FILM COMMENTARY:"So Sue Me: Sue Sylvester's 2011 Academy Award Predictions"
by Sue Sylvester (Cheer Educator on the Fox-TV series "Glee")
It's been an amazing year. Since acing last year's Oscar pool, I've gone on to score an Emmy and, just recently, the Golden Globe. Making me, what else, an expert on all things golden. Including Hollywood's most illustrious prize, the Academy Award. Okay, so it's possible I risk losing my edge what with all the money I've been making from my growing list of corporate and not-for-profit commercial endorsements. Hey, it's not as if the Oscars are to film what Doritos are to the Super Bowl. It's just the Academy Awards. The least important night of the year for power mad cheerleaders and Frito Lay. So listen up! Here's how Sue thinks the evening will play out, theoretically speaking. Followed by each Best Picture contenders' best chance of bringing one of them bad boys home. THE KING'S SPEECH: An Idiot And And A Broad theory--Has it occurred to anybody this side of the Atlantic that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences acts way too much like The Ministry of Magic? How else to explain why Hollywood continues to ignore Britain's most popular film in history, "Harry Potter"? I'll tell you. In order to give us another fable about the Royal family. That's right. King Eddie Van Halen. A stutterer and a rocker. A man for all seasons who would live to rule England with an iron guitar pick. Call it fate. Call it Masterpiece Theater, but with better wigs. If "The King's Speech" takes every category it's been nominated in (12 total) it will officially become the best movie ever made, according to The Ministry of Magic. Sue's Academy Award predictions: BEST PICTURE, ACTOR, DIRECTOR, ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY, EDITING, ART DIRECTING, COSTUME, AND SCORE.
THE SOCIAL NETWORK: Deadly Pestilence theory--Most scientists agree bushes do not spontaneously burst into flames. What does this have to do with Oscar? Nothing really...except can you name any other fire that burns and yet is not consumed besides Facebook? Not only is "The Social Network" the most timely movie up for an award this year, it's also Time Magazine's Person of the Year (if you can call Zuckerberg a person). Meaning, it's also a fairly user friendly website by which to use your friends. In my weird way, I like to think of director David Fincher's Harvard yarn as "Mean Girls" with guys. As for God/Zuckerberg? Well, He plagued Egypt too. Sue's Academy Award predictions: BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY.BLACK SWAN: What A Feeling! theory--It appears the only way to avoid the tabloid frenzy that followed last years Best Actress winner, Sandra Bullock, is for the Academy this year to mark their ballots for Natalie Portman. I mean, what self-respecting 'People' and/or 'Us' magazine editor doesn't crave the beaming visage of an unwed mother holding her bastard child and a gold plated statute on the cover of their magazine? Forget for a minute, too, the character Portman plays in "Black Swan" has to descend into Hell in order to 'get' inside the head of an evil swan. This is art, for Christ's sake. And, though, Jennifer Beale's body double was in no way harmed during the making of this "Flashdance" for snobs noir/trash feast, real swans will eat Portman's afterbirth up! Sue's Academy Award predictions: BEST ACTRESS.
THE FIGHTER: Boxers or Briefs theory--In case you feel the Academy favors sports films about boxers at the expense of other, more dignified sports (soccer, basketball, skeet shooting), please, for once try keeping it to yourself. Solving problems with your fists requires a lot of thinking ahead. So, even though you might get Mel Gibson to vote your way, you may also have to balance said thinking with a more orthodox Irish/Catholic blue collar approach to swaying Academy voters, say, something with a teensy bit more emphasis on sex AND violence. Sue's Academy Award prediction: BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR.
TRUE GRIT: Your Teeth Too Soft To Talk With God theory--The Western, once the meat and pototoes of the movie industry, has long since been re-imagined and embraced by non-western audiences consisting mostly of white males ("Dances With Wolves", "The Unforgiven"), while still growing in popularity over the years at a rate equal to ground turkey and pomegranate juice. Go figure. Once a hallmark of bigotry, playing cowboys and Indians today means actually going out and hiring one to play a cowboy, eating a diet rich in fiber with more fresh vegetables and less red meat, and showing a little "True Grit" in public whenever somebody in front of you in line pays with food stamps. Of course, it also helps to know whenever Kevin Costner steps outside, the All-Pawnee Orchestra still has to play LCD Soundsystem. Sue's Academy Award prediction: BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS, CINEMATOGRAPHY.
