FRANK: Going into this year’s Oscar extravaganza I took a trip down memory lane, rereading our picks from the past two years when I remembered….Alan has me down 2-0!!!??? What the hell is going on? I had to close the lid on my laptop before my kids saw this embarrassing fact (I told them I was scouting for sitters). There is no way he pulls a three-peat on me! I grabbed a bag of Funions and a case of YooHoo from Walmart and set in for some cinema cramming. All I can say now is no one in America is rooting for “Inception” as much as ol’ Frankie here! It is always fun doing these but this year I kick Alan’s ass…….
ALAN: I think the past 2 years speak for themselves. There’s a REASON I’m 2-0, baby brother. And it’s because I am much more in tune to what the Oscar voters want in a great film. Well…that AND I’m a really good guesser! So let’s get to it, shall we? Our 2011 Oscar Showdown begins…NOW!
Actor in a Leading Role
Frank: Colin F..Fi..Fir…Firth was b..b..b..badass in the “The Kings Speech”! OK, that was mean but still very true. Watching one of the most powerful men in the world quiver at the thought of speaking in public would usually make me giggle but Mr. Firth had my stomach turning with his. It was truly painful to watch and yet I enjoyed every minute of it.
Alan: I have to agree with you there. Firth does a great job and Oscar voters LOVE to vote for an actor who plays someone who has to overcome some kind of disability. If there is a lock this year, this might be it.
Actor in a Supporting Role
Alan: This one is going to Christian Bale as druggie brother Dicky Eklund in “The Fighter.” I admittedly have not seen “Winter’s Bone” or “The Town” so I can’t speak for those 2 actors but Bale puts on an Oscar caliber performance in this excellent film.
Frank: Christian Bale was a great crack head in “The Fighter” but his portrayal only looked Oscar worthy because it was next to the shit performance of Marky Mark Wahlburg. Geoffrey Rush delivered a stellar performance beside what we agree with as the best Leading Role of 2010! In short, Christian Bales character was nothing more than an extended scene from “Batman Begins” where he pretends to be intoxicated and an asshole to end his birthday party.
Actress in a Leading Role
Frank: One hour and eight minutes into “The Black Swan,” Natalie Portman won an Oscar, giggitty. I very rarely base Oscars on lesbian sexual performances (That’s how I pick my babysitters) but I had to make an exception this time. Natalie really sells the scene and I know Annette Benings character from “The Kids Are All Right” would agree.
Alan: Oh I remember the days when I would have picked a winner strictly for her sexual prowess in a film but in this case, YOU LOSE! I’m going with Nicole Kidman (who herself had some sexual energy going on in Stanley Kubrick’s “Eyes Wide Shut” in 1999) in a role that I haven’t even seen for 2 reasons: Kidman is a fantastic actress and because her role is that of a heartbroken mother in “Rabbit’s Hole” and everyone knows that Oscar is a sucker for a woman with woe. Other than that, I would go with Benning. She’s a safe bet and “The Kids Are All Right” is a meaty enough role.
Actress in a Supporting Role
Alan: This is a tough call but I have to give the statue to relatively unknown actress Melissa Leo for her portrayal of a mother who loves her kids but has no clue in “The Fighter.” She’s just the right amount of redneck in the role and even manages to create a sympathetic character out of one tough nut in this role.
Frank: Hailee Steinfeld, also an unknown, was great in True Grit and delivered dialog like an old veteran.
Animated Feature Film
Frank: “Toy Story III” wins and anyone who disagrees has no soul.
Alan: It has nothing to do with soul. It’s Pixar. ‘Nuff said. “Toy Story III” wins easily.
Alan: This isn’t a lock for any one of these films. I really am befuddled on my pick because I can see any one of these taking this one home but I guess I’ll go with “Alice In Wonderland” just to be different (even though I thought the movie kinda sucked). Tim Burton always brings a visionary approach to his movies and no matter what I thought of the film, it was still pretty to look at!
Frank: I wasn’t all that impressed with the performances or storyline of “Inception” but the visual effects and epic scenes were amazing! Anytime you can make a scene comprehensible when it takes place in 5 locations at once your doing something right.
Frank: Just from the sheer size of some of the sets and scenes “Inception” wins for best Cinematography. I know that’s two in a row for “Inception” but it was the most visually striking film of 2010 for me.
Alan: I can see where you’re coming from on that pick Frank however I have to admit, as inconsistent as I found “The Black Swan” to be, the camerawork was pretty damn good. I’ll give this one to Matthew Libatique just because…
Alan: I know you are gonna pick the lone period piece in here because that’s what Oscar loves and ya know what…you are correct. “The King’s Speech” will win this one simply because it’s the obvious choice and because no one really cares.
Frank: I was hoping something involving the Renaissance period would be nominated to make this an easier pick but we will deal with what we got. “The Kings Speech” had some royal costumes and it was a period piece, so it pretty much has this one in the bag.
Frank: It seems ironic to me that I keep saying “The Kings Speech” over and over and over……… Oh, yeah it wins for best Directing.
Alan: Wow. This might be the TOUGHEST pick this year. All of these films have been mentioned (and are nominated) for Best Picture. This doesn’t mean that the director of the Best Picture wins the golden man though. And this time…I think that is the case. I pick Darren Aronofsky for “The Black Swan” mostly because he has been deserving of the statue for a while now. Otherwise…this is a pick ’em!
Alan: GAH! I haven’t seen ONE documentary this year and the only one I have heard of is “Exit Through The Gift Shop,” so I will go with it and hope it has enough street cred to get it to the finish line…
Frank: I am picking “Exit through the Gift Shop” because of the impact it has had on me and my family. It really ushered in a new era on the way we think and process our options in culinary and religious matters. ‘ETTGS’, as is known in our house has taught my children the value of hard work, and has taught my wife the joys of patience. Just kidding, I haven’t seen it and my pick is pure strategy.
