@ March 1, 2010

Jesse and Jim will be making their picks for every Oscar. To participate in this year's ObscureCraft Oscar Pool, email your own picks to The rules are here. Part one is here. Part two is here. Part three is here. And here's part four.]

Jesse's take

Best Actress in A Leading Role

Nominees: Sandra Bullock (The Blind Side), Helen Mirren (The Last Station), Carey Mulligan (An Education), Gabourey Sidibe (Token), Meryl Streep (Julie and Julia)

Remember when I said there was only one competitive acting award on the night? Well, this is it. I do not know what to make of this field. I'm trying to narrow it down, and here's what I keep coming back to:

If this was Best Supporting Actress, I would definitely pick Sandra Bullock, because that category is notoriously ridiculous. But the love for The Blind Side, which just looks awful, continues to baffle me. So she's out.

Helen Mirren is definitely a GMILF, but even if everybody in the entire country who had seen this movie, not just Academy voters, but EVERYBODY, voted for Helen Mirren, I still think she would get, like, 8 votes. So she's out.

Meryl Streep is a legit dark horse candidate. This is how every review of Julie and Julia went: "Half the movie was a wonderfully acted biopic about Julia Child with an incredible performance by Meryl Streep, and the other half was spent wondering why I give a fuck about some lady who had a blog and waiting for Meryl Streep to come back." Meryl, as always, owns. Also a GMILF, even if I'd only do it to make you jealous.

Gabourey Sidibe is just happy to be nominated.

Carey Mulligan... can you think of a reason why she can't win? True, much like Helen Mirren, not many people saw An Education, but it was more than 8. For some reason, I keep coming back to her, only because I can't think of a reason to eliminate her.

It's a wide open category, so I'm going out on a limb. And if Sandra Bullock wins for The Blind Side, then I guess we just chalk that up to the "career achievement" award category. She was, after all, great in Speed. And Demolition Man. And Speed 2. (Seriously, how is she nominated again?)

Winner: Carey Mulligan (An Education)

Jim's take

Interesting. Carey Mulligan isn't exactly Mine that Bird, but she is kind of a Sarava. If only Mike Tyson was somehow involved in the Oscars this year... (Seriously, The Blind Side is a best picture nominee but 'The Hangover' isn't? Really Oscars, REALLY?!?) More on that later. Trust me. I've been quiet this year, but when we get to the field of ten, WHOA NELLY.

That said, as much as my heart says "Meryl, Meryl, Meryl" -- (The reviewers were right about Julie & Julia. I'd like to see a recut version called "Julia.") -- my head says "Sandra, Sandra, Sandra." Yes, she was in Speed, and Speed 2. And Miss Congeniality, and Miss Congeniality 2. And no, this isn't Best Supporting Actress, a wild-card category that everyone from Jennifer Hudson to Marisa Tomei to Kim Basinger to (yes) Meryl Streep has won, but this it's a weird year for nominations. So come on, Sandra! The Blind Side! Let's do it! Football! Homeless black kid! Feel good story! You're white! Awesome!

Pick: Sandra Bullock (The Blind Side)

Best Actor in a Leading Role

Nominees: Jeff Bridges (Crazy Heart), George Clooney (Up in the Air), Colin Firth (A Single Man), Morgan Freeman (Invictus), Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker)

One of these actors is not like the other. One of these actors does not belong. Can you guess which one? I'll give you a hint: he's black! And it's not because he's black, but because... really, Invictus? REALLY Academy? A certified stinker from usually-reliable Eastwood gets a nomination for Morgan Freeman for playing Nelson Mandela? Didn't Danny Glover already go there? And is this a case of a guy getting a nomination because he looks like another guy? That's happened before, right? George C. Scott for Patton? Well, that was a great performance in a great movie, but GCS said "screw you Oscars, I've got a hockey game to go to. I refuse to accept this award."

Anyway, from what I've heard, Colin Firth was wonderful in A Single Man -- he plays a gay man, you know, just like in Mamma Mia! Why didn't he get a nomination for Mamma Mia! ??? Explain that, please.

Jeremy Renner. I think he defused some bombs or something? I still haven't seen The Hurt Locker.

George Clooney was essentially doing the Clooney autopilot thing for two hours in Up in the Air. Enjoyable as hell, but not enough momentum to overcome....

JEFF BRIDGES. Yes, The Dude is playing Bad Blake and some serious country music opposite Robert Duvall (who somehow manages *not* to steal every scene that he's in -- because Bridges is just that fucking good in the movie. If you don't get scenes stolen by Robert Duvall playing a Robert Duvall wheelhouse role, you're doing pretty good). Oh, and Maggie Gyllenhaal (Can I buy a vowel?) and Colin Firth are in it too. Wait, Colin Farrell. Sorry. Colin Farrell does *not* play an alcoholic in this movie, who would have thunk it?

I hope I managed to make the round-up of the easiest award of the night to pick entertaining. Also, go see Crazy Heart. I liked it a lot. Yay country music.

