Words By Thembi
A Gold Oscar…Not exactly like the statue many actors will receive at tonight’s Academy Awards
An Academy Award doesn’t say as much about the quality of a movie as it does about the coincidences of social climate and content, the reputation of an actor and his/her past performances, and basically what the Academy freaking feels like doing. That said, I try to catch all of the Best Picture nominees every year and 2008 was not a hot year for movies, so it wasn’t all fun and games. I may not bother with the show itself because I’m pretty confident about five basic outcomes:
1. Slumdog Millionaire is cliched the story of a poor boy with dreams chasing a hooker with a heart of gold. However, if you read Oliver Twist while listening to M.I.A. in the background, you could save $10 at the theater because you pretty much already saw this joint. You could practically smell the Mumbai dust and the lack of deodorant through the screen, so I didn’t personally care too much for this film.
Still, everyone loves orphans, South Asian is the new black and a country in recession can’t help but indulge in a bit of “poverty porn,” so most people found it heartwarming and fascinating. Thanks to popular support, Slumdog Millionaire is my bet to win Best Picture and probably Best Director since none of the actors themselves are nominated.
2. Forrest Whitaker’s lazy eye will go head to head with a nip slip for most distracting moment of the night, and my psychic abilities tell me that we can count on Scarlett Johanssen and Penelope Cruz to conjure their make out scene in Vicky Cristina Barcelona for maximum titillation.
3. Speaking of Penelope Cruz, she won’t be taking home the Best Supporting Actress statue and neither will her fellow ethnic nominees Viola Davis (Doubt) and Taraji P. Henson (The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button). Cruz didn’t do much, Davis was only onscreen for a few minutes and, as nice of an acting job Taraji P. Henson did, her character was little more than a Raisin In The Sun redux. None of these actresses had a part meaty enough for an Oscar and the award will go to a white lady. For Best Actress, I choose Kate Winslet in Doubt just on principle:she’s been in the game a long time and has never won an Oscar.
3. How can Heath Ledger NOT win Best Supporting Actor? His performance in The Dark Knight was fantastic and in case you haven’t heard, he’s dead. The Academy loves drama and flourish, so they’ll award him the statue posthumously.
4. Milk was a great movie but I don’t see it winning any Oscars; Sean Penn already has one and the Academy likes to be fair. That is, except for when it comes to gay movies, which they have never favored. I expect Milk to get shut out just like Brokeback Mountain did in 2006. Brad Pitt’s Benjamin Button performance is my favorite for Best Actor – I laughed, I cried, and just thought it was a fantastic movie – so I can’t help but predict a win for him there.
5. Someone is going to make a short speech about how much they love Barack Obama. Just watch.
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