Time to put on our bitchy pants and say shitty things about the Oscars and everyone nominated for the Oscars. Now, according to Entertainment Weekly, this year's Oscars will be "song-and-dance heavy," which is arguably the most terrifying thing I have ever read. The Grammys were two weeks ago. That is the show where singing and dancing are appropriate. When singing and dancing happen at the Oscars, you get this. Who asked for more musical bullshit at the Oscars this year? Was it you? If it was you, I'll piss in your soup.
All of this will presided over by Seth MacFarlane, who's so hip with the kids these days and will surely get ABC the two percent bump in male 18-24 viewership that they so desperately covet. And I think you and I can agree that, when it comes to hosting a year-end musical revue of serious films, there's no better choice than a man who has limited experience in live performance and once recorded this album, and did so without a trace of irony. Viewers at home are counting on MacFarlane to make two or three OUTRAGEOUS jokes about the nominees that will leave the audience in stunned silence because the audience at the Oscars is filled with the most easily offended human beings on planet Earth. It's like the Gawker comment section brought to life. Apart from that, Sunday night's show will be SINGING and DANCING all the time! Musical tributes to musicals! Musical tributes to Ernest Borgnine! A star-studded musical tribute to the work of David Lean! IT'S EVERYTHING YOU WANTED THE OSCARS NOT TO BE!
Anyway, let's get on with Oscar Night, aka the one night a year on which I become a diehard Republican. Please note that spoilers abound.
Argo: I think I've had enough of America feeling sorry for Ben Affleck just because he didn't get nominated for a stupid award. He produced the thing. He still gets an Oscar if it wins this category anyway. Let's not labor feverishly to make Ben Affleck some kind of amazing comeback story. You know what the supposed "low point" of Ben Affleck's career was? WHEN HE WAS BANGING JENNIFER LOPEZ AND MAKING MILLIONS OF DOLLARS TO STAR IN BAD MOVIES. That was his rock bottom. Oh wow, real fucking hard luck for that guy. How did he find the strength to climb out of that hole? Way to rise from the ashes there, fella. I don't know how you managed. Quick, everyone! Let's all praise Ben for putting down the J-Lo ass-tanning oil and not making terrible script choices! WHAT A COMEBACK. I'm in awe. You want a comeback story? Jackie Earle Haley. That's a comeback story.
Oh, and look! Affleck is gonna make another Boston crime movie. Way to expand the repertoire. I hope that this one ALSO manages to rip off Heat and The Friends of Eddie Coyle simultaneously. That Affleck is a SERIOUS director now! Let's all collectively be astonished, for months on end, that an actor can direct stuff even though actors direct shit all the time.
I'm also very excited for Best Picture to go to yet another movie about making movies. Because I never feel like movies get enough appreciation, you know? We barely pay attention to movies these days. Meanwhile, they're quietly liberating our hostages and saving depressed French actors from suicide. And they ask for NOTHING in return! About time the Academy gave the filmmaking process the vigorous anal tonguing it deserves.
Silver Linings Playbook: You and I both know that if Lasse Hallstrom had directed this thing, it would have been the shittiest, most predictable romantic comedy ever created. "What happens when a bi-polar guy meets a bi-polar gal? And they have to join forces to win a local dance competition to win a bet for a grumpy Robert De Niro? Sparks will fly this summer when Katherine Heigl and Justin Long are ... DANCIN' FOR DADDY-O."
And hey, why did Bradley Cooper wait a whole goddamn week to give Jennifer Lawrence the letter? No man, sane or not, waits a week to tell Jennifer Lawrence he loves her. I told her I loved her 60 times last week alone. I whispered into my pillow, "Oh Jennifer, you are so young but so very ripe. I LOVE YOU AND I MUST HAVE YOU." That's just a given with Jennifer Lawrence.
I also object to any film that pre-supposes that DeSean Jackson is a useful NFL player.
Lincoln: BOOOOOOOOORING. Boring boring boring. Lincoln is so boring that there are characters on the screen who literally talk about how boring Lincoln is.
SOLDIER: Mr. President! The Confederate generals are coming to offer us a peace agreement! What do we do? They need the answer in three minutes!
LINCOLN: Well, let me answer that question by first telling you a fable about Old Farmer Higgins's apple tree ...