TOY STORY 3-D: Even Four Dimensions Isn't Worth The Price theory--2010 will go down in history as the year 3-D finally turned film makers on to throwing stuff at the audience. And to think, in the old days that same right to throw things was denied and/or frowned upon if it came from the audience. Which just goes to show you some artists prefer their films to be seen as combinations of both live-action and annoying. Which surprised the hell out of me 'cause I thought when toys died horrible deaths, it meant they got adopted by poor people or sold to price gouging collectors of overpriced memorabillia. Oh, well, to everybody who paid five bucks more just to wear the funny glasses, it's nice to know there's an evil teddy bear out there somewhere longing to gouge out your parents eyeballs if they so much as sneeze on the original packaging of your Buzz Lightyear doll. Sue's Academy Award prediction: BEST ANIMATED FEATURE.
INCEPTION: Wherefore Art Thou And For That Matter Why theory--"Inception" is the kind of movie that used to get absolutely no credit for having a running time close to three hours and in the end still make less sense than when it began, and that's because if they told you what they wanted you to know they wouldn't be able to tell you anything. It's that simple. And that stupid. The old adage you get what you pay for in this case only means they could have converted into 3-D but they chose not to and, therefore, retain artistic credibility. Along with all the other non-converted movies that they should have converted, next to the ones that finally did see conversion for no reason whatsoever. Can't argue with dream logic now, can we? Sue's Academy Award prediction: BEST VISUAL EFFECTS, SOUND EDITING, SOUND MIXING.
THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT: I'll Get To Rehab When I'm Good And Sober theory--I can't predict exactly what would happen if Charlie Sheen suddenly showed up on my doorstep and introduced himself as the father of my three perfectly legal artifically inseminated teenage kids, instead of Mark Ruffalo, but apparantly dramatic video of it has been leaked to the press, and now all of America's leading lesbian role models are thinking, damn, I knew I should've used birth control instead of the remote. Not exactly the stuff most modern families sit down to watch every Monday after yoga and oil painting, but there it is. Sue's Academy Award prediction: SNUBBED.
127 HOURS: The Sleeveless Tux theory--If you think the story of a hiker who gets his arm stuck under a bolder and "127 Hours" later has to cut it off in order to escape or die is predictable, you should see the amputated arm. No, seriously, folks, this is as close the Academy has come since last year to awarding an action-adventure yarn it's top prize, and all I have to say is, what took them so long? Until, I remembered my Rules of Oscar Handbook, which clearly states once the Academy accepts you as a member, you must actually agree to wear your jewel encrusted Rolex on the limb universally regarded as the politically correct arm to glance at if after fifteen minutes 10-30 minor characters or extras haven't been blown to pieces in a terrorist attack--or--the lead character cuts off his own arm. Sue's Academy Award prediction: BEST SONG.
WINTER'S BONE: Why Stop At Ten When You Can Only Remember Nine theory--It's true, I've come to the end of my list and don't remember what the last nominee is, meaning, it's either the best of the lot or--a completely unforgettable example of how even unrelenting hype has to have at least one off-camera car crash. Oh, right, "Winter's Bone". The other 'wise beyond her years' portrait of a girl out to track down the outlaw that 'kilt her daddy'; only, instead of this film being set in the Old West, like "True Grit", "Winter's Bone" takes place in the Ozarks. Which everybody in Utah knows is the Sundance equivalent to scenic exploitation and a western. Sue's Academy Award prediction: SNUBBED.
And that's how Sue sees it. Some of you may have noticed I predicted no film without a Best Picture nomination to win a single Oscar; and, even though I have no accurate reasearch to back up such a ridiculous claim, this is probably only the umpteenth year that this has ever happened, if you don't mind me saying.