Frank: “Killing in the Name” has nothing to do with Rage Against the Machine and yet, that is why I am picking it. It’s kind of like betting at a dog track…”That one reminds me of my old dog Trixie!”
Alan: Eh…uh…hmmmm….”Poster Girl?” Sure…why not?
Alan: I really liked the editing done in “The Fighter.” I’m a big fan of a strong combination of handheld and steady camerawork and the editing in this film was so good you hardly noticed when it bounced between the two.
Frank: This choice really had someone between a rock and a hard place. I am picking “127 Hours” for staying smooth while rarely leaving a crevice.
Foreign Language Film
Frank: “Biutiful” because Alan said he heard good things about it. I can’t help it; I rarely watch Mexican made movies – unless I am scouting for babysitters.
Alan: Well dammit! That’s the last time I give away my picks Frank! Ok…yes…it is the only foreign film I’ve heard about also and the fact that Javier Bardem is nominated for Leading Actor must say something about this film…right? But screw that! I’m gonna go with “Dogtooth” and hope for an upset. Just trying to make it interesting at this point…
Alan: So underrated yet so very important. Why are there only 3 nominees in this category? Who knows. I’ll go with “The Wolfman” for fun. It’s a crappy movie but there were a lot of dark scenes that had to require all kinds of cakemix…er…makeup…
Frank: I am picking “The Way Back” because “The Wolfman” was the worst movie of the year and since Benicio Del Toro already looks like a monster it doesn’t deserve an award for pasting some fuzz on his head.
Frank: Ooooh, if I pick anything else my buddy Tony won’t speak to me again. I gotta go with Mr. Reznor and Atticus Ross for their work on “The Social Network”.
Alan: And I’ll go with “Inception. Hans Zimmer knows how to hit all the right notes and the Academy will want to give this excellent film something just because it’s not gonna get much else.
Alan: Is there any doubt that the frontrunner is a song from Pixar by Randy Newman? C’mon…THIS is a lock! “We Belong Together” wins in a landslide…
Frank: I totally agree Alan, “We Belong Together” takes the gold! Great song and it deserves to win.
Short Film Animated
Frank:”The Gruffalo”? Why are we even picking these since we don’t watch them? If they had an Anime category we wouldn’t bother, would we. I am proposing a new rule for 2012 – “no dumb shit”.
Alan: I don’t think this is dumb. As a matter of fact, I really enjoy the shorts they put at the beginning of each Pixar film. It’s one of the little perks! So I’ll go with “Day & Night” just because it’s Pixar and everyone knows Pixar wins EVERYTHING!
Short Film Live Action
Alan: Ptttttth…who knows? I’ll go with “Wish 143” because it sounds like it might be decent. It’s about a girl who….eh…no one cares.
Frank: “The Confession” because it caught the tigers toe.
Frank: “Inception” is going to win something sound related, so I am gonna let her ride………….
Alan: I agree but I’m looking for points…so I’ll go with “Tron: Legacy.” Dunno why, but I think Disney sneaks up and bites ya on this one bro. (Probably not…but ya never know…)
Alan: Aaaaand now I’ll go with “Inception.”
Frank: …….…..”Inception” again………….
Frank: ……..apparently I only watched two movies this year, “Inception”…….
Alan: As awesome as the tsunami was at the beginning of “Hereafter,” I wouldn’t call it an effects-laden film. So because of that, I’m also gonna give this award to “Inception” for its awesome slow-mo effects, cities folding up and crazy “aerial” sequences.
Alan: Yeah…this one is probably a lock…”The Social Network” is the best in the bunch, followed closely by “127 Hours.”
Frank:……..and once again.”Inception”! What, it’s not in this category? Well give me a minute to think. Hang on. One more second. OK, I am going to say “The Social Network” because it will not win Best Picture.
Frank: If you nominate it I will pick it (Frank sounding eerie from a field of corn)..”Inception” wins again!
Alan: With its convoluted storyline, you might think “Inception” wins this hands down. However I’m gonna argue that the voters find it TOO confusing and pass on it, giving the Oscar to “The King’s Speech.”
Alan: I was gonna go with “Winter’s Bone”…then thought differently of it (just kidding!). With so much being written about “The King’s Speech” and “The Social Network” as the frontrunners, it would be easy to pick either of them. Both have won tons of awards and are poised to take home this prize as well. But something tells me it’s not that cut & dried. “Speech” is easily the most Oscar friendly and is an easy movie to watch. It’s very entertaining and well written. But so is “The Social Network.” However…when I look back at all the movies I’ve seen this year and which one I’ll want to watch again at some point, I think there’s only one that I would pick…and that is “Inception.” It’s unique and thrilling and smart. But it IS hard to follow. And that’s why it won’t win. Confused yet? So am I. Because of the way the voters tend to vote, I pick “The King’s Speech” as the winner of the year’s Best Film. But in MY book…”Inception” is the one I’ll remember from last year.
Frank: I watched “The Social Network” soon after it came out and was honestly surprised at the hoopla it was receiving. It isn’t a special story, the acting is just mediocre and when Facebook eventually goes the way of MySpace people are going to wonder what the hell they were thinking by nominating this thing. Honestly, people are saying that this movie belongs on a pedestal with the great cinematic features of all time! No way this happens. I like to think some movies play more than just an entertainment role and have the ability to show us and future generations something special. Alan is right that “Inception” will have a higher replay value than “The Social Network”, but in time its effects will dull and the shine will where off and then what is left? A Best Picture has to have staying power and “The Kings Speech” has just that. “The Kings Speech” wins Best Picture for being more than just the news of the day or pretty to look at.