Pick: Jeff Bridges (Crazy Heart/Lifetime Achievement/The Big Lebowski)

Jesse's take

Here's an analogy for you. Apartheid : Nelson Mandela :: Jeff Bridges : this award. Because he has got this locked up.

(Jim, I know you are laughing right now. You are such a racist.)

Pick: Jeff Bridges (Crazy Heart)

Best Director

Nominees: James Cameron (Avatar), Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker), Quentin Tarantino (Inglourious Basterds), Lee Daniels (Token), Jason Reitman (Up In The Air)

Let's dispense with a couple of contenders quickly. Jason Reitman is definitely going to win an Oscar for Best Director in his career. He has consistently made interesting, well directed, well acted, well received movies. But this is not his year. Sorry.

Like Barack Obama, Lee Daniels will dominate the black vote. Unlike Barack Obama, he won't win the votes of liberal-guilt-ridden white people who are excited about the chance to vote for a black guy and thus end racism forever. Sorry.

Quentin Tarantino made the best movie of any of the major nominees last year. So he's obviously out. Sorry.

Everybody is too excited about the Cameron-Bigelow Battle of the Exes to let this go to anybody else, right? In Cameron's corner: he made the biggest movie of all time, only to turn into a recluse and not make another feature film for 12 YEARS, so focused was he on his vision. And then, when people began to snicker and scoff, he fucking showed EVERYBODY by making the biggest movie of all time AGAIN. Pretty unbelievable. On the minus side, Avatar was kinda stupid (Dances With Wolves meets The Smurfs meets a college dorm room blacklight poster).

Now, Kathryn Bigelow would be the first woman to ever win the award. She has made a gritty, tough, masculine movie in The Hurt Locker. And, next time Suzi doesn't want to watch Point Break with me, I just be all, like, "But she's an Oscar winner, Suzi! AN OSCAR WINNER!"

Pick: Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker)

Jim's take

I'm confused. Suzi won't watch Point Break? Does she know it's Patrick Swayze's second best film? (Top 5 Swayze: Road House, Point Break, Dirty Dancing, Ghost, Black Dog). Did she not see my Swayze-Twitterspam when I was rewatching PB after Patrick's tragic, untimely death? He's fucking BODHI. And Keanu? Keanu was born to play Johnny Utah. And Busey? Busey was put on this earth to make Point Break just THAT much more enjoyable. So the next time you want to pop in that Point Break Blu-ray, you tell the Suze that Jim says she should watch it. It's life-altering.

That said, I always thought someone like Jane Campion or Sofia Coppola would be the first female Best Director winner. Seriously, Kathryn fucking Bigelow? I'm looking at her filmography. Point Break, ok, solid. K-19: The Widowmaker?!? She helmed one of those movies where they propped up Harrison Ford's corpse and pretended he was still alive. Oh well, at least she wasn't responsible for Firewall.

But moving along... Blue Steel?!? That awful 80's Jamie Lee Curtis/Ron Silver vehicle? Ok, Clancy Brown is in that one. That's a plus. And she did direct both parts of the season 6 finale of Homicide: Life on the Street, which turned out to be the next-to-last good episode of the series (Andre Braugher left, and the next season was Shit Sandwich with the exception of one Austin Pendelton-centric hour [Identity Crisis]). That's a plus in my book.

But still.... as much as I like Point Break, it isn't "An Angel at My Table" and it isn't "Lost in Translation."

QT, he should win, right. I mean, in the same way that The Wrestler should have won Best Picture last year and Mickey Rourke should have won Best Actor. So he's toast.

Up in the Air was very good, smart, funny, enjoyable. I agree with you that Reitman will win one, but yeah, not this year.

Token Precious doesn't have a shot in hell. I didn't realize Lee Daniels was black. You know everything I just said about Kathryn Bigelow being the first woman to win Best Director? Spike Lee should be the first black man to win the award. Let's hope that Miracle at St. Anna was a fluke and ol' Spike hasn't lost it. I'm hoping that he has one more masterpiece in him and folks will go "Hey, wait, Spike Lee hasn't won an Oscar? Spike Lee was never nominated for best director? Not even for Do the Right Thing? Not even for Malcolm X? What the hell is wrong with us?"

So, that leaves us to address James Cameron. I am so tired of James Cameron. I'm still tired of hearing about Titanic. The man makes a movie about a sinking boat which sweeps the Oscars (not for writing, though) and then disappears for 12 years. You know what? I think James Cameron died after "True Lies." I don't know who it was who made Titanic and Avatar, but it's not the same guy who did True Lies, T2, The Abyss, Aliens, or The Terminator.

I still have this sinking feeling that the impostor has mind control powers, makes us all think that he's Jim Cameron and also makes us spend billions and billions of dollars to see his movies. And then mind controls people into giving him Oscars.

I'm praying that's not the case though.

Pick: Kathryn Bigelow


Theres no such thing as a soul. Its just something they made up to scare kids, like the boogeyman or Michael Jackson.LOL

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