SOLDIER: Oh sweet Jesus, GET TO THE POINT, MAN!
Les Miserables: And here's the reason you're getting all the song-and-dance bullshit at the Oscars on Sunday night. One stupid, shitty musical that most people didn't even like, and suddenly the Oscars have to morph into the Tony Awards. I blame YOU, Les Miz, for likely dominating a broadcast simply because you have a handful of songs to toss into the mix. It's like a few years ago when Frida won all the makeup and costume awards and somehow the first hour of the Oscars became a Frida tribute special. No one asked for that shit.
Also, Amanda Seyfried has enormous eyeballs. They're terrifying. STOP TRYING TO HARVEST MY SOUL.
Life of Pi: Oh hey, it's the movie for people who are "spiritual" but don't have the balls to actually pick a religion. By the way, in real life, the tiger eats the kid. It's not even a question. No one manages to co-exist with a tiger on a lifeboat. That's complete horseshit. I did not see this movie.
Beasts of the Southern Wild: GUMBO GUMBO GUMBO GUMBO ADORABLE CHILD ACTOR GUMBO GUMBO PO' BOY GUMBO. It's not enough that people from Louisiana think they have shitloads more culture and pride and charming eccentricities than you. No, no, now they're all MAGIC. Enough.
Zero Dark Thirty: They didn't call out "Usama" before they shot him! That part of the movie is a complete lie. THROW IT ALL AWAY. I demand all of my Hollywood feature films to adhere slavishly to real life, including real-time bathroom breaks and sleeping hours. And why wasn't Maya ever shown going through Pakistani customs? You have a lot of questions to answer, Kathryn Bigelow.
Django Unchained: Thank God Hollywood finally had the courage to tackle the issue of slavery by handing it over to a lily-white film geek who fetishizes saying the word "nigger" as many times as he can possibly get away with. I knew kids from L.A. like this at summer camp. They thought saying that word was the coolest thing ever. One of them was a guy named Macy. People from Los Angeles are terrible.
Amour: Hey everyone, I've got a great movie for you! It's about two old French people in an apartment, and one of them DIES. Doesn't that sound fun? This is the perfect movie-critic movie. Roger Ebert once said that, "No good movie is depressing, all bad movies are depressing." BULLSHIT. Complete bullshit. I saw Kids, buddy. It's a good movie, but I'd rather have that Casper guy fuck me in my sleep than watch it again. No, thank you. Movie critics are always like, "You can have your car chases and fighting robots. To me, there's no greater suspense than watching Emmanuelle Riva wither before my very eyes!" I asked my mom, who is in her late 60s, if she wanted to see this movie and she was like, "Are you out of your mind? Why would I want to see that?" Whoa hey, you don't want to see a terrifying vision of your possible near-future death? I guess there's just no accounting for taste.
Daniel Day-Lewis: I think we should all agree that only Daniel Day-Lewis should be allowed to do the whole "act like your character all the time" thing that Daniel Day-Lewis does. Day-Lewis can do this and get away with it because he's the finest actor of his generation. When your cousin Jenny does it because she's in a dinner theater production of Shear Madness, it's a jailable offense. Method actors must be killed on sight, lest other terrible actors see them ordering at Arby's in their best Thomas Jefferson voice and decide that's the only way they can really get into a character. This is what you've wrought, DDL. Thousands upon thousands of Willy Lomans walking around, annoying the shit out of their families and friends.
Joaquin Phoenix: Someone made the joke that Phoenix should have been nominated for "Most Acting," which is so perfect. You don't deserve an Oscar just because you clenched your jaw and threw on a hunchback disguise kit.
Also, way to be daring and label the Oscars as "bullshit," Joaquin. I totally wouldn't have known that if you hadn't been the one brave, way hip soul to openly degrade an award you secretly yearn to win. I liked it better when you were being a fake crazy person instead of an actual dipshit.
Denzel Washington: Congratulations to Denzel Washington for playing the character of "Denzel Washington" for the 32nd film in a row. It must have been a real stretch for you to play a weary veteran pilot/cop/train engineer/gangster/football coach who finally learns that he needs to stop being so gosh darn stubborn. I couldn't even tell it was you! KUDOS.
