Monday, February 16, 2009

I'd like to thank the Academy...

The 81st Annual Academy Awards will be broadcast live this Sunday, honoring the films that transported us away from our menial, painful lives and into worlds of vivid fantasy, such as the slums of Mumbai or WWII Germany. It was in those and other exotic locales that our hearts were warmed with simple tales, such as an ex-president looking for redemption, a middle aged man finding illegal immigrants in his home, and a frantic mother looking for her son. These and other wacky characters took us on fantastic journeys, that after all sorts of twists and turns ended on high notes, like the assassination of the America's first openly gay politician, the suicide of a Nazi war criminal, and of course, the mental insanity and physical scarring of Gotham city's white knight District Attorney.

Betting on the Oscars has always been a difficult task for me. Rather than view previous awards garnered and critical popularity and base my decisions on that, I tend to bet on the films and people that I want to win (last year's "No Country For Old Men" won against my pick for "There Will Be Blood"). Also, there's always the chance that I hadn't seen all the films nominated, in which I fall back on the old stand by of making my picks based on how foreign the names sound in hopes of sounding intellectual and cultured (which worked in my favor when I picked Marion Cotillard for "Best Actress" last year).

This year, however, I've done my homework by seeing all the movies up for nomination and am fully prepared to reveal to you my 75.6% accurate Oscar winners list. There's a few sure bets (a complex tale of a robot looking for romance or an over weight panda trying to learn kung fu...yeah...) and a few dark horses (actors and actresses from other films besides "Best Picture" picks compose most of their categories).

FILM: "Slumdog Millionaire"
DIRECTOR: Danny Boyle for "Slumdog Millionaire"
ACTOR: Sean Penn for "Milk"
ACTRESS: Kate Winslet for "The Reader"
SUPPORTING ACTOR: Heath Ledger (no kidding) for "The Dark Knight"
SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Penelope Cruz for "Vicky Christina Barcelona"
ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: John Patrick Shanley for "Doubt"
ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: Dustin Lance Black for "Milk"
FOREIGN LANGUAGE: "Waltz With Bashir"
DOCUMENTARY: "Man on Wire"

*I am not responsible for any money, personal items, clothing or virginity lost due to wagers made based on this list. Also, in case your gambling pool is betting on the technical categories (Cinematography, Sound Editing, etc.), "The Dark Knight" will win them to make up for Christopher Nolan's lack of "Best Director" nomination.

So make sure to tune in this Sunday and enjoy the three plus hours of slide shows of dead people, Hugh Jackman awkwardly reading off a teleprompter, and everyone crying when Heath Ledger wins his posthumous Oscar. Take a shot every time an acceptance speech is cut off by the orchestra.

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