Anonymous Assistant’s Annual Academy Awards Analysis!

Every year, Entertainment Weekly interviews prominent members of the Academy to find out who they’re voting for at the Oscars and why.  But wouldn’t you much rather get your analysis from an underpaid twenty-something who has absolutely no influence on the Hollywood community whatsoever?

I thought so.  Welcome to the first ever AAAAAA!

My reasoning is often based on the fact that actors comprise the largest bloc of voters, combined with the fact that I hold a very low opinion of actors.  Generally, actors like IMPORTANT movies, films with (liberal) messages, and the only way the rest of the academy can overrule them is by banding together on an epic, like Gladiator or Lord of the Rings.

Feel free to offer your own analysis in the comments section below.  (I’m especially interested to hear what you think about the other 16 awards.)

My bet is Milk, but I have a feeling the Slumdog might actually pull this one out.  I’m not sure how much anger over Prop 8 still lingers.  On the other hand, Slumdog is enjoyable, and when was the last fun best picture winner?

Button is a dark horse, but David Fincher is such a jerk that no one wants to give him credit for also being a genius.

(I’m discounting Frost/Nixon, because it’s yet another good-but-not-great Ron Howard movie, and The Reader because nobody saw it.)

Be honest, do you even remember what movies this women were in?  If thought, “Meryl Streep is being nominated for Mama Mia?”, congratulations, you’re American!

My money’s on Kate Winslet because, well, finally.

I think people are sick of being told what a great performance Mickey Rourke had in The Wrestler.  Everyone likes Sean Penn, and if I’m wrong about best picture, they’ve gotta at least give the film best actor.  I could be wrong, though, if Langella splits the historical impersonation vote.

Pitt won’t win for the same reasons he’s never won: he’s too good looking, and he’s got a lot of good years left.  They’ll still be playing clips from Legends of the Fall when he wins at age 75.

On the other hand, I think Tomei will solidify Darren Aronofsky as an actress’s director (c.f. Requiem for a Dream).  Adams and Davis are splitting the vote for Doubt, and the Academy will be damned if it’s going to give an Oscar to someone whose name they can’t pronounce.

Heath Ledger.  Duh.

Again, Fincher is not well-liked, despite being the best filmmaker of his generation.  Howard’s already got his Oscar.  No one saw The Reader (though everyone’s heard it’s really, really good).

While I rank Danny Boyle up there with Fincher, a lot of people felt Slumdog Millionaire was over-directed.  Plus, Van Sant has been due for a while.  I think he’ll win this time.

This one is down to Wall-E and Milk, because, once again, I doubt many people saw any of the other three.  The older voters won’t want to give the award to a cartoon.  Besides, a lot of people equate writing with dialogue, and Wall-E was most noted for its absence.  I say Milk.

This is one of the toughest calls.  If I’m totally off about the Academy’s feelings on Slumdog, this could be part of the sweep.  But I’m going to give it to Frost/Nixon, due to Nixon-hating nostalgia, now that we no longer have Bush to kick around.

This is also a tough one, as I am completely unfamiliar with any of these.  I’ve at least heard of The Class and Waltz with Bashir.  In a coin toss, I’m going with the Israeli Bashir.

The only other lock, besides Ledger: Wall-E.

Again, I’ve only heard of two of these.  I don’t remember what was said about Encounters, so I’m going with Man on Wire.

Yet again, my ignorance shows.  This Way Up, I guess.

The Final Inch.  It just sounds cool.

Okay, this is the last of the guessing games: The Pig.

Wally Pfister, besides being the only person whose real name is awesomer than his porn name, is one of the best shooters in the business.  This is his third nomination in as many movies; he’s gotta win sometime, right?

As with my comment above, some of the old Academy voters might find Slumdog too much of an assault on the eyes to vote for it here.

Finally, I bet on Slumdog.  Nobody really understands editing but editors, so usually, most cuts wins.  Ergo, Slumdog by a mile.

The Oscar usually goes to a period movie (which is four of the five nominees in this case), and Benjamin Button covers the most periods.

Again with the period pieces.  Oldest wins, since they have to make almost all of their costumes: The Duchess.

Fairly or unfairly, Heath Ledger has been credited with creating his own makeup for the Joker.  We’ve already seen much of the makeup in Hellboy II, so I think Button will take it home.  Besides, making Brad Pitt look ugly has got to be hard.

The sound categories are largely a mystery to those unfamiliar with the process.  Loudest movie tends to win by default, but in this case, a deficit in the screenplay category can be a benefit to the sound categories– Wall-E.

Wall-E, by the same reasoning as above.  It’s also worth noting that, as a cartoon, they had to create every single sound effect.  Interestingly, this logic does not seem to apply to the cinematography category.

To be perfectly honest, I am surprised to see Iron Man on this list.  Shiny objects and weightlessness are known to be among the easiest things to create in a computer.

Dark Knight‘s effects aren’t noticeable enough to gain recognition from the Academy.  Button, while understated within the context of the film, are quite impressive when you know that Brad Pitt isn’t actually a withered old man.

Even though Button‘s score matched the time-challenged theme of the film, animated movies have a great track record in this category.  I think Wall-E‘s music just makes people happy.

As much as I loved the “Jai Ho” number at the end of Slumdog, with two nominated songs, I think the vote will be split, and Wall-E will win this one, too.

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2 Responses

  1. I’ll proudly admit that I threw away my DGA Awards ballot since I haven’t seen squat this year. It just didn’t seem fair to vote when I don’t know a damned thing.

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