By the way, there needs to be some kind of special anti-Oscar (not a Razzie because those are dumb) for the music choices in Flight. Oh hey, the drug dealer is coming! Better play "Sympathy for the Devil!" And here's a girl ODing on heroin! Now is the best time to use both "Sweet Jane" AND "Under the Bridge!" I like the way the songs telegraph every possible emotion. I wish they had played "Kiss Me" during the part where Denzel and that girl kissed.
Hugh Jackman: This isn't a nomination for playing Wolverine? That's stupid. I have no use for Hugh Jackman in non-Wolverine roles. Give Jackman a chance to play someone else and you know what you get? Australia. No one cares.
Bradley Cooper: Looks like someone figured out that the key to scoring an Oscar nom is to play a mentally disturbed (but still attractive) person and surround yourself with a top-notch cast and a top-notch director to hide your glaring acting deficiencies. So I'll give Cooper credit for managing to make himself look like a competent actor despite having the most punchable face in movies today.
By the way, this doesn't apply to Cooper alone, but I remain amazed at how much attention actors receive in relation to how uninteresting they actually are. Actors are profoundly inane human beings. Most of them didn't even bother to finish high school. And most actors like playing other people because they have no personality to call their own. They're all relatively disposable people who feel compelled to either inflate the importance of their precious craft or to expand into other aspects of filmmaking like writing and directing because they want people to think they aren't dumb as bricks. Actors are worthless. But anyway, GOOD LUCK, BRADLEY!
Jessica Chastain: Someone is taking wayyyy too much credit for killing this bin Laden fellow. "I'm the motherfucker who found this place." O RLY, Maya? Because it looked to me like it was one of your field operatives who risked life and limb to case that joint in Abbottabad. "I'm gonna smoke everyone involved in this operation and then I'm gonna kill bin Laden." Excuse me? I didn't see you storming the compound. You just sat on your candy ass at Bagram Airfield and let the SEALS do your dirty work for you! And I didn't see you waterboard ANYONE! You're no team player, Missy!
Emmanuelle Riva: This is SO not the Emmanuelle I had in mind. Sylvia Kristel died this fall. She's the REAL Emmanuelle. Where's HER Oscar? Let's see this Riva lady give prepubescent boys in 1986 a raging hardon on Cinemax Free Preview weekend the way Sylvia did. That Kristel was a trailblazer.
Also, how hard can it be for an 85-year-old woman to play someone who's dying? It's gotta be like second nature to this woman. I'm not that impressed. Play Tina Turner and then you're showing me something, lady.
(SIDE NOTE: Riva's birthday is Sunday night. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MADAM!)
Quavsdlkfsgklsghsrklergdfivfddflkfjgdf Wallis: Obviously, we can't poke fun at such an adorable little sprite who's just elated to be part of the festivities. I think it's wonderful how she doesn't yet realize that Hollywood is a soulless places where people's dreams are regularly beaten down and then sold into sexual slavery. I find that kind of naiveté refreshing.
I will say this, though: I hope she doesn't win. Frankly, I wish she hadn't even been nominated. Nothing good can possibly come from putting a very small child in such a prominent position. Ask the Slumdog Millionaire kids currently working an East Kolkata sump pump if all that attention did them any good. I'd rather have my kid work at Bill Conlin's summer home than work in the film industry.
Naomi Watts: She's the actress you call when Nicole Kidman asks for too much money, right? I just figured that was common knowledge.
Jennifer Lawrence: I'm not gonna say anything bad about Jennifer Lawrence and you won't either because if you do I will find you and I will END you. I think we can all agree that Jennifer Lawrence is a celestial sex-cherub sent down to Earth by Our Loving Creator to end all wars and have all our babies. Her delicate mouth, husky voice, and supple thighs foretell it. I WILL WAIT FOR YOU, JEN. I WILL ALWAYS BE HERE WAITING FOR YOU, NO MATTER THE COST.
Best Supporting Actor
Tommy Lee Jones: What on earth do you have to be so grumpy about, asshole? "Oh, I was Al Gore's roommate at Harvard and now I'm one of the most respected actors in the world. GRRR I'M SO GRUMPY GRRR." Get over yourself. No one forced you to be part of the world's most vacuous profession, so don't be surprised when an entertainment reporter dares to ask you a question that you don't find intellectually challenging. Any time someone says that you "don't mince words" or that you "get right to the point," that means you're a complete dickhead.
