The list of nominations for the 2014 Academy Awards was released yesterday, so Andrew and I decided to make it into a game. We originally thought about gambling for pennies, but have now come up with a ridiculously complex system of points by which one of us will be named the winner (ok, it isn’t that complex). Below is a transcript of our Oscar conversation, slightly edited for content and brevity. -t
Best Actor Leading Role
A. Christian Bale, because of his epic beer gut that is on display in several scenes. It’s disturbing but Oscar worthy
T. Chiwetel Ejiofor for 12 Years a Slave. Oscars eat that stuff up. (I’m also really excited to see an actor from Serenity nominated for anything at all!)
His beer belly has a personality all its own.
Actor in Supporting Role
A. Jonah Hill. The Wolf of Wall Street as a whole is sooo crazy. The potential for him to walk with the Oscar is high
T. Jared Leto because he’s a rock star!
Actress in a Leading Role
A. Sandra Bullock because of the torture she put herself through for that movie.
T. Meryl Streep. The line about Julia Roberts looking like a lesbian was hilarious to me. Apparently, she also has the record for most Academy Award Nominations.
Actress in a Supporting Role
A. Jennifer Lawrence. She doesn’t deserve it, but she will get it.
T. Jennifer Lawrence. For the same reason, but I’m mad that Andrew said it first.
But she IS smoking hot.
Animated Feature Films
A. Despicable Me 2. It wasn’t amazing, but of the choices, it was the funniest. Minions: that’s all that needs to be said.
T. The Wind Rises. Miyazaki said that this will be his last film and I think the Oscars will want this brilliant creator to go out with a bang.
A. Gravity. As crazy as that movie was, it has to be Gravity.
T. Gravity. It was beautiful and there was little action to take away from the gorgeous shots of space.
A. American Hustle—not for the lack of bras, but because of the god-awful vintage clothes and decor that made me think, “Oh no! Oh god, this WAS the seventies.”
T. The Great Gatsby. The costumes were absolutely stunning, over-the-top, and larger than life (sorry for the redundancy). I absolutely loved the clothing.
A. 12 Years a Slave. If this guy wins, he’ll be the first African American to win best director, and with Scorsese being out of the picture (no pun intended) on Oscar principle, I think this is an opportunity too good for the Awards to pass up.
T. I’m going to go with American Hustle for this. I think that the Oscars want to give this movie a top honor, but I think other movies will beat it out in other categories.
Steve McQueen (far right) would be the first African American director to win an Academy Award.
A. 20 Feet From Stardom, because I want to know what the hell “nominees to be determined” means. Do we not know who made the movie? Did we not watch the movie, but we’re voting on it? Were there only five documentaries this year and all five were nominated?
T. The Act of Killing. I don’t know why, but I’m drawn to that name.
A. Prison Terminal, because the magic eight ball said so
T. Facing Fear, because the Oscars love anything by a Cohen
T. I’m going with Gravity also. Andrew, stop stealing my picks.
Foreign Language Film
A. The Missing Picture, because I was unaware that Cambodia was making movies. I’m glad to see they’ve moved beyond killing, but this is still a disturbing development.
T. I don’t see any French movies. How am I supposed to pick if there isn’t a French movie? I guess I’ll go with Italy. Which movie was made in Italy? Oh, The Great Beauty. Of course.
No punchline necessary.
**We considered for a while, and decided not to recognize or NOT recognize Palestine as a country. Therefore I Geek will take a stance on many things, but the Middle East peace process is not one of them.
Makeup and Hair-Styling
A. Really? Only three in this category? Fine. Since they half-assed it, so will I. I’m going with Jackass.
T. The Lone Ranger, because it required more makeup on Johnny Depp alone than in the other two nominees combined.
Music (original score)
A. John Williams for The Book Thief. It’s always classical music from him. No way to go wrong with that.
T. Thomas Newman, Saving Mr. Banks. I even commented on the score after I got out of the movie. It was perfectly matched to the mood onscreen.
Music (original song)
A. “Happy” from Despicable Me 2 because I’ve seen the movie. I don’t actually remember the song, though.
T. I haven’t seen Despicable Me 2, but I did hear the song “Happy” and I really like it. So I’m going with that one.
A. I refuse to vote for Nebraska, because when it came out every other interview on NPR was about the movie, and I was tired of it before it even hit theaters. I’m going with 12 Years a Slave. It’s been making a lot of waves
T. How in the world is Megan Ellison nominated as a producer twice? She produced American Hustle AND Her. She basically has twice the likelihood of winning. Just for that, I’m going with 12 Years a Slave.
A. Great Gatsby. They nailed that art deco.
T. Great Gatsby. I saw the work they had to do behind the scenes… Everything was on green screen; it was phenomenal.
The top is the final scene; the bottom is the same scene before CGI.
Short Film (animated)
**We considered taking a break at this point and watching all the short films, but after realizing that they probably aren’t that short and also that it might take us a couple of days to find them, we changed our minds.
A. I’m voting for Get a Horse! because it is an imperative sentence.
T. Room on the Broom, because you know exactly what it is about from the title. The whole plot is spelled out in that phrase.
**We lost our place at this point and completely skipped the next category… but it wouldn’t have mattered anyway since neither of us have seen any of the nominated films. Obviously, we came back to it later.
Short Film (live action)
A. I vote for the completely unpronounceable one because I want to see them try to pronounce it; especially if it’s a particularly stupid presenter.
T. While I applaud Andrew’s solid method of choosing a candidate, I’m going to pick Helium, because in my head it is about a very annoying young child whose mother gives him too many balloons at a fair and he floats away, never to be seen again.
A. I want to know what the difference is between sound editing and sound mixing… I’m just gonna say The Hobbit because I don’t care anymore.
T. I think that I will pick The Hobbit for one of these sound ones and Lone Survivor for the other one. Heads for The Hobbit, tails for Lone Survivor. (Andrew flips) He says it’s heads, so The Hobbit.
A. I’m still going with The Hobbit.
T. Well, The Hobbit was my pick for sound editing, so I’m going with Lone Survivor.
A. I’m going with Iron Man 3. Three words, “House Party Protocol.”
T. I think at this point I’ve forgotten to pick things that I think will win and am now picking movies that I hope will win. I hope Iron Man 3 gets SOMETHING from the Oscars, so let’s go with that one.
House Party Protocol.
Writing (adapted screenplay)
A. Before Midnight. I didn’t see it, but Richard Linklater did a fantastic job with A Scanner Darkly.
T. The Wolf of Wall Street, because I think this is the only award they can give that movie without any fear that Martin Scorsese might appear to have been awarded in any way whatsoever.
Writing (original screenplay)
A. American Hustle.
T. I considered Blue Jasmine because of Woody Allen, but the Awards love to encourage indie films in this category and the closest thing to indie that has been nominated is Her.
**The Academy Awards will air on March 2, so stay tuned and see who wins our little Oscar pool (and the comentary that will ensue).