Oscar Sunday 2012: My predictions

As an avid film writer, I feel it is my civic duty to announce my predictions before the Academy Awards air this evening. I’ll get right to it…

Best Picture

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Snore shouldn’t even be in the running in this category, so we can nix that one right away. I predict The Artist will get nudged out by a miniscule amount, which will surely cause an uproar.

Projected winner: The Help

Actor in a Leading Role

While I would give my right arm to see Gary Oldman take home the title, I think we all know it’s unfortunately not going to happen.

Projected winner: Jean Dujardin, The Artist

Actress in a Leading Role

In a perfect world, my lady crush Michelle Williams would take home the Oscar, but sadly we don’t live in a perfect world. I predict Meryl will be going home a loser tonight as well, which only happens… well, hardly ever.

Projected winner: Viola Davis, The Help

Actor in a Supporting Role

If at any point in time tonight Jonah Hill is standing on a stage in front of a microphone holding a tiny statue that looks like a naked man, I will lose my shit.

Projected winner: Christopher Plummer, Beginners

Actress in a Supporting Role

I’m no math whiz, but seeing as how two women from The Help are nominated in this category, the film has a good chance. However, I might be leaning toward Ms. Spencer.

Projected winner: Octavia Spencer, The Help

Animated Feature Film

Really, Kung Fu Panda 2? Am I reading this correctly?

Projected winner: Rango

Cinematography

I kind of want The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo to win every category it’s nominated for, but I’m not so sure that’ll happen here.

Projected winner: Hugo

Art Direction

As long as Harry Potter gets nothing this evening, I will be a happy camper.

Projected winner: Hugo

Costume Design

Same goes for W.E., the film written, directed and produced by Madonna. Yes, I said Madonna.

Projected winner: The Artist

Directing

Woody Allen and Marty Scorsese might be left in tears tonight.

Projected winner: Michael Hazanavicius, The Artist

Film Editing

We can’t let The Artist win everything, now, can we? (Seriously, it’s like people have never seen a black and white silent film before the year 2011).

Projected winner: Hugo

Music (Original Score)

Despite what I just said above…

Projected winner: The Artist

Music (Original Song)

Because how can a cartoon bird accept this award?

Projected winner: “Man or Muppet,” The Muppets

Sound Editing

BECAUSE THIS MOVIE DESERVED TO BE NOMINATED FOR BEST PICTURE, NOT EXTREMELY LOUD AND INCREDIBLY DUMB.

Projected winner: Drive

Sound Mixing

A movie from the Transformers franchise, are we serious?

Projected winner: Hugo, even though I’m the only person on the planet not interested in this movie

Visual Effects

Again, Transformers and Harry Potter are in this category. Gag me.

Projected winner: The Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

Sorry Clooney, not today.

Projected winner: Alexander Payne and Nat Faxon & Jim Rash, The Descendants 

Writing (Original Screenplay)

Honestly, I think I’m one of few who doesn’t see how Bridesmaids is a huge step forward for women in film. Like, am I missing some part of that movie that had cinematic value or an air of substance? I really don’t see how Sookie from “Gilmore Girls” taking a dump in a sink is revolutionary for females in film. Rant over.

Projected winner: Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris

On a final note, I trust Billy Crystal will do a better job serving as host than stoned James Franco and poor Anne Hathaway fared last year.

See who the winners are tonight, when the 84th Annual Academy Awards air on ABC, starting at 8:30 p.m.

Be sure to follow my Twitter tonight, where I’ll be sharing the winners and everything Oscars.

For Your Consideration

Talk about a shocker. The nominations for this year’s Academy Awards were announced this morning, and I can’t be the only one who was surprised by more than a few categories.

First, let me get this off my chest. “Drive” was nominated for only one category. Not best picture, not for best supporting actor (yay, Albert Brooks!), but for… are you ready? Sound editing. REALLY? SOUND EDITING?

“Drive” was, in my opinion, the most underrated film of the season, but I figured the Academy would at least recognize its sheer brilliance. But instead, “Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close” snagged a nod for Best Picture instead. I have yet to pick my jaw up off the floor.

