The 82nd Annual Academy Awards are just three weeks away, and between now and then, your GonzoGeek panel will be making their picks alongside our resident Oscar expert: Matt’s copy of “Wrestlemania 2000” for the Nintendo 64.
Today: Best Actor
Bruce (last year: 2/5)
The other night my wife accused me of a man crush. I was laying in the bed watching “The Last Picture Show.” The issue wasn’t with me watching this classic movie, it was that the last time she had walked by I was watching “Wild Bill,” Jeff Bridges’ messy 1995 biopic of the (in)famous gunfighter. Yes, I like Jeff Bridges. I would hazard a guess that if I added up the movies I’ve seen in my lifetime, the most frequently appearing names would be Kurt Russell, Harrison Ford and Jeff Bridges. Bridges got criminally overlooked by the Academy in 1998 for his role in the now classic “The Big Lebowski.” This year’s turn in “Crazy Heart” is sure to net Jeff Bridges his long overdue first Oscar and take away his underdog status once and for all. After all, the Dude abides.
Chris (last year: 3/5)
A bunch of heavyweights and a new guy: in this instance, the new guy wins. Jeff Bridges as a broken country singer, George Clooney as a jet-hopping poon hound, and Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandela all turn in believable enough performances, but the roles weren’t exactly stretches for any of them. Jeremy Renner as a bomb disposal soldier in Iraq? He not only makes something literally none of us could even imagine doing believable, he (along with the film-making itself) makes you feel like you are there with him. He wins.
Chuck (last year: n/a)
The statue goes to Jeff Bridges for Crazy Heart. He acted and sang, two-thirds of Hollywood’s elusive “triple threat, but look for him to dance his way onto stage to accept the award that’s eluded him through his vast and popular career.
Matt (last year: 3/5)
I’d like to see this go to Clooney – his performance was a smug, smooth-talking and personal – almost a commentary on the man himself. And I also wish Sam Rockwell would have received a nomination here for Moon. But enough of the “should.” Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: a popular actor with a storied career turns in a stunning performance as a down-on-his-luck entertainer trying to get his life together, only to be passed over by the Academy in favor of a more awards-friendly choice who plays a gay man struggling to live (and [spoiler alert] ultimately dying [/spoiler alert]) in the 60s and 70s. It happened last year with Sean Penn over Mickey Rourke, and it will happen this year with Colin Firth pulling the upset over Jeff Bridges.
R.J. (last year: n/a)
Jeremy Renner is the dark horse in this category and may take the award. The Hurt Locker may have a very good night and multiple Oscars are frequently awarded to at least one film. Renner was good and played his tough as nails character well. George Clooney was enjoyable as always and it was nice to see [SPOILER] his detached cool fall apart. Its good to see Danny Ocean adrift for a change.[SPOILER END] I would give the award to Colin Firth for his alternating moments of simmering intensity and quiet joy in A Simple Man. A moving, beautifully filmed movie that will hopefully find plenty of fans on video. Morgan Freeman played Nelson Mandela well, but will not win. This year’s best actor will go to Jeff Bridges for Crazy Heart. He sings, he drinks, he stumbles, he parents badly and he carries the movie. Great performance that elevated a fine film to an excellent one.
Stephe (last year: 1/5)
Who knows, you know. I mean we’re just guessing here based upon all the insider knowledge gleaned from watching shows like ‘Inside Hollywood’ and ‘The Insider’ and ‘Inside Holly’s Woods’. We’ve come to think we know what we’re talking about because we’ve seen and heard and read things like ‘Hollywood favors an actor playing a cripple’ over and over and over again
So what do I know about my choices. Nothing. I have a 5 year old daughter, I can tell you that Jason Lee was better in the first Chipmunk movie than that guy from ‘Chuck’, but about this stuff, nothing.
So I’ll pick Colin Firth. I heard he plays an wounded, closeted gay man contemplating suicide and we both know that Hollywood favors an actor playing an emotional cripple.
Wrestlemania 2000 (last year: 2/5)*
This is the deepest field, so Freeman, at just 18/1, gets the boot.
Clooney: Chris Jericho
Firth: Mr. Ass
Renner: Ken Shamrock
Clooney hits Renner with a triple powerbomb combo to eliminate him at 5:33. He then teams up with Brdiges to batter Firth for less than a minute, finally submitting the Brit at 6:22 with a modified Boston crab, known more commonly as the “Walls of Clooney.” The action goes back and forth from there as Bridges continually tries to take it outside and make it a No-DQ affair while Clooney tries to keep it on the mat. The younger, faster Clooney batters Bridges with martial arts kicks and places him in the tree of woe. Bridges fights back with a Clothesline From Hell and a piledriver. Finally, Bridges attempts a headlock and George Clooney reverses it into a bridging German suplex for the pinfall at 14:48.
Odds were chosen from various online betting sites, including Bodog and Bet365. Kids, gambling is illegal in many states, including this one, which is why you end up turning state’s witness to take down the mob family that has made your life a living hell ever since you made that stupid horse bet.
Up next: Best Director (Monday).
* Wrestlemania 2000 picks the Oscars by (1) eliminating the nominee with the longest odds, (2) matching up the remaining four with a character from WM2K’s extensive circa-1997 WWF roster and (3) Staging a CPU-generated four-man elimination match where the last man standing is the Oscar winner. No wrestlers are repeated during the contest.