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 Director
Bruce (last year: 2/5)
I’m truly afraid that Cameron will win this and proclaim himself Master of the Universe in some created alien dialect. That being said, I’m picking Quentin Tarantino. Why? I think he could pull the upset. As I said in my Best Supporting Actor pick, Tarantino’s Inglorious Basterds is Jewish wish fulfillment of the highest degree. That could get some serious backroom traction in Hollywood. Besides, Tarantino’s acceptance speech would be a classic. Imagine him thanking Bo Svenson, Fred Williamson and Russ Meyer. Imagine him rambling about the genius of Pam Grier. I want to see Quentin win the Oscar just for the speech.
Chris (last year: 3/5)
Five qualified nominees. Would like to get it: Reitman or Tarantino. Should get it: Bigelow. Will…No, you know what…fuck it. Give this to Kathryn Bigelow and let James Cameron win Best Picture with that leviathan he built. I can’t give both to ‘Avatar’ without feeling slightly nauseous. Hopefully members of the Academy also listened to their stomachs.
Chuck (last year: n/a)
James Cameron for Avatar. Could be Bigelow’s trophy, but my gut says Cameron…and you cant argue when your gut rumbles like mine. Cameron’s Avatar helps sink Hurt Locker’s sweep chances.
John (last year 2/5)
I’ve not seen any of these movies. (Anyone figured out yet that I don’t get out to the theater that often?) I’ll go with Quentin Tarantino, who should have won for Pulp Fiction.
Matt (last year: 3/5)
I’m not sure where to go on this one; so many Oscar “rules” are conflicting. On one hand, you have Cameron and Tarantino, each of whom turned in their magnum opus. Jimmy has a statue for directing, Quentin doesn’t. Advantage QT. Jimmy has the adoration of the academy, Quentin doesn’t. Advantage JC. They are both “larger than life” directors whose names sell their movies, unlike, say, Reitman and Bigelow, who have more subtle styles (especially in the case of Reitman). Bigelow has the awards momentum, and with The Hurt Locker pegged as a Best Picture likelihood, it could deliver Best Director as well (since 2000, the two trophies have gone to the same film 2/3 of the time). In a perfect world, this goes to Tarantino. In another perfect world, this goes to Reitman. In this world, I think it goes to Kathryn Bigelow.
R.J. (last year: n/a)
“Avatar,” though deficient in story, was so fantastic that I just didn’t care. Cameron created the greatest 3D film (for now) and, as always, gave cinema some amazing new tools to tell stories with. He is a great visual storyteller and innovator. James Cameron directs action expertly in an age where too few do it competently. To understand how good “Avatar” is, watch it and then watch “Transformers 2” immediately afterwards. Cameron understands visual geography and space, while Bay likes to watch things blow up. But Cameron won’t win. Lee Daniels direction was raw and quirky at times. His direction of his cast was mostly outstanding. But no victory for Daniels, either. Jason Reitman’s style practically disappears in his film, to the film’s benefit, but it’ll keep him off the podium. The aged, august Academy won’t give the statue to Tarantino. “He should be honored to be nominated.” That leaves Kathryn Bigelow in a film that critics have been undeservedly going nuts over. Her direction is solid, but the film’s script is ludicrous. It doesn’t matter. The movie has already been coronated. Direction and best picture awards are headed its way.
Stephe (last year: 1/5)
So, do you like your movies with meaning or popcorn?
Meaning –The Hurt Locker.
Popcorn – Avatar.
Me, I’d like to see Tarantino win, but I expect it to go to James Cameron. 700M domestic gross buys a lot of friends.
Wrestlemania 2000 (last year: 2/5)*
As expected, Daniels is the longshot, so he’s out first.
Cameron: The Blue Meanie
Tarantino: Al Snow
From the start, formerly-married Bigelow and Cameron refuse to fight or even acknowledge each other in the ring, a curious strategy that ends up costing both of them. At 5:21, Bigelow falls victim to Tarantino’s patented brainbuster, which he calls The Basterd-Plex: Once Upon A Time When The Top Of Your Skull Collides With The Ground (Part IV). Jason Reitman takes it to Jim Cameron, combatting his flashy, “spin around and jump off things” attack with basic, effective offense and finishing The King Of The World with a falling faceplant, aka the Up(In The Air)ward Spiral. With Cameron and Bigelow out, what follows is undoubtedly the MOST EXCRUCIATING TEN MINUTES IN WRESTLEMANIA 2000 OSCAR SIMULATION HISTORY. Kathryn and James erupt into a bitter, violent brawl on the outside, and Tarantino and Reitman can’t keep their nose out of other people’s shit. They take turns going outside the ring and getting in the fray, and are beaten senseless in return by the angry award darlings. At no point during the entire 10-minute stretch do both Reitman and Tarantino stand in the ring at the same time. One rolls in, the other jumps out. The other gets back in, the first one does a suicide dive over the top. It’s insane. It’s maddening. It’s two motherfuckers who don’t seem to understand the things you have to do to win an Oscar. Finally (FINALLY), after all the dirty tricks and questionable conduct, Quentin Tarantino brings a foreign object in the ring and bludgeons Reitman with it, finishing him off with a lucha-style cradle roll-up (an homage to the 1952 film “Huracán Ramírez” of course) to win at 17:57.
Odds were chosen from various online betting sites, including Bodog and Bet365. Kids, gambling is illegal in many states and sometimes the mob family you owe all that money to (and who you agreed to testify against for the FBI) has a lot friends in a lot of places, including the local police precinct, so you know what? I DID shoot a cop, because he was crooked, goddammit! That shouldn’t count! I am just looking out for my family here!
Up next: Best Picture (Thursday).
* 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.