By the way, I like the reveal at the end of Lincoln that Thaddeus Stevens was fighting hard for abolition all because he was shtupping his house-mistress. Way to suck all the nobility out of him at the last second, gang.
Robert De Niro: Why are we supposed to be impressed that Robert De Niro decided to not mail it in for the first time in 15 years? You shouldn't get an award for finally doing your goddamn job. He wasn't even that good. He was still playing Robert De Niro. It's not like he was playing Malcolm X. Half of his lines consisted of, "The fuck is wrong with you?"
Alan Arkin: Are you a respected elderly actor who gets all the good and dirty lines in an otherwise serious movie? OSCAR NOD FOR YOU. Bonus Oscar points if you're playing someone IN the film business. Voters love that. "Oh hey, he's an asshole who works in show business! I can totally relate to him!"
Christoph Waltz: This is what happens when Christoph Waltz appears in a movie that is NOT directed by Quentin Tarantino:
They should just nominate Tarantino for the acting award. He's using Waltz as his own personal motion-capture suit.
Philip Seymour Hoffman: It's hard to judge an acting performance when it's contained within a movie that doesn't make any goddamn sense. I'm sure Paul Thomas Anderson was like, "Hey Philip and Joaquin! We're gonna take you out to the desert and you're gonna race motorcycles for a completely unnecessary 10-minute sequence. DO WHATEVER YOU WANT! PRETEND YOU'RE A BANANA! I have final cut now so I can just throw whatever idea I want into this picture!"
That movie was ass.
Best Supporting Actress
Anne Hathaway: Ah, here we are. Anne Hathaway: The Valedictorian of Actressing. Not since Hilary Swank have we been subjected to such a long string of soulless, coldly professional acceptance speeches. It's like watching a LinkedIn profile talk.
And I resent that Hathaway is considered an automatic lock for this award. This is why the Oscars suck now. The event is so overcovered that when Hathaway's movie comes out, the entertainment press collectively goes, "She's a lock to win!" and then it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. The media don't predict these awards anymore. They DICTATE them. That's why the show has been virtually devoid of any real surprises for years now. Frontrunners are given a head start, and if they lose momentum, the media christen a new frontrunner far enough in advance that the new frontrunner's eventual victory is no surprise at all. It's complete horseshit. It's like 5,000 Chris Bermans all tipping the same draft pick.
Helen Hunt: Hey, I heard she's naked in this movie ...
/does quick Bing image search, since Google image search is so uptight now
OH WOW SHE GIVES UP THE BUSH AND EVERYTHING. That's good acting. I have no quarrel with Helen Hunt. Except for that Oscar she won for As Good As It Gets. I mean, come on. I barely remember that movie, let alone that she was in it.
Jacki Weaver: Well, she's obviously not winning. I know she's a great actress, but I don't think she had more than six lines in that entire movie. All she did was stand there with her mouth open while Robert De Niro yelled at Bradley Cooper. She's no Jen Lawrence. What if Jen Lawrence and Kate Middleton made love? I think the world would end if that happened, but in a good way. That would be a natural, fitting conclusion to history.
Amy Adams: Wait, was she the one in Wedding Crashers? I'm so confused. There are redheads giving handjobs in EVERY movie now. How do you expect me to keep track of these things?
By the way, my kid likes the movie Enchanted, which features Adams singing this song:
Thanks for putting that in my head for three years, Amy Adams. Can't wait for Seth MacFarlane and you to do a duet of it!
Sally Field: Hey, she should just be happy they let her in the movie. She's been on shitty TV shows and hawking bone pills for the past seven decades. Besides, she REALLY should have won this award for Soapdish:
It still holds up, that one. I'm not even being sarcastic.
The Other Categories
No one cares. That's the irreversible flaw of the Oscars. You're wasting three-plus hours to get to a grand total of roughly four minutes of meaningful action. Even football doesn't have that poor of a ratio. The Oscars are pointless and stupid.
On that note, join me here Sunday night as I live blog ... THE OSCARS! I couldn't be more excited.