[Jesse and Jim will be making their picks for every Oscar over the next few days. To participate in this year's ObscureCraft Oscar Pool, email your own picks to email@example.com. The rules are here. On with the picks!]Jesse's take
Jim, its our favorite time of year. Is this how Christians feel around
Christmas? Or how Muslims feel around 9/11? We've been Oscar
prognosticating for as long as we've known each other. There's something about
the mixture of showbiz, art, and gambling that you can't get
anywhere else. We're going to take turns picking categories and then
we'll each pick a winner. In the past, our wager has been more than
just a gentleman's agreement: care to make it interesting? You can let
me know after we get through this first category.
Achievement in Sound Mixing
Nominees: Avatar, The Hurt Locker, Star Trek, Inglorious Basterds, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
category is a rarity for me this year, as I've seen almost every film on the
list. The only one I've missed is Transformers. As Oscar season as
wound up, my movie going rate has wound down (I haven't been in
theaters since Avatar; before that, god help me, New Moon). Have you
been as disinterested in this year's Oscar bait as I have?
only Oscar that Star Trek should win is for Achievement in Lens Flares, and
Transformers didn't even have the sense Chris Brown did to use the
transforming sound effect
. The safe bet is Avatar, as that movie is in the Best Picture ranks only
because of its technical achievements (well, that, and the move from 5
to 10 nominees as turned the Oscars into Everybody Gets A Trophy Day).
However, I'm not feeling safe. I'm feeling an adrenaline rush. I'm
feeling The Hurt Locker.
Pick: The Hurt Locker
Aah, sound mixing. This one has trended towards musicals as of late.
However, Nine wasn't well-received and failed to get a nomination, so I'm going with Avatar. Why? It's like
Titanic 2, but with smurfs. The freaking movie has made more than six
hundred million dollars in the domestic box office. It got a ton of
nominations -- none of them for writing or acting -- it just feels like
1997 all over again.
As for making it more interesting, I already owe you for the World Series, you trying to bleed me dry?
Achievement in Sound Editing
Nominees: Avatar, The Hurt Locker, Star Trek, Inglorious Basterds, Up
Sound Editing. Does this nominee list look familiar? Yeah, just trade
out Transformers for Up and you have the same batch from the other
sound category. I'm not changing my answer, though, Avatar -- the six
hundred million dollar steamroller -- becomes the King of the World of
Sound Editing this year. Damned Smurf Apocalypse.
I see the lines are drawn. You are on Team Cameron, I am on Team
Bigelow. Although I still don't know whether you are on Team Edward or
Team Jacob. Did I mention I saw New Moon?
Pick: The Hurt Locker
Achievement in Costume Design
Nominees: Bright Star, Coco Before Chanel, The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus, Nine, The Young Victoria
go to a category where none of the major contenders have a nominee. In
fact, let's go to a category where basically nobody has even seen the
nominees, including me. Based on the limited information I have (the
titles of the movies), I'm going with the one with the name of a
designer in the title. Think you can do better?
Pick: Coco Before Chanel
Oh, costume design. Going with the designer is not a bad choice here.
However, the problem is that the clothing designers for this one didn't
actually design anything. Coco Chanel designed everything, died, and
then they made a movie about how she designed stuff. I'm going with the
Pick: The Young Victoria
Achievement in Art Direction
Nominees: Avatar, The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus, Nine, Sherlock Holmes, The Young Victoria
Oh, art direction. I'd think that, normally, Dr.
Parnassus might have a shot here -- you know, if people actually went
out to see it. I'm pretty sure that Heath Ledger's family even missed
this one in the theaters. Hope Gilliam sent them a screener! (What, too
The Young Victoria is a tempting choice here, what
being all costume drama-ey. I'm going to go with Avatar again, because,
you know what, I remember the Titanic year. This is like Titanic on
crack. James Cameron had a team of art direction gnomes who created
each frame of film individually using "computers" to create some weird
planet with a bunch of blue people with tails. Plus, The Aviator won
this award, and Ernest Borgnine might vote for Avatar because he thinks
it's the same movie.
If you are hanging your Oscar hopes on Avatar sweeping the night,
then I think you are in for a poor showing. On the other hand... it is
pretty widely accepted that the dialogue, acting, and story of Avatar
are not the reason it was a Best Picture nominee. Technical
awards should be where it makes its bones.
On the OTHER other
hand, Avatar is not going to win Best Picture, so I don't see any
reason to assume that its going to win these awards, either.
Pick: Sherlock Holmes
Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role
Mo'Nique (Precious), Anna Kendrick (Up In The Air), Vera Farmiga (Up In
The Air), Penelope Cruz (Nine), Maggie Gyllenhaal (Crazy Heart)
for a real award. Too bad I picked such an obvious one, right? For the sake of argument, let's
start by assuming this was actually a contest: Kendrick and Farmiga
split the votes between the Up In The Air supporters, if such a beast
exists. I'm surprised Gyllenhaal was let out of jail after murdering
all her scenes in Dark Knight last year, and wasn't Nine a movie about
little animated ragdolls in the future or something?
award goes to Mo'Nique as Ronald Reagan's fever dream of a welfare
mother in Precious. The applause in the auditorium won't actually be
for the award; instead, it will be the sound of everyone clapping
themselves on the back for being so socially aware.
Pick: Mo'Nique (Precious)
I don't have anything to add for supporting actress. Mo'Nique is going to win this one, without question.
Pick: Mo'Nique (Precious)