(Image courtesy of EW.com)

Although that was a major disappointment, I was pleased with quite a few other categories. My prediction of Rooney Mara for Best Actress came true! Joining her in the category is Michelle Williams (“My Week With Marilyn”), Glenn Close (“Albert Nobbs”), Viola Davis (“The Help”) and Meryl Streep (“The Iron Lady”). I’m pulling for Rooney Mara’s portrayal of Lisbeth Salander in “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” even though I know it’s a long shot.

The nomination that brought the biggest smile to my face and the most joy to my otherwise mundane Tuesday morning was Gary Oldman’s nomination for Best Actor in a Leading Role for “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.” I had to remind myself that tis is Oldman’s first nomination, because in my mind, he has about eight Oscars already.

For the complete list of nominees, see the link above.

The Academy Awards air on ABC on Sunday, February 26 at 7 p.m.

Banksy to make an appearance at the Oscars?

How do you get an anonymous graffiti artist to reveal his identity? Nominate him for an Academy Award, apparently.

Illusive and freakin’-talented-as-heck stenciler Banksy is among those nominated for Best Documentary for his film, “Exit Through The Gift Shop.”

After this years’ Oscar nominees were named in late January, this piece showed up in L.A.:

I have a hunch that this is just him playing into the hype. However, if he does show up at the awards, I’ll probably have a heart attack. *Insert fan girl squeal.*

“I don’t agree with the concept of award ceremonies, but I’m prepared to make an exception for the ones I’m nominated for. The last time there was a naked man covered in gold paint in my house, it was me.”
– Banksy, on his nomination

And the honor of Oscar hosts goes to…

Anne Hathaway and James Franco?

Talk about the odd couple.

Don’t get me wrong, I love both Hathaway and Franco. I love them when they’re in their element, like “The Princess Diaries” and “Pineapple Express,” respectively.

The duo might be perfect to host an episode of SNL together, but The Oscars? I’m not convinced. It’s like throwing two academically advanced pre-teens into college before they’ve hit puberty. It’s just not right.

Who knows, I could be eating my words after The 83rd Academy Awards air on Feb. 27, 2011. But Hathaway and Franco could also be letting their inner TAG kid shine through, fumbling through a job better suited to someone more reputable than actors who are best known for portraying a princess and a stoner.

Tell me what you think…

And the nominees are…

The Academy Award nominees were announced early this morning, with few surprises.  If you haven’t read them yet, take a look here…

Best Actor:

Jeff Bridges, “Crazy Heart”

Colin Firth, “A Single Man”

Morgan Freeman, “Invictus”

George Clooney, “Up in the Air”

Jeremy Renner, “The Hurt Locker”

My prediction: I would love nothing more than to see Jeff Bridges take it. However, everyone will not stop talking about Clooney in “Up in the Air”…

Best Actress:

Carey Mulligan, “An Education”

Meryl Streep, “Julie & Julia”

Sandra Bullock, “The Blind Side”

Helen Mirren, “The Last Station”

Gabourey Sidibe, “Precious”

My Prediction: Well, being nominated in the same breath as Meryl is award enough in my book. However, I’m somewhat stumped on this category. I think Sidibe and Bullock have a shot.  But then again, they’re up against Meryl Streep.

Best Supporting Actor:

Stanley Tucci, “The Lovely Bones”

Christopher Plummer, “The Last Station”

Woody Harrelson, “The Messenger”

Matt Damon, “Invictus”

Christoph Waltz, “Inglourious Basterds”

My prediction: If Waltz doesn’t win, I will throw a fit.  A fit so furious they’ll hear me in China.

Best Supporting Actress:

Maggie Gyllenhaal, “Crazy Heart”

Anna Kendrick, “Up in the Air”

Mo’Nique, “Precious”

Vera Farmiga, “Up in the Air”

Penelope Cruz, “Nine”

My prediction: Gyllehaal seems to be the dark horse, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Mo’Nique takes this one.

Best Picture:

“The Blind Side”

“An Education”

“District 9”

“The Hurt Locker”

“Precious”

“A Serious Man”

“Up”

“Avatar”

“Up in the Air”

“Inglourious Basterds”

My prediction: I will be pretty surprised if “Avatar” doesn’t win.  I would greatly prefer “Inglourious Basterds,” but I’m sure it will be between “Avatar” and “Up in the Air.”

