I foolishly thought I had the upper hand on the Oscars. Of the 58 nominated films, I've watched 30, with 28 to go! Yes, I know it seems that I have no life, but it's been a very enjoyable way to procrastinate, and there are only 11 days to go until I'll have to find another distraction.
However, there's a snag in my plan. Of the 28 films I have left, I can only find 10 of them online! Early on I conceded to the fact that I will need to actually go out and rent a few films, as I learned that Up and The Most Dangerous Man in America are not available online anywhere. But I've now realized that many others are also not available, such as the documentary shorts, live action shorts, and some others. I am going to rent the films I can rent, but I expect there will be some I will not be able to find, and therefore my goal may not be reached because of a lack of resources instead of time, which I thought would be my downfall. Oh well. 28 films in 11 days may have ruined me, even though some are shorts, so I'm probably better off not having the resources to try. Though I do hope to be able to watch the documentary shorts, even if it has to wait until after the Oscars.
Thus far, I've only completed four categories, but here are my predictions:
Best Supporting Actress: Mo 'Nique in Precious. I'm also predicting Precious to win Best Picture, and the film's leading lady Gabourey Sidibe to win Best Actress, though I have not yet seen all of the films in these categories. Precious was fantastic and disturbing, with Mo 'Nique's performance adding a lot to both. I only knew of her from her roles in Beer Fest as the sassy femme fatale "Cherry," and in a guest spot on "Ugly Betty" as the Mode weekend receptionist "L'Amanda." To see her tackle such a serious, multifaceted role was refreshing and very well-executed, and, in my opinion, much more impressive than the performances of the other actresses in this category, though they were also commendable.
Best Animated Short: Logorama. The other animated shorts were splendid! Very cute (with a dash of morbidity in The Lady of the Reaper,) but Logorama was excellently unique. I may be biased because the subject of anti-consumerism is near and dear to my heart, but it truly stood out from the others for thinking outside the box, working with the tools within it. I'm not sure how well the Esso girl and Big Boy would be able to repopulate the planet post oil apocalypse, but since the Academy was able to keep its corporate influence at bay to grant the Best Documentary award to Michael Moore, perhaps this film has a chance at best animated short.
But don't believe me, see the shorts for yourself:
The link to French Roast doesn't work, but here is another: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4mwLwkwR0yQ
Visual Effects: Avatar. The largest film budget in history was clearly spent almost entirely on visuals, since the writing was so lackluster, but it was visually stunning and deserves this award... and perhaps others such as cinematography... but if Avatar wins Best Picture I will probably never watch the Oscars again.
Art Direction: The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. This was a crazy and confusing film that will perplex me forever, and I think the untimely death of Heath Ledger robbed the film of its potential, as its conclusion was too fast and too frantic. Luckily the filming of Heath's character Tony in the "real" world was finished before his death, so having Johnny Depp, Jude Law and Colin Farrell play the character in the imaginary world was not much of a stretch. I commend Terry Gilliam for finishing the film without its lead as a tribute to Heath, and because Heath's replacements gave their wages from the film to his daughter Matilda, I truly wish it were a better film. However, Gilliam created a fantastic dichotomy between the real and the imaginary worlds that offers redemption for his film's shortcomings. The film was beautiful, and deserves this award.
Stay tuned for more predictions and reviews. Thanks!