“Up to 10″ might be the dumbest rule in the world.
What’s the big deal with just letting in 10 best picture nominees? Why is it only “up to 10″? I’m sure there is a pretentious, laughable notion of, “Well, we’re the stinkin’ Academy Awards, what if there aren’t 10 movies deserving of our praise and adulation?” Bull crap. For the foreseeable future, there won’t be another year where you can’t make an argument for 10 movies to be best picture. Maybe movies 9 and 10 might be ones people haven’t heard of, but that doesn’t mean they don’t deserve recognition.
Plus, it makes my job harder. I love predicting the best picture nominees, but how the frigg am I supposed to know how many will make the cut? And when it affects me and my life, then I get pissed.
Whatever, we’re just going to pretend there will be 10 nominees and go from there. Last year there were nine, I predicted eight of them, and I’m going for 10 for 10 this year when the nominees are announced tomorrow morning. It’s easier to predict when you break them down into the categories you can break down every list of best picture nominees to (number in parentheses is my confidence level in the prediction, 1 being the strongest confidence, 10 the weakest):
THE SURE THINGS
Zero Dark Thirty (1)
These are the ones where if you don’t hear them tomorrow morning, you start to think that Seth MacFarlane may have convinced Emma Stone that the two of them should smoke up before the announcement, “just to wake up and get their heads straight.” In their pot-fueled haze, they just forgot all about them. That’s the only way any of these three don’t make the cut.
Life of Pi (5)
Les Miserables (8)
I don’t feel good about the Les Mis pick. I just can’t, not with every lukewarm review I read. But do you wanna guess how long it’s been since a complete musical was nominated for best picture? Go ahead, I’ll wait. Got a guess? Good. It was 2002 with Chicago! I don’t feel like looking it up, but this has to be the longest drought in Oscar history, right? It’s got to end soon, and with no major musicals on the docket for 2013, who knows when the next one could be. I say they jump on the Les Mis train. It really surprised me to see that Ang Lee has only been nominated for best director twice, winning for Brokeback. But that’s enough clout to get Life of Pi nominated.
THE BORN LOSERS
Silver Linings Playbook (4)
Django Unchained (6)
They’ll both be nominated, but won’t sniff the actual prize. Kinda like how you pat your dog on the head and say, “Good boy” when you’re really just patronizing him so he’ll shut up so you can watch the end of Justified (awesome premiere). Until there is some kind of shift in the Academy’s thinking and beliefs, movies like these that aren’t even close to what would normally be considered and “Oscar” type movie just aren’t going to win best picture. They’ll be the two biggest contenders for the best screenplays though. And really, after this season, can any movie that prominently features the Philadelphia Eagles really win anything? It’s not possible, right?
THE GOLDEN GLOBE SNUBS
The Master (7)
Beasts of the Southern Wild (10)
You know when Joe from Reservoir Dogs said he should have his head examined for going through with the plan when he wasn’t 100 percent sure on the whole crew? That’s how i feel about these two movies getting nominations. I’m not 100 percent on them.You don’t need proof when you’ve got instinct! The Master was the most divisive movie of the year, but seeing as everyone in Hollywood is either a Scientologist or fascinated by Scientology (wait, what?), it’s a good bet The Master is going to get in. Especially since I liked it. Beasts of the Southern Wild is the really out there pick since the heat it had in early December seems like it’s cooled substantially over the last few weeks, not getting a major award nomination for quite a while.
THE WILD CARD
Getting a ton of buzz right now, though it was relegated to the best foreign language movie category at the Golden Globes. The last time a strictly foreign language movie was nominated for best picture was 2006 with Letters from Iwo Jima, though that doesn’t really count. After that you have to back to 2000, when Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon got a best picture nomination and won for best foreign language movie. Even that had the pedigree of Ang Lee directing, so for a relatively unknown director — although Michael Haneke is well-known in film circles — to break into the category would take the move of a mountain or two.