There are plenty more categories, including “Best Original Screenplay,” “Best Documentary” and many more.  For the complete list of nominees, click here.

The 82nd Academy Awards air on Sunday, March 7 at 8 pm on ABC.

Cast your vote and they’ll sing it–I swear

Picture the following scenario:  You’re at a concert, waiting for the band to play your favorite song–and it never happens.  Pretty disappointing, huh?

Maybe more artists should consider what Bon Jovi is doing for their Grammy performance: holding an interactive fan vote where listeners cast their votes for one of six songs, ultimately choosing the winning number the band will perform.

Voting is open to fans here until Sunday, Jan. 24. The following day, the song list will be narrowed down to three and fans may resume voting until the band’s live Grammy performance on Sunday, Jan. 31.

Among the song choices are “Always,” “Bed of Roses,”Have a Nice Day,” “It’s My Life,” “Livin’ on a Prayer” and “Wanted Dead or Alive.”

In addition to the band’s Grammy performance, the group is also nominated for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocals for “We Weren’t Born to Follow.”

Don’t forget to vote, and tune in to the 52nd Grammy Awards on Jan. 31 at 8 pm on CBS.

Hello, and welcome to the 21st century

Racy.  Vulgar.  X-rated.

Everyone is buzzing about Adam Lambert’s gig at last night’s American Music Awards, and all of the above words have been used to describe his performance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CNN called Lambert’s choreography “sexually suggestive,” while ABC and Dick Clark productions released a joint statement in which they said “Due to the live nature of the show, we did not expect the impromptu moment in question.”

The “impromptu moment in question” they are referring to is when Lambert’s crotch met the face of one of his backup dancers.

While that incident is probably getting the most negative attention, people are also horrified that Lambert kissed his male keyboard player near the end of the song.

Viewers were so shocked, in fact, that when the AMAs were broadcast on the West Coast, ABC decided to censor Lambert’s performance, cutting away from the singer during the simulated fellatio.

Now, was this Lambert’s best performance to date?  Probably not.

Was it shocking, bordering on obscene?  Yes.

Should you have been expecting anything less from him?  Not at all.

If you were hoping for Lambert to merely stand still on stage in front of the mic, then you are sorely mistaken.  He pushed the envelope as much as he could on “American Idol,” and now that he’s on his own, he’s pushing it even more, which is exactly what he should be doing.

At least he has the guts to be himself, Elvis hair and all.  How many artists can you name who would risk giving such a controversial performance?  My guess is not many, and the ones that you could name would all be women.

How many times have we seen Britney Spears writhe around half naked on stage? Heck, we’ve even seen her kiss Madonna, so why not Lambert and some dude? There is a double standard in society that extends into the music industry–where it’s okay for women to push the envelope with their sexuality, but when a male does it, all hell breaks loose.

After his performance, Adam talked to Rolling Stone backstage and gave some personal feedback:

“We’re in 2009.  It’s time to take risks, be a little more brave, time to open people’s eyes and if it offends them, then maybe I’m not for them,” Lambert said. “My goal was not to piss people off, it was to promote freedom of expression and artistic freedom.”

Ever heard of this thing called the First Amendment, people??

You know, the one that grants the American people freedom of speech??  It exists to provide everyone the right to express themselves freely and is an essential right for all.  You might want to remember that little fact before ripping Lambert a new one.

“But this is a family friendly program!” you say.  “My children were watching!”

Well, perhaps you should have tucked little Timmy in a tad earlier.  It shouldn’t be up to ABC or the FCC to decide what you and your kid do or do not get to see.

Censorship treats people like they’re not intelligent enough to decide what is appropriate for them on their own.  It takes the decision away from the individual and places it in the hands of someone else. Sorry, but how does this support what we are granted with the First Amendment?  Oh, wait, I guess it doesn’t. Goodbye, freedom of speech.

I guess I’m sort of shocked by the backlash this performance has received.  People have taken to online message boards to let Adam know that he has lost a fan in them, that it was completely inappropriate, etc, etc.

Have you people ever heard of Elvis?  Freddie Mercury?  David Bowie?  All of these artists pushed the limits during their time, as Adam is doing right now.

Whether or not you liked this performance, you have to admit it was pretty epic, and obviously caused controversy.  Is anybody talking about anything AMA related besides Lambert today?

