by Aaron Sorkin
Toy Story 3 – Screenplay by Michael Arndt; Story by John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich
True Grit – Written for the screen by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
Winter’s Bone – Adapted for the screen by Debra Granik & Anne Rosellini
Who I wanted to win: Aaron Sorkin for The Social Network, even though Sorkin has a prick-y way of accepting awards.
Who won: Aaron Sorkin for The Social Network, and he didn’t even spray douche-writer speak all over the podium. Nice.
Another Year – Written by Mike Leigh
The Fighter – Screenplay by Scott Silver and Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson; Story by Keith Dorrington & Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson
Inception – Written by Christopher Nolan
The Kids Are All Right – Written by Lisa Cholodenko & Stuart Blumberg
The King’s Speech – Screenplay by David Seidler
Who I wanted to win: The Kids Are All Right. I’m choked I didn’t get around to seeing this. Is it ok I wanted it to win despite just having seen the trailer, and how other people really really liked it? Yes, in fact it is. This is the Internet and if you wish it, it can happen.
Who won: David Seidler for The King’s Speech. Right here I felt the night swaying away from The Social Network. And my heart broke a little when he didn’t know where the mic was to start his speech. Old men – so doddering and delicious.
Actress in a Supporting Role
Amy Adams in The Fighter
Helena Bonham Carter in The King’s Speech
Melissa Leo in The Fighter
Hailee Steinfeld in True Grit
Jacki Weaver in Animal Kingdom
Who I wanted to win: I have loved Leo since Homicide: Life on the Street and all the unglamourous solid portrayals of “real” chicks since then. What a wonderful honour and a perfectly deserved one for this role.
Who won: Melissa Leo. And she dropped the f-bomb. Love her times a million now. (And here’s where I’m an asshole. Kirk Douglas? Too much, Sir. Too much awkward and unintelligible talking, too much “let’s make this moment about me.” I KNOW he had a stroke. I’m sorry, but it just seemed like a “guess who’s still alive!” presentation.)
Actor in a Supporting Role
Christian Bale in The Fighter
John Hawkes in Winter’s Bone
Jeremy Renner in The Town
Mark Ruffalo in The Kids Are All Right
Geoffrey Rush in The King’s Speech
Who I wanted to win: Christian Bale. The guy is ridiculous and simply wears his roles like a new skin. The Fighter had one of my Top 5 Favourite Scenes from 2010 and he’s a major reason for that. I’d also be incredibly happy for John Hawkes. His performance in Me and You and Everyone We Know is one of my all-time favourites.
Who won: Christian Bale. With that ridiculous beard and lovely speech, this was my favourite moment of the night.
Actress in a Leading Role
Annette Bening in The Kids Are All Right
Nicole Kidman in Rabbit Hole
Jennifer Lawrence in Winter’s Bone
Natalie Portman in Black Swan
Michelle Williams in Blue Valentine
Who I wanted to win: Natalie Portman. She did an incredibly good job in Swan AND has been doing all these award shows pregnant and not looking like a grey cum sock, like most of us do in the second trimester, so yay for her all over the place.
Who won: Natalie Portman. In a beautiful plum dress I want. Her kid is going to be stunning.
Actor in a Leading Role
Javier Bardem in Biutiful
Jeff Bridges in True Grit
Jesse Eisenberg in The Social Network
Colin Firth in The King’s Speech
James Franco in 127 Hours
Who I wanted to win: This would have been an awesome win for Eisenberg. I used to hate this kid and his nervous tics and shaky hands, but to rattle off Sorkin’s dialogue and be simultaneously annoying, empathetic and brilliant all at once deserves the highest kudos Hollywood hands out.
Who won: Colin Firth. With charm, grace and humour. Well played, Sir.
Black Swan – Darren Aronofsky
The Fighter – David O. Russell
The King’s Speech – Tom Hooper
The Social Network – David Fincher
True Grit – Joel Coen and Ethan Coen
Who I wanted to win: David O. Russell. As much as I loved The Social Network, the camera work and flow of The Fighter made me care about Boston and punching and red-haired harpie sisters, things I didn’t think I cared about.
Who won: Tom Hooper. And Fincher, who I thought was going to win, takes his meh face home.
The Kids Are All Right
The King’s Speech
The Social Network
Toy Story 3
Who I wanted to win: I wanted The Social Network to take this. A beautifully written, shot, scored and acted film. And it perfectly captured what we were obsessed with in 2010.
Who won: The King’s Speech. I’m an idiot. I should have watched this movie earlier this week. And with this final award, that’s the big show. In the books for another year. Next year’s hosts? Justin Bieber and a fetus!