Clearly, the large majority of Lambert fans have not dismissed him entirely, because his debut album, “For Your Entertainment,” was released today and is currently number seven on the iTunes best selling album chart.

I would personally like to congratulate Adam for not conforming, for maintaining his artistic integrity and for standing out in an industry of cookie cutter musicians.

Nicely done.

Countdown to the 2009 AMAs

What do Lady Gaga, Adam Lambert and the Black Eyed Peas have in common?

All three will perform LIVE at the Nokia Theatre in L.A. for the American Music Awards tonight.

AMA winners are determined by online voting and honor artists in rock music, country and everything in between.

Janet Jackson will open the show with an eight minute performance, while Kelly Clarkson and Rihanna will also take the stage to showcase their talent.

Taylor Swift and Michael Jackson have the most nominations this year, with six and five, respectively.  Both are up for the coveted “Artist of the Year” award.

Kings of Leon, Lady Gaga and Eminem are also nominees in the same category.

The 37th American Music Awards air tonight, Nov. 22, on ABC at 8 p.m.

I’ll have more AMA updates for you after the show, but for now I will leave you with the following preview:

We all scream for “Scream 2009”

This October, Spike TV presents its 4th annual Scream awards, which honor the best horror, sci-fi, fantasy and comic-book inspired films.

The event was taped on Saturday, Oct. 17 and will be aired on Spike TV on Tuesday, Oct. 27.

Categories include best movie for all the previously mentioned categories, “The Ultimate Scream,” “Scream Song of the Year,” “Best Superhero” and many more.

While it was up to the advisory board to assemble the nominees, fans were able to vote online for their favorites.  Among those on the advisory panel include Tim Burton, Eli Roth, Wes Craven and Zack Snyder.

Of all the nominations, “Star Trek” tops out with 17 nods.

Quentin Tarantino, Christina Ricci, JJ Abrams and casts including “Twilight,” “True Blood” and “The Vampire Diaries” will all be either presenting or accepting awards.

Johnny Depp will also be present (yay!) to accept an award for the “Most Anticipated Sci-Fi Movie”(Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland,” which is to be released in March of next year).  He will also be presenting the Rolling Stone’s Keith Richards with the ‘Rock Immortal’ award.

While this awards show is pretty much the polar opposite of The Oscars, it’s a must see for horror/sci-fi/fantasy fans.

Scream 2009 will be televised on Spike TV on Oct. 27 at 10 p.m.

For now, enjoy this “Alice In Wonderland” trailer.  What do you think…did it deserve the award?

Top 10 of The Oscars 2009

My highlights, in no particular order, are as follows:

1.      “Think I could make this into a pipe?”  There are few things in life I enjoy more than Pineapple Express, and Seth Rogen and James Franco’s skit was pretty funny.

2.      Poor Joaquin.  Such a talented actor, and he “quits” acting to embark on a rap career.  Thus far, he has managed to “perform” only once (culminating with his falling off the stage), humiliate himself on Letterman, and get parodied by Ben Stiller at the Oscars.  Nicely done, Joaquin, nicely done.

3.      This is actually more of a lowlight, but I feel it’s worth mentioning that there were far too many tween Disney stars present for my liking…

4.      OMG ROBERT PATTINSON!!  TWLIGHT!!  EDWARD!!  (Please note my profound sarcasm).

5.      After her 6th nomination (4 for a leading role, 2 supporting), Kate Winslet finally took home the trophy.

6.      Sean Penn’s acceptance speech, where he not only acknowledged his difficult demeanor, but called the Academy “Commie, homo-loving sons-of-guns.”

7.      Christopher Walken’s hair.  If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you must have had your eyes closed whilst watching or simply don’t know who he is.  I love your work, Mr. Walken, but this is the Oscars.  If there’s ever a time to look dapper, this is it!

8.      Perhaps this shouldn’t be counted since it was merely the pre-show, but I did enjoy Tim Gunn and his commentary.  I am a red carpet coverage junkie.

9.      While I am a musical lover, the fact that Zack Efron and Vanessa Hudgens were sharing the stage with Beyoncé to sing a musical montage was sort of appalling.  This is a direct tie in with number 3 on my list.

10.  Three words:  best supporting actor.